Can we slow down summer please

Well, it is hard for me to believe that yet another Studio Tour has come and gone. Time is moving a little too quickly this year.  How can we slow down summer?

I love the meets and greets that come with participating in the tour.  So many nice people coming through and all interested in art.  How amazing is that?  A number of people are "followers" of my work.  This is so encouraging and humbling at the same time.  Life is good.

With all the preparation for the tour I fell behind a bit with my painting - but I did manage to complete the three small oils (8x10") I was working on. Time to start another before I lose the momentum.

Walk in the Park by Helen Shideler

"Walk in the Park" is a fun 8"x8" oil of a strutting crow.  This little guy proved to be very popular.  I guess what I saw in him others saw as well.  He could have been homed five times this weekend! I find it amazing how many people love crows and ravens.  I know I certainly do but thought is was an artsy thing.

King of the Castle by Helen Shideler

"King of the Castle" this gull really felt he owned the place.  He was perched up so proudly on this concrete post with a view of the nearby restaurant and the sea.  He was talking it all in.  Ever watchful for that morsel that would be presented should someone dare to drop a bite.  I was leaning on the fence taking photos of some cormorants when I noticed him.  He did not seem to care how close I was and truly, it took awhile before I even realized that he was there - my husband had to point him out.

Plein Air Pretties by Helen Shideler

The first day at the PACE Plein Air Conference April in San Diego, people has not had a chance yet to mix and mingle.  There were all kinds of plein air painters milling about in the hotel lobby. These two caught my attention.  I thought they looked so interesting looking at their walking map of the area. I knew I would be painting them.  Plein Air painters are always interesting to people watch!

Day 14 - Looking for Lunch

We were at a couple of weddings in St. Andrews recently and were still able to make time to explore around.  We walked out on the sandbars.  The tide was nearing completely out.  Everywhere you looks were seagulls and some crows.

Looking for Lunch


My Day 14  painting for this event is called “Looking for Lunch”.  

This is a 10x8"" acrylic on cradled Gessoboard - meaning no frame required.   It is ready to hang on your wall! 

Available on my website by clicking HERE  for $165

You can check out this project by visiting here - 

WIP Three's Company - Poured Water Color

This is the second poured water-color painting I have done with gulls on this particular location.  First of all, I love working on the log and seaweed!  So much fun and I really had to use my brain to figure out the color order of the pours.  That being said, I am quite satisfied with the colors and texture capture with “Sunning Gulls”. Helen Shideler - WIP Three's Company

After looking at it for a while, I decided this deserved one more attempt (the perfectionist in me just got revealed).  I thought the gulls should be a bit larger and well, “Three’s Company”.   I know that when I am planning my gardens odd numbers make the most attractive groupings – thought this premise would also work with the number of birds in a painting.  Sound logical?

There have been a number of do over paintings in my career.  Not a large number but quite a few.  And not because the first one is not right or I am not as satisfied with it. It is just I may think it may be better in oils or watercolor, or in this case with more company.  (Except maybe for the recent poured goat paintings – they were just a mistake -  although I got a great deal of satisfaction from ripping them up).

The image in this post represents the final pour, before the masking compound is removed.

Poured painting - Sunning Gulls

Helen Shideler - sunningJust finished this painting... oh so may pours!   This photo of the painting is really lighter than the painting.  The water-colour is really quite deep - you can see the six or seven pours in the tone of the water. Still learning about this process - loving every scary minute of it!

So much so.. that I decided to doit again.  This time with three gulls, same log... slightly larger gulls and capture each step along  the way.