Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Putter, Labradoodle, dog portrait

" Putter "
J. Bellinger Copyright 2009
Oil
6"x6"
Private Collection
Putter's owner, Tommy, is a golf pro hence the name. I wanted a grassy green background to add to the theme. I like the simplicity of the straight forward composition. Nothing more charming than the loving gaze from your best friend! I hope Tommy is pleased.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reinheimer Barn Fall View, Barns, Idaho Ranch

Reinheimer Barn Fall View
Jennifer Bellinger copyright 2009
Oil
12"x12"
I paint views of this barn each year. It's close to my house, only two blocks away. As you come into Ketchum from the south you drive right past the Reinheimer Ranch; ranch house on one side of the road and the barn on the other side. The Wood River Valley is quite narrow and ranch and farm land scarce, taken over by developments. Maybe that is why this little ranch is so dear to me. The owners gave it to the Idaho Park system..isn't that wonderful? This is the view looking to the south with the beautiful red rock cliffs behind.
This little painting is also in the NAMI auction coming up. Please refer to the previous post for information on bidding.
SOLD

Monday, November 16, 2009

Trailing of the Sheep 2009, NAMI AUCTION Ketchum, Idaho

Trailing of the Sheep 2009
Jennifer Bellinger, Copyright 2009
Oil
12"x12"
Each October our valley celebrates Trailing of the Sheep, the migration of sheep herds from the high elevations and the tradition of raising sheep. Years ago the sheepherders were Basque. Today Peruvians do most of the herding. I photographed the sheepherders, sheep, wagons and dogs as they passed by my house. It is a wonderful sight to see. The Border Collies had finished doing their work and the Great Pyrenees were protectively keeping them moving along behind the wagon and herdsmen on horseback.
This painting will be auctioned at the National Alliance for Mental Illness fundraiser here in Ketchum, Idaho. If you would like more information on how to place a bid (silent auction) please email me. Bidding will begin at $100. The auction starts November 27 and runs through Dec. 13.
SOLD

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reinheimer Barn, Idaho landscape

" Reinheimer Barn V "
Oil
6"x8"
We are having a beautiful fall, although with all the spring rain and throughout the summer the fall color hasn't been much. Maples are normal. Aspens, which are the abundant native deciduous tree, are not changing to yellow, but brown.
The Reinheimer Barn is the focal point as you enter Ketchum from the south. The round window is multi-paned. It dates from the late 1800's. The owners have recently re-sided it in the same style shingles that were original. It is one of my favorite views to paint. The beautiful red rock cliffs behind are a nice contrast to the white barn.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dairy Barn, Idaho landscape, barley field, Art Tip #22 Sky Holes

" Price Ranch Dairy Barn "
Oil
6"x6"
This little oil was a challenge. So much information for a small painting. I usually try to simplify my subject, but this dairy barn is historic to our valley and I just learned, to my own family, too. I wanted it to be a fairly accurate recording. The barn dates from the late 1800's. My father-in-law grew up in this valley and worked on this farm as a young boy during the Depression. He would sneak into the dairy barn and eat the cream off the top of the milk containers (his father was killed in a mining accident and left the family penniless). He lived to be 87 and like many people surviving the Great Depression had a life long connection/obsession with food, never wanting to go hungry again. His freezer was always stuffed, he didn't throw anything away.
Oh, by the way. This barn is huge..I'm guessing 100' long. Fortunately, the current owner has the means to keep this property intact and restored. I hope to do more paintings of this barn.
Art Tip #22 Sky Holes...When painting the sky one sees through trees, make the sky color a half step or step darker than what you mixed for the sky. When you surround a small bit of color with darker color it appear lighter. Your sky holes will stay in place and not pop out. Also, as foliage nears the top of the tree where more light surrounds it, it becomes lighter, edges soft.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Apples on Cobalt Blue, Art Tip #22 Wiping or scraping or scratching paint off

"Apples on Cobalt Blue "
Oil
6"x6"
Sold
Here is a little study I did while my students were busy painting. I like to be busy otherwise I end up talking too much. They need to focus. The napkin I arranged the apples on was a fabric that is wrinkle-proof so I ended up exaggerating the folds to create more contrast. I loved mixing the lighter cobalt blue paint, nearly straight out of the tube.
Art Tip # 21 As I feel I am nearing the finish of a painting, I often find I am scraping off, scratching off, rubbing off paint as much as I am adding. Anything goes to get the effect I'm after...not that I always know what that is, it somethimes just happens. I get there quicker when I trust in the process. I have also learned that on those days that I end up wiping out everything I added during that session, it still leaves bits that add to the whole in the end. Does that make sense?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Still Life Bartlett Pears & Fiestaware Plate

