Changing It Up

In September I had to have an ankle tendon repair surgery, and was non weight bearing on my foot for 7 weeks.  Since there was such difficulty in moving anywhere, I spent a lot of time sitting and reading.

Since I love all kinds of art, I was looking at various artists work, and found myself intrigued with landscape paintings that are more abstract.  I loved the landscapes that were created with colorful shapes separated with line, looking a lot like glass mosaics. They were obviously painted, but mosaic like.  I also learned about an alternative color wheel, the CMY, Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow, which is the “true” color wheel.  I won’t go into all the details about it here, except to say that using it makes paintings more vibrant looking, which I love.

So, I set out to learn how to change my landscapes, keeping these things in mind.  I wanted to paint my landscapes more abstractly, and using the CMY color wheel, laying down the colors next to one another, and blending less. The goal is to have more vibrant color.

In my home, my studio is downstairs and I wasn’t able to get down there to paint, since I couldn’t walk.  By the second week of this, I was really anxious to get into experimenting with these new ideas–especially since I was bored with the whole sitting and reading thing I was stuck with.  I asked my husband to help me make a “Mini studio” upstairs so I could paint again. He brought up all of my Plein air equipment that I take out into the field to paint with,  and I was able to start painting small studies–

Here’s a few of the studies I did.  I had, and continue to have,  a difficult time painting abstractly, and not blending.  I would say they are a smidge more abstract, but not to the extent I was hoping for. I guess when we’ve been painting a certain way for 30 some years, it’s hard to change:-)

Below are the last two paintings that were painted back in my studio, again:-)  They are in a larger format, and I was able to spend more time on them.  I’m going to step it up to an even larger format next,  since I’m getting more confident in my new process.

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“Wooded Path”–16″ x 20″

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“Farm Pond”–16″ x 20″

I’m really excited about this new way of approaching my landscapes.  Each time I start another composition, I’m faced with the new challenges.  It’s fun to change things up every now and then.  It’s keeps freshness in my work, and excitement in my mind.

Until next time–

Barbara

 

Lavender Fields

Since I am absolutely in love with Lavender plants, having probably close to 30 in my own yard, I decided to take a trip to a local lavender farm that actually produces lavender as a crop.  I knew it was lavender “season”, because I had already harvested my own, and looked forward to seeing actual fields of it.  I was not disappointed!  The farm is White Oak Lavender Farm & Winery in Harrisonburg, VA.  A beautiful place for sure, with lavender blooming in all directions.  As I was hoping, I was inspired to paint two paintings (so far;-).

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In the picture above,  you can see the initial shapes and values that I started with.  I usually start this way, adding layers of color as I build up the composition.

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“Lavender Beneath the Blue Ridge” 30″ x 40″

The second painting was another field that was next to a lavender drying barn, so I decided to keep this and the distant fenced field in the composition.  I also decided to use the same Split Complementary color scheme of Violet, Yellow Green, and Yellow Orange.

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And the finished painting: “Harvest Time” –30″ x 40″

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I hope you enjoy visiting this beautiful place through my paintings!

Barbara

http://www.barbarasryan.com

Black Water Lagoon I & II

I wanted to write about these two paintings I did, both from the same trip I made into the Cypress Gardens outside of Charleston, SC.  It was a gorgeous experience, canoeing on the black water, meandering through the lily pads, and towering cypress trees.  The person we got the canoe from told us the water was black because of acid that came from the cypress tree roots.  One advantage of this, besides the obvious beauty, was no mosquitoes:-)

The first painting I did was painted in a low light key, trying to evoke the feeling I got from the dark water and trunks of the Cypress trees.  I decided to use a Tetrad color combination of two sets of compliments.  They were Blue Violet/Yellow Orange and Red Violet/Yellow Green. As is kind of obvious, I spent the greatest energy working on the water and lily pads, since they were so important to the overall feeling. Quite a challenge, I must say, but I was totally pleased with the finished painting.

 

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After finishing the first, dark, painting, I decided I wanted to try a similar painting in subject, but in the opposite direction by using a high light key for it.  I knew it would be a challenge to get the “dark water” feeling while keeping the light key high, but I was up to it.

