Monday, December 20, 2010

Painting is Finished - "Little R and R Hawaiian Style"

Day 12 and 13 – Finished! I worked on this painting two different days a total of 4 hours or close to that. When you first start a painting it feels easy, but when you get down to the final stages of editing and detailing the process of painting slows down. I feel good about this painting and so I will stop fussing over it. I want to keep it simple and whimsical. I want to bring the viewer to a place and time of relaxation and feeling good. Imagine sitting on soft warm sand in Hawaii during winter. Here is a beautiful place where it is still mild and warm with many sunny tropical days to linger. It is also a treat to see the whales vacationing and playing off the Pacific coast so close to the beach that there is no need for binoculars to view them.
The painting is still wet in some spots. In California it has been raining a lot but this morning no rain, so I took it outdoors to photograph without the flash and the glare is not noticeable on the wet parts of the painting. I will have it professionally photographed and color corrected to match the actual painting closer. The mid section of the water should be greener the photo I took does not reflect it well.

I spent 20 to 21 hours on this painting from day 1 to 13.

The painting is large 48”x48” you feel as if you could walk into the canvas. There is no need for a frame as the edge is 1.5” thick and I will paint the edge one solid color like blue or…Not sure yet. I will wire the back of the canvas so it is ready to hang. After the holidays, I will display and mark this painting for sale at Art on the Lane - 178 East Prospect Avenue - Danville, CA. The cost of this painting is $2,400 US dollars.
When this art is completely dry, I will have it photographed one more time and upload to my personal art website as well as these sites:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/TropicalExpression (buy my original oil painting art on sale)

http://www.imagekind.com/MemberProfile.aspx?MID=62082af4-a7da-4340-94fb-faa7c9d33241 (buy giclee canvas or paper prints and have the art work framed and shipped to your house)

http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/TropicalExpressions?ref=cb_art (Order Greeting Cards 5"x7")
http://www.facebook.com/pages/McCartney-Fine-Art/106690719394749?v=app_4949752878&ref=sgm
Please visit and like my page as it does something for me in magical Face Book Land I'm still unclear as to what though if you know please enlighten me :)

Thank you for your support!
Kathy

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Day 11 – I feel like I’m almost done. I still need to work on the flower head lei, the hair and the whales (I just started the outlines of their bodies). If you look in the distant waters you can see the whales spouting. I will have 3 whales in all. I’ve always wanted a painting with more sea critters and I do like whales and dolphins. It is whale watching season along the California coast and as far south as Mexico and Hawaii. And after spending time in Laguna Beach this past November I feel inspired to paint the whales.


Today I spent over 2 hours working on the girls face, hands, flower head lei, skirt, hair and the beginning of the whales. I also darkened the distant ocean and created more motion in the water. I fussed over details today.


At this point I need to take a step back from the painting and get some holiday things done. It is also good to wait a few days so I can come back to the painting with fresh new eyes. I need to evaluate it and complete the last details.


I will not be posting for a short spell while, but I will return and I should have this whimsical painting done before the holidays!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 8, 9 and Day 10 Painting - Time for R and R

Progress end day 8


Progress end day 10


Day 8, 9, and 10


Aloha! I just merged the three days together because I wanted to show more progress.

Day 8 - I worked the water, the hula skirt and top. I also glazed the skin with a mixture of burnt umber and burnt sienna. I work about 1.5 hours.

Day 9 - I work on the flesh tone bringing out more lights and dark with a mixture of white, burnt sierra, alizarin crimson and yellow ochre. For the dark shadows I add to the mentioned mixture burnt umber and a touch of whatever blue and green is on my palette. After I place the lights and darks on the body I lightly blend the edges together gently and this creates my middle values and further defines the shapes. I spent about 2 hours

Day 10 - After the skin is dry I glaze one thin layer of burnt sienna all over the body to bring the skin color in balance. I work on the flower head lei and add the long hair. I still have more work to do on the hair and lei. I also added the shadow under the hula skirt I will soften the shadow later plus work on the hands and face.  I worked another hour today.

It is hard to get a good picture when the canvas is wet. And I am using a flash so it creates a glare on the canvas. I normally would take the canvas outdoors to photograph to prevent the glare and avoid the flash. However, the canvas is large 48”x48” so I leave it indoors to photograph. When this painting is done and dry, I will have it professionally photographed and that will be the last photo I upload.

