Posted in Oil Painting

Fresh Off The Easel!

Hello creative friends!

Wow…Can you believe it’s February already? I’m not sure where the time is going, but it sure flies.

As the year gains momentum, I hope that you are getting yourself well-established in whatever creative practices feed your soul. 🙂

One of the things I have been wanting to try this year is creating my own homemade painting panels. I just finished a painting on a homemade panel, and it feels good to have expanded my horizons. More on that DIY process in a future post.

In today’s post I want to share the oil painting I just finished. While it’s what you might refer to as a skyscape, I am thinking of it more as a dreamscape—it’s a little ambiguous, a little nebulous, a little…dreamy!

“Adrift in Time” Oil on panel, 11×14” Available Here © R. Sorrells, Artist 2022

One of the reasons I paint is that it allows me to forget time, appointments, responsibilities, cares, and concerns.

Even when I don’t produce something “frameworthy”, the time I spend in painting, sketching, drawing, and other creative pursuits allows me to connect with a part of myself that tends to go uncared for in the daily grind of life.

I find that I am calmer, less anxious, more centered, and more resilient when I honor the fact that I NEED to spend significant time creating.

So I make it a priority in my life right up there with the other things I need to do like brushing my teeth, making meals, paying bills, etc.

This painting is an example of what can happen when I honor that need.

It isn’t always easy finding the right mix of free time, energy, inspiration, and desire to create, but it is so worth it when they all come together in what I can only describe as a blessing that feeds my soul.

Friends, I hope you are taking time to feed your creative self. It’s so important, and you are worth it!

I’d love to know how you take time to feed your inner artist. Please share your thoughts in the comments and let me know!

Till next time, stay creative.

~R

Posted in studio peek

My Favorite Paintings of 2021!

Wow! I can’t believe 2021 is coming to an end…

Last year I began the tradition of designing and publishing a book of the paintings, studies, and sketches I created through the year.

I started with the idea to give the books out to family and friends as gifts, but the design process and end result have become so much more than that to me.

When I am putting each year’s book together, choosing photographs of paintings and inspirational quotes I want to include, I am able to stand back from the trees and get a good look at the forest I have been dwelling in during the previous 12 months—metaphorically speaking!

I find that when I step back to look at this retrospective, I am given the precious gift of getting to see the arc of my own personal growth as an artist.

And this year I saw BIG changes.

The first change I saw while looking over the paintings I produced this year was a focus on experimentation.

Soft pastel on paper
copyright R. Sorrells 2021

New techniques, new materials, even a new medium (water mixable oil) kept me on my toes and headed out in directions that kept my process from being stale and predictable.

Oil on stretched canvas
copyright R. Sorrells 2021

Another change I consciously focused on this year was quality over quantity.

It doesn’t bother me to set a painting aside and let it sit for days, weeks, or even months if it just isn’t “there” yet because I appreciate how it gives me fresh eyes to critique and move forward in whatever way is necessary to reach my vision.

But this year I have also made peace with the fact that I am probably never going to be a hugely prolific painter…and that’s ok.

I’ve realized that my painting process and personality do not lend themselves to popular social media challenges like “paint 30 paintings in 30 days”.

In fact, I have found that if I can’t stop and linger when I want or need to in order to produce the work my soul is crying out to create, I die inside just a little!—and that is not acceptable to me.

Top: soft pastel on paper
Bottom: oil on panel
copyright R. Sorrells 2021

But this year the biggest change I actively encouraged in my heart, mind, and artistic process was to really seek out what it was I was trying to say with each painting, and then to let myself express those ideas, desires, and feelings onto the painting itself.

One of the wonderful benefits of allowing myself to work in this way is that I am becoming more aware of my artistic voice—who I am as an artist, what I value as an artist and human being, and how I want to grow in the future.

Oil on canvas panel
copyright R. Sorrells 2021

As a result, I can see the meager beginnings of a “style” that marks my work as mine and validates who I am becoming as an artist.

And that, my friends, is something I have been waiting to see emerge as the months and years of creating have slipped by.

Oil on panel
copyright R. Sorrells 2021
Oil on canvas
copyright R. Sorrells 2021

All of the photos in this post are included in this year’s book, and I wanted to share them with you.

If you have made it this far, thanks for sticking with me to read about my thoughts on creating and artistic growth.

Oil on panel
copyright R. Sorrells 2021
Oil on canvas panel
copyright R. Sorrells 2021

You can read the inspirational quotes that I included in this year’s book here.

But I will leave you with the quote I used to close my 2021 book.

It speaks to this idea of growth and not yet being who we were created to be….

“Beyond myself, somewhere, I wait for my arrival.” — Octavio Paz, poet

Thank you creative friends for taking time out of your precious life to read this post. I pray you will stay your creative course, wherever that leads your heart, and that on the journey you find joy in the process.

Till next time…

~R

Posted in Oil Painting

“Birdwire” Oil Painting

Hello creative friends!

