Monday, January 15, 2018

Lemon Light, and Black and White

"Lemon Light"
10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

This is the third time I've painted this little green glass. I found it in a labyrinthine antique mall in Oklahoma City the last time I taught there, and it's rapidly becoming a favorite still life object. 

I like it for its form and color, but most of all for the light patterns it casts into its shadow.

There's a time-lapse video of the beginning stages of this painting on Instagram. Check it out!

The black and white sketch for this piece is a fun one - but I'm biased. I think all my black and white sketches are fun!

$100 (unframed)

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Star

painting still life tarot art sarah sedwick
 "The Star"
10 x 20 inches, oil on canvas

"When the Star appears in a Tarot reading, be open to new ideas and growth. Listen to the still small voice within." 

I love the star card. I chose it for this painting because the shape of the star echoes the rays of light cast by the green glass cup.
tarot card painting still life sarah sedwick

"There is a deeper spiritual journey that you are going through which is all about bringing greater meaning and purpose into your life and renewing your inner energy." 

I did feel I was on a spiritual journey as I was creating these Tarot card paintings. I rented a beautiful studio at the Oregon coast during the week before Christmas, and did nothing but paint and sleep. It was really a gift to myself, spending time there. I feel I am beginning the year with new inspiration - the promises of the Star card coming true!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Wheel of Fortune

 "Around the Wheel"
12 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

The Tarot card in this painting is "The Wheel of Fortune." I've been choosing the cards for this series of paintings randomly - or rather, not randomly, but not due to any knowledge or prior research on their meanings. I've been choosing them like I choose most of my still life objects - for their colors and shapes, the visual elements they add to a composition. 

Looking up "The Wheel of Fortune" once the painting was finished, I read: "The Wheel of Fortune speaks of a pivotal point in your life, where new options become possible. The appearance of the Wheel of Fortune shows that change is not only likely to happen, it is certain to happen, and soon."

....A solid sentiment for the new year, eh? And I thought this painting was just about circles and triangles!

Black and White study for this piece, oil on Arches oil paper, approx. 8x8". NFS.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Hermit

"The Hermit"
10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

The four stages of this painting: still life setup, value study, underpainting, and finish! 

 This is a pretty simple composition, but I find it very satisfying. That grouping of lemons on the plate, seen through the viewfinder, makes me want to paint the whole thing all over again. Something about it just clicks in my eyes. 

Value study, oil paint on Arches oil paper, approx. 8x8 inches:


Friday, January 5, 2018

Over the Moon

 "Over the Moon"
12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

I've been making some paintings recently that include Tarot cards. I don't know much about Tarot, but I like the iconography. The meanings of each card are so open ended; I enjoy reading about each one and thinking about how they apply to the imagery in my paintings. The still life comes first, the possible meanings come later. That's always the way it is with me. My paintings aren't narrative - if I try to set up a still life with "meaning," it always falls flat. I approach them with a focus on the formal/visual elements, and the meaning comes as I'm painting - if it comes. Sometimes, a painting really is just about shapes and colors. 

The card in this one is "The Moon." You can read about it here.

Here is the value study for this piece. It's approximately 8x10, oil paint on Arches oil paper:


Friday, December 29, 2017

A Year-End Letter, to You!

Well, it's that time of year - the end of it. A time to take stock, take a deep breath, and gear up for exciting things ahead. I'm looking forward to a lot more painting and teaching in the new year, but first - and speaking of taking stock: these are the final days of the 50% off sale in my Etsy shop.  Please check it out, if you haven't already, and share it with a friend! Thank you.

I'm excited about my upcoming January workshops in Corvallis, Oregon, and San Clemente, California. If you'd love to take a workshop, but live too far away, consider joining my online art mentorship program. With size limited to ten artists, I offer lots of individual attention and guidance on your unique creative journey, whatever your art goals may be!

And if you would like me to bring a painting workshop to your community, I have openings in my 2018 calendar. Email me to discuss ideas!

2017 was a truly amazing year. I was awarded my first artist's residency, taught workshops in many wonderful places, had a fantastic solo show on Whidbey Island, created a new website, and expanded my online mentorship program. Not to mention painting!

