Monday, January 25, 2021

2021 Chickadee ~ Bird #12

 

4X6" miniature original watercolor - A Painting A Day

$145. (unframed)
Available to the 1st person to email
(framing $35 - shipping available at cost)
If unsold by 1/27 the price goes to $275

Another chickadee.  These are really cute little birds, I enjoy their coloring.

I hope you enjoyed yesterdays questions.  If you have other questions just send an email and maybe they will turn up in a post!

Wow, I cannot believe it is the last week of January.  It has been months since we spent any time with our usual group of friends.  It is clear we are not meant to be solitary creatures. Even Linda who is a bit of a loner is missing some social activity.  NOT that I am not doing my part to keep her entertained!  We needed to connect with friends.  We did a long Facetime with our friends the Woodruffs and our friends the Hildebrands stopped at the house for an "out on the porch chat" till it got too cold to be out (did not take long!).  But it really is important to keep in contact.  I will be taking down the exhibit at Willow Valley of Friday morning, another gauge on how fast the month went by, it feels like I just put it up.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Questions and Answers

Friday and Saturday I used to concentrate on a commission I am working on.  I will show you after the client sees it.  And  today was spent working on the video presentation for the Lititz Art Association.  I do plan finish the month with one more week of birds, then move on to another theme.  

I thought this would be interesting.  I read some questions the Huffington Post asked the founder of "A Painting A Day" and thought I would answer the same questions.  So, here goes.


1) Can you give me some stats for painting a day? How many years? How many paintings? How many sold?

My blog was launched in December of 2006 and I simply featured 2 larger paintings. My actual miniatures started in January of 2007 with some Holiday paintings. Here is my 1st one.








So 2021 starts my 15th year.  I believe the number painted is around 1,553 and all but a few have not sold.  The ones that do not sell get framed and put on my show stand at a regular price of between $225 and $400,  so eventually they all sell.

2) How has your painting a day practice affected your development... and your other paintings?

I thought I was at the top of my game, by 2007 I was already painting for a living for 28 years. My original plan was to get a little looser, paint one in 1-2 hours. I hated it. It was simply not who I am, so I went back to my style and simply accepted that it will take me hours to complete even a little 4x6" painting. But these allowed me to paint a whole new set of subjects and study pieces without investing time in a large painting. I could spend a week practicing my sky or the moon. After all these years of painting mini's it has made me more dexterous and more intuitive, I do not need to think about every brush stroke. It has made me a faster painter and I am hyper observant to the nuances of a painting and to my surroundings. And that's it, the daily concentrated practice is invaluable. I acquired skills and learned new methods that would not have happened without this practice. Even now, I learn new things.

3) Tell me about the range of your subject matter. Do you have some recurring/favorite subjects? I am a realist, so I paint what I see, wherever we last traveled or historic sight we toured. I always had a broad range of subjects, Linda never lets me get stale. But with the Painting A Day, I get to expand the subjects, at this point nothing is off limits, within the realm of realism. 4) How do people respond to painting a day? How important is it for you, and do you feel that it will continue a long time? I guess a measurement is how they sell. Being able to purchase a painting at a discount is a huge incentive for my clients who follow my blog. I paint for a living so the sale of these little paintings is important! I want my clients to see that I put as much into these as I do my larger paintings. I am not just dashing them out. I plan to continue, as long as I am enjoying the process.

5) What is the social aspect of making so many paintings? There is certainly a school of thought that the less number of your work out there the more valuable when your gone... Personally, I am not looking that far ahead. I have always been prolific. I try to add more to my blog than just selling a painting. What I see it doing is giving my clients a little view into my life, a life of a self employed full-time artist. A bit of a gypsy lifestyle. Sharing in a rather intimate way. Sharing where I travel, how I paint, how I set up at a show, what we are doing on a regular day.

6) Is there a philosophical and/or spiritual side to painting a day? hummm. I am a Christian, therefore spiritual, and I feel I am given a talent and it is my duty to practice it and give it my best. I am not trying for a political statement. I like to paint subjects that are calming, show a time in history, paintings you can sit and get lost in. I am not trying for a philosophical or spiritual side to my painting but I think when you view my work you get an understanding of who I am on a deep level..


Thursday, January 21, 2021

2021 Chickadee ~ Bird #12

 
SOLD!
4X6" miniature original watercolor - A Painting A Day

$145. (unframed)
Available to the 1st person to email
(framing $35 - shipping available at cost)
If unsold by 1/23 the price goes to $275


Chickadee is todays bird du jour!


HELP:  I am scheduled as a February Video Presenter with the Lititz Art Association and am stuck for a subject...I would like to tie in a short talk (lecture/encouragement) and a little bit of painting. 30 minutes long.  But I need a focus, a title, a direction... open to any ideas, feel free to leave an email using the above link.  I may even use your idea for a You-Tube video which I have not done in a while.  My producer (Linda) is not on the ball!  I am looking forward to exciting ideas.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

2021 Mockingbird ~ Bird #11

SOLD!
4X6" miniature original watercolor - A Painting A Day

$145. (unframed)
Available to the 1st person to email
(framing $35 - shipping available at cost)
If unsold by 1/22 the price goes to $275

I am not 100% sure what this bird is... but his color goes nicely with the berries!
UPDATE:  this is a Mockingbird!

