Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I've had a large group of large blank canvases staring me down since Thanksgiving, but today I found the best way to get started.
step 1: hot chocolate (don't forget whip cream)
step 2: put on favorite Christmas music
.. and that's all it takes
* if possible snow makes everything better!
I've posted the new underpaintings on "currently creating the water that runs through Vermont". I think I need to re-stock my hot chocolate supply before starting on the 4'x5' canvases. There will be many more to come.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
I think it's so cool that people will be viewing the paintings while they are going to/leaving work, it's nice to know that your work is out in the world (wherever it may be). I've always felt that it's really important to be open to any kind of opportunity, you never know where they might lead.
The BCA is a wonderful organization and I would definitely recommend looking them up if you're near the Burlington area (and even if your not in the area):
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
I don't know what it is, but there's something about 2 1/2 feet of snow (there might even be more by now) with flurries throughout the day, Christmas music and a roaring fire in the fire place, that makes me want to paint. It's the perfect combination of coziness and beauty that leads to inspiration.
.. and when you're ready for a break, just head outside for a little walk, but remember to bring a snow shovel and some great company.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
There's no better feeling then sitting down and just doodling. It's so relaxing, my own kind of meditation. It just starts with one line (any kind of line) and grows from there. Here's a little doodle of Jay Peak, I'm thinking of making a block print of something like this for a holiday card (you never know where they lead).
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Speaking of color, I'm really trying to add glazes each day to the new Vermont series. I've been posting all of the pictures on a separate page. If you look to the right of this post (under Pages) and click on "Currently Creating Revisiting the Water that Runs through Vermont" you will find it.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Each day I add a couple of glazes to the new Vermont paintings, beginning with the warmer colors, which I hope will brighten up the paintings once they are completed. It's always good to have a few paintings that are in different levels of completion, that way there is always a painting to work on with a different technique (underpainting, glazing, opaque paint/details, texture) and it mixes things up a bit. I still have three blank canvases that are a bit larger that I'm planning on starting next week, and soon the large canvases will be headed up north (in the back of my parents car) for Thanksgiving, yeah I'm excited.
It is these paintings that have made me realize I need to make room in my studio for everything I will be painting this winter (and all of the paintings from the Costa Rica Series). I have paintings hanging everywhere, in boxes and they have completely taken over my studio. Who knew that paintings could take over spaces so quickly, they just seem to multiply, which sparked the idea for "Making Room in the Studio Sale", going on now with up to 30% off. All of these paintings need happy new homes where they can liven up a space and take you on a little mini vacation. A great gift for someone you love (it's always good to show yourself a little love too).Two paintings have already sold, so if you are interested e-mail me asap and I will mark the paintings sold. Just go to my website and click on "Making Room in the Studio Sale".
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Whenever I start painting I get really excited and start on all the big canvases, moving my entire arm/body for one stroke of the paint brush, and the little ones... well they come later. Now I'm starting off with 10 smaller than 12"x 12" canvases. Since I don't currently have any large canvases (our stores up here don't seem to offer the larger sizes with good stretcher bars), I'm waiting until Thanksgiving when my parents will be bringing a years supply. I'm putting the same excitement, energy and depth into these smaller paintings. I'm excited to see if they come out differently.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Usually when you walk into a space that displays art all walls are painted some shade of white so the paintings have a neutral space. I'm not sure what it is but I love paintings on colored walls. When you've got the right color it extends the painting and emphasizes particular colors. When you put a painting on a yellow wall it emphasizes the yellow, on a pink wall the pink stands out ect. Sometimes it just doesn't seem right and some combinations can be just awful, but when you put it on the right color wall you'll know. When you step back and think wow, I've never looked at this painting like this before. It opens up a new way of seeing. Putting a painting on different colored walls may surprise you, it's worth a try.
and what about patterns? I'm all for it!
Friday, October 29, 2010
1. regroup * check
2. what is the series going to be about *check
3. take a few photos just to get going
(plan on doing that tomorrow hopefully there will be some good light)
4. sketch it out on canvas
(so I know I should be making multiple sketches of my composition and subject matter, but I'm not sure what it is that makes me want to go directly to the canvas as soon as I have an idea. I guess I'm not the type for extreme realism or perfection. I would rather have the painting grow into its own, I have no idea what it will look like. When I start I'll only know the finished product when I have it sitting on my easel, I take the first step back and something feels right. It's finished.)
