Oil Painting: August Garden

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16 by 20 inches, oil on gessoed hardboard, ©2015 Deb Anderson
16 by 20 inches, oil on gessoed hardboard, ©2015 Deb Anderson

Kris and I met at an art fair this summer and she invited me to sketch and take photos in her beautiful garden. Anemone, flocks, hydrangea, hosta and many other plants provided a fascinating array of colors and textures. I really enjoyed working on this one. I’ve been reading Michael Pollan’s “Second Nature” on and off this summer. He writes about the fuzzy definitions of weed, wild, garden and nature and the role humans play (or think we play) in our environment. So this is going through my mind as I paint. And I might have quoted this before, but lines from an inspiring Fleet Foxes song often go through my mind while painting, too:

If I know only one thing
it’s that everything that I see
of the world outside is so inconceivable
often I barely can speak.

Yeah, I’m tongue-tied and dizzy
and I can’t keep it to myself.
What good is it to sing helplessness blues?
Why should I wait for anyone else?

Oil Painting of Clouds Over the Sandbar

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8 by 8 inches, oil on hardboard

I painted this study for the DPW “Sky” Challenge. I went camping at Warren Dunes State Park on Lake Michigan recently with my mom, sister and our girls. We had good weather, a little rain, with moody clouds passing over the beach, brisk wind and high waves. What a great time!

I was trying to emulate the amazing Roos Schuring. Look at those thick brushstrokes! So much to learn. I should really do Kevin MacPherson’s 100 Landscape challenge, from his book Landscape Painting Inside and Out. I want to learn to mix bigger piles of paint and get more paint on the board.

Oil painting of a mum

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10 by 8 inches, oil on hardboard

Here is a dark red mum with pink highlights. I aimed for lots of variety in the brushstrokes to describe these sturdy petals, leaves, and buds.

Oil Painting of Nasturtium

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11 by 14 inches, oil on hardboard

With the dry weather and my skimpy watering these nasturtiums didn’t do well this year, but there are a few blooms and some pretty lily pad leaves. I love this orange against the gray background.

Oil painting of Apple Blossoms on Blue

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9 by 12 inches, oil on hardboard

A lighter, looser take on the spring apple blossoms.

Oil Painting of Red Currants

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I picked up these red currants at the farmers market recently. They’re so beautiful, like transparent glass beads. Pretty sour. I didn’t have enough to make into jelly. I might try growing some next year. We’re heading to the market again this morning :).

Oil Painting of a Kiss

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6 by 6 inches, oil on hardboard

We just got back from a great week at a Michigan cottage. We spent one afternoon painting outside – I’ll post the photos soon. For today, here’s a commissioned portrait I did a few weeks ago of Charles Barkley and Dick Bavetta.