" Pears & Fiestaware Plate "
Oil
6"x6"
Five pears on a vintage Fiestaware plate. There is red paper lining the right wall bouncing red onto the pears and plate. The fabric is an old dish towel. As many of my frequent readers know I love using stripes to direct the viewer's eye.
I have recently joined the Studio Artists of Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ. You can see my work there. I have recently updated my web site, too.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Altered Books, Birds of Prey, Sun Valley Center for the Arts,

" Bird of Prey "
Mixed Media
12"x12"
Sold
I was invited to submit an altered book project for an exhibit at our communtiy library. I had not heard of the craft of altering books until this past August when I met Jim Rosenau during the Sun Valley Arts & Crafts Festival. He had the booth behind mine. I loved what he was doing and I enjoyed his sense of humor. He posts a disclaimer for those who might be upset that books are destroyed by the process... "No books that could change the course of the world are used".
I was most interested in turning a book into a sculpture while maintaining a "theme". So I chose an old hard back entitled "Birds of Prey" from my own bookshelf. I have quite a collection of birding books but this one was the only one I felt like sacrificing.
As I envisioned how to proceed I thought this is going to be so much fun....I actually thought I might give up painting for this new "fun" medium. When I started cutting the book carefully through from front cover to back cover with a fine blade hacksaw I quickly realized this wasn't going to be as easy as I'd thought. While I really liked the end result I will stick to painting!
I will be teaching an oil painting workshop for the Sun Valley Center for the Arts in October.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Boulder Mountain View from Summer Cabins, Sun Valley Idaho, Plein Air, Art Tip #21

" Boulder Mountain View from Summer Cabins "
Oil
8"x10"
Sold
This view was painted from my friend Jan's cabin...an incredible view of these magnificent mountains!
Art Tip #21
When you feel your painting is "stuck" and you can't quite figure out what it needs try taking it off the easel and stand it against a solid white or black background. Leave it over night and come back with a fresh eye. Often the solution is obvious. With small paintings I also put a large solid colored board behind it while on the easel to block all the distracting things around the painting as I paint(easel, room clutter, etc.)

Boulder Mountain View from Baker Creek, Idaho Landscapes, Plein Air, Sun Valley Idaho

Boulder Mountain View from Baker Creek
Oil
4"x12"
Sold
I enjoy painting views of the Boulder Mountain in any season. Fall color is is mostly yellow from the Aspen trees. This view included oranges and caught my eye.
Plein air painting with my friend, Julie.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Still Life Lemons French Fabric

" Lemons & Blue Olive Napkin "
Oil
6"x6"
Sold
Lots of sunny yellow in this little painting. I add cadmium yellow medium to my limited palette when I paint lemons, also yellow ocher as I find it faster to get the muted yellow-greens. I premixed all the colors for this painting. Decisions made..apply paint = fun! Well, sort of. Painting is hard, mental work that I wouldn't trade for any profession.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Still Life Lemons, William Sonoma dish towel Art Tip #20 Stripes

" Lemons & Blue Stripe Cloth "
Oil
6"x6"
Back to my favorite props... lemons and vintage William Sonoma dish towel.
It was a beautiful fall day here, sunny and warm. The leaves are just starting to turn. The fall color is mostly yellow...aspen trees. I have many climbing vines..honeysuckle, Virginia Creeper and Wedding Lace that are beginning to turn. That adds beautiful reds and oranges to our garden. I hope its beautiful where you are.
Art Tip #20: Stripes
When you are using a striped fabric in your still life use the direction of the stripes and fabric folds & bumps to creat movement & drama in the overall composition.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Still Life with Bartlett Pear

" One Pear "
Oil
8"x8"
I call this a funny little painting! Funny because it was a non-serious effort using pastel background colors that I would normally shy away from..not bold enough. I also like the little bit of lean to the left the pear has. I think what holds it together are the little dark punches I put in with a palette knife to create contrast. It kept me busy while my students were focusing on their work in between needing my help.

Red Plums II, Still Life, Plein Air, Art Tip #20.

