Please visit my website for more information about original paintings. All images on this website are protected under copyright law and may only be reproduced with written permission from the artist ©Mary Benke.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Lilac Reflections

Small oil still life painting of purple lilacs in green glass vase. Realistic floral by Mary Benke

Gorgeous lilacs and graceful leaves fill a whimsical green vase in this delicate oil painting. I was particularly intrigued with the reflection cast by the glass vase.
5x7 oil on canvas panel.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Orange Complement

still life oil painting of a blue jug and oranges by Mary Benke
This wonderful blue jug has been in the family for years. I wanted to paint it with its "orange" complements. The glass plate picks up some interesting reflections and highlights.
6x6 inch oil on gessoboard panel

Friday, August 21, 2015

Ripe Trio

original, square, still life oil painting of tomatoes by Mary Benke

It's tomato season! These beauties were just begging to be painted.

6x6 inch oil on gessoboard panel

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sketching, Design, and Color!

I took a great class with wonderful plein air painter Coni Grant the other day at the Art Center and Gallery in Estes Park. She has a great approach to designing a painting. She always does a sketch (something I usually try to do, but sometimes I get anxious to just paint) and focuses on strong design elements that support the center of interest. Then, when painting, she relies on that sketch and doesn't stray from it. As she says, "have a story and stick to it!" Great advice! She also uses bold color and a really strong underpainting. Here's what I came up with.

Coni's blog

Lively Iris

Lively, lavender iris still life oil painting by Mary Benke

6x6 inch oil on gessoboard panel

Our irises were lovely this year from our abundant rain! I tried to give this "lively' lavender iris some personality with active brushstrokes and some calligraphic marks, as well as setting it against a vibrant dark green background.