Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Coming and Going"

"Coming and Going"
9"x12" oil on linen panel
©2012 Denise Rose Fine Art

I have been working on painting boats lately in preparation for a fun painting trip I have planned to the Forgotten Coast of Florida in May. I am traveling there and will be there for 10 days to paint and observe the invited artists to the 2012 Forgotten Coast Plein Air Event. I am so looking forward to seeing some of my favorite artists paint there and meeting some that I have admired their work for a long time! It will be a great experience for me and that area offers so many great and inspiring places to paint. 

Above is from a reference photo from my mentor, Lori Putnam, and I felt like "Coming and Going" describes a lot about this painting and also the way I have been traveling lately! 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Stacked and Sliced

"Stacked and Sliced"
8"x10" oil on linen panel
©2012 Denise Rose Fine Art

This is a still life painting that I recently completed in my second workshop with artist Nancy Franke. I loved the beautiful colors of the little bowls and the gorgeous yellows of the meyer lemons in the set up. Because of this, I had a great time painting this little scene!

 I traveled to Chattanooga, TN, to take a workshop with Nancy at a relatively new art school there, ArtWorks Chattanooga, owned by the talented Lisa Seego. I love studying with Nancy because she focuses on painting in the style I love. She is also such a person of energy, that you just feel inspired the entire time you are in her presence! I also got to paint with one of my artist friends, Kathy Cousart, from Georgia, and that was fun to reconnect with her and paint together again. We first met last year during the first Nancy Franke workshop I took in Atlanta. 

Nancy does not teach often, so if you have a chance to be in one of her workshops, take it. She enjoys traveling with her husband and painting and visiting her grandchildren, so although she is an excellent and inspiring teacher, she does not spend much time doing it. You can see her work here.

This painting is available for purchase on my website.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Just Docked"

Just Docked
9"x12" oil on linen canvas panel

Just a quick post to share a painting I recently completed. I took the reference photo when I was in the St. Simons Island area last fall and have wanted to paint this little boat that had just docked before we arrived at this spot to paint. It ended up being too windy to paint that day, so I took down a few notes about the day in my sketch book and took a photo so I could remember what attracted me to this scene while there. I loved the colors of the marsh grasses in the foreground and background, along with the yellow color of the boat itself. Might have to do this one larger! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dawn Whitelaw Workshop

Momentary by Dawn Whitelaw

First, NO, this is not my painting! I wanted to share some of the beautiful work of the fabulous Dawn Whitelaw who is coming to my area today to teach a workshop. The workshop is going to be held at a local gallery, Artreach Gallery, in Germantown, TN. If you are an artist or an art patron and have not seen Dawn's work, make sure you click on the link and enjoy the feast for your eyes! 

This will be my third workshop with Dawn, and to be perfectly honest, I will never miss an opportunity to spend time painting with this fabulous artist and most importantly, fabulous teacher. Being a teacher myself, I am more aware than most about what makes a "good" teacher and what does not. As you know if you are one of my regular blog readers, I have enjoyed every workshop I have taken, but some artists make better artists than they do teachers. However, let me emphasize here that Dawn is, indeed, a "great" teacher. She has the gift of being able to inspire, encourage, and lead a student to discover things on their own and develop those problem solving skills that will serve them so well in the future. Aside from all that, she has a gentle spirit and is so encouraging to be around. Her excitement about her work and her teaching is infectious, which makes it even more fun to be around her. If you are an artist, and you ever have the opportunity to study with Dawn, take it!

Friday, February 3, 2012

"Garden Bridge"

Both of the images above are versions of the same scene of tulips at our local museum and gardens, Dixon Gallery and Gardens here in Memphis. They plant thousands of tulip bulbs each year and I made sure last spring to visit and have lots of great reference photos to paint from that visit. It is a fun subject when days are short and gray in winter, even though we have had no snow or really cold weather this year.