5. paint and paint some more
(this is the part I love)
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Last weekend was so much fun, it was a bit hectic since two shows happened to be on the same weekend, but everything worked out as it always does. Thank you so much to everyone who came by to see the Costa Rica Series at Azura and also those of you who came to Art in the Yard even though it was quite a windy day (but the hot cider was well worth it). Here are just a couple pictures from the Azura show and there are more on my website (also pictures of the Costa Rica paintings completely finished).
Thanks so much Alyssa and Andy @ Azura for exhibiting my Costa Rica paintings for the weekend and Heidi Lowe @ the Heidi Lowe Gallery for inviting me to Art in the Yard. Neither one of the shows would have been possible without you!
But now the leaves are changing and snow has actually fallen in VT (I know it's crazy), so it's time to head north again and look for inspiration for the next series. I actually had lunch at a great little restaurant up here where an artist had many paintings on display that I really liked. So I grabbed the little artist packet to read a little more about the artist. She paints at least one small painting every day so that she can achieve a looser style. Which got me thinking how much fun it would be to paint a large group of small paintings, maybe not hundreds but a good amount (of course I have to paint large as well). I guess I'll just have to see, but right now I'm thinking small in a big way.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I think the show will be awesome! Alyssa and Andy have been kind enough to invite me to show my work at their very unique and stylish clothing store Azura in Rehoboth Beach, De (they have clothes that are very different, artsy, fun and beautiful). It'll be Jazz Festival weekend and they will be having a "Pick Your Poison Sale", as well as a Jewelry Trunk Show featuring Jessica Sibinski. Clothes, Jewelry and Paintings, what could be better?
( just a detail from one of the paintings, you'll have to come by to see the whole painting)
Artist wine Reception 5-8pm, Friday October 15
Azura Clothing Co.
139 Rehoboth Ave.
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
Friday, September 17, 2010
It was my first year as an artist at this show and I'm so glad I was able to attend. The atmosphere was great with the Brandywine River in the background, live music playing and a variety of food and drinks. I think this is the largest show I've been to. Thank you everyone who came by my tent! I really enjoyed talking to everyone who stopped by, it makes all of the work worth it, you really made my day! It was also really great to meet all of the young aspiring artists (definitely keep pursuing your dream), and veterans of the show that gave me a lot of great advise.
There was one artist at the show in particular, Renee Benson, who's work is very beautiful, vibrant and playful. The colors really drew me in when I saw them from across the field.
(the second day was a bit rainy, but then stopped around 10 and I was able to change up the paintings)
Oh, yeah... and if you were wondering about the wearable art here it is, buttons !
Friday, September 3, 2010
There's nothing like the smell of pine trees, the sound of running water and the variety of vivid greens to get you going. I've been in Vermont for this last week and it has been just beautiful. My Dad and I have been walking around with our cameras, because every which way you look there's a picturesque scene. Even though I'm not quite done with the Costa Rica series, I can't help but think about the next series of paintings, waterfalls. There's something about the water that is so soothing to me, I want to paint the water the way that it sounds.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
There's something to be said when just an e-mail can inspire you. When I was at the University of Delaware I had many great professors, but there was definitely one who always stood out, through encouragement and new ideas. I received an e-mail just the other day from this professor, who wanted to let me know of an interview they had on youtube. It is so great to hear someone talk about their work, especially when it is an artist as well as their work that you truly admire. Sadly I was never able to see the actual show, but I watched the interview and it was insightful and great to see the individual pieces! I think these paintings are amazing. Check it out.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
The rock formations in Zion National Park are incredible, if you haven't seen them before it is definitely a trip to put on your calender.
While in Zion we walked around a few galleries and there were these amazing sculptures by Lyman Whitaker. They are organic forms that live seamlessly within nature and become alive with a breath of wind.
The beauty and power of this landscape inspires many, it is an incredible place.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
if you haven't eaten here, definitely do so! You can check it out http://www.backporchcafe.com/
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
and on another note: I can't believe it, but I'm taking down the Back Porch Show tomorrow. It was a wonderful experience. Thanks to everyone who went to see it!
