Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. It's a journal of sorts. It gives me a place to show my work-in-progress for my painting and photography. Comments are welcome --- add one at the end of an entry or email me at BarbBlumer@gmail.com.

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Painting in Progress - Oil Cans

Painted with Lin for a couple of hours yesterday --- started this new painting of oil cans. I painted it directly, without drawing first, just wet on wet color, and lost control --- but I had fun!!

My photo reference is very poor. These are old oil cans that I discovered at Tom's parents' summer cottage last 4th of July. We are going back again this year, so I am going to take my paints and start over using the real cans. Plus, I will take better photos.

I am also going to look for a different Masonite board -- I'd prefer a squarer format, more like the boots that are 14x15. This board was 11 x 14. Need some more width.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Boots -- Finished for Now

Boots, 2009
14 x 15 Oil on Masonite

I think I am done with this painting for now. Until I show it to someone else to get some help. I have learned a lot from it, but I am ready to move on to something else.

Here's what it looked like a long the way.

Session 1 - blocking it in - February-- before my Mom got sick

Session 2 - April -- a couple of hours of work

June -- This is when I started painting with Lin on her porch and spent two Mondays on it

Comparing it to my reference in color
Comparing it to my reference, this time in Black & White


More corrections.

Now -- it is still wet -- and still has problems, but I am going to stop.

Why I Paint --

I originally wrote this entry last November and forgot about it. It still feels right today --- so I decided to publish it.

I wasn't painting then. I was stuck and stressing about it. Now I am painting again -- and much happier in general-- and guess what the key was to getting unstuck and starting to paint again? More on that later, but I am interested in finding out why you like to create, too. So, please comment.

My reasons for painting:

a sense of adventure, going into the unknown, facing my fears, feeling connected with the world, seeing if I can do it, i.e., the appeal of learning to master a skill, the satisfaction of completing a project.

I find great pleasure in making something, creating something: meals, tablescapes, books, gardens, games, stories, plays, a macaroni-decorated cigar box for my father when I was five. I like to produce: A song for my brother's birthday. An elaborate scheme. A dinner party. A great Christmas for the kids. A play. Dancing! A needlepoint seat for the piano bench. Knitted hats for babies. An Amaryllis in the winter sun.

I like to make things up.

There aren't any rules. I can be me.

Tom suggested I paint something inspiring to me.

I once wrote:
--my creativity leads me to forgiveness and self-forgiveness.
--my creativity always leads me to truth and love.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Market Baskets

Not sure why I can't discard this photo from my recent trip to Ithaca -- maybe it has potential as a painting. I will keep it as a reference.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Steve

Steve's 50th Honey Bear - Belated

9 x 12 Oil on Masonite

Today is my younger brother's birthday. Happy Birthday, Steve! We are only two years apart, so most of my childhood memories include him. He always had honey on his cereal in the morning. So, for his 50th, I started this painting for him but never got it done. That was two years ago! This week I pushed myself to paint the darn label and to finish rendering the bear. I have never painted something semi-transparent before, nor something as tiny and precise as the label. I know I could do better, but I think it is time to be done and send it to him. Now I just have to let it dry and make a few final corrections. Hope he likes it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What Makes a Good Landscape Painting?

I am still in the dark as to how to create a landscape painting that I can get excited about creating and know how to execute.

I used to think that landscapes were about space --- creating a sense of depth. And movement through the use of composition and design. A unified color palette linking all of the elements, i.e., -- a color system that keeps the thing from becoming a mess.

Now I think that they are about connection.

About a sense of place, real or imagined.

They do have to be anchored, i.e., rooted by good drawing and use of perspective; otherwise, they become clumsy and artificial.

But, my current thinking is to focus on creating a connection and planning my landscapes more carefully rather than just painting what I see. If I feel connected to it, then maybe other people will. I don't know.

I am going to put on my storyteller's hat and see what happens.

But, I still want the surface to be interesting and memorable. And the colors have to be beautifully appropriate. After all, that's why paint instead of photograph landscapes. I love to mix the colors and push the paint around in ways that surprise me.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Can a Toilet be Beautiful?

Not sure a toilet can be beautiful, but the light falling on it from the window was so lovely, I decided to try.

Toilet, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Red Stairwell

Red Stairwell, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Looking Up

Looking Up, 2009

This is same stairwell as the image posted on May 5, but from the bottom looking up.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Next Door

During my weekly trip to Ithaca, I went back to this window re-photograph this idea, to see if I could get the neighbor's picture frames to be a stronger element. The apartment next door had been emptied and was under construction! So, once again, I learned the lesson to capture the moment. It may not occur again.

Next Door, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Paintings in Progress

On Mondays, I have started painting again with a friend on her enclosed back porch.

It is hard to get back in the swing of it. It would be easier if I wouldn't stop painting for such long periods.

Here's what I have to show so far.

Still not satisfied with them, but I am making progress.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Orange Lily

Orange Lily, 2009

Made this image in our backyard by blurring the background of the house, using a shallow depth of field. I look forward to this lily blooming. David gave it to me for Mother's Day several years ago.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Window, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

First Peonies

First Peonies, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Corner of Light

Corner of Light