Stone Coal Studio

Stone Coal Studio

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Joy in the Doing; Organized Start to 2016

Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing.

William Shakespeare, "Troilus and Cressida"

Podcasts, blogs, posts and magazine articles are full of advice for the start of the New Year 2016.  The start of the year is always a good time to do something new or better or healthier or even more thoughtful and organized.

And I am happy to report that the art studio "mini-makeover" is completed.  Actually the work in the studio began last February when new flooring was installed.   A good clean-out and rearrange was documented in my blog on Feb 1, 2015.  

New shelves for the studio were put on the to-do list and a search of Pinterest provided several ideas.  However, art shows and prior commitments pushed that project back until now.

Last week after a fresh coat of paint was rolled on the walls, the new shelves were installed.

The shelves are just wide enough to hold a canvas or board or a framed painting up and out of the way.  No more work piled on the counter or on the floor (I hope!).  

Here is a close-up of the shelf construction; three pieces of wood securely screwed together to easily hold "whatever".

Although this is not a "Pinterest-worthy" photo it should show how the shelves are filling up and also provide a sneak peak of the work laying on the counter that is being varnished for framing and delivery the first week of January.  I will share new work in the next blog.

Happy New Year!  And here's to 2016 for all of us to reach our goals.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Have You Been Good? Holiday Wishes

Have You Been Good?
by Judith F Lochbrunner
collage/mixed media on paper
5 x 7 inches matted to 8 x 10
at Goose Creek Gallery 

This little painting was created for the 2015 Roanoke Valley Ronald McDonald House holiday card.  Although it was not chosen, it was a good opportunity to support this non-profit.  And I also have to admit that I do really like this burro.  This personable critter will be again featured in a new work in the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge upcoming show "All Critters Great and Small" at 2nd Helpings gallery in April 2016.

However my main focus today is to simply wish you a wonderful holiday season and to end this blog with a link to Norman Rockwell's "Christmas Homecoming".  May you reconnect with all those people who are special to you and yes, even get a great big "bear hug"!

Thank you for stopping by my blog.  

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Small Flowers are Big Inspiration for a Painting

It was an excellent season for the wild asters as you can see in the photo above.  I have enlarged it a bit so you can look for the light-colored clump of flowers about one-third of the way up from the left lower corner.  A few more peak up just above from the center of the bottom.  

These small flowers are easily missed but for anyone who takes the time to look the dainty violet petals make a lovely contrast with the colors of the late summer/early fall foliage.   

Creating a painting inspired by these wildflowers has been something that I have wanted to do for the past couple months.  And today I was finally able to sit down to begin work on it.   As you can see in my photo (above) that I have my initial sketch (scribble?), a reference of a hybrid aster found in a garden catalog and the 12 x 12 panel that has been prepared by covering with leftover paint from my palette.

I used a scrap piece of mat board to lay in some floral shapes.  Note that I have chosen to use the larger hybrid aster in the reference photo as I wanted to utilize more of the lovely purple color.

The contrast has been accentuated by adding lighter colors particularly the minty green, light blue and especially the yellow.   The yellow/violet color combination in the reference photo was too good to not include in the final painting.

"Fall Meadow"
by Judith Flynn Lochbrunner
acrylic on canvas board
12 by 12 inches framed

And you are invited to stop by Goose Creek Studio this weekend for their holiday open house.  I will be there from 1-3 PM on Saturday (Dec. 12).  Please stop by to say hello!

The art show at the Jefferson Center continues through mid-January during regular business hours and during concerts and performances.  The Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge also have paintings hanging at the Salem Museum and admission to the museum is free.

  Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Art of the Heirloom; Artists Interpret Heirloom Plants

Today we stopped by Thomas Jefferson's Monticello while in Charlottesville.  We did some Christmas shopping at the museum store.  After exiting we saw a sign for "The Art of the Heirloom". Since gardening with native plants and heirlooms has long been an interest of mine, we made a dash down the stairs to see the art.

It was even more exciting to discover that this was the art show conducted by the Hudson Valley Seed Library.  Every year artists are invited to interpret heirloom and open-pollinated plants in the  library's seed catalogs for the covers of the seed packets.   I was already familiar with this art show as I had entered last spring; however I did not realize that it traveled around the country too.

 It was a real treat to actually see the artwork that was created for the seed packets.  My photos only offer a small view of the variety and quality of each of the artworks.  I have included a couple close-ups of the art.

Glass mosaic by Suzanne Fortin

Cut paper collage and acrylic by Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson

Here is a complete list of the art and artists with a bit more information. 

