Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Belted Galloways

The Belted Galloways at The Aldermere Farm in Rockport, Maine, is my second painting for this month's Virtual Paint Out trip along mid coast Maine.

A view of The Aldermere Farm with Lily Pond in the background.

Belted Galloways, 9x12, oil SOLD

A bit of history -
The Belted Galloway is a breed of heritage beef cattle originating from Galloway, in SW Scotland. The exact origin of the breed is unclear although it is thought that the white belt distinguishes these cattle from the native black Galloway cattle. Belted Galloways were imported to North America beginning in the 1940s and the Belted Galloway Society in the United States was founded in 1951. The breed is slowly increasing in numbers in North America and globally.

Belted Galloways are primarily raised for their quality beef and are known for their gentle temperament and striking appearance. In the United States, Belted Galloways are often nicknamed Oreo Cookie Cows because their color pattern is reminiscent of an Oreo cookie.

The Aldermere Farm, located just south of Camden, in Rockport, Maine, was established in 1953 by Albert Chatfield Jr. who later bequeathed it to the Maine Coast Heritage Trust in 1999. The Aldermere Farm preserves the oldest continuously operated herd of Belted Galloways in the United States.

The farm is a member of The Belted Galloway Society which is committed to promoting this special breed of cattle and preserving the purity of the breed by maintaining pedigree records and data, also providing official information relative to the breed and the society’s guidelines.

One of the problems with Google Street Maps is that the areas covered usually are the main roads and cities. There is limited coverage of the small towns, rural roads and secluded areas that I love to paint. I was pleased that the road to this farm was included. 

The Virtual Paint Out is great fun and I enjoy riding the roads and exploring new locations without getting in my car. Tomorrow starts a new adventure. I wonder where Bill Guffy will send us!

Thanks for visiting,

This painting was available in my Ebay Store.

To see all my paintings from our Virtual Paint-Out tours, please click here.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

May's Virtual Paint Out - Maine

This month our Virtual Paint Out Group is traveling to the Maine Coast. Using Google Street Maps we start on Route 1 in Rockland, Maine and travel down-east to the small coastal town of Milbridge. There are many islands in our assigned destination, but unfortunately only a few are covered by Google Street Maps. One island, Mount Desert Island, home to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park is covered. I'm looking forward to this month's painting trip.

Acadia National Park, 9x12. oil

This painting is available in my Ebay Store.

To see all my available paintings from our Virtual Paint-Out tours, please click here.

Thanks for visiting,

The Virtual Paint Out


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Fixing a Broken Painting

I received this interesting question. “How can I fix a painting that isn’t working? I’ve tried everything, but it just gets worse.”

My thought is, "maybe you can't."

When I have a painting that doesn’t work, I step away for a few minutes and return with an objective eye. For me, the problem is usually the composition or subject matter. If the basic structure of the painting is wrong, no amount of fiddling will correct it. If I’m not excited by the subject matter, I know it will be a battle all the way and I will probably lose. My solution is to admit to myself that this painting will never work and that I need to wipe it off. If I can’t remove enough paint and think the remnants will bother me, I can either throw it out or repaint the entire canvas with a tone that I can work with.

It’s empowering to wipe out a failed painting and start over. Without a new beginning, no amount of fiddling or reworking will succeed. When a painting is working you can feel it. You are in “The Zone”. If the spell is broken by distractions, stop and take a break. Some days painting is easy, other days it is a struggle. I don’t have as much time for painting as I would like, so I’m not going to waste my time on a compromised painting.

If you feel that your painting isn’t working, analyze it for composition, drawing, perspective, tones, colors, mood and all the many components that make up a good painting. Be honest with yourself. Admit that the painting isn’t working and try to figure out why. If you continue to overwork a bad start you will be frustrated and the results will be stiff and unsatisfactory because the basic problems are still there. So have the courage to wipe off your canvas and start fresh.

When composing a painting, it’s not enough to just copy what is before you. A camera does that. You are an artist and should impart a bit of yourself and your emotions into each painting.

Failed paintings are necessary for growth. How can we improve without making mistakes? Learn from them. Accept them as part of the process and don’t let them overwhelm you.  

Another thought. If you have a recurring problem, try to find the solution in your art books or ask an artist friend for advice. I'll often ask my husband for his honest opinion and he often points out things that I didn't notice.

If all else fails, it's a great satisfaction to throw the failed painting in the trash. Out of sight - out of mind. Grab a cup of coffee and start over.

Happy painting.


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Little Bird's Surprise

I love canaries and there's always been one in my home. They are charming but delicate little birds and when they get sick, the outlook isn't always good. Last spring I bought a new young bird and after a few months I noticed that he was sick with air sac mites. I went on-line and found an expert to help. I treated him and after quite awhile he improved and finally was completely healed. But he never sang. My on-line adviser said that if his air sacs were damaged it might take some time before he could sing.

He's a great little bird, happy and friendly. I have a small radio next to his cage and he listens to classical music all day. I have even played cd's of canary singing to encourage him. He would listen intently, chirp and dance about.

Yesterday he seemed uncomfortable and sat around looking miserable. Oh no, I thought. He's getting sick again. That evening when I covered his cage for the night I wondered if he would still be alive in the morning.

This morning when I uncovered him, I found him alert and cheerful. And what a surprise on the bottom of his cage.  He....she.... had laid an egg - just in time for Mother's Day. 

And since only male canaries sing I will have to be content with this sweet little girl who just chirps. She is much happier today. It'll be interesting to see how many eggs she lays. They are quite large for such a little bird. No wonder she was so miserable yesterday. Happy Mother's Day, little bird.

Happy Mother's Day to all the ladies in your world,