Monday, September 15, 2014

Smith Mountain Lake Fall Morning Haze


8 x 10 Oil on Gessobord

This is a different angle from my studio window of Smith Mountain Lake.  Most early mornings the lake gets a wonderful haze, and this particular morning there was a yellow cast to everything.  This seems to happen each Fall, and this year in particular it appeared earlier than usual.  The weeds and grasses down by the water turn all different colors as they begin to die.  I must admit I did push the palette a little, but what are all those different paint tubes for ?!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Foodie


6 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

I have painted this man before in pastel, but I thought it would be fun to paint him again in oil.  I think he is one of my favorite subjects to paint.  I'm not sure why, but I think it might be the intensity he had at the buffet table.  He obviously takes his food seriously.  I caught him at one of my art show opening receptions and have seen him a few times since.  The odd thing is that he is usually wearing similar clothing and is usually at the buffet table when I see him.  I've grown attached to this man, stranger though he may be :-)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Quality Time


8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

Sometimes things just work out, and this painting just happened to "appear."  I think it had something to do with a passion for painting it.  There are days where I go into the studio to paint, but don't have a real desire to paint what I had planned.   Instead of forgoing the subject on hand, I forge ahead.  These paintings usually don't excite me when I'm done.  Not always, though.  Sometimes I get a wonderful surprise.  I really like this painting!! 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sale at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Art Show



I was so very pleased to find out that my painting, "Stuck Up," was sold at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine recently.  The painting will hang until the end of the exhibit so if you get a chance and are in the area, stop by and see all of the artwork on display.

Smith Mountain Lake Sailing



6 x 8 Oil On Gessobord

I'm in the middle of a painting that is driving me crazy and I needed to get away from it for a little while.  I walked away and looked out my studio window just as these two sailboats were going by.  The shadows and really bright sun made me grab a gessobord and paint the scene plein air (or "studio air" since I was inside :-)  A fast and furious little painting because I had to catch the boats before they passed out of view, but I think it shows the brilliance of the day, and that was what I going for.  Normally, I would go back and refine certain things, but I am going to leave it as it is...A moment on a Thursday....

Monday, September 1, 2014

Rocks, Clouds, and Sea



6 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

Every year at this time we are on our way to meet up with other artists on Monhegan, so even though I'm sitting at my computer right now here at Smith Mountain Lake, my mind is checking into the seaside hotel and preparing to get the ferry over to the Island.  This is the view from Fish Beach, although I've moved a few things...It's nice to have such power :-)  Hope you all have a great Labor Day.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rainy Day on Monhegan Island


10 x 8  Oil on Gessobord

This was a cold and rainy day in September on Monhegan Island, Maine.  The wind and rain were coming sideways hitting you in the face, causing puddles and muddy streams, but I wouldn't have changed it for the world!  The sound of the waves crashing on the rocks and the smell of island dampness is heaven.  I painted in the dining room of the inn I was staying at with other varied artists I did not know.  There was a wonderful camaraderie.  No stress, no worries...just being in the moment. Then, out in the elements for coffee at the only place that sold espresso.  Crowded, but worth the wait :-)  I'm not going back this year, but I'm there in my mind...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

End of the Summer



8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

Children find things to do even if it's a little too cold to go into the water.  This little girl's colorful outfit and pigtails reminded me of my daughter when she was little.  I think she probably reminds a lot of us of summers long ago.  Then, school starts...... :-(

Monday, August 18, 2014

Tallulah's 3rd Birthday Portrait


6 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

Tallulah (Lula, as she is known when she is good) commissioned me to paint her official portrait for her third birthday on September 1st.  She posed in her favorite position in her favorite spot, and she gave me her English Monarch look.  She did not want to be seen as frivolous or flighty...No, she wanted to be taken seriously...No messing around!  She said she was pleased with the portrait, but recommended I take another photo of it because the colors did not quite match the original.  If the government wanted to make stamps, she was a little worried that her public might disapprove.  When I get a chance, I will take another photo so we don't have to hear her whining :-)

Friday, August 15, 2014

An Ahhh Moment


8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

He's sitting and taking it all in.  This must be a "Life is all good" moment for him.  Just looking at him made me stop and take a deep breath.  This is a quick study which might become a larger painting at some point.  I say that a lot and never seem to get to it.  There are always new and exciting things to paint so I never to go back and re-do; but it's always an option. 

On another note, I recently watched "Tim's Vermeer."  If you haven't seen it and are interested in Vermeer, it's a must.  Totally fascinating theory of how Vermeer painted.