Take some time to look at the Hudson Valley Seed Library to see this years artists.  I'm going to get my 2016 entry ready early this year.  

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving, Time to Say Thank You

After another beautiful fall here in Western Virginia it is time to celebrate. 
 I wish to send you my best wishes for a warm, happy and enjoyable day!

Bonnie, Sue, Linda, Mary Anne and I, the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge, will celebrate with a reception on Sunday, November 29 to thank you - our family, friends and supporters. 

Without you we would not be painting, hanging art shows, teaching workshops and sharing our adventures through social media.  
Please consider joining us at the Jefferson Center from 2-4 PM.  

Thank you for stopping by the blog.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Roanoke Valley SPCA Best in Show Art Show November 20, 2015

The Roanoke Valley SPCA has shuffled its calendar and moved the Best in Show Art Exhibit and Sale to November, specifically November 20, 2015 at 6:30 PM at the Taubman Museum of Art in downtown Roanoke.

Please mark your calendars to attend this fun event.  And this show is just in time for holiday shopping.  The animals under the care of the SPCA are the real winners of this art show as proceeds from the sale of art provide much needed funding.

This art show is also unique in that work by school children, high school students, amateur, professional and animals lovers of every age is displayed side by side.  All art is on the same 12 inch by 12 inch canvas making it easy to transport and display.

This year my "model" is Opus the bunny.  He is a very happy, "hoppy" and busy rabbit.

"Stop, Look and Listen"
mixed media on canvas
by Judith Flynn Lochbrunner
12 x 12 inches
available at the RVSPCA Best in Show Art Exhibit and Sale

Opus says "Please plan to attend to support the animals and thanks for stopping by the blog". 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

New Paintings Delivered as Elements Show Closes

And so it goes for an artist to continue to create new works in anticipation of the next show or display.   It was wonderful to have our Elements Art Show up these past two months at Goose Creek Studio and share the works with everyone who came in the shop.  But another show is arriving this week for that space.  Today I delivered and then hung new work by myself and the other Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge in another part of the gallery.

For the upcoming couple months that will include many holiday shoppers and visitors, I chose a couple plein air paintings.   These two works represent early fall and my attempts to capture the "essence"of the time and place in a loose, painterly approach.

On the Bank of the James River at Buchanan
by Judith Flynn Lochbrunner
acrylic on canvas

Ring Bell for Service (Whipledale Farm Greenhouse)
by Judith Flynn Lochbrunner
acrylic on canvas

The third painting is an abstracted landscape as that has also been an important directions for me since the beginning of the year.  In fact another larger landscape is on the easel in the studio.  I can't wait to get painting.  

Visit Goose Creek Studio if you can.  Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Abstract Landscapes Continue to Evolve

Farmhouse Shadows 
by Judith F Lochbrunner
acrylic on canvas
(16 x 20 inches)
currently available at Potentially Chic

Nothing like a rainy day to inspire crossing-off chores on the to-do list.  And today there were several art show preparation items in the studio.  No sooner than the fall outdoor art shows were completed, it was time to ready work for the upcoming holiday season.  The first delivery to refresh artwork was last week at Potentially Chic in Roanoke.  I have two new paintings at the shop including the one pictured.

This painting is one of the latest abstracted landscapes and this one is using a different color palette.  I found these colors rather interesting as they are prominently featured in the current "Farmhouse Chic" designs.

There is a softness to these colors so I applied them with a scrubbing motion using from a stiff bristle brush to thoroughly blend the edges.   The fields and roads in the painting are very soft to contrast with the strongest change in color in the farmhouse and outbuilding to create the painting's focal point.

Look for additional abstracted landscapes as I explore more "possibilities".

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Head Outside: Fall Colors at their Best

(Path near Onion Mountain Overlook off the Blue Ridge Parkway.)

Sometimes the best thing you can do is stop and just look.  That is the certainly best advice for October in Western Virginia.  The colors may be at their peak in the higher elevations but the color will be around for a couple more weeks in the valleys.  

(Another view near the Onion Mountain Overlook off the Blue Ridge Parkway.)

(View of my easel set up at Explore Park historic village, off the Blue Ridge Parkway.) 

The second best thing you can do is set-up to paint the colors.  There were some wonderful yellows and rusty reds in the woods behind the cabins.  And there was the wonderful cool morning light on the cabin to capture as well.  

Hope that you can get outside to enjoy the colors too.  Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Painting Autumn Greens: A Plein Air Mixing Cheat Sheet

The fall color is quickly arriving here in Western Virginia and with it is the challenge of capturing the changing range of colors.  In spring the greens are bright and fresh but in the fall the greens become duller as they move toward ochres and browns.