Thought I would share another feathered friend from my latest oil painting adventures including some process photos for a behind-the-scenes look.

“Birdwire” Oil on cotton-covered panel, 9×12” Available!

I had a lot of fun painting this scene.

I especially loved creating the softly-blended background and juxtaposing it and the delicacy of the bird against the jagged imagery and symbolism of the barbed wire….

Here are the process photos, starting with the loose underpainting to get a start on the background.

Adding first oil layers…

Hope you like the sneak peek!

If you are interested in this piece, it is available here.

Stay creative friends. 🙂

Till next time…

~R

Posted in Oil Painting

Oil Studies: Getting loose and creative

Hello creative friends! This summer finds me busier than ever. How ‘bout you?

Our string band played the county fair providing ambiance for the fair-goers. That was a lot of fun. 🙂

Here at home our little garden is cranking out beans, tomatoes, berries, and zucchini—which means harvest and preservation are in full swing. Time to dust off the canning jars…

Yesterday was a chicken processing day—thank goodness for our chicken plucker!

Homeschool is just around the corner. I mean, it literally starts next week—yikes!!!

And throughout our busy schedule I am somehow managing to find time to spend at the easel.

Lately I have been working on monochromatic as well as limited palette studies in oil. I have also done some experimenting with new colors, but would like to spend more time really going deep into the possibilities via some color charts.

Here are a few of the studies…lots of fun to do and all from imagination.

Oil study on paper
Oil study on paper
Oil study on paper
Oil study on paper

These studies are done on canvas paper and take as little as 20-30 minutes, though some took longer depending on how much fun I was having! 😉

I could see these studies serving as inspiration for future larger oil paintings. Producing them was a fun way to test out ideas and materials, and engage in some imaginative playtime without feeling like I had to produce something frame-worthy.

So I highly recommend this kind of work for those times when you are in between projects, or for when you just don’t know what to work on next.

I think it is also something incorporated into a daily practice if you desire. Like daily sketching, but for oil painters!

Hope you are taking time to restore your creative juices as summer continues. Before you know it, autumn will be upon us and we’ll be longing for these long, lazy days, so don’t let them go to waste!

Till next time, stay creative.

~R

Posted in available paintings, Oil Painting

“Blue Days” – Available

“Blue Days” Oil on panel, R. Sorrells copyright 2021

Auction for this painting begins July 6, 2021! Click link below to place your bid.

https://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/rhonda-sorrells/%e2%80%9cblue-days%e2%80%9d/905952

Blue Days” – Original Oil Painting by Rhonda Sorrells

Birds are some of my favorite subjects to paint, and bluebirds are one of my favorite kinds of feathered friends.

I couldn’t resist trying to capture their beauty in oil with this little bird portrait. 🙂

This is a one-of-a-kind original oil painting on 6×8” cotton canvas-covered hardwood panel, signed on the front and labeled on the back. The panel is 1/8” thick.

This unmatted/unframed oil painting is ready to be popped into a 6×8” frame of your choice upon its arrival!

Your painting will be covered by a layer of Glassine and cocooned between two pieces of foam core for protection during shipment.

With your purchase you will also receive:

*A copy of my “Oil Painting Care & Framing” tip sheet

*A hand-written Thank You!

Please carefully read the enclosed care and framing sheet when your painting arrives.

For more information regarding shipping, shop policies, and more, please visit this link: https://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/rhonda-sorrells/%e2%80%9cblue-days%e2%80%9d/905952

To visit my online studio gallery of available paintings in oil and pastel, visit: http://www.rsorrellsstudio.com

Note: I do my best to color correct painting images; however, monitor types and settings differ and may not perfectly match painting color.

Thank you for your interest and support!
©Rhonda Sorrells, 2021

Posted in Oil Painting

What’s On My Easel???

Hi all! Just checking in before the Memorial Day holiday here in the states to share what I am currently working on.

I have been taking a deep dive into oil painting the last few months, and I am thoroughly enjoying myself.

That said, I feel like there is a pretty steep learning curve regarding oil painting, and specifically, water mixable oil painting.

One of the reasons I held back from trying oils is the use of smelly, toxic chemicals in the application and clean-up.

BUT NO MORE!!!

I bit the bullet and purchased several tubes of water mixable oils (WMO’s) and a few water mixable mediums, some brushes and canvas, and haven’t looked back.

What I have found is that there are really only a few basic rules one must follow to paint in oils, but once you get a handle on those, the rest is really about learning to manipulate the paint in ways that will give you the effect you are looking for. And that’s where your own individual style comes in.

So, enough of that. Here is what I am currently working on…

I’m loving trying to get that misty/foggy effect. This one’s almost done. Hope to finish it over the weekend.

That’s it for now. I hope you have an enjoyable week and upcoming holiday 🙂

Don’t forget to make time to feed your inner artist and do something creative!

Till next time…

~R