Stone Coal Studio

Stone Coal Studio

Monday, February 27, 2017

Small Works Weekly - Sum of the Parts

Sum of the Parts #1
by Judith F Lochbrunner
mixed media on canvas
8 x 8 inches

Today's small works post is a continuation of my series of abstract landscapes.  Collage and swatches of acrylic color were applied to the canvas.  After turning each canvas to discover the "top" of the mountains, the sky was painted.  The shapes reflecting the topography and fields were then painted and defined with ebony pencil.  This process was repeated until the shapes "settled" into place.  

Sum of the Parts #2
by Judith F Lochbrunner
mixed media on canvas
8 x 8 inches

Thank you for stopping by my second edition of "Small Works" and hope to see you again on Thursday for my regular post.

PS The blog will soon be moving to a new address but don't worry, I will give you plenty of notice and keep you posted.  In the meantime, check back at

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Color for February

Cut a Way View
by Judith F Lochbrunner
acrylic on painted paper
12 x 12 inches

This work began with a fun morning of using a small  Gelli plate to print patterns on 300 lb watercolor paper.  In the photo below you can see that I used paper stencils, water-soluble crayons, acrylic paint (not pictured) and the Gelli plate.   The paper on the upper right is the start of this painting.

If you read my post titled "In the Middle" last week, this was one of the paintings that seemed stuck in neutral.  Fortunately the day of plein on Monday was a great re-charge or challenge or inspiration or certainly something that I needed.   On Tuesday I was able to complete this painting.  Now I am ready to tackle a couple more on the painting table!

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  
Please check back early next week for the "Small Works Blog" as well as for my Thursday post.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Winter Takes a Holiday - Small Works Weekly

Today is the first "Small Works Weekly" post on my blog.  I have missed working on the small paintings since completing the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge*.  In order to encourage small works on the painting table, I plan is to post a small work early in the week in addition to my regular Thursday post.    

And since winter has taken a break here in Virginia, Mary Anne and I headed out for plein air close to home.  We chose a view of a field with the backdrop of the mountains and a small barn.  It was a calm, sunny and pleasant day.  

Not Quite Spring #1
by Judith F Lochbrunner
acrylic on painted paper
6 x 6 inches

The color in winter is often under-appreciated.  There are no intense pinks, deep oranges or bright greens.  However straw yellows, smokey grays, rusts and soft violets make up a wonderful mix of colors on the palette.  There is a quiet softness to this season.

I began with a small drawing for each of the paintings.  The notepad with the drawings is sitting to the left of my palette to serve as a "road-map".  Each painting is of the same view with a slightly different foreground.  One includes the fence (below) and the other has telephone poles (above).  

Not Quite Spring #2
by Judith F Lochbrunner
acrylic on painted paper
6 x 6 inches

An added bonus to painting close to home is that my husband and Daisy dog came walking by and Phil took my picture.

Thank you for stopping by this new addition to my blog.  
Let me know which view you prefer and why.  I look forward to your comments.

*Check my 2017 January posts for more information on the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

In the Middle

According to Ben Franklin's Almanac (published by the editors of the Old Farmer's Almanac):

For every thunderstorm in February
 will be a cold spell in May.

Fortunately there have been no local thunderstorms here.  Our weather has been changing every few days from bitter cold wind to warm spring-like days.  But we are still "in the middle" of February, of winter, of the unpredictable temperatures, etc.....

And so it seems to be the same in my studio I am exactly "in the middle" of several paintings.  This week has been simply putting in the hours to paint.  

However I do have some progress photos of the big (36 x 36 inch canvas) that was posted on the blog last week (Feb. 9, 2017).

 The big canvas has moved up to the studio with a couple new layers added to it.  The photo above is its current look.  You can see some of the major shapes being developed.  I do like the big red shape at the left-center top and it will probably stay as the focal point.