In my mentoring with Lori Putnam, I am working on edges and paint application along with composition and all of the other aspects that make up a good painting. I am having so much fun and we have such a fabulous small group of artists that I look forward to it each time we meet! Plus, I am positive it is the first time in my life I can't wait to get home and do my homework! Lori is challenging us and helping each artist work on their specific goals in painting. Fun times!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"Black-Eyed Susans"

"Black-Eyed Susans"
10"x10" oil on gallery wrapped canvas

I painted this painting of the black-eyed susan flowers that bloom each year at the friendship entrance to my house. I love them when they are blooming and they bring such sunshine to our side door for guests to enjoy as they come to visit. 

It was sold during and event at the Memphis Botanic Gardens called "Incognito." At this event, 80 Memphis area artists were asked to create and donate a 10"x10" painting with a botanical theme and NOT sign the front of the work. Gala attendees then bid on these paintings during the evening and at the end (after auction was over), the artists went to their respective paintings and signed them! Also, we were asked to "play along" and attend the event in disguise to go along with the theme of "buy what you like not who you know." So fun! I included a photo of my "disguise" along with my cohort (or fellow female Blues Brother!), artist Judy Nocifora. Also a photo with the happy art patron who purchased my painting.

I will have to say here that even though I looked goofy all night walking around with my hair stuffed in a hat with feathers and dark sunglasses on, I had a blast! I met other artists that I didn't know (which is always fun!) and saw lots of friends from the community who are art and Botanic Garden supporters. Great evening and a successful event for the Botanic Garden!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

One Year Blog-aversary!

"Sunset on the Marsh"
8" x 10" oil on canvas panel

I wondered yesterday how long I had been blogging and remembered it was right about now last year when I "took the plunge" and started a blog. It turns out TODAY is the one year anniversary of the "birth" of my blog! Yay! I don't know why that is so exciting other than it is something I started that I actually stuck with, which isn't always the case with things I begin! However, I love to read other blogs and learn so much from other artists "out there" that share their painting journeys with all of us "out here," so I feel the need to do the same. Not that I have tons of knowledge that others do not, but I just feel the need to give back and hopefully bring a little bit of encouragement and information to someone who reads these posts. 

I also have "met" so many more nice artists and received so much encouragement through this blog. That is the main reason I keep doing it. No, I don't post everyday. And I don't even have a posting schedule like some of you. I am not a daily painter, but I really admire those who are and support them through my encouraging words on their blogs, and through my purchases of their art. My studio wall and office wall is lined with beautiful art I have purchased and I plan to continue to add to that in the coming years. 

The painting above is a plein air piece that I did in Apalachicola, FL this past October in a workshop with Lori Putnam. As I have mentioned before, I will begin a mentoring program with her next week, and I am so excited about being able to concentrate on certain goals I have for myself in relation to my art. I will certainly share my progress with you all along the way!

And let me once more send out sincere thanks to all of you who offer encouragement and advice and kind words to me through this blog. Happy Blog-aversary to Meeeeeeeee!!!!! (I wonder if this occasion calls for cake??)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Vanderbilt for a Friend


I painted this tower at Vanderbilt University for a very good friend for a Christmas present. She and her husband and daughter all graduated from there and anyone that knows her knows that she is one huge fan of everything Vandy! In fact, she is a current Board of Trust member and also served in the past as National Alumni President. My son is currently a Vandy undergraduate, and when we were visiting in the fall for a football game, I decided to go out scouting for a reference to paint for her. I got up early one morning and planned on getting some early morning light photos from which to choose the perfect scene for my painting. As I was drinking my coffee from the breakfast room of the hotel, I looked out the window and saw this view above. The line of early morning clouds were perfectly lined up in the sky and the light was just beautiful on the tower and the surrounding area. I quickly grabbed my camera and went to shooting through the glass window. The other breakfast eaters all looked at me strangely, but I didn't care. I knew I only had a few moments to capture that light and just kept shooting. It turned out I loved the shots and decided I didn't even need to step outside to go shoot anything else. She loves the painting and has it proudly displayed in her home with some other important Vanderbilt things. This is one of the joys I have as an artist - to be able to make other people happy with something I create!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lori Putnam Still Life Workshop

