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Day 21: Afternoon tea

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Afternoon tea, 40x30cm, oil on panel.

Afternoon tea is very popular in Edinburgh – there are so many places around town where one can enjoy this tasty midday carb explosion.

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It’s Art Every Day Month! Towards the end of the month, these new daily paintings will be available to purchase in my Etsy shop. Check out Leah’s blog for more information about Art Every Day Month, or follow the discussion on Twitter with the #aedm2014 hashtag.

Day 20: whisky with a view

TaliskerPainting

A dram with a view, 24x18cm, oil on canvas

I’ve been distracted this week, and seem to be struggling to fit in my daily paintings before it gets too dark (which is usually around 3:30pm these days). Given that this one was really fast and not very planned-out, I think it turned out OK. There are things about it I really like, and things that I know I can do better next time. I’d definitely like to do some more whisky paintings, perhaps larger ones so I can fit in more detail on the bottle.

Ten more days of Art Every Day Month. What else should I paint? More still lifes? Highlands? Cocktails? I feel like I’m being coaxed in several different directions. I’m also eager to get back to working on larger paintings. Sounds like I just need to make sure I’m prioritizing studio time for the rest of the month, so I can get to it all. Yay art.

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It’s Art Every Day Month! Towards the end of the month, these new daily paintings will be available to purchase in my Etsy shop. Check out Leah’s blog for more information about Art Every Day Month, or follow the discussion on Twitter with the #aedm2014 hashtag.

Day 19: Plockton, take 2

Plockton

Plockton study #2, 18x24cm, oil on canvas board.

Look familiar? Today I painted the same scene as I did yesterday. I had intended to make it much more monochromatic and moody than yesterday’s, but some bright oranges and blues still managed to sneak their way in. As a ground I re-used a canvas board that had a very three-dimensional painting on it, so there’s some nice texture coming through from that.

It was another short day in the studio, and I didn’t accomplish nearly as much as I would have liked. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll manage to get my productivity groove back.

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It’s Art Every Day Month! Towards the end of the month, these new daily paintings will be available to purchase in my Etsy shop. Check out Leah’s blog for more information about Art Every Day Month, or follow the discussion on Twitter with the #aedm2014 hashtag.

Day 18: a seaside Scottish town

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Plockton study, 18x24cm, oil on canvas

Not a great day in the studio today. I blame the sun. It was a very overcast day out, and my studio lighting isn’t good enough to compensate. Perhaps it’s time to look into some proper lighting to get me through the Scottish winter.

I was hoping to work on several pieces today, but it wasn’t to be. Instead I moved on to ground preparation, since that doesn’t require good light. I picked up some plaster of paris over the weekend, so I played around with that. I mixed it with pva, which makes a nice modeling paste, and spread it on to a couple canvases. I like working on canvases that have a bit of character, and I’m running out of old paintings to paint over, so these should be fun to paint on. I’ll let you know how they turn out.

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It’s Art Every Day Month! Towards the end of the month, these new daily paintings will be available to purchase in my Etsy shop. Check out Leah’s blog for more information about Art Every Day Month, or follow the discussion on Twitter with the #aedm2014 hashtag.

Day 17: A Highland Lighthouse

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Lighthouse study, 18x24cm, oil on canvas

I have a friend who loves lighthouses. I mean really, really loves lighthouses. Before meeting her, I can’t say that I had much of an opinion at all of lighthouses, one way or the other. I had fond memories of visiting one on Cape Cod as a child, but beyond that I really had nothing to say.

But I think having a lighthouse-obsessed friend has made me take notice of them a bit more. And here in Scotland, there are plenty to notice. Hundreds, in fact.

My daily paintings from the beginning of the month are finally dry enough to put on Etsy, so they have started to appear in my shop. Go see! (And if you know of anyone in need of a cocktail painting, please send them along, too.)

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It’s Art Every Day Month! Towards the end of the month, these new daily paintings will be available to purchase in my Etsy shop. Check out Leah’s blog for more information about Art Every Day Month, or follow the discussion on Twitter with the #aedm2014 hashtag.

