Tuesday, April 29, 2008

April Moonrise

April Moonrise
Oil on panel 20 x 24
Available at Hildt Galleries, Chicago

A couple of weeks ago there was a spectacular moonrise. I did a small painting of it but wasn't really satisfied. So I made a few adjustments for this larger piece and I think I captured that brief moment when the sun has set in the west, the moon is rising and night is falling.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bogata Hay Barn

Bogata Hay Barn 6 x 6 oil on panel

I'm working on some larger pieces so I haven't had much to post. Hopefully, a few of those will be post ready this week.
The other thing that has been a major distraction this past week is that one of our dogs (we have 5) has gone blind very suddenly. My little Sophie is the oldest of our pack- she is almost 13 but my husband and I call her the Dorian Grey of dogs- she has always looked like a perpetual puppy. Internet research and trips to the vet leave us without hope that she will regain her sight and another eventually fatal condition was also found. We are, needless to say, very sad.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Oil 16 x 16

The weather this week has been absolutely wonderful- mild, slightly breezy, sunny and everything is ....green...very green. Landscape painters will all tell you that green is the toughest color to get a handle on, the one most easily and often abused. Some respond by just not going there at all, and others go too far. I decided to celebrate spring by pulling out a color called cadmium green. Its made by Gamblin and its just the sort of color that would make you think of Wolf Kahn, not Deborah Paris. But its spring, and I'm celebrating.

I'm pleased to say that my work is included in the annual Plein Air Texas show which is put on by the Outdoor Painters Society. The exhibit includes about 50 artists and opens today at Southwest Gallery in Dallas, Texas.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Greenhouse Gallery show

Twilight at Scatter Creek Oil 15 x 18

This weekend, April 12, is the opening of the Greenhouse Gallery Salon International show in San Antonio. This painting and one other were accepted into the show. A small study for this piece was one of the first things I posted when I first started this blog back in September last year.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Panels & Palettes

The Pool at Dusk
Oil 20 x 30

After my last post (thanking everyone who responded), I got several emails this past week from people wanting to know what I had discovered on my quest to reproduce the Magic Panel. I got a huge amount of information and some differences of opinion, all of which I appreciate immensely. Right now I am doing my own little R&D project by testing out three different gessos (Artisan, Utrecht, and Art Boards) and Gamblin Ground on hardboard, gatorboard and birch. The plan is to make a bunch of different panels with different grounds and supports, paint on them, then report back.

I've also had several emails over the last few months asking about my palette. I talked a little about that and my technique for doing under paintings followed by layers of transparent color here. When I started to paint again about 18 years ago (yikes!), I started with a limited palette because that's what my teacher and mentor, Ned Jacob, used. I stuck with it for a long time and I'm glad I did. Limited palettes are great for teaching you how to mix color and making you focus on the components of color (value, temperature and chroma). As time went by, I modified the limited palette to suit my needs, but pretty much stayed with primaries, ivory black and white. Last year, when I started working in a more indirect manner, using glazes and scumbling, I knew that I needed to address opacity vs transparency, something I'd not ever really thought much about.

I started out by working with the transparent colors that are well known and obvious- ivory black, burnt sienna, sap green, ultramarine blue. I also already had a color called Shale by Vasari on my palette which is a rich warm transparent dark with a violet undertone. An artist friend suggested I try Indian Yellow - and that was all it took- I was hooked. Wow! what a color! Where had it been all my life!! What other colors had I been ignoring?!?

A little research quickly led me to Gamblin. I was already using some of their products (Gamsol, primarily) so I checked out their line of transparent colors. Now many are in my paint box- transparent orange (every bit as wonderful as it sounds), transparent earth yellow, transparent earth red, ultramarine violet, brown pink (delicious!), hansa yellow light, terre verte, olive green and indanthrone blue. I've also added naples yellow, which is opaque, but mixes beautifully with many of these transparent colors.

So that is how I went from three colors to a "joy ride in a paint box"( as Churchill once famously said) .