I am thinking I should have this young woman looking at something in the distance. I could add to this painting a familiar landmark a distant island perhaps and maybe some whales. I spent time in Laguna Beach during the Thanksgiving holidays recently. My fianc√© and our grown kids stayed at the Hotel Laguna. It is next door to Wyland’s Art Gallery and home. How lucky he is to live right on the beach! Wyland is also an artist I have long admired since high school. While I was sitting on the beach I noticed whales swimming in the distant waters and it seems they were swimming right in front of Wyland’s gallery (two different days). Some of you may have heard of Wyland, he has made a name for himself in the art world by painting the “Whaling Walls.” He has a goal to complete 100 murals by year 2011. I’m not clear if he has met his goal or how close he is to meeting this number. Year 1995 he had completed 50 murals worldwide.

I visited the gallery and purchased his book “Whale Tales - Tales from America’s Leading Marine Life Artist” copyright date is 1995. This book was an excellent read. I feel like I now know the man behind the art. It is an easy read, interesting, adventurous, and explains the struggles and politics to get his 50 Whaling Walls painted. He also writes his story with humor. Wyland collaborated with freelance writer Mark Doyle in the writing of this book:  Whale Tales: Tales from America's Leading Marine Life Artist

I learned that this artist has a lot of energy to accomplish his dreams! He started his art at a young age and stayed focused. He was raised by a single mother in Detroit Michigan. He was a struggling young artist and came from humble beginnings. I love the start of the book when he describes his first blue collar jobs which he failed at miserably. I felt sorry for him and yet also found the stories funny.

When I was in high school, I first heard about this artist Wyland, and I had a small crush on him because he is handsome and talented etc. then when I got older I would sometimes wonder if Wyland was gay or straight. This is only because I never saw him pictured with a woman and I never head about him being in a relationship with anyone actually. After reading this book I discovered he is straight. He is just too busy to have any long steady relationship. This man is a hardworking, ambitious artist on a mission to bring attention to the world the need to save the whales, ocean and other sea life. I agree. We need to preserve the beauty of this planet and protect our precious forests and wilderness. We are all connected.

I also purchased his video “Wyland Artist of the Sea – hosted by Lloyd Bridges” I could not find it for sale on Amazon. However, I’m sure any of his DVDs are good and educational. I highly recommend the two items I purchased in the art gallery.  They are both excellent!

Whale Tales: Tales from America's Leading Marine Life Artist


Friday, December 10, 2010

Progress end of day 7

Day 7 – Today I worked mostly on the water. In particular, I continue building the shallow water and foam patterns. I also added lighter sand color and started the skin tone (I am not done). Worked on her top and I think I will make it red.


My fianc√© said I should let her hair down and make her topless like my other ladies. I am considering getting rid of the Wilma Flintstone hairdo and let the hair flow in front of the body and to her side. I don’t want the hair to cover her back. I will wait for the water to dry before I change her hair style.

I still need to work on the flesh this will take some time and I’ll save it for the weekend.

I worked about 2 hours today.


Do you remember the Flintstones? 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 6 Painting - Time for R and R (working on foam patterns)

Progress end of Day 6

 Progress end of Day 6

Day 6 - I had class last night with six adults. We were wrapping up a painting so they could take it home before the holidays. I worked overtime to get it done. Teaching is one of the best jobs. People come to class because they want to be there. And as a teacher, it is rewarding to see their development. The art studio is a place my students feel they can have fun and relax after a stressful day of work.  Creating art is good therapy!

After class I return home. It is late. I think to myself, I don’t have time to work on my big painting today. But I need to make the time. I turn on the news to catch up on events. I only have time to work on the lower half of the water. I focus on the foam patterns. I still need to work this area further to develop it better. However, I love the results thus far. I will continue working on the water another day.


I love water. It has always been my desire to learn to paint the ocean in it’s many forms. I particularly love the transparent clean waters of the South Pacific and Hawaii region. I’m drawn to paint calm waters. It took many, many years of trial and error and tons of practice to finally capture the ocean on canvas. And to be honest, I’m still learning, albeit at a much more rapid rate. It didn’t start out this way in my early development as an artist; there was a time when I felt like a slow learner. And honestly, I was too busy to practice let a lone breath. But that has changed (another story) and now I am pursuing my passion with gusto!


Today I painted for about an hour. I’ll get busy this weekend!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 5 Painting - Time for R and R

Progress Day 5

Day 5 - I continue to work on shaping the girl by bringing out more contrasting light and dark values. I will be adding flesh tone to her soon after the gray paint dries. I will have to wait a few days. As I continue to work on her I fin

d myself shrinking the arm and reshaping the face. I added another layer of color to the hula skirt and more design to it. I begin coloring in the flower head lei and lavender top and belt. I like to start with darker hues first and slowly bring out more light as I continue.