" Red Plums II "
Oil
7"x7"
Sold
My students, Vickie and Jan, were painting outdoors with me. We set up in my garden under a huge umbrella..the light was devine and the weather warm. I chose to paint a very simple set-up of plums, fabric and spoon. The folds in the fabric key to keeping it from being too boring.
Art Tip #20: Composition idea. Look at the four corners of your painting. If all four are equal, make one of them unequal. In Red Plums I have the spoon in one of the corners, the other three are basically the same. You can do this with an object (spoon, fabric fold, etc. in still life or rocks, water, weeds, etc. in landscape) or with value or other design element. The idea is to keep the viewer's eye entertained and not have your painting be predictable. Shows you how important the corners of a painting are. In yesterday's post I used a darker value in the upper right to vary that corner. Of course this was planned as I was setting up the objects to paint, not decided after I started painting..goes back to planning from the get-go.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Red Plums & Blue Knife Daily Painting, Art Tip #19

"Red Plums & Blue Knife"
Oil
6"x6"
Sold
Wow, after a busy summer with two shows I'm finally back painting a few little dailies! It feels great. I painted this in my studio under artificial light. The next one I post was painted outdoors in natural light. You can really see the difference. Warm artificial light/cool shadows and cool natural light/warm shadows.
Art Tip #19: Fail to plan = plan to fail. My montra these days with my students is to hammer home the idea of what is most important in painting. First, composition. Second, value and lastly color. Without a good composition your painting will end up being a dog. Composition is the skeleton you hang the meat on. It sets the stage/tells the story/involves your viewer...or not, if not well planned. Take the time to do a thumbnail sketch or two before starting your painting..work out the big shapes you see, where are your darks/shadows and lights? What will be your center of interest? Change what you see to create an interesting balance/pattern/design. Study composition and learn the elements of design. I like to lay a piece of acetate over a photo of a beautiful painting and trace the big shapes to see the design the artist used. On more complicated, large paintings I do a detailed sketch, making notes as to values and colors and I refer to this throughout the painting process.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Still Life with Red Cabbages

" Cabbage Patch I "
Oil
24"x24"

Big, beautiful cabbages from my friend, Dick's garden. I took the photos in November after a frost. I love the muted blue-violet and red-violet colors contrasting with the yellow-greens in the grass. I used lots of glazing to create rich shadows.

I will be taking a few weeks off from painting to catch up around here (after two summer shows I am behind). Spending time with my son before he heads back to college and pulling weeds in my much neglected flower beds are top priorities. I will be teaching a workshop in two weeks and have several private students that I will be working with, too. My students keep me on my toes. I do enjoy teaching and encouraging others in their art work.

I hope you all are having a wonderful summer..it is flying by.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Red Cabbage Patch, Art Tip #18 Thumbnail Sketch

" Red Cabbages "
Oil (in process)
24"x24"
Here is the current painting I am working on. I like to use acrylic Yellow Oxide to tone gessoed canvas or linen. The background is completed and some of the cabbage leaves are roughed in. You can see my premixed palette in use (I posted it a few days ago before I started painting. The colors across the top are straight from the tube colors, not part of the painting, just hanging out ready to remix more color if needed.
I use Liquin as a medium, also for mixing glazes. My current favorite brushes are Robert Simmons Titanium. For the small 6x6 panels I will do the entire painting with a #4 Bright.
Art Tip #18: Thumbnail sketch...a tiny little sketch, 3"x 4" or so, of my idea for a painting. I try several to see basic shapes/line/form/value....it's a necessary plan, step one in composing a painting. You need a "road map" or "plan" to see where you are going..otherwise you'll be making changes when you get into the painting process..one change leads to another and pretty soon you have a "mess" and most likely a weak painting. Start with a simple plan...a strong base on which to later/lastly put some details, if needed.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Succulents III, Art Tip # 17

" Succulents III "
Oil
30"x30"
This is number three in this succulent series. The first two were painted in 1985! I love this subject because it has many contrasting elements. The soft blue greens/warm yellow greens. Softly mottled leaves (or are they pettles?) constrast with sharp pointy tips. Red with green. This plant is in a terra cotta chicken planter..I think being contained created more "chicks". The ones in my gardern seem to have more "Hens" next to each other with fewer "chicks".
Art Tip #17: I hope I'm not repeating myself here: For a great brush holder for oil painters. Take a large, deep, plastic container (like the ones dried dates come in) about 8" in diameter. Fill it with those round, little black beans (Azuki?). Stand your wet brushes in this holder as you paint. I don't know if watercolorists or acrylic painters can do this, as the water would run down into the ferrule.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Going Places, Farm Geese, Zebras, White Rhino




"Going Places"
Oil
20"x35"


Finally...here is the completed painting that I posted in stages a month or more ago. I will add the image back on the last of the posted stages so you can see the process step by step.
Hope your summer is going well..we are having sunny weather after weeks of record rains.

