Tuesday, December 23, 2014

No. 538 Snow, Christmas Lights and the Moon

 Snow, Christmas Lights and the Moon
Oil on Gessobord
6" x 6"
Just after Thanksgiving we had our first and so far only snow of the season. Walking home from Melissa's, I was enchanted by the way the Christmas lights glowed beneath the snow under a star and moon filled sky. 
Best wishes to you for a wonderful, magic filled Christmas. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

No. 537 Poinsettia Reposing on Books

Poinsettia Reposing on Books
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x 7"
Lovely, old books are the latest addition to my prop collection. It turns out they are a perfect way to display this lovely Poinsettia branch.

Monday, December 15, 2014

No. 536 The First Poinsettia and Noel

The First Poinsettia and Noel
Oil on Linen Panel
7" x 5"
The third and last (for the moment) of my "hanging by a ribbon" series. Also, two of my favorite things about Chirstmas - poinsettias and Christmas music.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

No. 535 Christmas Ornaments #2

Christmas Ornaments #2
Oil on Linen Panel
7" x 5"
The second in my "hanging from a ribbon" series. I particularly enjoyed painting this one. There is just something about Santa. :)


Friday, December 12, 2014

No. 534 Christmas Ornaments

Christmas Ornaments
Oil on Linen Panel
7" x 5"

Recently, Julian Merrow-Smith posted a gorgeous little painting of a cluster of lemons hanging from a string. It was so beautiful I clicked on the auction button to see if perhaps I could make it my own. When I saw the auction was at $500 plus dollars I picked myself up off the floor and started pondering why I was so attracted to this particular piece. Sadly, that painting was not to be mine. I thought, though, that it would be fun to design a series of paintings with a similair concept of something hanging from a string or ribbon. So here is the first of that particular series.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

No. 533 Thanksgiving Throwback

Thanksgiving Day Bouquet in Teapot
Oil on Linen Panel
7" x 5"
This is quite possibly the first still life I've painted lit from directly above. The best part of this lighting set up is the interesting shadow pattern it throws on the table.
I keep forgetting to mention that I have a few desk calendars left for sale. They are the perfect size for stuffing in a stocking. No worries about the title, the calendar is for 2015. It just consists of paintings from 2014.
The calendars are $9.00 plus $2.00 shipping and handling. You can pay for one via the Paypal link below or send me a check. If you would like to purchase one with a check just send me an email at dsmcm678@yahoo.com so I can set one aside for you.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

No.532 Nathan's Collection

Nathan's Collection
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x 7"
My little brother, Nathan, is a photographer. He likes to collect old cameras and apparently a few toy cars. While visiting him recently I asked if I could paint part of his collection. He very graciously said yes. Come to think of it my brother's always been pretty good about sharing. :) I had a lot of fun trying to paint the reflections on his camera.


Monday, December 8, 2014

No. 531 One last nutcracker... for now

Mini Nutcracker #4
Oil on Canvas Panel
4" x 4"

This red headed fellow will be the last of the nutcrackers until I can get out to Suzy's for more photos.
Have you heard Maurice Sendak's Nutcracker is in it's final season? It's sad to see a Seattle tradition end. The sets and costumes he designed for the Nutcracker have enchanted me since I was a kid. If you would like to read more about this click here for an article from the Seattle Times.

Friday, December 5, 2014

No. 530 Mini Nutcracker #3

Mini Nutcracker #3
Oil on Canvas Panel
4" x 4"

These nutcrackers are best viewed while listening to the Nutcracker Suite, my very favorite Christmas music. As I am currently stuck on a ferry (the bridge on the dock is stuck in the upright position) my husband is doing the honors for me using only his voice to set the mood. :)))

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

No. 529 Mini Nutcracker #2

Mini Nutcracker #2
Oil on Canvas Panel
4" x 4"

For better or worse the TV is a definite part of the Christmas experience around here. Sappy Christmas Hallmark movies, the Muppet's Christmas Carol, National Lampoon's Christmas vacation, and a Christmas Story are just a few shows that ring in the season in the McManamen household. What movies get you in the Christmas mood?

Monday, December 1, 2014

No. 528 Mini Nutcrackers

Mini Nutcracker #1
Oil on Linen
4 x 4
Click here to view auction.

