Sunday, April 30, 2017

30 days of painting Day 26

6" x 6"
I'm continuing painting shrubs from my yard. Today it is rhododendron that has a beautiful white/cream/pink blossoms. I mostly used the red/green palette for this painting. I really like interesting grays I can mix with different reds and greens. My favorite is a cool mixture of Alizarin Crimson and Viridian..

Saturday, April 29, 2017

30 days of painting Day 25

6" x 6"
I wanted to paint something red today. Blooming azalea from my yard was perfect. I love spring time with all the beautiful rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas and magnolias. One of my most favorite parts of living here in Oregon.
With the light shining from behind I noticed the warm red in the lit parts and purple in the shadows. It was quite exciting to see it.

Friday, April 28, 2017

30 days of painting Day 24

Haystack Rock
6" x 6"
It wasn't raining today, so my friend Andrew and I went plein air painting again. I didn't want to miss the chance. This time we decided to go north to Pacific City, Or. It is just 30 min drive from where we live. On the way, I remembered my secret plein air spot where I haven't been for at least two years. There are not many people that know about it, maybe locals. I was very excited to see the couple. They made my painting more lively.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

30 days of painting Day 23

Boiler Bay
6" x 6"
I live on the Oregon Coast and it has been raining here nonstop. Oil painting when it rains is almost impossible as oil and water don't mix. Using an umbrella is not an option as it is usually windy. My friend and I decided to go plein air paint today rain or shine. We thought maybe there will be a gazebo or some kind of shelter where we could hide from the rain. We ended up painting from my car
sitting next to each other in my trunk. I think it is called dedication :)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

30 days of painting Day 22

Herring with Bottles
6" x 6"
Another painting with herring today. Not very often there is a whole real fish in my studio. :)
I like the curved line of the fish and how dark it is on the top. Adding white background really shows it well. There is a lot of white which is really gray when I start painting it. I tried to mix as many grays as possible to make it more interesting, Painting white really trains your eye to see the varieties of color.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

30 days of painting Day 21

8" x 10"
I was born in Russia. Now I live in a small town by the ocean in Oregon, and there are no Russian stores here. Bigger towns and cities usually have several stores for people missing their home. I adjusted well to my new home, so I don't cook borscht and piroshki very often and totally ok eating local food.

Yesterday my daughter and I happened to be near a European store I once went to. One thing I sometimes miss is herring. You can buy marinated one in a store here in town, but it is not the same. The real thing is just salted fish, the whole thing. When you come to a Russian store you have to ask if they have herring in a bucket. That's the one I'm talking about. So that store had only one left. Of course, I bought it. They also bake bread there. It still was warm. That's what my still life is about today.

FYI Selyodochka is herring in Russian :)

Monday, April 24, 2017

30 days of painting Day 20

Lilies on White
6" x 6"
I had an hour to finish this painting. Strokes were laid on fast and without hesitation. There is a timer in my studio, so when it goes off I am not supposed to touch the painting unless I sign it...

I added a cup and a cream holder (they are almost not noticeable) to the white background for more challenge. Painting white is not easy, because white is the lightest color available. So I usually start with a highlight and compare values to it. The rest of white is actually gray.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

30 days of painting Day 19

Blocks on Green
6" x 6"
I find block studies a great exercise to train my eye to see colors. I noticed how much the green background affected the shadow area on the top of the purple block. Or the shadow area of the pink block turned quite intense warm purple because of the purple block affecting it. Sometimes I paint intuitively and sometimes I want to know why some areas are a certain color..

Saturday, April 22, 2017

30 days of painting Day 18

Daffodils in a Pink Pitcher
6" x 6"
I will have a lot of daffodils in my final challenge collage. (I'm planning to make one with all 30 paintings by the end.) There is a simple explanation. First, daffodils are sill in bloom in my yard, second, it's been raining way too much. And intuitively I tend to be attracted to anything sunny-like.
I felt like color today. And not just yellow. So I added green and purple to make it more colorful.

Friday, April 21, 2017

30 days of painting Day 17

Daffodils in Orange Vase
6" x 6"
I used my new props today. I have never used them before. All purchased at my recent thrift shop visit. I remembered to get smaller items, such as this cute salt shaker, as sometimes all you need just is a tiny object. :)
I cannot get enough of my first daffodils. They are still blooming! And there are some lighter color flowers also...