My trip to Florida was fabulous..here's a couple of the photos taken from the back of an open pick up..9 amazing White Rhinos! I signed up for a private photo session..just me and two gamekeepers. The outside of all their vehicles are well dented! I could have reached out and touched them, they were that close. The baby rhino was 6 months old. I now have some wonderful reference photos for zebra paintings, too. I have done many zebra paintings in the past when I was sprecializing in batik on silk. Email me if you would like information on this game park.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mangoes on Glass, Art Tip #16 Glass Palettes II

" Mangoes on Glass "
Oil
8"x10"
My 130th Daily Painting, much larger than the usual 6x6 or 6x8 I usually paint. Part of a larger series of objects painted on thick plate glass. I love the blue-greens the edges have, nice simple compliment of the reds.
Below are photos of the glass palettes with gray value scales or gray paper I shared about in my last post. Tomorrow I'll add an image of how my paint looks. Click on each image to enlarge.
Masterson Palette Box

Open Box M Palette (Plein air)


Table-top palette




Thursday, June 4, 2009

Red Mary Janes, Baby Shoes III, Art Tip #15 Glass palettes


" Baby Shoes III Little Red Mary Janes"
Oil
Sold
Special pricing for all three baby shoe paintings: $600 unframed ($825 framed + Free shipping)
Payment by PayPal or you can purchase directly from my web site: Click here

Number three in the baby shoe series. These are vintage baby shoes that I found on eBay. I love searching for still life props on ebay...treasure hunting at its best. I have found some really good deals because I'm not interested in collector quality, just the intrigue of the objects. For instance I found a Fiestaware teapot for under $10, with cracks and a few chips. I like to search garage sales, too. Last week I found a vintage graniteware teapot and a coffee pot..$3.00 each. They'll eventually show up in one of my still life paintings.

Art tip # 15: For a terrific palette get a piece of heavy glass, a large as you like (mine is around 20x24) and lay a middle value gray paper underneath it( I actually made a large value scale that lies under my palette, you might even just have three values..light, middle and dark. In my Open Box M plein air palette I cut a piece of glass to fit and put middle value gray paper underneath (besure to add a little tape-tab on one edge so you can ift it out to clean now and then. Lastly, I also have a glass palette in each of my Masterson air-tight palette boxes (again, middle value gray paper underneath or value scale). It is hard to judge values when you mix on a white palette.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Baby Shoes II, Mary Janes

" Baby Shoes II "
Oil
6"x8"
Sold

Here is number two in my baby shoe series, sweet little white patent leather Mary Jane's. There is something wonderful that happens when you paint baby shoes. I found myself reminiscing about my own childhood, recalling shoes that I could remember. In grade school I wore tan and brown saddle shoes, ( I didn't like the black and white ones) and mostly loafers in high school. I remember spending a huge amount of money on a pair of red shoes...$15 in the 1960's. At 25-35 cents an hour baby sitting that was quite a bit of money..but hey, they were red shoes that I lusted after!
Marc Hanson's recent accomplishment of 120 small paintings in 30 days has certainly raised the bar in the Daily Painting arena! Check out his blog to see these remarkable paintings. Sounds like he's having withdrawels!



Sunday, May 10, 2009

Daffodils for Mother's Day, Art Tip #14

" Daffodils for Mother's Day "
Oil
6"x6"
Sold
Our mornings are still in the twenties so my daffodils are just starting to bloom. Flowers are quite a challenge for me especially painting directly. I wanted to quit and let these daffodils dry then go back with overpainting. But, one of the challenges of a painting a day is to complete a painting in one sitting. I'm glad I stuck it out as I like the finished result.
Art Tip #14 When painting flowers alla prima/direct/wet n wet..I find it works best to lay in the flower colors first. It's easier to add darker color around the clear flower colors. It is nearly impossible to lay clean, bright colors over darker wet paint...you'll end up with mud.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Still Life: Vintage Mary Janes, Art Tip #13

" Mary Janes "
Oil
6"x8"
SOLD
Vintage baby shoes that I found on eBay..they came with the original box dated 1915! Real patent leather made in the good old USA. "Baby Beaver" shoes, size 0. A piece of leather stiffened the bottom of the box and they were sold at W.T. Grant stores, a mass marketing chain. I looked the store up on Wikipedia..the store went out of business in the 1970's. I grew up in Spokane and remember a W. T. Grant store there. They were a "5 & Dime" store and fun to visit if you just had a dime or two in your pocket!
Art Tip #13: Place a clear piece of glass over black paper for a wonder reflective surface to set a still life on. "Mary Janes" was set up this way, black wall on left and back, piece of pink paper off to the right that reflects onto the shoes.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Still Life with Yellow Warbler, Art Tip #12