Finally! I can start posting my mini nutcrackers. They've been waiting for over a month. Patient little fellows. This series is based on a set of photos I took last year of my friend Suzy's extensive nutcracker collection.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

No. 527 Ruby Beach Plein Air

Ruby Beach - Plein Air
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x 7"
This was painted on a recent trip to Lake Quinault for a PAWA board retreat. A huge thanks to Jan Jewell for letting us stay in her amazing cabin there. Having grown up on the protected waters of Puget Sound, I'm always amazed by the size and power of the waves on the coast.
I hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving. I know did and I for one have much to be thankful for - wonderful family and friends, and an opportunity to paint, just to name a few. I'm also very thankful for you taking the time out of your busy day to look at my work. It's one of the things that keeps me going! 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

No. 526 The Very Last Dahlia

The Very Last Dahlia
Oil on Linen Panel
7" x 5"

Having lots of fun spending time with family. The feel of the holidays is definitely in the air.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

No. 525 Chinese Lanterns, Again

Chinese Lanterns
Oil on Linen Panel
7" x 5"
At this point is it safe to say I'm obsessed with Chinese lanterns?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

No. 524 Autumn Stil Life #5

Autumn Still Life #5
Oil on Linen Panel
7" x 5"
Tried integrating more lost edges and texture with the help of a palette knife. It can be oh so hard to loosen up sometimes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

No. 523 The Last Dahlias #3

The Last Dahlias #3
Oil on Linen Panel
7" x 5"
Look at that. I could only go a day without throwing a Chinese lantern in!
I'm pretty happy with the way the dahlias are coming out. Truth be told I'd been avoiding them all summer. So many petals! I wasn't sure I could pull them off in a daily painting. Joe Anna Arnett's method of filling in most of the flower with the inner color and then coming back on top with petal highlights works again!
If you would like to know more about Joe Anna Arnett click here. Her still life DVD is on my wish list. :)

Monday, November 17, 2014

No. 522 Last of the Dahlias #2

Last of the Dahlias #2
Oil on Linen Panel
7" x 5"
These days I'm finding the back of a flower as interesting as the front.
On a separate note, I'm having photography issues. My favorite time to photograph paintings is outside on an overcast day. Finding such a day in the Northwest is not usually a problem, especially this time of year. Recently though we have had a long string of cold, clear days. Photos of paintings on those days tend to come out with some strange colors and too much contrast. For instance, in this painting the red scarf looks pretty good, the rest of the background is more raw sienna than burnt sienna. Cloudy days where are you?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

No. 521 The Last Dahlias

The Last Dahlias
Oil on Gessobord
6" x 6"
I'm sad to say these were the last fresh flowers collected from my garden before the hard frosts hit. Fortunately, I had a chance to paint them a couple of times before their petals dropped. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

No. 520 Autumn Still LIfe #4

Autumn Still Life #4
Oil on Linen Panel
7" x 5"
Still playing around with those Chinese lanterns...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

No. 519 Teapot and Lanterns

Teapot and Lanterns
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x 7"
To view auction click here.
I find myself attracted to paintings with large black shapes in them. Can anyone tell me why? Here is my small attempt at one such painting.

Monday, November 10, 2014

No. 518 Autumn Still Life #3

Autumn Still Life No.3
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x 7"
Last week the winds were blowing and rain pounded on the roof. Now temperatures are poised to drop below freezing and it's dark by 5:00pm. Time to get cozy indoors.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

No. 517 Autumn Still Life 2

Autumn Still Life 2
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x 7"
Click here to view auction.
Chinese lanterns are the coolest thing ever. I spotted a large clump of them growing along a fence near our cabin on Mt. Baker. So I made a point of stopping at a local nursery to see if I could get my very own clump. What I found was a small plant in a decorative pot. Between the time I set the plant in my cart and I the time got to the register I had no less than three nursery workers stop and tell me how invasive they are. How sad. I guess it's just one little plant in a pot for me.

Chinese Lanterns - fabulous color and shape. What more could you ask for?

Chinese Lanterns growing along a fence. They look harmless enough...

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

No. 516 Autumn Still Life

Autumn Still Life
Oil on Gessobord
6" x 6"
This orange pumpkin was carefully chosen at the pumpkin farm for it's fabulous stem. What a great stem! I'm feeling wistful because I wasn't the only one to love this little pumpkin. My daughter, Megan, decided she must have it to carve for Halloween.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

No. 515 Pansies with Apples and Lots of Red

Pansies with Apples and Lots of Red
Oil on Gessobord
6" x 6"

Pansies continue to challenge and fascinate. Such a modest, charming little flower and so devilishly difficult to paint. By the way, have I ever mentioned how much I love red?