I darkened my water at the top of the canvas and brought this color down about the top quarter of my ocean. This is the second day on the ocean. I spent most of the time on the girl today.

I had a lot of fun tonight painting and singing. I listened to some good music while painting the Beach Boys and Beatles. I highly recommend playing music while you paint, doubles the enjoyment. I spent 2 hours creating.

Below are links to some great music

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4 Painting - Time for R and R

 Progress End of Day 2

Progress end of Day 3

Progress end of Day 4

Day 2 - My first day of painting (the sky) is still wet. I like that, it makes painting the clouds easier for me. As I paint the clouds in with white and a touch of burnt sienna I melt the edges into the surrounding blue sky. This also tints the white down further. The edges of my clouds become soft and wispy when the colors blend. This is the beauty of oil. I let some of the orange canvas show through the clouds so there is a warm color and glow. Today I spent about 45 minutues.

Day 3 - I paint in the foundation of my sand with a mixture of white, burnt sienna, alizarin crimson, and yellow ochre. I use more white than the other colors mentioned until I get the sand color I desire (I will lighten the sand even more so later). The ocean is a mixture of phthalo blue, phthalo green and manganese blue and some alizarin crimson. I make the upper part of the ocean very dark and as I progress down the canvas I go lighter blue / green towards the sand. I melt the sand with the water. I start adding white caps in the distant water and shape water patterns in the shallow water with light purple shadows and I use more sand color to force the sand to show through the water around my shadows. I remove the tape and paint this part of the ocean the darkest. I take my time here to keep the horizon line straight. This takes a steady hand. I painted another 2 hours. The bigger the canvas the longer it takes to paint there is much more to cover.

Day 4 - I now start painting in the girl with Ivory black and white. I create different shades of gray. The paint is still wet so I can melt the colors of my original line drawing with the new paint. I am sculpting the figure to look more three dimensional with values of light, medium, and dark. I am focusing on blending the hard lines and colors together. As I am painting the figure I am redrawing the girl. The original drawing was a bit off. I add the first layer of paint to the hula skirt (I always start darker than what I see in the photo).

In case you are wondering I don’t always prime my canvas a color I sometimes paint my picture on a white canvas directly. And when I paint people or animals I don’t always start them out in gray. I sometimes go straight in with color.

I stop for the evening. I paint almost 2 hours.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Rainy Day Painting Day 1

Day 1 – Dec 1st, 2010


It is the biggest canvas I have ever worked on. It is a wrap around canvas and has a 1.5" thick border. I'll paint the edges last. This canvas measures 48"x48.” It is a big square. First I have to decide what to paint, this part takes some time. There is so much I want to create! I go through my collection of pictures and clippings of inspiration to form my visual idea. I begin by coloring the white canvas a warm orange. I could have used oil paint for my base, but I used acrylic paint it covers and dries faster than oil. The rest of this painting will be done in oil paint my favorite medium. After 15 minutes, the acrylic paint dries. I do a light pencil sketch or outline of the girl on the beach. I place a piece of tape on my horizon line to separate the sky from the water. This helps keep the line as straight as possible.
Now I paint in the sky and with oil paint. I stop for the day. I have spent about an hour to get started.


Rainy cold day, I say it is time to start a new painting of a warm faraway place

Aloha from Northern California! It has been a cold November and December thus far. I don't mind the change of seasons and I do love stormy weather, especially if I'm cozy indoors. Due to the economy I have been painting smaller pictures 8"x10", 11"x14", and 16"x20." However, at least once a year, I do feel compelled to create one large scale painting. When it is winter time here, I like to escape somewhere tropical and warm. Painting keeps me out of trouble and fills the time nicely. I’m not the kind of girl to bake cookies on a rainy day, I much rather be painting. Like I said, it keeps me out of trouble and helps maintain the weight! If you are trying to break any bad habit, I recommend you keep your hands and mind busy with a hobby such as painting.

Painting is a journey, and as you develop your skill, it does become more and more enjoyable. It is a nice challenge to paint a picture. Never boring, always interesting! I work with many beginner students and most feel a little intimidated to start their first, second, third painting etc. However, you need to push yourself beyond the fear and doubt. Never compare yourself to another artist. Measure your personal growth by comparing yourself to your own past work. See the improvement. Remember we all need to start somewhere. Most people are not born at the top; they had to earn their way there. You didn’t come out of the womb walking so remember to be patient with yourself. You will get there one step at a time, one brush stroke at a time, and one painting at a time.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Catching up on old news we moved our gallery!

