This is a painting I just finished in response to the Portland Plein Air and Studio Painters "March Challenge" project. It was inspired by combining the three photos offered in the March Challenge. I was happy I came up with an idea of how to include the three pictures in one.
Yesterday, the group of "Eight" put up a new show at O'Connor's restaurant, where Portland Plein Air and Studio Painters meet every Tuesday morning for breakfast and a welcome serving of art talk. This painting is called "Into the Jungle." I posted it as a WIP (Work in Progress) on February 28 and explained the process that led to the shapes. We bring a new painting each month for three months, and then trade with another artist (Kaye Synoground) who shows there for the next three months. I also hung a painting in O'Connor's I sold, called "Little Shop of Drawers."
Here's something fun to eat and fun to paint!!! Virginia sent me some chocolates for my Dad's birthday. We all miss him, but it is especially hard for her. These are really my favorite kind and they are delicious. I had painted them before while they were still in the box, but this time I took a very old English china sugarbowl and turned it upside down and perched a truffle on top. Then I put another truffle on the table. Painting the complex calico china pattern was quite a challenge. I included the "setup" in this picture to show what it is, but it is kind of hard to see. I changed the colors of the wrappers because I wanted some extra variety. The sugar bowl is part of a very pretty tea set that has been in my family for years. At the Plum Gallery, we like nice things and tasty treats...as well as art. This kind of pulls that all together for me, plus links to family. The little card is actually just a piece of watercolor paper. I wrote a note on the back and put it in a very fancy red envelope and it is on its way to California.
Oh, wow, I am still working on thank you cards from Christmas. Well, if that's ALL I had to do, it would get done more quickly! This is a special tribute as well to my son-in-law Peter, and today's his birthday! When I visited him and my daughter Louisa and grandchildren Griffin and Sophia at Christmas, he learned I was "covetous" of a pen he had. It is a special pen, and was produced especially for The Center For Public Integrity where he is senior editor. CPI does investigative reporting. What makes it so special is that it comes apart and can be a flash drive!!! He gave me a pen and I never properly thanked him.
So this card is a little more elaborate than most. The pen is shown, and how it looks when it transforms to a flash drive. Also shown is a the cover of a disc that has pictures of Peter and his family. I thank him for the pen, and for being such a great husband, father, and son to me.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to my friend Jan's house for dinner. My friends Nancy and Patty were also there. We ALWAYS have a good girl's night together. Much to my surprise, Jan gave us all a gift when we left. It is the stone container pictured above, that I turned into a very elegant brush holder. It is speckled in a natural pattern and is very chic...just like Jan. I added the pitcher in the back....but it has nothing to do with the dinner or Jan. It was on the table a couple of days later when I was sketching with friends Celeste and Carrie. I think Carrie put it there for her sketch, but it worked for mine, too. Good friends are the greatest gifts. Of course, this painting is on a card which I will now use as a thank you note to Jan and use this as an opportunity to thank Carrie for putting that pitcher there!
My favorite palette was so messy that I had to clean it up. It seemed like a good time to take and post a picture of it. It is aluminum and is enameled white on the inside and black on the outside. The paints are protected when it is folded and closed. I like this palette because it has all my favorite colors and I can take it to workshops, use it for plein air painting, and use it at home. It's great for sketching, too. The thumb hole is great, especially for plein air. It folds out and is very comfortable because there is a rest for the thumb. Colors can be added for temporary use, such as the cobalt blue near the thumb hole now. My colors in the palette most of the time are burnt sienna, quinacradone gold, yellow ochre, hansa yellow, aurelian, alizarin, winsor red, magenta, cerulean, french ultramarine, pthalo blue, veridian, and sap green.
I've talked in this blog about my art group, Portland Plein Air and Studio Painters, also found at http://www.portlandpleinairandstudiopainters.blogspot.com/. We meet every Tuesday morning at O'Connor's in Multnomah Village (SW Portland). This picture is of this morning's meeting, during a very intense and interesting conversation about whether a painting needs a "focal point." This is the stuff artists are interested in talking about!!!
The really fun thing this morning was that we hung a new show yesterday and Friday is "First Friday" in Multnomah Village when people come out to look at art!!!
In this picture, you see Carrie Holst, Eileen Nelson, Michael Fischer, Celeste Bergin, Kitty Wallis (barely visible), Thomas Kitts, Lola (whose last name I don't know), Mary Luzinski, and the back of David McBride. The empty seat is for me, your photographer. Celeste's painting is visible in this photo, but others really aren't. We go "big" in size for these shows,and it looks great!. My painting is not visible in this picture. It was posted on this blog on February 2 as "Winter Project," if you want to take a look.