Thursday, January 31, 2013

#30 - Late Day - Study

Late Day, 8" x 6",Oil on Card Stock, © 2013, Nancy Van Blaricom

If you've been following my blog you know that todays painting is the last one for the 30 day challenge.  I am hoping to write a summary of my experiences during the Challenge in the next day or so.  Until then you can expect my regular Art of a Sketchbook - Friday blog post tomorrow.

Thank you to all of you who were so encouraging during these 30 days.  It means a lot to have such support.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

#29 - Tender - Study

#29 - Tender - Study, Oil on canvas, © 2013 Nancy Van Blaricom

Technically #30 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge, but, since I was unable to paint one day I am going to call this one #29 and do one last one tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

#27, #28 & #29 - Sky Studies

Yesterday I was away from my studio all day and didn't get a chance to paint.  So this morning when I was wondering what I would paint and could I possibly paint two in one day I thought today might be a good day to attempt a tryptic.

I've always wanted to do a tryptic, but, never gave it enough thought to even decide on a subject.

Definition: A triptych is a series of three paintings intended to be displayed together. Triptychs were often used as an altar-piece in a church. Traditionally two of the panels were attached to the central one by hinges and folded over it, to show two different paintings on the back.

I have wanted to experiment with painting skies and today was a perfect time to 
paint a couple of them. Three in fact.

#27 - Sky Study, 8" x 6" oil on panel, © 2013, Nancy Van Blaricom

The water doesn't look level in my photos but I think it was because I took the original photo where they were all side by side and just turned the camera instead of photogrphing each individually. 

#28 - Sky Study, 8" x 6" oil on panel, © 2013, Nancy Van Blaricom

All three panels were toned with yellow and allowed to dry I then painted the sky area all white. I wanted my sky to have some blue amongst the the clouds and started softly brushing some ultramarine blue in the middle of my white sky.

#29 - Sky Study, 8" x 6" oil on panel, © 2013, Nancy Van Blaricom

Some areas I painted more blue in and some areas less.  Some areas I went back over with a little  more white to create more definition to my clouds.

#27, #28, #29 - Tryptic Sky Studies, each panel 8" x 6" oil, © 2013, Nancy Van Blaricom

I was pretty happy with my experiment with not only cloudy skies, but with a tryptic. I think I might attempt this again with a more thought out land / seascape.

Since I wasn't able to paint yesterday I labeled these #27, #28, and #29, but, I will finish up the month with a painting a day ... its a challenge ya know.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

#26 - Fir - Study

Fir - Study, 8" x 6" oil on panel, © 2013, Nancy Van Blaricom

I have painted this fir before only in watercolor.  I like seeing the reflection of the tree in the water. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

#25 - The Cove - Study

The Cove - Study, Oil on Panel, © 2013 Nancy Van Blaricom

I  see this cove every day on my walk.  There is always a boat anchored there sometimes two.

Friday, January 25, 2013

#24 - Grazing - Study

Grazing - Study, 6" x 8" oil on panel, @ 2013, Nancy Van Blaricom

Another cow painting.  I have a few cow photographs from about 8 years ago.  Now I wish I would have taken some close-up photos.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Art of a Sketchbook - Friday

Did you notice ... I've changed the regular Art of the Sketchbook blog posts to now read the "Art of the Sketchbook - Friday"?  I was just thinking it may make it easier for those of you who regularly read my blog or those who only want to read about my sketching.

Sketchbook '96, waiting room, © 2013 Nancy Van Blaricom

 Today I am posting a few pages of a sketch book I started back in 1996 ... I was in a waiting room at a doctors office and happened to have this particular sketchbook with me.  I always liked this sketchbook because it was hardbound and had a dust jacket.  No one around you knew it was a sketchbook.

Sketchbook '96, waiting room #2, © 2013 Nancy Van Blaricom

 It was the holiday time of year 12-14-01 and I can remember it well, the woman with short hair in the left of the sketch had brought  in her mother who was in a wheelchair for X-rays.  She looked exhausted and the string of christmas lights on the wall behind the cubical just didn't match her feelings.

The first photo is the woman's shoes as she was standing beside the wheel chair.

Here are two of my sketchbooks ... the one on top, with the blue dust jacket, is the old one I took the sketches out of this Friday.

