Ancient Hills, Golden Valley

My latest sunflower landscape painting (the start of which I posted here) has actually been finished for a while. But once again I have been delinquent in posting. Here is the final:

"Ancient Hills, Golden Valley", Oil on linen 20x24" (SOLD) ©Jennifer Young

"Ancient Hills, Golden Valley", Oil on linen 20x24" (SOLD) ©Jennifer Young


I've needed some cheering up lately, so yesterday I started a new painting of Tuscan sunflowers. It's nearly impossible to frown while beholding a sea of sunflowers, right?

Tuscany sunflowers painting in progress by Jennifer E. Young
Tuscany sunflowers painting in progress by Jennifer E. Young

Feeling better already :-)

Ahh, oops, ah-ha, and ouch!

I have one more work to share today from the group I'll be taking to North Carolina for the "All Things French" show next week. This was done alla prima. More fun with light and shadow, and lots of paint! Ah, it's been such fun revisiting these lovely places through the act of painting them.

"Coleurs dus Sud" Oil on linen, 20x24" (SOLD) ©Jennifer Young

"Coleurs dus Sud" Oil on linen, 20x24" (SOLD) ©Jennifer Young

For this painting and the last one I posted, I experimented with an interesting double primary palette- Titanium white, Cad Yellow Pale, Golden Ochre (Rembrandt) , Organic Vermillion (Daniel Smith), Quinacridone Rose, Ultramarine Blue, and Manganese Blue (Old Holland).  I must say it was a lot of fun playing with these different colors. The gold ochre is dangerously lovely, and the organic vermillion was nice change up from cad. red light. In fact, it's similar, but the tinting strength isn't quite as strong so in some ways it was easier to use.

I went with this palette for a couple of reasons, but the key word is "economy". First it's an economy of time. The increasing pain in my arms was making it difficult to spend an inordinate amount of time mixing certain colors, even though I've learned enough about color mixing to know how to acheive most of what I need. I almost never use any color directly from the tube any way, but it helped to have a premixed earth, for the buildings for instance, and when such warmth in the scene predominates.

Second, it's an economy of money. I mentioned before that I have a lot of art supplies that kind of fell by the wayside once I discovered some preferred methods and materials, but now I'm starting to revisit those supplies to try and economize where I can. All of the paints and substrates are archival, quality materials, but I do have some far-out tubes of colors--some dating back to before I started painting landscapes!

The paint department at the Lowe's hardware store near our house has something they call the "oops bin". These are mixed paints of specialty colors that presumably didn't come out as expected. I guess you could say that I have my own "oops bins".  After limiting myself to nothing much larger than a double primary palette for years (without much variation), I think it's time to mine some of these strange old friends. Maybe the "oops" will even lead to some ah-ha's along the way!

p.s. I think I'm narrowing down what the problem in my arms might be. Unfortunately it's not limited to just my arms and hands, but radiates from my neck and shoulders all the way down both sides. It's taken a couple of days to write this post, so suffice it to say that my blogging will slow down a bit for a while. (I know I said that before but I really mean it this time!)  Sadly, I will probably have to take a brief rest from painting too. And gardening. I'm typically not too good at "resting" so let's hope I don't go nuts in the interim!

Chore avoidance via a Tuscany landscape painting

Back home this week to face the music (which in this case is my studio move.)  As I'm going through the painfully boring task of packing up my studio, I'm coming across a few unfinished paintings. I'm ususally pretty disciplined, but I think between the overseas travel in the spring, working endlessly on plans for a new studio, and doing as much plein air painting as I can this summer, I've gotten distracted enough to leave partially-finished works lying in my wake. Here's one of them, now complete, of a sweet little vista of sunflowers and the Italian countryside :

Landscape painting of Tuscany sunflowers by Jennifer Young

"Tuscan Fields*" Oil on Canvas, 11x14" (SOLD) ©Jennifer Young

It was fun finishing up this little piece, and I'm not sure why I shelved it for so long, especially since it's relatively small. But if I had to guess, I'd say that I find starting paintings more fun than finishing them. That fact coupled with the general craziness of my schedule has meant that lately some paintings have fallen through the cracks.

Overall my track record has been pretty good though, and I do finish quite a few. But it's time to show some resolve and either finish up some of these "W.I.P.'s" or throw them out. Ah, who am I kidding? It's not as much "resolve" as it is chore avoidance. Whether it's starting or finishing, painting is still a whole a lot more fun than packing!

*p.s. When I went to title this piece my mind drew a complete blank. I'm sure there's a better title than "Tuscan Fields" but it was the best I could come up with. Any ideas? If so, feel free to leave them in the comment area!