Stone Coal Studio

Stone Coal Studio

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Challenge Completed just in time!

Today at 5:00 PM I put the finishing brush strokes on the last of my challenge paintings inspired by
 Leslie Saeta's painting challenge. January 30 was the last day.  

For my challenge I chose to finish up paintings that had been started but never finished, to simply use canvas or paper that was stashed in the studio closet or to re-create paintings that somehow never were as successful as I wished.  Ten paintings were completed.  

The last two were probably the most difficult of all since they both were works that failed to live up to expectations.  There were parts of each of the paintings that I really liked which made the work to refresh and reinvent them even harder.  Plus both works were trying to capture something whimsical. 

The smaller work, "Kitty and Dog are Best Friends", originally had the cat and dog on a tall skinny canvas.  The animals seemed too separated to "read" as together.   I repainted the dog closer to the cat.  Line was then used extensively to outline as well as to indicate a less formal rendering.

Kitty and Dog are Best Friends
by Judith Flynn Lochbrunner
mixed media on painted paper
5 x 7 inches
challenge painting #9

The second work, "Dog Dreams in the Park", had some good parts.  Like the other painting there was nothing to "read" to pull it together.  Every painting needs a story (emotion, experience, etc) to tell.  A fun assortment of balls (soccer, baseball, and football) were added to float through the canvas. Playful lines were again used throughout the painting.

Dog Dreams in the Park
by Judith Flynn Lochbrunner
mixed media on painted paper
12 x 12 inches

The ten paintings completed were in addition to other studio work for upcoming shows and gallery change-outs.  Happily, January has been a successful month and an excellent start to 2016.  

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Texture and Milkweed Pods: Challenge Painting #8

Leslie Saeta's January painting challenge has just over a week remaining.  I have set a personal goal of 10 paintings for this challenge with painting #8 ready to post this afternoon.

We have a snowstorm (as does the rest of the Mid-Atlantic) today so the photo was taken in the studio; hopefully it is somewhat adequate for this blog although it still looks a bit washed-out to me.

"Maureen's Request"
by Judith Flynn Lochbrunner
acrylic on textured canvas
10 x 10 inches
Challenge painting #8

I had a request for another painting featuring three stems of milkweed pods.  The painting she wanted  sold before she could get her family member to the store to purchase it for her present.   

Unlike the first version I picked out a heavily textured canvas.  It is difficult to reproduce a painting exactly as there are so many variables so I decided to try the same subject matter on a very different surface.

The background was divided into two-thirds "sky", one-third "land" with the basic milkweed pod shapes brushed onto the very rough surface.

The background received many layers of neutral blues and browns to make the texture a bit less visually busy.  Lighter color was then dry-brushed on top of the areas of texture that I wanted to highlight.   The milkweed pods were defined with both dark and light color to bring them forward and grab more of the viewers attention.

Not sure if Maureen will be happy with this new version but hopefully the texture will win her over!

Thanks for stopping by my blog 
and check back for more challenge paintings as well as other artworks to come.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Shaving Cream and a Burro; Challenge Painting #7

Leslie Saeta's Painting Challenge continues all month.   And I am indeed still working at my own pace but happy to post challenge painting #7.

This is My Best Side
acrylic on painted paper
approximately 7 x 7 inches
Challenge painting #7

The little burro is one of my favorites as this adolescent had a sparkling personality while posing for the camera.  This work is a study for a larger painting for an upcoming show in April at 2nd Helpings Gallery with the other members of the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge titled "All Critters Great and Small".

The painted paper utilized quite an unusual method of applying paint.  Last May the Double Line Painters met at a local park and Mary Anne showed me how to create patterns/shapes on paper using shaving cream.

A flat pan was filled with shaving cream and then acrylic inks and paints were squirted on top.  A stick was used to move the colors around (much like frosting a cake).  The paper was lightly placed on top to absorb the paint and inks and then laid on the ground to dry.  Many papers could be painted with just one pan of shaving cream as additional paint or ink in different colors could be added.

Here are just a few of the papers created that morning.  An extra "plus" was that they smelled wonderful (depending on the flavor of the shaving cream).  After letting them dry and air out for several weeks I sealed the papers with acrylic spray.  Now the papers are ready to use as interesting backgrounds or even "starts" for painting.  

Thanks for stopping by my blog and please check back for more challenge paintings.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Brighten Up a Grey Day: Challenge Painting #6

Finally another painting for Leslie Saeta's January Painting Challenge has been completed!  

Brighten Up a Grey Day
by Judith Flynn Lochbrunner
acrylic on canvas
14 x 11 inches
Challenge Painting #6

There really is no story behind this canvas as it had been prepped with a warm color and never used; I found it in the back of the studio closet.  And I forgot to stop to take a preliminary photo but trust me is was red, orange, black, blue and gold shapes applied with a big brush.