Well, thank you for stopping by.  Hope to see you again soon :-)

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Pastry Chef



8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

Some paintings seem to flow off the brush and others are real work.  This one just seemed to appear the way I had envisioned.   Creativity comes in many forms, and baking is certainly an art form.  Many do it, but not everyone creates a mouthwatering masterpiece.  Whatever this turned out to be, I'm sure the attention he gave it made it wonderful :-)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

It's All About the Sky



9 x 12 Oil on Gessobord

September dusk in Maine.  Colors that were almost too beautiful.  There were lots of people with binoculars and cameras ready to capture the show which repeated itself the next night.  We get spectacular sunsets here, but there is something about a still harbor at sundown that can't be beat.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Taking Five



8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

It's hard to remember what it was like to be away from all distractions and to be disconnected from everything that is going on in the world...Just to "be."  Apparently, this young man had enough of the scenery and needed that connection.  The professor teaching the course on mindfulness and meditation says that a number of his students find it impossible to disconnect from all devices for 24 hours.  I can understand that.  The first thing I do when I come home is check my email, but I do think I could avoid doing that if I had to.  I wouldn't like it, though.  Younger people would have a harder time since they grew up "plugged in."  They definitely need to be connected in all ways at all times. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Work on Display


For the month of August, I am the Featured Artist at the Electric Company Artists Co-op in Bedford, Virginia.  The opening of the display is on Second Friday, August 8th from 5:00 - 8:00 PM.  If you are in the area, please drop by and say "Hi" and see my work as well as the work of some very talented artists that display there.

July and August have been extremely busy here at Smith Mountain Lake.  We've had lots of company this summer and it has been really enjoyable.  I'm thankful that everyone will travel far and wide to see us. Now that things have quieted down, I've got to organize.  I've got to stop and think about what paintings are where and what paintings I need for upcoming shows.  I used to think that being an artist meant simply painting, but I'm finding that it is so much more than that.  There are a lot of things to consider and plan out, and some of those things are almost more important than the actual act of painting.   As the Grateful Dead said though, "What a wonderful trip this has been"...and still is :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Acceptance into the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine's Upcoming Fall Art Show



I am so very pleased that three of my paintings were accepted into Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine's upcoming exhibition entitled "Life is Beautiful:  Unexpected Moments Captured in Art."  The show will open with a public reception on August 21st from 5:30 to 7:30 PM and will close Oct/Nov, 2014.  There will be a range of mediums, from paintings and photography to three-dimensional art and drawings.  It should be a wonderful exhibit, so if you are in the area and have a chance, try to see it.  The painting above, "One Lane Bridge" is one of mine that will be displayed.  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Blue Float



8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

No catchy title on this one :-)  All of these water paintings are for an upcoming exhibit I'm going to be in.  I'll post the info soon.  I have to say, this is one of my favorites...so far...I got a lot of mileage out of my friends' family being here to spend a summer day.  Lots of pictures and memories to paint.  I'm finding that I'm not relying on the photos but using them as a starting point, and I think the paintings I've been doing have much more movement than they did when I first started.  Progression is a good thing.  After all, that's what it's all about.  No going back; only forward...Right?!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wedding Commission



8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

SOLD

This is a commission I was asked to do to be given as a gift for the wedding couple.  I explained that it would not be a portrait, and I would try to get the essence of the event rather than an exact replication.  I actually worked on this after I took this photo, and fixed a few things that bothered me.    I was instructed to put a boat in the background because they came and left by water, and I had to work with a number of different photos and combine them.  This whole experience was a little scary, since I do not know and have never seen this couple. I felt so good when the client picked it up and told me I captured them and the day perfectly. WHEW!  Now back to my comfort zone.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sun Spot



12 x 24 Oil on Gessobord

I find real comfort when painting water scenes. I'm sure it's from a youth spent at the beach.  With all that's going on in the world right now, anything that's comforting is a good thing.  I just started a course in mindfulness and meditation.  I'm curious to see how or if my paintings change in any way.  Ommmmm.....

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Monhegan Sunrise


SOLD

8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

The colors at sunrise on Monhegan Island, Maine are quite spectacular.  Actually, incredibly spectacular.  Manana Island (the barrier island across from Monhegan) glows a crimson orange reminiscent of hot embers and is so beautiful it is surreal.  It is difficult to capture in paint.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Plunge


8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

This painting isn't as greenish as it appears here, so I will have to take another picture of it.  These two beautiful girls were here visiting us and had a perfect weekend, weather wise, to "play" at the lake.  It was a great opportunity for me to get subjects to paint.  Plus, they were a joy to spend time with...More to come :-)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Maine Abstract


SOLD

12 x 12 Oil on Gessobord

This was painted for an abstract show at one of the galleries where I have my work.  Abstracts are way out of my comfort zone, but I'm really happy with the way this turned out, even though it's really a "pseudo-abstract."  That's not a technical term, so don't look it up :-)  It is, in a way, representational, but very impressionistic..right?!  Lots of big words that mean very little...I still like it no matter what it is.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Ballet Recital


8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

Getting young ballerinas to be in sync and all on the same page must be extremely hard, and I would imagine the person in control must have lots of patience...or must have a good therapist :-)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th!!


