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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

PAPO Aug 24 at the lake

Plein Air Painters of the Ozarks meets every Wednesday 8 or so months out of the year and they always have a great time. I don't go often because Plein air painting is hard work...especially in August, in the Ozarks! Only 85 or so, but the humidity! and the rocks used to cover the hillside absorb the heat and reflect it back to you. (there was quite alot of socializing going on instead of painting). Of course, those of you who know and luv me know I am all business...have to get a good painting. THEN I can relax!

Cathy Wayson and her husband fed us great charbroiled burgers with all the extras after our 2 hours of painting.

It doesn't matter what kind of 'gear' you have, there is always something better. I think I'm done, tho. My EasyL box weighs almost nothing...the Guerilla Painter tripod is a bit heavy, but works great. I carry a soft-side cooler for other supplies. OH, and a field easel. Fairly streamlined, but you still have 5 or so things slung over your shoulder, which is WAY too much. Gotta get something on wheels (have had a few variations of wheeled bags that did not work). May have to go back to watercolor for physical gear hauling (a w/c block, my 4" brass Charles Reid w/c box, a handful of pigments and a good chair with easel or tripod, just hold the block in your lap supported by the arm. Lord knows I have plenty of watercolor supplies! and oil and acrylic and oh yeah, pastels. Sure has been fun collecting it all!

I've carried variations of the above gear all over Salzburg, Prague, Amalfi Coast in Italy, and France. I KNOW the values of painting outside, however, it is physically demanding...and today I think I came back in with a bit of heatstroke.

But, with all my whining (I need some cheeze with my whine), get a load of these sunflowers!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Parrot Tulips

I'm having SO much fun with this taking my time and enjoying the process.

'Parrot Tulips'
©2009 Vicki Ross
20x24 Pastel on Sanded Paper
Purchase Fine Art Print HERE!

Trompe l'oeil is French for 'fool the eye' and typically done in super realism in oils. Pastels don't quite work crisp enough, but someone else is known for doing Koi fish, oversize florals, Arkansas creeks, portraits, paintings of people looking at art in museums (several are doing that)! I figured this might be a niche for me.
I figure this style of work is made all the more difficult for another artist to duplicate because of my twisted sense of humor! 
And, yes, this IS the cropped painting. The idea popped into my head in time for me to play with it. Was clueless to what background I would do when I walked in my studio and...DUH! there was the peeling tape on the plywood board (thanks Mr. Les). As I was working on it I kept forgetting what I was supposed to be painting from and to! 
And, no, I am not giving up on painterly marks with texture...but this was SO FUN!
parrot art

Saturday, August 15, 2009

"An Unmade Bed" the August Moses-Botkin Challenge

"The Boys" ©2009 Vicki Ross
9x9" Oil on Canvas

I think I'm playing with some sadists! Last month a self-portrait, this month an unmade bed...what th'...? (and all my partners know I'm teasing!)

I could not come up with anything about an unmade bed that remotely sounded interesting...for me to paint or for anyone else to look at. And therein lies the value of these challenges...IT'S A CHALLENGE!

Finally went upstairs to the guest bedroom (because of the light). Messed up the bed and got set up with the camera (yeah, should be from life, but sometimes it is just not convenient to set up in a bedroom)...when lo and behold, bitty ittle BJ popped up to see what I was doing. OK, a cute painting with him was a gift from the art gods! Light was all wrong in the photos, needed to 'bracket' so the flag was visible in the window and the bedding was recognizable...

Went back up another day and did the same thing, and BJ AND Beemer (his dad) both came up on 'their' bed to watch landscapers remove a tree. Too perfect! Except for the patterned sheets...

"Asleep in the Window Seat"
Oil on Canvas, 18" x 24"
Marie Fox
"Unmade Bed", 9x12 o/c

"Expedition on an Unmade Bed"
8"x10" Oil on board
The Old Brass Bed
10x8 oil on panel
(c) 2009 Robin Cheers
"Wine Night" 
8x8 Oil on board, Michael Naples

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ms. Laney

I took my source photo during the Kay Polk workshop, but did this painting at home. I regret I didn't get her name...was probably talking or something :)

I had fun with this painting...would have to say it is as close to 'a Vicki' as there has been yet. I dearly love thick pigment and scraping and mark making into it! Photography does weird things to oils!

Ms. Laney ©2009 Vicki Ross
11x14 oil on panel
Here is the slideshow...

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Note to self: PAY ATTENTION!

This was started during a 2-hour live model session during Kay Polk's workshop that was held in Fayetteville, AR last month. Little Olivia is a whole 8 years young...and for obvious reasons had trouble 'holding a pose'. AND that is my story, and I'm stickin' to it! Since I know I can't hold a pose, her patience was fabulous. For those of you who haven't any experience with painting from life, the model holds a pose for 20-30 minutes, and then takes a 10-15 minute break. So in a 2 hours session, you might get three 30-minute opportunities to paint. Sure doesn't leave much time for fumbling around!

You make decisions in a few minutes that you have to work around until you tear the painting up, or figure out a way to make it work. My first few minute decision placed Olivia too bar to the left on my panel. Stubborn me, I worked with it all the way through.

I took my time with this, some parts of her face have 10 or so layers. I have the other 3 'starts' from the workshop on the easel, at various stages of completion. I've also learned to make sure the drawing is right before you spend too much time on things that are wrong.

And many other things I learned, became aware of, and now I am more aware of how much I have left to learn!

There is at least 30 minutes between every photo on the slideshow...just so you'll have a point of reference on how many hours I have on this project...