" Still Life with Yellow Warbler "
Oil
25" x 38"
Wow, I can't believe how much time has gone by since my last post. It has been a bit of everything that has kept me away; family, procrastination, working on large paintings for summer shows, etc. But mostly it has been procrastination and perfectionism! I fight these two devils daily but some more than others. A bit of each is good and gives one time to reflect/work on other things. A quote I put in my April e-newsletter by Mark Twain "Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow" makes me smile. I also mentioned that Leonardo DaVinci was a procrastinator. He created wonderful drawings of inventions while other work awaited his attention. I think it is human nature to procrastinate...might even be an inate self-preservation tactic.
The oil painting I posted here is several years old and still one of my favorite. I used information from several photos to created the design. It was fun to paint..I love the patterned fabric, old bakelite flatware and china plate.
Art tip # 12: This is helping my procrastinating: I bought my husband a new boom box (he listens to books on tape/CD) and now I have his old one that I can set next to me at my easel. I find that I can paint and follow the story just fine. When I tried to listen to books on tapes on my main stereo system (with great quad speakers placed in all four corners) I couldn't follow the story, I was too removed from the sound source. Now I get hooked on the story and it gets me to the studio and painting sooner and I stay longer, working through any rough spots in the painting process. I do listen to music, too, but getting into the story is what seems to be working for me now. I am thinking that one of the main reasons I am able to follow the story and paint is that I premix my colors for a large painting..those decisions are made ahead of time so I'm not constantly making color/value decisions as I paint.
If anyone is interested to learn more about premixing let me know and I'd be happy to elaborate.
Tomorrow I'll address perfectionism...if I can find the perfect words!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cheetahs, Batik, Newsletter, Fine Art Studios Online

Cheetahs Rest
Batik/Acrylic on Silk
20"x24"
I have just launched my first email newsletter! I'm very excited to be able to have contact with collectors, friends, family and other artists through a monthly newsletter. If you would like to sign up click here which takes you to the sign-up page on my web site.
I've been distracted by other important family obligations over the past few weeks so am posting
this batik I did in the some time ago. Work continues on "Going Places" and I promise the completed painting will be posted very soon!
If you are considering your own web site please take a few moments to look
You can have a free trial period while you design your site. It's very easy, affordable and you can keep it updated yourself! You can easily customize yours to look exactly as you want. Their support experts are tops, very friendly and helpful. I'm no tech wizard..if I can do it anyone can!
My newsletter is easily implimented as is my email list. It's all automatic. My old web site was beautiful but updating was very costly so it was never very current.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Toulouse Geese, Chinese Geese, Tag

"Going Places"
Oil
20"x35"
I have to laugh at myself...posting a painting in progress sets me up for failure as far as a time table! Here it is July 8..four months after beginning the posts on this painting! Guess my proclivity for procrastination over rides any pressure! Actually, the real pressure isn't my art blog, though maybe it should be. Having a show that opens Friday July 10th is what kick's my rear into gear!
" Going Places "
Oil on Linen
Day 5
The last goose is roughed in and tomorrow I can begin to pull it all together. I always think this won't take long...I've learned that it takes what it takes. Must paint faster!

I've been tagged by Nancy Elstad an oil painter from Texas. Tagged artists must reveal 5 things about themselves, then tag 5 other artists. It's a fun way to see what other art bloggers are doing. So here goes.
1. I'm a bird watcher (we've had two Red Breasted Nuthatches at the feeder for an entire year! Love these little guys. Three female/one male Red Crossbills last week!
2. I love peanut butter and dill pickle together. OK, what's so weird about that? What's weird is using mustard instead of mayo in tuna..yuck!
3. I'm hooked on Sudoku puzzles, it's the abstract reasoning thing, cute little squares that need filling in
4. I married my ski instructor 36 years ago, he's still teaching and I'm still learning (how to live with someone who loves longgggggg, coldddddd winters!
5. Paul Gauguin is my favorite painter, then Eduard Manet and I recently found George Tooker and then there is Lucien Freud...shocking yet wonderful

That's it.

Now here are five more wonderful artists you can visit:
Mark Hanson Check out Mark's new workshop schedule. Wish I lived closer to take one! He's posting images of a frame he's made from scratch and guilding it, too.






















Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Going Places Day 4, Leonard Wolfe

" Going Places "
Day 4
Not much time for painting today. One more goose left to block in. My paints have dried somewhat so remixed fresh colors that I needed today. I hope to get the last goose roughed in and begin the grass areas tomorrow, refine the shadows falling on the geese. Right now I want the grey goose on the left to be the center of interest. However, I won't know for certain until I have the last goose painted. It may need to be one of the white ones because of the high contrast.
No tips today. How about a favorite quote?
I've mentioned it before but I can never say it to myself often enough!
Cure for procrastination:
"You can't edit a blank page" Leonard Wolfe
Oh, and I did come across a post-it note that I have in my easel area:"
" Paint Faster!!! "

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Farm Geese, Toulouse Geese, Art tip # 11

