Monday, September 29, 2014

Grand Finale

The hardest part of the 30 Day Challenge wasn't painting everyday it was finding something interesting to say every day. I'm speaking for myself of course, others might not find it a problem.
 I like to work in series and do the same subject in short bursts and then move on to the next thing.  For me a series seems to have its own life span and comes to a natural conclusion.
Grand Finale
Thanks again to Leslie Saeta and congrats to all the artists who participated.  And of course thanks to my readers.  See you in October.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sunset Tropicale

Ever notice how putting an E on the end of a word makes it more fabulous?
Royal + e = Royale
So in the spirit of "More Fabulous, Please"
Sunset Tropicale

Sunset Tropicale
11 x 14"
original oil on archival board
©Maggie Ruley 2014
Stop by my gallery to view this painting in person
933B Fleming Street
Key West, Florida, 33040
Note to e-mail readers:
To read this post in its original format click here

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pearl St. ~ Pam Hobbs ~ and more.

I have painted this cute little house on Pearl St. in the Meadows section of Key West many times.  It is a totally tricked out teeny tiny house with lots of little "cute-zees". Each time I paint it I change it up. This time I have added chickens and roosters.  And I have added a Pam Hobbs mailbox.  Pam is a friend and local artist. Her mailboxes are becoming  collector's items.  She doesn't do very many any more. Click on her name and the word mailboxes to see more of her work.
This version of the Pearl St cottage sold right off the easel the day after it was finished.  It needs a coat of varnish and then off it goes to Oklahoma.

Pearl Street Morning
24' x 20"
acrylic on canvas
$580 unframed
SOLD Giclee prints available
©Maggie Ruley 2014

Pearl Street Morning
©Maggie Ruley 2014
Pam Hobbs Mail box

Pam Hobbs Mail box

Friday, September 19, 2014

How I photography my work.

For the majority of artists the painting isn't finished when the signature is applied and the brushes are cleaned.  There are still chores to be done to get that painting out into the world and into someone's collection.  And photography is one of those tasks, (probably a better word than chore)

This painting is oil and wet and messy so paper is placed under it to protect the floor.  The photo is being taken with my iPad.

The photo is cropped to take away the distracting background.  I only leave the background around a painting if I want to show scale or some other relationship, on my easle, next to the supplies I am using, on a wall or in a room to show it hanging.

The photos above were taken with the lights on -daylight flourescent bulbs.  The photo below was taken with the lights off.  Notice the shine of the wet paint is gone and the colors are cooler.

A Hint of Fall
oil on canvas
11' x 14"
© Maggie Ruley 2014
There are, of course, other ways to do photographs.  And there are a number of professional kits you can purchase to help you.  This is just the system I use and for now it works for me.
I continue on with the 30 day painting challenge.  Painting every day is not the challenge.  The posting every day is.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sun Shower Day 18 ~ 30 Day Challenge

Rain showers here in the Keys are often brief, followed by a burst of sun.  That's what this little painting is all about.
Sun Shower
8" x 10"
oil on canvas
©Maggie Ruley 2014

I always wear gloves when I use the oil paints and that handy tool with the rubber pointy end is for carving your name into the palette knife paintings.
to see more of the 30 day challenge
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to see this blog in its original format

Monday, September 15, 2014

Blue Heron Demo ~ Day 16, 30 day challenge

 While I have been working on some smaller pieces for Leslie Saeta's 30 Day Challenge.  Work on larger pieces continues.
I thought you might find it interesting to see the progression of a recent painting. How I go from white ground to finished piece.  Above is the almost finished painting. You can see my photo taped to my work bench.  The photo comes from the art resource section of Wet Canvas.  Thank you again to all the artists who so generously share their photos.
The canvas is 24" x 20" and I am have gessoed over a painting start that I had lost interest in.  The canvas was scraped and sanded before the gesso was applied.  I just lay in the major forms to get the composition settled.

I block in the basic values.  That little white spot is going to be the turtle. At this point I am still unsure of its placement.

I have worked on the background here but not much on the heron.  I know that when I start to add the mating plumage I want the background to be pretty much finished.  I have not decided if I even want a turtle.  I decide that my next steps will be to remove that tent like shape directly over the heron's head and change the shape of the growth under his head. It is to much the same. (same is not good).

