Baaaaaa

Hello again. It’s been a while since I posted. After my last few paintings for others, I wanted to create something for our home. We have a large yellow-golden wall in the living room that begs for an equally large colorful painting. I like to change up my decorative pictures depending on the season and I needed a large spring / summertime image to fill the space.

After weeks of scouring my own pictures and the internet, I discovered this one on Flickr taken by a German photographer; a herd of sheep grazing the hillside at dusk. The vibrant colors and quirky composition grabbed me the moment I spotted it. The colors would match beautifully with our interiors. I know they say Art doesn’t have to match, but I guess I haven’t fully bought into that notion.

The number of sheep became overwhelming for me and I wasn’t convinced that I could get away with the angle. The more I stared at the “gaggle,” the more I saw them standing on their heads! I couldn’t leave it like this — it would drive the OCD in me crazy. I pared down the heard to a manageable size; one that I could have more control over.

Grazing
“Gaggle of Sheep”

Less sheep became even fewer sheep. At one point, my son commented that they look like elephants! Yikes! I love elephants, but that was not the goal! On to yet another reiteration of sheep.

Baaa
Refining

Finally, once I had a much more manageable group of “sheep-like” animals; I began detailing the faces. It was surprising to me if you change one little line that indicates bone structure or move the placement of the ears upward, they look like a completely different animal — think female lion. Below shows the finished painting on our wall. The yellow fields match perfectly!
Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…

Baaa
Baaa

Waterfalls

I just completed another class at PCCA entitled, “Landscape Painting.” Our teacher, Anatoliy Shapiro, is a Russian-born professional artist. He is well known for his large mural works. During this class I only completed two pieces: the Dominican Republic pastel piece and this oil painting. I worked from a personal  photograph that I had taken in the Animal Kingdom, Disney, Orlando.

Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Florida.
Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Florida.

When I began painting, I felt that I had bitten off much more than I could chew. With Anatoliy’s guidance I was able to break it down step-by-step and pretty soon it wasn’t as intimidating.

I began by drawing the image on canvas with charcoal, then blocking in all the shadows. Once the darkest darks were in, I put in the rocks, then the background and the nearest foliage last. As a newbie, I had to rework some of the areas more than once or twice…

In the end, I was extremely pleased with the painting.  I hope others enjoy it as well!

Sosua, Dominican Republic

Our family recently took a trip to the Dominican Republic. It was heaven on earth and I had a really hard time adjusting once we came back to the states. It wasn’t just the shear beauty and warm temperatures, the tropical island breezes and the blue ocean white sands right out our doorstep; it was the entire experience, the culture, the people, and the simple way of life that I really fell in love with! ‘Til we meet again…

Sosua_Pastels_2014
Sosua_Pastels_2014

Fall

I love fall! The cooler weather, the light breezes, the sun shining, the myriad of colors all work together to ignite my soul!

9″x12″ Pastel on Canson Pastel Paper Adapted from Photograph

Ireland

My friend Sheila and her husband recently took a trip to Ireland. Upon seeing some of her photos, I was blown away by the utter and sheer beauty of the images. I commented that they would make an incredible painting and offered to do a landscape for my friends.

The photograph was taken near Gormans Clifftop House, a local top-rated B&B on the Dingle peninsula in Kerry, Ireland.  I learned from the owner that the pool in the rocks is known as Loch na gCaorach (pond of the sheep). It is believed that sheep were dipped in the lake long ago. It was also a gathering place for the woman where they would gather and wash the coarse flour bags, which would then be adapted for many uses, such as sheets or babies diapers.