Pepsi Cola and New Wheels

Pepsi-Cola 6″ x 8″ oil on canvas
Hi Y’all…I’m having such a great day! I’m the proud owner of a new (to me) blue mountain bike! It’s amazing what makes your day:) But seriously, I haven’t had a bike in about fifteen years. What’s up with that!? I rode so far!! It’s nice to not have to just depend on my two feet anymore. It takes sooooooo…long to get anywhere by running. Now I can get to the store, the post office, friends’ houses…I don’t have to be just a lonely, house-bound painter…Yay! And to top it all off, as I was riding home, I looked into the clearing at a little creek where I like to sit for a break and a drink sometimes when I’m on a run, and there was a momma deer and her baby. The weren’t afraid and I sat and watched them for about ten minutes until they decided I was boring and walked away into the forest. So Cool! It made me feel so blessed to live in a place where I can experience something like that at any random time. Who needs Starbucks?!
Oh yeah, I’m a painter…that’s what this blog is about;)  My new ebay offering and practice pic is another old bottle we found in the dirt at the same old farmhouse as in the previous post. I guess they like Pepsi and Orange Crush. Lucky for me…now I just need a Coca-Cola and a 7-up bottle to finish up the series. I do have one more pop bottle to paint tomorrow. It’s really cool, and really old. I can’t wait to share it with you. 
Anyways, this one’s up on ebay right now…CHEAP…too cheap, but if you want it click below…Please! Lol!


Ray Robert’s Workshop – Maui 2012

Ray’s amazing 20 minute demo!


Ray and his wife, Peggi Kroll-Roberts
I was fortunate enough to participate in Ray Roberts plein aire workshop in Maui last week. What a blast! Not only was it great fun, it was a great learning experience, and Ray and his wife, Peggi, are wonderful, warm, people. A pleasure to have met.
I have only painted “en plein aire” a few times in my life, with no direction except what I had read. In fact, this is the first time I have taken a workshop from an established artist. I have taught them (how to paint animals in acrylic from photographs) but had never taken one.
Anyways…the object of his plein aire teaching is to use these small plein aire sketches as reference material to utilize in the creation of a more finished studio painting. He doesn’t create them to sell.
Some of his most useful tips apply to all types of painting, not just plein aire and I found them incredibly useful. 
Some of them were:
  • ALWAYS do a number of value studies, or Notans…either in just two values or three. Do a few different greyscale ones, and a few color ones, to feel out which one will make the best painting. It will be almost immediately evident. (I thought so anyways!)
  • Translate a scene from your grayscale study to color. It helps immensely in reading the values.
  • Avoid equal shapes, masses,  and divisions. It makes things boring and repetitive.
  • Start with your darkest darks and lightest lights. Once they’re established, it’s much easier to find the middle values.
  • Borrow from everything around you to make a great painting. You don’t have to paint the exact scene. Remove elements, or add them, to make the best scene.
  • Shadows in a landscape are cooler and lighter farther away from the source (under a tree) and warmer and darker towards the source, as they’re reflecting light from the source. The farther shadow reflects light from the sky.

These are only a few of the great things I learned. Peggi has invented a few very useful plein aire tools that they sell on their website.

You can check out Ray and Peggi’s beautiful work at