Friday, January 31, 2014

These are Done in 30 Days






















These are the paintings that got finished in 30 days and the holes are for those that are still in the works. January was a big painting month - I have to admit there were some days I didn't want to paint so I didn't. But, there were also some days when I wanted to paint but couldn't because of other work obligations. I feel I accomplished as much as I could and am very pleased!
Evening Hours At Home

©A.K.SIMON - Evening Hours at Home - 10"x8" - oil on linen - $125

Day 30 in 30 paintings in 30 days challenge - http://lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/

Based on the Quote: Don't you stay at home of evenings? Don't you love a cushioned seat in a corner, by the fireside, with your slippers on your feet? by Oliver Wendell Holmes

The gist is, when it looks like this outside, you're not thinking of anything but a warm shelter.

This painting is a rework. I worked all day at another job so I only had a small amount of time to work today on this. I don't know why I didn't think of this before but I decided to dig those paintings that I sort of like out from under the bed and rework one of them. As I'm sure you've heard and even lived through, these past few days have been bitter cold in Ohio and many places. But how much have I really suffered. Well yeah the electric went out once and the house got down to 52 but even that happened at night while we were snug under the covers. And we wouldn't have even known if it weren't for every smoke alarm in our house going off and the dog barking furiously to let us know. Must have been some kind of power surge before going off. Hurrah for battery back-up. Imagine two grown adults trying to pull batteries out while perched on a chair with no light. Not to mention your heart is racing a mile a minute because you've just been awakened from a sound sleep by their screech. 

Back to the part about not suffering too much. When all the batteries were out and our hearts had returned to normal rhythm, my husband said, "don't you just love the feel of the cool sheets on your feet when you first climb into bed. It is such a comfort." I knew just what he meant. My mind went immediately to the artist Jim Dine who painted these life size bathrobe pieces (just do google images of Jim Dine if you're not familiar). I knew just what he was getting at as far as viewer response. They were like warm friends at the end of the day. They offered no judgement and were always there for you without question!

Please use this Sunday to think about the less fortunate. I have donated a piece of artwork to be auctioned at a local "Souper Bowl Sunday" event that will be held in our local food pantry. This Sunday is hunger awareness day. If you're local, please come out and support the event on Sunday. If not, I hope you can find one of these events in your neighborhood too as it is now a national event.

The 30 days are over and I did not get 30 paintings done - guess I'll go visit that nonjudgemental, always there to comfort bathrobe!




Tuesday, January 28, 2014

One Grand Wonder

© A.K.SIMON -  One Grand Wonder 8"x8" oil on linen - SOLD

Day 28 in 30 paintings in 30 days - http://lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/

Based on the Quote:  “It is the one great wonder. . . every American should see." 
Theodore Roosevelt

I had heard this quote by Teddy Roosevelt my whole life and never really understood it until I went there. I felt a little guilty that I got to see it and there are so many Americans who haven't or may never get to see the Grand Canyon. I truly understood the quote at that moment. This is a wonder that the whole human race needs to share. 

There are no words to describe the canyon and there are so many artists who have painted it that I was pretty "cocky" in even trying. Every once in a while when I really want to challenge myself, I try. I did one at the head of the Kaibab trail and "yuck" but there is one good tree in it. This one is a little closer to the feel I got there when I fist saw it but not quite there for me. There are so many angles and then there's the linear perspective and atmospheric perspectives to deal with not to mention the color issues and sun angle. I would like to spend some time there just studying and painting but you need a permit to do that now. I was told that because the tourists rally around painters in the canyon it creates traffic issues. I believe they do hold an event once a year where they invite certain artists to come and paint then they show the work in the Kolb Studio.  

Once again, I feel the painting is better than the picture I got but isn't that always the case?

