Saturday, August 27, 2016

Dogs in cars

Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise 
for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear.


Ready to Rock  ©2016 Karen Mathison Schmidt
6 x 6 inches • oil on ⅛" GessobordTM
SOLD • private collection • Bossier City, Louisiana

Here’s Sam, all ready to go! He’s not exactly sure where they’re going – maybe to the park, maybe swimming, or to get ice cream, or maybe PetSmart – but wherever it is, he’s READY!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Golden lab painting in progress

WORK-IN-PROGRESS • 6 x 6 inches • oil on Gessobord

Here’s Sam! He’s happy because he’s going to get ice cream. 
Check back tomorrow for the finished painting. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A new Louisiana landscape


Anticipating Autumn  ©2016 Karen Mathison Schmidt
10 x 10 inches • oil on ⅛" Ampersand Museum Series (archival) GessobordTM
private collection  •  Keene, New Hampshire

On a hot day like today I’m really anticipating autumn with its cooler weather, 
not to mention the Red River Revel on the riverfront in Shreveport the first week in October. If you are in the area, come by my booth and introduce yourself!

A sunny day!

I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.


Here Comes the Sun  ©2016 Karen Mathison Schmidt
16 x 12 inches • oil on ⅛" Ampersand Museum Series (archival) GessobordTM
gloss varnish (UV protective)
sold unframed


in my eBay store

What a joy to paint these sunny flowers after a slew or overcast, rainy days. And if you look closely, a fun surprise: the words “HERE COMES THE SUN” painted every-so-subtly in the sky!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Opportunities abound

An article by Lex Talamo in The Shreveport Times tells how our church extended a helping hand for some displaced youth during last week’s flooding down south. At the end of this post I put a link to the actual article (pop-up ads made it a little difficult to get to, so I copied some excerpts here to make it easier to read).

Juvenile flood victims stunned by Caddo Parish hospitality


Saturday morning, Caddo Juvenile Service Administrator Ted Cox got a telephone call from AMIKids Acadiana, a group home for teen boys. Thirty-five juvenile offenders in the custody of the Office of Juvenile Justice needed immediate placement; could Caddo Parish Juvenile Services help?

Cox called staff at Broadmoor Baptist Church at 4110 Youree Drive, who agreed to provide their gymnasium as an emergency shelter.

Isaac Williams, executive director of AMIKids Acadiana, said the sudden severity of the flooding caught the organization “off balance.”

An unexpected welcome

“On Saturday, we were watching the rain but we didn’t feel threatened. Sunday, the water came in so fast,” Williams said. “We just wanted a safe place to stay. We never expected to be received as well as we were.”

The youth arrived the next evening to a welcome their director said he never could have expected. Williams said the response from the Shreveport community was “unbelievable.”

“They had taken the time to make up the 50 cots [cots, bedding, and “hospitality bags” were provided by the local Red Cross chapter] and give it a home touch. It’s amazing what Broadmoor Baptist Church did for us,” Williams said.

“That entire afternoon, people were buying supplies,” Cox said. “One lady even went around and put chocolates on every pillow to make them feel welcome. They really opened their arms.”

Broadmoor Baptist Church members and staff partnered with Broadmoor Methodist Church to help keep the youth engaged once they arrived. Staff chaperones watched while the youth played basketball in the morning at Broadmoor Methodist and then transferred to Broadmoor Baptist’s second floor youth department to play pingpong and video games or watch movies.

One Broadmoor Baptist church member bought enough pizza to feed all 35 teens. Another paid for the boys to attend a movie in the community, while seven more chaperoned the outing.

Rev. Tom Harrison of Broadmoor Baptist Church said the congregation saw the youths’ situation as an opportunity to extend God’s love to those in need.

“The Word of God tells us to take care of our neighbors,” Harrison said. “Our pastor has asked everyone to be a missionary, and this gave them an opportunity to be missionaries in their own city. People were crazy enthusiastic to help.”

A lasting impact

The youth returned to their group home on Wednesday, after the waters had receded. Cox said almost every young man thanked him and shook his hand before leaving. Flood waters had reached the home’s threshold without creating any lasting damage, Williams said. The experience, however, made an impact on several of the youth.

“A lot of people wouldn’t have wanted to help out juveniles who had gotten in trouble. These people at Broadmoor treated us as somebody.”

The church members did more than provide necessary care and shelter in a time of crisis, Williams added. They also sent the message to these youth that someone in the wider world cares about them.

“We asked for help, and these people showed us tremendous love,” Williams said. “I hope everyone at Broadmoor Baptist knows they made a difference in our youths’ lives for that short amount of time that will have a lasting impact.”