" Going Places "
Day 3
Oil
Before I comment on the progress of this oil I wanted to mention that my new web site is launched! I hope you'll take a few minutes to visit and please sign up for my monthly email newsletter if you like. If you are an artist considering your own web site I highly recommend Fine Art Studios Online. I can now keep my web site updated easily myself! You can test drive your own site during a free trial period. Let me know what you think!
Now, this painting. Seven geese down and two to go. Once all the geese are blocked in and the grassy foreground is completed I will go over the geese again, softening some to keep the main focus on the Toulouse, gray goose, you see here, maybe some glazing and scumbling to unify the overall lights and darks. In the lower right corner of the photo you can see one of my Canada Geese giclee in the print bin. In the past a majority of my subjects were birds, zebras and fish. I really wanted to be doing still life, too, but no time. Now I do mostly still life and long to do birds again. These farm geese will be a start!
Art tip # 11: When I know I won't be able to complete a painting in one day, at the end of the painting session, I soften any hard edges on areas that still need work. To do this I take a blending type brush or actually any old bristle brush will do. Lightly and quickly roughin up the edges. You can always create hard edges again, but it isn't easy to cover up a hard edge that has dried (I use Liquin, a medium that speeds the drying of oils). If you click on the painting you can see where I roughed up the edges of the gray goose. I can tighten things up again later.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Farm Geese, Art Tip # 10

" Going Places "
Day 2
Oil
I sure felt rusty today, getting back to painting. But, like always, I just needed to focus and it didn't take long to make some progress. At least I completed the rough in of the two geese in shadow.
You can see my premixed palette. The oils were just fine after being ignored for these past few days while I recovered from a head cold. Tomorrow I hope to have all the geese blocked in!
Art Tip # 10: Nine out of ten paintings usually reach a mid point where I always have the feeling it isn't going to work and I begin to doubt myself. I call this "the ugly stage" because experience has taught me that it only means the painting isn't done and I need to keep going. Usually it doesn't take too much more to bring it to a completion. Now, I have also experienced getting to "the ugly stage" and can't think what to do next or I've lost interest. That's when I put the painting aside and come back later, sometimes weeks or months or even years later with a fresh eye. Oh, by the way, the 10% that I do finish without doubting mysef painted themselves..someone recently gave credit for this phenomenon to the "paint fairies". I always say the paint just fell off the brush and landed in all the right spots!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Farm Geese, Toulouse Geese, Art tip #9

" Going Places"
Day 1
Oil on linen
Here's a painting I began yesterday with a general rough-in around the birds. Everything is pretty soft so far, I didn't want to leave any hard edges until I get the geese roughed in. I am using a pre-mixed palette. I had some fun comments the last time I posted the stages of a painting. Usually I don't like to show a painting until its finished. But here in the art blog world there are so many artists who love to see how other artists work. I know I do. Stay tuned.
Art tip #9: This I learned from Daniel Greene. Instead of using the terms warm and cool to describe a color use "blue-ish" or "yellow-ish". This makes total sense. If a color is hard to identify, usually a very grayed, dull color ask yourself if it is "more bluish or more yellowish". Then you'll know how to start mixing it. I've heard some artists call Ultramarine Blue a warm blue..I've always considered it a cool blue because it is more "bluish" than "yellowish". To me Cerulean and thalo are warmer because they are going towards the yellow side of the color wheel. Ultramarine is a blue-violet. I'd like to know your thoughts on this topic. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Crow, Oil Workshop Students, Art tip #8

" Still Life with Iron Crow "
20"x24"
Oil
Private Collection
Vickie & Carol with their beautiful color studies in oil
This past week has been fun having two very enthusiastic students. I felt more like a coach than a teacher. Vickie and Carol both have intuitive color and design sense. Vickie has been painting for some time, mostly using photo reference. During this workshop she worked only from life using a basic palette and learned how much more color there is to see than what a photo shows. Carol is a beginner who naturally applies lots of paint. Usually its hard to get beginners to load their brushes. Most want to conserve paint and the end results are flat and lifeless. It's called painting for a reason... don't be afraid to use lots of paint.
Tip #8: Put plenty of paint out at the beginning of a paint session. Nothing breaks your flow like running out of a color and having to get more or worse (especially when painting outdoors) to make-do with some other color or mixture just 'cause its on your palette. I teach a basic palette of 7 colors plus white, black and three value grays to dull color with.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Succulents, Allied Artists of America, Artist tip # 7

" Succulents II "
Oil
42"x42"
Artist's Collection


Back in 1985 I took some time from my batik paintings to do a few oils. This one I entered in the annual Allied Artists of America show in NYC. It won the Gilmore/Romans award for oil. I decided I couldn't part with it so it has hung in my home all these years! I still love it, but if someone is interested in purchasing it please contact me. I find as I get older I'm not as attached to things as I once was. I'm also getting geared up in my head to continue this succulent series. I posted another one some time ago.

