Sunday, March 30, 2014

A midnight painting


A Study in Ray and Purple  © 2014 Karen Mathison Schmidt
6 x 6 • oil on 1/8" GessobordTM
private collection • Seminole, Florida 

Here’s Ray in his favorite spot with MY favorite sweater. This is another alla prima study (after studying the paintings of Richard Schmid); I’m going to try to do more of these small studies every week, in addition to the larger paintings I’m working on. 

We were away from home most of the day today but after we got home I wasn’t tired at all so I decided to see if I could paint this one in one sitting, which I did. And now I have stayed up WAY too late, so good-night, all!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Daffodils on parade

I found I could say things with color and shapes 
that I couldn’t say any other way – 
things I had no words for.”



Debs  © 2014 Karen Mathison Schmidt, artist
6 x 6 inches • oil on 1/8" GessobordTM
private collection • Shreveport, Louisiana

After working on the big painting today I felt like I needed to paint something quick and loose to wind down a little, so as this beautiful warm spring day was coming to an end (and thunderstorms started moving in!) I did this one by rearranging some blossoms from the large painting into a little composition of their own. Starting with a gessobord painted with phthalo blue acrylic, I dove right in without a sketch AND without my glasses, just to see what would happen.

Fun happened. This painting happened. Hallelujah.

Back to the easel!

Well, I really only intended to take a couple of days for some spring cleaning, but once I got started one thing led to another and it ended up being two weeks!

Once I did some real world sprucing up around the house (our bedroom and living room look absolutely FAB-ulous by the way, and I can actually see the floorboards in the laundry room again), that inspired me to do a little virtual freshening up of my eBay store, blog header art, and website.

As much as I love doing graphic design, I started missing the smell of oil paints, stand oil and turpenoid (no kidding: unlike turpentine, I find the citrusy scent of nontoxic Turpenoid Natural actually kind of pleasant), so this afternoon I was glad to get back to the easel for an hour or two to continue the daffodil painting. What a joy!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

New friends …

One of the things I love best about what I do is getting acquainted with new friends from all over who are creating their own art.

Like Mary Jane Peabody of Wilmot, New Hampshire, who makes beautiful handcrafted rugs, each a one-of-a-kind piece of art. On her website she says, Making rugs to me is about transformation - from wool and linen to something new which carries my own creative spirit in its pieces.” You can see her online gallery here.

From time to time Mary Jane likes to feature the work of other artists in her blog. In today’s post she shared some of mine. Thanks so much, Mary Jane!

In another recent blog post, “A Great Challenge,” Mary Jane shared that she and her eleven-member rug hooking group are starting a new “challenge,” in which each member brings in a half-yard of wool of their choice, then they all take a piece of each home and create a rug using all the pieces. The photo above shows the eleven pieces to be used in the challenge.

When I saw her blog post about it, I told Mary Jane that I would like to join the challenge, too, only in paint! I’m hatching an idea for a composition using all these colors and patterns; it IS a challenge, but it’s really got my creative juices going!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Emerging daffodils


Debutantes WORK-IN-PROGRESS detail
12 x 36 inches • oil on 2" deep cradled GessobordTM

Here’s the daffodil painting so far. Mmmmm, love those purples!

And here’s my palette:

Almost looks like an abstract daffodil painting itself!

Happy Painting!

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Good Listener


A Good Listener  © 2014 Karen Mathison Schmidt
6 x 6 inches • oil on GessobordTM
private collection • Poway, California

Here’s Mike the dog, who we met about four Sundays ago. It was a miserable, wintery, rainy day. When we got home from church and drove around to the back to go in the kitchen door, there was Mike huddled on the back porch, dripping wet and shivering.

Poor lost Mike! Of course we didn’t know his name then, but I could see before I got out of the car that he had a collar with (hallelujah!) a little metal plate that looked like an I.D. tag fastened onto it. Sure enough, when we invited Mike into the kitchen (I was calling him Charlie, because he just looked like a Charlie to me) and gave him some food (he looked soooooo hungry) we found that the tag did indeed have a name, address and phone number, which we promptly called and left a voicemail message. I googled the address and was surprised to see that it was in a neighborhood in town, about 30 miles from us -- a very long way for such a little guy!

While we waited for a return call, I dried Charlie/Mike off and made him a bed in front of the heater in a quiet corner of the dining room, away from our pack, who were quite curious about the visitor behind the closed door. I tried to get some pictures of him, but he was so excited whenever I would come back into the room that he wouldn’t stay still, and all my photos were blurry. Finally I was able to snap this one while he was basking in the heat from the radiator.

I could see he was getting sleepy, so I tiptoed out so he would rest a bit. After a while we got a call from Mike’s “Dad,” who was so relieved he had been found. As it turns out, they had only adopted Mike a few days before, and were visiting a friend out our way on Saturday when Mike slipped away and was running across the pastures and into the woods before they could catch up with him. It was a good thing they had been so prompt in giving him an I.D. tag!

While we were waiting for his owner to come and take him home, I went in the dining room to see if Mike was resting okay. The whole time he had been in our company he had been keeping his ears down against the side of his head, like in the picture. But this time when I went in and started talking to him, telling him his new Dad was on his way, his ears suddenly sprang to attention, straight out from either side of his head, like wings. I laughed and laughed, and ran to get the camera. I kept on talking to him while he hung on my every word, and was able to get a couple of semi-non-blurry reference pics. What a cutie pie!

Even though I was glad we had found where he belonged, I was sorry to see this little guy go home so soon. He sure was a great listener.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A hymn for the evening

In these last few cold spells that we’ve been having before spring sets in for good, I’ve been spending a little time each day out in the yard, clearing vines and overgrown areas that went neglected last summer, to make for easier mowing later on. I really want to get all this kind of thing done now because the messes I’m trying to clean up are just the sort of places where, as soon as the warm weather is here to stay, snakes like to lounge and wasps like to nest. So I’m trying to make it unattractive for them by making things neat and tidy.

Well, less messy anyway.

Late this afternoon I had been working out in front of the house for a good while when I glanced out to the pasture just in time to see the last rays of the sun hitting the tops of the trees, bathing them in gold -- quittin’ time! I thought as I ran for the camera and headed out to gather more painting fodder.

This last one I took just before going in to start supper
put me in mind of this evening hymn:

Now the day is over, night is drawing nigh,
Shadows of the evening steal across the sky.

Now the darkness gathers, stars begin to peep,
Birds and beasts and flowers soon will be asleep.

Jesus, give the weary calm and sweet repose; 
With Thy tenderest blessing may mine eyelids close.

Grant to little children visions bright of Thee;
Guard the sailors tossing on the deep blue sea.

Comfort those who suffer, watching late in pain;
Those who plan some evil from their sin restrain.

Through the long night watches may Thine angels spread
Their white wings above me, watching round my bed.

Glory to the Father, Glory to the Son,
And to Thee, blest Spirit, while all ages run.

words by SABINE BERING-GOULD (1867)