Thursday, October 30, 2014

"a spot for two"

I drove to Charleston, SC yesterday to deliver a new series of paintings to Atelier Gallery.  Actually two new series..more about the second series in the next post.  But I took some progress shots of one of the new paintings I delivered and I thought I would post them so you can see some of the stages of the way I paint. I usually get so involved in painting I forget to take photos...and I did that this time too but you will get the idea.


Here is the start:

I paint alla prima.... which means "in one sitting".  So I usually start and finish in one day. Sometimes, though, I will do this first part of the block in the day before and resume the painting the following day.  Often I do this so that I can have several paintings going at once.


Here you can see I have started adding the middle value colors to the darks.  I may revise this many times to get the right value and the right color.  I am trying different things to see what I like best.  But you can see my shapes are becoming more solid.


More color. Still playing around to see what combinations I like best.  I add in the sky and water so I can get an idea of how all of my color relates to each other. No details yet.  Just still big blocky shapes. Here is where I got so involved in my painting I forgot to take any more progress shots.  This is when I lose track of time and just get into the zone of painting.  And that is the most wonderful thing in the world. :)

Here is the finished painting.  Don't you love the way those two boats are snuggled up together!

"a spot for two"
18" x 36" oil on gallery wrapped canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood

Monday, October 27, 2014

Traveling Paints....

Excuse the brief hiatus in posting but I have been traveling :) .  I spent last week in Ventura, CA with several artist friends eating, painting, talking, strategizing, and drinking wine. (Oh, and lest I forget the darts....we played some intensely competitive games of darts.)

My dear friend Leslie Saeta invited me, Carol Marine, Debra Huse and Margaret Sheldon to come and stay a week with her at her beach house.  It was such a wonderful, energizing trip on so many different levels.  They have all been painting and selling longer than I have so the wisdom shared and the time spent with them was priceless for me.  I just truly can't put into words how meaningful the week was for me and how much I needed it.

Sometimes as an artist you feel like you are on a boat out in the ocean all by yourself.  There is no clear cut path to follow and while that can be a good thing, sometimes it is overwhelming and uncertain.  The camaraderie and ties to other artists are so essential in keeping you from drifting too far into yourself and just simply fills your tank and keeps you going.  I have so many artist friends that I just could not do without.  They are truly my anchors in this crazy business. I am a lucky girl!

A plein air painting I did one morning at sunrise looking down the beach at the houses and hotels glowing in that gorgeous early golden light.  And below is one of the many fantastic sunsets we were treated to each day. Life is good.


Friday, October 10, 2014

"business as usual"

Okay, I have recovered from my birthday.  Thanks to you all for the words of support, the laughs and the well wishes!  Truly warmed my heart and kept me smiling all day!

It is back to business as usual, which is the title of this painting.  I painted it for a show (fingers crossed it gets in). The people in this one are my favorite..you can just feel their seriousness.  I do love painting streetscapes.  They are so much fun.  I am also busy painting several series of paintings that are a little different for me....more on that later.  Have a lovely fall day!

business as usual
14" x 11" oil on panel
©2014dottietleatherwood

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Birthday Blog...the road ahead

I sit here on the eve of my birthday with a very generously poured glass of wine reflecting on the past year and wondering about the year ahead. It's been a mixed bag, the past year, number 48... just as all years are.  Joy, accomplishment, warm and abiding moments of friendship and love, all mixed up with sadness, anxiety and disappointment.  New things begun, old things let go of. Dreams taken hold of and other dreams dashed.  All very normal in the course of a life. 

I hate getting older.  Anyone who knows me well, knows that about me.  I can't fathom that I am going to be 49. It still surprises me when there's not a 20 year old looking back at me in the mirror every morning. I do love birthdays but I don't like the inevitable aging part of it.  I know that I'm supposed to make peace with it but I can't. Not when there's so much more to do. 

I feel like I am just getting started.  Like I've just figured out where I am heading. I feel as if one part of my life is ending and a new part is beginning.  I'm ready, or am I? Depends on the day, but most days I think I'm ready to fly. 

So, my 49th year is only hours away.  I hope I use it wisely but also spend it extravagantly as if I have all the time in the world.  I want peace and stillness in my soul and laughter and exuberance in my heart. I still want to be the first one ready to go anywhere and the loudest and the last one to leave the party.  I hope I'm never satisfied with where I am and continue to search for answers to all of my questions. I want to give more, love more and help where I am needed.  I want to fly.

Thanks for listening...for sharing my journey.  And I hope next year this time, I still hate getting older.

18" x 24" oil on canvas
©2014dottietleatherwood