Spent the day glued to the TV and my painting.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

2021 Broad Stripes and Bright Stars


SOLD!

6X4" miniature original watercolor - A Painting A Day

$145. (unframed)
Available to the 1st person to email
(framing $35 - shipping available at cost)
If unsold by 1/21 the price goes to $275

This flag flies around my corner at the Lititz Firehall.

I keep all things political out of my Blog and Facebook and all social media. I want my social media to be about my Art.  But every now and then I feel a little something needs said... or rather painted.   So on this special day in our democracy, no matter where you stand, no matter your views.  the peaceful transfer of power means something.  So I decided to paint a flag to remind us all to think how privileged we are.


Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?


Monday, January 18, 2021

2021 Woodpecker ~ Bird #10

 
SOLD!

4X6" miniature original watercolor - A Painting A Day

$145. (unframed)
Available to the 1st person to email
(framing $35 - shipping available at cost)
If unsold by 1/20 the price goes to $275

My first woodpecker. He has a totally different shape to him than the other birds. I draw free-hand and admit I erased several times and started over twice! I have been reminded that the bird is my focal point and needs to fill the paper, while I tend to get hung up on the overall scene.  After several attempts I am pleased.


THOUGHTS:
2021 starts my 15th year blogging and painting "A Painting A Day" I never expected to still be doing this and every year Linda asks if I want to stop, but I actually enjoy it. Most days anyway, sometimes there is pressure to finish a painting when there are other things I need or want to do. But the pressure is mostly self inflicted. Anyway; I read an article by the founder of "A Painting A Day" back in 2006 and I thought, "I could do that". Maybe a way to cut back on my hectic show schedule. I already painted daily so it was not a new discipline for me, just a smaller size. I like the idea that someone who loves my work can still get an original, one of a kind watercolor painting within a reasonable budget. These little gems still take me 5-7 hours to complete. Anyway, the reason for this story was to share that since that first year, Linda has ordered a book featuring each year of the blog. It literally has my whole life for the past 14 years. Every painting, every trip, and lots of thoughts and stories. Kind of cool.


This is my 2020 book... it just came today.


Sunday, January 17, 2021

2021 Wren ~ Bird #9


5X5" miniature original watercolor - A Painting A Day   
$275.

This is the last of the wrens. I was told she is sitting at a birdhouse with her babies.

Rambling Thoughts: How can a whole weekend go by without anything to talk about... We ordered take out from Lombardo in Lancaster. Sad that a drive to Lancaster is an exciting highlight. Two bike wheels I bought, used, arrived and I spent several hours cleaning them. There is more to that but Linda said it is only interesting to other bikers, so I will not bore you with how I had to remove the tires and scrape off excessive glue... It was fairly nice in Lititz on Saturday but we had 3 clients stopping in to pick up paintings and they were spaced just far enough apart that I could not leave. So no riding all weekend.  We binge watched a great western (Linda loves westerns!) Godless, yes it was pretty violent in a Western shoot em up way!   I can tell Linda is getting a bit buggy, I am seeing lots of saved travel searches. I am guessing the moment we get an "all clear" we are on the road (or airplane!). I am praying for a peaceful week for our nation.


Thursday, January 14, 2021

2021 Wren - Bird #8

 
SOLD!

4X6" miniature original watercolor - A Painting A Day

$145. (unframed)
Available to the 1st person to email
(framing $35 - shipping available at cost)
If unsold by 1/16 the price goes to $275

You can teach an old dog new tricks...
In 40+ years of painting I have learned to control my watercolors and how to layer my washes to get the realistic detail I like. After all, I am a realist. With many of these bird paintings I was trying to get a blurry, impressionistic background with my usual methods and it was not coming out quite the way I wanted. Normally I would start with the bird and do the background last. So this morning I decided to try a very wet on wet method. Outside my usual comfort zone. Lots of water, I had water floating on my pallet and dripping off my brush! I started with the background, giving you a hint of sky and foliage without any realism. Then the bird in my usual style. I am so excited with this one... it turned out just the way I imagined it. From an artistic point of view that is the reason for all the practice that A Painting A Day allows me.  I even surprised myself with this one.  Its a thrill to continue to learn and like any other gift, it still needs the daily practice.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

2021 Wren - Bird #7


SOLD!
4X6" miniature original watercolor - A Painting A Day
$145. (unframed)
Available to the 1st person to email
(framing $35 - shipping available at cost)
If unsold by 1/15 the price goes to $275

A wren.  Not as colorful as the other birds but he is so cute.  I want to point out that true to the old rules of watercolor, I do not use white paint.  I paint around the negative spaces and the white is my paper.  So all the snow is the paper.  So much easier in oil or acrylic where you can just add the highlights on the top.  Personally I enjoy the challenge.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

2021 Bluebird - Bird #6


SOLD!
4X6" miniature original watercolor - A Painting A Day
$145. (unframed)
Available to the 1st person to email
(framing $35 - shipping available at cost)
If unsold by 1/14 the price goes to $275

My last bluebird. A cute little thing sitting on what I think is an iron plant hanger in the snow.