Almost daily painter, traveler and art lover
It's all about art, what else is there?
@lisahutart on instagram

Monday, February 29, 2016

Day 60 Sweet Spot

Another tulip painting to close out February. Actually, it's sort of tulips, sort of abstract. I so very much want to find that perfect place in between. The Zone. Sweet Spot. Good Art. Whatever you want to call it. The definition for sweet spot is "An optimum point or combination of factors or qualities." Yeah, that.
I'm hoping that after painting for 365 days I'll recognize it when it comes.
And that it will come more often. WAIT - that's 366 days this year.

Sweet Spot
20x20 oil on 1.5" gallery wrapped canvas, edges painted

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Day 59 Primary

This painting makes me so grateful for my art supplies. I have pastels from Rembrandt, Sennelier, Richeson, Mount Vision, Unison, Schmincke, Girault and my all time favorite - Terry Ludwig. Funny that I spent YEARS trying out different pastels and eventually I found my favorites made in a warehouse less than 10 minutes from where I live. Seriously. Why do we have to learn everything the hard way? I guess if I hadn't learned it the hard way, I wouldn't know how to use every type of pastel and pastel paper out there.
I'll never forget the thrill of a new box of crayons or a new set of markers for an illustration class in college. Oh those markers, so pricy but so awesome. Now it's a tube of oil paint or new pastels. I know these aren't exactly primary colors but it so reminds me of those new crayons used in the early years. Thank you to Crayola and Terry Ludwig for making me happy, happy, happy with all your beautiful colors.
9x12 pastel

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Day 58 Still Tulips

This abstract was inspired by the tulip series I did a week ago. Even though I posted 4 paintings, I actually did at least 10 paintings of them, in many different styles over a weeks time. Some I made more complicated, some simpler. This one is still tulips to me. I think I should buy myself flowers all the time ... just for inspiration.
Still Tulips
9x12 pastel

Friday, February 26, 2016

Day 57 Dry Grass

I did this pastel along the Platte River yesterday. I took my 9x12 sheet and divided it in half to do 2 smaller studies. Unlike yesterday, this painting needs contrast and really to be redone. Not all of them turn out. I'm looking forward to painting a lot this weekend, even though I have the same 24 hours in each day, it still seems I get more accomplished on weekends.
Dry Grass
6x8 pastel

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Day 56 Seeing Clearly

I painted along the South Platte today with PAAC.  I'm beginning to think how lucky am I that I see things so much clearer now than I used to. Yet, I still have a long way to go. There is so much beauty out there - I just have to slow down enough to see it. I don't know what this pretty rust colored plant is called but the sun was hitting the tips in an enticing way.

Seeing Clearly
5x7 pastel

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Day 55 Late View West

This was the 2nd painting I did yesterday with PAAC. The first was finished when my hands got too cold to paint. It's really hard holding tiny bits of pastel sticks with gloves on. Hand warmers would have done the trick but I was sort of unprepared. Yeah, I know - have I not been doing this every day?
I had packed up all my pastels and walked around to say goodbye to the artists that were still painting. Their work was so inspiring I decided to do another one. I unpacked it all and painted one more from the back of the car. Those shadows from the trees were so long! Sometimes, the faster you have to go the better it turns out. Sometimes.
Late View West
10x13 pastel

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Day 54 Fresh Snow

This afternoon I painted at Forsberg Iron Springs Park with PAAC members. We had fresh snow this morning and sunshine by late morning.  I liked the snow and shadows around me but decided to paint the view of Red Rocks amphitheater. The wind was "a bit chilly". OK, it was damn cold. Luckily, with other PAAC artists sticking it out around me, I hung in there and then stayed and painted a second painting from the back of my car. The car made a fabulous wind block.
Fresh Snow
9x12 pastel

Monday, February 22, 2016

Day 53 Pastel Berries

I'm not running out of stuff I want to paint. Artistically, I'm bouncing all over the place still. I should come up with a theme or goal for March. Thoughts?
I planned to eat these after painting them. I admit - after sitting under a hot light and moving them around (with my pastel fingers) they became quite inedible. No, they aren't pastel colored but covered in pastel dust.
Pastel Berries
5x7 pastel

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Day 52 Porch Closed

I headed to Roxborough Park to paint this morning. This historic building is at the north end of the Fountain Valley trail. There are several buildings I'd like to paint but the wind chased me back to the car. Today, the sign and yellow tape on the building stated "Porch Closed". I'll have to go back when I can tour inside.
Porch Closed
5x7 oil on panel

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Day 51 Edge of Flatirons

Painted at Chautauqua Park, the view is just south of the flatirons. You can see just a hint of them on the right side of the painting. Will probably work on this one more as it just seems unfinished.
Edge of Flatirons
5x7 pastel

