As a fine artist, I'm often asked what inspires my work and if I paint on a regular basis. Both great questions and relevant to the pursuit of creating artwork. Recently I launched a "blog" to provide backgound information on paintings in progress and what inspires each work.

 

I hope you enjoy the creative process. Look forward to reading your comments and more questions: artistinbloom60@gmail.com

 

Blog Archive:

December 20, 12017, "How the Creative Process Can Snowball"

November 23, 2017, "Happy Thanksgiving"

 

The Painting Everyday in January Challenge

January 8, 2018

 

Hello everyone,

 

The new year has brought some exciting challenges.

 

Always needing a little push to start painting after enjoying the holidays, I decided to join the 31 January challenge hosted by Strada Easel and paint everyday. I began by doing studies 8x10 or 5x7 of landscapes, architecture and floral. After several paintings, I learned that the challenge is to paint "live"

by finding an inspiration from what I see around me. This can be exterior, interior, plein air, still life, models, anything but a picture. It's been a joy to spend several hours a day just painting and learning

from each artwork. I hope you enjoy the paintings and the stories that inspired them.

 

All original oil paintings will be available at the end of January. See The Petite Collection for pricing or please message me for details: artistinbloom60@gmail.com

 

Day 31 - #stradaeasel

“Grandma’s Teacup” (sold)

5” x 7”, oil on canvas board

 

For the past thirty one days I have worked on an original oil painting everyday. The experience has been both challenging and exhilarating. First, many folks questioned why I would attempt this and even if I would be able to come up with enough unique ideas to paint ‘live’! Guess I’m just a little stubborn and raised to complete tasks. “It makes you strong and build character,” my Dad would say, while Grandma was there to lend a hand and sympathetic ear. It was always comforting to enjoy a cup of green tea with her after the task was done. I treasure this teacup and saucer from Grandma and those memories.

 

Day 30 - #stradaeasel

“Touch of Elegance” (sold)

12” x 16”, oil on canvas board

 

Some thirty years ago, as Art Director for Centerre Bank, I used a photo Bob took of this elegant conch seashell at his studio in the Shell building to create an unique embossed design for an invitation to a special event. Ten years ago following a visit to the ‘’Art in Bloom” event at the Saint Louis Art Museum, I launched my web site ‘Artist in Bloom’ to share my love of flowers, especially heirloom peonies and graceful Iris, through photography and oil painting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 29 - #stradaeasel

“A Collection of Memories”

5” x 7”, oil on canvas board

 

Fragrances are often associated with pleasant memories of special friends, occasions and even places. Sometimes a collection of fragrant soaps can also instantly change your mood at the end of a stressful day, creating a wonderful memory soaking in bubbles.

 

 

 

Day 28 - #stradaeasel

“Reflection of the Gateway Arch”

8” x 10”, oil on canvas board

 

Over one hundred and twenty two years of wear have given these attic stairs to my studio a unique patina. The multiple shades of green, selected by Bob, bring out the subtle colors of his beautiful photo of the Gateway Arch (www.stlouisphotos.com). I’m looking forward to visiting the Arch this summer when it’s fifty year old museum reopens after major renovations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 27 - #stradaeasel

“Door to the Other Room”

8” x 10”, oil on canvas board

 

This well worn antique door in my studio opens to a wonderful view of the sky. It’s intriguing to watch thunder storms or linger for a few moments looking at cloud patterns. In the early morning and late afternoon, birds can be seen following the Mississippi River, just a few blocks to the east. While painting this door today, I was surprised to see two Eagles soaring overhead in ever expanding circles before disappearing into the clouds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 26 - #stradaeasel

“Portrait of an Artist” (nfs)

8” x 10”, oil on canvas board

 

Growing up in Denver in the loving Malone family with a twin brother and the oldest of twelve kids, I dreamed of being an artist someday. I loved going to the library and checking out books on artists like Monet, Van Gogh and Cézanne to learn how to paint. I also checked out all the books on cowboys and the Nancy Drew mystery novels. Now living in St. Louis, I’m still exploring the old Masters, love mystery movies, enjoy gardening and am married to my best friend and fellow photographer. Dreams really do come true.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 25 - #stradaeasel

“Tea Anyone?”

8” x 10”, oil on canvas

 

Tea has been cultivated for centuries, beginning in India and China. Today, tea is the most widely-consumed beverage in the world, second only to water. Hundreds of millions of people drink tea, and studies suggest that green tea (Camellia sinesis) in particular has many health benefits. Sharing a cup of green tea in the afternoon is also a great way of unwinding from a day of trying to solve the world’s problems. Tea anyone?

