Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy New Year!

I know the New Year doesn’t officially begin for six more days, but when I opened my new calendar for 2011, I saw that the first page actually starts with ...

... TODAY!

So I decided that, since putting things off is one of the things I’m resolving to stop doing this year, I might as well think of today as the first day of the new year, and go ahead and get started not putting things off.

Also, appropriately, this is Boxing Day (also St. Stephen’s Day) in the UK, Canada, Australia, and a few other countries around the world.
I say “appropriately” because, as I found out when I googled
“Boxing Day” (remember when we had to go to the library to
look things up?), it’s a day of expressing gratitude for our blessings
through generosity to those less fortunate, and is celebrated by being other-centered rather than self-centered; and THAT ties into another of my resolutions for this year: to be more aware of and responsive to others than to my own self.

And that’s all I’m saying about New Year resolutions.
Because, as Elizabeth McCrindle wrote a post or two ago on her blog, this year is going to be less about saying and more about doing.
Hear, hear, Elizabeth!

I would also like to echo her thanks to her blog followers; thank you all for your lovely comment here and on my paintings blogs!
I’m sure a lot of us blogging artists would agree with the way Elizabeth so aptly puts it:
Sometimes it can feel like it's just me and the easel
and then I come here and find that someone's been
looking over my shoulder.

It’s so encouraging to find out someone out there is really interested in
your journey ...

Happy New Year, everyone!

And happy painting!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Blessed Christmas to All!

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

- JOHN 1: 9-14

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Impressionist Painting Still Life Floral Daffodils
Flowers, Reading, Coffee, Tea Art
Sunday Afternoon

Sunday Afternoon © 2010 Karen Mathison Schmidt
8 x 8 inches • acrylic on Gessobord


I actually started this painting last March, and it’s been floating around the periphery of my studio all these months until now, when I decided to make some time to finish it!

Not even officially winter yet, and even in the midst of Christmas preparation I’m daydreaming of daffodil blooming time. It all started when I walked out to the front yard a couple of days ago and saw the daffodil leaves already peeking up through the grass. According to tonight’s forecast, it will be our coldest night of the season so far ... 20°. The dogs and cats are all snuggled up in their beds, and the sun porch is fairly overflowing with potted plants I brought in off the front porch this afternoon. I hope those little daffodil leaves out in front survive the hard freeze!

Below are some work-in-progress photos:

The first underpainting:

Then I added a magenta glaze over the whole painting:

Then I started to add some opaque colors
into the background and the flowers:

Adding some definition around the edge of the tin table insert:

And adding even more opaque colors:

Developing shadows around the book and starting to
add a few highlights to the scrolled metal chair and the cup:

Above: almost finished, but I didn’t like the shape of the cup, so I fixed it (below). I decided the little decoration on the inside of the cup rim just looked like a smudge, so I took it out. Finally, I added more color definition to the flowers and the picture in the book, heightened the background color just a little, and softened the border design on the tin table insert.

And now, the painting ... she tells me she is finished!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Biscuit the Beautiful

5 x 7 inches • acrylic on Gessobord

Here’s Biscuit, enjoying a sunny Sunday afternoon on the back steps. She lives with close friends of ours, and she’s one of the top five most beautiful cats in the world. And fluffy, too.

But she hasn’t let that go to her head, no siree. She’s pretty humble about it. Whenever the paparazzi come around, she endures the photo session with quiet dignity.

Here are some work-in-progress photos:

Friday, December 3, 2010

New cat painting ... work-in-progress

Biscuit cat painting work-in-progress ...
5 x 7 • acrylic on Gessobord

Here’s the one I started today ... was hoping to finish, but ran out of daylight!

And now, I will continue with painting our dining room walls. Bet you didn’t know I was painting the dining room. Well, I am! Before and after photos to come ...

Have a good evening, everyone!

Dog Romp

In the chilly mornings, right after breakfast, is our gangs’ favorite time for a raucous romp. I like to walk out with my coffee and watch. I get many a morning chuckle out of this.

Most of the time I just try to stay out of the way. On this morning a few weeks back, I took my camera out to capture the shenanigans. One of these days we’re going to get a video camera, but until then, while you’re scrolling through these you have to imagine that at any one moment four or five dogs out of the six are barking their silly faces off. And their voices cover quite a range, from Matilda’s cute little raspy bark to Blue’s long, deep bay and Sophie’s drama queen squeal, and everything in between. Good thing we live out in the country.

So. Here we go.

The morning games usually start with everyone standing around after breakfast, kind of scoping each other out.

Then somebody will get the ball rolling.

More often than not, that somebody is Andy.

Things begin to get a little revved up in the arena as everyone joins in.

A little trash talk is bandied about.

Andy teases everyone with a little false start ...

and ...


A surprise move from Blue as he lunges for the tail ...
and the crowd goes wild!

Hey, wait a second ... where did everybody go?


What? How can barking at squirrells
POSSIBLY be more fun than chasing ME?


And ... THEY’RE OFF ... again!


Did you see me running with the big dogs?

So, are we gonna go again, or what?

OK! One more time ... out to the tree and back!

Last one back’s a rotten egg!

Hey, you didn’t touch the tree ... no fair!

*Whew!* I’m tuckered out!


zzzzzz ...

zzzzzz ..

double zzzzzz ...

zzzzzz ...

Hmm ... I know there’s a squirrell up there somewhere ...