Artist tip #7: I always tone my canvas and panels. You now have a mid-value surface to judge color against and it gives overall harmony..especially if you lift off color. On Succulents II I used cadmium yellow light oil thinned with turp. In the last 10 years I haven't used any turpentine in my studio..too toxic. Instead I clean brushes with mineral spirits or Turpenoid natural. Current favorite colors to tone with: yellow oxide or raw sienna...acrylic..it dries fast.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Artichokes, Artist Statement, Art tips #6

" Artichokes on Blue "
Oil
12"x12"
Private Collection
Artichokes are such a beautiful plant, perfect complimentary colors of greens and reds. This little painting was purchased by a good friend. His family is in the artichoke business, so I'm glad this painting ended up with him.

Tip for seeing color: punch a little hole in a 2"x3" cardboard. Use it to "isolate" color areas in your still life set-up or plein air view. Mix and paint that color. Do this for every main shape/area of your painting. You will mix incredible colors..no more mud. Carry this little "spot screen" with you on a walk. Ask yourself; what color is that building? road? mountian? car? Especially look at shadows. Now use the spot screen on the same objects. Wow! Paint what you see, not what you know.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Tuxedo Cat, Oil Pastel, Art tips #5

" Bustafur Jones "
Oil Pastel
Private Collection
A painting from the past! I rarely paint cats probably because I don't have one. My husband is allergic to them.
I thought I would post the artists statement I wrote last summer for a specific show. This show wanted a statement to be more about the process. In reviewing "I'd Rather Be in My Studio" I realized I needed to edit it further, trying for the two paragraphs Alyson Stanfield recommends. It was actually pretty easy this go-around. My attitude was slash, slash, slash. Felt great and I think this one will work for my new web site. Would love your feedback if you care to comment.
Jennifer Bellinger
Artist Statement 2008

Thank you for taking time today to visit my exhibit!

I have been a professional artist for nearly 40 years, living and working in my Ketchum home and studio since 1978 with husband Gary, son Corey and pug dog Jack

My current direction is painting the still life in oils. I use traditional oil painting techniques on canvas, linen or gesso board. Craftsmanship is very important to me. I use only the best materials in time honored ways that will assure my work stays true to form. Small paintings are given the same careful attention as larger work.

My still lifes are about finding the beauty in everyday objects. I am especially drawn to vintage objects that have had a previous life.

The most interesting part of painting to me is the composition or design phase. The beauty of still life is that I am the conductor; I get to move the objects around until I see an arrangement that is pleasing and dynamic to my eye. I look for relationships of shapes, color, contrasts of light & dark and, of course, what is to be the center of interest. I employ these same elements of design to landscape or animal paintings, too.

Because my paintings are strong in design and color they bring life and energy to a room.

Fellow artist, Elizabeth Floyd said “I like the way Jennifer’s paintings seem to tell a story, as if we are getting a glimpse of someone’s daily life, with an action about to take place that will alter the vignette we have just been privileged to witness.”

In the summer and fall I enjoy teaching workshops and sharing my artistic process with others.

Here's the new, shorter version:
Jennifer Bellinger
Artist Statement 2009

"The current direction of my art is painting the still life in oils. My still life paintings are about finding the beauty in everyday objects. I am especially drawn to vintage objects that have had a previous life.
The most interesting part of the painting process to me is the composition or design phase. The beauty of still life is that I am the conductor. I get to move the objects around until I see an arrangement that is pleasing and dynamic to the eye. I look for relationships of shape, color, contrasts of light & dark and what is to be the center of interest. Because my paintings are strong in design and color they bring life and energy to a room.

A fellow artist said “I like the way Jennifer’s paintings seem to tell a story, as if we are getting a glimpse of someone’s daily life, with an action about to take place that will alter the vignette we have just been privileged to witness.”
(note: for Elizabeth..I didn't use your name on the quote for second version. Alyson recommends not referring to other people which could take focus away. Maybe I should drop the quote all together...but I love it, so there it is." Thanks, again E.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley, Chicago Cows, Labrador Retreiver, New Mexico Painted Ponies

Wood River Pet Lab
Oil on Fiberglass
40"x28"
Private Collection
Detail
PeeWee the Guinnea Pig