Aloha my friends!

I was going to write about my recent hula show and reveal pictures of my almost complete paintings from this event. However, I was reading back through my blog and something in the past history did change that I should clarify now. Art on The Lane next to the Wild Vine - Wine and Bistro did not work out. The landlord was very challenging and unfair (I’m being delicate here and holding back on words) so both parties in the painful end decided to part ways. There is a crazy story behind that fall through, but I better not say more in this public forum.

The negotiating of our old space took several months of back and forth dealings and many artists’ hopes besides mine were raised and then crushed unfortunately. It is strange and yet funny in a sick way how one person can have so much control over many people’s lives in that brief moment of time and space. This also put my book project on hold further.

However, as I was walking away and feeling so done from having any art gallery, Barbara Davies and Joanne Robinson my original gallery partners decided to take the new space that I had found earlier but I had let got of due to all the confusion with our old land lord (she wanted us back at one point). This new space is very beautiful compared to our old space. And again it is just back to us three artists. Simple this way, no managing on my part. Our new home is in a beautiful renovated building that is reminiscent of other historical homes built in this area in the late 1800s. Down town Danville is very charming this way. A place that feels rich in beauty surrounded by rolling hills populated with wild oak trees and other native greenery and brush. I realize how luck I am to live here today. Sometimes I forget when I’m busy running around from one appointment to the next. However, when I slow down I soak it all in.

We have been at our new home since June 2010. I love our new gallery it feels and looks bright, vibrant, classy, and cheerful, our former location was old and run down and our new address is a short walk from the previous space.

Art on The Lane
178 East Prospect Avenue
Danville, CA.

We are located on the corner of Front Street and Prospect. We are more visible than our old location. We share the same building as Modi Mi clothes store. There is a Chocolate store just across the street with the best treats. I’m developing a sweet tooth for gourmet delicacies! And on the other side of our art gallery is Father Nature’s Restaurant. I love the food there as well and the historic atmosphere and the decor.

It is November 2010 and I did finally finish my first draft of my book! It is now in the hands of my editor friend for evaluation. I hope to have this book complete and ready for print and sale by March or April 2011. I have more paintings to do for this book.

Now that I am a creative artist full-time, the genie has been let out of the bottle and I have this insatiable need to create and bring forth new ideas that had been buried and untapped. I have a goal to write and illustrate a few more books including a series of children books as well as instructional how to art books.

I also caved in and set up a new Face Book Business page please check it out and "like" me:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/McCartney-Fine-Art/106690719394749?v=app_4949752878&ref=ts

My next blog will be about the hula show I exhibited at early November and I will post two completed paintings that I started live at this event. I’m almost done with the paintings. I am hoping Bob and Bonnie Hoffman who I exhibited with will send me some pictures to post from the event. I did not have fresh batteries in my camera and no time to get any.

A hui hou (Until we meet again)


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Join us at the 30th Annual Hula Competition and Art Festival in Pleasanton, CA

Aloha and we hope to see you at this fun event! Wear your Aloha fashion and share in the Aloha Spirit! See flier to view more details.  Click to enlarge.  Tickets must be purchased to enter the event.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Maui Beach Bum

This is a dog named “Nani” that befriended me and my boyfriend on the beach in Oahu's North Shore.

Nani means beautiful in Hawaiian. She found a coconut that had washed ashore and she was trying to tear in to it. Obviously her owners had shared the fruit with her before. My boyfriend with some effort finally was able to help her break this coconut open. Unfortunately inside there was no coconut milk it had all evaporated. Hawaii beach dogs are friendly. What a life they have!

I painted Nani in Wailea, Maui this is the background although as I said earlier we found her lounging on the beach in Oahu.   
If anyone knows the breed of this dog I am curious please share with me if you know.

I am available to do your pet commission, just drop me a line.

Friday, September 17, 2010

There is no Other Place I’d Rather be But All Washed Up on The Shores of Kauai

I love all the Hawaiian islands for different reasons, but Kauai is my favorite.  I think for me it is because I long for solitude and this island is the least busiest and therefore more quiet. This island is the oldest in the Hawaiian chain and it has transformed into a place of complete lush greenery and jagged rock formations that can only be created with millions of years of rain and erosion shaping and chiseling this unique terrain.

I call this new painting that I completed 9/16/10 "All Washed Up on Kauai's Shores" well because there is no other place I'd rather be all washed up and renewed!

It has been awhile since I last blogged and I will try to do better going forward.  There is so much to write about, and so little time it seems.  To be more faithful to the blog process I plan to post all my NEW paintings here and write about the inspiration, process, and big or small details. 

