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

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Day 151 El Noa Noa

I painted this morning with PAAC on Santa Fe in the arts district. This Mexican restaurant caught my eye. I liked the light on the umbrellas, the trees, the sign, the wrought iron ... and there I went trying to paint way too many things and jumping around from one side to the other. Then they opened a doorway and the shadows changed completely in 1 1/2 hours. This is not easy at all. I decided to just enjoy the process today though, and I did.

El Noa Noa
9x12 pastel

Monday, May 30, 2016

Day 150 The Color of Trees

Spring is here and I've been looking at trees a lot lately. You might think summer but I have been snowed and hailed on 3 times this weekend. I love aspen and have spent hours looking at them in the fall, but never, ever paid attention to them in the spring. The leaves are so bright, hard to describe the green color, "spring green" perhaps? Then I look at the pine trees next to the aspen and the green has so much deep blue in it, it looks teal. I'm sure I will struggle with "green" all summer. So after yesterday's struggle I took the easy way out and just put every color I see in this painting of trees.

The Color of Trees
Acrylic 16x20

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Day 149 Spring Aspen at Shoreline

Today was a perfect day. Almost. I packed up the pastels, hiking boots, snacks and music. We got out the boat and headed to the far end of Lake Granby. I found a spot along the shoreline to paint. The trees, the water, the mountains ... which do I paint? The aspen trees won because of their vibrant spring green leaves. It was beautiful, serene. On to my second painting location. Then driving back the boat died. Completely.
In the middle of the lake miles from the dock. Miles.
Hello stranger #1 for towing us slowly back. Thank you. There was an extra battery, a motor that wouldn't raise, hail rolling through and 3 more sets of strangers trying to help. A couple hours after it started we finally got the boat on the trailer and home. My straw poll determined that the percentage of strangers willing to help was upwards of 80%. Yay, mankind. Turn off the TV, never talk politics and you'll see again that people are just people. So it was almost a perfect day, the boat is still dead after all.

Spring Aspen at Shoreline
9x12 pastel

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Day 148 The Color of Wheat

This was painted from a photo my son sent me today. He sent several pictures that he took while traveling through Iowa and Minnesota. I always appreciate it when he sends me photo references.
As I flipped through the pictures on my phone, he explained that this picture showed a wheat field, with a corn field and grass. I may have asked a stupid question like "which part is the wheat" but only because I was painting while talking on the phone and barely paying attention. Go ahead and laugh. He kindly explained the color of wheat with minimal disdain. It's like texting and driving, just don't do it - as they both need your complete attention. So, I think I can see what section the wheat is growing in now and hope you can too.

The Color of Wheat
acrylic 6x6

Friday, May 27, 2016

Day 147 French Mini

This small pastel was done in France in 2012. It was raining out and I was itching to paint, so I sat down with my pastels and looked out the window of our hotel. It was a very tiny window, no screen with a clear view, and I was careful to not get pastel dust on the rug. I love the stone buildings on the hillsides with their terra cotta roofs. Then, I tucked the painting away for a few years. I did some cropping (it was initially 11x14ish) and now I like the composition much more. If a composition isn't working I'm glad I can change it by picking out a section that I like and creating a mini painting.

French Mini
9x9 pastel

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Day 146 Wheels After All

So, I did this pastel a while back. I wanted to paint something for my son since I had painted something while thinking of my daughter the day before.
Here is the funny thing. I started out drawing the wheels (tires?) from my son's bike. Then all those circles turned into flowers. But really, it's wheels. Is my love of flowers taking over everything? So next time you look at art, and you aren't sure you know what it is - it might be something else after all.

Wheels After All
16x18 pastel

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Day 145 Movement and Color

I know I'm still behind a day. I almost didn't post tonight because it was such a busy day but then I'd be behind 2 days. Then I'm afraid December would come along and I'll have lost a week or 10 days?So ... here is an abstract I've been working on. It's a study in movement and color. My abstracts are starting to take longer (hard to finish in a day) and are starting to have more layers to them. This one will get done, it might become Day 160 or Day 170 - who knows. Meanwhile, I spent all morning looking at art (150+ pieces to be exact from Memories in the Making artists and professional pairings) so I'm still meeting my goal of having an Art Filled Life. So far it's working well.

