Saturday, October 30, 2010

Study Group

Here are all four studies together as a group. Notice how I turned them making an irregular shape instead of lining them all in a row. I wanted the colors to gradually change as in the actual leaves so at the top left is green-yellow, bottom left yellow-green, bottom right yellow-orange, top right, yellow green-red. I am thrilled with the outcome and hope to do more one hour studies because they were a lot of fun and no pressure. Doesn't everyone need that in their life!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Organic Red Study

This study has a sassafras leaf and the fruit from a dogwood tree. I was enchanted by the colors more than anything. The sassafras tree is just glorious in this season. The intensity it offers will make any yard glow. Picture a bright gold, pumpkin orange and magenta red - the colors it creates amazing! The dogwood fruit is just so interesting to me. It is really the center of the flower that forms after the bloom dies out. They start out as little red berries then expand to the bumpy heart shaped fruits you see here. They then dry out to little hard orbs with wonderful curling ochre leaves on them. Like I said, the intrigue captured my artist side!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pin Oak Study

We have a variety of oaks on our property - burr oak, red oak, pin oak - and each leaf is just a little different. You can tell this species by the sharp tips at each leaf point. I picked a green one that was barely changing and as a bonus found the little stick with a couple leaves still attached and knew it would be great to include. These turn ochre then a deep burnt sienna giving my yard a wonderful new color on top of the green grass. The fun part for me, making each study different than the last yet interesting in composition. So far, I think I like them all!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hickory Study

I took advantage of the fall season by including the nut in various forms. This is by far one of the greatest smelling trees when burning - hickory smoked campfires, sign me up! I loved the decaying part of the leaves and the gradual color change from green to yellow to ochre. This series was also important for the shadow study so pay close attention to them, it is what gives them movement.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Burr Oak Study

Some Thesaurus words for "adventure" - chance, contingency, endangerment, enterprise, experience, exploit, feat, happening, hazard, incident, jeopardy, occurrence, peril, scene, speculation, trip, undertaking, venture.

I painted this little canvas in one hour using leaves from the yard. It is a series of four I will be sharing with you in the next couple of days. I wanted to work quick and loose letting the colors blend into one another while wet. I am so pleased with the results and loved being so free with the exercise. So, grab your brush, pick up a handful of leaves and let the fun begin.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Word - Adventure

The word for the week is adventure.

Its noun meaning: a risky undertaking; a remarkable and exciting experience.

The crazy, fall loving squirrel is at it once again. First climbing a tree enjoying the wonderful colors of the season. Now taking a well deserved rest from gathering nuts and simply appreciating the warmth of the sunshine. Night time is on the way so he can't stay long but he has savored the day for sure. When was the last time you did?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Just Unnatural

Walking around the pond yesterday I just loved the way the sun was lighting this oak tree - the red brilliance was just blinding. When viewing the photos, this one just looked unnatural in color so I had to share. Can you imagine painting a leaf that intense almost fluorescent red? It would take a lot for me to even reach for that color let alone use it. I do however love the bright red with the muted khaki green seen at the top left - that palette I would definitely use! Now, where are those paints....

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bi-color Brilliance

These leaves were found randomly around the yard and put together after a little touch of rain. I loved the dark green grass against the vibrant fall colors, don't you. The orange yellow leaf has red veins and I couldn't help pair the two leaves together. I find it amazing that nature doesn't have a limited palette at all yet as an artist I'm so careful to put together my color combinations. Would I have included the dark blue green background for these brighter colors? Probably not but I do love the dramatic effect it gives them, they almost pop off the page. So, take a page out of mother natures book and try a new color combination, I'm sure you can find it somewhere around you!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Color Stack

I was at the perfect angle for this opportunity - colorful leaves arranged beautifully, stacked artistically and just waiting for a photo to be taken. If you look closely there are five points on each leaf so I guess you can include it with my word of the week star. I know stretching it pretty thin.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fungi Star?