Monday, November 3, 2014

No. 514 The Big One

Morning at Artists Point
Oil on Gallery Wrapped Canvas
40" x 30"
I'm very excited to announce that this painting along with it's companion plein air piece have been accepted into Plein Air Washington Artists exhibition Nature's Gift of Water. How exciting! The show is being held in a beautiful gallery in downtown Tacoma during the month of December.
I don't know if you noticed the size of this piece. It is a whopping 40 by 30 inches. I haven't painted this large since college! I have to admit I enjoyed working on a piece this size. It reminded me of the theater sets I used to paint while working for the college playhouse. It's a much more physical experience than painting the small pieces. I wasn't sure at first that I could pull it off but the subject matter demanded I give it a try.
For more information on the show visit www.americanartco.com

Thursday, October 30, 2014

No. 513 Eagle Harbor Plein Air Mini

Eagle Harbor Plein Air - Mini
Oil on Linen Panel
3" x 5"
Duane Keiser's workshop was held on Bainbridge Island. After the first day of class I was so jazzed about what I was learning I walked down to the waterfront to do this little plein air painting of the boats across Eagle Harbor. I had tried painting there the day before but was absolutely dumped on by a surprise rain shower. We are talking about a small swimming pool in my paint box kind of shower. On this particular day, while I was painting, I listened to some people making a movie instead. Never a dull moment on Bainbridge Island.

Monday, October 27, 2014

No. 512 Duane Keiser Workshop

DK Workshop Exercise #3
Oil on linen board
7" x 5"
In September I had the terrific opportunity to take a workshop from the man who initiated the daily painting movement, Duane Keiser. Yes, this is the fellow who came up with idea of creating small daily paintings and successfully selling them without the help of a gallery through Ebay. What an amazing concept this has been for hundreds, possibly thousands of artists including myself. The still life above is very Duane Keiser in it's subject matter. My favorite part is the extension cord. If you would like to check out more of his work click here.

DK Workshop Exercise #2
Oil on Canvas Panel
8" x 8"

Duane tried very hard to get us to loosen up and see the big picture by focusing on large shapes and color relationships. The painting above is about 65% mine and 35% Duane. If you are interested in his philosophy click here for a great interview.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

No. 511 Sunflowers and Pansies and Pumpkins, Oh My

Sunflowers and Pansies and Pumpkins, Oh My
Oil on Linen Panel
7" x 5"
One last sunflower painting (I'm pretty sure) and some of my favorite pumpkin patch photos...


Monday, October 20, 2014

No. 510 Craven Farm Squash Bins

Craven Farm Squash Bins - Plein Air
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x 7"
Fall isn't complete without a trip to Craven Farms to paint. I've admired these bins full of squash for several years. An overcast day was the perfect time to paint this normally very shady spot.

More eye candy around the farm.
Oh yes, I've got my eye on this for another painting trip.

You can't beat a turban squash for variety of color and texture.

Friday, October 17, 2014

No. 509 Plein Air Pumpkin Mini

Plein Air Pumpkin Mini
Oil on Canvas Panel
3" x 5"
I made a quick stop at Stockton Farms vegetable stand in Snohomish the other day. I had 45 minutes to paint this. That included set up, painting time and take down before I had to pick my daughter up from school. Phew! Needless to say, the painting was finished at home.
It's been terribly busy around here - again! I finished the large painting I'd been working on for the PAWA show and most recently have been putting things together for my booth at the holiday bazaar at Olympic View Middle School tomorrow. If you are local and would like to check it out they are open from 9am - 3pm.
I can't wait until the only thing I have to do is a painting a day.

Friday, October 10, 2014

No. 508 Sunflowers and Pumpkin #2

Sunflowers and Pumpkins #2
Oil on Gessobord
6" x 6"
The sunflowers and pumpkins were too fun to paint just once. I especially love the swoopy stem on that little pumpkin.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

No. 507 Bailey's Pumpkin Patch - Plein Air


Bailey's Pumpkin Patch - Plein Air
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x 7"
I just love the soft, golden quality of light on a fall afternoon. My newest plein air painting buddy, Peggy, joined me a couple of days ago to paint some pumpkins at Bailey's. What a great afternoon!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

No. 506 Sunflowers with Pumpkins

Sunflowers with Pumpkins
Oil on Gessobord
6" x 6"
Whoa! September had to be one of the busiest months I've ever experienced. Classes, trips, curriculum nights at the girls schools, the 30 in 30 challenge, it was fun but exhausting. So after recuperating and catching up on neglected to-dos, I'm back! Just in time for painting pumpkins...

Saturday, September 27, 2014

No. 505 Mt. Shuksun

Mt. Shuksun from Artists Point - Plein Air
Oil on Canvas Panel
8" x 10"

I was so inspired I actually painted an 8 x 10! Actually, I was so struck by the amazing feeling of space and of being on top of the world, I have plans to paint a much, much larger version. We'll see!
Mt. Shucksun from Picture Lake.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

No. 504 Mt. Baker Mini

Mt. Baker Mini - Plein Air
Oil on Canvas Panel
3" x 5"

So what do you do when you've run out of time because you've been running around like a chicken with it's head cut off trying to see all the great views?
Why, you paint a mini of course. :)

Just couldn't get enough photos of Mt Baker.