Movement and Color
24x24 acrylic

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Day 144 3 Puzzling Poppies

Today PAAC painted at the Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms. Loads of flowers were blooming so I had to ignore the buildings and all the other things I wanted to paint. These poppies and unknown purple flowers (something in the carnation family?) were blooming in front of the schoolhouse. The light was great even though it changed every 5 minutes with fast moving clouds. Sunny. Not. Sunny. Not. Sunny. It's puzzling for sure.
I felt rushed and didn't get what I wanted on this painting, so I will try and head back next week and do it again. A good item on my to do list.

Puzzling Poppies
8x10 pastel

Monday, May 23, 2016

Day 143 Raspberry Beret

After the title "Purple Rain" goes through my head, it's immediately followed by "Raspberry Beret". Raspberry Beret is one of my favorite Prince songs. It was released in 1985 almost exactly 31 years ago. Hard to believe.
I always start out with intention when I paint, sometimes a skill I'm trying to achieve or sometimes a feeling I want to express. Often, the painting changes direction on me and that's OK. Regardless, there is thoughtful intentions and feelings. If I don't have a strong feeling about it, how will you?

Raspberry Beret
20x24 Acrylic

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Day 142 Clouds over Granby

This is a view over Lake Granby that I painted several years ago. Yep, I paint Lake Granby a lot. It's soft pastel on black paper done during a Kathy Beekman one day workshop. I really love this painting, but it's big and I have way too much art. It's time for a new home, so off to the ASLD Summer Art Market it will go, unless someone wants it sooner. There are a couple vertical glare lines from the glass (and my quickie iPhone photo), it looks much better in person.

Clouds over Granby
15x22 pastel

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Day 141 Glass & Steel II

Here's another abstract inspired by the Kauffman Center. I wanted this one to be softer, not quite as "sharp" as the Day 137 glass and steel. No cables on this, but I can still see the building and the wild sky lighting up. Every time I paint, I want to paint it again, bigger or different to try a new technique. When I was younger I would reread books all the time. If I liked the book I wanted to go back to that place of being lost in a book. Now, I get lost in my paintings and I want to go back over and over.

Glass & Steel II
18x18 acrylic on wrapped canvas

Friday, May 20, 2016

Day 140 Purple Reigns

I'm still a little sad about Prince dying yet I'm still having fun with my purple paint. After I thought about it, it's totally "reigning" purple as this color does have a "dominating power or influence" over my paintings. Just playing around on this one, Oi!

Purple Reigns
oil 5x7

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Day 139 Floating Flowers

This afternoon was my last class with Aimee Denewith at PHAC and I played around painting a couple of small 5x7s. I would recommend Aimee as a teacher and hope to get back to her classes later in the year.
This painting is really all about the purple. Dioxazine purple to be exact. I wanted a loose floaty feel and I'm starting to understand what I can paint in oil vs. acrylics. So much to paint, so little time.

Floating Flowers
5x7 oil on panel

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Day 138 Top Heavy Frosting

It seems a lot of artists paint their breakfast. Still life setups that include fruit, flowers, cups and bowls, etc. It's a good practice. You learn about lighting, shadows, reflected shadows, color, temperature - the how to's. I think a chocolate cupcake that is so top heavy with frosting that it falls over, was a much better idea of something to paint. That's how I justified buying it. It does not have the curves of an apple but it tasted much, much better.

Top Heavy Frosting
6x9 pastel

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Day 137 Glass and Steel

This was inspired by a photo that my daughter took of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City. The architecture is so cool and the photo she took even better. I've walked through the building with her and know as a student of architecture, she sees things I will never understand. Thanks Katt for permission to use your photo (like you could say no to your mother!).

Glass and Steel
12x12 acrylic

Monday, May 16, 2016

Day 136 Study of St. Mary's Lake

I'm pulling some of my older pastels out to get matted or framed for the ASLD, Summer Art Market on June 11 and 12. I'll be in booth #7 and I hope to see lots of friends stop by! It's a great place to shop for art in all price ranges from 250 exhibiting artists. I've loved this art market for years, not realizing that I would one day be in it.
This was painted from a hike up to St. Mary's Glacier. I did the hike several years ago and using my photos I did studies and larger pastels of this exceptional view of St. Mary's Lake.
Even though I'm posting some older work I am still painting everyday. You'll probably get to see it all eventually. Thanks for reading along and your supportive comments on my Facebook.