SOLD
 
 Wishing you all a Happy Independence Day!  I hope you get to enjoy family gatherings, or parades, or fireworks, or just a quiet day to relax.  Thank you for checking in on my blog. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Life Guard on Duty



8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

A quiet day for this life guard, thankfully!  Summer...AHHH.  Can you smell the sun tan lotion?  This is a study for another painting I'm doing, so it's a little rough around the edges (literally).  I'll post the larger piece when I get it finished.  I'm working on a commission and two other paintings right now.  Usually I work on one painting at a time, but things have picked up, so I'm going from one to another.  Hectic, yes...But so enjoyable.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Beach Zen



8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

On-going paintings in the beach series.  I never seem to get tired of painting scenes like this.  I think it has to do with growing up on Long Island (NY).  Being surrounded by water, I spent everyday at either the ocean or the bay doing exactly what these two are doing.  When I was really young, I went to a day camp for six years, five days a week all summer on the Great South Bay.  The camp was pretty progressive for the times.  We grew vegetables, put on plays, had arts and crafts, had music, sailed, and swam three times a day in the bay.  Then came sleep away summer camp...Not a great experience.  No salt water, only a lake with leeches.  After the first girl came out with a leech on her, I knew I had to get out of there :-)  It was an eight week camp, but my parents had to pick me up after two weeks.  When I was a teenager, we spent a huge amount of time at the ocean at Jones Beach, or Fire Island.  Then later, with my kids at Amagansett.  There is no better way to grow up.  I now live on a lake, but I have to say I miss the smell of salt water.  When I paint these scenes, I can feel the sun and smell that beach smell....

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bathing Suit Adjustments



8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

Sand in your bathing suit...I so hate that!  I happened to catch this woman making the necessary adjustments.  Her contortions made me smile.  It took her a while to get comfortable enough to sit down again.  The funny part though, is that she had to do it all over again because she hadn't gotten it all out and still wasn't comfortable.  Oh Yeah...Wet bathing suit and wet sand.....The best of summer....

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Out Of The Office



8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

Continuing the beach series, this lucky man was out of the office, but still connected.  Perhaps he was in a meeting... 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Alone With Her Thoughts



8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

Alone with her thoughts until I showed up, that is :-)  There was something so lovely and almost sculptural about her pose.  I really needed to paint it.  It spoke to me...This is another in my series of beach paintings.  I'm really enjoying doing this series and have plans for lots more, but one can never count on what I say I'm going to do.  I get distracted easily :-)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Sun Goddess




8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

I started this painting while sitting at an Artisan Open House.  My friend was with me, happily painting a rural scene with horses...I, naturally, was painting a young woman clad only in a bikini.  In the background was good old country music played by a man with the greatest country face ever.  (You can be sure he will appear on my blog one of these days).  I know people who stopped to watch were a little perplexed by my choice of subject.  From my place on the porch, my only option painting plein air would have been parked trucks....Though come to think of it, I probably would have had a large group of men around me.  As it was, I did get a few men looking at the bikini :-)  I had a very limited palette with me, so I played a little with the color.  Funky and Fun!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Everything But the Kitchen Sink



8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

When we go to the beach, it's an escape from our daily lives.  Right?!  Well, not these women.  They seem to have brought everything they could possibly carry from home.  I'm not sure if they made another trip to the car after this, but I wouldn't doubt it.  I might add that this beach has a concession stand, restrooms, and almost anything else one might desire.  You have to love them, though...That's why I painted them :-)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Memorial Day Picnic, Smith Mountain Lake



9 x 12 Oil on Gessobord

Perfect weather, bright sparkling water, and this family having a picnic at the park over the Memorial Day weekend.  A painter's opportunity if there ever was one.  I have become addicted to painting people of all shapes and sizes.  I feel as though I'm sculpting when I move the paint around to get the effects I want.  I used to love to do this with pastels because my hands were in direct contact with the surface, but what was lacking for me was the thickness and creamy consistency that the oils have.  I'm still learning the ins and outs of painting with oils, but the fact that I wake up each morning and can't wait to get into the studio says it all.  I even dream about painting...How weird :-)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Bouquet



