Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days: September 4 & 5

Days 4 and 5 of the challenge are similar but different. Day Four is a tiny 3" x3" canvas I created simply by making marks and looking for something to appear. In this case it was a quartet of tiny houses. If you want to look for deeper meaning, I imagine it comes two fold in this one. First, the changing face of housing in Portland. So many old homes and buildings being demolished to create giant multi-apartment behemoths. It's happening all around me and my feelings of over crowding and loss of architectural history find their way into my artwork- subconsciously or not.

The second, comes from the political changes and treatment of the poor, immigrants and minorities under this new administration. Are we not all entitled to "the American Dream"? The cozy home in the suburbs with the white picket fence, and 2.5 kids. Prosperity. Neighborly support. Maybe these tiny houses are my way of crying out for the loss of the American dream. There's plenty more where these came from too. I imagine these themes playing out in my artwork for the foreseeable future.

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My Day Five painting is a little less heady. It's the nighttime version of the view I posted for Day Three. The view from a balcony in Long Island City, where I was lucky enough to paint plein air in August. More on that soon, but here's the  sketch of the night time view. Soon these NYC sketches will help me complete three larger canvases I started there. Perhaps that's an October project though. ;)

Views From Long Island City

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days: September 3

Chugging along finishing up my limbo paintings as part of the 30 in 30 challenge. I started this guy during my August painting trip to New York. Trying to capture the rapidly changing light of a stunning sunset from a balcony in Long Island City... it's hard work! So I snapped a few photos, with my phone and in my imagination and finished it up yesterday.

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Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days: Day One and Two

That's right; I'm doing the September Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge! It was a really good motivator for me when I did it in January (scroll back through the blog to see). I still need to write more about my NYC adventure- I haven't forgotten! But for now...

My theme this time is to finish several paintings that have been in limbo for far too long AND to find inspiration in Instagram photos: mine and other peoples.

Day One

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Day Two

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30 Painting in 30 Days: Painting # 17

Sometimes paintings come together faster than I think they will. Painting # 17 came to life in a couple of hours on Sunday morning. As always, I feel like I could keep working on this one, but in the spirit of completing the larger project, 30 paintings in January.

Last year we made a day trip to visit a fellow artist friend at his home in Washington. We stopped at Moulton Falls park on the way and wandered the short trail, and climbed on the rocks to get down to this view point of the bridge.

The intense and varied shades of green present in the Pacific Northwest is one of the reasons I love it here so much. Even in the dead of winter, luminous moss grows fat on rock faces and cliff sides. Flipping through my Instagram photos to choose which to paint has been a welcome reminder of how much natural beauty there is in this world, and that I should get out to experience it more often. So should you!

Until next time...

 

30 Paintings in 30 Days: Day 8

Last year we decided to rent a room at a B&B in a remote area of Washington. Just get out of town for the weekend, do some hiking and cut off the technology. As we were packing up the car to leave, the owners of the B&B called to say they had an opportunity to rent their entire place to a tour group from Dubai, if only we would relinquish our room reservation. Everything was booked solid that weekend, so the kind woman suggested we stay at their friends place down the road. We thought it was another B&B but when we arrived, it was clear it was just the home of an older couple, and they were gracious enough to open one of their rooms for us. Reluctantly we stayed.

The home had been recently built by the couple; nestled into a giant rocky hill. There wasn't much to do there once the sunset, so we bought a bottle of wine and sat around the dining table talking about life with our hosts. When I woke up in the morning and looked out my window, this was my view.

So we didn't have the weekend we expected, but I think in the end it was much more interesting.

30 Paintings in 30 Days: Day 5 & 6

Last Friday, our new stove hood arrived, which sent me down this rabbit hole of cleaning and painting my kitchen. Four days later, with work still to be done, I got really behind on my 30 Paintings in 30 Days project... unless we can count the kitchen as a few paintings?

I am committed to producing 30 paintings this month so last night I got back in the studio and finished paintings 5 and 6, plus started working on a few others. 

I have painted another version of this view before, but every sunrise is different so here's another! 

One of my favorite things about my bedroom, is it has sliding glass doors that open to my back yard garden. In the summer I can lay in bed, listen to the birds and watch the sunrise. Sometimes I sit on the back steps and enjoy my coffee, watching the sky change from the dark cover of night, to warmer hues of yellow, pinks, and purples. I'm looking forward to the warmer weather returning so I can get back into the yard to paint. Working from photos will have to do for now.
 

Here's the photo I worked from.

My sixth painting is another sunrise view of Mt Tabor. In case you can't tell from my previous paintings, I am an early riser who loves a good sunrise! I snapped several photos of this sunrise on my morning run with the dogs. Every moment the sky changes. It's beauty was truly captivating.

The photo I worked from.

The painting. 

I'm not entirely sure it's done yet, but for the purposes of my 30 in 30 challenge, we'll call it done for now. I have a bad habit of re-working paintings often, sometimes even years after they've been "completed."

 

More new work coming soon! All of these canvases will be for sale after the challenge is over, don't hesitate to contact me if you're interested or have questions. :)

30 Paintings in 30 Days: Day Four

Ok, so I'm behind, but not entirely. The project is to produce thirty paintings in thirty days, not a painting a day for Thirty days... so I'm feeling ok about that. I have painted the last 6 out of 7 days, and that feels pretty good!

The last two days I haven't felt particularly inspired or motivated to create. Sometimes work life and stress can be terrible creative blocks. I couldn't resolve the paintings I had hoped to for day four (and five...) so I decided to call this one good and keep moving! Keeping with my theme of recreating my Instagram photos, this one is fun because it is a painting, of a photo, of one of my cityscape ceramic platters.  Sadly the platter warped so badly in the final firing, that it's unusable, but there's always something to be learned in the process.

Here's the Instagram photo that inspired the painting.

And here's the painting. It's not my favorite, but it's done!

The platter in its leather hard state before firing, glazing and firing again. I'm going to make another and hope it survives the whole process in tact. 

30 Paintings in 30 Days: Day Three

I've been working my way through the neighborhood in the first three paintings of this challenge. For Day Three, I recreated the sunrise view from the fields at Franklin High School. One of countless sunrises I've seen there while walking the dogs over the years.

The first painting on the left is the starting point for the finished photo below. You can see the photo I was working from in the background. 

Finished!