Art Adventures

Posts tagged ‘nostalgia’

I had so much fun at the Willamette Valley last weekend! After hiking the Silverton Falls (10 falls, 7 miles…we shortened our hike and had 5 falls in 5 miles…gorgeous), we toured Frank Lloyd Wright’s Gordon House (my favorite architect of all time…what a treat), then managed to fit in a stop at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm before calling it a day…yep, all that in ONE day, and heading back to our VRBO in McMinnville.

I was somewhat amazed (and a little disgusted, frankly) at the commercialism of the Wooden Shoe. I had different visions of a quiet, peaceful field of tulips, but instead, there were inflatable kid toys, bungee jumping, rides through the tulips on a “train”, a hot air balloon, you name it. But for my purposes, we headed straight into the fields, where I managed to shoot about 200 photos of tulips and people in the tulips. It was incredibly beautiful.

You will see several paintings from this trip, but the first one I had to do was this one, a man on a bike, riding through the field. PERFECT! I took several shots of him. He seemed to be leisurely poking along, glancing down at the flowers every now and again, clearly out for a casual ride to see the sights.

First wash of teal and yellow

First wash of teal and yellow

String, paper squares, produce netting and scribbles dance in the canvas, providing a crazy, fun background for the tulip colors.

Details:

Tulip guy detail 1

In the background, I suggested trees and a distant field of pink flowers. You can see the squares of paper, produce netting grid, and string

Tulip guy detail 2

Up close of Mr. Tulip Guy, where there is gridded pattern of netting and paper squares as well as a fruit tree in the background.

Tulip guy detail 3

Here is a detailed view of the bike, with string, painted grids, and paper collage. As you can see, the flowers are not painted as such, but suggested by mass and color.

Finished original on Plexiglas! One of my favorite areas is the background, where it seems a little surreal, or suggestive of trees, clouds, and haze. This turned out to be a fabulous painting!! It strikes the perfect mood.

Petals, 20x16, $750 original watercolor and mixed media on Plexiglas

Petals, 20×16, $750 original watercolor and mixed media on Plexiglas

The question was…Petals? Or Pedals for my title. After some deliberation, I decided on Petals. Why? Not sure, other than that I just love the flowers.

Cheers!

Follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram and follow this blog to be informed of amazing new paintings and deals! Contact me to receive my newsletter so that you see me at showings and receive notifications about SB Hansen Watercolor & Wine Painting Classes. Every one of my paintings is available as a print, and I sell signed greeting cards of all my images.

4 Comments

You’ve Got Mail. I know, I know. Sleepless in Seattle, right? I’m dating myself here, but if the title fits…And anyway, this is the snail-mail, old-fashioned way of mail-getting!

This little painting is the first of my Mailbox Series, inspired during my trip to Colorado this year. I took SCADS of photos and ended up with some crazy inspiration for paintings that should last through the winter!

IMG_2814

First wash: Red flowers in the background

IMG_2815

Second Wash: Adding all the colors and beginning to find the mailbox form

Youve Got Mail smallcopyright

You’ve Got Mail!! 8×8 watercolor on 140# gessoed watercolor paper. $30 today.

Finished! I love this painting. Hard to give it up, but in order to Feed the Beast, I must sell these little guys. Let me know if you want it! Remember to follow my blog so you continue to get updates and follow me on Facebook for sales and events. Have a great Thursday, everyone!

Leave a comment

While in Colorado this summer, my sister sent me some amazing photos of her chickens. She’s a chicken-girl, my sis(love you, sis). She LOVES her chickens, names them, breeds them, and probably spoils them rotten. Out of all these photos, this one sang to me…or, more like, cock-a-doodle-doo-ed to me? He puffed out his poof-poof chest and looked like he was crowing with all his might:  “See all these ladies here? These ladies are MINE!”

He’s a Silkie, a type of Banty chicken. A perfect name, since they have super-soft feathers that look like fine fur, and because they are from Siberia, they have black skin under their soft feathers…just like polar bears.

Top O' the Morning, 8x8 on gessoed 140# watercolor painting

Top O’ the Morning, 8×8 watercolor on gessoed 140# paper.

Isn’t he awesome? Super fun to paint, this guy, whose name is Heckle. I especially enjoy painting white critters, having fun with all the reflective lighting in the shadow side of their fur/feathers. White isn’t just white, you know! In the shadow side of a white object, there is warm and cool light that can add structure to your form. Have fun with it, I say!

Let me know if you want this little painting! He’s $30 today, on Thursday! Don’t forget to follow this blog (scroll to the bottom and click follow) and follow me on Facebook! Enjoy your day, everyone!! Top O’ the Morning to ya!

1 Comment

Think unplugged. Quiet. Peace. Unscheduled days. Time to paint. Colorado.