Thursday, April 20, 2017

30 days of painting Day 16

Skull and Daffodil
10" x 8"
I usually paint alone in my studio, maybe an audiobook might accompany me sometimes. Today I had a guest, an artist, and my friend Andrew over. Two things I did today for the first time - painted in my studio with a friend and painted a skull. The skull belongs to him. He found it 23 years ago and wasn't sure what animal it was...
I did talk a lot I must say, which kept me from thinking about what I was doing. It was fun. I might keep inviting my fellow artists to paint with me.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

30 Days of Painting Day 15

Siletz Bay
8" x 8"
I have been enjoying looking at pictures of my friends and other interesting people on Instagram.

There are a couple of places around here I wanted to paint. When I drive my car I see some amazing views and think I should come paint plein air here sometimes. When that day comes, here I am with my car parked and painting supply, and for some reason that amazing view I saw the other day from my car is gone. It happens over and over. I couldn't get why.

Back to Instagram, my friend Gretchen posted that amazing view of the bay, the one that I had seen from my car but never could capture. I asked if I can use it as my reference and received her permission with a condition I would show the result. Again breaking the rules to never use somebody else's pictures. O well.

Later Gretchen told me that picture was taken on her 24-mile bike ride. I think Mother Nature opens up to those who slows down and becomes fully present...

Photo by Gretchen Ammerman

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

30 days of painting Day 14

Speck of Cascade Head
12" x 9"
I live near the ocean. Oregon Coast is famous for being quite rainy. It has been raining more than usual lately it seems like. And when you happen to be on the beach on a beautiful sunny day without your sketchbook, many things inspire you, such as agates, shells, interesting rocks with holes in them, totally different view of a familiar scenery, and you take pictures of them. Not ideal to paint from a photograph I've heard many times. All I wanted to so is to capture the feeling of that place.

Monday, April 17, 2017

30 days of painting Day 13

Daffodils with Tea Kettle
10" x 8" 
I went to a thrift store to find background fabric or posters and ended up with a dozen of new subjects for my still life. The tea kettle was a perfect size, not too large and reflective. Most likely you'll see it often in my future still lifes.
I wore a red shirt that day, can you spot me?

Sunday, April 16, 2017

30 days of painting Day 12

Daffodils and Apples
That's my first still life with daffodils, that my friend, who works at the transfer station, rescued and shared with me. I've been enjoying seeing them bloom. Flowers take a special place in my heart. No other flower has given me as much pleasure though as these first daffodils that I planted at my first house for the first time. Lots of firsts. I think the painting shows it :)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

30 days of painting Day11

Sunny Day
That was my first attempt to paint a figure in a landscape. I used a picture of my daughter. She is growing so fast and I kept thinking it would be nice to capture the moments of her life in oils. I like light and shadow interplay in this painting. Warm lights and cool shadows make it more real. I really want to work on more figure studies..

Friday, April 14, 2017

30 days of painting Day 10

I bought these daffodils hoping I will make a couple of daily paintings. I waited way too long and they started to droop. I barely had time before they were completely gone.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

30 days of painting Day 9

Pink and Red
6" x 6"
I love my friends. There are amazing interesting people. So one of them works for a garbage company. One day he gave me at least 4 bags full of flower bulbs and told they needed to be planted immediately... That's how I got started on my garden. I've been living in my house for a year and a half and was just thinking to do something with my yard. It's been neglected for a while. I did plant them. And this spring I got flowers! My first flowers! That made me so happy. Every day seeing them open up and close is amazing. I know small things in life make us happy :)

Just the other day another friend came to visit us with her two-year-old adorable boy. I was nice and sunny, so we all went outside and while my friend and I were sharing our parenting experiences/venting, the little boy decided to pick my two flowers. That made me very sad at first. What can you do? I took them and put in water. I liked the color combination and instantly thought they would make a great painting subject. It all works out at the end. Thanks, Gunnar, my little friend! :)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

30 days of painting Day 8

Three Pears
6" x 6"
Day 8. When I started the challenge, I thought "that'll be totally doable". I often overestimate my abilities and don't take some things into consideration like getting down with a cold, or my two-year-old staying home because she puked a day before, and the daycare sending us home because they have a 24-hour-policy (no, I didn't study the policy) after a child vomiting. What I'm trying to say, some days I just don't feel like painting and some days I feel like painting something very-very familiar, something that I know will turn out ok. Pears, thank you for providing the level of comfort that a single-mom/artist/housekeeper/accountant/gardener/landscaper/nonstophomestufffixer sometimes needs. I love you, pears!