Friday, February 19, 2016

Day 50 Snow on the Hill

Today I headed to Boulder to paint with my friend Lamya Deeb and braved the dreaded wind. Plein air painters can withstand cold, rain, traffic, bugs, tourists, heat, you name it ... but the WIND will send your stuff and you back to the car like a tumbleweed. Never one to give up, we tucked ourselves against a wall in Chautauqua Park and the wind did die down after the first hour or so. We painted looking south towards the flatirons and I captured this house on the hill with a touch of snow and the grasses blowing every which way in the wind. Maybe my painting turned out today because a ladybug visited my pastel box. Read about Chautauqua Park history (so interesting) and check out Lamya's beautiful work on her website or Daily Paintworks.
Snow on the Hill
9x12 pastel

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Day 49 Direction

Apparently I'm doing a series and didn't even know it. Soon I'll have to come up with a plan and give myself more direction. For now, though, following my creative whims has been really fun. I may finish the tulips soon - they have rearranged again and are pointing straight down, soon to be a pile of petals on the table.
5x7 pastel on pastelbord

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Day 48 Still Blooming

Now the tulips are back to drooping again. I did paint outside today with a friend but am so unhappy with the result I can't post it. It was 70 degrees and just beautiful today. So, here's another small tulip painting in anticipation of spring.
Still Blooming
6x9 pastel

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Day 47 Rearranged

Well those tulips rearranged themselves! I left them in the studio, in the dark and returned to see the stems all straight up, searching for sun apparently. I wanted to repaint them in their own "new arrangement" but experimented with oranges rather than the pinks that they actually are. I pulled a couple reference photos for color of orange tulips and this is the result.

8x10 pastel

Monday, February 15, 2016

Day 46 Arranged

To arrange or not to arrange? I wondered if I should move these tulips around or just drop them in a vase and see where they land. I like things to be natural and thought about painting them as if I were outside. Then I decided as is, I'll have plenty of time to paint outside when they start blooming in a few months. These were kind of grocery store valentine-leftovers and needed a home.
5x7 pastel

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Day 45 Evening Dinner in France

Several years ago I was privileged to travel to France with Elizabeth Mowry and a group of artists to paint for 9 days. It really was a "bucket list" dream come true. I came home with some great paintings and hundreds (maybe thousands?) of photos to paint. One evening we had dinner on the patio of a small restaurant, in a small town and watched the sunset across the river. The night sky became this beautiful deep blue and the lights slowly came on in each old building.
It's a memory I'll never forget, even though I have no memory of the name of the town ... and the restaurant. If I can ever find the notes on that trip, I'll update this post!
Evening Dinner in France
Diptych 24x48 (each panel 24x24)
oil on canvas

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Day 44 Cloudy Sky

Another plein air done this week at Glendale Farm. I wanted to capture the sky this time - it's been awhile since I painted clouds. The colors were so subtle and beautiful in the field, soft barely there greens and yellows, then that white snow that isn't white. The clouds moved fast as usual, what a beautiful day painting outdoors.

Cloudy Sky
8x10 pastel

Friday, February 12, 2016

Day 43 Roxborough Sun

Today I painted at Roxborough State Park with a friend. It was warm and I set up next to my car, so convenient for my huge box of pastels. My plein air pastel set up is still pretty heavy to carry far. I need to work on that for all the hikes I'd like to do this summer. I'll definitely be back soon to paint more of these gorgeous rocks.

Roxborough Sun
9x12 pastel

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Day 42 Hanging On

Today I painted with PAAC at Glendale Farm Open Space. Perfect sweatshirt weather. You start out standing on an icy hill and eventually realize you've sunk 2 inches in warm mud. It's nice not being cold. I loved the way there are a few leaves just hanging on to a branch of this tree in the gully. It's the middle of February, there has been plenty of wind and snow this winter to knock those hangers on ... off. A reminder to keep "hanging in there" with whatever it is you are doing.

Hanging On
9x12 pastel

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Day 41 Field in Longmont

I worked on a 24 x 48 piece today, but it is still in progress. Pictures to come maybe this weekend. This is a "makeover" plein air from last summer. Another great tip I learned from artist friends, when you don't like how a study turns out, pull that canvas out of the dud pile and paint over it. My dud pile is pretty large, so yay, more canvas to paint on. Some will turn the canvas upside down to redo it, you can get some cool undertones by seeing some of the previous brushwork. This one was just originally too dark and needed a little more detail.
Field in Longmont
5x7 oil on canvas panel

