Saturday, August 31, 2013

The attention span of a gnat

The paper is gessoed red.
 I am getting ready for a 30 day painting challenge that begins September 1. The challenge is hosted by artist Leslie Saeta.  The challenge is to paint 30 paintings in 30 days.  The real challenge for me is that I have


 and can I stay interested and productive in the same thing for that long?

There are guidelines, but no hard and fast rules.

 Leslie has made some suggestions as to how to get yourself up and running for this challenge and I am taking them.  I am going to work small and I will only work for a short time each day.  I am breaking up odd sizes of paper and older studies.  The first thing I did was to cut up a series of 6 x 8" papers and ground them with red acrylic.  Then I found my tiny studies and selected a few to work from which to work.
Next I did a few line drawings to set up composition.  Today I will probably do a few more starts.  I am going to start off in oils (we'll see how long that lasts?)so I will probably have 2 or 3 in the works at a time. As each painting is finished it will be posted on my blog and on hers.  Last I looked there where 274 artists participating.  I am looking forward to seeing what comes out of this challenge.
Do you want more information about the challenge?  Do you want to participate, too? Or find out more about Leslie?  Then go to her blog page.

And in other news, I am in the process of setting up an on-line store through Etsy.  So I am in the pottery studio daily making items.
I expect a whisper soft opening of the store in a few days and then a big splashy opening later in the month.  Want to know more about Etsy? click on the name. 

Hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cocooned in the rain

I had some very nice studio visitors yesterday.  Artist Patti Lauer and her husband Stacy from
 Ft. lauderdale stopped in to say hello.  Please remember my studio door is open even when I am not there.  You are always welcome to visit.  600 White St.  Key West FL

Most of the day it rained, so it was nice to be cocooned in a big old wood building.

I was working on a lovely sunny beach scene.  It's almost finished.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Young artists self portraits

This summer I had a wonderful time working with young artists.  One of our more successful lessons was their self portraits.  After a demonstration about the proportions of the head and face the artists used pencils and hand mirrors to draw their portraits.  When they were satisfied with the results they used black paint over their drawing and erased any unwanted pencil lines.  At this time they only had black paint on their palettes.  After a demonstration about mixing skin tones and the variety of tones on the face the artists were given more paint and told to carry on.  They did a wonderful job.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Delightful new spoon rest designs

I have revamped my flip flop spoon rest design.  The strap is less bulky and I have added some fun dragonflies and turtles to my designs.  Below are the ones that are in my studio now.  They are $27 each and shipping is $12. 
They are available for sale in my Etsy Store  MaggieRuleyStudios
visit my Etsy store to purchase click here

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Trouble makers

Sometimes it seems like my paintings are fighting me and refuse to co-operate.  I try to push through  and make them work. Here are some examples of this weekend's trouble makers.  I might just leave the above painting alone and consider it finished.  It has a kind of brash freshness.  But the one below has a lot of work needed.  We will see what happens.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Soft Summer Day

The above painting went through a number of incarnations: here are two of them.  The image above is the finished painting.  The image below is after the second or third session. While this painting was having a "time out" I painted a very blue and orange painting.  See the August 1 post.  When I returned to this canvas I was over orange and strong colors. I wanted to do something very soft in color and feel. So I switched my colors, took a close look at the photo reference, (you can see it taped to the easel) and started to rework the painting.  If I had been happy with the painting below (I wasn't) I would have started a new painting in the soft colors and finished the one below. The only thing I really wanted to keep were the five evenly spaced islands.  Usually I would say that even spacing is a HUGE NO NO but sometimes you just feel like breaking the rules, or rather suggested guidelines.
Soft Summer Day
acrylic on canvas
20" x 24"
©2013 Maggie Ruley

Sunday, August 4, 2013

You Are Amazing

My studio is always open.  I leave the door unlocked and there is a sign welcoming visitors to come in and look.  I have also added a "leave a note" station by the door.  And the wonderful thing is that people actually do leave notes.  I was thrilled to arrive at my studio and find the "you are amazing #smiley face" note. 
 I don't know who left it, but whoever you are.  YOU are the one who is amazing. 
THANK YOU! to everyone who has left notes.
Please feel free to pop into my studio anytime the building is open.
Building hours
Mon - Fri 10am to 4, Sunday noon to 3, closed Sat.
also open during events and workshops
The Studios of Key West
The Armory Building
600 White Street
My studio is
upstairs, last door on the left of the long hall

Thursday, August 1, 2013

iPad vs Cannon

Well, the photo above is the finished sunset painting.  And I did not change the whole painting,  I just touched up the areas that I had problems with.  However, the above photo is taken with my iPad, and the one below with my Cannon.  Now, my Cannon is not the most expensive one (the (EOS) but it wasn't cheap. But I just wasn't happy with my last photos and wanted to see if taking pics with the iPad would make a difference.  Seems it did.  Color is better, image is sharper and I don't have to resize it for the internet.

Enough about the camera.  The sunset is finished. I tightened up the focal area, keep the other areas loose and fixed the problems.  All the photos below are various stages.  When you change one area, it affects the other areas and sometimes creates another problem to resolve.

Sunset Shimmer
20 x 24"
acrylic on canvas
©Maggie Ruley 2013

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