Studio Blog

Makes Me Laugh

beach painting, acrylic painting, hand painted frame, children on beach, colorful art

Several years ago I painted this piece. When I finished it I laughed out loud.

This drowsy gal wakes from a sun induced nap to find her children are gone. Where in the heck are they? My solution to the mystery is what really made me laugh. Sound effect: evil cackle. We all need a little laugh now and then. Do you know where they are?

 

 

Moving Forward with New Work

Dog, dog walk, parks, wildflowers, bluebonnets

If you follow my Facebook page at Beth Rommel Studio you are well aware that I have welcomed spring with several new paintings.

I am thoroughly enjoying using latex paint, acrylics, pastels and charcoal for my new creations. These are large canvases that can add “oomph” to any room.

dog, walking the dog, mixed media, city life
Morning Walk, mixed media, 40″ x 30″

Good dog Joe and his person get their morning walk before a busy day. The brush strokes remind me of Bargello needlework. The strokes runs in a zig zag pattern as do Bargello stitches. Wild flowers including my dear Texas bluebonnets grow on the path where Joe gets his daily constitutional.

Dog, dog walk, parks, wildflowers, bluebonnets
Joe’s Walk, mixed media, 36″ x 24″

Joe takes himself for a walk in the wooded park area. This technique of light over dark paint has created the luminous quality of pastels. I have enhanced that even more by using pastels and charcoal throughout.

I began developing this technique with still life paintings.

still life, flowers, full moon, mixed media, art paintings for sale
Full Moon Bouquet, 20″ x 16″, mixed media.

I now have a page on the Xanadu Gallery website in Scottsdale, Arizona. The new March catalog is now on-line and in print. My work can be see on page 14. Some of you have expressed your joy in the Big Cat painting. I chose to share it in this issue.

“Can You Make it Rain More?”

Last summer, after the passing of Rock Star Prince, a conversation began.

When Prince was to perform at the Super Bowl in Miami the skies opened up with pouring rain. He was asked what should be done about his show.

He said, ”Can you make it rain more?”

This was an illustration of his work ethic, his understanding of “the show must go on” and the meaning of being a professional.

A man in Orlando heard I was interested in illustrating this event for his art collection. He also wanted a print made of it to present to an employee who was willing to go the “extra mile”.

Our communication was through email and phone calls. I began with a series of rough ideas on lined notebook paper.

I worked on more finished sketches for him. Pastels and watercolors.

We talked about what resonated with him.

The posture of the figure.

The shadow behind the figure.

The difficult road to be traveled through the mountains.

 

Is it possible to include the phrase, “Can you make it rain more?”

Is it necessary?

A decision was made. We agreed wholeheartedly on which image felt right. #7. So the process of putting oil on  a 30″ x 30″ canvas began.

More depth, more color and the addition of cold wax in the oil paint.

fullsizerender-37

A few details.

Both my client and I were looking at similar challenges in our futures. Some we didn’t even know were ahead. Discussing the meaning of the Prince quotation was heartfelt. We both were sharing our beliefs. The beliefs we have are strong and reinforced daily by our life experiences.

The painting is on its way to a life in New York City and the print is living with an employee who was awarded it for special care and effort.

It was an honor for me to be part of this exchange of ideas.

Watch the Birdie

This morning I was going through small artwork from the last year and found these drawings. They are each about 5.5″ x 5.5″, on card stock created with brown ink.

bird-9
Bird 9. Ink on card stock, 5.5″ x 5.5″
bird-8
Bird 8, Ink on card stock, 5.5″ x 5.5″
bird-7
Bird 7, Ink on card stock, 5.5″ x 5.5″
bird-5
Bird 5, Ink on card stock, 5.5″ x 5.5″
bird-3
Bird 3, Ink on card stock, 5.5″ x 5.5″
bird-1
Bird 1, Ink on card stock, 5.5″ x 5.5″
bird-4
Birds 4, Ink on card stock, 5.5″ x 5.5″

Take care all!

 

 

#PBPitch

As many of you know I have written several manuscripts for children’s picture books. Illustrating is also one of my passions so they go hand in hand.

Having ridden horses for a large part of my life I have learned about the benefits they offer people with disabilities. As a young rider I watched a friend with Cerebral Palsy  become the state champion. She and her big red horse were a perfect team with lots of blue ribbons and trophies.

More recently I volunteered at an equine therapy facility in Decatur, GA. I watched many people delight in the movement and connection with these big hairy beasts.

I have been working for several years on a picture book about the experience.

You may remember this illustration that won a first place in our local SCBWI competition.

pj tried and tried
P.J. Tried and Tried

This is exactly the way I would feel going into the field to catch a horse on the weekend mornings. A little love, a little treat, and a whole of lot of equine energy running around me. It was pure delight and a little terror.

