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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Crystal Cove Cottage - "Faded Memories" - Impressionist Oil Painting

This is a 10"W x 8"H, oil on linen over board painting just completed. It is on eBay for auction right now for 10 days, click here to bid. I will add more pics later. I need to go cook a turkey today!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

High Sierra Winter Creek Oil Painting by Esther J. Williams

"High Sierra Winter Creek" 10"W x 8"H, oil on stretched linen. I have been traveling to the High Sierras for over 20 years with my husband and kids. We stay up there several times a year. We used to just camp in Bishop Creek, then we would stay at a local motel and go up to the peaks, finally we met a friend who owned a cabin in Aspendell and we stay there off & on. It allows me to walk right out the door and hike along the creek. I have painted up here for years. There are so many special places I know that I like to keep them secret. This is one of them, I can visit this place and find fresh deer or bear tracks on the the thick ice leading up to the creek water. This was in January, there is a pond that fisherman wade into and fish, the foreground of this oil painting is the ice of that pond, the creek stays thawed as the snow melts from the high peaks and makes a continuous flow down to Bishop. The focal point of this scene is the larger, more detailed bush on the other side of the creek with the light pouring through either side of it and casting it's reflection on the water. I must add that I had just read a book about the painting process on one of Manet's impressionist paintings before I painted this. Manet painted a Paris street scene in glaring light which looked like a winter scene although it wasn't, he used light hues of white mixed with either blue, yellow-orange or gray, he slowly built up the painting by mixing his oils with mineral spirits to make a oil wash, then he layered on top some thicker brush strokes, not all of the painting was thick paint, in fact, there was many translucent areas of thinned paint. I liked how his street scene captivated me with it's dreamy atmosphere and light hues. I knew that was what I had to try for this snow scene. In my painting there are many thin areas where you can see paint glossed over the canvas grain, then in the focal area, the paint is piled on thicker. Nice effect, my whites are not pure white for my snow, in fact I add at the very last some white tinted with a small bit of the sky blue color for the final highlights. I also used a palette knife that had a mixture of the sky blue mixed with white to add that reflected sky appearance in the end. Edgar Payne often painted up here and I like to study his works, he used color combinations of blues, grays and yellow-oranges for his snow covered mountain peaks, a color combination I borrowed from to paint this scene. There is not any black in this for I did not want to make too dark shadows. The blues, mauve and blue-violet shadows was all that was needed and keeps this vibrant in color. This oil painting is available for purchase. Comes framed.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bommer Canyon Oaks and Sycamores, Landscape Oil Painting

Just off the easel, "Bommer Canyon Oaks and Sycamores, 18"W X14"H, on stretched linen, 3/4"D. Another Irvine Ranch wilderness landscape oil painting that was just finished after starting this on location in the secluded Bommer Canyon. I was in attendance there on a limited open access day on Halloween, October 31st. What attracted me to this scene was the gigantic form of the oak tree as it sprawled out and over the slope. The fact that it was a part of a cascading line of oaks made it even more appealing, the smaller oaks lead to and told the size of the magnificence of the larger oak. This is fall and the sycamore trees are a vibrant array of gold greens, yellow orange and burnt reds. But they are supporting actors to the star of the show, the mother oak. The unique form of the giant oak sent chills through me as I could sense it's strength and natural energy. Here was a tree, a truly wild oak that was allowed to it's maximum growth, unhindered by man in developed communities. Here is nature in it's purest form, that excites me and I must capture this unique organic beauty in the autumn light, using my artistic abilities.
I used the color wheel for making different complimentary values, hues and chroma utilizing a tetrad that was organized beforehand on my palette after studying the special colors in this setting on location. I noticed a distinct tetrad of blue-violet, yellow-orange, green and red while analyzing the setting. The yellow orange light passing through the oak and lighting up the sycamores was balanced with the blue-violet shadows beneath the trees and shrubbery, also in the background in a hazing out into the distance. The deep shadow of the oak tree's form gave it vivid dimension. To paint this, I gradually built up the form of the tree using my creative processes and working from shadow families to light families to build a strong composition. I have learned much from a modern master, Kevin Macpherson by reading his books, "Landscape Painting, Inside & Out" and "Fill Your Oil Paintings with Light & Color". I have practiced what he preaches for 2 years now and he is a great influence on my work.
The painting is signed in the lower right corner, it will be framed and is presently being submitted to the Points of View Landscape exhibition through Southern Calif. Artist's Association. Price is $500 and will be available soon wether or not it gets into the show. It is a modern landscape exhibition and I am just not sure if they will consider it contemporary enough.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sailboat oil painting commission, Dana Point