This is not the best photo but hopefully it does illustrate how I am using cool grey to calm down all the color and begin to create smaller shapes of color.  As I worked flower shapes seemed to naturally appear but maybe it was simply my desire for spring to come!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and be sure to check back for more challenge paintings.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Windy Spring Day Challenge Painting #5

Windy Spring Day
by Judith Flynn Lochbrunner
acrylic/mixed media/collage
6 x 6 niches
Challenge painting #5

The pile of unfinished paintings is getting a bit smaller with the prompt of Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings 30 days painting challenge .  Today's painting is another small plein air sketch from last spring.

I had already finished the first painting that morning and still had enough time to use the paint on the palette to do this quick mountain study.

While the shapes were nice, the sketch seemed to lack any real excitement.  Using my collection of painted papers I selected several pieces and placed them on the sketch.  The brown/tan/burgundy papers seemed to create an impression of rocky outcroppings.  Once I liked the arrangement of the collage, the papers were attached with acrylic gel.  Then I pulled the work together with acrylic paint.

Thank you for stopping by my blog 
and please check back for more challenge paintings.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Many Years of Seasons: Challenge Painting #4

Many Years of Seasons
by Judith Flynn Lochbrunner
acrylic/mixed media/collage
6 x 6 inches
Challenge Painting #4

Today's painting in Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days challenge is the completion of a plein air sketch from early last spring.  The trees along the creek at the park were still mostly bare.  The one with multiple trunks that were both vertical and horizontal caught my attention.  I completed this sketch with paint, colored pencils and a few pastels.

My sketch indicated the textures of the bark, bare wood and broken branches.  So I reached for my bag of painted-paper scraps and chose several scraps to add even more texture to the trunks and branches.

Several papers were placed on the sketch and moved around until the patterns worked to bring out the   tree's texture-personality.  A dark scrap was also added to the background and then all the pieces were attached with acrylic gel. 

All that was needed was some acrylic paint to tone down a few areas while highlighting others for the final painting.

Thank you for stopping by my blog 
and please check back again for more challenge paintings.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Goose Creek Studio Plein Air is Challenge Painting #4

Goose Creek Studio (Bedford, VA)
by Judith Flynn Lochbrunner
acrylic/mixed media on canvas
11 x 14 inches
challenge painting #3

Sometimes the most difficult thing to do with a plein air painting (or any painting for that matter) is to finish it.  I had completed most of the painting on an absolutely beautiful and warm afternoon during the studio's holiday open house last month.  

As I have posted earlier, Leslie Saeta's Painting Challenge for January is the prompt that I have been using to complete works that have piled up in the studio.  

This work really needed to be completed as it is a gift for the owners, Mitchell and Patrick, to thank them for all their work to support local arts (and they have a great frame shop too!).  However I wanted to finish the work and still keep the spirit of the "plein air".  I think that I accomplished that by accepting the painting decisions made on that afternoon and then focusing on adding all the small details without getting "too fussy" to give the old building its personality.   

Thanks to Rod Adams for the photo of me with the painting "in progress".

Thank you for stopping by my blog and please check back again. 
 More challenge paintings are on the work table.

PS:  Happily the painting is now up on the Goose Creek Studio Facebook page 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

January Challenge Painting #2

Here is the "companion" painting to the first painting of Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 day challenge.  When working on small paintings I prefer to do at least two at a time.  Having more than one work on the easel keeps me from the tendency to over-work the paintings.

The View of the Park
Challenge Painting #2
by Judith F Lochbrunner
acrylic/pencil on paper
8 x 10 inches

I did take some photos of the process as I was again re-working a less-than-successful painting.

This work is a plein air painting of Carvin's Cove located on the Roanoke/Botetourt County line. About the only part that I though was pleasing was some of the color coming through the treeline behind the water.

I took a cue from the blue-grey colors in the original but added some zip with pink and violet.

The painting is nearly complete but a bit too frenzied.  I do like the green surrounding the smaller shapes so I decided to paint more of the green color to calm it down.

Thank you for stopping by my blog and be sure to check back for more 
challenge paintings this month.

Monday, January 4, 2016

January Painting Challenge: No Rules

Rules are mostly made to be broken and are too often for the lazy to hide behind.

Douglas MacArthur

This year I decided to join in Leslie Saeta's annual painting challenge especially when she noted on her podcast that there were no rules to follow.  

And here is my first posting for the challenge.  And instead of a daily painting I am using the challenge as a "push" to re-do several paintings that were piled up in the studio.  They were not good enough to spend any more time on for various reasons.  

An Abstracted View of Greenfield
Challenge Painting #1
by Judith F Lochbrunner
acrylic on board
8 x 10 inches

Here is the "original" painting.  Note the blue mountains in the back as they were my favorite part.

I placed big swatches of colors (oranges, pinks and purple) to jazz up all the green.

More shapes and greyed-colors have been added with an intention to keep the same movement going that was in the original painting.  Note the blue mountains are still in the back.  

Be sure to follow Double Line Painter  Sue Furrow as she participates in this challenge too.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Look for more challenge paintings to come.