Saturday, March 23, 2013

Hilton Head Four Challenge - New Orleans

Our 9th Hilton Head Four (HH4) semi-monthly challenge was provided by Regula "Lulu" Scheifele.  What a great picture of a wonderful gentleman playing his guitar on the streets of New Orleans.  Now here is a man how really looked like he was enjoying himself.  Lulu said she bought even one of his CDs.  How fun if she played it while she painted his portrait. 

Play'n the Blues, 8x8" oil on RayMar panel ($150)

This was a very interesting challenge because it totally took me out of my comfort zone.  I thought faces were tough, but I found out hands are in another category of tough for me! That's what's great about challenges... they are something that I had wanted to try, but never took the plunge.  I think they've pushed me to go places I probably would not go on my own.  I'm learning so much about changes in composite and color.  I also know that I need a challenge with a deadline.  Nothing like having to post something on a specific day to get you moving and painting.
If you aren't already trying challenges such as The Daily Painter's Challenge find a couple of artist friends and start your own challenge.  

Willie Plays the Blues, 8 x 8” oil on gessobord

Panama Hat, 10 x 10” oil on Raymar Panel

Chris Werst

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mug #15 - Chris Werst

The 2012 Hilton Head Caper continues... If anyone had told me a year ago I'd be painting portraits on a 4x4" board I probably would have laughed at them. 

Mug #15 and Chris just had to be different!  Thank goodness Wanda held off with Chris' mug until we had a few under our belts or I might have been bad and skipped it.  I've never painted a profile before and must say when I started to paint it there may have been a little (or a lot) of procrastination going on.  I finally bit the bullet and with some advice from artist friends finished it up.  I did an under-painting and then tried to paint the negative space which helped.  Susan showed me the 'trick' of using a paint handle & holding it vertically first on the photograph then on my painting.  I did that on the tip of the nose so I could see where the mouth & forehead lined up with Chris' nose.  The same with the eye, back of nose & mouth.  Sounds simple, but while I knew I wasn't getting it right, I couldn't see the subtle differences until I looked at it with the straight edge.  Thanks Susan. 

Chris “The Moniker” Werst

Chris Werst, 4x4" oil on gessobord

Wanda Rottenfusser's description of suspect #15

Another long time and well connected member of the Hilton Head felons is on the loose.  Chris “The Moniker” Werst resides in the same city as two other known perps including the nefarious leader “Quickdraw” Jurick and has been observed presenting her with gifts.  (The fact that the shawl was orange, a symbol of luxury and splendor, is highly suspicious.)  We also know she is quite cozy with a member of the international banking branch of the gang, not surprising since she herself is well versed in the global account management world.  With this kind of background one would expect her to drive a Porsche or Ferrari but she has cleverly decided to blend in with the locals by driving a station wagon.  However, do not be fooled by appearances as our intel suggests she is a world traveler.

“The Moniker” is a founding member of the elite splinter group, the Hilton Head 4, and continues to contribute to their rather shady activities.  She has immortalized parrots, puppies, and people from Paris in paint (NB. Actually it was seagulls not parrots but I digress…).  She has been seen combing the beaches in Hilton Head in search of victims and, with the Hilton Head 4, has co-hosted at least one large (and successful) gathering of felonious felons.  This is a dangerous woman indeed!
For other eye witness accounts (paintings) of sightings of the mug shots see 2012 Hilton Head Caper

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mug #14 - Cameron

13 down 2012 Hilton Head Caper mugs shots continue (for those keeping count I still haven't done my self portrait, but soon) .  The mug shots have not only been a challenge, but a great way to enhance & prolong the experience of Karin Jurick's Fall workshop.  If you haven't taken one of Karin's workshops I highly recommend them.  It was a fantastic experience and wonderful to see her in action! 

Cameron “The Shadow” Farley
Wanted for Questioning

Cameron 'The Shadow' Farley, 4x4" oil on gessobord

Wanda's done it again with another great write up:

Today’s person of interest is Cameron “The Shadow” Farley who does not appear to exist at least under this alias.  An internet search turned up 17 different individuals in the U.S. with this name including a Cameron Farley who won the Go Kart 36 Division at Birch Run but was disqualified.  At first this seems unlikely to be our perp but on reconsideration, anything is possible.  The intel we have depicts a woman not afraid to push the envelop.  We do know there is a medical connection (surgical instruments no less) as well as a Canadian connection (after all her last known whereabouts was north of Canada’s Niagara peninsula).  We also speculate she secretly covets Canadian weather (this morning 27F and snowy in Traverse City, 40F and sunny in Calgary).