IMG_2769

View from Art Studio

Sounds nice, doesn’t it? I spent the first week in July this year in Colorado, near where I grew up. It was a place of rejuvenation and feeding my beast. No Wi-Fi! Being unplugged, I spent a good amount of time walking, painting, and reading. The views were open and unhindered by other homes. I could see the San Juan Range to the South, and Grand Mesa to the North. In between lay the area in which I grew up. These were my stomping grounds! My parent’s place is amazingly quiet. At night, all I could hear was the occasional cricket. Maybe a coyote or two. Seriously! Nothing. The silence whooshes in the ears like a pulse. I LOVE it. I crave it every year.

IMG_2770

Painting in the Colorado Studio

I usually take some painting projects when I go, and this year was no exception. I had prepared many drawings on plexiglass and paper, which, along with photos, provided hours of work in the lazy, hot afternoons.

IMG_2789

My painting desk inside the Art Studio in Colorado

This was no luxury retreat. We are talking bare-bones, back-to-the-basics stuff here. In fact, as hot as it was in the studio in the afternoon, I perched the door open to establish a (hot) cross breeze every day. I did not, however, invite the lizard in to run across my feet. Eeek! I love lizards, but COME ON! No running across the flip-flop feet!! I guess he wanted to take a peek at the paintings and offer up a critique? How ’bout a glass of iced tea, Mr. Lizard?

Anyway, as you can see in the studio photo, I worked hard at a few small paintings and a couple of 11×14 paintings on plexiglass. When I took a break, driving around the country inspired me to take photos of…mailboxes! Future painting alert! Do you realize how utterly beautiful rural mailboxes are? Seriously, they are amazing and poetic in all their rural-ness. When I lived here, I didn’t appreciate the simple beauty that surrounded me.

 

IMG_2791

Artistic Retreat Studio

My mom and I also took a drive down to a friend/neighbor who owns Mattics Orchards. They were generous enough to allow me to walk their orchards (a guided tour by their two young sons, who ended up shoving each other into the sprinklers) and take photos of pears, apples, crab apples, and apricots, as well as some zucchini, cabbage, and peppers. I am SO EXCITED to begin some amazing paintings from all the photos taken during my retreat. Such inspiring, nostalgic photos. Check my blog again soon (or better yet, follow me!) to see my Colorado work.

 

7 Comments

It struck me this week that lilacs are in my top 5 list of favorite flowers.  Let’s see.  Why not list them and the memories they evoke:

1.  Peony (their smell…soft white petals..farm house and the big window above them…and…ants?)

2.  Lavender (Washington…fields upon fields of purple hills…and the smell, oh man the smell!)

3.  Lilac (tearing around on my bike next to the bushes on the farm…the sunshine smell…my mom)

4.  Rose (the old-fashioned kind…my bike was my “horse” and I speed around the bushes super fast)

5.  Dahlia (my house in Portland…my little boys running around catching praying mantis and other critters)

Huh.  What does that say about me?  All these flowers are old-school flowers! Does that mean I’m an old fashioned kind of gal?  Nah.  They just smell heavenly and remind me of growing up on the farm.

IMG_2385

Lilacs by my front door

I finally have lived in a house long enough for the lilacs that I planted to bloom!  Every house that we built, I would plant lilacs, with dreams of someday gathering them into my greedy clutches, planting my nose deep inside their purple-ness, and inhaling their memory-inducing bouquet.  Then, I’d clip them into a huge white bucket (oh, the senses!) and bring them indoors to fragrance the whole house.  Alas, we always moved before my bucket-of-lilacs dream came true.  Until now!  I have two large lilac bushes near my front door, and if the deer don’t chomp them down, they bloom like crazy.  So, in response to the Bucket of Lilacs dream, I decided I’d paint just that.

IMG_2382

Lilacs for the painting

Yes!  I DID place blooms into my painting.  Carefully clipping each tiny bloom, I placed them in between newspaper and flattened/dried them overnight.  The next day, I used matte Medium to adhere them to the gessoed plexiglass panel.  It was so much fun, I thought I might plaster them everywhere!  But I had to use restraint.  I had only clipped a few lilacs and it was time to paint.  No time to waste!

IMG_2384

First wash, showing general layout and real lilac petals

Okaayyy…great idea, hard to do.  Have you ever painted lilacs?  Or tried?  A bit difficult, I can tell you.  As always, I concentrate detail in a few areas near the focal point, and leave ya’ll guessing for the rest. The most difficult part of this painting was trying to get the mass of blooms to have depth and structure.

IMG_2451

Detail showing real lilac petals

IMG_2452

Detail showing real lilac blooms and paper texture

The colors in this painting?  Yummy.  I hope I gave the impression of lilac blooms?

