"Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter's soul." Vincent Van Gogh

Friday, February 17, 2017

Man in a Yellow Suit and Various and Sundries.....

Man in a Yellow Suit / oil on masonite / 16 x 12
Hotel room setup

Steeplechase in progress

Sketchbook page

Sketchbook page
The light in my hotel room is providing me with a great challenge - you can see the garish color in man with a yellow suit. I admit I was experimenting with some new paint colors (rose madder in particular) but was surprised at the intensity once I moved the painting away from the fluorescent light in the bathroom. I long to return to the overhead daylight LED lighting that I have in my home studio. For the work in progress steeplechase painting, I am trying to place my easel close to the window and away from artificial light. However, its raining again and very dark and dreary outside.

If all goes well, my husband and I will pack up our things and head back to Nevada on Tuesday. He is recovering slowly but steadily from a major surgery that he had last week at Stanford Hospital (the reason for our trip) and it will be good to get him home and back to a normal routine again.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Man in a Red Suit

Man in a Red Suit / oil on canvas panel / 16 x 12
Close up

My husband and I are unexpectedly traveling and spending time in California for family reasons. We will be here a bit over two weeks and I decided to bring my plein air painting supplies along with me. This morning I set myself up in the hotel room and found some time to paint. It's a little awkward and cramped but so far, is working out fine. The weather has been rain, rain and more rain - good for California and good for staying inside and experimenting in oil paint!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Neptune's Court

Another oil sketch done from a photo of the Neptune's court Fountain outside the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. You can find the first one here: Neptune's Court I

Neptune's Court II / oil on linen panel / 16 x 20

In the meantime, my daughter's wanderlust has taken her to Milan, Italy where she was lucky enough to go have the opportunity to tour the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie and to view Leonardo da Vinci's mural painting  the 'Last Supper'. It was painted in 1495 and she tells me it took her breath away to see it in person.

Here is the photo she took while there:

Monday, January 23, 2017

Some Figurative Work and more SNOW!

I took a few photos while hanging out in a waiting room recently and had fun doing this graphite sketch and quick oil study of the same man. 

Graphite and white charcoal on newsprint /  18 x 14

Waiting Room Blues / oil on linen panel / 14 x 18

And a few photos of our wintry  landscape....

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Another Hound Dog....

Oil on linen panel / 14 x 11

Done on a toned linen panel, this hound and his loping gait intrigued me. He is a Treeing Walker Coonhound - a type of dog I had never heard of until someone asked me to paint him! Such a beautiful animal!

Below is a close up crop to show the brush work in a little more detail:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Late Start to 2017 Blogging

Some new canine paintings to begin 2017 - untitled as of this moment.

Oil on linen panel / 18 x 24

Oil  on linen panel / 16 x 20

And a graphite figurative drawing on some old wrinkly newsprint. It's been quite a while since I did any figure drawing and this was a difficult pose. I am not displeased with the results but wish I had drawn it on better paper.

Graphite on newsprint / 24x18
We had a white Christmas and several storms these past few weeks.  Lots of rain resulting in flooding of the Truckee River. It was quite a sight to see and I certainly learned to respect the power of Mother Nature. Reno had been in a drought for the last 5 years (since we moved here) and this past summer, the river was down to a trickle. It's the first time we have seen it in all its raging glory! The rain storms were followed by snow storms - up to nine feet in the higher elevations. The ski resorts nearby are having a wonderful ski season and my husband and I are getting good use out of our shovels and snowblower!

And my five favorite Christmas gifts - four wonderful art books to devour cover to cover and add to my library and a porcelain tea service from my dear friend in the UK! What a nice surprise that was and it has led to a rather civilized new habit of my husband and I sharing a pot of green tea each afternoon!

Art books for Christmas!

Wedgewood tea service from England
Plenty of snow!
We are expecting several more storms by this weekend - the local meteorologists are calling them "atmospheric rivers". Apparently the storms originate far out over the Pacific Ocean and pick up huge amounts of moisture while generating fierce winds. The storms rush in succession over California (which has also been drought ridden and is benefiting from all the rain) then they soar over the Sierra Nevada Mountains where they become colder and change over to snow.  We have a wonderful view of all this energy from our back yard. It's amazing to watch!

Off to relax with a cup of tea and my new David Curtis book -  Painting with Impact. He is a wonderful painter - both oil and watercolor and this book is mostly about his philosophy of painting. I can't wait to read it!

Hope everyone is having a terrific start to this New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year!

May all the wonders of this Christmas be yours to cherish!

I wish you all a peaceful, joyful holiday and a very happy New Year and a deeply felt thank you for all your enthusiasm and support this past artful year! 

I will happily note that I was just notified by my gallery in Blowing Rock, North Carolina that three of the four paintings I recently shipped to them have been sold - wonderful news at this time of year! I am so grateful to  the Reinert Fine Art gallery for the exquisite way they have represented me and my work. Here is a look at the sold pictures - I am not sure if they all went to the same buyer but I do hope they have found a happy home to cherish them.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Swept Up in the Whirlwind!

