Thursday, April 19, 2012

Frostless February

This is un-believable for this part of the world, but we painted up on the shore of Lake Ontario in February this year and there was no snow or ice to be found. It was great for painting of course. I sure hope we don't pay for such a mild winter this summer.


While I haven't posted anything to this blog in a long time, it doesn't mean I haven't painted in oils. It just means I've been REALLY, REALLY busy. I will be posting these paintings over the next couple of weeks, if things go according to plan.


I was recently emailed by a woman who said she was interested in purchasing two of my paintings. Now, having people contact me by email about a painting is nothing new, but something about this email sounded fishy. I did a little research online and sure enough, it is a complete SCAM. It just proves that you have to be careful all the time! The content of the email follows:

Joy Howard
Apr 16 (4 days ago)


Hope this message finds you well. I saw these creatives works on your
website and i will like you to get back with more details if they are
still available for purchase.

Purple Loosestrife and Summer (demo)

I will appreciate an urgent reply.

Best Regards,
Joy Howard.

A second email looked like this:

Joy Howard
10:41 AM (8 hours ago)

Hi Colette ,

Thanks so much for your response to my query about those creative
works. I will like to proceed with the purchase of both pieces (
framed and ready to hang ) . I will also like photo of Summer so i can
know how best to proceed. I will also like to know what inspire you
to make the pieces.

I will look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best Regards,

Since a lot of the people who read my blogs are artists, I want you to be aware so that you can protect yourselves!

Friday, April 22, 2011

September Color

I had found this cool little spot which is a part of the Braddocks Bay wetland area. I really don't think anyone else in town knows it's there. Which is good for me, since no one else was there during the time I was painting.

Three Boats

There is a private marina on the west side of the Genesee River that is always full of really amazing old boats in all states of repair. I can always find something interesting there. We had checked out another marina earlier, but things there were too nice and neat, so we moved on. These three boats caught my eye. Each one has a different personality, which made for a nice little trio.

Tree Line

I go to Burger Park often. This painting was done en plein air. I think I am seeing some improve- ment over the last time I was here. Still got a long way to go. SOLD

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blue Herons At Salmon Creek

This is the first oil which I feel is successful. The scene is accurate, BUT most impor-tantly, the values are correct and dark enough! YIPEE! I took some time the other day to just mix colors outside. What a great learning experience! With pastels, all the colors and values you might want are right there in front of you to pick and choose from. Not so with oils. I was able to take my time to match the colors to what I was seeing in nature without the pressure to complete a painting too. As I began this painting, I found it helpful to begin by premixing little piles of paint which were some of the obvious colors I saw in the scene. I think it also helped that this painting is a bit larger than what I had tried before (8x10). That's a bit closer to the size I am used to in pastel. Oh, and about the blue herons; they flew away shortly after I set up, but I figure they were still there in spirit.

Patti's Blue House

It's been a very long time since I did any art, let alone an oil. Life has been really messing up my plans. But I was able to get away one evening a week ago and headed up to my favaorite place in the world - the little park north of the Braddocks Bay Marina. Again I struggled with values and mixing the correct hue in oils. The scene is fairly accurate, though, and that's a good thing. But I can't seem to get the values dark enough and am not sure how to get those really dark values without resorting to using black, which is something I don't want to do. I want my dark values to sing with color, not black. Size 6x8

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer Scene

I haven't been out to paint in oils or pastels in over a month. I'd intended to paint with pastels today, but I left my pastel backpack at home. So I took it as an omen and decided to use oils. I'm pretty glad I did because I really like this one. I did discover that I need a different yellow than the cadmium yellow medium which I was using. It's too dark and orangy, making it impossible to get the fresh summer greens I was seeing. Chris suggested lemon yellow and that made a huge difference. 8"x10" $25.00

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hot Off the Presses! My Newsletter

I have recently developed a newsletter which I have emailed to anyone interested in what is happening with my art. If you would like to receive future editions, please send me an email and I will be sure that you name gets added to the mailing list. In the meantime, just click on this image and the current newsletter will come up full size.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Northampton Creek

I am definitely happier with this one - I even signed it. Done on location in North-ampton Park. I am still struggling to mix colors, but I am getting a better handle on values. The scene was a confusion of trees and branches, dead grass, debris... all of which required a lot of editing and simplification. I like the overall feel of the painting, though. $25.00

Fruit is Hard

Yep, doing fruit is hard. I figured that because the painting of apples came out well, that oranges should too. Wrong. I definitely will redo them in the near future, but only when I can concentrate on doing so. The biggest mistake I made with this is attempting to do it at my kitchen table when my kids and husband were home, and with my kids' friends in and out all evening. No wonder I like painting plein air - there are a lot fewer distractions!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Three Strikes and You're...

Apples! Two of them, on a plate. Now, I have to admit that I am pretty happy with this one, despite the fact that it took me 3 hours to do it. I don't care too much for painting still-life as a rule, but this was fun. Especially since it was snowing nasty, wet April snow outside. It was nice to be in where it was warm and I could drink my coffee without worrying about where the nearest bathroom was. I may do another one tomorrow! $25.00

Try,Try Again

My second attempt, this time with a new tube of white and an experi- enced oil painter - Chris O'Handley. I found a view I liked, set up, picked up a brush and then... my mind went completely blank. I honestly did not have a clue as to how to start. After futzing around a little, I began to remember all of the things I put to use in a pastel painting. Things like values, light, contrast and color all came back to me. I have to admit the color mixing and using a brush confounded me, but at least the values are close-ish and it does resemble the little ski shack it is. Chris gave me great suggestions and encouragement. I may even try this again someday. $25.00

First Oil

Here it is! My first painting in oil! Really bad, huh? I think so too. Here's why: no white paint. I grabbed one of every tube of paint I own - all 7 colors, including one large tube of Titanium White, and headed out to try my hand. Little did I realize that paint will get hard just sitting in the tube if enough time goes by. The tube of white was about 15 years old and it was like a rock. I didn't realize until I had everything all set up. Well, despite my best intentions this was not going to work, so I packed it all back up and headed home. I'll probably try it again. I hate to waste a board!

To Paint In Oils or Not To Paint In Oils...

I do a lot of shows over the course of a year and I have been often asked if my pastel paintings are in fact oils or if I paint in oils at all. The answer has simply been, "No, I really enjoy using pastels". And I have. But in all honesty, I've never learned to use oils and have never really wanted to learn... until now.

This past year, I have broken 4 pieces of glass on my framed pastel paintings. A couple of times the piece was ruined and the frames damaged. I am a practical and frugal person and I have always admired the durability of oils and the way my oil painting friends treat their finished work so casually - stacking them up, touching the surface, framing without the fragility and weight of glass. But I do love pastels. The range of colors and how I use them is a tactile experience that I never want to give up. They are a wonderful medium and I feel I still have so much to learn about them. I want to continue to grow old with them. But I took all of that broken glass to be a sign.

So I have decided it's time for me to expand my knowledge as an artist and teach myself to paint in oils. Some of the finest artists I know paint in both oils and pastels. I want to join their ranks.

I do have some experience as an artist. I write about my experiences with pastels in a couple of other blogs, but I'll have to see how well that knowledge translates to a new medium.

So here I go. This blog is devoted to the experience of learning how to paint in oils. I have no experience in painting in oils, as will be clearly evident. So wish me luck.