Here's a link on some facts about the Grand Canyon that you might find interesting. Just hit next to scroll through the 7 facts: http://www.livescience.com/31903-amazing-grand-canyon-facts.html


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Touch of Nature




© A.K.SIMON - A Touch of Nature - 8"x8" oil on linen SOLD

Day 22 in 30 in 30 days - http://lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.  William Shakespeare

Playing around with some landscape paintings. I used to paint them all the time but decided they were awful and put my nose to the grindstone for two years painting only still life. Now I want to get back to using some of what I learned about light into my nature scenes. This is a study for a larger painting. It has the feel of the place for me. This is a waterfall in Mohican State Park in Ohio.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Color Rules


©A.K.SIMON - Color Rules 8"x8" oil on linen - $100
SOLD

Day 21 - 30 paintings in 30 days - http://lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/

This painting is based on this quote: An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while a pessimist sees only the red stoplight... the truly wise person is colorblind.                                                          Albert Schweitzer

This fabric was a nightmare! Another challenging still life set up by Donna for the "upstairs painters".  I would have to say some of the group chose to do other work on this day (you know who you are). Donna said this fabric (I believe it's upholstery fabric) was a gift from one of her students. What was she thinking? I actually think this painting glows in the dark.
It's official, I am the world's worst photographer. I don't know why I am having so much trouble lately but this painting looks so much better in real life. I have decided that this year's resolution is to learn how to take the best pictures of my work. Any advice is certainly welcome. I know I have the right cameras and am trying to use the best light, but I am missing something!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Beauty in the Mountains

©A.K.SIMON - 8"x8" oil on linen - Beauty in the Mountains - $100

Day 7 of 30 paintings in 30 days: http://lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/

Based on the Quote: "What would be ugly in a garden constitutes beauty in a mountain."
by Victor Hugo - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder would also fit!
Although everyone else is at day 21 I backed up this weekend and finished day 7 (plus a few more). I had started this on Jan. 7th but didn't get it finished. I just really liked the light on this markhor goat at the zoo and how you might not even notice the goat (because he blends with the background rocks) if it weren't for those awesome horns. And, we are challenging ourselves right now so, though I love animals, I don't often paint them. Don't you just love how animals are so unimpressed with humans? 


Here's some info and a link to read more about this guy:The markhor is an endangered species of wild goat that is natively found in the mountainous regions of western and central and Asiahttp://a-z-animals.com/animals/markhor/

Monday, January 13, 2014

Shedding Light


©A.K.SIMON - Shedding Light - 8"x8" oil on linen - $100

Day 13 - 30 paintings in 30 days - http://lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/

Got a new camera and am still trying to work out the intricacies - this picture will get better. I just didn't want to go another day without posting a painting.

Based on this quote: “The sun rises each morning to shed light on the things we may have overlooked the day before.”   Tyler J. Hebert

Isn't this just a perfect quote for artists who paint stills of everyday objects. This plant sprayer sits on a table in my studio. I have managed to kill every plant I have had in there but the sprayer remains. Maybe it's the oil paint fumes. The part of the wooden  box that you see was a gift from one of my husband's friends. It is a hand-inlaid Bible box. He gave the gift to me when I opened my studio/gallery space almost 8 years ago. I have opened that box many times for inspiration in these past eight years.  I painted this with the afternoon sun coming in the window and decided to make it as dramatic as possible. I love drama in paintings - abhor it in life!

Have two other paintings in the works but sometimes I just can't do it all in one day but I am painting every day now.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Broken Home

©A.K.SIMON - Broken Home - 8"x8" oil on linen 
SOLD

Day 9 of 30 paintings in 30 days: http://lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/

Wow, I didn't get to start this till really late in the day and had to hustle to get it done but I'm clocking in at 11:54 PM. I also work another job so sometimes that gets in the way. I did the set up for this and there was some juice all around the counter but it just look too much like blood to put it in the painting. Just pretend, OK.

Todays quote is the Oscar Wilde's book: A House of Pomegranates “What men call the shadow of the body is not the shadow of the body, but is the body of the soul.” 

I took a bunch of pictures of the set up so I can revisit it and do a series. Tomorrow I have to catch up on day 7 and finish day 10.



Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Life is Bitter, Life is Sweet

©A.K.SIMON - Life is Bittersweet - 8'x8' oil on linen - SOLD

Day 8 (day 7 in still in the works) in the 30 paintings in 30 days: http://lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/

I started something yesterday that I don't normally do and I just didn't get it done. I'll wait till it's done and you'll know what I mean. It's mainly painted for my grandson because we made up a song this summer (he is 2 and told his mom that he wanted to phone me today - I melted when he called). 

