20 October 2014

Guarding the Lavender palette knife painting

Guarding the Lavender
Oil, Palette knife painting
18x24cm on Italian canvas panel

About this painting
This is another of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge paintings that needed a few more touches to finish it off.

Some close-ups of the knife work

And how it would look framed

13 October 2014

Blog Hopping across the world - Introducing artists I admire

I'm participating in a Blog Hop. I can hear you say "What's a Blog Hop?". It is a way to get to know about other artists you may not be aware of. 

And, to show that art is truly international and artists work in a world-wide community, I was introduced by Sea Dean who lives in Canada, I live in France and my spotlight artist live in New Mexico and Scotland.  Pop over to see the wonderful art produced by all three artists, all different and unique.

When I completed Art School I always intended to pursue a career in art and literature, but I had migrated to small town Canada, where there was little opportunity in my chosen field. I allowed life to get in the way, until a series of catastrophic events brought me back into alignment. Since then I’ve approached my art with the same passion and determination that I have applied to all my past achievements.

Art is not easy; it takes a special type of courage to make it your profession, but I’m no stranger to that. For me, it is important, to keep growing as an artist, keep pushing the boundaries and discovering new techniques. And paramount to my experience is the opportunity to pass on my knowledge to others, which I do in my PAINT A MASTERPIECE classes and through my Facebook group GET YOUR ART OUT THERE.

If in my journey, I create something which brings joy to another human being, or if I help a person rediscover their passion, I have truly achieved.



I have admired Carol handling of light and colour for a long time, and I am pleased to introduce her.
Born and raised in Minnesota, Carol moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico following earning degrees in both Minnesota and Iowa.  She later studied Interior Design through the New York School of Interior Design, and Fine Art under the tutelage of professional artists including Dreama Tolle Perry, Ramon Kelley and Carolyn Anderson.  Carol’s earliest influence in art was her creative mother through whom Carol became a “child artist” using “Paint by Number”.  Carol thought her “paintings” were so beautiful she continue her exploration of art in many forms.

Carol’s love for travel and art is reflected in her superb landscape paintings.  She captures the mood of her subject whether it is the dramatic light of southern France, the quaint towns in Italy and Mexico, or the brilliance of dappled light in the fjords of Norway.  Those many trips have inspired exquisite flower paintings, paintings of charming buildings as well as pairings of the rugged beauty of the coast and crashing ocean waves.

Carol’s style continue to evolve as she grows as an artist.  She  enjoys taking workshops from the best painters.  Carol doesn’t feel she can be limited in subject matter or a particular color palette.  She uses palette knives as well as brushes.  She is both a plein air and studio artist.

Carol exhibits her work in some of the finest shows.  She works in oils.

I've admired Margaret's work for a long time. Her use of tone is fantastic. I'm hoping to make my way up to Scotland on one of my trips to the UK to see her work in person.

"I am an oil and pastel painter. I love still life, portraits and life drawing is a passion. I work and teach in the beautiful "Artist's Town" of Kirkcudbright in Galloway, Scotland.
Like most artists I am attracted to the play of light. I work in Winsor and Newton Artisan, water mixable oils to avoid as many nasty chemicals as possible.

Blog - http://margaretsmilligan.blogspot.com
Facebook -MargaretSMilliganFineArt
Website - www.margaretsmilligan.co.uk

And MY ANSWERS to  the blog hop questions:

1. What are you working on?

I've just been working on some autumn paintings. I love using those rich yellows, reds and oranges. I have also recently finished a 30 paintings in 30 challenge hosted by Leslie Saeta. The main challenge is thinking of something different to paint everyday. 

What will I be painting next? Not sure, but I am off on a trip to Catalonia for a few days, so maybe I'll be inspired to paint something from that trip. I am always full of ideas when I return from a trip.

I also plan to start painting larger Provence scenes and really hone my landscape skills.

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

 I use a lot of colour and my paintings are quite colourful. I paint mostly with a palette knife, as I like the texture and the way the colours stay clear and bright. I like to 'chase the light'  which livens up the paintings.

3. Why do I create what I do?
Because I love it. The joy of creating something from nothing can't be beaten. Painting also colours my life, wherever I am, I am thinking of suitable ideas for paintings and on trips it has added another dimension to life.  When on trips, I am always searching out the local artists and appreciate other peoples work much more.

4. How does my creative process work?
It goes in fits and starts. I get enthusiastic about a subject and can't wait to start painting. At other times it takes a little longer! My inspiration comes from photos I have taken or my garden. I am a keen gardener and grow many of the subjects in my paintings. My studio is my house, and although I have nominally turned one of the bed rooms into a studio, I am rarely in it, preferring to paint outside whenever the sun is shining, on the balcony when it is not so good and even in the lounge during the winter. My completed paintings are all around the living room drying giving us a constantly changing gallery.

09 October 2014

Autumn Quiet oil painting

Autumn Calm oil painting
With a nod to Emil Gruppe
Oil on 3-ply wood gesso panel
20x30cm (approx 7x12inches)
Available on Daily Paintworks

I came across a painting 'Autumn in Vermont' by Emil Gruppe and loved the light he captured in it.

I roughly sketched in the composition and continued the painting without looking at the reference as although influenced by him, I wanted this to be my painting.

About this painting
I am starting a love-hate relationship with this surface. It is so smooth. I usually like to work on a textured ground and, although I added an additional layer of gesso, it was still quite smooth and very absorbent. I was fighting the board a bit and so resorted to using a brush in combination with the knife. The paint also dries much quicker on this surface. It is brilliant white, and although I used a multicoloured underpainting (cool colours for dark areas and warm colours for light areas) I think the painting has a nice luminous feel to it.

Some Close-ups

And how it would look framed

07 October 2014

Autumn Sunlight palette knife painting

Autumn Sunlight palette knife painting
oil on canvas MDF panel
18x24cm (approx 7"x10")
Available on Daily Paintwork

This painting evolved from a similar painting from last year - Autumn Explosion. To ring the changes I added more of a foreground and used more yellow.  This week's challenge on Daily Paintworks is 'Fall' so this one fitted right in. has received some favourable comments and has had lots of hits since I posted it.

About this painting
Although it looks like it's painted with wild abandon, I have tried to carefully balance the colours for warm against cool and brighter to greyer to give some depth. I debated about the green foreground  (should it be ochre? should it be green?) but decided to leave the green as a contrast to the warm oranges and yellows. When I had finished I noticed that the yellow highlights were right in the center - but who made the rules anyway?!

The painting has lots of layers and will take a while to dry.

Some close-ups

01 October 2014

30 paintings in 30 day challenge Collage

 30 paintings in 30 day challenge
Collage of all 30 paintings.

Well, another challenge over and 30 paintings completed. Once again it was fun and, well, challenging. Because of the size of some of the paintings, a few still needed those final touches. I managed to finish a few today and will finish the rest over the next couple of days.

The completed paintings are available here. I will add the others as they are finished.

Thank you to everyone who commented for your support and encouragement and especially to Leslie Saeta for hosting. To view the participants final collages, visit Leslie Saeta's blog