Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Aiken Steeplechase #9

Aiken Steeplechase #9, originally uploaded by debifitz.

oil on canvas
artist collection
actual size 24"X30"

Worked on the background and grass in the foreground. I always work more on the backgrounds than anything else! Grass has always driven me crazy... it is almost like doing an abstract painting with in a realistic painting! I want it to look interesting up close as well as when you back up. So I play with color and brush strokes to make it more interesting... besides, the grass is more than just green! The dogwoods in the background are going to need more attention.... I don't want them to pop forward so much or to become flat. Also worked on the crowd and tents some. And the banner and brush box. In the photos the brush box is almost a black... I choose to make it a very dark green. I like the way the brush box looks. But I will still add a little more pain to it... make it a little richer... not so flat.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Aiken Steeplechase #8

Aiken Steeplechase #8, originally uploaded by debifitz.

oil on canvas
property of the artist
actual size 24"X30"

Yeah! All the first layer is on! Now to fix everything!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Aiken Steeplechase #7

Aiken Steeplechase #7, originally uploaded by debifitz.

Oil on canvas
property of the artist
actual size 24"X30"

Getting there with the first layer... I am quite happy with the way it is coming along! Of course the last horse is going to be the most work... I really want him/her to stand out from the rest. Being a light gray, I figured would help... that and the hot pink jockey silks. The difficulty in painting gray horses, especially when they have the sun on them like this one, is that the shapes of those "hot" spots becomes all that more important. The dapples can really confuse you! So I have to pay a little more attention to this one... besides the fact that he/she is the focal point!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Aiken Steeplechase #6

Aiken Steeplechase #6, originally uploaded by debifitz.

Down to the last horse... of course it is the most important one! I want him to look like he is coming right at the viewer.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Studio Project...

Studio018, originally uploaded by debifitz.

Thought I would mix it up and add another one of my favorite "studio inventions"! I always have tall stuff with no place of their own. Usually stuffed in corners or behind shelves. And they always want to fall out of their places. So, I came up with this idea... bought the biggest piece of pvc I could get at Lowes. Cut it into 3 pieces and put caps on the bottom. Bolted them together... and WALA.... I want to go to a plumbing supply store and get a bigger piece and do another one.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Aiken Steeplechase #4

Aiken Steeplechase #4, originally uploaded by debifitz.
This is the fun part... watching the horses emerge from the painting! It is coming right along now. One thing I wanted to bring up.... believe it or not, I do not use "brown" paint! I have gotten to where I love to make my browns out of oranges, purples and pinks. Some yellows too. I just get a richer color than using good old burnt umber. I started doing this when I got frustrated with the way burnt sienna and burnt umber dried... it never looked as good as when it was wet. And I rarely use black from a tube... for the same reason... looks flat when dry. Not to mention that there isn't that much in nature that is truely black. Depending on where it is going, I use a combination of paynes gray (I use a lot of Paynes gray!), and some sort of red... usually a mars red or violet. I also love brown madder aliz with paynes gray. I had a teacher once that recommended burnt sienna and prussian blue for a rich black. I just do a variation of that. You can get some really beautiful colors when you add a little pink or white to a mixed black. Makes my high lights more realistic. Basically I go back to the color wheels/charts I made back in college art school... they have really come in handy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Aiken Steeplechase #3

Aiken Steeplechase #3, originally uploaded by debifitz.
Working on the horses.... I always start from the back and work forward. I also put in a lot of details in the first layer. I used to just do a quick wash of general color first... but I am not a patient person! I just can't wait to see the painting emerge. So, now I skip that first layer! I was not taught to paint this way. But you know, it's my painting! This layer takes a little longer to do, but it is much more rewarding in the end.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Aiken Steeplechase #2

Aiken Steeplechase #2, originally uploaded by debifitz.
Second day.... Still working on the back ground. The jump had a banner for an Aiken bank... I guess I could have put it in... maybe the bank would have purchased the painting if I had!!! But this is suppose to be for the Aiken Triple Crown... so I decided to go with that. Not so good with lettering... I was always the one everyone would go to for making posters as a kid... because I was artistic... but I have never been really good at lettering. There is definitely an "art" to it. I probably just don't have the patience for it. But I am happy with this so far. And the crowd was a new experience for me. I sort of made them up as I went along. I don't want you to really look at them anyway... just to know they are there for the event. I do like the colorful band that runs horizontally through the painting... the tents, crowd and jockey silks. I think it is fun! And that is what I think the whole event is!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Aiken Steeplechase Painting