“The Shadow” was seen in the presence of The Sisterhood last fall so we know she has nefarious artistic connections.  However, she doesn’t appear to exploit them.  She was seen observing “Quickdraw” Jurick closely and using her tabletop easel and assorted implements to render her vision into reality BUT to what purpose?  No visible sign of this vision has been discovered.  Has she turned to the underground scene or is she working under an alias?  This is truly a mystery and we need your help in tracking down this elusive woman!

For other eye witness accounts (paintings) of their sightings of the suspects check then out at 2012 Hilton Head Caper

Thursday, March 14, 2013

King Street - Old Town Alexandria

King Street (Old Town Alexandria, Va) 11x14" oil on canvas (sold)

I just got the exciting news this painting sold this afternoon. 

Old Town Alexandria is one of my favorite places to paint.  I really enjoyed doing this painting.  I wanted to try to paint something very impressionistic. It is a very different style for me.  I blurred the source photo so I couldn't get caught up in the details.  (It works much better for me than squinting!)

Funny story about this painting: My parents like to see my work so I usually email copies to them as I finish paintings. When Dad got this one he sent me a reply that I needed to resend it because the photo of the painting was blurry!  I had to explain that's the way it was supposed to look.  Oh well, I loved it. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hilton Head 4 Challenge #8 - A Monet in Time

A Monet in Time, 8x10" oil on RayMar panel
This HH4 semi-monthly challenge was Chris' pick.  She shared some of her photographs of an afternoon in Paris at Musee de l'Orangerie .  I have still not had the pleasure of visiting France so I am living vicariously through the photos of Chris and Lulu's travel.  

I'm getting braver in my attempts to paint faces thanks to my Hilton Head Caper mug shot challenge.  

Chris Werst

We're in the Monet, 8x10" oil 

Like It? 8x8" oil 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Mug #13 - Sue Grant Church

Another ‘muggle’ for you.   The Hilton Head Caper mugs shots are still a big challenge but interesting & a great learning experience.  Many kudos to Wanda for the wonderfully creative write ups she's done for all of suspects in the Hilton Head Caper and posting the mugs for us.

Sue Grant, aka 'Doc' or 'Needles'

Known to be Armed & Dangerous

Sue Church, oil on 4x4" gessoboard


Egad!  We have word that another of the notorious Hilton Head felons has a Canadian connection, eh!  Sue “Doc” Church Grant claims to have a Canadian birth certificate but an American passport.  One is immediately suspicious since Canadian passports are highly coveted by international bad guys.  It appears her felonious activities are rooted much closer to home.  
“Doc”, not unlike one of her fellow felons, has infiltrated the medical profession to get closer to her prey.  By her own admission, she enjoys capturing children.  We speculate she pokes and prods them and engages them in conversation.  She also immortalizes them in paint and we know she has displayed them in CAPE FEAR.  This is truly shocking!  
Although “Doc” claims to have left the more heinous aspects of this practice behind we know she continues to capture victims in both oil and water.  She also exhibits with the Back Porch Painters.  Does this mean she has moved on to more senior victims?  Or are puppy and his rabbit sisters in mortal danger?  We can only watch and wait.

For other eye witness accounts (paintings) of their sightings of all of the suspects check out the

2012 Hilton Head Caper 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Art is a Journey

I am trying to get out of my comfort zone to push myself.  Workshops & challenges have really helped.  I decided to experiment with these 2 musicians.  They were sitting on overturned crates between stalls at a Saturday morning farmer's market.  

I don't know about you, but I don't let myself "play" with paint often enough anymore.  For me that means like most painters I want every painting to be successful.  I know I won't loosen up if I don't use larger brushes at least to start out.  That's harder than one would think & I haven't been entirely successful as I keep reaching for the small detail brushes!  So I decided I wouldn't even sketch out the painting but dive right onto a blank canvas without even toning it!!  Doesn't sound like much of an adventure, but it was for me.

This has become one of those paintings my husband teases me I should sell by the pound given how much paint ends up on the canvas as I make my changes.   I've been working on it off and on for a few months.  Paint some, set aside for a few weeks, pick up and paint some more.  It still wasn't "there", so I decided it was a good painting to summit to my on-line critique group. As always, they made great suggestions and as I was implementing their suggestions I saw additional things. 

Fiddling Around, 16x20" oil on canvas

Changes I've made following the suggestions of my fellow artists:
  • Guy on the right: enlarged his head
  • brought down his right shoulder  
  • toned down the yellow jacket
  • Guy on the right: the white shirt was too cool so added some warm tones
  • made the brim of his hat (right) a little smaller... still might take off a little more
  • raised his leg so the guitar fell back more
  • added a touch of red in the middle background to balance the reds throughout the picture.  
First "draft"