Wet Paint June 2014

I think I'm still working on this piece.  I want to work in the foreground especially.  I'll re post an image when it's truly done.  I'd love to sell this one before I invest in the frame.  There are so many choices.  The one I like the best is a heavy, antique style gold.  It looks like a 200 year old painting in it, but that's not everyone's taste!

A plein air piece from last Friday.

Peonies with Green Glass and Apricots, 20x16 in. oil on panel, on hold

Beach Box Pastoral

May Changes

It's a good month for them.  For changes.

I decided to simplify my life and forget about a "website" for a while.  I have the worst luck building or having one built for me.  It seems too personal to have someone else do without having too many of my own opinions about the layout  And when I do it?  It

looks

like I did with all of the little technical know-how I have within me.

JUNE NOTE:  AH, DECIDED TO KEEP THE WEBSITE...IN SPITE OF ITS IMPERFECTIONS.  THE GALLERIES ARE PRETTY HANDY.

So more power to the blog and Facebook studio gallery pages!  

https://www.facebook.com/ThimganHaydenStudio

The painting below (speaking of changes) is a re-visit of a painting I did a year or two ago.  You can see the older one on the wall behind the easel and canvas.

Here's a pic of the original....will be getting a hand finished frame this year, by the way.

And now---with no website to fret over---I'm going to go paint!! or work outside in my fledgling cottage garden I'm attempting!!  Changes- hooray!!

Bluebird Trail ll Reloaded

Greetings!

Finally I can say that spring has taken hold here in Michigan.  It was a long time in coming this year!  I'm adding a new image of Bluebird Trail ll after having repainted a couple of passages of it that seemed to need some more care than the plein air visit afforded.

This 12 x 16 in. landscape is for sale through the Water Street Gallery  

www.waterstreetgallery.com

 if you're local and want to take a look.

More new work on the way!

Life on The Slow Setting

This past month, I was feeling really cheerful and thankful for the time I had to enjoy household tasks.

One morning, I was standing on a dining room chair with one foot on the table cleaning the little chandelier that hangs there.  Granted, the sun was shining bright on the snow and in

Michigan

that does wonders for the heart at this time of the year.

 Like a lot of other people, I really bond with my house and want to have the time to enjoy taking care of it.  Not that it always works out that way.

It’s those times when I’m in the moment that give me an emotional boost.

I consider myself a sensitive person (or a highly sensitive person!).  I’m often overwhelmed with the size and number of the world’s problems.  I try to live in such a way that I effect positive change and it’s these little tasks, the joy of family, and the beauty of art and nature that keep me from stumbling over the sorrows outside of my sphere of influence.

And did I mention?  Bring on the spring!!

Dreaming in Lead White

I'm sure a measure of you can sympathize with lead white addiction in painting (no, not eating).  When I discovered it years ago, I was able to walk around with a knowing expression...I'd found one of the secrets of the Old Masters.

However, as I ran out of tubes of my lead white, I found myself a little nervous about ordering more.  Some may argue that it's fine.  It's a heavy pigment and isn't floating around trying to poison me.  But, I work at home a fair amount.  I work in my kitchen fairly often.  I have children and a lap dog.  I just would rather avoid it for a while.

SO! I was excited to find this blog post.  I'm going to experiment a bit and see if I like the home brew lead white substitute as described.  

http://paintingperceptions.com/sounding-technical/the-great-lead-white-shortage

I'm really liking Oleogel and more recently Wilson's Medium from Natural Pigments.  Wilson't Medium gets sticky and rich quite quickly that can add some texture within one session.  Perhaps this lead white sub and Wilson's can get together and make something lovely!

Plein Air Painting for Moon Bears August 10th, 2013

Greetings!
This year, I decided to donate my earnings from my painting efforts with the Water Street Gallery plein air event to help Moon Bear rescue from the vile bear bile industry.  This is a horrible life for a bear---years of pain in a tiny cage.  There is at least one rescue organization actively rehabbing and providing sanctuary for bears.  It's sad, but turning away doesn't help.  There has been growth and good outcomes for bears since I started paying attention to this two years ago.  So CHEERS to the people on the frontlines of this-that experience the joys,stress and sorrows first hand.  I'd like to help in the best way I can.   For now, it's with a brush.
http://www.crowdrise.com/moonbear/fundraiser/thimganhayden

Bluebird Trail ll, 12x16 oil on linen panel 2013

Sharing Models

Sharing Models

My second day in Florence, I was stumbling about my new surroundings with jet lag in my head and surprisingly, I saw a familiar face.

Wallflowers and Wallpaper

I have once again fallen behind terribly at updating the blog.  There are so many things to juggle in life, not to mention actually painting!

After getting back from Italy, Joseph and I bought a little brick house that we fell in love with, our teenage daughter got Chicken Pox, and we had to have one of our dogs put to sleep.  Then of course we get to settle into the new old house and repair some things.

The big loss with moving from our former place was the big studio in-home.  Now I paint smaller pieces at home in any room I feel like using (usually the kitchen), and share AESTHETICS STUDIO with a couple of fellow artists in a local arts cooperative building for portraits and figures.

Why Wallpaper and Wallflowers? (the title of this post)

Well, the Wallpaper is obvious.

and "Wallflowers"

is the playful but woefully negative word I seized upon for my current work theme.  I think my work has a solitary sweetness to it that sort of resonates with the word "wallflower". Since I often paint portraits of flowers-it also has a bit of tongue-in-cheek mixed in there.  You can see more of the recent pieces that bloom under this theme on my website's Current Works page (obsolete link).