Study of St. Mary's Lake
8x10 pastel

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Day 135 My Morning Walk

When I was in France a few years ago, each morning I went for a walk by myself along this road. It was in southwestern France along the dordogne and lot river valley. I was on a painting trip with a group of artists and Elizabeth Mowry as our instructor. The trip was wonderful in every way possible. Great food, weather, scenery and nothing to do but paint all day. I woke up hours earlier than everyone in our group and would wait until the sun came up to get in a morning walk. I took lots of photos, thousands to be exact. This photo and painting turned out looking like Colorado, except it's so not. There are abandoned Gypsy wagons in those woods and a crumbling wall of a church from the 11th century. I sold it this weekend at the Park Hill Art Club spring show, hope the new owner enjoys it. (forgot to take a photo assuming I had one on my computer and I could only find this blurry not so great one, oh well).

My Morning Walk
9x12 pastel

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Day 134 Colors of the Year

I recently found out that Pantone picks a color as the "color of the year". For 2016 they picked 2 colors, serenity and rose quartz (aka baby blue and light pink). Normally I just head to the mall to see what's in. Well, when you paint with blue and pink, ummm, it turns out purple.
Apparently they announce the color in December of the preceding year. So even though I occasionally think I know what I'm doing, or I'm really in the loop; I find out that I'm about 5 months behind on this pertinent information. Purple is my color of the year anyway, so there.

Colors of the Year
20x30 Acrylic on wrapped canvas

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Day 133 Ground Zone

I really like fitting in abstract painting in between the representational work. There is a freedom to abstract with slightly less pressure than representational work. I still have to think about design elements, avoid painting too dark and giving up too early.
These colors remind me of the earth and I contemplated on staying grounded in what I want to achieve this year. I keep going back to my most important goal, be a better painter. Suddenly, I'm incredibly busy and have to work hard to keep up this daily painting. But I'm one third of the way through and staying in the zone. (sorry about the glare!)
Ground Zone
8x8 oil

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Day 132 A Different Kind of Gold

While out painting yesterday, a PAAC member told me that gold was first discovered at Overland Ponds Park where we were painting. Apparently, the Russell party placer strike was just upstream of Overland in 1858 and was the first significant gold strike in the Rockies. It helped set of the "59er" Colorado Gold Rush.

After finishing my first painting of the sky I turned around and right in front of me was a golden currant plant in full bloom. I knew I wanted to paint that next and realized that I had just found gold too.

A Different Kind of Gold
pastel 9x12

Day 131 Sky at Overland Ponds Park

PAAC painted at Overland Park today - actually yesterday, as I forgot to post last night. It's tucked in along the South Platte River and is a reclaimed gravel mining pit redesigned as a park. It was a cloudy morning with the sun occasionally peeking out. I did 2 paintings then the rain chased me back to my car.

Sky at Overland Ponds Park
9x12 pastel

Monday, May 9, 2016

Day 130 Imagining Monet

I know a couple of artists that are painting in France in Monet's garden today. It's on my bucket list. So, for just a brief time this evening I walked across my studio floor (while stepping over framing wire, shoes and a pile of papers to file) got out some oils and a canvas and closed my eyes and pretended. Using my imagination has come in handy on more than one occasion in my life. I highly recommend it.

Imagining Monet
11x14 oil on canvas

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Day 129 Katt's Iris

I got the best mother's day gift this weekend, seeing both of my kids. I have some great photos to paint later this week from Iowa and Kansas. Katt gave me an iris this morning (and 3 watercolors she painted that I will treasure) but I gave the flower back afraid it would just die on the car ride home. So tonight I did a quick pastel of it, Thanks Katt!

Katt's Iris
8x10 pastel

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Day 128 Not Beige

This painting was inspired by all the colors emerging this spring. I'm enjoying painting plein air so much, even when the landscape looks beige. If you take the time to look slowly, and deeply ... it's amazing all the colors I see that are about to emerge. Maybe I should apply that vision to other aspects of my life?