The need to mix greens in autumn "tones" was very clear to me on Thursday when I was painting a study for the plain air event at Plein Air Event at South Peak in Roanoke, VA.  

I carry several tubes of green in my box.  I realize that some artists mix all their greens but I find that working in acrylic for plein air requires speed.   At a workshop in Florida a few years ago I studied with three acrylic artists who regularly participated in juried plain air events and they all pre-mixed greens before painting.  

Greens straight out of the tube are always too harsh and require mixing with another color(s) before applying to the painting.  So I made myself a cheat sheet creating both warm and cool greens.  

I took a canvas board (previously painted) and covered with a thin coat of gesso.  I took a sharpie and wrote the color and the color I added to it.  

The top row is ultramarine blue plus yellow ochre.  The color changes as even more yellow ochre is added with the last mixture having a bit of white added to it.

The following rows are: hookers green plus yellow ochre.
ultramarine blue plus cadmium yellow
hookers green plus cadmium yellow
cadmium green plus yellow ochre
cadmium green plus cadmium yellow
viridian green plus yellow ochre
viridian green plus cadmium yellow

The lower set of colors are my "wild card" colors.  Transparent orange was selected and then added to cadmium green again increasing it's saturation in the next stroke under the first and then adding a bit of white for the final one at the bottom.    This was repeated for viridian, hookers green, and ultramarine.  The result was some wonderful greenish grays which look to be very useful colors.

(*Please note that this is simply my choice of colors and 
your choice of colors should be simply what works for you.) 

I plan to place this cheat sheet in my box for the plein event tomorrow to help me paint a bit faster and hopefully complete the painting with fewer wrong color choices.   Maybe it will even provide a bit of "confidence" too.

And what I did I do with the excess paint on the brush from mixing sample colors?  I wiped the brush  on a board completely filling it with color and creating a "start" for a future painting.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Hope you look at greens a little more closely this fall.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Pepare for More Rainy Days Ahead

This picture was taken as a photo reference for a future painting.  However at the moment rainy-day-subject paintings have more than lost their appeal.  After several days of rain with only a short break, another round of heavy rain over multiple days returns.

So what has been happening in the studio?  I have been finishing paintings for upcoming shows including the SPCA Best in Show Art Show (moved to a new month) which will be held on Friday, November 20 and also for the Allegheny Highlands Arts and Crafts Center Fall Festival Alleghany Hghlands Arts and Crafts Center Fall Festival Art Show in Clifton Forge, VA which is October 18-November 23.  New work is also underway on the studio table for delivery to mid-month to Potentially Chic.

However there has also been an opportunity to do some experimentation using some of the "starts" from my last blog.

Palette knives, pieces of mat board, a wooden skewer and the basket of water-soluble oils provided the tools to create some abstracts on paper.

I began with a couple "starts" simplifying the design and focusing on the marks that would remain visible.  Then a focal point was added.  I stopped to take a photo at this point.  Once the work completely dries I will decide if any additional lines are needed, and if so will add them with a colored pencil or perhaps a pen or whatever seems to feel "right".

Can't wait for some sunny, cool and beautiful October days but will keep busy indoors until then.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Stay dry and safe, everyone.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Art Starts or Avoiding a Blank Canvas

(An assortment of canvas and papers prepped and ready for development into a painting.)

It has been a hectic few weeks prepping and packing and setting-up, and taking-down, and re-packing, and then repeating for the next art festival!  Now I am delighted to get back in the studio to begin painting new work.

When I do begin a series of new works it is helpful to have the canvas, paper or whatever surface I choose "ready".   Many years ago I sat in on a painting demonstration by a well-known artist who painted beautiful wildflower landscapes.  He showed a slide of his studio in which we could see a large assortment of canvases with only the skies painted.  These included high horizon, low horizon, cloudy, stormy as well as clear blue skies.  I was rather surprised that he would begin in this manner.  Now I completely understand as he was avoiding the "blank" canvas.  He wanted to get right to the wildflowers when he had studio time.  

If I have only a small amount of time to work in the studio, I often use the time to do drawings, to layout compositions and to prepare surfaces.  When I do have a full afternoon I can squeeze out all the paint I need and jump right into painting and enjoy the process. 

And now even when I clean-up after a painting session, excess paint gets wiped off brushes and onto canvas or paper.  Paint left on palettes also gets transferred to painting surfaces so even my "starts" get a "start".

