Maybe you've heard the phrase, "there's more than corn in Indiana". Absolutely right. One very small and charming northern town draws gourmets to what some publications have judged the best French restaurant in Indiana. This is a view looking down the street towards the restaurant. The town is rich with great plein air subjects, a painter's dream.
We recently stayed in a great hotel, which was new but designed to replicate the old motor courts. Really cute. The room included an aqua, deco refrigerator, barn type sliding doors to the bathroom, cement floors, and big rustic wardrobes. This car with their logo, was parked outside along with the Airstream food truck I painted earlier. Such fun.
Brooke again! This time with her little passenger more clearly defined in this more classic approach. I kept it loose with my big round brush for most of this painting. When I stepped back, I was amazed with how well the silky brocade drape turned out.
I've collected some fun, colorful bottles and other assorted glass lately just for the pleasure of painting them. This still life was set up in our back window with a nice view of the pond with ice building up on it. I love that fish bottle and the Buddha bottle!
Colorful Koi, greens, blues, orange, and browns. I totally indulged myself with color today after seeing nothing but white, gray, and dull brown outside. And I know winter weather has just begun up here in the north so that's going to pretty much be our palette for a while. This was painted from a photo I took in Florida a few years ago.
Ever since our son moved to Austin, Texas for grad school, and I started making visits there, I've become increasingly charmed with their food trucks, particularly the old Airstream type trucks. Now I'm obsessed with painting them. It's one thing that Austin offers the most amazing food I've had, but some of the best is brought to you in these incredibly cute and kitschy traveling kitchens! Driving around and spotting them is my kind of Easter egg hunt. This one was parked just outside our hotel.
I love, love, love painting the crazy abstract colors in the reflective metal and then standing back and seeing how it all makes sense.
A Sweet Ride
12 x 16
oil on canvas
This truck is parked on one of the streets popular with tourists and locals, where you can buy a pair of cowgirl boots that costs more than our first house, a cheesy souvenir piece of knicknackery, have an incredible meal, an incredible cup of coffee, go listen to great blues or jazz, and have a cupcake. All within a couple of blocks. I love this truck. I LOVE that city!
started this one last year when the weather in northern Indiana was
more typical of the winter months up here. It was freezing out and too
cold to stay outside and paint. I worked then from the photo, but it was
a long season and I soon lost enthusiasm so I set it aside, probably
feeling too winter weary to stay with it. Then last week, attending the
artist reception at The Castle Gallery, I found inspiration in all the
beautiful paintings of snow scenes and became enthused to tackle the
challenge of capturing the colors and play of light in snow. After this
went back up on the easel, it fairly, as the saying goes, "painted
itself". The snow in the foreground was the main challenge, but inspired
by the works of local artists, Fred Doloresco and my friend Douglas
Runyan, I dived in with my brush loaded with paint and laid it on
thickly. And I think it worked. By the way, after I finished today, my
husband and I took a bike ride to look at Christmas decorations with
temperatures in the mid-60's. Weird.
Chicago's beautiful old Carson Pirie Scott building, now called The Sullivan Center, is one of the masterpieces of architect Louis Sullivan and one of my favorites. This commission gave me another wonderful excuse to go visit my favorite city so I could photograph the building. I won't lie, it was challenging for this girl who prefers figurative and portrait painting and I'm celebrating that it's finished!
The ironwork on Sullivan's building is magnificent and actually practical since it is fireproof. This building was designed after Chicago's infamous fire and so created to prevent another such catastrophe. Chicago's architecture is an absolute treasure and if you ever get a chance to go up there and take the architectural tour, it will be time well spent.
No, it's not her name, it described my process for beginning this little portrait of my paint friend, Karen. I was sitting at my easel when a very talkative, always entertaining friend called. Knowing this was going to be one of those mega-conversations, I began a loose and somewhat distracted oil sketch of Karen, taken from a photo during one of our plein air outtings. By the time the phone call ended, I had moved from doodling to laying in the thick layer of paint. I was surprised by how close the likeness was for having not given great attention to what I was doing. Later I tweaked things and tried to get closer to a good portrait. It's not perfect, but it was fun. In this picture, she's wearing her big floppy paint hat, her apron, and has her backpack slung over one shoulder, a lot of information that doesn't read well in this closely cropped picture, but I like the light on her face.
Yesterday I met up with some friends from our local artist guild and took part in a paint out in the charming town of Roanoke, Indiana. It was a gorgeous sunny day and I had a great time, although I painted too slow to keep up with the changing shadows, so I finished it today. Painting within a time restriction and chasing the light is a really good exercise for keeping loose and making decisions for color and values quickly.