Since star is the word for this week I couldn't help sharing this little treasure with you. Imagine my surprise when I looked down and saw this star like mushroom near the base of a tree. Crazy right? I know, who would have thought it possible but here is the proof. I cropped it with tightly letting a lot of the tree bark show because I loved the textural contrast this image shows. Doesn't the bottom bark look like amber liquid? I just loved the shine and subtle movement it created.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Take a Bite

Some Thesaurus words for "star" - brilliant, celebrated, chief, dominant, leading, luminary, main, name, outstanding, paramount, preeminent, prominent, talented.

Although this poor maple leaf has five points, they are barely recognizable after the bug has had its way with it. To me, it only adds to the allurement and intrigue of the remaining specimen. The tinted red edges and interesting drops of water only magnify the luminary beauty for my creative spirit.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Word - Star

The word for this week is star.

Its noun meaning: a celestial body that appears as a fixed point of light; a planet or configuration of planets that is held in astrology to influence one's fortune; destiny, fortune; a conventional figure representing a star, asterisk; an actor or actress playing the leading role; a brilliant performer.

This is my artistic interpretation found in nature. The holly is one of my favorite plants. I love the berries, the fact that there is a male and female plant, and the shape of the leaves are just fantastic. Sharp and thorny yet magnificently shiny in various shades of green. Who could ask for more from one plant?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bump Gourd in CP

This is my colored pencil version of the photo from Sept. 25ths post. I loved it and added the trailing stem because it needed the movement and the decorative element I usually look for in my finished pieces. Its done on a 9x12 sheet of paper making it quite charming when you frame it. The simplicity of the single gourd is enhanced by its rugged appearance making it a perfect subject for my creative side. Remember, that little bit of ugly is just what I look for!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Radiant Radishes

I found this great bunch of radishes at the grocery store and when I was putting them away I noticed the wonderful reflection on the table. So, grabbed the camera and here you have it. I think this is a great example of light and just how amazing it is. Notice the differences in the color of the real radish versus its reflected image - dramatic isn't it? I would have never painted it with so much value change but I'm so glad to now have this reference. The whites are just so brilliant against the dark wood table that it just makes me want to pick up the brush and paint it as fast as possible.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Feel the Warmth

When I saw this photo I heard John Denvers' "Sunshine on My Shoulders" makes me happy!

We have a lot of sassafras trees on our property and they are the most glorious colors I have ever seen. They go from green to a bright yellow, yellow orange to orange to a bright fiery red, just spectacular. As you can see from above, the colors just can't be described by mere words.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Unexpected Vision

Some Thesaurus words for "light" - ablaze, aglow, bright, brilliant, clear, flashing, fluorescent, glowing, highlight, illumination, luminous, lustrous, phosphores-cence,radiant, scintillate, shining, sparkle, splendor, sunny, torch, unclouded, unobscured, vivid, well-lit.

The luminescence coming from the red leaves made me stop the car. I just had to see what was so brilliant about the colors and I know the black sign pole definitely helped the brightness of the leaves come shining through. Simple in nature but beyond beauty in my eyes.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Word - Light

The word for this week is light.

Its noun meaning: something that makes vision possible; daylight; a source of light; enlightenment; public knowledge; a particular aspect present to a view; window; standards; celebrity; beacon; a flame for lighting something.

Its verb meaning: settle; alight; to fall unexpectedly; happen; illuminate.

I couldn't have picked a better picture. See the light coming through the hole in the leaf above - spectacular isn't it. I love little visual treasures like this one, it makes me take a closer look every time. I guess it's the curious nature of my creative side. Thank you for coming to my blog and letting me share that with you!

Monday, October 11, 2010

NUTS I tell you!

I just couldn't help myself. I know - is she nuts? I love this little woolen squirrel and wanted to use him in a composition but decided on taking the picture outside. Well, one thing lead to another and before you know it I'm putting him in the tree and snapping the picture. You do have to admit it really is quite charming! He will definitely be a colored pencil design so look for him coming soon...

Sunday, October 10, 2010


The intense chartreuse color of this leaf caught my attention while walking with the pups to get mail. I love the vibrancy of the leaf against the dull lifeless grass, the seasons are changing. I didn't even see the acorn tucked in around the stem but it was a pleasant surprise. The aging brown spots, the various holes and the little sienna near the base of the leaf just make it that more intriguing, don't you think?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Beans Anyone?