For the Love of Florals
by Judith Flynn Lochbrunner
acrylic/mixed media on canvas
(sold at Art on the Lawn)

Many thanks to everyone who stopped by my art display at the art festivals these past couple weekends.  Your comments and compliments were amazing!   

I also want to express my thanks to those who purchased art.  I am honored to have art in your home.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Art Festival Again: Art on the Lawn

Art on the Lawn will be held on Saturday, September 19 in front of the Giles County Courthouse in Pearisburg, VA, from 10AM- 4 PM.  Tents full of art will cover the lawn.  Enjoy a beautiful day in the New River Valley by driving up Highway 460 from Blacksburg. 

(Giles County Courthouse)

Last Saturday's rain moved the Lynchburg Art Festival to Sunday, September 13.  It was a beautiful and cool day that drew crowds to look and to buy art.   I am most gratified to create a painting that brings joy to someone's life.  And on Sunday I was privileged to personally meet the people who selected my art to take home with them.

(Art display on the "fence" at the Lynchburg Art Festival)

One of my paintings, "Mountain Lines" was selected for the Judge's Fence.  It was a compliment to make the "short-list" to even be considered for a prize.  

And not to be forgotten is the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge new show up at Goose Creek Studio.  "Elements: Color and Texture" opened at 2nd Friday's in Bedford, VA on September 11.  We enjoyed meeting and talking to everyone who came.   The show will hang until the end of October so plan a visit.

And I finally got stopped in front of my painting that evening for a photo.  Thanks for visiting the blog!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Summer's Over! Your Invitation to the First of the Fall Art Events Season.

The lazy last days of summer as seen on the James River near Buchanan (VA) last week.  

The busy last days of summer as seen on the sunroom as I set up an assembly line to varnish paintings for the upcoming September art shows and festivals.

September begins a "marathon" of art shows and festivals so please consider this your invitation to all the excitement that is happening next week. 

“Elements: Color and Texture” Art Show by the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge will open Friday September 11 at Goose Creek Studio, 302 Court St, Bedford, VA  at  2nd Fridays.  The gallery as well as many other shops, galleries and restaurants in Bedford will be open late that evening.

The art show will explore two of the elements of art: Color and Texture.  Each member of the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge will explore and experiment with these two elements.  A short description of the idea and method will be placed near each work to engage the viewers in the artistic process.

Members of the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge are: Mary Anne Meador, Linda Schaar, Sue Furrow, Bonnie Mason, and Judy Lochbrunner.  Each artist will have at least 4 works on display. The art show will run through the end of October.

On Saturday, September 12, 2015 look for my art and myself in space #98 at the 43rd Annual Lynchburg Art Festival on the grounds of EC Glass High School.  

Time to get back to work getting everything ready.  See you soon!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Abstract Painting: Ideas and Inspiration

 "Where do ideas come from for an abstract painting?

The answer is: inward or outward or both.    The artist may solely tap his or her emotions, experiences, ideas or conflicts by working intuitively.

The artist can use a starting point of something tangible and then break it apart (using elements of art) to abstract it.  

 Or the artist can use both methods.

On a recent weekend at the Carolina Coast I admired the shapes and reflections in the water at the marina.

I even began a painting that included the boats and their reflections in the water but soon realized that my real motivation for painting the scene was the color shapes in those reflections. 

After quickly painting out the boats I focused instead on creating a series of shapes and lines.  

Both the color contrast and selection were pumped-up to create a more interesting work.  Shapes were then repeated in different sizes to create a pattern.  Lines were extended to connect the many parts (shapes).

It is an abstracted view or interpretation of that coastal scene that used a tangible starting point, basic art elements and intangible finishing-process to make it "feel right".

Coastal Abstract
by Judith F Lochbrunner
acrylic on canvas board
8 x 10 inches

Thank you for stopping by my blog.  Please share your thoughts on abstracts.

The Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge will be opening an art  show September 11, 2015 at Goose Creek Studio in Beford, VA that is titled "Art Elements: Color and Texture".   All of us will be exploring these two art elements in new works.  Each painting will have an explanation by the artist for the viewer about the art element to start the art conversation!  The show will be up through the end of October.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

DIY Rothko

There is a long history of artists copying the old masters to learn and refine their painting skills.  However it did surprise me while scrolling through Pinterest for some cheap (dollar store) art storage ideas to find this post:  Make a DIY Mark Rothko Inspired Painting

I enjoyed the post and although my DIY Rothko painting was not going to use materials that cost under $1, it was a fun project.

First I took some time to search for Mark Rothko paintings eventually choosing one from 1960, "Untitled (Grays in yellow)".