Living Above The Clouds In Montefiascone

1st painting of the trip, the view from the window

I am really late in blog posting....I am going to start where I left off and add a few more as I get to it.  This summer was a whirlwind of travel, house buying, Chicken Pox, and dachshund woes.  There was a lot of change in a small space of time- a lot of "living".  

My family and I went to Montefiascone in May for me to learn and enjoy a residency with Artegiro Contemporary Fine Art.  Our hosts and friends, Damien and Renata Summo-O'Connell and their dear children, were gracious to help with settling us in and supporting the project.  

Montefiascone is on a hill, a mountain.  The weather changes often and quickly.  Sometimes the clouds were far above you, and sometimes below you.  The people of Montefiascone are justifiably proud of their town.  We stayed right next to the Cathedral-the Cattedrale di Santa Margherita ( which has the 3rd largest dome in Italy) and just below the breathtaking view from the Rock of The Popes.  This tiny town had Slow Food member eateries and a wonderful enoteca called "Volo di Vino". 

Returning to Italy after a few years absence was exciting.  I'm always surprised that my Italian (such as it is) hasn't shriveled completely in the meantime.  I'm also surprised at how much pleasure I get from working on the language. I feel actually exhilarated when I am able to communicate successfully and build relationships- to understand and be understood!  I was happy to trade the initial shock of being in a different country for the slower, comfortable feeling of returning "home" in a way.  After living in Italy- part of me changed forever and not a day goes by that I don't think about it.  I think everyone who has spent a decent amount of time in another country has that same feeling.

This little painting is just under 8x10in. and is painted near the  center of town.

Outside Regula's stone studio

 One of the definite highlights of the trip were all the wonderful people I met.  The studio was out of a dream-complete with artists in and out and a talented sculptor owner-Adrianna.  She gave me roses from her garden which I painted one rainy day.

 Angelo, a photographer, 

www.artegiro.com

, took me on more than 1 memorable excursion, patiently hearing me out in Italian.  Simone and Gabriele are the owners of Volo di Vino and a talented duo of taste and writing.  Quinto gave us a book he's written about figures in a fresco in one of the ancient churches and enriched our experience.  Not to mention sculptor, Regula Zwicky,  who inspired me, Rosanna, who invited me to her home and took me landscape painting in a nut tree grove, and  Renata, my dear host, who is always an inspiration and herself an aesthete and cultural artist.

Painting Yindi in the studio

The night view from my window

ARTEGIRO Residency Is Coming!



La bella vita- the beautiful blend of fresh sunshine and kitchens, image courtesy of Artegiro on Facebook

Hooray!  I am so honored to be chosen as an Artist In Residency by Artegiro Contemporary ART Artegiro Website.
I have the opportunity to stay for a time in a country I love-Italy.  I have the freedom to paint or draw what I wish.  To experiment if I want to, and explore.  Another exciting aspect is that my host and dear friend, Renata Summo-O'Connell, will arrange for me to meet art scholars or painters or craftspeople to talk with during my stay.  At this point I'm looking forward to painting a little of everything subject-wise and experimenting with mediums a bit (I still don't know what I'm in love with), visiting art museums and eating:).  I will be bringing some pieces back with me to the States, and plan on a slow food evening Open Studio linked with Artegiro to share the project with you.  I also hope to be a good little blogger.
Montefiascone-image courtesy of Artegiro on Facebook

Portrait of Grand Rapids Bishop

Bishop of Grand Rapids Commission

Below is the finished portrait of Bishop Hurley of Grand Rapids, Michigan.  He was an excellent sitter and was very gracious to come for 4 sittings so that I could paint the gesture and his face from life, and get good color notes on his clothes.

I kind of like this photo because it shows the amount of warmth and color in the middle values of the painting a little better than the more formal photo of it.  I'll try to get another image once it's in it's beautiful frame in a few weeks.

Finished painting of Bishop Hurley- right before delivery

Bishop Hurley finished with a portrait sitting

This second image shows the fourth sitting.  I asked to photograph the bishop full length because I was missing a reference for the bottom hem of his white vestment.  At this point I had added in a drapery in the background looking for a "naturalistic" way to work in the family crest in the upper left corner of the painting.  In the end it seemed too distracting and looked like Bishop was leaning away from the cloth so I took it out and the painting came together beautifully.

An image I looked at for ideas on portraits of bishops with family crests

Close-up of Bishop's face. The light didn't go into the eyes until the very end.  I had a hard time breaking eye contact with "him" after I knew that I had gotten it right!

Close-up of the sleeve and cross.  I'm using calcium carbonate to build up sleeve texture.

Close-up of lap and hand.  This pic is missing a bit of warmth in the fleshtones, oh well.

Thank you, Bishop Hurley and the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids, for permission to share these images of our portrait project.

On the easel- May 2011

Hello!  I've fallen behind on posting here....keeping up with technology takes a lot of time!  I'm learning how to get newsletters running and e-posts of new work.  Somehow I manage to paint, teach, and raise a family, too!  Here is a pic of me working on a self-portrait.  I really couldn't paint sight-size on this one because of the easel feet hitting each other and the way the light was coming in and lighting (or not) my painting enough.

"Forsythia" 16x12 oil on panel
Self-portrait about halfway through


Works lined up for summertime showing.  I love seeing a wall of them at a time.  It seems so seldom that I amass any amount of them and get to see them as a group.


Self-portrait finished.  I'm wearing my favorite short-sleeved sweater and my Zecchi's painting apron.