Friday, January 31, 2014

all together now!

New York Streetscapes
31 Paintings in 30 Days 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

"more than enough"

"more than enough"
24" x 48" oil on gallery wrapped canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

So here we are, the very last day of the 30 Day January Challenge!!  I can't tell you what a sense of relief I have now that it is over!! I paint every day. Even on weekends.  BUT I don't complete a painting every day and have it ready to post and show the world!  That is a lot of pressure. And this time around, I wanted to complete a series of larger works.  I did use several days for studies which were 8" x 8" but the majority of paintings were 16" x 20" and larger.  This is the largest at 24" x 48".   I either love a challenge or I'm crazy :)
My family would say..crazy.

I want to thank all the generous Facebook friends that provided me with pictures of New York.  I couldn't have done it without you!  And thanks to everyone for your comments and support.  It brings a smile to my face and keeps me going.

 I even did a bonus painting for the challenge....so I guess it was 31 Paintings in 30 Days!  I posted a picture of it yesterday on Facebook but for those of you that didn't get to see it, here you go.  The king of Times Square.....the Naked Cowboy :)  Thank you to my friend artist Kathy Collins for the great picture!

"Kathy's cowboy"
12" x 9" oil on paper
©2014dottietleatherwood
Not For Sale




Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"primary observations"

"primary observations"
20" x 20" oil on gallery wrapped canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

Bright and happy...that's how I feel when I look at this painting.  I would love to paint this again but larger, focusing on the people more the next time.  I am really loving incorporating the figure into my streetscapes now.  Sometimes as a focal point and sometimes just as another object to support the painting.  Only one more day to go in this challenge! What a month!

I'm going to go dig out from under the 1" of snow we got last night and see if I can make it to my studio :)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

"summer street corner symphony"

summer street corner symphony
30" x 24" oil on gallery wrapped canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

The greens of summer.... they are easy to forget this time of year. In fact, we are expecting snow today so I am loving the bright clear colors of a summer day.   I used the photo below as a jumping off point for this composition. In fact, this is the second time I painted from this photo. If you look closely, you can see a lot of differences.  I was intrigued with the posture of the man on the corner and I did want to use that... and also the cars, but after that I just painted.

Here is the inspiration photo:

Monday, January 27, 2014

"elemental and intangible"

"elemental and intangible"
30" x 20" oil on gallery wrapped canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

This is one of my favorites from this series of work.  Although my photograph of it doesn't quite capture it, the light in this just shimmers.  I left parts of the painting very loose and concentrated on the main focus.

 Only a few more days of the challenge!  I would like to say I am ahead of the game and finished but I still have work to do today on the last few paintings.  Plus, for some crazy reason, in the middle of everything... I started an extra painting yesterday.  Glutton for punishment.

Here is the photo that I used for inspiration:

Sunday, January 26, 2014

"untitled study"

"untitled study"
9" x 12" oil on canvas
Not For Sale

Another quick study for a larger painting.  Although this one should be titled "ghost town" because there are no cars, people or signs of life.  I was playing around with a very limited palette in this one but I think it is a bit too limited to get my idea across.  I want to add more of that french blue that is on the building left and the values need to change more.  The street needs to be noticeably different than the buildings.  It is actually darker in the painting but just doesn't translate in the photo. Also my buildings are too equal in width.  Lots of adjustments to make!

That is the good thing about a study.... you can solve your problems much earlier.  I am trying to get in a habit of doing these more often before I launch into a big complicated painting.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

"shadow patterns study"

"shadow patterns study"
10" x 8" oil on linen panel
©2014dottietleatherwood

Another study, trying to decide if I had enough information for a larger painting.  I really liked the strong darks and lights.  Because this little nugget is such a very small part of the photo that I chose to paint from, any details that I include will be from my imagination.  It's also funny to me how much tighter my studies are than the larger paintings I paint.  Seems like it should be the reverse.

By the way, my studies are for sale and for much less than my larger works. And they are usually painted on panels so they will fit in any standard store frame.