Keep a sketchbook with you at all times, you never know when you'll get a spare moment to record something from your day.

Happy sketching ....

#23 - The Devine Miss M - Study

The Devine Miss M - Study, 6" x 6" oil on card stock, © 2012, Nancy Van Blaricom

We have a number of different names we call our cat.  I sometimes refer to her as the Devine Miss M.  Her real name is Odessa and how she got the Devine Miss M is a long story I won't bore you with.

Anyway, she doesn't look like this.  I won't even show this to her because she wouldn't know it was her ... She's so much cuter than I've portrayed her.

Once again I've used oil on card stock and I thought I'd mention that when you use oils on card stock like this it works a lot like gouache does.  You'd think the oil would bleed all over the paper, but it doesn't.

Anyway, here is Odessa staring off into space which seems pretty normal for her *giggle.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

#22 - Mussels

Close up of Mussels, 6" x 6" Oil on stretched canvas, ©2013 Nancy Van Blaricom

Mussels, 6" x 6" Oil on stretched canvas, ©2013 Nancy Van Blaricom

I've resorted back to painting mussel shells I've found on the beach.  
These were all dried but connected by their beards.  A fun find.  A fun painting.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

#21 - Fog in the Strait - Study

Fog in the Strait,  6" x 8" oil on panel, © 2013 Nancy Van Blaricom

Attempting to get more miles of canvas behind me focusing on landscapes and waterscapes.
This one was a lot of fun today, trying to get the fog to look like fog.

Monday, January 21, 2013

#20 - Dappled Sun - Study

Dappled Sun - Study, Oil on Canvas 6" x 6", © 2013, Nancy Van Blaricom

Brrrr, here in the Northwest its been pretty cold. When I was looking through my reference photos this morning I found one with dappled sun light from last fall.  Today I needed that extra warmth... if only in a sketch.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

#19 - Bear on the Beach - Study

Bear on the Beach - Study,  6" x 6" oil on canvas, © Nancy Van Blaricom

Going through my photos I came upon a number of bear photos I'd taken while we were in Canada a few years ago.   When we spotted this bear he was curious who was watching him, but in a matter of seconds he turned his attention back to his business of turning over rocks looking for food.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

#18 - Atmosphere - Study

Study - Atmosphere, 6" x 6" oil on panel, © 2013, Nancy Van Blaricom

Looking toward some nearby islands you can often get to see some pretty atmosphere.  
For a study this took way too much time.  I even had to wipe the whole thing off once.  
I need to study harder .... 

Friday, January 18, 2013

#17 - Reflecting - Study

#17 - Reflecting - Study, 8" x 6" Oil on Panel, © 2013 Nancy Van Blaricom

The sun was shining through a very hazy morning and reflecting on a still body of water. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Art of a Sketchbook

Some times I will pick something to sketch and think 'oh, I can do better' so I will try it again.  

Sin in a Cardboard Container #1, watercolor sketch in sketchbook, © 2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

 I thought a good name for Godiva Ice Cream would be 'Sin in a Cardboard Container'.
 Sin in a Cardboard Container #2, watercolor sketch in sketchbook, © 2012 Nancy Van Blaricom
After a second attempt I still wasn't happy with some of the sketch so I give it another try.

Sin in a Cardboard Container #3, watercolor sketch in sketchbook, © 2012 Nancy Van Blaricom
I think sketchbooks are a great place to give ideas a try.  Not to mention it gives you someplace to remember the indulgence of some yummy stuff.

#16 - Domestic Fowl

 Sketch - Domestic Fowl, 6" x 6" oil, © 2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

I have really enjoyed today.

This is the first day since I took on the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge that I finally have been honest with myself and said daily painting is not for me.  I find I just cannot capture what I'm trying to when I try to do a painting in one day.  One or two days later I look at the painting and realize it still needs work, a lot of work ... its not a finished painting.  So for the rest of the challenge I will still be painting but I will not be telling myself that it is a finished piece of work.  It will be an oil sketch.

