Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day 75

Waiting for Mom, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

My friends Paul and Carol have a nest of baby Barn Swallows underneath their deck. It's amazing how fast they grow! I wonder if the next time I come over, these babys will have left the nest. They are so much fun to watch, and adorable, too. I love Barn Swallows, they've been one of my favorite birds since I was a kid.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 74

Dreams of Hoarfrost, 5 x 7 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

The midwest is in the grip of a pretty brutal heatwave right now. It made me really want to paint a winter scene. We get a lot of hoarfrost in Iowa in the winters, and to drive around the countryside and see the trees and fields covered in frost is one of the most beautiful sights a person could want. If you don't get hoarfrost where you live, do a google image search and you will see what I mean.

I took the reference photo for this painting not far from home last winter on a grey, misty day when the sky and the land were almost the same color. Even though the roads were getting icy, it was too beautiful to be inside. I look at this painting, and it takes me back to that feeling of wonder, and despite the oppressive heat we're experiencing now, winter is coming...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 73

Carried by the Wind. 5 x 7 inch, oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

I painted this from a reference photo I took of some horses running together at a local rodeo. I liked the idea of an abstract background for these two. Now, through the magic of art, they're running free somewhere, carried by the wind...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 72

Cicada, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

Cicadas are like little aliens - kind of creepy, yet utterly fascinating. And strangely beautiful, in their own way. I found this cicada laying dead on the road while walking Cloud the other day, just waiting for me to take it home and paint it. (He was a great model, never complained or wanted a break.)

This is the first time I've ever painted on a red panel, and I think I need to make some more. I really like the little bits of bright red peeking through.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 71

Three Cherries, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

When I set some cherries on this blue napkin, I fell in love with the color combo and knew I had to paint them. I think all of the colors in this painting work well together. It's always good to have plenty of neutrals, which allows the bright colors to sing. (They're singing. Can you hear them?)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Day 70

Number Two, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

This was a quick, loose study from a pretty bad photo. I liked the pose, so I thought I'd try to wing it. I took this photo in an indoor barn, and the light was pretty dim. It was a fun study to paint, but it makes me realize how much I prefer strong light and shadow these days.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Day 69

Ultimate. 6 x 6 inch, oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

My husband plays a game called Ultimate Frisbee a couple times a week with his friends. I brought my camera to a game and got some good action photos because I'm interested in painting more scenes with people. Before throwing the frisbee down field, they say the score and the word "Ultimate," which I guess is like saying "hike" in football. (Before you ask, no I don't play. I can't throw a frisbee to save my life.)

This is the first time I've ever attempted to paint anything remotely like this - with figures in action relating to each other. I'm learning that it's key to not get caught up in details, otherwise you tighten up and lose the loose brushwork. This painting was unbelievably fun for me, the clothing especially. I'm looking forward to doing more like this.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Day 68

Hey, Kid.  6 x 6 inch, oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

This lovely little baby goat is from the herd at a local treasure - Honey Creek Creamery, where they make the best goat cheese I've ever had in my life. I visited their grand opening last year with a friend, and took hundreds of photos of adorable kids (the goat kind), with the intention of painting them, and never got around to it. Now I can see what I was missing. This may be one of my favorite paintings I've ever done.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Day 67

Tape Measure and Iced Tea
6 x 6 inch oil on panel, © 2012 Kathleen Coy

I knew I wanted to paint a glass of iced tea. Even though it wasn't all that creative, I was going to grab a lemon to add to the still life, because I wanted something yellow, and everyone knows that lemons go with iced tea. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted this bright yellow tape measure on the table. BINGO! Why have iced tea with lemon, when you can have iced tea with tape measure. 

I really like the boldness of the yellow tape measure against the darkness of the rest of the painting. I also like the reflection in the glass. I set up this still life on the floor, and stood over it to paint. It was pretty hard on my back to keep craning my neck to look down for that long, which is too bad, because I love the viewpoint.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Day 66

Two Horses, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

This painting is an experiment with placing a subject in an abstract background. The color combo is different for me as well. I enjoyed the process, and like the idea of this. I look forward to experimenting more with this style.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day 65

Charles Koch, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

Charles Koch belongs to my dear friends Paul and Carol Jean Koch. Charles Koch was taken in as a stray, and even after he was neutered, never gave up the tomcat lifestyle. He has scars all over his face. He's missing the tip of an ear. His fur is not even all that soft, really. Yet beneath his rough exterior, beats a heart of gold. Charles Koch loves to sit on your lap, be held, and delights in belly rubs. He likes philosophy and long walks. There is more to Charles Koch than meets the eye.

Thanks again to my friend Don for another great photo reference.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Day 64

My New Green Hat, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

My first St. Bernard, and boy he was fun to paint! I have to thank my friend Don for the fabulous photo reference. This little painting is one of my favorites so far. I hope you enjoy it, too.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Day 63

Two Against the World, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

These two fledglings were huddled together in the grass at a local park a few weeks ago. They were looking around for their parents, not moving from their spot. A rousing game of frisbee was going on nearby, which may have kept mom and dad away. As I sat and watched my husband and friends play frisbee, I kept an eye on these two. 