I am almost finished. I decided the turtle was essential. (it's that relationship thing again)  The plumage has gone in.  I have added colors from the sky into the water. I have started to add twinkle to the sky.  I am big on twinkle these days.
Below the finished version.
24" x 20"
$580 unframed
©Maggie Ruley 2014

Some details below.
water reflections in the initial block in

water reflections finished, with some of the thin coats of paint still visible

eye detail

head detail

colors of the water pulled into the heron's underside to suggest the reflected water.

totally cute turtle

Friday, September 12, 2014

About Your Father ~ day 13

Paintings are about relationships. (In my world of painting, that is).  Relationships between light and dark, warm and cool, foreground, mid-ground and background, large and small, lots of others, and the relationships between the objects in the painting.  Here, because of the size difference, I feel a like there is a family conversation going on between the flowers. So I have chosen the ending line of the HBO series Rome to use as a title. It suggests that the conversation is going to get very interesting. One of the few standards I hold myself to when I paint is,
 It has to be interesting,
 otherwise why bother? But of course, what is of interest to one person, is not necessarily of interest to another.

About Your Father
acrylic on paper
7 x 5" matted to 10 x 8"
©Maggie Ruley 2014

Thank you Leslie Saeta for hosting the 30 Day Challenge

To see another painting based on the Rome series
click here.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

On Edge ~ Day 12

I think this little vase is sitting too close to the edge and looks like it might slide off.  But I like the added pattern and reflected pattern in the vase.
On Edge
acrylic on paper
7 x 5" matted to 10 x 8"
©Maggie Ruley

nine paintings in progress
Thank you Leslie Saeta for hosting this 30 Day Challenge

Kiss a Fireman ~ Day 11

On 9/11 it seems appropriate to talk about the generosity of others.  Here are two painting tips that have been drilled into me by 2 very generous artists/teachers/mentors.  And they are tips that really work to make your paintings better and are super easy to do.
1 - top photo - A dark line at the base on an object really grounds the object.  I have placed a dark mark at the base of each vase.  Thank you Jim Salem for repeatedly drilling that into me.
2 - bottom photo - A discarded mat close at hand can be used to isolate the image you are working on and give you a clear idea of what your next step should be.  Thank you Robert Burridge.
A big thank you to all the artists/teachers who so generously share their wisdom.
 And today and all days a huge thank you to firemen, police officers and first responders.  A kiss and hug to you all.
acrylic on paper
7 x 5" matted to 10 x 8"
©Maggie Ruley 2014

nine floral paintings in progress
©Maggie Ruley

Thank you to Leslie Saeta for hosting this challenge.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fast and loose ~ Day 10

Day 10 of the 30 Day Challenge and I continue to work on my flower series.

acrylic on paper
7 x 5"
Matted to 10 x 8"
©Maggie Ruley 2014
As I continue to work on the backgrounds of the paintings I only add minimal paint to the vase interiors.  I want to keep the transparent and reflective look of the vases.

nine little bouquets in progress
At the stage you see here the painting is going pretty fast and loose.  Jacklyn Karabaich asked me if I was using fluid acrylics.  They aren't fluid as in Golden Fluid Acrylics but I do like the softer bodies paints like Lukas and Amsterdam.  I also use gesso for my white.  A Bob Burridge trick.
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Monday, September 8, 2014

Duet ~ Day 9

acrylic on paper
7" x 5" matted to 10" x 8"
©Maggie Ruley 2014

The painting above is the middle painting, middle row in the photo below.  You can see it changes a lot from this stage to the final painting.
This is a painting exercise I learned from artist
Nine little bouquets in progress

Each little painting is starting to take on a life of its own, but I still leave them joined.  They do not get separated until they are all finished.  All of the paintings get worked on at the same time.