2018 will bring the TENTH anniversary of this blog, February 8th. That means I began this art journey ten years ago, with daily painting, selling small works on ebay, becoming a part of the online art blogging community... and on from there. I can't wait to celebrate this milestone with you. Not sure how I'll be doing that yet, but I have ideas, so stay tuned!

I will also begin publishing a quarterly newsletter soon - something I've been intending to do for a LONG time. So, if you want to be included in that new venture, click here and sign up! 

I mentioned my year-end sale earlier in this post. The new year will bring changes - both to the content of my Etsy shop and to my overall pricing structure. It's been quite a while since I've raised my prices, but the time has come. For more information about that, click here. 

Before we say goodbye to 2017, I want to offer a huge, deep, and heartfelt Thank You to all of you - my readers, supporters, followers, collectors, friends, and family. It's your love of art - and of me - that keeps me going. I feel deeply blessed, humbled, and grateful.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Blue and Gold, a new Ornament Painting, with a Video!

 "Blue and Gold"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

The stages of this piece. Isn't it funny how GREEN the gold ornament looked before the rest of the painting got filled in? I admit it, green is my secret weapon for creating the illusion of gold. 

Here's a quick time-lapse video of the underpainting coming together - I love these things! No matter how long you let the camera run, the resulting video is always 30 seconds. So, I have absolutely no idea how long this part took. 😉

I get a LOT of questions about materials - what paint, brushes, etc I use. For this part, the underpainting shown in the video, I'm using a #2 round taklon brush by Connoisseur. The canvas is toned with a mixture of red, yellow, and blue - an orange dulled with its complement. And, as always, the brand is M. Graham. To provide a quick answer to questions about materials, I've compiled a list of products I use on Amazon - you can check that out here!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Pear Power

 "Pear Power"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

This pair of pear paintings were painted with the same limited palette - three tubes of color, plus white (OK, two whites). 

It looks like a lot more, doesn't it?!

You can click on this image for info on the colors I used:

Friday, December 8, 2017

It's Holiday Sale Time!

"Brown Pears"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

There are so many holiday sales, and I'm here to announce yet another one! But, in my humble opinion, if you only visit ONE this year, the Whiteaker Printmakers Holiday Show and Sale is the one to see. I was there last night setting up, and let me tell you, the studio is crammed full of amazing art. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Shiny Persimmons - and Happy Thanksgiving!

 "Shiny Persimmons"
10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm grateful for green and orange, just one of the many color combinations that make my heart sing.

I'm grateful for you, the artists and art-lovers that inspire me to create.

And I'm grateful for the process, for learning and growth. Looking forward to more and more - this holiday season and onward!


Happy Holidays, enjoy!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Golden Loops

 "Golden Loops"
12 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

My first ornament painting of the year! With this shiny gold ribbon thrown in as a bonus. I love the  texture and movement that ribbon brings to a still life - and the eye workout!

Here's how my paintings begin - as compositions seen through a viewfinder.
Looking through an aperture that's the same format (square, rectagle - horizontal or vertical) as my canvas helps me decide where to place the objects in a painting. Using this tool takes SO much of the guesswork out of my process, but taking photos through a viewfinder? Definitely a next-level challenge. I'm working on it!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Flashback to Plein Air

 "La Mota"
12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

I only made it to one plein air paintout this year, but it was great, and a new one for me - located in Roseburg, Oregon, a smallish town about 60 miles south of Eugene.
 On the first day, we painted cityscapes, which I have a much easier time with than traditional landscapes, for several reasons.  After some trial and error, I settled on this corner scene - the strong shadows, the truck, the "stop-go" interplay of that red hand and the green cross.... all attracted me. 

Here's my value plan:

La Mota means marijuana in Spanish, and yes, this is a painting of a recreational pot store. We have these - lots and lots of them - in Oregon now. It was an interesting spot to hang out in front of for an afternoon - at times I felt like I was conducting the most un-surreptitious surveillance operation ever. But no paranoia required, folks! I'm just arting over here. 