I can't remember what these are but I think they are coffee beans. I took the picture at an orchid show in Wisconsin a couple years ago. That will teach me to not include the placard telling me exactly what it is!

I just loved the long beaded strands with all the various colors, quite curious isn't it? I think it would make a great background for something really abstract or maybe even elegant. Hummm, let me think on this one. Yes, I would love to have it in a very light value with a full color flower of some kind. Which one though - rose, iris, lily - yep, I would pick a nice big open rose with a really long stem and a couple of leaves. Perfect, now off to the drawing board!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Glorious Kale

As a plant I find this grouping simply intri-guing. The color combinations, interesting leaves including the defined veins, the curling tops some of them have and design structure is just fascinating. I photographed this one at our local Olive Garden where there were so many to choose from I just couldn't believe it. The light was perfect casting a lot of deep dark shadows making the lovely layers even more intoxicating to look at.

As a food group, kale is in the cabbage family. It is among the hardiest and most nutritious vegetable a gardener can grow. However, I can tell you that I'm not a fan of the taste but at least I tried it. That's quite something, believe me!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lipstick Orchid

Some Thesaurus words for "curious" - bizarre, exotic, extraordinary, inquisitive, interested, mysterious, peculiar, puzzling, queer, strange, unconventional, unexpected, unique, unusual, weird, wonderful.

Welcome to my little curious world there are a lot of interesting and exciting words above. Now what to share with you, hummmm - exotic, yes I have it! I couldn't help take a photo of this little orchid, imagine the blooms the size of lipstick and you see just how extraordinary they really are. I can't remember anything else about them except the blooms were everywhere on the vining plant in various stages. I was lucky to get this great shot with the blurred background, it looks quite professional in my artistic opinion. Enjoy the bizarre, unique and mysterious things around you, it's what makes everyday living so interesting!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Word - Curious

The word for this week is curious.

Its adjective meaning: having a desire to investigate and learn; strange, unusual, odd.

I read a quote this week by Mark Parker, Nike CEO and thought I'd share. "Curiosity is life. Assumption is death. Look around. Be a sponge."

So, just how curious are you? I'm pretty darn inquisitive if I don't say so myself. I look, study and research a lot of different things. I'm always reading something art related whether its for my medium or not. I like to learn and have an appetite to improve my art - creatively and technically. I believe in being a sponge and open to the universe and its lessons. It keeps me constantly changing and from being stagnant as an artist and I appreciate that each and every day.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall Treats

I wanted to share my latest Colored Pencil of the Month Club design with you. I love rendering small things so I put together a few and created a mini still life if you will. The bird is actually a salt shaker and well, you can see just how small the vase is by the enormous looking candy corn. I looked to nature for the color palette choosing the warm earthy colors of the fall season. The paper color is bisque and complimented the design perfectly. So, look around you and create something inspiring!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Concentrated Gold

Jack brought this bright little treasure to me today while out in the yard. Not only does he love sticks but with the leaves still attached it is an added bonus. This is another example of the intense season that is upon us. Not only is the color range magnified but the beauty and delight being seen everyday is something I can really appreciate as an artist. It is my favorite time of the year because of the cool weather but also for the sheer loveliness of the trees that surround me in my everyday life.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Flaming Orange

The intense fall colors are arriving daily and I was so pleased to find this little branch of leaves on my lawn. I knew it would be perfect for the blog because it is just so cheerful, warm and full of energy. The large water drops only intensify the color so it is very welcome in my book of art! Did you happen to notice the veins? I couldn't believe they were framed on both sides with a lovely green. I wouldn't have put that in my artwork had I not seen it for myself, how about you? I hope you take the time to appreciate what Mother Nature is offering us - a brilliant colorful palette wrapped up in the fall season!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Luminously Green

This illuminated green gourd was hanging in my neighbors garden, I just couldn't resist the shot. The bright lights combined with the interesting shadow tells you there is a lot more going on than just this leaf with a gourd. It is this kind of subject that excites my creative side the most because it will make the viewer stop and pause. It should make them think about what they are seeing and what's causing that interesting shadow. I also love love love the wrinkled, dried leaf hanging in front - the texture is absolutely wonderful for inspiring my artwork!