My daughter's visit has come to an end and she has returned to Amsterdam. We had a wonderful time together - shopping, talking, seeing local sites, eating in fabulous restaurants, celebrating Christmas and hearing all about her adventures in Europe over the past few months. It all went by so quickly and her leaving once again has left an empty place in my heart. She is such a joy and assures me that she is very happy in her life overseas. I can tell that she is and that does help to soothe my soul a bit.

So it is back to the easel for me - a quick oil portrait of Alberto Giacometti done from a black and white photo after a preparatory graphite sketch.

Giacometti / 16x12 / oil on gessoed  cardboard

Another small painting sold at the stellar Roux & Cyr Gallery in Portland, Maine! That was happy news.

Into the Frying Pan / oil on canvas / 11x14 / Sold

 And a photo of Kim and her Dutch Friend Hans on our front stoop just a few days ago!

Kim and Hans / December 2016

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Neptune's Court and Happy Thanksgiving

Neptune's Court / oil on canvas panel / 20 x 16
 A painting I did from a photo taken when my husband and I were on vacation in Washington DC in May 2014. She is one of the Tritons in the Court of Neptune fountain in front of the Library of Congress. It impressed me greatly and the memory of it has stayed with me.

The Court of Neptune Fountain , Washington DC
I wish to take a moment to wish everyone who celebrates it a very happy and peaceful Thanksgiving. My husband and I will be having a quiet dinner with our son while we await the visit from our daughter in early December. We have much to be thankful for including good health, good and active minds, and an abundance of temporal riches. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Bunny Jack Toovey and Moscow!

A new bunny painting - this one along with the recent portrait of Wee Elodie will be sent as Christmas gifts to my dear friend Gwen who lives in England. 

Jack Toovey / 12 x 9 / oil on linen panel
Many of those who follow my blog may remember that my daughter Kimberly has been living and working for the past two years in Amsterdam. My husband, son and I recently traveled to Europe to visit her. She is planning to come home (with her close friend Hans) in early December to spend a few days with us and we are all very excited! In the meantime, her employer has sent her to Russia on a business trip to meet up with her colleagues in the Moscow office. She arrived on Saturday and on Sunday spent the day with her new friends touring the Kremlin!
Kim (3rd from left) with her Russian co-workers in front of St. Basil's Cathedral
Cathedral of the Assumption - first constructed in 1326 and rebuilt in 1479 of vaulted limestone with 5 golden cupolas. In 1547 the coronation of the first Russian Tsar, Ivan the Terrible, took place here and  Napoleons troops stabled their horses inside during the Russian campaign.
Inside the Cathedral of the Assumption

Inside showing frescoes

My daughter in Moscow!
WWII tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Kimberly with Russian Guards

In Red Square, Kilometer Zero is marked with a bronze plaque in front of the Iberian Gate. All points from Moscow are measured from here and it is tradition to toss a coin over your shoulder to please Lady Fortune.

I told Kim to keep her eyes open for a sighting of President Putin and I guess she did!
The surname of Smolensky is a Russian name and in the museums there are several paintings of Russian princesses:

Princess Ecaterina Smolensky
Princess Daria Smolensky

Some day I suppose we should investigate through Ancestry.com to see if we are truly related to any of these people but its fun to think we might be! Moscow also boasts a Smolensky Bridge and Smolensky Boulevard. The Boulevard was immortalized by Kandinsky in his painting  Smolensky Boulevard in Snow. What fun!

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Reinert Fine Art in Blowing Rock, NC

The Reinert Fine Art Gallery is so good to me! My paintings were just received earlier this week (on Election Day!) and they are already unpacked and hung. Carolyn, the gallery director, was kind enough to send me some photos. I hope I get to visit this lovely gallery one day and to meet Carolyn and Rick and Ann Reinert in person. But seeing the gallery in these photos gives me a good idea of how beautifully my work is displayed among the other stellar artists that are there. It's a great thrill and honor for me to be in such good company!

Four of my paintings are displayed in the front window! What a thrill!

Connoisseur of Comfort on the bottom left

Early Lies the Wintry Sun on the right

A Profound Understanding above Connoisseur of Comfort

Inspired by a Shared Objective and Exuberance Unleashed beneath two of my equine paintings.
This gallery looks like an enchanted place of beauty to me - a place to feast the eyes and feed the soul!

If anyone is ever in Blowing Rock, please stop by the gallery and tell them Susan sent you!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Lively Sense of Haste and Master pieces #5

My husband and I just returned from a short trip over the Sierra Nevada's to California and back so I have not had much time at the easel - just enough to dash off this lively bunny.

A Lively Sense of Haste / oil on linen panel / 11 x 14
 And his beginning oil sketch:
A Lively Sense of Haste
 And Michelangelo has now completed his 6th masterpiece  - the design and completion of the New Sacristy of the Medici Chapel in Florence. Here Michelangelo integrated architecture and sculpture with stunning originality.  The chapel houses the remains of two Medici Dukes, Lorenzo and Guiliano -  seated opposite each other ans sitting stiffly erect, gazing toward an unfinished Virgin Mary. Each Duke is underscored by writhing twisting figures arranged sprawled across their sarcophagi - Lorenzo by Dusk and Dawn and Guiliano by Day and Night. The result is "an essay in dynamic contrasts, of commensurate forms and unresolved tensions".

Duke Lorenzo de Medici with Dawn and Dusk

Duke Guiliano de Medici with Day and Night