9 x 12 Oil on Gessobord

We had out-of-town company recently and to make their guest room cheerful and inviting, I got a bouquet of flowers. They served their purpose, and I got to paint them after they left.  I have a lot of respect for artists who paint such beautiful florals now.  This was not an easy painting for me.  As a matter of fact, there were a number of times I wanted to toss it out the window...and then stomp on it.  As I've said before, it is what it is (that's getting to be my mantra).  I stuck with it and am happy with the results....Mostly because it's a done deal :-) 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Two Shelley's




OK, so here are two perspectives by two Shelleys.  My cousin, the watercolorist, is really Rachel but has always been called Shelley.  As I said in a previous post, Shelley is the impetus for my art adventure.  She just sent me this photo of the initial sketch she did while on the road, so I thought I'd post hers and mine together.  She works in watercolor and is quite accomplished.  I painted mine in oil from the photo she took in Atlantic City.  I'm enjoying her trip from my couch :-)  I've painted two of her images so far and am looking forward to more.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Niagara Falls Couture



8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

All the while I was painting this I was thinking about the Rolling Stones song "Shattered."  "People dressed in plastic bags. What kind of fashion?"  This is part of my cousin's road trip and such fun to paint!  It's the Maid of the Mist, and I remember fondly being on it on one of my trips as a child.  Here is a study in preparation of doing a larger piece.  I haven't worked out everything, but I like the spontaneity of it.  Once again, the colors here are not accurate to the actual painting.  When I can, I will take another picture and post it.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Running with the Cows




8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

Obviously, this is not the NYC Marathon or Boston Marathon :-)  This is in the Himalayas.  It must have been disconcerting coming around the bend and seeing a cow in your path.  Especially one with horns... Loose and fun little painting.  I so love doing these!  Hope everyone out there is having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

CJ's Cupcake Extravaganza

 


8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

I posted a cupcake for Mother's Day, but that one was from a "boutique" cupcake store in Roanoke, VA.  Our local Smith Mountain Lake coffee shop now has their own beautiful cupcakes, and they launched them last Saturday.  They had a great turnout and apparently sold out.  Who would think that cupcakes are such a draw?!  Here at the Lake we don't have many chain stores and restaurants, (like Starbucks, Olive Garden, etc.), but we do have our own take on these things, and they are so well received.  Most of us are transplants from larger cities so we get really excited when something new appears, especially when it is good :-)  So, YEAH for CJ's...Great coffee and now great cupcakes.  Life is Good....  

Friday, May 16, 2014

Atlantic City Boardwalk Babe




8 x 10 Oil on Gessobord

My cousin, a watercolorist, sent me a photo of this woman sitting on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ.  She suggested we both paint it; so never being one to procrastinate, I got right on it.  She's traveling, so I'm sure it will take her a while, but I can't wait to see what she does with it.  She is the reason I attempted to begin painting.  Her work is just wonderful, and there was always the hope that some of her talent would have found its way to me through our family ties.  I'm always so surprised that you can have lots of artists painting the exact same subject, and yet the results are so diverse.  Here's my version of this "Jersey Girl" who was so kind to let us paint her.  When she paints her version, I will post it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Zach and Grandpa


SOLD

11 x 14 Oil on Gessobord

This painting is a commission I was asked to do and really enjoyed.  It's always hard to paint people you don't know and have never seen.  I was given a good photo, though.  I really had to study the image and call to ask lots of questions because colors in photographs are not accurate.  Even the image of the painting I did (shown here) is not...Too much of a green tint to this.  I will try to take another picture to see if I can get a better match to the original and post it.  Another thing....Children are really hard for me to paint if I want to get a portrait type of painting.  I enjoy doing them, but for a commission it has to be what the buyer specifically requests, AND everyone has their own perception.  This buyer was really happy though, so I'm really happy :-)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Summer Coffee Break


12 x 12 Oil on Gessobord

I would think Monhegan Island, Maine, is a great place to work for the summer.  We did notice that they seem to attract a lot of young Irish people who come to the US to work for a while.  We noticed this in the Hamptons in New York, as well.  I would think it's a great way to travel while making some spending money.  Kind of like summer camp with a lot of hard work involved.  These kids were taking a much needed break on a bright, chilly morning.  I know I've said this before, but the light on Monhegan is spectacular.  There is something so different about it, so I guess that's why you see so many artists all over the island...the light and the beauty...Ahhhh!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

It's a Party!