They had all their feathers and were nearly grown. Everything I've ever read about finding fledglings says to leave them be, the parents are feeding them and are probably watching from a distance. The way they were huddled together in the grass of this huge park, taking comfort from each other, so aware of their vulnerability, was very touching to me. I knew I had to paint them. 

These feelings of empathy resurfaced strongly yesterday as I was painting, and made me ponder the root of them... I know that fledglings are killed by predators all the time - it's part of nature. Predators have to eat, too. I don't think that was it. I think it stirred up memories of the times I got lost as a child, or the time my mom was late picking me up from little league. Times when you feel like you're alone in the world. Things like that which we can all relate to. 

And when I finished, I was deeply humbled by the realization that even if these two didn't make it, if say, a fox found them, they now live forever in this painting. That means a lot to me.

I sure hope they did. We were all rooting for them...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Day 62

Mighty Mo, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

"Mighty Mo" was painted on location along the banks of the Missouri river. Just a quick, loose study of my impression of the colors and mood and distant hills on this particular beautiful, hazy summer day in Iowa.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day 61

A Gathering of Cherries, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

This one was a lot of fun to do, although it doesn't really feel like my style. It kind of reminds me of a Cathleen Rehfeld painting, an artist whose work I think is pretty darn great, so I guess I'll call it a tribute to her. Even though it doesn't come close to her vibrant colors, the boldness brings her work to mind. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Day 60

Two Lemons, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

I'm trying not to spend as much time on some of these dailys lately, because I have deadlines coming up and need to get some larger pieces done. These lemons were painted in about 30 to 40 minutes, with lots of loose, sweeping strokes, working and re-working until I got to this point. It was very freeing, although a little scary at first to give up the control I normally have over the brush. 

This painting was a good experiment for me. In the future, I can see my work evolving into a happy medium between chaos and control. Sort of like riding a spirited horse - you want the thrill of the ride, but you don't want to fall off and crack your head open, either. 

Here's a painting on my other blog that I did a few days ago. It should give you an idea of what I mean:

And here are the lemons I painted back on day 22. Same bowl, too. Huge difference!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Day 59

Cadmium Yellow Pale, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy
Click for purchase information.

Another painting of a tube of paint. My "go to" yellow - Windsor Newton Cadmium Yellow Pale. I'm especially happy with the dried paint around the cap, and the cap itself. There's a lot of nice texture that doesn't show up in the photo, unfortunately. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Day 58

Asleep at my Feet, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

This one breaks a record for my fastest daily painting so far - 15 minutes!! Cloud has a bed under my desk and likes curl up and sleep there sometimes, although he usually prefers to lounge on the sofa when I'm busy, so he can look out the window.

It was around 7:30 pm, and I had been working all day on a large studio painting that's been taking me days (and is still not finished). I was in a groove and didn't really want to stop and do a daily, but it was getting late. I noticed that Cloud had come in and laid down for a nap, and I knew I had to work fast, since he never naps very long. 

I grabbed a little 6 x 6 panel from my stack, and used the brushes I was using for my other painting, and blocked in the major shapes, and wouldn't you know it, after 15 minutes he woke up and walked out of the room! 

So it is what it is. A quick, loose, gesture painting. I kind of like it.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Day 57

Avocado on Yellow Napkin
6 x 6 inch oil on panel, © 2012 Kathleen Coy

If habanero peppers are the taste of Evil, then avocados are the taste of Love. Wonderful, delicious, love. They are one of only two foods I can think of that go with any other food - meat, fish, fruit, any vegetable, dairy, and chocolate. The only other food that can do this is bacon. Cheese? Maybe. I'll have to ponder that...

Can you think of a food avocado doesn't go with? I didn't think so.

Avocado paintings are quick paintings, because it doesn't take long for them to turn color after they're open. Always a good idea to paint them first. No one wants a grey avocado.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Day 56

Rodeo Queen and Old Glory, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

I went to a rodeo recently and got many great photos to use for reference. No question this one would be the reference for today's painting. I had so much fun painting this one. Happy Independence Day to all my American friends!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Day 55

The Taste of Evil, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

When I saw this habanero pepper at the store, I knew I wanted to paint it. I imagined the name of this painting would be something like, "Hot Stuff." (I know, what an original and creative title.) A few minutes after I very gently placed it on the napkin, my fingers started BURNING! I know you're supposed to wear gloves when you chop them, but to touch an uncut pepper?? 

My fingers burned the whole way through this painting, and as I cursed this pepper, the title was a no-brainer. How people eat these things is beyond me.

Regardless of the pepper drama, I really like this painting. My favorite part is the napkin, and all the subtle shades of yellow I could see. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Day 54

Number Sixty Two, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2012 Kathleen Coy

I take photos of cows when I'm driving in rural areas. Cattle have such great faces and expressions - I really love to paint them. This painting is a study for a larger studio piece I'm getting ready to start.

The ear tag says this is cow number sixty two. I like to imagine her real name is Gladys. I like the long and short brushstrokes, and the reflected colors of her surroundings (sky, grass, and other cows) in her coat.

I made this sign the other day, just for me. It's hanging on my studio wall.