Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ready For Planting


12 X 16 inch Oil Painting on canvas board.

Orange County California is a landscape painter’s paradise! In 20 minutes, I can be at the beach, the mountains in an urban setting or next to a farm.

This small farm is sandwiched between a new housing development and one of the largest retail centers in the area. The day I painted this the workers had just finished getting the field ready to be planted. I drove this spot a week later and the new crops were in already. I am curious to see what they are growing. The most likely crop for this area is, strawberries. Mmmmm strawberries!

For now I am hanging onto this painting. The Orange County Fair and the Orange Open art show are coming up and I think this would be a good one to enter into both juried competitions.

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Please Vote For Me!

If you enjoy my work I would appreciate your vote. I've added my Etsy site to the Top 100 Perfect Handmades on Etsy list. You can rate my shop and leave comments. While you're there check out some of the other Etsy sellers on the list. You'll find art, dolls, jewelry, bath products and more. Thank you!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Step By Step 2

In the next phase of this painting I've added the sky color and more of the background shapes. I'm paying close attention to the edges where the leaves meet the sky. If the edges are too clean then the painting will look overly focused. I am also adding sky holes in the leaves and smudging them a bit.

The foreground brush goes in next. At this point I'm trying not to over-mix my paint so that each stroke has some color variation.

Finally, I work in my ground color, yellows and oranges for the sunlit spots. I could have made the shadow of the tree all one color but then it would have lacked depth. And it was a perfect opportunity to work in some color from other parts of the canvas to give the overall painting harmony.

My signature was all it needed at this point.

Feel free to email me if you would like me to paint something special for you at

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Step By Step 1

Recently, a collector of mine asked me to paint a larger version of one of my paintings. I thought you might enjoy seeing each stage of the painting process. This was done in the studio so I did work a little differently but basically the overall steps are the same.

First, I started out using a thin wash of ocher to draw in my shapes.

Next, I put in the under-painting on the tree trunks and the leaves.

Then I added highlights on the leaves and added color and interesting brushwork to the tree trunks.

The final photo shows my easel, which lives in a small corner of my dining room (a grand studio, for sure). At this point I’ve blocked part of the background vegetation. The most difficult part at this point is keeping myself from going back and overworking every little detail. I have to keep telling myself to leave it alone or I’ll kill the spontaneity and the bold brushwork.

Next time I’ll post the final steps leading to the completion of this painting.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

March Snow

”MARCH SNOW” by Kim VanDerHoek.

5 X 7 inch Oil Painting on canvas board.
$55 (Shipping $11 within the U.S., $20 for Canada or $28 for everywhere else)

Last weekend my husband and I took our son up to the mountains to see snow for the first time. After getting over his initial shock at how cold snow actually was, he had a blast! And as a bonus I got some time to paint while the two of them played.

Since I knew I needed to be quick, I kept this one small. A wise decision since there were many interruptions: cold fingers, wet gloves, “mommy look at this,” snack time and several owies. The wind was blowing so yes, there is a bit of dirt in the paint. A hazard of painting en plein air (outside, at the scene).

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Saturday, March 15, 2008


”SKYLIGHT” by Kim VanDerHoek.

4 X 6 inch Oil Painting on canvas board.

Halfway through this painting the clouds lit up and I had to work quickly to capture their magic on canvas. I pushed the color in the sky a bit to make it more dramatic.

I am thinking of entering it into the “Art That’s Small In City Hall” art exhibition in Laguna Beach. If it makes it into the show I’ll keep you posted. Wish me luck!

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Crimson Boat

”CRIMSON BOAT” by Kim VanDerHoek.

4 X 6 inch Oil Painting on canvas board.
$45 (Shipping $11 within the U.S., $20 for Canada or $28 for everywhere else)

This red boat was an exercise in speed and composition. When I arrived at the beach and began unpacking my gear all the colors were muted because of the overcast sky. I knew that might change over the course of the day so I decided to work small. I wanted to finish several paintings as the clouds burned off and the light changed.

I could have focused solely on the boat but I wanted to experiment with my composition. I liked how the vertical lined of the pier posts contrasted with the horizontal line of the boat. Heavy brush strokes and thick paint helped me add spice to this little one.

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Saturday, March 8, 2008


”THUNDERHEAD” by Kim VanDerHoek.

8 X 10 inch Oil Painting on canvas board.

In California we rarely have dramatic cloud formations. For those of you who live in other parts of the world you might laugh when I say that there is a drawback to having blue skies 90% of the time. It makes for some amazing weather but doesn’t give me as a painter many opportunities to study them.

Luckily, with all the recent rain I’ve had a few chances to paint clouds. And now that the sun has returned there are wildflowers everywhere, which I’ll try to get out to paint soon. Orange poppies (our state flower), purple lupine and verdant green hills everywhere. Those same hills have been brown for a long time because we’ve had a drought for several years now. It’s nice to see the color come back to this beautiful place!

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Overlooking Jeffrey Road


12 X 16 inch Oil Painting on canvas board.

It was the telephone poles that captured my interest when I first saw this view. They have their own personality leaning this way and that. I'm looking forward to going back there in the summer to see how the colors have changed.

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Monday, March 3, 2008

The Golden Hour

”THE GOLDEN HOUR” by Kim VanDerHoek.

12 X 16 inch Oil Painting on canvas board.

The day I painted this was the first time in over a week that we had sunshine. For half a day the clouds parted and you could almost feel the warmth of the sun. I lucked out because as soon as I was packing up my gear the clouds rolled back in and it started to drizzle.

In case you are wondering where this is in California, it is in Corona Del Mar looking south.

While painting this I heard sea lions barking off the shore and an enthusiastic songbird in a nearby tree. What a wonderful way to spend the morning!

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