Wednesday, July 27, 2016

:: A Day at Crescent Beach ::

A Day at Crescent Beach-N.VanBlaricom
A Day at Crescent Beach, 8" x 10", oil on canvas board, © Nancy Van Blaricom

A month or so ago we were riding along the Strait (Juan de Fuca Strait ) and stopped at a well known beach on the Peninsula, Crescent Beach.  Usually there is a lot of people enjoying the sand and wading in the water, but this day there was only a handful of people.

It wasn't a particularly cold day, but we had an overcast sky that was touched with some pink.

I made sure and take some photos while we were there and although I tried to duplicate on canvas what I saw that day I never did get the results I was trying for.
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I am continuing to practice the new to me painting methods I've recently felt were working for me.

It is a slow process.  Two steps forward, one step back it seems ... but I'm still feeling very positive.

Until I feel more comfortable with the new work  I will continue to share some of the work I've done since our move.


Pimiento in a Jar-N.VanBlaricom
Pimientos in Jar sketch

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

:: Growth Spurt ::


Recently, since our move, I've done some re-evaluating of my art.  I haven't been able to make the art I've been feeling or wanting to share.  Something is missing. 

Sequim Bay Water,  6" x 6" Oil on Canvas, © N. Van Blaricom
Sky at Port Williams,  6" x 6" Oil on Canvas, © N. Van Blaricom 2016

The work I want to produce is loose and more impressionistic.
Growth takes work and time dedicated to learning.

With a critical eye I'm evaluating my work. I see where I am weak and where I need to concentrate my efforts. I feel I'm up to the challenge.

Recently I found that I need to be brave and try things in my art that I hadn't before.  Maybe it was that I didn't have anyone to show me or tell me where I was going wrong.  Not too long ago I discovered a different method for me.  And I was happy with the results.

In the next few months I hope to share with you some growth in my work.
Until then ... the above photo is a painting from a couple of months ago.

I feel a growth spurt in the making. Wish me luck ... 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

:: How I pick a subject as a series ::

One thing I really love about living here in Sequim is that we get some of the most amazing skies!  
This area is known as The Blue Hole.  We can have beautiful sun and blue sky above us and if you look out at the surrounding areas you would swear that a storm was brewing.  

A lot of times when I decide to upon a painting subject I choose to do some studies of it first. I need to become familiar with the scene before I try to capture it in something other than a sketch.  

Sky overlooking Bell Hill - N.VanBlaricom
Sky to the southeast over Bell Hill

About a month ago I took this photo in the late afternoon.  It started getting dark out and looked like it was going to rain off to the south east.  If you look at the upper right hand corner you can see the blue sky ... the blue hole.

Ink sketch of sky to the southeast over Bell Hill - N.VanBlaricom
Ink sketch 
I wanted to see if I could create the same drama on paper using my pen and paper.  It just doesn't feel the same as what I saw in the sky.  I see lines with no drama.

Marker sketch of sky to the southeast over Bell Hill - N.VanBlaricom
Marker sketch 
Then I decided to try using markers to create some emotion that read like the photo and sky that I saw.

Sky Over Bell Hill - N. Van Blaricom
Sky Over Bell Hill, 6" x 8", oil on canvas panel, © Nancy Van Blaricom
Finally I got out my oils and decided to do a color sketch. My sky didn't show the drama I saw but I did enjoy getting my brush in the oils and producing all the color in the sky.

The sketching in pen, marker and oils can usually let me know if I want to continue with a series or not.

How do you pick a series to work on? Do you keep working on one scene until you feel you got it right and then move on?  Or ... do you even work in a series?

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

:: Summer Reading ::

Hi Everyone,

Are you in the full swing of summer yet?  Got plans for activities that differ from what you do in the winter months?

One thing I've noticed in myself is that I seem to do a lot of reading in the summer. Well, maybe not a lot, but more than I do in the other months.

Sketch of books - N. Van Blaricom
Sketch of stacked books 

Some of the books on my reading list for summer are old familiar books that I've read before:
  • Art & Fear - Bayles & Orland
  • The War of Art - Steven Pressfield
  • Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting - Carlson
  • The Little Book of Talent - Daniel Coyle
I think those 4 will be nice refreshers.

A few books on my shelves

Then I also have some novels on the list:
  • Regarding Anna - Florence Osmond
  • The Gauguin Connection - Estelle Ryan
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle - David Wroblewski
Right now I'm reading: 
  • Eleanor Roosevelt's Fiftieth Anniversary Edition of You Learn by Living 
  • David McCullough's The Greater Journey
I like mixing it up and reading both fiction and non fiction.
Summer reading is the best. Relaxing .. with no pressure.
Some books on my shelves
A few more books ...

Have you all heard of BookBub? I love it and the fact that I can purchase books at discount prices or even free ebooks is delightful. BookBub emails feature content from top-tier authors and publishers as well as from up-and-coming standouts, across the following genres:

  • Bestsellers
  • Mysteries, Thrillers, & Action
  • Romance
  • Other Fiction
  • Fantasy, Science Fiction, & Horror
  • Nonfiction  ... and more
I recently read on one of my online friends blog that she is joining some friends who started a  creative reading group.  Now that sounds like a great book club to me.

I'd love to hear what you have on you summer reading list, please share.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

:: Keeping the Momentum Going ::

Sometimes it's so hard to get back to work in the studio after a break. If you are an artist have you ever felt that way after you've been away for a while?

I have, but, surprisingly I haven't felt it very hard to get back to the studio since we've moved.  Maybe it is the new studio where I have light coming in from two walls with floor to ceiling windows. One north wall and one east wall.

Walking into the studio with this natural light is very inspiring to me. Or, maybe its because I haven't forced myself to be in the studio. Or, maybe it's not the studio, but, because it just feels right.

When I have been kept from my studio the last few months its because of things like new flooring, painting the house, landscaping & roofing.  Believe me these things are time consuming, but, things we felt we wanted done before we could really feel this was home, our home.

But even those things haven't kept me from being motivated.

Mum's - Nancy Van Blaricom

Since our move I've finished 4 paintings! I've done some sketching and continued reading art books. I've participated in 2 webinars & taken 1 online workshop. I've met a new art friend who I've painted with a few times and even attended the Sequim First Friday Art Walk. Yesterday was the last meeting of the Olympic Peninsula Art Association for the season. But, in September when they meet again I plan on attending and hopefully finding some more friends that I can talk shop with.  I am motivated !

What about you, when you've been away from your art for a while do you feel it is easy to climb back in the saddle?

Are you curious to find out if I stay motivated?  You might want to subscribe to my blog (if you don't already) to find out if this motivation lasts. Just add your email address to the subscription form to the right of this post .