8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord


A cupcake for Mother's Day.  Our local coffee shop is about to have cupcakes in their display case, and I'm pretty excited about painting them.... Not necessarily eating them.  This is a Roanoke cupcake.  I think it looks good enough to eat.  Don't you?  I will be auctioning this on Daily Paintworks.  It would make a good Mother's Day gift...Hint, Hint, Wink, Wink......:-)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

About a Boy


8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

An exercise in movement...Nothing too specific, just limited color and a large brush.  I'm used to using relatively small brushes which tends to make my work more detailed than I would always like.  On this one, I stood back and just placed color as I saw fit.  Very little detail, but it all seemed to come together.  I've been watching a lot of painting DVD's and would recommend that others who are basically self-taught do the same.  It's not always easy or convenient to travel to take classes, and the DVD's are an excellent second best.  They have certainly helped me and continue to help me define my personal style.  I don't try to "copy" what I see, but use it to define my own sense of painting "reality."  By the way, this is Rocky.  One of my favorite people to paint :-)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spring Sailing Season Begins


12 x 12 Oil on Gessobord

Well, the sailing season has begun, and yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day for the races.  The colors this time of year are so vibrant, and Smith Mountain Lake really shines in the Spring and Fall.  In the summer there isn't enough wind, so no races...  The downside right now is the pollen, however.  It is covering everything.  I put my newly varnished paintings outside to dry..Big mistake!  I had to bring them right back in when I saw a mist of yellow descending.  Maybe it would have provided more "atmosphere" though :-)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Force of Nature



12 x 9  Oil on Gessobord

This beautiful sculpture by Lorenzo Quinn is at Marina Barrage in Singapore.  He dedicated it to Mother Nature after seeing the damage done during the tsunami in Thailand and the aftermath and destruction of Hurricane Katrina.  The research says that it is reminiscent of the statues made by people as offerings to the gods in the hope of appeasing them.  I love the pull and strength of it.  Here is a woman harnessing the Earth.  How beautiful!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Cleaning the Garbage




6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord

It was the colors that attracted me to this scene, plus I love to paint people going about their daily lives, as we all know :-)  I used a limited palette, once again.  Love those greens and purples...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sunday Morning at the Park




8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

This should be called "Fast and Furious Study."  Limited palette (except for the kite), and limited time.  I really like this one.  I think it has movement and atmosphere.  I could have gone a lot further and given it a "finished" look, but that wasn't my intention.  I was trying to zone in on the two figures and what they were doing.  These exercises are really helpful for me, and I'm enjoying the process.  It's a very free feeling to paint like this once in a while :-)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Whose Kite is it Anyway?





6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord

A quick study of Spiderman above the City.  I gave myself a time limit and just kept my brush moving.  I'm not sure why, but as I post my paintings I see all sorts of issues I want to correct, and WILL correct on this one...Things I don't see when I'm in the "zone."  This, however, serves as a starting point for other paintings.  Just a beginning in my "thought process."  With these, I'm always really glad I start on small boards.  If I decide to do a larger painting, these are good references...Mostly in what I need to correct or change.  I do like the energy in this little piece :-)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cooper Off Leash at the Beach


SOLD


8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

This is really a painting of my good friend, Gloria, but I can't paint her without painting that black dot off in the distance...Cooper.  She loves the water more than any other dog I know, and went into the ocean, past the waves.  I was pretty certain she was gone for good, but Gloria and Jim had a lot of faith in her and knew she'd come back.  I wasn't so sure!  As we were walking back, we got stopped by the beach police for having her off leash.  No ticket;  just a warning, but for the rest of the trip, it certainly put a crimp in Cooper's style :-)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Punakhan Man with Walking Stick



 
8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

Someone said "Make it colorful!"  I think I achieved that, don't you?  For me, this was a study of an interesting face.  It's like a puzzle.  I paint in sections and love to see the image begin to take form, and finally look back at me.  I'm not sure if it's approvingly....It's always a challenge and a learning experience.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

On the Rocks





8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

This has been a very difficult week as far as my art goes.  I have wiped off almost every painting I started, some close to being finished.  I must be going through a transition.  I know what I want the finished product to look like, but my mind and hand aren't cooperating with each other :-)  Here is a painting I started months ago and never was happy with it.  I have gone back to it a number of times, and I've decided it's as done as it's going to be.  I figured I might as well post it anyway....

On another note, a number of people who have visited my blog have tried to leave messages but were unable to for one reason or another.  If you aren't able to leave a message on Blogger, please feel free to email me.  A lot of people do, and I really appreciate it.  I love the feedback. You can email me at shelleykoop@gmail.com.  My blog visits are over 25,000, and I'm so glad to share my art journey with you all.