Not Beige
11x14 oil

Friday, May 6, 2016

Day 127 Stacked Up

I did a little sketching tonight, not worthy of a post, so this painting is from last week. I really like applying paint with a palette knife and I especially like the size of this canvas. It's 10x20 and a great size to tuck into narrow wall spaces. I love the combination of purple and green. Well, purple and anything pretty much works for me. These flowers just stacked themselves right up the canvas. Now I wish I would have done lilacs since they are in bloom everywhere I go.
Stacked Up
Acrylic 10x20 on canvas

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Day 126 Purple Rain

I've been working on this one since Prince died. It's big, it's purple, it's probably cliche. But I wanted to paint it. I've been reading about the meaning of the lyrics (still don't know which version may be true) and watched the movie. I keep adding layers and it's still not quite there yet. This is one of those paintings that I don't have a specific intention for ... but I'm waiting for the painting to reveal itself soon. More layers. My favorite Prince song is Raspberry Beret so maybe the next painting will be a companion piece in a nice magenta.

Purple Rain
30x30 Acrylic on 1.5" gallery wrapped canvas

Day 125 Rabbitbrush at Sunset

This was my second painting at Inspiration Point yesterday. After painting Long's Peak I turned around to capture the great light at the tops of the Chamisa scattered below the trees. One of the fun things about painting en plein air is talking to people. Most artists I know don't mind explaining what we are doing or chatting about art in general. We usually have business cards to give out and occasionally make a sale. The exception is; if you say something insensitive or negative. Then we just assume you don't know crap about art anyway.
Yesterday I heard one of my favorite comments. A man walked by with his dog and said "Wow, it's so nice to see someone doing something appropriate in this park". Huh.
Rabbitbrush at Sunset
9x12 pastel

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Day 124 Long's Inspiration

Tonight PAAC met and painted at Inspiration Point in Lakewood. The weather was great and I did 2 pastels before the sun set. Painting Long's Peak sent me down memory lane.
I climbed Long's once, many years ago. I am proud that I got to the summit ... since I probably would never try it again. The Park Service suggests you start at 3 am to complete the 10-15 hour round trip hike before afternoon lightening storms roll in. I remember we ran out of water way sooner than we should have and my hiking buddies stopping to "take pictures" when I apparently sounded like I was going to die of overexertion. From the National Park Service Website:

At 14,259 feet, Longs Peak towers above all other summits in Rocky Mountain National Park. The flat-topped monarch is seen from almost anywhere in the park. Different angles show the great mountain's unique profiles. Changing weather reflects Longs Peak's many moods. In the summertime, when conditions allow, thousands climb to Longs' summit via the Keyhole Route. The Keyhole Route is not a hike. It is a climb that crosses enormous sheer vertical rock faces, often with falling rocks, requiring scrambling, where an unroped fall would likely be fatal. The route has narrow ledges, loose rock, and steep cliffs.
If you are in the mood for a 15 mile hike this summer check it out. Me? Completely satisfied to paint it instead of climbing to the top.

Long's Inspiration
9x12 pastel

Monday, May 2, 2016

Day 123 Indian Peaks Study #3

This is from the Indian Peaks Wilderness over lake Granby. I get easily overwhelmed with all the details that could be included on these huge mountain ranges. Here was a deliberate attempt to zoom in and paint one small area. I changed it several times over and sometimes you just have to try another day. That's one of the joys of painting every day, there is always tomorrow.

Indian Peaks Study #3
8x8 oil on linen panel

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Day 122 Fixer Upper

I have quite a few pastels in the "to fix" pile. They need a little something; either to be cropped, touched up, just fixed up a little. This painting was 15 x 20. Not 16 x 20 but just an inch too short. I've pulled it out of that pile so many times and tried various ways to not spend massive amounts of money on a custom size frame. I liked the composition before and didn't want to try a new one. After a minimal amount of thought this time around, I decided the composition rocks ... cropped down to an 11x14. So the lesson is when something doesn't work, put it back in the pile and try again later.
I vividly remember taking the reference photo on Kenosha Pass a few years ago, I took hundreds of photos that weekend to paint "someday". So happy that day has arrived. (sorry the photo is a little dark!)
Fixer Upper
pastel 11x14

Day 121 Discombobulated

I'm spending multiple sessions on my abstracts. I have so many sizes and "in progress' paintings that I am feeling a little discombobulated. I worked yesterday all day in the studio on a whole series of "purple rain" paintings ... more to come on those later. Nothing is finished to post so I have this one from a few days ago. Now, I can't find it. It's here somewhere in the studio. I'm still switching back and forth from oil to acrylic and I have no idea what size it is. When it surfaces I'll finish it and update you.
Discombobulated 12x12 oil