"Los Tulipanes"

"Los Tulipanes"
48 X 48, oil on panel

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Roses for Ruby

"Roses for Ruby"
15 X 15, oil on panel

This is a painting commission I just finished. I loved getting to paint it. The story of this painting actually started a long time ago, when I was a little girl.

Our next door neighbor was Ruby, and she had the most beautiful rose garden. All I have to do is think of her to remember the fragrant smell of her garden. I remember watching her tend her roses, she would invite me to smell each different rose and compare their scent, oftentimes, she would cut a rose for me to take home. She would trim the thorns so I wouldn't get hurt. I would carefully take it home and put it in a vase, or cup or jar and smell it over and over and touch the velvety petals and sing, "whenever I touch a velvet rose". When I think of roses, I think of Ruby.

I feel honored that more than 30 years later, for Ruby's birthday, her daughters commissioned me to paint roses for her. I have been so excited and happy today, on her birthday, wondering if she got the painting yet, and I imagine in my mind, her face, surprised and happy. I hope they remind her of that garden. I hope she knows that her kindness to a little girl was and still is so meaningful. I hope she knows that she taught me to see beauty and to appreciate the nuances of shape and color and smell. She helped my to really examine and enjoy flowers, and I am so grateful for that. Some of my greatest joy that I experience is because I learned to see like that. That is a big reason why I paint.

Thank you Ruby, and Happy Birthday.

Here is a photo of the painting in it's frame made by Rick Shorten. I think it is the perfect frame for this painting. I actually used a lot of gold paint in this painting- the sky has gold coming through the blue and there is also gold in the foliage. So, the photos look good, but seeing the original is even better.

Be nice to little kids. Let them see you love, and teach them to love.
The rewards only multiply.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Keys to Drawing

One of my favorite books ever is Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson. It is so universal, I reccomend it for all ages and stages of development as an artist. In fact, when I taught at U.V.U. I was constantly using it and when I taught at Kid's Village, I used it all the time too. It really is a great book.
I think it is full of great exercises that are explained very well and can be done at any age, parents with no art background can learn as they do the exercises with their children. Professional artists can use it to brush up on skills or just have fun and fill up sketchbooks. I love this book.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

8 ply

Pink Roses, watercolor on paper (hot pressed)
When I frame my watercolors, I always use 8 ply mat board. I love it. It is twice as thick as typical mat board. I prefer a single white 8 ply mat about 4 inches wide and slightly weighted on the bottom. It is hard to find people who can cut it properly so I stick with Lee R Cowan (has his own shop) or Todd (at the BYU Bookstore). Lee cut this one for me. He is super fast, reasonable and has a great sense of aesthetic.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

another favorite quote

“I must study politics and war, that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy, natural history and naval architecture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, tapestry, and porcelain.”
-John Adams