Day 16: more imaginary Highlands

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These are so much fun to paint. Inspired by all the Scottish Highlands photos that I’m sorting through for my travel blog, they’re little made-up landscapes. These two are a little bigger than the last ones: 15x15cm, oil on canvas.

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It’s Art Every Day Month! Towards the end of the month, these new daily paintings will be available to purchase in my Etsy shop. Check out Leah’s blog for more information about Art Every Day Month, or follow the discussion on Twitter with the #aedm2014 hashtag.

Day 15: painting from a model

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This month I’m taking a painting course where each week we work on a different genre popular with the Scottish Colourists. This week we had a live model dressed in floral prints and a big hat of the type often seen in Colourist paintings. In the class I work in acrylics on cardboard, a combination with which I struggle sometimes, but it is good for me to get out and try different things.

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For next week I need to think about what I want to work on as a final project for the course. One idea is possibly a self portrait (maybe in a big hat, too), but I’m not sure yet. I borrowed a bunch of Colourist books from the library, which I’ll be flipping through to find some inspiration.

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It’s Art Every Day Month! Towards the end of the month, these new daily paintings will be available to purchase in my Etsy shop. Check out Leah’s blog for more information about Art Every Day Month, or follow the discussion on Twitter with the #aedm2014 hashtag.

Day 14: Christmas drinks by the fire

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Christmas drinks by the fire, 20x20cm, oil on canvas.

As I’ve mentioned before, my goal this week is to keep my paintings loose, so I’m resisting the urge to clean this one up.

The inspiration for this painting is an image from last Christmas, our first Christmas in the UK. It was an especially memorable and enjoyable time, in part because of the new Christmas culture and traditions we were experiencing in Scotland, and in part because we were so relieved to be where we were, celebrating together. Earlier last year, just a couple months after we moved to this new country, my 39-year-old husband was diagnosed with leukemia. We spent most of 2013 in and out of hospitals, but by December the worst was over and he was well on his way to recovery. To be able to relax together by the fire, Christmas cocktail in hand, was a truly wonderful thing.

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It’s Art Every Day Month! Towards the end of the month, these new daily paintings will be available to purchase in my Etsy shop. Check out Leah’s blog for more information about Art Every Day Month, or follow the discussion on Twitter with the #aedm2014 hashtag.

Day 13: Stockbridge study

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I have had the idea for a painting like this percolating in my imagination for a while now. I want to make cityscapes with a certain combination of abstract compositional elements and recognizable details. I think I’ve been worried that I wouldn’t be able to produce images that lived up to the ideas in my mind, but I’m actually pretty pleased with how this first study worked out. I’m especially enjoying how the new image incorporates bits of color and texture from the image I painted over. There’s something so satisfying about reusing an unsuccessful canvas.

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It’s Art Every Day Month! Towards the end of the month, these new daily paintings will be available to purchase in my Etsy shop. Check out Leah’s blog for more information about Art Every Day Month, or follow the discussion on Twitter with the #aedm2014 hashtag.

Day 12: Abstract Highlands

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I’ve been sorting through photos from a road trip to the Scottish Highlands these days (putting together posts for my travel blog). While I haven’t been drawn to paint any specific image, I wanted to play around with the kinds of shapes and compositions that I’m coming across in these photos. Plus sometimes you just want to smoosh oil paint around with a palette knife.

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Last week I totally ruined a painting by controlling it to death. My initial strokes had been loose and inexact, but then in the process of trying to finish the painting I managed to squeeze out all the spontaneity of those early brush strokes, leaving a big pile of boring. So I’ve resolved to get looser with my daily paintings this week, to leave things alone before I over-work them, even if it means I sometimes end up under-working them. We’ll see how it goes.

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It’s Art Every Day Month! Towards the end of the month, these new daily paintings will be available to purchase in my Etsy shop. Check out Leah’s blog for more information about Art Every Day Month, or follow the discussion on Twitter with the #aedm2014 hashtag.