In the Studio Today...Fairfax Fresh: Session #1

Friday, June 29, 2007
Session #1 today on Fairfax Fresh farm in Fairfax, CA. I am beginning a series of paintings for either the "Art on the Farm" exhibit that may take place this Fall in Pt. Reyes, or, these paintings may be donated to Taste of Marin; an evening of food and silent auctions organized by Marin Organic in August. I spent about an hour, blocking out the colors and shapes before I had to leave this peaceful Marin Organic lemon farm in the hills above Fairfax. Prior to this, I had a lovely tour of the property with Patti Elliot, who was about to harvest the trees I was painting from, and take them to Mill Valley to be used by a Gelato maker. Yum! Every where I turned, there was an extraordinary scene I could have chosen to paint: multiple views of Mt. Tam framed by Pacific Oaks, rusty red rooster and hen friends against the pale yellow hay, flowers cascading down the hillside to a birdbath, all below the yellow house and the oak tree with swings and hammock. The view from the driveway includes the GMC truck with the Fairfax Fresh logo on the side. It is surrounded by flowers and framed by oaks and lemon trees. Patti had some very nice small paintings she had done there herself, including one of the truck, and I absolutely see why- It is just an extraordinary place to paint and dwell.

In the Studio Today... Bidding Closed

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The bidding has now closed at the Two Bird Cafe Auction. I am happy to report that 9 paintings were sold, and $525. was raised for MALT. Twice that amount will go back to the Two Bird for hosting the show. I have very much enjoyed doing a show this way, and it has inspired me to continue with the auction format in the future.

For those of you who won final bids, I will be calling you on Monday to notify you. You may leave a check for me at the Two Bird Cafe, or you may pay by credit card at the Two Bird. I believe the credit transaction will cost an additional 2% fee, but you may speak with Tony directly. If you can leave your paintings until July 7th or 8th, this is best for the restaurant, but you are welcome to pick them up when you pay if necessary. Thank you for your support! -Colleen

In the Studio Today... Painting Birdhouses

Monday, June 11, 2007
This weekend has been spent gathering paint and items to paint and decoupage two birdhouses for my sons' teachers, as "end of the year"/class gifts. I had been doing some research online, and I found an article that talks about chemicals in paints and varnishes, and their effects on the birds. It says not to use bright colors, and definitely to use non-toxic paints and special sealers. Then again, maybe all this doesn't matter too much, as my Aunt in Connecticut tells me she has a bright red gourd birdhouse with high gloss finish, and the birds have moved into it for the third year running. The houses were painted with non-toxic, acrylic paint. I scanned in all the kids' photos and made them sepia tone in Photoshop, and reprinted them on photo paper with their names underneath. I used decoupage papers to add the imagery of sticks and leaves around the faces. The apple and the school bus are 25 cents each at Michael's Craft Supplies. It's good to take a break from oil painting once in a while and do a crafty art form that forces you to brainstorm and come up with new ideas. I am thinking of decoupaging some of my paintings onto boxes for gifts... Hmmmm....

In the Studio Today... June Wedding

Monday, June 4, 2007
Wedding of Raechel Shelfer & Edward Titus, June 2, 2007
Marin French Cheese Co., Petaluma, CA
When you paint from life, capturing a moment on canvas is very much like what a nature photographer tries to do... Get that moment of great lighting, get the composition just right, the subject is posed as if it was meant to be doing just what it is doing... When you take a great photo, you just know it when you see it. It does something for your heart, and you jump just a little inside. Wow!.. is often exclaimed. A great painting from life should do this too. Above is a photo I took this weekend of the wedding of Raechel Shelfer of Woodacre, at the Marin French Cheese Co. in Petaluma. Raechel's mother, Michelle, is one of my oldest friends in Marin County. I wanted to share this photo because there are moments when the hills of Marin catch light that make them look so spectactular. We have lots of "wow" moments in Marin, when the fog starts to roll in, and the sun still shines through in unique patterns of light on the land. The rolling hills of the western landscape can be so dramatic in these special moments, and I am so delighted Raechel was wed before the dazzling beauty of this place.