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I chose an Analogous color scheme using Blue, Blue Green,and Green.  I also used a little of the Discord colors of Violet and Yellow Orange. The water isn’t as dark, but I still think it works.

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Side by side, they look different, but go together well. Do you have a favorite?

Until next time,

Barbara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Good Evening, Sunshine”

This painting is of a field across from my daughters apartment in Blacksburg, VA.  She is a student at Virginia Tech University, and this field, and sheep, actually belong to the Agriculture Department of the University.  We go past it a lot, but when I saw the setting sunlight and shadows splashing across the field, I decided I had to paint it.

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I started the painting in my usual way of looking at the different shapes the values can take, from lightest to darkest.  I often get help with this using my app Value Viewer.  It can change the values in any way that pleases, so I like it.

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After deciding on the shapes and value placement, I decided to use the colors Cadmium Yellow, light, medium, and dark, Yellow Ochre, Sap Green, Cadmium Red, Orange, and Violet. I draw in the shapes and begin laying in the values with color.

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This last photo is a detail of the work in progress, before getting too much detail in it.

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The finished painting does give the feeling I was trying to evoke, mostly one of a quiet serenity. I hope you enjoy looking at it as much as I have painting it.

Until next time…

Barbara

Jefferson Vineyard

Today I’m posting about a painting I recently finished of a vineyard that I pass coming and going to my home.  It’s just up the road from Monticello, and is one of many vineyards that have opened in the area recently.  The church is not part of the vineyard, but sits just off the edge, as you can see in the painting.  The contrast of the red roof among all the green, though, made a perfect site to paint.

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“Jefferson Vineyard”

24″ x 30″  Oil on Canvas

The photo below shows my initial lay in of shapes and values. I used various tints and shades of Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cadmium Red Medium, and Ultramarine Blue. The photo on the top shows the different value shapes that are making up the composition.

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The next photos are close ups of the different layers I laid in on the sky area and the distant trees.  Using the same basic tube colors, I added a variety of color spots to add interest and vibrancy.

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Till next time — Thanks for looking!

Love to All, Barbara

To see and/or purchase any of my paintings go to my Website:  http://www.barbarasryan.com

My email Newsletter Sign up Page:  http://barbarasryan.com/email-newsletter

“Valley Farm”

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“Valley Farm”
24″ x 30″
Oil on Canvas

My latest painting is of an organic farm in the Shenandoah Valley that grows plants and animals of every sort for consumption of the masses.  Not only are they doing a wonderful service growing such delicious, healthy food, but the place is gorgeous!  So here’s how I did it–

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I started the process by deciding what colors I’ll be using, and laying in the large main shapes that determine the composition. At this point, there is not much detail, but you can see the beginnings of the barn and chicken coop in the field.

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As I lay in more color, I try and leave as much of the under layer showing thru as I can.  This is a detail of the front field and barn, and some of the colors I used.

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Here you can see how the majority of the composition has several layers of color. Now I can start putting in some detail to give interest.

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In this close up you can see the beginning of a chicken, and the grass behind it. A lot of color going on here!

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The final painting–

Till next time — Thanks for looking!

Love to All, Barbara

My Website:  http://www.barbarasryan.com

My email Newsletter Sign up Page:  http://barbarasryan.com/email-newsletter

“Hiking Trail”

  Here’s my completed painting of “Hiking Trail”.

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24″ x 30″–Oil on Canvas

Since my last blog post, I’ve spent a lot of time building up the color and texture throughout the painting, with the most texture being in the front slope and on the trail itself.  Since I had decided on the value shapes and color scheme at the beginning, this part was the most fun.  Laying in and pushing and pulling the color around is what I look forward to whenever I stand at my easel.

Till next time — Thanks for looking!

Love to All, Barbara

t texturetexture throughout the ️painting, with the most texture being in the front sloap and on the trail itself. Since I had decided on the value shapes and color scheme at the beginning, this part was the most fun.  Laying in and pushing and pulling the color around is what I look forward to whenever I stand at my easel.TTTTTillTill next time–thanks for looking!

My Website:  http://www.barbarasryan.com

My email Newsletter Sign up Page:  http://barbarasryan.com/email-newsletter