Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday’s Here!

He has risen!

He has risen, indeed!

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!
All Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee.
Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blessed,
Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, all who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.
Mortals, join the happy chorus, which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us, brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward in the triumph song of life.

Friday, March 29, 2013

It’s Friday ... *

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.

To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing.
To God and to the Lamb Who is the great “I Am”;
While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing;
While millions join the theme, I will sing.

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be;

And through eternity, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And through eternity, I’ll sing on!

attributed to ALEXANDER MEANS (c. 1835)

* ... but Sunday’s coming ...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A new office assistant

This morning when I walked into my office I found Jo reading my email. 

She was even answering a few of them.

So if you get one from me requesting that you send coffee, 
tuna or little toy fishes stuffed with catnip, feel free to delete it.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Design geek at work ...

Hey everyone, thanks for checking in! I’ve been somewhat absent from bloggers-ville for the past week and a half or so because I’ve been busy working on my soon-to-be-revealed website re-design.

Plus I kind of got sidetracked checking out all the cool applications and services (of which there are approximately one gazillion) available with my Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, which I’ve had for a while now but until recently have only been using the apps I know: InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop.

Several months ago, as a newbie subscriber to what we ... *ahem* ... insiders ... like to refer to as “the C-Cloud,” I went to the “Apps” page for the first time and saw all those shiny new icons sitting neatly in row upon row, representing all the cool programs with their groovy new features for creating and organizing just about everything from interactive websites to print pieces to animation to movies to music to books to you-name-it and more. It was like I was in a virtual Disneyland for creative professionals, and I had a booklet full of E Tickets (remember those?) My eyes sort of glazed over and I think I may have drooled on my keyboard just a little bit.

And even though the painter/artist part of my brain is itching to get back to the easel -- the above misty morning photo is inspiration for a new landscape painting I’ve been brewing -- my inner website designer is positively giddy over the fact that I was finally successful in hosting my newly created image for the customized PayPal “Buy Now” buttons on the new site.

Look out, people! I’m gettin’ my geek on!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

New Ray painting in progress

 Ray • 12 x 12 inches • WORK-IN-PROGRESS

I’ve been wearing several different hats the last few days ... web designer, freelance illustrator, small business entrepreneur, physical therapist, groundskeeper, dog groomer ... 

Finally got to don my artist cap today and made a good start on this new Napscape painting of Ray.

Of course Jo can’t stand to be out of the picture for too long, so my photo session with Ray soon degenerated into this:

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: what a beautiful little goofball is our Jo.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Step-by-step painting process


Threshold of Glory  © 2013 by Karen Mathison Schmidt, artist
18 x 36 inches • acrylic on archival, museum-quality cradled GessobordTM

private collection • Riverside, Connecticut

I haven’t published any step-by-step posts in a while; I always love seeing other artists’ processes, so I’m determined to do this more faithfully here in my blog! 

Here are my photos for this one:

I start by going over my pencil sketch with a sketch of caput mortuum violet and Prussian blue acrylic. It almost looks like a snow scene here at the beginning.

Now I start adding color glazes, trying to be patient as I add each layer to build up deep, rich color in the final painting.

Sometimes it’s really hard to be patient because I’m so excited about getting to where I think the painting is going to end up.

I should know by now that a painting hardly ever ends up like I imagined it. That’s part of the FUN!

Here’s where I started getting bold about adding color to the sky. I went way bolder than I needed to, knowing that in the next layer ...

I would calm it way down, but loosely, letting glimpses of that beautiful fuchsia and rose peek through.

But now I started getting bogged down in the details of the trees, getting way too nit-picky, and I started to really dislike where the painting was headed: hurling headlong into the realm of “overdone” ...

... so I told myself to “put down the brush and step AWAY from the painting.” And here’s where it stayed for several days, even a week or two. I did other paintings in between, trying to loosen up and stay away from too much detail. And I went and studied other paintings that I love, making mental notes on what exactly it is that I love about them. Almost always, the ones I liked best had a loose, almost abstract quality that was very interesting to me. 

Then I came back to this with renewed enthusiasm, never even referring to my original photo, did a lot of simplifying of trees and water, et voilĂ ! Finished it in one joy-filled morning. After I finished, I felt as if I had had a “Helen Keller at the water pump” moment ... 

It was like, “Ooooohhhhh ... NOW I get it!”

Happy painting!

Oak tree painting finished!


Solace  © 2013 by Karen Mathison Schmidt, artist
24 x 24 inches • oil on 2" deep cradled GessobordTM

private collection • Shreveport, Louisiana

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Almost finished ...

oak tree painting • 24 x 24 inches • oil on cradled Gessobord • WORK-IN-PROGRESS

... and now I MUST get to bed ...

Good night, all!

(or good morning to all my friends on the other side of the world :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

A new work in progress

oak tree painting • 24 x 24 inches • WORK-IN-PROGRESS

This is the underpainting for another large landscape, starring the old oak tree at the end of our driveway. I used glazes of only five paint colors for this: capuut mortem violet, pink madder, cadmium yellow light, yellow cinnabar green, and Prussion blue.

My husband enjoys watching the progress of my paintings, and he calls this stage of each one  “the crayon stage,” for obvious reasons. I like it. :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I hear it beginning ...

 Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
The whole earth is full of His glory.


Threshold of Glory  © 2013 by Karen Mathison Schmidt, artist
18 x 36 inches • acrylic on archival, museum-quality cradled GessobordTM

SOLD • private collection, Riverside, Connecticut

This painting is from a photo I took a few weeks back, of the sun rising over the misty pond out in the pasture. What a splendid gift, to be there (with camera in hand!) when this happened. At the time I took the photo, our church choir was just learning a new anthem entitled Threshold of Glory, and I thought this painting would be a wonderful illustration.

It wasn’t until after I finished that I realized it could also be an illustration of one of my other favorites, the Eden’s Bridge song “The Whole Earth.”

Mist slowly rising,
The veil gently lifted
Revealing the splendour
Of another new day.
The valleys and hillsides
Are the prints of Your fingers,
All lifting their faces
To the call of Your name.

And I hear it beginning,
A feeling arising,
And a sense of Your presence
In all I survey. 

And the mountains and the hills
Shall break forth before You
With shouts of joy
And words of praise,
And the sunlight that glistens
Upon the waters
Will lift my heart
Once again,
And the whole earth,
The whole earth shall praise Your name.

Flashes of scarlet
And glimpses of purple,
Echoes of birdsong
And the whisper of rain.
So intense an outpouring
Is bemusing my senses,
Creation responding
To the call of Your name.

And I hear it beginning...


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Alternate route


The Long Way Home  © 2013 by Karen Mathison Schmidt, artist
12 x 16 inches • acrylic on cradled museum quality, archival GessobordTM

private collection • Richardson, Texas

This is a quiet little road that runs parallel to the highway between our place and town. Going this way makes the trip home about five to ten minutes longer, but sometimes it’s totally worth it.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A new equine work-in-progress ...
and a little bit o’ kitty love

A Horse Called Sophie • 12 x 24 • oil on Gessobord WORK-IN-PROGRESS

This is Sophie. She lives in Tennessee. Her owner sent me her photo after purchasing one of my “Windswept” Limited Edition canvas prints, and she graciously gave me permission to use her photo as a painting reference. Such a beautiful horse, and what a joy to paint!

And I just had to share this photo I took today:

Jo just LOVES her big brother. And though he’ll be the last one to admit it, Ray loves her, too. There’s been a whole lot o’ purrin’ goin’ on since she came to join our family :)