I have a couple of larger works that I am almost done with.  I'm not ready to post them yet.  Not to mention, it would be nice to have a warm, sunny day to photograph them! Have a wonderful weekend!

Oh, and here is the photo I painted from:

Friday, January 24, 2014

"patiently waiting"

A slightly abstracted streetscape.  Once again playing with color and shape and just enough detail to read.

Is there a such a thing as "patiently waiting" in traffic in New York?  :)  

"patiently waiting"
12" x 9" oil on linen panel
©2014dottietleatherwood

Here is the donated photo I painted from:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

"downtown, everything's waiting for you"

So here is the bigger version of the study that I posted this weekend.  I really liked this composition with all of the grays contrasted with the bright lights.  I did change a couple of things.  I eliminated the snow from the sidewalk.  I liked the texture but I thought it was too distracting.  I increased the color in some of the buildings on the left to balance out the strong brick color on the right and left out some of the details on the buildings because I thought they didn't add anything to the painting.  I posted the study at the bottom of this post so you could compare the two.  What do you think?

By the way, they are both for sale.  Oh, and you can guess what song was playing on Pandora when I was painting this can't you? :)

 "downtown everything's waiting for you"
36" x 36" oil on gallery wrapped canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

Here is the study for the larger painting:

study for downtown
8" x 8" oil on panel
©2014dottietleatherwood

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"afternoon vignette"

This was such a fun little painting to do.  Still playing around with how little detail I have to include to make a object read as a structure.  I also started with a dark underpainting which is not something I usually do.  I wanted to do this bridge much larger but first I wanted to see if the idea I had would work. I think it does!  Going bigger soon :)

afternoon vignette study
9" x 12" oil on gallery wrapped canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

Here is the donated photo that inspired me:

Monday, January 20, 2014

"study for going home"

Another study today for a larger painting.  Haven't started on this one yet. Dreamy colors, right?  I hope to start this week and have it done before the end of the challenge :)


study for going home
8" x 8" oil on panel
©2014dottietleatherwood


Here is the donated photo that was my inspiration:




Sunday, January 19, 2014

"study for downtown"

study for downtown
8" x 8" oil on panel
©2014dottietleatherwood

This is a study that I did in preparation to do a much larger painting.  I do this sometimes (not as often as I should!) to work out the color and any composition issues first.  I completed the larger painting this morning and will post it later this week :)

Here is the donated photo I painted from:

Saturday, January 18, 2014

"red hair and big sunglasses"


This is a really fun change from yesterday.  I did this painting quickly, even for me.   I wanted to focus on color and the loose brushstrokes without over thinking what I was doing.  I wanted to keep the figures loose and just enough detail to translate. It almost has a "vintagey" feel to it....like an illustrated ad from years ago.

 Have a great weekend! I am headed off to ski the rest of the weekend away in West Virginia!  :)

red hair and big sunglasses
30" x 20" oil on gallery wrapped canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood


Here is the photo I painted from:


Friday, January 17, 2014

"notes of indigo"

I had painting class yesterday and paintings to ship when I got home.  Didn't leave much time for painting.  I had started this painting on Wednesday and returned to finish it yesterday evening. These days, I am always focusing on painting loosely and trying to include only the most essential information and leave a little to the viewer's imagination.  Some days it works better than others.  I got this painting to this point and loved it just like it was.  Not a lot of color, which is very unusual for me but I didn't feel like it needed more.  Although, the whites in this painting do have more color in them than is coming through in the photo.  Not sure what's up with that.)  I love the design of this and will probably paint it larger later on.

notes of indigo
16" x 12" oil on gallery wrapped linen
©2014dottietleatherwood



Thursday, January 16, 2014

"temptation"

"temptation"
16" x 12" oil on canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

This photo was almost too pretty to paint but I couldn't resist those reflections.  Not to mention painting a summer day right here in the middle of January.  Hence the title of the painting :)

Here is the donated photo I painted from:


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"cardinal red"

"cardinal red"
20" x 16" oil on canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

I like painting rainy days better than I like being in one.  Loved the reflections and all the bright pops of color against the grays.  And the woman's headscarf.  Reminds me of the one my grandmother would always pull out of her purse to cover her hair.  She always had an extra one to offer me but I was too mortified to put it on!  I'd wear it now just to make her happy.