For my Rothko inspired painting I covered the canvas in gold paint and then a layer of transparent hansa yellow light paint to give the  yellow color more depth.  Next came three variations of Matisse Skin Tone Deep mixed with white applied with a big round brush.

I am happy with this very different "start" to a painting and will continue to develop it.  

This work, once completed, will join several others next month at Goose Creek Studio as the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge will hang an art exhibit.  "Art Elements:  Color and Texture" will feature work focusing on these two elements with an explanation with each painting describing the process.  Opening Reception is Friday, September 11 from 4-8 PM.  Please join us.  

Thanks for stopping by my blog and hope to see you again soon.  

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Mixing Art Syles on Your Walls

I was picking tomatoes in the garden a few days ago and almost missed my garden visitor.  The turtle was eating the tomatoes on the branches that had fallen out of the tomato cages.  I was quite impressed with the turtle's patience and perseverance.  

Now you may be wondering what this has to do with art displays?  

Sometimes we just don't think it will work and we don't even try.

But we dare ourselves to just take a peek.  And then decide that it may be alright after all.

Yes, you can mix abstract, traditional, contemporary,watercolor, oil, mixed media, big, small, or any paintings that touch you in a special way.

Ginny Lassiter on mixing art styles explains how to do this successfully.   You will be so pleased with the results when you do.

Thanks for the helpful blog, Ginny!  And thanks for reading it here.  Please share with a friend.

PS:Ginny has a wonderful gallery, Sunset River Marketplace in Calabash, NC.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Time to Organize for New Displays and Fall Shows

Follow the Yellow Line
by Judith F Lochbrunner
acrylic on painted paper

This work is another in the abstracted landscapes that I have been doing for the past few months.  It "plays" with the title of our painting group Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge.  

If you have read the latest installment of the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge Blog you already are aware that we are one busy group!  August begins many arts shows, receptions, festivals and new displays that fill the calendar.  A complete list is included at the end of this blog.

Although the photo below is not terribly "glamorous" it does show what has been happening here for the past couple weeks.  I dutifully keep my inventory in a spreadsheet file that I can access on all my devices - computer, tablet and phone.  However that does not substitute for some old-fashioned sorting and packing.   And fortunately no guests are coming as the guest room area is FULL of artwork!  The challenge is to physically lay-out and box up those paintings for every one of the many events on the calendar so that each one gets the appropriate selections.  And this also includes the preparation of new works by framing, adding labels and wire.

New Art Displays going up this week in Roanoke at Black Dog Salvage and at Potentially Chic

Art Show and Festival Listing:

Aug 3- 31 Art Show at The Glebe in Daleville, VA
Aug 7:  Art Reception at 3:30 PM at The Glebe.

September 11 -30   Art Elements: Color and Texture at Goose Creek Studio, Bedford,
September 11:    Art Show Reception at Goose Creek 5 PM-8PM.

September 12:  Lynchburg Art Festival at EC Glass High School, Lynchburg, VA 10 AM- 4 PM

September 19:  Art on the Lawn, Pearisburg, VA  10 AM- $pm

October 3:  Art Show at Ikenberry Orchards. Final Show of our 150 Paintings in 150 Day Challenge.

November 16, 2015- January 15, 2016 Holiday Art Show at Jefferson Center, Roanoke,VA
November 29:  Art Show Reception 2 PM -4 PM

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Please share with a friend.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Plein Air - Just Get Out and Paint

Despite the long to-do lists in the studio, in the house and in the gardens, the pleasant morning was simply too nice to pass up an opportunity for plein air.

So I joined the rest of the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge at the Roanoke River in Salem, Va. Since the river level was fairly low I was able to set up on the river rock next to the water.  This gave me a great view down the river toward the bridge.  The photo shows the wonderful contrast between the light falling on the water and the dark shadow areas in the trees that line the river.  The photo (above) shows the initial drawing of the bridge on a colorful canvas.

The trees at the top of the painting have now been added and the basic light/dark of the water has been defined also.  A few of the river rocks seen in the photo have been included to the lower right of the painting.  I am pleased how well things are working at this point.

The painting is compete and the strong contrast which caught my attention has been preserved.  The composition plays with the classic "T-shape" with the bridge starting the shape and the trees and water also extending the shape throughout the painting.  

And finally a close-up of the work.  The blue line on the bridge is actually a water pipe that runs along it which gave an opportunity to repeat the color blue up on the bridge.

This work will be added to the Double Line Painters 150 paintings in a 150 days challenge on Pinterest.  Yes,  we are still working of completing the challenge-- and we are getting closer.

Thank you for stopping by my blog.