Friday, July 9, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
We began setting up around 6 a.m. and I guess I wasn't too awake then. I accidentally mixed up two of the canvases on the triptych, whoops (the two tall canvases should have been switched).
I usually like to plan out my display so that I know all the paintings will work together, and the different sizes will fit. Here's the set up from inside the house ( it's like my own personal gallery in the kitchen of my parent's house).
Monday, June 28, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I have decided to work with a website where individuals can order giclees, prints and cards of my paintings, in order to make my art more accessible to interested individuals. I think that it is important to surround yourself with images that you find inspiring and beautiful.
on my website & blog: purchase prints
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Since the last post consisted of the news article for the Back Porch Cafe show, I thought I would post a preview of the show (this is just part of one room, and there's more!). I hope you enjoy it and see it in person. Here's a sneak peak.
After having the majority of my paintings out of the house I realized I needed to create more.I'm starting a new series inspired by a trip to Nosara, Costa Rica. I'm trying to document the entire process, and post the images (under Summer 2010 currently creating, on the right). It's been so beautiful I've been able to paint outside, which I think is the best atmosphere to create.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Lewes Artist to Exhibit at Back Porch Cafe
“Water Ties” series explores
REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. – Lewes artist Leah Van Rees will exhibit her painting series, “Water Ties”, at the Back Porch Café in Rehoboth Beach until . Using bright colors and a unique technique, Van Rees’ latest series was inspired by bodies of water in Vermont, California, Maine, Utah, Delaware and Barbados.“While my friends surf or swim, I sit on the beach and paint,” Van Rees said. “Oceans and rivers never stand still and I like to capture the fleeting moments water creates. Some people have said that I paint like a water nymph, but the rhythm of the water can be very beautiful. Basically, I paint what I like and hope that others like it too.” Van Rees was one of the first graduates from the Jefferson School in Georgetown and graduated from Cape Henlopen High School in 2005. Van Rees got her , minor in art history, from the University of Delaware in spring 2009. She is a recipient of the Lucille McGee award at the Rehoboth Art League, and the Eugene F. and Catherine Melk and WHYY art awards from the University of Delaware. Recently, Van Rees’ work was published in Studio Visit magazine, which juries artists as a condition for publication. Leo Medisch, for Back Porch Café, selected Van Rees as part of the restaurant’s summer art series.“I particularly like her color choices and I like that it’s marine and sea inspired.” he said. “Plus, they look great in a restaurant.” Back Porch Café is a fine dining restaurant in downtown Rehoboth Beach at 59 Rehoboth Ave. The restaurant, now in its 36th season, is open daily from Sunday brunch and re-opens from . for dinner.. for lunch and Lewes. For more information on her work, visit , Van Rees will be in the St. Peter’s Art Show in downtown http://web.mac.com/leahvanrees.
a few other sites that have articles about the show:
Thursday, June 17, 2010
1st glaze-cadmium yellow lemon
2nd glaze-cadmium yellow deep
3rd glaze-gold ocre
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
It looks like a few sketchy lines and sometime may resemble something recognizable, but it is the backbone of a painting. An underpainting allows the artist to sketch an overall composition on a blank canvas and rework the image to a desired state.Underpaintings are usually created with a single color. I like to either use a brown or a blue, depending on the colors I will be using later on, in the piece. I mix my paints with turpentine, so that the paint becomes thinner making it easier to work and easy to erase, while also allowing it to dry in an hour or so. In the past I believed in well rendered underpaintings, but now I like to minimize my underpainting and begin glazing, which makes the colors pop more, but also allows for depth in the painting. When a glaze is painted over a dark underpainting, less light is able to reflect off the canvas and the paint particles, but when the canvas is left white more light reflects, creating brighter colors.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
I think I'm ready to start a new series so I get all of my paints out, grab my palette and place the new canvas on my easel.I don't know if it's just me but I'm horrible at cleaning off my palette after painting. It looks like a Jackson Pollock painting (above, Convergence 1952) without the movement and color choice, there is no empty space where I can mix colors.It is this little detail that makes me procrastinate.
Between that and a 5'x4' blank white canvas starring at me, it can be some what intimidating trying to get started.I walk into my studio, look at all my canvases and think well, maybe I should plan a little more, get started tomorrow. But it's time to pull it together and start with just one mark, because that is all it takes to get rolling, and I'll clean my palette tomorrow.