P.S. I have to be honest with you, some days I paint more than one painting just in case I need a break :)

Monday, April 10, 2017

30 days of painting Day 6

Pink Lily
10' x 8"
Painting has been always a humbling experience for me. It happens every time I paint flowers. When I brought home lilies I was sure their simple shapes would be easy to paint. All I needed to get the color and values right. But not only it took much longer than I expected to come to that level of completion, but it also was challenging to see the values and colors. If I put too much information, the flowers lose their liveliness. It happened to my previous flower paintings. I tried to stop before I went too far. I tried to mix different purples and reds to make it more interesting. I learned that there will be many more flower studies in my life before I get my perfect lily painting. :)

Sunday, April 9, 2017

30 days of painting Day 5

Orchid in a Yellow Pot
10" x 8"
I love painting flowers, maybe because it is challenging, and because I love flowers. Well, who doesn't? I was given this orchid by my dear friend as a birthday gift (I am always amazed how long orchid blooms).

The original pot it came in got chipped. I had a yellow one from a plant that didn't survive. I had a feeling my sophisticated orchid might look unnatural in a bright yellow pot, however, I liked the result. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

30 days of painting Day 4

Three Apples
10" x 8"
If you don't know what to paint, get a couple of apples or pears, a piece of white fabric and voila! Easy. I will never get tired of painting apples or pears. Always something new to see in their form. It took me a while to see greys where the stem is located. It is not going to look real without those greys. I have to admit that I bought a couple of greys (warm and cool) from Gamblin oil colors, and I absolutely love them. I heard from so many people not to do that and mix your own. Oh well, I'll take anything that saves me time. Honestly, I just love Gamblin's greys.

Friday, April 7, 2017

30 days of painting Day 3

6" x 6"
I like blocks. Maybe it reminds me of my childhood. I found a set on eBay exclusively to be my models. Every time my two-year-old comes to my studio, she wants to play with them. I probably have a child living inside of me who doesn't like sharing. I really need to convince her that it is ok that my daughter plays a little. But I make sure she leaves them in the studio and doesn't take any to her room. :)

Today I made a sketch with my blocks. I like to see how they influence each other. The vivid colors really make it more noticeable. I use a cool filter for my lights. I noticed how shadows become warm.  I read it years ago in Richard Shmidt's Alla Prima when the light is cool the shadows are warm and vice versa. It makes me read it again.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

30 days of painting Day 2

12" x 9"
Today I chose subjects I haven't painted much before. I like the green bottle, but for some reason it doesn't make it to still lifes. The most challenging part was to paint the stripes. I had to carefully see where the lines touched the subjects. I think it would be interesting to paint a more complex still life with a poster as a background. I need to find to check out thrift stores to find one. 

In my studio

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

30 days of painting CHALLENGE Day 1

Pink Rose
9" x 12"
Hello my lovely neglected blog and my dear reader, I've missed you so much! Thank you so much for checking on me. I'm finally back. You know I've been painting and posting my images on Instagram and Facebook. It seemed faster and not as time-consuming. When you are an active single mom, your time is limited. I learned that Blogger is a very useful tool. I used it so many times to find titles, dates, and places I went to. Starting blogging again was on my to-do list for a while. It makes me happy I finally found time.

I decided to challenge myself again with 30 days of painting and see what happens. I did it twice and really enjoyed the outcome. I let myself to be free to paint anything I want, any format. I'm planning to post all the images no matter if I like it or not. Every day. Wow. Quite a commitment!

Today for my first day I painted with a different brush. Normally I use bristle brushed today I gave a synthetic one a try. I noticed it doesn't hold as much paint as the bristle brush does and creates an interesting effect. You can see I enjoyed painting those grays around the flower...