My manuscript is mixing those feelings and some extra sensations to share the experience of being with these big hairy things.

 

 

Flower Power

still life, flowers, lily, tulip, painting, art,

I have completed the big flowers.

still life, flowers, lily, tulip, painting, art,
Flower Power, 24″ x 48″, mixed media, $750.

I have tried to think of something pithy to say, but with Hurricane Matthew lurking southeast of here, I have few words. I have so many very dear friends in harm’s way.

Please say a prayer for those in need of protection. This is a big bad bully. xoxo

 

Series 2

chickens, rooster, free range, painting, art, farm scene, folk life

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been taking a class from Carla Sonheim. This is with a cadre of international students and an enthusiastic, multi talented instructor. I am as happy as can be…and learning so much.

This year’s curriculum is about creating in a series.

Any serious artist can tell you that coming up with a meaningful subject and thoughtful series is difficult.

What am I trying to communicate?

This is a step forward from learning technique and developing a style.

It reminds me of learning French. You know the vocabulary and the verb tenses but can you have a conversation?

My second series is based on the outdoors, the freedom, the colors, and freshness of the idealized farm life. I used latex paint and acrylics with charcoal and ink for materials.

chicken, farm life, painting, art, folk life
Why Did the Chicken? Acrylic and Mixed Media. 16″ x 20″. $295.
chicken, still life, tropical flowers, free range chicken, art
On Vacation. Acrylic and Mixed Media. 16″ x 20″. $295.
chicken, starry night, farmyard, free range chicken, art, painting
Starry Night. Acrylic and mixed media, 16″ x 20″, $295.

…and the chickens that look as though they are plucked and ready for the frying pan….

chickens, free range chickens, horse, starry night, pasture, art, painting, folk art
What’s for Dinner? Acrylic and Mixed Media, 20″ x 16″, $295.

The colors of the outdoors and the imagined cutting garden of magazine photographs are so inviting.

still life and purring machine wm

Master of all He Surveys. Acrylic and mixed media, 16″ x 20″, $295.

 

Bird, flowers, still life, painting, art, bird watcher
Hide and Seek. Acrylic and mixed media, 16″ x 20″ stretched canvas, $295.
cat, flowers. still life, folk art, painting, art
Biding His Time. Acrylic and Mixed Media. 20″ x 30″. $750.
fullsizerender-27
Spring Forth. Acrylic and mixed media, 18″ x 24″, $495.

Options for the third series are on my mind. Am I ready to have a conversation?

 

Phew. A Website Update.

I had all intentions of painting this morning, however something caught my eye. Change of plans. The morning has been devoted to updating my website.

To see my website (https://bethrommel.com/) you may click on this link or even glance at the menu on the left side of this page and see where everything is. There are:

New paintings in the Fine Art Gallery.

cat, flowers. still life, folk art, painting, art
Biding His Time

Some of my favorite ink blot creations in Ink Works.

IMG_1615
Surprise

and

Cities showcases cities!

d-c
Washington, D.C.

I have added some portraits to all categories.

img_0316
Cats in D.C.

Commissions are already underway for gift giving.  If you are thinking of artwork for a holiday surprise, please contact me at beth@bethrommel.com for more information.

New Orleans Collection

As most of you know I was in a serious car accident over Memorial Day weekend with my husband. This was two and a half months after my sweet mother passed away. Thank you for your patience and kindness. We are fine and moving forward with optimism and much gratitude.

I have been participating in a yearlong on-line class taught by Carla Sonheim from Seattle, WA. The focus is working in a series.

My first series was work I created using my Great Aunt Ruth’s photo album. The photos dated from the 1920s to the 1940s. Many were taken in New Orleans. My hometown.

I set parameters for my images. They would be 18″ x 24″, acrylic over watercolor color field painting, and on paper.

Before I began I tested my new technique on 9″ x 12″ paper.

Mixed Media
Dining Room Chair. Mixed Media. 9″ x 12″. $75.00
Mixed Media
Lady Seated. Mixed Media. 9″ x 12″. $75.00

I enjoyed this layering of acrylic over watercolor, so moved forward in a larger format.

Mixed Media: acrylic paint, watercolor, charcoal on paper
Aunt Ruth’s Wedding. 18″ x 24″. Mixed Media.
Mixed Media. Acrylic, watercolor, charcoal.
Lady on the Bayou. Mixed Media. 18″x 24″. Sold.
Mixed Media. Acrylic, watercolor, charcoal
My Family. Mixed Media. 18″ x 24″. NFS

I have just completed my second series which I will show you next time. Be careful out there!