Whew, I feel so much better already.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

#15 - At Dock

At Dock, 8" x 6" Oil on Panel,  © 2013, Nancy Van Blaricom

I'm celebrating the 1/2 way mark of my 30 paintings in 30 days with flags.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

#14 - Abandoned Shed

Abandoned Shed, 6" x 8" oil on panel, @ 2013, Nancy Van Blaricom

When I saw this shed years ago I liked how it had a prime location overlooking the sound yet no one had been to the shed in years ... you could tell because the grass had grown up in front of the door.

Monday, January 14, 2013

#13 - Sailing

Sailing, 5" x 10" oil on canvas, ©  2013 Nancy Van Blaricom

This is a pretty common scene here in South Puget Sound when the weather allows ... meaning not freezing like it has been this last week or so.  Brrrrr.

I'm not particularly happy with the way this one photographed but I'm sure it was photographer error.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

#12 - Crab

Cement Crab, Oil on Canvas, © 2013, Nancy Van Blaricom

I had some paint left over from yesterdays painting so I decided to use it to paint a cement crab that was in with some treasures my good friends and neighbors gave us when they moved.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

#11 -The Milk Shed

The Milk Shed, 6" x 6" Oil on panel,  © 2013 Nancy Van Blaricom

When going through some old photos I found one of my grandparents milk shed. I use to love this shed.  No matter how hot is was outside it was always cool in the milk shed.

I liked the looks of the black and white photo so decided to keep it black and white using Gamblin Chromatic Black and Utrecht Titanium White

I'm proud to say I've painted past the  1/3 mark of 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.  Thats amazing when I don't usually paint 11 paintings in one month and now look ... 11 paintings in 11 days.  I hope that I continue painting more often after the 30 days are over. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

#10 - Tube O' Paint

                                                            Tube O' Paint, 6" x 6" oil on Card Stock, © 2013, Nancy Van Blaricom

Another attempt to paint looser with a larger brush.  I used a large ... large for me, #10 bristle brush.  I'm not use to it and found it hard to control my edges.  Today I might use a large synthetic brush to see if that helps with my edges.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Art of a Sketchbook

Sketchbook 2000 Back Deck, graphite on paper, © 2013 Nancy Van Blaricom

Some times its fun to go out on the back deck and sketch whatever you see around you.  In my case, in 2000,  I saw a cement flower pot with some newly planted geraniums in it  and then looking across the deck I saw a plastic chair.  All fun to sketch.  I suggest you sketch whats around you ... just for the fun of sketching.

#9 - Birdie

Birdie, 6" x 6" oil on paper, © 2012, Nancy Van Blaricom

I found this little ceramic bird in a second hand store years ago.  Something about the bird appeals to me and I've kept it in my studio just waiting to find the right time to paint it.

I sat it on a small cardboard box I had laying around in the studio.
My goal today was to use large brushes only.  I used a 10 & a 6 flat, and was happy that I was able to accomplish that and not go any smaller.

When I found I was starting to put more detail in I stopped.

I'm happy with this one.

Maybe  tomorrows goal will be large brushes AND big bold shapes,  today just using larger brushes made me happy.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

#8 - North Head Lighthouse

 Lighthouse Keepers Residences, 6" x 8" oil on panel, © 2013 Nancy Van Blaricom

A few years ago two other couples along with my husband and myself spent a couple of nights here.  It was a fun experience to stay where the lighthouse keepers of long ago spent so much time.  

You can read all about the North Head Lighthouse ... maybe you'd like to spent the night there also. Don't let the fact that its supposed to be haunted hold you back from a fun week-end.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

#7 - Moo

Moo, 6" x 6" Oil on panel, ©2013 Nancy Van Blaricom

I struggled with my first attempt today.  I think I was trying too hard, yet not thinking at all at other times.  I completely wiped my first attempt today.  I thought for sure I was going to paint some lovely yellow tulips.  They turned out to be anything but ...  and I had to wipe the canvas after spending a few hours on it.  Darn, hate when that happens  *giggle.

I am thoroughly enjoying this 30 day challenge.  It makes me try harder to be a better artist instead of painting something and failing at that then throwing it away and calling it good for the day.  Because of the challenge I cleaned off my palette after my wiper and went forward with another painting. 

In looking at the work I've done so far &  I am really happy with what I've produced. When the challenge is over think I will be able to look at them with fresh eyes and see that this may need a touch here and another needs somethings else done. I think I have some pretty good works started and almost ready to sell.