Interesting story about the name on this one.  I laid in the darks and was just starting on it when the vegetable  delivery guy showed up with my box of goodies for the week.  I went inside my home and put everything away and came back to my studio about 10 minutes later.  As I got to the top of the stairs, what do I see but a bird perched on my canvas.  Another 10 minutes of chasing the bird out of my studio ensued before I got back to painting. :)  Got to remember to shut the door when I leave.

Here's the donated photo I used:


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"uneven surface ahead"

I was telling a friend yesterday about this painting.  I couldn't have dreamed of a more perfect reference photo for content and concept.  When I saw it, I knew it was perfect!  The bride and groom, just married walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to start their new life together.  All the possibilities of life ahead of them and as they start their journey, there is a sign off to the right that reads "uneven surface ahead".  If that doesn't sum up marriage then I don't know what does!!

I love paintings with a narrative.  Especially figurative paintings.  Hope you get as much of a kick out of this one as I did!

uneven surface ahead
16" x 8" oil on gallery wrapped canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

People, you just can't make this stuff up!  Here is the photo I painted from:


Monday, January 13, 2014

"rainy days and pink umbrellas"

rainy days and pink umbrellas
20" x 16" oil on gallery wrapped canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

Well, actually just one pink umbrella, and it wasn't in the photo.  I invented it.  But it does brighten up a rainy day, don't you think?  The umbrella and the stop light were my pops of color in this painting. The snow piled up on the curb was a bit harder to portray than I thought.  But I am loving my sidewalk and the buildings in the background.

Here is the photo I painted from:

Sunday, January 12, 2014

"entangled"

Went in a totally different direction today.  A friend sent me some great photos of people in New York.  I've been working on putting more people (and cars) in my landscapes. This picture of a couple in Central Park caught my eye.  I loved the lighting and the challenge of the tangle of arms and legs.

 I started out including all of the landscape elements in this painting but as I kept painting I realized that the focus was the couple and nothing else was important so I scraped everything else out. Although the bright light was one of the things that drew me to the photo, I chose to soften it.  I just wanted a soft glow.  And the hair.  These two have the best hair!  I scraped off that area several times and then just ended up laying it in very loosely.   I always did love a guy with long hair.....(funny that I am married to a man with no hair!)

"entangled"
8" x 10" oil on gallery wrapped canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

Here is the photo that I worked from:

Saturday, January 11, 2014

"abandoned edges"

Sometimes a painting is done sooner than you think.  I took a step back from this one and just knew it needed a couple more brushstrokes.  And no more.  If I had kept going, I would have ruined the freshness of it.  I do that too much.... keep painting adding just one more brushstroke, defining one more area and then I lose it and have to scrape the whole painting down to the canvas.  I am really happy with this one and hope you like it as well!

abandoned edges
20" x 16" oil on gallery wrap canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

Here is the photo I worked from:

Friday, January 10, 2014

"evening study"

I had a class yesterday with artist Curt Butler.  I have been wanting to study with him for some time and finally had a chance to make it work.  (I love his work and hope you will click on his name to check out his website). I just love being an art student!  Seeing painting with a fresh perspective is so necessary to grow and learn.  I can't wait to go back next week!