Detail

Our Pug Jack

Corey's Sweetie Rat
All image copyright J.Bellinger

I need to get back in the studio and paint! Prepping images for my new web site is taking tons of time. My oil painting workshop is going well, day 3 of a 4 day class completed. My students are coming over to the studio this Saturday.
I decided to post images of "Wood River Pet Lab". Our local animal shelter has used these fiberglass lab forms for big fund raisers. The event was patterned after the Chicago Cows, New Mexico's Painted Ponies, etc. Artists are commissioned to paint them and then they are auctioned. I have completed three of them to date. It is something to see 40 or more together on one large room. Artists are so creative. My approach is pretty traditional. One of my favorites was covered entirely with coffee beans. The artist even covered a base with the burlap coffee sack and the dog is holding a coffee cup/saucer in his mouth! It now resides in a local coffee shop called Zaney's.
Lots of money raised for our local no-kill shelter.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Corgi dog portrait, Leonard Wolfe, Art tip #4

"Buckie"
Oil
6"x8"
Private Collection
Buckie runs my friends Melinda & Dicks ranch. As I was speaking with Melinda yesterday I could hear Buckie next to her, vying for attention, much like a two year old does when mom gets on the phone. Anyway, I thought I would post this today and hopefully bring a smile to Melinda's face when she opens her email.
My thoughts are too scattered today to post a tip but I promise to do so tomorrow. I've been resizing digital images to post on my new web site. My computer crashed a couple of weeks ago and my computer man installed Picasa. I finally found the cd for the program I am used to..thank God. I don't have to learn a new way!
I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes:
"You can't edit a blank page" by Leonard Wolfe. I post this on my big easel.

Visit my art blog friend, Mary Sheehan Winn to see a super fun YouTube video she posted today.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Lemons & Mandarins, Artist's Statement, Art tip #3

"Lemons & Mandarins"

Oil

11"x14"

Private Collection

Yesterday Karen Hargett wanted to hear a few tips on writing an Artist's Statement.
Like most artists I procrastinated (detested is more like it) updating mine. Using the step by step actions in I'd Rather Be in the Studio put me on the right path. Author,Alyson Stanfield really calls you to take action with specific exercises. Here are a few tips that got me going:
1. Learning what is an artist's statement and what isn't
Big news for me: it isn't a brief Bio. It's about your current work & direction. Alyson says "Above all, your statement should compel readers to look at your art. If it doesn't do that, it hasn't done its job."
2. "Keep it in the first person" and "Keep it short"
( I need to go back now and really hone mine again, its too long)
There is so much help in her book. One thing that appealed to me was to take all the ideas I had written down, cut them out (scraps of my thoughts). She suggested putting them in a shoebox. While this is tidy, I know I could easily forget where the box it. I taped them to a large poster board..kind of like creating a story board and kept it where it could get my attention.Then when I had time I would edit them and put them in order that made sense. It was easy to see where I'd repeated something or got too heavy. Just the physical act of pulling that scrap off the board and tossing it made me feel like I was getting somewhere.
To sum up for this post...it takes time to write an artist's statement. It is well worth the effort. I have just scratched the surface here..hoping to lead you to the wealth of knowledge and help in Alyson's book. Get it, read it, do the work. If there is one thing I can pass along to artists who want to be self supporting (and I know you don't want to hear this, I can feel you cringe!) Your art is a business. You must do what it takes to run that business, the rewards are many. It isn't hard..consistency is the key.
Make a plan, take an action.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Apricots, Oil Painting Workshop, Art Tips

" Idaho Apricots "
Oil
6"x8"
Private Collection


I painted this oil outside in bright sunshine (no, not today.. during the summer). I wanted to show it today because I have been talking to the students in my oil painting workshop about highlights. Highlights are often the lightest part of an object and attract our eye. Highlights need to be accurate in order to describe the texture of that object. For example here on the apricots the highlights are very, very subtle..no hard edges, because that is what I observed. Apricots and peaches are fuzzy. If you observe your object carefully and paint what you see not what you know it will be correct.
I was reviewing my Artist Statement today. One of the shows I exhibited in last summer required one. I had been putting off updating mine for years! I'd recently purchased Alyson Stanfield's excellent art marketing book. I'd Rather Be in the Studio The section on writing artist statements took the fear right out of the entire process. She goes beyond telling you how to do something with specific examples of what to do. If any of you are interested in how I took her tips and wrote my own statement, let me know and I will do a post on that topic.


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Still Life with Three Lemons, Red Check Tablecloth

" Lemons & Check Cloth "
12"x12"
Giclee
Open Edition $60
This is an archival giclee reproduction (giclee is French for ink spot. A high quality digital image of the original painting is printed on a large ink jet printer. Archival inks and quality canvas or papers are used.) I have a wonderful publisher here in Idaho that has produced my work for many years. If you visit my main web site you can see many more giclees of still life ( 3 other 12"x12" images that go with the Lemons) and animals. The original painting was an oil and is in a private collection.
Giclee ( soft g gee-clay)
Please email me if you have any questions or want to place an order