Monday, September 30, 2013

Even the oh-so-everyday things ...

So inundated are we with good and helpful and interesting and funny articles passed along to us every day on the internet, I usually don’t feel like I need to add to the flood. 

But I really want to share this one from Tim Challies that I read this morning:


about the Biblical promise given to us in Romans 8:28 that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

A very encouraging promise in the bad times. But also a promise for the good times, and for the (as Mr. Challies puts it) “oh-so-normal” everyday-ness of our lives as well.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

Raindrops are falling on my head ...
(in a good way)

Hallelujah! After weeks and weeks (and weeks!) of dry, 
we finally had a whole day of refreshing, quenching, drenching rain.

If you listen real close, you can hear the whole pasture going, “Aaaaaahhhhh.”

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

More progress on a big dog painting ...

... that is, a painting of a big dog. The painting itself isn't that particularly large.

Today I painted the fringed throw draped over the back of the sofa. Trying to show its nubbly texture. I used mostly two of my favorite Old Holland reds: Alizarin Crimson Lake Extra and (are you ready for this?) Rose Dore Madder Lake Antique Extra. With a little magenta on the cool end and vermilion on the warm end, and in the shadows some black, bright violet and French ultramarine blue along with, yes, just a scoche of turquoise and Old Holland golden green just to keep things lively.

Monday, September 16, 2013

More progress on a Great Pyrenees portrait

WORK-IN-PROGRESS • 16x16 napscape oil painting of a Great Pyrenees mix
Got a little more done on this today. It was fun doing this miniature version of a California landscape I painted a few years ago, which is now sitting on top of an old non-working cast iron radiator behind the sofa where Andy is catching an afternoon nap.

Saturday, September 14, 2013



I have a few irons in the fire lately, but I did manage to make a little more progress on Andy today.

Love that big ol’ sweetie pie!

A sneak peek at a new great pyrenees dog painting ...

WORK IN PROGRESS • 16 x 16 inches
Yesterday, I finished the underpainting on this new “Napscape” of our Andy, catching a snooze on the parlor sofa. I’ll post more progress pics tonight.

Hope you have a wonderful Saturday afternoon!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ray’s sleep number

Dreaming in Color III: Impressions  ©  2013 by Karen Mathison Schmidt, artist
6 x 6 inches • oil on archival, museum quality GessobordTM
SOLD • private collection, Independence, Missouri

Ray can sleep anywhere. Books and magazines are his favorite.

And picture frames, don’t forget the picture frames. Anything with an edge to it.

Hey, can I help it if my sleep number is 837?

Speaking of sleep numbers ... I think I’d better go hit mine.

Sweet dreams, everybody!

Monday, September 9, 2013

New cat painting work-in-progress

The garden painting, If Monet’s Poppies Were in My Garden, the work in progress that I’ve been showing in my last few posts, sold even as I was putting the last touches on it; I love it when that happens! I neglected to take a final photo before the sun went down today, so I’ll show the final version tomorrow ... Limited Edition prints will be available.

CAT PAINTING WORK-IN-PROGRESS • 6 x 6 inches • oil on GessobordTM

I just love it when I walk in a room in my house and see something that literally takes my breath away. In this case it was this still life with Ray napping amongst some books stacked on the desk. This is the shady side of the house, so the light coming in the window was really soft, but still bright enough to cause those “lost edges,” one of the things that make a scene like this so interesting to paint.

Here are the work-in-progress photos so far:

I did the initial sketch in pencil, and brushed over it with black acrylic. Then a glaze of cadmium yellow deep, using acrylic glazing medium mixed with the paint.

 Next, over the whole thing I added a glaze of magenta ...

 Then a glaze of pthalo blue. I kept the brush strokes really sketchy and uneven.

After the underpainting was good and dry (after about 20 or 30 minutes or so), I started adding the oils, starting off with some of the darker and medium areas of Ray’s fur, mostly black, white and burnt umber, with a smidge of French ultramarine in the gray areas.

Next I added just a few of the lightest highlights, so I could get a sense of how dark my darks and mediums were really going to look.

The pitcher was FUN to do, with those little highlights, and colors reflected from the books, which I now start to paint and get a sense of how their shapes are defined by the sunlight and shadows.

Just the merest suggestion of the shapes of words and letters is enough to give the impression of titles on the spines of the books. 

Check back tomorrow for the finished painting. I’m sure I’ll come up with a title by then!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Speaking of cute kitchen cats ...

Really she’s only supposed to be allowed to use this area as a springboard to the top of the fridge, where she may hang out if she wants. 

Technically speaking, she’s not supposed to be just lounging around here in front of the coffee maker.

But if she’s going to insist on making pretty pictures like this ...

... well then, I guess I can forgive her.

Just this ONCE.

Okay, Jo, let’s see your best Zombie Cat face.

Oooooo, scary, kids!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

More painting progress, and a genuine basket case

If Monet’s Poppies Were in My Garden WORK-IN-PROGRESS • 16 x 20 inches

Here’s where I am on this one now. I abandoned my reference photo right at the start of today’s painting time. Kind of exhilarating, working without a net!

One thing I can see now that I’m looking at the photo: I’m not too crazy about the four large poppies spaced so evenly across the bottom. Easy to change that tomorrow.

When I walked in the kitchen this afternoon for a little snack, I found that Jo has found the perfect napping spot, recently vacated since we ran out of bread this morning. I backed slowly out and made a dash for my camera before I walked casually back in and caught the moment to share.

Hmmm ... I think I smell another “Basket Case” painting in my near future ...

Friday, September 6, 2013

A new garden painting-in-progress

Every day I discover 
more and more
beautiful things. 
It’s enough to drive one mad.
I have such a desire to do everything,
my head is bursting with it.


If Monet’s Poppies Were in My Garden  WORK-IN-PROGRESS
16 x 20 inches • oil on cradled Gessobord

I ran across a picture of poppies in Monet’s garden at Giverny, and I thought it might be fun to set that beautiful, lavish, wild garden under our oak trees.

I was right. It is fun!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A morning walk ...


 Look how teensy our white back yard fence looks from way out here.

 Hey, did you hear that?

I think breakfast is calling us!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Headlong into autumn


Matilda  © 2013 Karen Mathison Schmidt
6 x 6 inches • oil on archival, museum quality GessobordTM
private collection • Anchorage, Alaska

Well, really, I didn’t mean to take practically the entire month of August off from my blog. Really.

But now here we are on the evening of Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer (all together now: “Aawwwww!”) but also the unofficial beginning of autumn (all together now: “Yippee!”) and I’m starting off the new season (I know, I know, fall doesn’t officially begin until September 21st) with a painting of our Matilda. 

And even though we still have a few 100-degree days in the forecast ahead, I’m confident in the promise of cooler weather is right around the corner ... at least that’s what I keep telling all our dogs and cats, who are lying around the house with their paws over the floor air conditioning registers, claiming they’re just melting, and it’s way too hot to go out and chase squirrels and bark at cows and all they want to do is stay in and watch Animal Planet and nap. 

Which, truth be told, is basically mostly what they do even when it’s beautiful out.