Saturday, May 30, 2009

Taking A Breather

6 X 4 inch oil painting on canvas panel.

Here’s another in the bird series. The dark mask and all the colors on this Cedar Waxwing caught my attention. Doesn’t he look like he’s about to fly off and hunt?

On of my goals in painting this series is to loosen up my brushwork. I’ve been getting tighter and tighter in my landscapes. After going through a bunch of paintings from a couple of years ago I realized that I was loosing the bold brushwork that I started out with. I’ve been trying to keep the number of brush strokes to a minimum with these birds, to be lay down the paint with confidence and leave it there. Honestly, these are a blast to paint! They might just become a regular subject.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009


7 X 5 inch oil painting on canvas panel.

For about two and a half years I’ve been selling my paintings on Etsy. Since I’ve been around for a while now I’m getting a feel for what Etsy shoppers like in terms of subject matter. Many times it’s the administrators of the web site that choose which items will be featured in highly prized promotional areas of the site. And I’ve noticed that Etsy admins. love birds. Here is my attempt to be noticed by the administrators of the site and hopefully, get some free promotion.

I’ve been spending more time painting in the studio because with this pregnancy my comfort has become a high priority. Birds have been a subject I’ve wanted to paint for over a year and now that I’m inside a lot more I thought I’d give them a try. This was so much fun I’ve decided to do a series of them.

Thank you to everyone who has wished me well! I am happy to report that my morning sickness is finally gone. Aside from a few minor discomforts that are a normal part of this process I’m on to the fun part of being pregnant.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Jockeying For Position

14 X 11 inch oil painting on canvas panel.
$450 (FREE shipping in the U.S.)

Painted for the DSFDF challenge. Sometimes the hardest part of painting is choosing a subject. Before I started this I had been looking through my photo library trying to find an image to use as inspiration for a painting. At the last minute I checked the DSFDF blog and Karin had posted a new photo for us to work from. I was actually relieved that the choice had been made for me!

I haven’t had time to participate in the last few challenges but last week I had time to work on this one.

About a year ago a family member was kind enough to give me the gift of a 3-day workshop with Ken Auster. It couldn’t have come at a better time! I was primed and ready to hear what Ken had to say and after the workshop my paintings immediately improved. Ken is a master at painting cityscapes and everything I learned from him I applied here.

Have you take a workshop or class that has helped take your work to the next level? If so, I’d love to hear about it!

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Santiago Trail - A Study

8 X 6 inch oil painting on linen panel.

Normally, I like to keep my blog focused on painting, but now I have some news that will be keeping me away from my easel a bit more often. In November there will be another little VanDerHoek in our family! We are very excited!

The last couple of months have made it tough for me to get to my easel. I’ve had a couple of colds that then lead right into morning sickness and the exhaustion that comes with the first trimester. I’m hoping to be through it soon and will paint as often as I can. I really hope you will still keep up with my blog even though my posts may be sporadic!

Now back to painting. My friend Dori Dewberry and I finally got together and went painting. I decided to do a small study just in case morning sickness kicked in and I had to stop suddenly. My goal was to keep it loose and have fun.

Happy Mother's Day!

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Stars and Stripes on Glassell

10 X 8 inch oil painting on clay board.
$30 (plus $12 shipping in the U.S.)

Copperwood Artware Gallery in Orange has several of my paintings hanging inside. Recently, the owner asked if I would set up my easel in front of the gallery to attract attention to the show inside, to which I enthusiastically agreed. Although I had a fever and a cold that day, I had the opportunity to talk to passersby about painting and to direct them into the gallery to see more of my work (I’ve got to admit that was a very cool first-time experience for me).

This painting is a sidewalk scene in front of Copperwood looking towards the traffic circle in the center of Orange. It was challenging painting while talking to so many people (I don't know how painting teachers manage it). My head wasn’t very clear with the fever I had either, which is probably why I decided to try painting on clay board for the first time.

The board gave me a lot of trouble because there isn’t much tooth to it and my paint kept sliding around. I like thick paint and am finding that canvas panels primed with a few extra coats of gesso give me the tooth I need. I enjoy painting on linen as well.

What is your preferred surface and do you make it yourself?

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