More abstract flowers

I tried to stay cool this week, but it hardly seemed possible if I went outside. Yesterday was the 22 consecutive day in a row of 90+ degrees. It is just hot, hot, hot out there.  I keep missing the total number of days above 90 for the summer but it has to be getting up there.  The dryness of the ground is unbelievable.  Overly humid air that doesn’t rain and rock hard, cracking earth make it an uncomfortable time for every living thing.  We got almost .3″ of rain Saturday night, but it seemed merely a drop in the bucket.  By Sunday afternoon you would never have guessed we had gotten anything at all.

Black eyed susans

The heat and drought have taken a toll on my flowers, but I went out and picked what I could, including some black-eyed susans, petunias, and some more day lilies for live studies  I decided to try the susans first so I could work at keeping the yellow values brighter.  I first layered in cadmium yellow and then added the darker colors.  Since I had to spend most of my painting time this week  in the evening under my daylight fluorescents it was hard to get true color values.  The photo is a little more vivid than the actual painting, but all in  all it is a fair representation.  At this point, I feel it is just okay.  Perhaps I am getting a little bored with the flowers at this point and just need to move to something else right now.  I will let it sit for a few days and then look at it again.  

Lily revisited

I also decided to revisit the last day lily painting.  I had felt the overall balance was a little off with the greenery  at the bottom so I went back and added a little more.  I like it better now and will probably let it go at that.  I picked a few of my fresh tomatoes and some small green apples from an old apple tree growing in the upper field yesterday, so I’ll probably do these this week as a change of pace.

Rain at last

I felt the earth breathe a sigh of relief this afternoon After more than two weeks of super hot and dry weather, we finally got some rain this afternoon. The temperature dropped about 15-20 degrees in a short period of time as the rain poured down accompanied by some lightning and thunder. It was wonderful.

Day lily

I managed to spend some time this week in the studio even though I had to work three days on a set of architectural drawings on the computer. I decided to stay with the flowers because I have so many fresh ones outside right now and it is probably better to work from life for a change instead of from of a photograph, even if it is not really plen air.  I have some very lovely large day lilies blooming in a kind of deep mauve with a yellow throat and brown undertones.  I think I worked on it over two days, but  I don’t feel it is quite done yet so I will play a little more with it this week.  The painting is on the small side as these things go.  I had one long piece of leftover board that I cut down to two with an image size of 3″ x 5″.  I like the colors but I think I may want to try for a little more definition in it.  I haven’t totally decided.  I really don’t want to overwork it and muddy the colors.

The mustache challenge

The second piece turned out to be something for a challenge within one of the etsy teams I belong to and it had to involve a mustache of all things. I really don’t illustrative or cartoon art, so I had to think long and hard about what to do. I finally came up with an idea for barber shop scene. I wanted it to be fairly stark black and white with maybe just a little splash of color to catch the eye.  It is just a little piece done totally for fun.  I think the barber pole is actually the best part with its small amount of shading.