I'm showing these photos backwards so you can see that I am keeping the dark pattern in the painting.  How did I create it?  It was simply a matter of taking white gouache mixed with turquoise watercolor and painting out the areas of the canvas that I did not want to keep.   This layer was "fixed" with acrylic spray and then acrylic gel so more layers can be painted on top.

A final update from the January 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge is that some of the daily paintings have sold already (thank you to my collectors!)  Several others are on display at my retail/gallery shops (Goose Creek StudioAllegheny Highlands Arts and Crafts Center, and 2nd Helpings Gallery).  

The final grouping of challenge paintings were framed this week thanks to the frame shop at Goose Creek Studio which made this wonderful assortment of small frames that really highlight the art.

(More small paintings ready to be delivered in March and April.)

Thank you again for reading my blog.  
I appreciate your checking back and hope you stop by again soon.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

One Final Assignment from the Painting Challenge

On February 9, 1870 the U.S. Weather Bureau was established.
One hundred years later it was renamed the National Weather Service.

Unexpected Shower
by Judith F Lochbrunner
20 x 16
acrylic on paper

This painting is the final assignment that I gave myself from the January 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.  The work combines many of the landscape exercises from last month in a larger size.  However the biggest challenge was to simplify.  

I originally intended to add some buildings and even a fence to the back fields.  As soon as they were painted, I realized my mistake. The structures did not connect the sky to the front field; they broke up the composition so much so that it appeared that another painting had been inserted. 

That section was reworked with simple tree and shrub shapes.  Those same colors were added to the back treelike as well.  The composition was simplified and the final result is a unified painting.   

Happily, I can now turn my attention to new work.  This 36 x 36 inch canvas was stretched and put together earlier this week (check my Facebook page for photos).  An almost empty jar of naphthol red acrylic paint was extended with some gel and applied as a base coat.  A second layer of acrylic ink was added with some alcohol splattered about to move the ink in random directions.   I can't wait to play with it some more.....will it be a landscape...maybe? 

It is a real pleasure to set-up outside on a February afternoon 
and I was soon joined by my art assistant.

Winter returns late tonight lest we get too used to these temperatures!

One final note is to inform you that Potentially Chic is closing the retail shop at the end of the month.  However the services part of the business will remain.  I am thankful to have had the opportunity to display work at the shop and to have met many of you there.  

Thank you for stopping by my blog.   

Thursday, February 2, 2017

February NewsBlog - Back to Business - 2017

Welcome back to the blog after the daily posts in January!

"Commonplaces never become tiresome.
It is we who become tired when we cease to be curious and appreciative."
--Norman Rockwell

(Feb. 3, 1894 - birth of painter Norman Rockwell)

Bare Branches 
by Judith F Lochbrunner
acrylic on painted paper
6 x 12 inches

After the busy month of painting, photographing and posting daily, it has been a pleasant return to a more routine schedule.  The studio has several painting "starts" and a 16 x 20 landscape on the easel this week.  And now it is time to catch up with the business of art.

The little painting above is the newest addition to my Etsy shop.

If you have not been by my shop lately it now has a new look and niche.  It now features small works for small prices.  I have made an effort to provide my collectors with the opportunity to purchase smaller works over the past year and it has been very successful.  

Lager works will still be an important part of the studio and will be exclusively featured on the Paintings page of my website,  The portfolio lists whether these works are currently for sale in a retail shop/gallery or for sale directly from me at my studio.  I am happy to help answer any questions and guide you to where a painting can be purchased.  

 I hope this makes easier for you.  And hopefully this makes it easier for me too.

January saw new art delivered to Goose Creek StudioPotentially Chic, and 2nd Helpings.  In February art will be delivered to Allegheny Highlands Arts and Crafts Center.  I will post on the StoneCoalStudio Facebook page if there any other deliveries that are scheduled this month.

(A winter walk on a clear and mild winter day brings fresh inspiration
 -- here at Natural Bridge State Park, VA.)

Thanks for checking back on my blog.
I promise to start posting new art and as soon as next week.  See you then!