A couple of weeks ago, I participated in an impressionist still life workshop with artist Lori Putnam at her studio in Franklin, TN. It was a great group of artists and we all learned a lot about setting up a still life, lighting, and just details that I have not thought about before when doing this type of painting. Above you see a couple of the timed studies we did during the workshop. Different setups were done in short amounts of time to make us focus on capturing the general shapes of the colors and not focus on drawing an object and filling it in with paint. As many of us soon realized, this is harder than it sounds! It is our natural tendency as artists to want to draw or sketch off the boundaries of an object and then mix colors to fill in that object. Although I don't generally seek out to paint still life, I felt like it was good for me (kinda like taking vitamins) and my painting journey to learn these things. It should help me in my overall development as a painter, which is one of my main goals at this point.

Like Camille's workshop, the studies in this workshop were intended as studies and not finished paintings. I really like that and it takes the "pressure" off that we as aritsts put on ourselves to always create something that we can hang on the wall or sell. I need the practice and can always see that I improve in aspects of my painting when I paint with this attitude and frame of mind. I am able to let go of that little voice inside that tells me what I am doing is terrible and just learn. The final day we painted a very involved and larger set up and although I wasn't thrilled with the results of mine, I managed to focus on the techniques Lori was teaching us and felt I was successful at that.

I also used a new brand of paint for the first time and loved them.  Blue Ridge Oil Paints are made by Eric Silver in Asheville, NC. I can't really explain why but the paints feel so nice on my brush and as I apply them to the canvas. They are made with a combination of several oils, which you can read about if you are interested on their website. They seem to be slower drying to me than some of the other brands I have used lately, but of course, that is just my first impression. Lori is using these now along with other artists I know, so I decided to give them a try. I know that the brand(s) of oil paints an artist uses is a very personal and individual decision, but if you are looking to trying something new, give him a call. It is a small company and made in America, which are both positives in my book. Plus, he is open to suggestions and feedback from the artists "out here" and is sincerely trying to create a quality product.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

St. George's Art Show and Sale

"Watercolor Lake" 
9" x 12" oil on canvas panel

I was honored to be selected to participate in the St. George's Art Show and Sale in Collierville, TN again this year. It is a wonderful collection of artists from this area and the surrounding region and since my son graduated from there, it was fun for me to see my old friends and share my artwork with them. I did not paint when he was in school there (mostly because I was doing "mommy" stuff all the time!) so many old friends would see me standing there and say something like "Hey, are these YOURS??? I didn't know you were an artist!" I would then go into my discussion of how I needed to focus on something when my children began leaving the nest and art was my passion when I was younger, so it seems like the appropriate thing for me to do now. Anyway, it was a fun show and I sold a few paintings, including the one above to one of my son's math teachers when he was there who is also a sweet friend.

Another cool thing that happened and made me smile really big inside (and outside!) was a man (didn't know him) was walking with some speed down the hallway and just glanced over to where I was standing in a lounge area with my paintings displayed on the wall, and suddenly stopped and backed up and came over to one of my paintings. He stared and looked closely for a minute and then looked at me and said "Are these yours?" I politely said "Yes, they are," not knowing what he was about to say next. He then said "Wow, these are fantastic! This one 'spoke' to me from over there!" Now, I don't know about the rest of my artist friends out there that may be reading this, but this is music to my ears as a painter! I thought "Do other people really have that happen to them too?" I mean, I have that happen a lot and those are the paintings that I dream about, think about, look at over and over (if I can be fortunate enough to buy it or at least find an image online to stare at repeatedly). I was able to stop smiling long enough to thank him and then chat about plein air painting (which he read about on my bio hanging next to my work) and the joy that painting brings me. It was one satisfying moment. And no, he didn't buy that painting, but that compliment was worth all the work I put into that painting and all the others up to this point in my painting journey. 

I also want to share a photo of my artist friend and fellow Chestnut Group member from Nashville, Tiffany Myers Foss, below. She was also invited to participate in the show and it was so fun to hang out with her and her sweet husband some and chat! It was a great show all around and one I was happy to participate in!