This is some bittersweet on its last legs and a vase from Big Lots (I think that's what Donna said). This looks much better in real life. I took this picture at night again. I don't know how you all get your work done and on first thing in the morning. I should have started in December!

Here's the quote and it's from a book on my TO READ list which gets about as much attention as my TO DO list. “It's not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What's hard, she said, is figuring out what you're willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about.” Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way

Seems appropriate when we are all putting some things aside to invoke change!



I

Monday, January 6, 2014

Returning Home


©A.K.SIMON - Returning Home - 8"x8" oil on linen - $100

Right before I got married almost 34 years ago, I returned home for the summer. My lease was up on my apartment and there was only two months before I would be married. So, I moved back in with my mother and stepfather. I have decided, once you leave its borders, you can never return again. Nothing was the same, I had grown beyond my home.

 So, here is the quote for today: “Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; You have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits.” 
― Cindy Ross

This piece was a struggle and I feel that shows in the work. But, is that a bad thing? There is quite a bit of texture that's lost in the picture and many different kinds of marks. Sure it could be more successful, but it's where I am today and I cannot change that! On to tomorrow!!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

From Dark to Light or Light to Dark

©A.K.SIMON - From Dark to Light or Light to Dark - 8"x8" oil on linen NFS

Day 5 of 30 in 30 days - http://lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/

This one is Based on a Quote by Plato: A sensible man will remember that the eyes may be confused in two ways - by a change from light to darkness or from darkness to light; and he will recognize that the same thing happens to the soul.  ~Plato


Spent the morning with hubby, then dog walking, then laundry - every excuse not to paint, right? Well I was getting that nagging feeling of failure so I painted this one (started about 3:00 PM). I had worked out many compositions yesterday while Jerry (husband) attended to an art opening in the Arts District. He is a real people person and was a huge success (well handing out the hot chocolate with whipped cream may have had something to do with it). This one is an "S" composition and sort of reminded me of the animals being led two by two onto the ark. Oh well,  I like it and am not going to sell it quite yet. I need a donation for the Columbus Museum of Art Women's Board fundraiser and this might just be it! 

This one was painted from a photo I took from a set up Donna had in our "Upstairs Painter's" class on Tuesday mornings. I painted this painting another time and it was full frontal perspective. I have to say I like this above perspective better. The plant is a bedraggled poinsettia and the lid is off of the vessel in the background. As far as technique, this one is about 50% spatula and 50% brush.

Now I need to go figure out tomorrows colors. I guess we are going to be snowed in so it will be a great day to paint! But then again, every day is a great day to paint!

PS Photo could be better because this is really wet and was taken at night in my studio.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Not a Bowl of Cherries






















©A.K.SIMON - Not A Bowl of Cherries - 8"x8" oil on linen - $100

Day 4 in 30 paintings in 30 days - http://lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/

It took me so long to finish this one today because I kept leaving it and coming back to it. Sometimes you know just the direction you'll take then when that doesn't work you walk away. But, as my son says, "it nags at your brain" and you come back. Because, after all, it's only a painting and you are in this challenge and you don't want to fall short of your own expectations. 

So, I hope this one is obvious as far as quote. "Life's a bowl of cherries" (and we all know it isn't so I "nixed" the bowl). Life is more like a cherry here and there and that's probably what keeps us on our toes looking for the next scrumptious fruit!

I kind of like this piece in the end. I was watching a DVD that I received from a friend/teacher about visual structure. It is a recording of a workshop that was put on for film makers. Go figure, they use the same design principles we use in static paintings to lead you through the entire film. It is very interesting and I have applied those principles in this composition. I have a strong vertical, strong horizontal with some diagonals which all culminate in basically a triangular visual field.

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Flowers Smile

©A.K.SIMON - 8"x8" oil on linen $125

Day 3 in 30 in 30 challenge: http://lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/2014/01/thirty-paintings-in-30-days-day-three.html

Day 3 and I'm already overwhelmed, mostly by all the computer posting that needs to be done. I'm so impressed at all the people who have their work posted early in the morning. I never make it before the end of the day. 

This pieced is based on the quote: "The flower in the vase smiles, but no longer laughs." Most of the work was done with my spatula tool and palette knives. I liked it better at an earlier stage but "OH WELL. I know you've all been there!

Good luck to everyone!
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