Thank you all for such loyal support and encouragement.  It helps, it really does.

Monday, January 07, 2013

#6 - Neah Bay Sunset

Neah Bay Sunset, 6" x 8" oil on panel, © 2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

The photo for this painting was from the same camping trip to Neah Bay as the painting I posted yesterday.

I found this quote this morning on a daily calendar I have from

Investment Advice for Turbulent Times:
Kindness pays HUGE dividends, 
Materially and ethereally, forever and ever.

Until tomorrow .... 

Sunday, January 06, 2013

#5 - Neah Bay Fog

Neah Bay Fog, 6" x 8" oil on panel, © 2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

This painting represents the beach at Neah Bay with the fog settling in for the day.

I think this part of Washington is absolutely beautiful even if fog starts to envelop you. A few years ago we took our small travel trailer and camped at Neah Bay and just a few miles west of Neah Bay at the tip of the Olympic Peninsula lies Cape Flattery, the most northwest point in the continental U.S.  Once you arrive at Cape Flattery you can walk a boardwalk out to see amazing views of ocean sea caves, Tatoosh Islands lighthouse and a marine wildlife viewing spot.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

#4 - Rushing Water

Rushing Water, 7" x 5" Oil on panel, © 2012, Nancy Van Blaricom

Years ago I attempted to paint some moving water in watercolor and I really enjoyed the challenge, so today, when I went through some photos and saw one with some water in a stream I decided to crop the photo and just paint a small portion of it. 

It was still a challenge, but, one I thoroughly enjoyed.  Maybe after the 30 day challenge is over I'll attempt another one where I can spend more time on it.

Friday, January 04, 2013

#3 - I Really Don't Know Clouds at All ...

I Really Don't Know Clouds at All, 6" x 6" oil on canvas, © 2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

This is a local scene from very near-by.  I love these puffy wispy clouds. Living in the Pacific Northwest we see a lot of different kinds of clouds and I think I'll try painting more of them.

I can't think of clouds without thinking of Joni Mitchel's  song "Both Sides Now" how about you?

Thursday, January 03, 2013

The Art of a Sketchbook

Some times when I have an idea for a painting I will go to my sketchbook and try to work it out there before I go to all the trouble of sketching it on (watercolor)  paper.  It's a great place to figure out whats working and what isn't.
Backyard Visitor, watercolor and ink-Sketchbook, © 2012, Nancy Van Blaricom

Once you have your sketch down its easier to be able to tell your strong points and weak points in your composition.

I wasn't particularly fond of the cyclone fence in the above sketch so I went to the back yard with a chair and sketched the neighbors fence until I felt I was finally getting it.

Cyclone fence study, watercolor and ink-Sketchbook, © 2012, Nancy Van Blaricom

Do you work out your painting ideas in your sketchbook?

#2 - Looking West

Looking West, 6" x 6" oil on gessoed canvas, © 2013 Nancy Van Blaricom

I enjoyed painting this one. As with a lot of photo references, they bring me back to another time.  The photo for this painting was a few years ago on boating trip in the San Juan Islands.  This was taken from Suscia Island  looking west.  From where we were anchored there was a beautiful scene with beautiful colors in every direction.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

#1 - Are You Talkin' to Me?

Are You Talkin' to Me? , 8" x 6" Oil on canvas panel, ©2012, Nancy Van Blaricom

One of the birds we saw a few years ago when we were at The Olympic Game Farm in Sequim Washington was a peacock.  I was hoping one of them would have their beautiful feathers all fanned out ... but, no luck.  As I went to take this guys photo he turned around facing me almost to say "Are you talkin' to Me? you talkin' to me?"

While trying to decide what to paint for my first day of Leslie's "30 paintings in 30 days" challenge I thought of this one because there might be a number of people looking at it and the title seemed appropriate because of the look on the birds face. (Yes I named this photo when I first took the picture.) Also because it didn't look like it would take me too long.

Now I'm hoping these are not  the longest 30 days of my life *giggle.

Really though, I'm looking forward to the next painting and really excited by the fact that I feel this is a great way to grow as an artist.

Until tomorrow .... Are you Talkin' to Me?