To see day 9 from last year
To see the other paintings in the 30 day Challenge

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Today's Bouquet

I 'm taking a Robert Burridge workshop in February, (birthday treat for myself) so I am refreshing myself with his techniques.  This will be my 3rd workshop with Bob.
Today's Bouquet
7" x 5"
acrylic on paper
matted to 10" x 8"

Burridge starts his studio day with small warm-up paintings on paper.  A sheet of water color paper is toned and then divided.  While the paint was still wet I used the end of the paint brush to lay out basic shapes and composition.  The paintings are all 7" x 5".  By the way, did you know, that painting dimensions are correctly given as vertical size first and then the horizontal dimension?
The painting above was the lower right hand grid.  As you can see the final composition is different than the first one.  If you take a Burridge workshop you will hear him say, "Anybody who doesn't change their mind, doesn't have one." 

Today's Bouquet is painting # 7 in Leslie Saeta's 30 day Painting Challenge

Friday, September 5, 2014

Simplicity Day 6 30 day challenge

There are 2 painting supplies that I find make my life easier when I paint with oils; Weber Res-n-gel and Winton mixing white.  The res-n-get is a paint extender and drying agent that adds a beautiful uniform sheen to the colors and the mixing white is a big soft fluffy white paint a little on the cool side.  Making painting easier is a good thing.  I can stay in a positive mood and create more to send out into the world.  I call it
 -paint and release-
oil on canvas panel
11" x 14"
© Maggie Ruley 2014

Today's painting is inspired by the painting seen here

The photo below is a more accurate color representation of today's painting.  The photo above is a little on the warm side. 

Always buy the big tubes of white, always, always, always! Unless they are Out :(  Or you just want to test a brand.

A painter needs more than one knife. The unfortunate thing about knives is once they bend they are useless, and they tend to be on the bendy side.  I'm not sure why that little foam brush is in the pic?  Maybe a photo bomb?

To see the other paintings in Leslie Saeta's 30 day painting challenge

to see the full blog post

to go to my web site

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Reinventing the wheel Day 5

One way to find inspiration in the studio is to "Reinvent the Wheel"

Here is how I do that.  I make a watercolor sketch from a finished painting I like.  I know this is backwards but it works for me. Some times I use watercolors, sometimes I use a watercolor app.
Islands in the clouds
oil on canvas panel
11" x 14"
©Maggie Ruley 2014

Islands in the Clouds was inspired by "watercolor" below
digital watercolor
©Maggie Ruley 2014

This "watercolor" is derived from the acrylic painting below

Sunset on the Gulf
acrylic on canvas
20" x 24"
©Maggie Ruley

I have the Waterlogue app and I use it to make watercolor sketches.  The "watercolor" is the bare bones of the painting and I used it as a sketch for today's oil painting.  I can use the same sketch over and over because the finished paintings will never be the same.  There is always something I want to change on the next one.
To see the other paintings for today in the 30 day challenge

To see day 5 from last year click here

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fire on the Edge #4 of 30 in 30

Still working that palette knife.  Well that is not exactly true.  I have more than one knife.  And I do lay down a thin sketch with a brush before I start using the knife.  I find it helpful to pre-mix colors and  different values of the colors before I start to use the knife.  Of course I never mix enough, but that's okay because you end up with variety and some slight grays in your mixes.
This painting is #4 in Leslie Saeta's 30 Day Painting Challenge
Fire on the Edge
11" x 14"
 oil on canvas board
$95.00 unframed
© Maggie Ruley

I invite you all to stop by my studio/gallery and see it in person.

Monday, September 1, 2014

#3 30 in 30

I have two series of paintings started. A series of oil sunset paintings and a series of floral paintings.
This is the first finished in the sunset paintings. This is painting #3 in the 30 day Challenge.  Our host for the challenge, Leslie Saeta paints with a palette knife.  It certainly saves on the brush cleaning chore but you go through a ton of paint.
Sunset on the Edge
oil on canvas board
11" x 14"
$95.00 unframed
© Maggie Ruley 2014

Catch that wave #2 30 day challenge

Here is painting #2 for the 30 day painting challenge hosted by Leslie Saeta.  This year there are over 700 artists participating. 
 I especially liked Helen Trachy's submission for yesterday because she painted a gray tabby cat and I have a gray tabby named Mango.

Catch That Wave
Oil on canvas
5" x 7"
$85.00 unframed
© Maggie Ruley

Here is day # 2 for the 2013 challenge

Now I am going to head over to Leslie's blog and take a peek at today's paintings.  Want to join me?

Click here

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