Bucket O Lilacs blog

Bucket O’ Lilacs. 16×20 watercolor on Gessoed Plexiglass. $750 message me to own 🙂

Can you recall memories of lilac-filled days?  Maybe you can smell them?

Or maybe you have strong memories associated with other flowers. What are your favorites?  When you see them or smell them, what memories flood forth?  Comment…I’m interested 🙂

Follow me on Facebook to get great deals on my art 🙂

 

 

5 Comments

It’s my Facebook Thirty-Dollar Thursday offer!!  Red Chair, the final of the four lawn chair series is up for grabs today.

Red Chair 8x8 on Gessoed Watercolor paper

Red Chair, 8×8 on Gessoed Watercolor paper

Just thirty bucks for the painting (not including shipping).  It’s an 8×8 watercolor painting on gessoed watercolor paper, matted to 12×12 frame size for ease in popping into a pre-made 12″x12″ frame. This painting would normally sell for around $75-$100 dollars each.  No plexi or glass required with framing, as the painting has been finished with a Lustre varnish.  This is the last of the chair paintings for now…all three have sold quickly.  Next week, I’m on to something else!!  Tune into that later!  If you would like to see how I paint a chair like this, check out my post on The Turquoise Chair and a Mashed Potato Day. Last week’s chair sold quickly, see Orange Chair post.

Message me or find me on Facebook and let me know if you want it.  First come, first serve.

Now, on to more paintings this weekend.  I’m planning on a brand-new something cool.  Look for it on Sunday’s post!  Feed the Beast, people!

5 Comments

Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers!  My mom is an amazing woman. Long story super-short:  She got married at 20, had 7 kids(!), lost her parents when she was in her early 20’s, was a farm wife/mother, held various jobs outside the home, then, when I left for college, she got her college degree in her 50’s, wrote a book and sold it in her 70’s and is now writing another book in her 80’s. She even learned to play a violin in her 80’s! Talk about the Beast Within…she has him and passed him to me!  Mom, you are amazing.  You are, and always have been, an inspiration to me.  So Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.  This painting’s for you. 🙂

When I was a kid, growing up on a farm in Colorado, my mom would wake me up in the morning, saying, “Wake up, my little Chickadee!”  Somehow, it made the morning seem a little less morning-y.  So for Mother’s day, how about a chickadee painting?

IMG_2363

Chickadee drawing on plexiglass. Yep, those are feathers

My brother takes amazing photos of pretty much anything.  He understands the terms F-stop and shutter speed, and somehow uses all those little adjustments and funny protruding knobs to produce photos that say what I would like photos to say but never do.  My photos look like a kid with a 110 camera…remember those?  So when I asked for a chickadee photo, he came through in spades…or birds, I guess. The above drawing is referenced from his photo.  Thanks, Brosky.

Then, while I planned out my painting, I thought, why not put feathers in the canvas?  Why not, indeed? Yep.  Feathers, three of ’em, adhered with gesso to the plexiglass.

Adding feathers to painting

Adding feathers to painting

Because I’m working full-time this week, I decided to work small. This is a 16×20, about half the size of my usual paintings.

Next, I had a coupon for Michaels, you know the 40% off any one item? I purchased the coolest die-cut thingy~!  I love it!  I went punch-crazy with 2″ circles and added them to my painting.

2-inch Die-Cut Punch Thingy

2-inch circles cut out of regular paper and tracing paper using Die-Cut Punch Thingy

I glued them on using the gesso:

IMG_2361

Circles, adhered to the gessoed plexiglass painting

Here is a feather, already adhered to the painting.  You can see a smidge of a die-cut circle in the upper LH side of this photo, and in the above photo:

 

IMG_2364

Feather, gessoed onto plexiglass, in preparation for my chickadee painting

Now, the fun begins.  A little Moonglow and Quin. Burnt Orange for the head…

IMG_2365

Painting Mrs. Chickadee’s head

Moving on to the body with mixtures of Moonglow, Quin. Burnt Orange, and Cerulean.  Leaving all the whites alone.  No liquid mask was used in this painting:

IMG_2366

Mrs. Chickadee body detail

I finished the bird, then started on the background.  The background needed to stay very neutral and cool, in order to recede away from the bird.  I debated on whether or not to add a building/vertical or horizontal structure behind the bird, but in the end, decided simple was best.

Detail shots showing texture:

IMG_2371

Up-close shot of feather

IMG_2373

Detail of one of the many circles of paper in the painting

In the end, super-cute chickadee:

Chickadee Mom, 16x20, watercolor on Plexiglass. $500 unframed.

Chickadee Mom, 16×20, watercolor on Plexiglass. $500 unframed.

Here’s to you, Mom.  Happy Mother’s Day!

Follow me on FB to get notices on special deals or ask me about owning a painting.  See you all soon.  Keep creating to feed that beast!

6 Comments
%d bloggers like this: