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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Amber Waves

amber waves barn and plains oil painting by Mary Benke
Bold colors and shapes dominate this pastoral oil painting. They say when you put a building (or person or animal) in a painting, that becomes the focal point. By using lost edges in the tree and barn area and directional lines in the foreground, I tried to point the attention to the focal point--the building AND tree. Plus, the foreground was really fun to paint.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Over the Ridge

A bird's-eye view of the glorious rockies receding in the distance. Rusts and reds in the foreground rocks contrast with the teals and blues of the foothills and peaks.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Upstream or Downstream?

rushing river upstream or downstream palette knife oil painting by Mary Benke
Having fun with blues and lots of moving water! Using grayer tones for the trees in the background to represent atmospheric perspective was a challenge. A palette knife was used for some of the interesting rock shapes along the banks and in the water. I asked my husband (the fly fisherman who really knows rivers) if the view was upstream or downstream and he said it could be either, hence the title.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

River Light

Painted "en plein air" on the Big Thompson River between Loveland and Estes Park, Colorado, "River Light" was an exercise in simplification. I made myself focus on the beauty of the water and especially the beautiful light as I looked down the river, trying not to get too distracted by the interesting rocks in the foreground. Wine, of course, helped! 6x6 oil on Ampersand gessoboard panel.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Mugging for Apples

Red and green meet against a neutral background in a fun and simple kitchen still life. 5x7 oil on canvas panel. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Branching Out

As an artist living in Colorado, I've come to realize how much people like paintings of aspen trees. To the point that landscape artists like me paint a LOT of them. I've done them in pastel, watercolor, and acrylic (on a 5-foot-tall fiberglass heart for my hometown Loveland's city with HeART program as seen here). Here's a new twist for me--a small format oil painting, simply done with chunky brushstrokes. 6x6 oil on Ampersand gessoboard panel.