 

 

Day 24 - #stradaeasel

“Basket Of Tangerine Dreams”

8” x 10”, oil on canvas

 

Tangerines, also known as mandarin oranges, are a tasty and refreshing citrus fruit packed with many nutritious compounds, including flavonoids, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate and potassium. At this time of the year, they are an especially delicious treat to enjoy, while daydreaming of pleasant summer picnics.

 

 

 

 

Day 23 - #stradaeasel

“Souvenirs From Road Trips”

5” x 7”, oil on canvas board

 

I learned to paint during a long summer trip with my grandmother to help her run the concession stands at the rodeos in Colorado and New Mexico. At the end of the trip, I took all my left over paints from the Paint by Number kits and began painting western landscapes. The trip also left me with wonderful memories and many souvenirs.

 

 

Day 22 - #stradaeasel

“Family Recipe for Happiness”

5” x 7”, oil on canvas board

 

There’s something about warm, freshly baked banana bread

with a creamy lemon frosting, that brings back fond memories

of family gatherings for a Sunday brunch. Recipes for banana bread that have been passed down from one generation to

the next always make the event even more enjoyable. My apologies to folks working on New Years resolutions to limit

their calorie intake.

 

 

Day 21 - #stradaeasel

“The Pink Ladies”

5” x 7”, oil on canvas board

 

Pink Lady apples can provide greater health benefits than other varieties, according to a study, as they have elevated levels of flavonoids, which are natural compounds, also called antioxidants. Eating an apple a day has kept me healthy. That’s

a good thing in this flu season, so I can keep painting daily to finish the 31 January challenge.

 

 

Day 20 - #stradaeasel

“Guardian of Everything Green”

5” x 7”, oil on canvas board

 

This four foot garden angel statue has watched lovingly over my garden for the past sixteen years as I struggled to pull weeds, transplant perennials, trim overgrown shrubs, dig lots of holes for bulbs and even larger holes for trees. She quietly encouraged me to keep going as I edged the garden with over 850 bricks, many found just a few inches below the soil from a previous building that once stood on my garden area. When the snows finally melt and the soil warms in the spring, the area around her feet is transformed into luscious shades of green with beautiful hostas.

 

 

 

 

Day 19 - #stradaeasel

“Prayer for Peace” (sold)

5” x 7”, oil on canvas board

 

The prayer plant (Maranta leuconeura) has spreading leaves that turn upwards toward the evening, seemingly in prayer for vespers. The popular houseplant is native to the New World tropics. With our government on the verge of shutting down over a number of factors including immigration, it is fitting to offer a prayer toward resolving issues that affect so many lives. We are a nation with a long heritage of immigrants who have made our country strong. Love will prevail over hate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 18 - # stradaeasel

“The Birthday Present” (sold)

5” x 7”, oil on canvas board

 

My twin brother Robert Malone is a nuclear physicist, who helped invent fiber optics. When not busy doing experiments in gamma photon reactions or working on telecentric zoom lens system for optical capture of a generated event, he still has time to find the perfect birthday present just to remind me that he’s still my very special brother.

 

 

Day 17 - #stradaeasel

“Whimsical Things” (sold)

5” x 7”, oil on canvas board

 

My granddaughter, Kennedy, created this whimsical mug in her first pottery class. She also loves to paint, often adding layers of texture, including silk flowers, cloth, buttons and even wood, to her artwork. This cup now holds an assortment of well-used paint brushes and palette knives once used by my grandmother. It’s a family thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 16 - #stradaeasel

“Twitter Feed”

8” x 10”, oil on canvas board

 

This very cold January morning as the sun peaked over the rooftops, these birds gather on the telephone wires outside my window. They chirped, squawked, and occasionally screeched for an hour or so waking up folks so they could enjoy the spectacular sunrise. As I fixed the coffee, I wondered if they were gossiping and twittering about the going’s on in the neighborhood.

 

 

 

Day 15 - #stradaeasel

“Love in a Bottle” (sold)

5” x 7”, oil on canvas board

 

The beloved French perfume, created by the House of Guerlain in 1828, became the official fragrance for royalty including Napoleon, Queen Victoria and Queen Isabella. I love how highlights from my painting “Burning Heart” bring out the delicate curves of this vintage crystal parfum Guerlain bottle. “Burning Heart” is also part of my collection of wearable art on VIDA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 14 - #stradaeasel

“Cathy’s Whale on the Window Sill” (sold)

5” x 7”, oil on canvas board

 

This glass whale was a present from my sister Cathy. She is part of the heroic Winter Park Ski Parol, working on a daily basis saving skiers who often venture beyond the safe powder snow. When the season is over and the snow begins to melt, the ski boots come off and she heads for warm beaches and opportunities to swim with the fishes in the deep blue sea.

