After the pilgrimage on Iona, I traveled to Munich where we picked up a car and drove through parts of Bavaria. I took thousands of photos on these two trips, and have unlimited subject matter now! Here is a watercolor sketch of the view from Neuschwanstein Castle.
 

Iona

10/10/2014

 
I was on pilgrimage last month in Scotland. My home for the week was the ancient abbey on the island of Iona, off the west coast. This watercolor sketch was done on a park bench near the ferry landing, looking over to the Isle of Mull. A new friend that I made on this trip was always making notes and sketches in her journal. I was so inspired by her, taking 15 minutes here and there to set a memory to paper. Her example was a real gift to me. Thanks Pat!
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View from Iona ferry
 
 
PictureKingralph, 22x30 pen/ink/collage paper, © Joey Feldman
Looking at the work of comrades across the country, I found loads of inspiration this week. I’d like to point out the work of one artist in particular, Joey Feldman. He paints monsters — funny ones, scary ones; portaits and figures. This guy’s imagination looks to be in overdrive. The work is dark with black ink spots and crooked lines, but characters emerge from the scribble and paint. Some of his marks look to be those of a commercial artist, washes of pink airbrush and streaks of black marker. The loops and splashes on the paper are vital and expressive, with bug-eyes that draw you in, multitudes of eyes.

I am stretching full-size sheets of watercolor paper now and am haunted and inspired by the specter of these monsters and the freedom that they represent.


Joey Feldman is a mixed media artist in LA. Check out his paintings at www.joeyfeldman.com.


 
 
Picture© 2014 Terri Schmitt Limited.
So, I said that I was going to finish this painting about 2 months ago. On that particular day, I really thought I was almost finished.

Then, I showed it to my husband, and to peers in my art group, and to peers at a formal critique at Cincinnati Art Club. This is what they call surrounding yourself with community. Well, I learned a few things.

There is a photograph of the set-up for this still life painting in an April 2014 post. Progress on the painting yielded a photo-realistic painting of the set-up (with the addition of green onions), but my reviewers all saw the same problem. There was a large, black triangle at the bottom left of the composition, and it totally dominated the scene. Also some were confused by the tile back-splash details, another suggestion was to add a reflection of the red onion in the blue pot.

Anyway, this challenge was a great opportunity for me to learn about artistic license. The countertop is now carrara marble, so the triangle shape is much more subtle. I've chosen to leave the tile as it is, for now. And I will paint in that red reflection -- then, perhaps my painting will be complete.

I think I will title this "Alliums anyone?" What do you think? I welcome your suggestions and ideas. Thanks for reading!

 
 
PictureMain Street in New Harmony, Indiana; pastel on paper, 5"x7" © 2014, Terri Schmitt
I've spent a fair amount of spring and summer on my road bike this year! One trip to Delmarva (Maryland coast and Chesapeake Bay area), and a trip to southwest Indiana to ride a tour called TRIRI. All told, we've ridden a combined 350 to 400 miles since mid May.

Last week in New Harmony, I staked out a spot in the shade, in town, away from the mosquitoes. I pulled out my box of pastels, and did this little drawing.

 
 
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Ault Park, 6"x6", oil on panel © 2014 Terri Schmitt
Last week, I went out with the South West Ohio Plein Air Painters who meet on Thursdays from April to October. We gather at a scheduled location every week. This week's spot was Ault Park, right up the street from my home.

I hauled my easel, palette and folding table to a location just overlooking the manicured lawns, beneath the pavilion. In a few hours I had this 6x6 oil painting of my view. It was great to be outdoors again. I enjoyed a nice lunch in the shade, joined by some new friends.

Being mid-April, you might have thought we would catch the cherry trees in full bloom! Oh no, not this time. A cold snap (followed by heavy rain) took most of the blooms down just days before we got there. There's always next year! The canna flowers in the urn are my addition. Currently, the urn is empty!
 
 
On Sunday, I spent a couple of hours with a good friend of mine who loves to do collage art. She brought her magic suitcase full of papers, stamps and paint. I provided more paper, glue and ribbon.

To begin, we did a "warm up" of several 1-minute collages. (You would be surprised how few pieces you can select, cut and glue down in one minute.) My first few attempts were pretty ugly and stressful. My friend had great success, but she's had some practice. It was funny because we both squealed at the sound of the timer counting down the seconds. After the warm-up, we each created several pieces.
The pieces shown above are three of mine that I found to be most successful. (They took more than 1 minute!) The first one with the apple incorporates painted doily and chinese origami paper, also scraps of metalic gold paper. The second mixes an old lithograph with a page from a Boden catalog, stamping and frayed ribbon. The third is my favorite for it's mix of red, gold and green. Lipstick pink is awesome. Happy spring!
 
 
I got word yesterday that my lemon and apple paintings were not chosen for the Woman's Art Club of Cincinnati juried show in 2014. Oh well, I'm new at this. Thinking of the words popularized by British writer William Edward Hickson: 
'Tis a lesson you should heed:
Try, try, try again.
If at first you don't succeed,
Try, try, try again.
I am starting another painting!

A wise instructor tells me to keep the forest foremost in my mind -- blocking in large shapes, assigning them the correct values and defining their edges. A thumbnail sketch is done in hi-fi pastels, then a more detailed drawing.
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The painting will be based on this photo taken in our kitchen.
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Here is the more detailed drawing for this painting.
So it's back to the studio tomorrow to keep working. The blues, greens and purples are pretty exciting.

 
 
These two paintings in my February post were also submitted to the Woman's Art Club of Cincinnati 2014 Annual Juried Exhibit. I will be so pleased if one of them is chosen to hang in that show. Cross your fingers for me! I keep checking my mailbox :)
 
 
There will be two of my recent paintings on display at the Cincinnati Art Club next month.

Lemons and Ball Jar
was painted last fall and is based on a photograph that I took in bright sunlight on a black fabric. As you can see, the viewpoint is unusual for a still-life painting, this is often true of my work. I get inspired by the sunlight that comes streaming in my kitchen window when I am washing fruits and vegetables.
Terri Schmitt painting of lemons with antique blue Ball jar
Lemons and Ball Jar, 16x20 inches, oil on canvas. © 2014 Terri Schmitt
Granny Smith and Arkansas Black Apples was painted earlier this winter. This was painted from life with palette knife. Most of my paintings are done alla prima with palette knife. The colors are mixed before being applied to the canvas, and clean up is quick.
Terri Schmitt painting of granny smith and arkansas black apples
Granny Smith and Arkansas Black Apples, 8x10 inches, oil on canvas. © 2014 Terri Schmitt