Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wait for it ....

Gracie STILL in progress ...

work-in-progress • 11x14 • acrylic on Gessobord

Well, I got to tinkering with my website today and by the time I got around to working on this there wasn’t much daylight left, but it’s getting darn close to being finished.
Tomorrow morning ought to do it!

I did get four more prints on my website, though, so check it out!

And I wanted to share this from my devotional today:
So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out.

Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I love my job.

Gracie work in progress ...

Yesterday I hitched up the mules to the wagon and headed to town to have lunch with my friend Mona at her place.

Not really. I hopped in the Camry and drove to town to have lunch with my friend Mona at her place. I took my camera with me, as I try to remember to do every time I go someplace, because you never know when that once-in-a-blue-moon photo op will present itself.

Well, as it so happened Mona’s friendly gray tabby Gracie was in rare form yesterday, and I got several wonderful photos of her. Mona has another not-so-friendly gray tabby Sadie, who hissed at me when I arrived and ran under the bed, where she spent the entire time I was there. Oh well. She won’t getting her portrait painted this week!

So here’s Gracie so far, ensconced in her favorite napping place on a wicker love seat amongst several comfy and colorful pillows. I plan to finish this one tomorrow and list it on Ebay. And I’ll post more work-in-progress photos as well.

And now I have a date with my husband. I’m meeting him on the sofa in about two minutes for popcorn and a movie.

Hasta maƱana, amigos!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Slow and steady wins the race ...

Grateful Praise ©2009 Karen Mathison Schmidt
30 x 30 • acrylic on 2 inch cradled Gessobord
SOLD • private collection, San Francisco, California

If you think you’ve seen this painting before, you’re right. Kind of. I started it last fall – it’s been above the mantel in our TV room for months, so for weeks and weeks and weeks, whenever we’re in there watching TV or movies, I’ve been secretly studying the painting, working on it mentally, until finally I just HAD to make some changes to it, and NOW it’s finished.

This majestic pecan grows beside our dirt driveway, just this side of the wilder landscape beyond our yard. I never get tired of this beautiful view.

Back when I started this, I decided this subject called for a larger format than I normally choose, so I went with a 30x30. This painting has layers of color glazes – working with a palette knife as well as brushes has made for some interesting texture, and has helped me move closer to that evasive goal: a balance between carefully planned composition and spontaneity. Suitable for the subject, I think - a tree that is equally at home in our (somewhat) manicured yard or the not-so-manicured southern countryside beyond!

Here are some close-up details:

A person can dream, can’t she?

NOTE: There are approximately one zillion photos in this post, so if it’s taking longer than usual to load, now you know why.

Woodland Garden ©2009 Karen Mathison Schmidt
6 x 6 • acrylic on Gessobord
SOLD • private collection, Salem, Oregon

Work in progress photos:
1. Initial sketch in pencil.

2. blocking in areas of color:

3. a glaze of quinacrodone fuschia over the whole painting:

4. adding more color layers and details, but not too much detail, because I wanted to keep it blocky, like a stained glass window:

A couple of weeks ago I got together with my good friend and fellow photog, Sandra, to go to the gardens at Norton Art Gallery here in Shreveport and take pictures (literally hundreds!) and generally enjoy the perfect weather while the azaleas were still in bloom.

I realize that posting these photos may not be the wisest thing to do since they demonstrate how utterly inadequate is my artistic effort to depict the scene. And even so, the photos themselves give only a slight indication of the actual experience of being there, with people walking around, birds singing, children laughing in the distance, wind chimes, breeze blowing, leaves rustling, etc. Oh, what a glorious morning!

While we were there I saw two brides having their bridal photos done in the garden setting, and several moms trying to get small children to pose for pics prettily amongst the posies. It’s a popular spot for that kind of thing, especially this time of year. (Really the kids just wanted to splash their hands and sandaled feet in the babbling brooks and chase each other up and down the hillsides ... much more fun than posing prettily amongst the posies.)

There’s Sandra on the bridge in the right half of the picture, oblivious to the fact that I’m lurking in the azaleas above, snapping this shot.

There’s Sandra again, totally unaware that I am lurking on the wooded hillside above, taking this photo.

Sometime during the morning I started formulating a plan to make my back yard look like this. Hey, a person can dream, can’t she?

This is what my back yard looks like now:

I figure if we start right after lunch it should be shaping up in about 10-12 years. Or twenty. Or thirty.

Stop laughing. I’m totally serious.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dark and Wild and Daring and Mysterious!

Dark Bayou ©2009 Karen Mathison Schmidt
12 x 12 x 1 inch deep • acrylic on cradled Gessobord • sold unframed
SOLD • private collection, North Attleboro, Massachusetts

I love the tangled wildness of this one. At least I felt kind of wild and daring while I was painting it.

We’re fast approaching that time of year when the twilight just lingers and lingers long after the sun has actually dipped below the horizon. This is a bayou about a half mile from our place, at that time of day just before total darkness, when shadows are deep and rich and mysterious, and it feels good to know that just a few minutes’ walk will get my wild and daring self and our wild and daring dogs safely back to husband, home and hearth!

I used a lot of glazing on this one, and some palette knife action that made for some interesting texture. Here are a few close-up details ... wild!