Aiken Steeplechase Painting, originally uploaded by debifitz.

oil on canvas
artist collection
actual size 24"X30"

This is the first installment of another painting progression. I was contacted last spring about doing the art work for the Aiken Triple Crown poster. The triple crown is a big deal in Aiken. I was asked to primarily feature the steeplechase event. The other 2 weekends are a polo match and a flat race day. I attended last spring to take photos and get a feel for the event. It is very festive! Everyone (practically all of Aiken!) brings in pop up tents and lots of food and decorations. And everyone dresses up... lots of big hats! Unfortunately it rained off and on all that day... so my photos were nothing to write home about. I have ended up doing a compilation of photos for the painting. And after looking at the last 5 or 6 years of posters I realized no one has done a big typical jump piece... which I thought was a little odd... but fine by me! So this is what I am doing! Luckily this year for whatever reason, the dogwoods were in bloom... evidently this is not normal. They usually bloom just after or just before. So I did get some good back ground material. Of course this is due right now (!!!) Typical me! So I am going to try to do this fast... at least for a 24"X30" oil painting! But at least I don't have to worry about getting a horse or rider just so. I really plan to have fun with it. I decided to do it 24"X30" because I found a great frame @ my framer's (Rogers Frame Shop in Ocala)... it is a leather frame, (which I love!) that had been damaged. So I got it at a great price. And Roger will touch up the little bit of damage. But I had been waiting for just the right piece to do it justice!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Studio Project

Studio003, originally uploaded by debifitz.

And for my next project... I lined my paint drawers with aluminum flashing. A wonderful friend (Jim Simms) long ago made this for me when I graduated from college. It has held lots of stuff over the years. But I really like having my oil paints in these drawers. There are two drawers. The second drawer has a sliding pull out tray (seen sitting on the top of the cabinet) Anyone that uses oil paints know that they always leak and get gooey. A first I lined them with aluminum foil... did not work! So I decided to try aluminum flashing. I made templates of the bottom and sides of each compartment. Cut the flashing... which was easier than I expected. Then I taped the edges together with "Gorilla Tape" ( A super sticky duct tape) this will hopefully keep me from slicing my fingers and keep the sides in place. So far this job worked out pretty well... but I did mange to cut my index finger... right thru the nail! ouch! As my husband said... it was inevitable! When ever I start cutting stuff.... At least it is on my left hand! And Neosporin is my friend!! Great stuff! It is healing nicely!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Studio Project

Studio004, originally uploaded by debifitz.

one of my latest projects... I added the partitions in this drawer for all my pastel pencils. Of course I thought it was going to be easy... isn't that just the kiss of death!!! I had it all done... and the drawer would not close!! I really hate it when that happens! I had to put a couple of notches in so that the little guide thingie could pass!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Danny and Ron Rescue new logo

Danny and Ron Rescue new logo, originally uploaded by debifitz.

property of Danny and Ron Rescue

This is the new art work that I have created for Danny and Ron's rescue. They will use it on their web site and for their stationary, tee shirts, etc..

I took the photo of the puppies while in Camden last spring. I was there to shoot pics for the 2012 calendar (which I really need to start working on!!). The puppies were all from the same liter and looked more like the two puppies closest to the little boy. I changed the other two to more resemble some of the other types of dogs Ron and Danny rescue. I took the photos of the little boy last summer at Blowing Rock while shooting photos for some clients at a horse show. He was actually looking at a caterpillar in some flowers! I knew I could use it in something like this!

Here is a little story on Ron and Danny... just to give you an idea of what they are like... They went on a much needed vacation in the Virgin Islands about a month ago. It had been years since they just went away where it had nothing to do with family or horses. While they were in paradise they found time to locate the humane shelter and adopted two dogs that they could bring back with them on the plane! It is just what they do!

These guys are truly amazing... they have found homes for over 3300 dogs to date! Doing my art for them is the very least I can do to help. If anyone is interested in their cause, go to...