 

 

 

Day 13 - #stradaeasel

“Victorian Grace”

5” x 7”, oil on canvas board

 

This bronze bust of a Victorian lady graces our studio with her quiet beauty. During the late afternoon light streams through the door adding subtle highlights to her hair which is pulled back from her face and held with a large bow at her graceful neck. Her determined gaze suggests a strong character, undeterred by society rules and styles of that era. #metoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 12 - #stradaeasel

“The Irish Harp”

8” x 10”, oil on canvas board

 

Opening the door to our storefront for the first time 16 years ago, we were overwhelmed to see two nearly ten foot tall stained glass windows featuring the Irish harp and surrounded by dark wood paneling. We later learned that the windows and paneling were rescued from an Irish church near downtown St Louis that was being torn down. Our agent for the building, constructed in 1896 for a German family of tailors, was Frank Harp. Guess it was just meant to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 11 - #stradaeasel

“Bouquet of Wooden Flowers”

“5x7”, oil on canvas board

 

Slivers of dyed wood glued into graceful flower shapes have been gathered into a wild bouquet for a large floor vase in my studio. I used these colorful wooden flowers, handmade in Mexico, as props for an award winning catalog (1987) of imported baskets, photographed by my husband using a 4x5 studio camera. This image of my painting was taken using my iPhone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 10 - #stradaeasel

“The Elizabeth Violin” (sold)

8” x 10”, oil on canvas board

 

Several years ago I inherited a very old violin once played by violinist Elsie Hansen, who was a close friend of my Grandmother Elizabeth Salmon. According to its provenance, the A. Gouvenarius violin came from Austria, circa 1680-1795. Some sixty years ago, I had a wonderful opportunity to take violin lessons on this violin from an Hungarian refugee. Now, after an extensive repair, I am learning how to play once again on this violin and enjoy its beautiful deep resonate tones. The bow is a G.A. Pfretzschner violin bow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 9 - #stradaeasel

“Friendship Bouquet” (sold)

8” x 10”, oil on canvas board

 

Hydrangea expresses the giver's gratefulness for the recipient's understanding. The blooms also represent anything that's sincerely heartfelt. I was overwhelmed when I received this bouquet from a fellow artist and gardener who suggested that they could be dried for a lasting table top bouquet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 8 - #stradaeasel

“Sunset Over S. Broadway”

8” x 10”, oil on canvas board

 

It’s been a cold dreary Monday. The kind of day that makes it hard to get out of bed and get inspired to paint. After a cup of coffee and a few minutes looking through images on my phone, I found this amazing sunset taken after a sweltering August day. Light from the setting sun painted the sky with bright oranges and yellows. Windows of the houses in my neighborhood seemed to glow as the twilight softly settled in.

 

 

 

 

Day 7 - #stradaeasel

“Day Dreaming for Summer”

8” x 10”, oil on canvas board

 

Sleet has been beating against my window for the past few hours, music to my ears as I painted The Ruins under a warm, cloud filled summer sky in Tower Grove Park. I could almost hear the birds singing and the ducks quacking loudly for a treat from visitors to

the park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 6 - #stradaeasel

“Aussie Betty” (sold)

5” x 7”, oil on canvas board

 

Several years ago I visited the annual orchid show at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The dazzling display featured hundreds of orchids from the Garden’s collection of over 5,000 varieties, many rare and from around the world. Tucked in among the gorgeous Catalyn orchids (corsage) I discovered the diminutive, fragrant orchid named Dendrobium kingianum “Betty”, from Australia.

 

 

Day 5 #stradaeasel

“Inspiration” (sold)

8” x 10”, oil on canvas board

 

Bitterly cold weather for the past two weeks was the perfect inspiration to paint this spring view of the Japanese Garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 #stradaeasel

“Sunrise Over Blue Mountain”

8” x 10”, oil on canvas board

 

Several years ago I discovered the Blue Range Mountain range near Pikes Peak. It’s one of favorite memories from a family reunion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 #stradaeasel

“Tea Rose for Grandma”

5” x 7”, oil on canvas board

 

My grandma loved growing roses. She also loved cups of tea in the afternoon. This painting features a Chicago Peace Rose from my garden and a tea saucer from her collection of fine china.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 #stradaeasel

“Reaching to the Heavens” (nfs)

8” x 10”, oil on canvas board

 

This painting from a visit to the incredible Garden of the Gods was a real challenge as I wanted to add so many details. In the end, I decided to paint loose and let the scenery tell the story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 1 #stradaeasel

“New Beginnings”

8” x 10”, oil on canvas board

 

Happy New Year - I’ve been accepted for the Strada January 31 day challenge. So each evening, I will be posting a new painting. Hope you enjoy following my challenge as I explore landscapes, architecture and floral.

 

Painting a snow scene of the Japanese Garden just warmed my heart on January 1 and filled me with hope that 2018 will be a very creative year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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