 I didn't get back to my studio until mid-afternoon so I painted this little study. I worked fairly quickly and stayed very loose.  I hope to do this painting much larger and wanted to try out some different color notes.
  
evening study
12" x 12" oil on gallery wrapped canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

There was a lot of conversation yesterday on Facebook about doing painting challenges.  Some artists love them and some do not.  We are all as different as the art we create.  And that is what we should celebrate. We are artists and we recreate our vision of beauty.  Everyone has something to offer.  If you have been painting for years or if you have just started; if you paint everyday or once a month; if you paint small or large, fast or slow... everyone's art is relevant. The same lessons that apply to life, apply to art. It is still important to be kind and tolerant and never belittle others or the way they work.  We all need to think how our comments may affect others before we say them.  Our goal should be to uplift not discourage.
And that is the end of my sermon :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

"quiet moments"

Day 9.  Central Park in the snow with the backdrop of the skyline.  One of New York's best views and there are a lot to choose from!  I could paint for years! This is a bit of a departure for me.  It's more "landscape" than "streetscape" and typically I don't paint landscapes.  But I just couldn't resist the challenge and the snow!  I may try this again on a larger scale.

quiet moments
20" x 30" oil on gallery wrapped canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

Make sure you sign up to get my blog by email so you don't miss any paintings this month!!

Here is the donated photo I worked from:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"brilliant backdrop"

We are eight days in!  This is my biggest painting so far.  Although I have to confess, I started this painting on a canvas that I had already painted on.  I started a different painting several weeks ago and just could not make it work.  The idea was great but the composition wasn't working out and I just couldn't figure out why.  This happens.  And when it does, I have learned to put the canvas aside and come back to it after a week or so has passed.  Sometimes, I get a flash of insight and put it back on the easel to finish it and sometimes I scrap the idea, turn the canvas sideways or upside down and begin a new painting over it.  This was a case of the latter.

I loved this photograph as soon as I saw it.  It had everything... pattern, strong darks and bright lights. a little bit of snow and the composition really pulled me in.  Don't you want to just climb into that cab and ride off into the sunset?
"brilliant backdrop"
30" x 24" oil on gallery wrapped canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

Make sure you sign up to get my blog by email so you don't miss any paintings this month!!

Here is the donated photo I painted from:

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

"solace"

"solace"
16" x 8" oil on canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

Day seven and a sliver of solace is in view.  I changed up the color scheme from the photo but kept that pretty pink glow in the sky.  Really concentrated on simplifying the shapes and making sure each one of my brushstrokes served a purpose.

Make sure you sign up to get my blog by email so you don't miss any paintings this month!!

Here is the donated photo I used:

Monday, January 6, 2014

"approaching 82nd street"

"approaching 82nd Street"
20" x 20" oil on gallery wrap canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

There was a lot going on in the reference photo.  In the end, I decided to crop the image and focus on the cabs and the tapestry of buildings in the distance.  It's nice to paint summer in the middle of winter too :)

Here is the donated photo I painted from:

Make sure you sign up to get my blog by email so you don't miss any paintings this month!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

"old-fashioned curiosity"

Day 5.  Same light and color scheme as yesterday and another recognizable New York landmark. I love pattern which I think is what draws me to streetscapes.  The challenge is balancing all that pattern with abstract forms so you don't give it all away.  I had fun abstracting and suggesting the people's shapes.  Just enough but not too much.  The lights and reflections in the windows were just frosting on the cake.

"old-fashioned curiosity"
24" x 24" oil on gallery wrap canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

Here is the donated picture I worked from:

Saturday, January 4, 2014

"twilight show"

Day four.... back on the streets of New York.  This was one of those wonderful paintings that fell off the brush onto the canvas.  I sure wish they all happened this way!  I love a good complimentary color scheme in a painting.  Everything just seems to glow.  Happy Saturday!!

"twilight show"
30" x 20" oil on gallery wrap canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

Make sure you sign up to get my blog by email so you don't miss any paintings this month!!

Here is the donated photo that I painted from:


Friday, January 3, 2014

"east coast blues"

This painting seems appropriate today with the huge snowstorm blowing into the Northeast.  I had so much fun with this painting.  Playing with shapes and texture, obscuring forms and then pulling them out again.  I took a workshop with artist Jim Richards last fall and tried to apply what I learned with him.  I also wanted to see how little variation of color I could get away with and still have dimension.  I am really happy with how the painting turned out. The photo...not so much.  The sparkle of the painting just doesn't come through as well as I would like it to.

"east coast blues"
16" x 20" oil on gallery wrap canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood