Saturday, May 26, 2012

Independent Iris

© A.K.SIMON - Independent Iris - 5"x7" Oil - $75

This Iris is the sole survivor of the harsh reality of season change. I thought that as of last week all of the Iris in my garden were spent. However, last night while mowing (not my favorite thing to do) I spotted this lone flower in a remote area of the yard beside a pine tree. Then I remembered (I am easily distracted)! Last year when I thinned the Iris plants I threw some of the rhizomes off to the side to plant later - never did get around to the task. The plant rooted itself and produced this one lone flower under the pine tree. How wonderful is this, to survive in spite of every adversity - an Ohio winter, smothered in pine cones and needles and totally in the shade. It goes to show that some things survive because of our efforts and some in spite of our negligence - nature looks after its own. Since I knew it wouldn't last through this scorching Memorial weekend, I cut it and took it to the studio to paint today - it deserves a memorial as a testament to its tenacity! I have decided not to move the plant.

This work was done on an oil-primed masonite panel. I'm really working on my grays so I concentrated on that today. I like the way everything but the flower is really grayed back to make it sing. Nature is so good at putting complimentary colors together - the yellow and purple are so harmonious and interestingly make gray when mixed. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Columbine Collective

© A.K.SIMON - Columbine Collective - 5x7" oil on masonite - $55

Could there be a more unique flower? Do they remind you of jellyfish?I have always wanted to paint columbine and today I just did it. I cut these from my garden and painted them in the sunlight from the window in my studio. However, since I continually view these in the sunlight (outdoors) I believe I was able to pull off a simulated outdoor feel. The other dilemma was making a composition to showcase the front and back of this flower because they are so unique from either angle. Here is my solution - I think it works. I almost didn't make it though - they are the last two blooms of the season. I think I'll do it again next year.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Really Red Roses

© A.K.SIMON - Really Red Roses - oil on masonite - SOLD

My favorite time of year is when each day brings a new flower to paint. Yeah, I know they've been done to death but I can't help myself. This spring, because we had such a mild winter, we are having some really beautiful blossoms. My iris look better this year than in the past five. These roses are Donna's and she put them in this white vase for the "Upstairs Painters" today. I just put the finishing touches on them so I could post them for Wed. I like the Victorian feel of these colors today.

My goal for this week was to get some panels pre-primed with oil paint. I've decided that I really like painting on a grayed-back, oil-primed panel. So, instead of throwing away what is left on my palette at the end of the day, I'm just mixing it all together and putting it on panels with the palette knife. They are really nice to paint on in a few days. Also, all the grayed mixture that doesn't get used for the panel is put in container to be used as a gray for the next day. This way I'm constantly challenging myself to not be such a slave to the color in front of me but to just play in the colors I have. Only drawback is letting the panels dry for a few days.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Of Sturdy Stock

© A.K.SIMON - Of Sturdy Stock - Oil on 5 x 7 masonite panel - $75


The week flew by and before I knew it I had missed blogging almost every day. But it was really worth the extra effort to get the studio cleaned and everything off the floor and on the wall for our first Canal Winchester Art Stroll, It was wonderful - the town was so alive and it was thanks to the art spirit that is abundant here. Thank you so much to everyone who turned out for this event - I heard only positive so I'm guessing it was well received and will happen again.

I finished this piece yesterday morning during open hours at the studio before the event. This plant deserves to be shown in a silver chalice. Why, you ask? About three years ago I planted a beautiful rose bush but I was so sad when it died by the end of summer. They really are needy plants and I obviously didn't provide what it needed. I said my goodbyes, shared my regrets and moved on to something less needy. Two years later there was a strange plant climbing up my fence. It seemed to grow at warp speed and before I could blink there was a full blown climbing wild rose vine all over my fence. So I asked a local rose expert how this could happen (a band of rose squatters perhaps). He said this plant is the "sturdy stock" that they graft hybrid roses to so they will thrive (not sure why mine didn't). So I was once again happy for that lovely rose scent in my garden. I decided I was in love again. I didn't need those big fluffy flowers if these little ones were less needy and smelled the same.

The story turned - by last summer's end I had trimmed this vine 73 times a week (hyperbole of course) and bore the scars of a seasoned veteran as proof. This was after it had consumed the fence, three potentillas and was half way up my profusion crab apple. So, by the end of last summer I was forced to exile the plant from my garden. Sometimes you can love something but you have to let it go for the good of the rest. 

Then it happened, almost like a ghost from the past this plant showed up in Tuesday morning's Upstairs Painters class. What was really weird was that it wasn't in the still life set up - it just lay there on the table daring my to start a new relationship. Did I dare? Should I give it more attention and be consumed by it's "viney" ways and heavenly scent. The proof is in the picture! I have fallen in love again but am a much wiser woman now and it is more of a loving respect for the dependability of this sturdy stock! I will continue to love it from a distance.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


I got a painting almost finished yesterday but with our upcoming art stroll I've been swamped with rehanging things and jewelry making so the painting is a "no go". Anyway, if you are in the area on Saturday, here is your official invitation!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Renegade Blossom

© A.K.SIMON - Renegade Blossom - Oil on Linen Panel - $55

The most striking part of this setup for our Tuesday morning "Upstairs Painters" group was the stark contrast of the one renegade blossom that stood in stark contrast to the vessel. I have been told that it is good to repeat shapes in a painting for the benefit of harmony. So, the large red light on the vessel mimics the shape of the renegade blossom and the positive shape of the leaf peaking from behind the pot on the left is a "positive puzzle piece form" that fits in the negative space in the top, brightest area of the vessel (just picture it with the point up). Trying to mimic shapes without being so obvious was the goal. I think it works.

Hubby (and self proclaimed art critic) thinks I should have shown more of the vessel because it is too ambiguous but I say, "come on, you really can't tell this is a plant flowing out of the pot and all the edges are covered (left brainers - gotta love em, they keep us balanced)?"

Friday, May 4, 2012

Gerbera and Gold

© A.K. SIMON - Gerbera and Gold - Oil on linen panel 


I bought this Gerbera daisy on Monday and did three paintings this week of the plant. I've just been experimenting with color combinations and mood. Picture this, a shelf far from the window in the kitchen. It's  early, early morning when the sun is just rising - that is the light I was trying to achieve just from previous memories. Though I had the reference, I was trying to manipulate a feeling. This one has the feel for me, but I'm sure I'll keep trying.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Groovy Gerbera

©A.K.SIMON - Groovy Gerbera - oil on linen - $40

Another spring, neon pot holding a bright red flower. These colors are so retro I had to call it "groovy".  I painted two of these today and will show the other tomorrow. This work was a study in color juxtaposition, my favorite part is the upper left corner where the light purple and red meet. I find that a "good vibration" area.

A quick thank you note to all who have commented on my work and expressed your appreciation for my posting it regularly. This is a huge undertaking for me as it really pushes my to accomplish things at a much quicker pace. Also, welcome to all of you who have signed up to follow through google or e-mail - I am honored that you are interested!
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