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Day 40 Gratitude & Love

Today I listened to an interview by artist Quang Ho on, Artists Helping Artists with Leslie Saeta. WOW. REALLY, WOW.
I've ordered his DVD's, and ordering a multitude of various art history books from the library. I did not appreciate art history much back in my Art Institute days. It was all about graphic design, typesetting and the "new" computer graphics, not fine art for me. It worked well, I had a good career as a commercial artist; but my interest has shifted oh, so, so, far to the other side.
I was lucky enough to see Quang do a demo at the Pastel Society of Colorado a couple of years ago. I was honored to bring along Elizabeth Mowry, another well know beautiful Master Painter. I was blown away watching Quang's demo, no idea how he can see and execute masterpieces in the way he does. Now, I'm a little closer to seeing ... but still years away from executing, if ever. If you are one of my Denver non-artist friends; it was equivalent to hanging out with Peyton Manning and Von Miller. I am so grateful.
My small painting today is a reflection of the love I feel for many people in my life, most especially, the amazing Laura Fry. Unrelated you may think, not really - it's all about Art and Love - full circle. I just had a great idea for a series in February ... hmmm.
Disclaimer: I had a wisdom tooth pulled this morning so I had all day at home to read about art, listen to art blogs and reflect on my artistic journey. And eat ice cream. Now I want one day a week at home, all day to do this. The art part, not the oral surgery.
Gratitude & Love
4x4 pastel on canvas

Monday, February 8, 2016

Day 39 Emerging Garden

Today I spent a lot of time priming canvas, finishing painted edges, signing some paintings and trying to clean up the studio a bit, it's a big mess. I've expanded from my art room to taking up the whole basement, the shelves are full and now the bathroom is my new "drying area" for several 30x40 works. I switched to acrylic for a couple of paintings just so something would dry faster. This one is finished and in a nice frame.

Emerging Garden
16x20 oil

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Day 38 Bronco Sunset

In honor of the Broncos Superbowl win this evening I did a small pastel of downtown Denver with our famous orange and blue sunset. It's not even that recognizable as the Denver skyline but that's where "impressionistic style" seems an appropriate term. Congrats to the Denver Broncos!
Bronco Sunset
5x7 pastel

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Day 37 East Inlet

This afternoon I walked up the East Inlet trailhead past Adams Falls to capture beautiful Mount Craig, aka Mt. Baldy. This has been a favorite spot for years, having taken pictures of my kids hiking this trail since they were little. There is a LOT of snow this year. It's a popular trail and was well packed down so no snowshoes needed. I got side tracked with the light on the trees, rather than the gorgeous mountain in the background, so really didn't get the mountain much at all!
East Inlet
9x12 pastel

Friday, February 5, 2016

Day 36 Trees & Snow

Today I got back outside and painted along the South Platte River with my friend Anita. Lots of beautiful snow, shadows, trees and snow covered logs. I picked a nice sunny spot. Then the sun moved. Then I got cold. Maybe I need a class in "pay attention to which way the sun is going to move". I forgot something to stand on and didn't bother to scrape the snow off the top of my boots - but I know I'll have it all figured out by May. I'll use this study for another painting in the studio soon.
Trees & Snow
8x10 pastel
unframed $90

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Day 35 Early Valentine's Day

Today, I started hooking a new rug with my group of fabric artist friends. I then spent several hours organizing and making copies of beautiful paintings by my MIM artists. I was too tired to head to the ASLD - honestly couldn't get excited about painting a still life tonight. I received a late Christmas present, and then an early Valentine's Day present. The day was filled with friends, love and connection. This is a small painting that I did experimenting with color and a new canvas. It's FREE to the first FB friend that comments that you want it on my Facebook ... Congrats Christy!
Early Valentine's Day
6x6 oil

Day 34 Looking for Spring

My oil paintings are not drying. It may take months on some of these paintings. I'm running out of room on shelves to have them upright, otherwise I find the occasional cat print across the canvas, not a good look. This abstract flower was painted in acrylic with a palette knife, and it's dry already. I do like instant gratification. I'm not enjoying winter as much as I used to - I want flowers and spring.

Looking for Spring
24x24 acrylic on 1.5" gallery wrapped canvas

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Day 33 Goodnight Moon

I've been planning this one in my head for awhile. I wanted a large simple painting (for a big wall) for a very muted gray bedroom that used to be my sons. Abstract art can be pretty boring to some people, but for me, there is always a story or some meaning behind it. This room had stars on the ceiling for many years, so this painting is in memory of what used to be a boy's room, now an adult.
It's the grown up version of a favorite book read many times over.
Nostalgia strikes again.

Goodnight Moon
30x40 acrylic on canvas

Monday, February 1, 2016

Day 32 Soy Sauce

I'm going to try and keep this daily painting thing going, while trying to add things back in to my schedule like umm, cleaning my house? Immersing yourself in art can be all consuming. Even eating out at a favorite restaurant (Rice in Aspen Grove) makes paintings in my head appear. This view over the bar chairs and into the kitchen was all black, white and gray with great flooded light on the cooks hat. That touch of red on top of the soy sauce bottle made me want to paint it. I took several stealth photos and did a quick pastel study when I got home.
Soy Sauce
5x7 pastelbord