Saturday, March 21, 2009

Clarissa's Carnations

Friday evening I spoke to the Rutledge, TN General Federation of W oman's Club about my art. Since no one died during the meeting, I think it is safe to assume that I did not bore them to death. Several of these gracious ladies have collected my paintings or prints for years, for which I am appreciative.
I showed several of my early paintings, even the first one I ever did in 1991. That simple little stroke work wooden heart shows me how far I have come, but it also reminds me how much more I have to learn.
Clarissa Ellis entertained the group with her singing and piano playing. Talk about talent!! Not only can she sing and play, she is one of the premier floral designers in the United States. She shared a bouquet of red carnations with us. I hope you enjoy my interpretation in oil of these lovely flowers. It was fun to paint!

Clarissa' Carnations, Oringinal Oil on panel, 4x6

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Daffodils & Grapes

These hardy daffodils have held up well under the spot light for three days. After doing the painting of the little cream pitcher with the flowers from my yard, I decided to continue with the theme and do a larger work. Green grapes added balance and variety to the composition, yet remained harmonious. All of this provided a challenge. I started yesterday and thought the painting fairy would visit while I slept and work her magic. Apparently she forgot where I lived because the painting needed a LOT of work today.

I find the color yellow the most difficult hue to work with. First of all, it is very light and the only way to lighten is to add white. With other colors, white is the last paint I reach for as I normally work up the value scale as I work up the chroma scale. This way I am warming the hue and lightening it at the same time. Adding any other hue to yellow, immediately places it in another color family. That is not a problem when darkening yellow, as the darker value will be cooler, therefore greener, &/or duller therefore the complimentary violet. But what do you do to lighten yellow? White is the only option, or is it?

Generally I work with a very limited four color palette, White, Cad Yellow Light, Alizerine Crimson and Ultra Blue. Today, I added Cadmium Yellow. This is a "warmer" and slightly darker yellow than the "cooler" Cad Yellow Light. Using the two yellows provided the extra I needed to have variety in this predominately yellow painting.

As Helen Van Wyk, a fabulous artist and teacher, used to say, "perhaps tomorrow, I'll teach how to make spaghetti sauce". Perhaps tomorrow, I'll paint the fixings for spaghettie sauce. At least they aren't yellow!! Besides, the little heads on the daffs are beginning to droop.

"Daffodils and Green Grapes", Original Oil 14x11
Contact Marie Merritt to purchase this or any of her other paintings.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


The daffodils are blooming in East Tennessee! That is a sure sign that spring has arrived. Oh, I'm not naive enough to think that we won't have more cold weather, but it brightens my day to know that winter is almost history.
This set up was different from what I normally gravitate towards. It used the complimentary color scheme of yellow and violet, which is not the easiest to handle, nor one of my favorites. Generally I prefer red/green or blue/orange and in a low key (darker values). In addition, daffodils are a bugger to paint. All of those blasted ruffles!! I never was a frilly, girly girl. So why did I chose this set up? Who knows! But I liked it and tomorrow I will do a larger variation.
By the time I finish it, I may be a real prima donna or ready for the looney bin. If it is the latter, I hope they have tulips there....preferably red.

Yellow Daffodils 10x8 Original Oil on Stretched Canvas.
To inquire about purchasing this or other paintings, contact Marie Merritt at Web site

Grand daughter Tori's painting

My 4 year old grand daughter, Tori, loves to paint. She patiently sits at my easel and palette, carefully chooses her colors, decides if she wants thick or thin texture and boldly places the paint on the canvas. I could take a few lessons from her to be more decisive in my paint application and avoid the overwhelming desire to blend!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Oriental Cupie Doll

I bought this cute little Oriental cupie doll when my sister and I visited New York City's China Town in the early 1980's. Painting it brought back pleasant memories.
The challenge was to see the shapes of each value, mix the paint and place it in minimal strokes. Painting a low key design on a white canvas panel requires the use of juicier and thicker paint to fill the tooth of the canvas. It forced me to use more paint than I normally would. This is a good practice, as I've been known to stretch paint, like I stretch pennies.

Please disregard the glare on the painting. I'll get a better photo when the paint dries.

"Oriental Cupie Doll", Original Oil, Daily Painting from Life, 6x4.
Contact the artist for purchase information.

plein aire landscape

I painted this on location at Cherokee Dam in Jefferson County, Tennessee last fall. I thought if I posted it on my blog I would be encourage to venture outside to paint. Today was beautiful and sunny, but it was cold and windy. Given the fact that I am a "fair weather" painter, I opted for the studio. If it is too cold, too hot, or too windy, this old girl is staying inside. Since we are going to Hilton Head soon, I'll keep my fingers crossed for good painting weather.

"View from Cherokee Dam" Plein Aire Original Oil, 5x7
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