Friday, August 19, 2016

"Morning Glory" study


Morning Glory  ©2016 Karen Mathison Schmidt
9 x 12 inches • oil on ⅛" Museum Series (archival) GessobordTM
private collection • Lindale, Texas

Love the early morning light in summer! I did this this morning as a color study for a larger version I’m planning to do for a landscape show at ArtSpace in Shreveport this December and January. 

I’m VERY excited about being half of this two-artist show in conjunction with the beginning of John Kemp’s book signing tour for his new book, Expressionist of Place: The Contemporary Louisiana Landscape. And I’m super excited and honored to be one of the artists whose work is included in the book!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

"Rainy Day" orange tabby cat painting COMPLETE!

I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person 
by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, 
lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.


Rainy Day  ©2016 Karen Mathison Schmidt
6 x 6 • oil on ⅛" Museum Series (archival) GessobordTM
gloss varnish (UV protective)


Here are the step by step photos:

Here I’ve started layering the oils on top of the dry acrylic underpainting. My palette for the underpainting was: burnt sienna, ultramarine blue, quinacridone magenta, and brilliant blue, using Liquitex matte medium mixed in for transparency of the layers. 

You can see that in the underpainting I had blocked in the bold floral design on the rug, but later on I decided the composition would be better with the rug simplified, with just a suggestion of a botanical design in the bottom left of the painting.

I started with Mustachio’s eyes ...

... and then his face and ears, then moving out to the lightest areas of his legs and body. My oil palette was: titanium white; ultramarine rose; French ultramarine blue; phthalo blue; cinnabar green deep, medium and light; cadmium yellow light; cadmium orange; Sheveningen red medium (similar to cadmium red light); quinacridone rose; and quinacridone magenta.

At this point I added the darkest areas, the shadow behind him and alongside his legs, using ultramarine blue, dark green with a touch of red. I started with it nice and dark, knowing that later I would lighten the shadow areas and add some variations with just a touch of white and some reds.

In this photo you can see also that I developed some lost edges along the outline of his cheeks and chin, where the white fur on his face blends right into the white on his shoulders and chest. Just a little lavender and blue suggestion of a shadow helps define his face shape without actually outlining it.

You can see also in this photo that in the darker, orange tabby parts of his coat, I left quite a bit of that vivid transparent blue and purple underpainting showing, which lends a liveliness and energy to his oranges and pinks.

It was at this point that I knew that the design on the rug was going to compete too much with Moustachio and make the composition too busy, so I scraped it off with my palette knife and made almost the whole rug turquoise-y green, with very loose brushstrokes, and just a touch of that botanical design.

Also note here that just a suggestion of the wood grain on the floor is enough. With impressionism, never underestimate the ability of the viewer's brain to fill in the details!

You can see here how I lightened the shadows and added some reds. Not really any blending going on, just laying the colors on top in short strokes, very loosely. A rule of thumb for these top layers is a fully loaded brush and a very light touch.

I added just the suggestion of his whiskers and eye whiskers, with the edge of my knife. I thought I was finished, but then I decided to put a bit more sunny yellowish white on the outside of his left paw.

NOW he’s done!

Friday, August 12, 2016

"Rose Queen III"

Rose Queen III: A Morning to Remember  ©2016 Karen Mathison Schmidt
6 x 6 inches • oil on archival Museum Series Gessobord
gloss varnish (UV protective)


Step by step: putting it together! I wasn't going to post these until I had the commentary finished, but I decided to go ahead so you can see the progression. 

Hasta maƱana, amigos!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

New kitty painting in progress, and Moustachio weighs in

The beginnings of a new cat painting: I drew the initial sketch in pencil on my Gessobord, then went over it with ultramarine blue acrylic, mixing it with Liquitex matte medium to make it transparent.

Then I added a cadmium yellow light glaze in places where I knew I wanted to end up with an orangey red in the underpainting.

After adding glazes of naphthol crimson, I went back in and added another layers or two of ultramarine glaze in some places, and now the acrylic underpainting is finished!

Tomorrow I’ll finish with oils. Can hardly wait until morning! 

Okay. You have now done approximately seventy gazillion paintings of Jo. Don’t you think it’s about time you did another one of MOI?? My fans, they grow restless!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Doggy dinner creativity

Creativity doesn’t happen only in the studio.

This morning after scooping out the last of the Benefuls from the dog food bin for their breakfast, I made a mental note to drive to town and get more food for the dogs before suppertime.


It totally slipped my mind that my brain’s mental noting capability has been on the fritz since about 2002. So at suppertime (keeping in mind that cat food is way too protein-rich for dogs to make an entire meal of it) I whipped up a doggy dinner – times 5 – of a couple of tablespoons of cat chow mixed with a generous portion of plain Ramen noodles, topped with morsels of Tyson chicken tender strips.