I spoke too soon when I thought spring had arrived in the Cache Valley. It seems winter was hiding only to pop out once again. Our winter days are usually sunny but there are times that everything in monochromatic. There is a beauty in winter. I just don't want it too last too long.
This valley is filled with farms with wonderful barns. This is just one of the many here in the Cache Valley.
We are beginning to see signs of spring here in the Cache Valley. Down in town crocus and daffodils are blooming and birds are signing. I love the sounds of nature except the pheasant that squawks outside my bedroom window. He can get a big obnoxious. I'm eager for the weather to get a bit warmer so I can do more painting outside. A few little trips now and then are all I do until the weather warms up. I have to admit I'm a fair weather painter.
The painting Side Street was begun outside but finished in my studio.
8x10 oil on board
"Signs of Spring" is totally from my memory with a little imagination thrown in.
Mid December I blogged about "Starting a Painting and Ruining it in One Day." I had begun a painting of a fish market at Pikes Market in Seattle. Nothing felt right about it so I gave up on it but fortunately didn't throw it away. This morning I was straightening up my art studio and I came across it. I thought all is already ruined so why not just have fun with it. Some times my best paintings have been the result of not giving up and just going for it. Here it is.
I've opened up Alan's eyes at the request of his mom and did a few more touchups. In a few days I'll go over the painting with a medium that will deepen and bring out the colors especially the darks and then later put a light varnish on it. (The lighting in my studio has lightened and flattened out some of the color.) I am really enjoying doing commissioned portraits. They can be challenging but my heart sings when I get positive feedback. My "friends" price for an 11x14 framed oil portrait is $395. Let me know if you are interested.
I implied earlier that I was only beginning the portrait painting today. Actually I started this the other day as I couldn't wait to get going on it. If you have been reading my previous posts, you'll know that there are probably many small and possibly changes to comes but here is what I have so far. It feels so good to be back in my studio again.
While in Arizona I received an email from a woman who wanted me to paint a portrait of her second child. A couple of years ago I had done a watercolor of her first son. She wanted this second one to be done in oils. She sent me a number of photos so that I can get a sense of the personality of this darling little boy. Most successful are when I can take the pictures myself but I don't think she's prepared to fly me across the country. So, now that I have my sea legs back and the suitcases are unpacked, I'm back in my studio once again.
I am taking photos of the process and will post the results when the painting is done.
It is good to be home. Our travels took us in search of warm weather and sunshine. We spent almost a week visiting with friends outside of Phoenix. They live half the year in Arizona and half here in the Cache Valley of Utah. That lifestyle sounds so inviting especially when we are still living with snow. While there we spent a day (of course) visiting galleries in Scottsdale and enjoying the Celebration of Fine Art 2010 show which is 100 artists busily making great art under big white tents. 20% of those 100 artists are from Utah and each of the galleries we visited in Scottsdale had painting from artists right here in the valley.
Each morning we would awake to fresh oranges and grapefruit from the trees of Barb and Bill. I don't think I've ever tasted fruit more sweet. We brought home two lemons to support our tales of how big and delicious the fruit is in Arizona. This photo is of a sweet lemon NOT a grapefruit.
Our time in Tucson was divided between traveling down memory lane (Bob's parents used to live here), visiting the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum and exploring places to possibly retire or at least spend winters.
Sedona was another trip down memory lane. The city of Sedona itself has grown into something I don't recognize any more but the red rock formations are as beautiful as ever.
A trip to Sedona wouldn't be complete without visiting Jerome an old mining town turned art town set on the side of a mountain. The town is filled with art galleries and artist studios. The old abandoned high school as been turned over to the art community for artist studios. What a joy!
The Grand Canyon was even more beautiful under a blanket of snow.
Beware of the mountain lions!
Our time in St. George was equally filled with exploring the red rocks and canyons. The trees were blooming with beautiful spring flowers and the daffodils were in bloom. What a great time to see Zion we thought. Once again we were greeted with changing weather - fog - snow and sunshine. I had never seen Zion with snow and it was as beautiful as the Grand Canyon. Maybe moving to a warm climate isn't what we are meant to do. Snow is so pretty to look at. Too bad it requires shoveling.
While gone our son Scott said it was sunny and warm at home. Today as I write this it is snowing. There is no escaping it.