Clearly, I will most likely not reach my goal of 20 paintings in the 30-day challenge, but I am oh-so-ok with that. :)
'Creating' has always been life-giving to me; it spurs me on like nothing else. Because of that, I feel infinitely blessed that I get to chase this dream from the comfort of my home. And, because I'm also immeasurably blessed to have a family, the balance of all these things requires an ebb and flow, win-some, lose-some, one day at a time approach. This day (and the last several), I'm taking it easy. :) We're all a little sick, we're all still adjusting to the school schedule (okay, maybe that's just me), and I'm trying hard to choose my bed over my paintbrush. It's been good - my blood pressure monitor is thanking me. :)
Ok, this little guy - I took this photo several years ago while visiting family in New Hampshire. It was early November, it was rainy and it was lovely. I've yet to visit New England at the peak of fall color - would LOVE to. I get serious east coast envy at this time of the year. ;)
I tried hard to choose a unique composition for this light - didn't feel like making any ol' lighthouse painting. And, hey, why not make the sky a little on the turquoisy/teal side while I'm at it. I am an artist after all. ;)
So, this was a major challenge, probably mostly because I was really trying to hurry and finish before prime 'outdoor photographing hours' disappeared. In fact, it's thanks to my husband that I actually have something to post. ;) He stopped me from wiping away the entire thing out of sheer frustration. Instead, I took a break, enjoyed a beautiful sunset, came back and wiped away everything except the car. And then everything was so much better. Simplify, simplify, simplify. :)
Oh, speaking of Daily Paintworks, they have a new monthly contest with cash prizes and my entry 'Peeling Potatoes' (below) for last month was one of the judges picks! Yay! I get a free month's membership and all the work I post this month will be up near the top of the page. Better get to painting!
When I paint this frequently, I sorta get more and more critical of each piece; - I start to think, "Oh, the next one will be better, the next one I'll be so much faster!" (I prefer to think of it not as overly critical; instead, I'm an eternal optimist!)
Anyway, in trying to achieve 'better', I then choose more difficult reference photos as the week goes on, and pretty soon I'm spending every free moment of the day on one painting!
(You can imagine what my house looks like right now.)
Sheesh. Gotta chill out. :)
Back to the painting: This morning scene was captured last fall, just around the corner from our house. One of many mornings that I rushed back to the house to get the camera after dropping off my son at school.
Thanks for sticking with me this week - I gotta go order a pizza to feed my family. :)
And, then, trying to get a good picture of it - not easy!
This little scene is from one of the quaint hilly streets in Astoria, Oregon.
I love cruising around Astoria on a sunny day, admiring all the charming houses perched perilously on hillsides.
Astoria is one of the oldest cities on the West Coast, and a large portion of her first immigrant settlers were from Finland, the land of my forefathers. I get a kick out of seeing 'Suomi Hall' (now a retail store) and other Finnish names around town - makes me feel at home. ;)
Painting daily is super beneficial - I'm excited to see how I grow and stretch during the rest of the month.
It seems I'm on a bit of a floral kick - see, I'm stretching myself already! And, it's pink! I'm not typically a fan, but this pansy face got me. It was one of those that seem like a wiper almost all the way through, but, just near the end, it came together and I'm happy with the result.
This was another really fun one to paint - and who can resist a backlit sunflower? This one is growing in my sister's front yard - so warm, sunny, summery, warm ;) ...love it. But, to me, they also give off the first sneaky feelings of Fall...which I also love, but not quite yet!
Speaking of Fall, today was the first day of school for my boys -- here they are all ready to go! (Second grade and kindergarten.) It is so cool to see them grow and experience these big milestones. I'm so blessed. :)
We packed a whole lot of fun into our last two weeks of summer vacation, and I'm actually looking forward to the boring ol' routine that the school year brings. Let's just keep the warm temps here for a while longer, k?
So, the super-energetic artist Leslie Saeta has issued another 'thirty paintings in thirty days' challenge and I have joined the fun. The challenge runs for the month of September, and thankfully, there really are no rules, other than to attempt a daily painting as often as you can and then link it up on her blog. Thirty in thirty is a HUGE stretch for me, but I'll do my best. Who's counting, right? ;) I'll post a link to her blog frequently - it's fun to see what everyone is coming up with! And, if you like that, be sure to check out Daily Paintworks (where I sell my work), - they post a new crop of paintings every single day.
Oh, about this painting - black-eyed susans. One of my very favorite flowers and thankfully, one of my neighbors has a nice little bunch.