For the past two years, I continue to teach art and for eight years work my MauiVision vacation rental business. I feel blessed that I can do both self created jobs.  I have always said if there is a will (dream) there is a way.  It is wonderful to work from home and in an art gallery painting with flexible hours. I have been building up to this day.  I am 3/4 way complete with my first book draft.  I need to stay focused and get this project done.  I have been working on it for several years just gathering material.  The hard part is to organize my thoughts and force myself to do a lot of cutting to make this book strong and interesting.  They say if your book bores you it will surely bore others.  I keep this in mind as I continue to create and edit it.  I really hope to have this project done 2010 but with anything big I have attempted my projections are usually off from my ambitious time line.  But nonetheless I will get it done!

I have been painting a lot and participating in art shows and events trying to get exposure as a new artist. I have been marketing myself for a few years now and still trying to figure out what the best strategy is to get noticed.  People recommend getting a FaceBook business page hmmmm something else to keep track of.  I don't know I'm not totally convinced it is something I should do.  As a creative person with goals I have to watch how time is spent and not spread myself too thin.

That's all folks!  At least for today!

Mahalo for visiting.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Paintings on Sale on Etsy!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Working on the dreams

Aloha!




It has been awhile since I have written anything here on this new blog site of mine. I had good intentions on posting thoughts and ideas on a faithful and consistent basis, but life and opportunities keep rolling in like high tide and I can barely keep my head above water. It is a blessing to have this many opportunities. Life is never boring as I nurture and wait patiently for the young seedlings of opportunity to grow into a healthy money tree. If anyone can survive these challenging economic times then one will only prosper. And so, this is my mantra “faith and perseverance.”

I have 24 hours a day that I keep very full and all the while try to maintain a healthy family life and run my businesses and stay responsible. What little time I seem to have as of late, I try to convey ideas on canvas and there are many visions I have yet to express in this visual format. It is a wonderful feeling to get lost in the world of creativity and even better when a painting is complete that I feel proud of. This creates a sense of accomplishment and pride.

I have been painting a lot with my students and we learn and grow together. The old saying is true, a teacher can learn from their student. It is a two way street. I love teaching art it is a very rewarding career. I’m glad I was encouraged to take this path almost 2 years ago when my art teacher retired and moved to Texas and gave me his student base. Since then, I have grown it with referrals and some advertisement efforts. But referrals are the biggest contributor to the growth of my art business.

More than 5 years ago, I have been working on several book ideas. However, being scattered and busy it has been hard to stay focused. But nonetheless, over the years, I would add to the database of thoughts knowing one day I would sit down and organize all of the information I have been gathering.

Recently, February 2010 I decided to faithfully work on one of my book ideas with focus and attention. As of this blog posting I am over half way through the revising, cutting, organizing, researching phase and I continue to add new material. I set my first draft deadline for March 1st. I did not make it. I set a new deadline for April 1st, I will not make it. I admit it is just a bit frustrating. However, it is only because another opportunity came up for me early March. I had to do something. I had to make a decision and thus another delay. The opportunity is the gallery/studio space Art on the Lane. I currently share the space with two other talented artists, but for financial reasons, the other two artists wanted to walk and go to a co-op where rent was much less to teach their classes. Part of me was tempted to follow, but in the end, I decided instead I would keep the gallery open myself and produce a new more flourishing art co-op. I have experienced a few and I want to do it better by creating an environment that is positive and a win/win in terms of fairness and profitability for all involved. There are still a few more spots to fill.

I and my two fellow artists have been waiting for over a year now for the empty space next door to our gallery to be leased to a restaurant. Approximately 8 months ago it was secured by The Wild Vine Bistro. They were supposed to open up for business back in October but the town of Danville held them up due to permits, inspections and the waiting time is long unfortunately. They are now scheduled to open April 10th 2010. I feel this restaurant will bring life and exposure to our gallery. This is the reason I did not want to leave. So now, I am now the proud owner and manager of The Art on the Lane beginning May 1st. And until then I am busy preparing for the new opening day. I will share the space with many more artists to make it work financially and to help keep the gallery open longer hours to coincide with our new neighbor. I look forward to supporting my fellow artists while being able to also thrive and continue my art school in its same location.

I feel everyone has a book in them that they could write, because isn’t life just interesting! I know as I progress each day in my own life, a new page is being written each morning I awake.
I have a new draft deadline for my first book June 1st 2010. Until then I will keep my nose to the creative grindstone!

Kathy