 The three paintings I ended up submitting for judging. I don't participate in these events to win - in fact, I consider myself a rank amateur when it comes to plein air. But I enjoy it, I always learn a lot! 

...And here's a bonus for reading this far! I've got a major sale going on in my Etsy shop for the next few weeks. 50% off everything - including "La Mota." Use the code HOLIDAYHALFOFF. And thanks for following my work!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Teaching Figure Painting with Zorn

14 x 18 inches, oil on canvas
Workshop Demonstration

I taught "Beginning Figure Painting" on my home turf this past weekend, at Whiteaker Printmakers in Eugene. It was an enthusiastic, talented group, and I thoroughly enjoyed painting with them!  

Can you spot me in this picture?

We started out with gesture drawings, mixed flesh tones using the Zorn palette, and they painted these lovely pieces - all in two days!

 Here's my color chart, and two little demos - same pose, different lighting, four values.

If you're interested in trying this limited palette technique, I've got two portrait workshops coming up - one this weekend, November 11-12 at Sequioa Gallery + Studios in the Portland, OR area (spaces are still available), and the other in Eugene, at Oregon Art Supply, January 6-7

Live models, and lots of painting! Click the links for details.

Friday, November 3, 2017

"Admirers," And New Paint Colors!

12 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

 I did a quick black-and-white oil study before launching into this one, right in my sketchbook, to plan out my composition and value structure.

I painted this during a demonstration of M. Graham's new paint colors at my local art supply store. M. Graham just expanded their line of fantastic oil paints from 50 to 75 tubes, big news! Some of my new favorites are Bismuth yellow, Pyrrol red, and Pthalo blue red shade, all of which I used in this piece.

I love having an audience when I paint - whether it's my online students joining me virtually, a group of workshop students, or friends who come out for a demo, the back-and-forth is always enjoyable. If anything, chattering away while painting seems to help my focus and concentration, go figure! 

I'm looking forward to demoing again, November 8-9, at the Tools of the Trade Show at the U of O. Come say Hi and pick my brain about M. Graham's new colors. I love em!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Early Persimmons

 "Early Persimmons"
12 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

Here's how this one looked, through my viewfinder:

 And the palette I painted it with! Lots of reds in the mix, along with two yellows - a warm and a cool - and one big strong blue.

In other news, my 2018 calendar is out! Order yours by clicking here - or come visit me November 8-9 at the Tools of the Trade Show at the U of O Duck Store. I'll have a few to sell, and some new greeting cards too!

My next still life workshop will be November 18-19th, at Oregon Art Supply in Eugene. Two days of Painting the Dynamic Still Life! Hope you can join me.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Emerald Orb - and Workshop Announcements!

"Emerald Orb"
10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

My strange little offering from Still Life Open Studio last week. It's always such an adventure - I never know what I will come home with, even though I bring all the objects and set up the still life! 

This painting may be strange, but I love it. It just lingers in my eye.

I want to give you all a last-minute heads up about two still life workshops I'll be teaching soon - one in Park City, Utah later this month, and the other in Oklahoma City in October.  Spaces are still available in both, and I'd love to have you join me!

Green Flash

"Green Flash" 
10 x 20 inches, oil on canvas

My latest! Here it is, on the easel:

I did a black and white oil sketch for this piece, as I often do before beginning larger works. This time I actually managed to stick to the plan! If you squint, the values between the grayscale and the color painting match up well. That's the goal! 

The black and white piece is 6 x 12" on Arches oil paper, and it's available. Click here to bid on it.
Thanks, as always, for looking!

Monday, August 21, 2017

"Knife and Nectarine," And, of course, the Eclipse!

"Knife and Nectarine"
9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

My latest piece from Still Life Open Studio. Our next session will be September 7th, at Whiteaker Printmakers in Eugene. All are welcome! 

In today's news, I just watched the eclipse! We had 99% totality here in Eugene, and it was pretty cool. And now I can't stop seeing the ring of light around this dark purple plate as the 1% sliver of sunlight peeking around the shadow of the moon. Art does change the way we see the world - and vice versa!