Here is a commissioned work of art I did last week for a gentleman's sailboat in the Dana Point Marina. The piece is titled "My Destiny" after the boat's name. It is oil on linen, 16"W x 12"H. The top spreaders and mast were purposely cut off to fill the width of the canvas with the boat's length and save from painting it on a larger canvas. Instead of painting it in it's natural surroundings, which it was tied up to the slip with many other boats, he requested I paint it to look like it was anchored in the bay with a tropical background. So, I had to use my imagination and some reference to trees and deep water from my other paintings. The whites and grays of the boat were also to remain free of artsy colors, in other words, neutral. This was a lesson to me in holding back on color reflections until I got to the water, then I went "Wee!" I just love creating water! I still had to use refrain to allow a unity between the boat and it's foreground and background. I also employed thin glazing techniques to add the lines and trim lines, rails and lettering. My customer loved the results, everyone was mutually happy.
If you would be interested in having your boat painted locally, feel free to add a comment below. Blogger will email it to me and I will email you back with further information. This size painting would be $500 with a deposit of $100 to start. Frame is not included, but I have several frames on display for you to decide upon and I can refer you to the retail outlets close by to purchase your frame reasonably, around $40-$50.00. If I paint it on a 16x20 linen canvas, the price increases to $800 with a $200 deposit. Frame increases to approx. $80-90.00. You can enjoy looking at your special boat in your home when are are away from it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Esther J. Williams won 3rd Place Award for oil painting, "Oak Canopy by Trail"

I had a surprise hit me on Saturday, Nov. 7 at the San Clemente Art Gallery during the awards reception. My name was announced for winning third place in the Landscapes/Oils category. It was based on my entry of "Oak Canopy by Trail" oil on linen, 16"W x 12"H. I had two entries in the show and I didn't know which painting got the ribbon until I flipped the ribbon over. Of course when I entered both pieces I thought they each were winners. The reception was very crowded as close to 100 people showed up. There were 146 entries by all artists. I was doing my volunteering hours that day and brought home made cupcakes to add to the food table. There was plenty of tasty treats to go around and wine was being poured. I never saw so many happy faces in there before, the camaraderie was up in scale this time. I received lots of congratulations as this was the first time I won a third place in 5 years, I had 10 Honorable Mentions, so it was a big deal to me and my friends were very happy for me. Winning in a judge show is extremely competitive in the Landscape Oil category in this association. There were 3 judges, 2 were watercolorists and 1 was an oil painter, so it was tough. I am grateful for the scores that tipped me into the winner of third. Here are the two oil paintings that I entered, the award winner is in the oak trees by the trail in the gold frame, the 2nd is called "Mission Contemplation" in the black frame with gold liner. It measures 16"W x 12"H and is oil on linen. Both paintings are up for sale at $350 a piece at the San Clemente Art Gallery in downtown San Clemente. The gallery is located the community center on the corner of Avenida del Mar and Calle Seville. (949) 492-7175. Hours are Monday-Friday: Noon - 4pm, Saturday & Sunday: 10am - 4pm. If you want to become a member, go to the website link above to find a link to print out a form. Also keep up to date with the winners, future shows, etc... It is a large organization and run like a tight ship. San Clemente is getting national attention as being a town dedicated to artists. The current exhibition runs from now until January 6, 2010. Stop by and see all the variety of art.