Saturday, July 23, 2016

A painting for a summer day ...

Cool Breeze  ©2016 Karen Mathison Schmidt
10 x 10 inches • oil on ⅛" archival Gessobord panel
gloss varnish (UV protective)
NOTE: this one is fresh off the easel, and will be ready to ship August 2


in my eBay store

I was in a California craftsman kind of mood today, so I set out to really simplify this Louisiana landscape and evoke a really fresh summertime feel. So peaceful painting this afternoon, imagining myself walking in the shade of these trees, alongside a cool lake. Pure summertime joy!

My initial drawing was very stylized ...

... and then as usual my acrylic underpainting was bold and vivid!

I added my oils over the underpainting in large areas of mostly flat color, 
to keep the simple, bold feel.

And here's the painting with a few fun finishing touches. 

Happy Painting!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Fresh off the easel ...


Light on the Pond  ©2016 Karen Mathison Schmidt
9 x 12 inches • oil on ⅛" Ampersand archival GessobordTM panel
private collection • Fairfax, Virginia

This is another color study for a larger painting to be included in the Louisiana landscapes two-artist show I will be doing with Natchitoches artist Mary Louise Porter this coming December and January. The exhibition will be hosted by Artspace in Shreveport, and I’m very excited! More details as the year progresses.

And now, I’m a very busy artist these days so back to the easel ...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Summer Tapestry, and studio windows!

A new command I give you: Love one another. 
As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, 
if you love one another.

JOHN 13:35

Summer Tapestry  © 2016 Karen Mathison Schmidt
12 x 12 x 1 ½ inches • oil on 1½" deep cradled Ampersand (archival) GessobordTM
SOLD • private collection • Shreveport, Louisiana

Last week I was busy installing two very generously donated air conditioners (procured by a loving friend and donated by total strangers) in our house as a much needed temporary cooling measure to help us make it through the Louisiana summer. One went in our bedroom and one went in my studio. Getting the latter framed into the wall inspired me to finally install proper windows in my studio (antique casement windows which my husband and I bought on eBay and drove to Atlanta to pick up MONTHS ago). 

I put photos of the whole project on my Facebook Page.


The project involved removing an extremely crooked stud right where I wanted to put the mullion, and replacing it, lowering the position of the air conditioner, enlarging the window openings and putting them a bit higher in the wall (which meant removing and replacing original shiplap). Whew!

Ready for windows!

Studio windows in! We don't have the hinges yet so they're not mounted but secured into place for the time being. You can't really see the A/C unit well in this photo; it’s right behind the cane chair, so cool air blowing on my back while I paint: delicious! After hinges will come facing and painting, but for now I’m back to the easel. And I did a little trimming outside, too. Still lush but not quite as shambolic.

Oh, and just an encouragement to all you 50-something (fast approaching 60-ish) women out there who may be faced with a project like this: It took me almost four whole days start to finish, but I did this!! My husband uses a wheelchair and was unable to come in and see my progress because of all the construction mess, but I would show him progress pics every so often and he’s my biggest encourager to keep on going. 

And I was super-inspired by my friend Jane, who built her own quilting studio in her and her husband's back yard. She had some good friends’ help with foundation, windows, roof, and siding but she did most of the building herself. 

So, from me and Jane: you can do it!!

Saturday, July 2, 2016



China  © 2016 Karen Mathison Schmidt
6x6 • oil on ⅛" Museum Series (archival) GessobordTM
private collection • Athens, Texas

I'll post progress photos for this one later; but in case you can't wait, 
you can see the progress photos with commentary here on my Facebook page.

Happy Painting!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Art studio tip of the day

The first thing I do when starting with a fresh palette and before I put brush to canvas (or gessobord in my case), is pull out the tints (color/white mixtures) and mix the shades – or neutrals, really, because I mix roughly complementary colors for the darks in my paintings. This photo shows how I pull the pure colors toward each other first, then mix, wiping the brush or knife clean between each mixture. 

Mixing all my tints and shades right off the bat helps me make quicker choices and keeps my palette organized and non-muddy while painting!

I’m also experimenting with keeping two jars of Gamsol (or Turpenoid) – instead of one – for wiping my brush clean between color changes; one for warm colors and one for cool. The jury is still out on whether this really helps keep my colors cleaner during the painting process. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Working on this one right now: