Week One 2017 30 in 30 Painting Challenge

Week One 2017 30 in 30 Painting Challenge

Week One 2017 30 in 30 Painting Challenge

Recap of Week One January 2017 30 in 30 painting challenge

I recently took an online course with Dreama Tolle Perry. Her process incorporates a technique which is new to me, and I love it! Using only transparent colors in the underpainting and finishing Alla Prima her art has become iconic for her use of joyful color.  I highly recommend her online course. Following her process has brought a new depth of color to my artwork.

This week’s work has brought me much joy! I am currently painting in the dining room of our apartment in Knoxville, TN. Not my dream studio space although the light on a sunny day is quite wonderful. Unfortunately, yesterday’s snow was the first sunny day of the week. The dreary weather and constant construction just outside the apartment have made being joyful a bit of a struggle. I am ready to be back in my desert studio in Arizona. The juicy colors have brought a ray of sunshine to the space!

This is my third attempt at a #30in30paintingchallenge! I am more organized than the last go around, thanks to my #30in30 Artrepreneur Outliner kit for Evernote.  We are however moving out of the apartment and traveling across the country, yet again, in the motorhome, this month. That week may need to be about drawing, rather than pulling out the oil painting materials, sketching is an area I need to concentrate on anyways!. Those wonderful little thumbnails I see so many plein air painters begin with just don’t come naturally to me.

Come February, I am teaching an oil painting class for beginners at The Tubac Art Academy. This is the reason you’ll see some duplicates of the same subjects in my daily paintings this month. I am narrowing down my choices of subject matter I’ll use in the demonstrations. The Rockin Red and Desert blossoms, for example, are from the same reference photo. I am looking for a subject with dynamic color combinations and a simple organic subject, which will appeal to many. Any suggestions would be welcomed!!

A Loose and Bold Approach to Oil Paintng a beginners 3 day Workshop Held in Historic Tubac, AZ learn more at lesliemillerfineart.com



Why I Journal Using Sensory Prompts

Why I Journal Using Sensory Prompts

lesliemillerfineart.com - Sensory stories from Wales and #30in30paintingchallenge!I Journal Using Sensory Prompts

We love to travel, but I have a poor memory. I rely on photos, scrapbooks, and travel journals to save those memories. I like to tailor my travel journals to each trip, adding in journaling prompts, quotes, and date stamps. I usually include little envelopes for ticket stubs and paper placemats, etc. Somewhere along the way, I threw in a list of sensory prompts. Those short, little snippets bring back floods of memories to the whole family. We’ll get to talking about a trip and they’ll ask me to read off some of the lists. Sometimes the funniest and most memorable of these snippets are the “I smell…” pieces.
Olfaction, more than any other sense, is so successful at triggering emotions and memories. In fact, studies have shown thatthe olfactory system has a direct connection with two parts of the brain that are strongly linked in emotion and memory. Oddly enough, the sight, sound, and touch perceptions don’t pass through these two areas.
I failed to create a journal for this trip before we left. Luckily, I wrote out these sensory prompts on the plane ride home. It started with a handful and the more I jotted down the more memories and thoughts came back to me that wanted to be sure to remember.


Memories of the Countryside

I love to walk in the countryside. That peaceful, simple, and open space always reminds me being at my grandparents’ farms. Visiting the farms during my childhood always meant discovery and adventure. 
As an adult. I crave the solitude of more rural spaces, away from cars, and hustle and bustle. I especially love walking with no purpose other than to enjoy being outside.
Walking across Wales we encountered a couple of unmistakable scents of the countryside, namely, poop and silage. Since we walk through field after field, and literally through barnyards,there is so much poop! Of course being a gardener, I associate it with fertilizer and healthy plants. Round bails of hay are wrapped in black plastic to ferment the feed. These are stacked in huge rows and one can smell the fermentation before one can see the stacks.

The scent of Family History

Homes that have stood for centuries have a distinct scent. Dusty, musty and an unidentifiable unique smell of each family. We stayed in many homes along the way. One, in particular, had been in  the family 400 years. That means the books furniture and other family treasures, passed through the generations, had collected years of perfumes, cooking aromas, dust, tobacco, detergents, pets, various spills and who knows what all. 

Heavenly Butterfly Bushes

I mentioned before that I enjoy gardening. It was a hobby that came as somewhat of a surprise to me and my family. As a child, I hated to get dirty. I hated to sweat and I feared all the creepy crawly creatures in the vegetable plots my parents gardened. Somewhere along the way, I developed a deep connection with earth and the beauty it can provide. I discovered the joy of nurturing plants. 
One of the first plants that I ever planted was a butterfly bush.I encountered one in a friend’s garden. I was not so much interested in attracting butterflies; I loved the color and the heavenly scent. If you’re not familiar with the butterfly bush, it can grow quite rapidly! Soon it was taking over the garden but couldn’t bear to cut it back! I quickly learned it needed some space to flourish.
On our first trip to the UK I was completely taken aback at the mere size of the butterfly bushes. With so much unspoiled countryside they flourished indeed into tree-sized, gloriously scented giants, that reminded me of my first little garden in my first little house.

Deep Woods of Fantasy

The dampness and darkness of a woodland can create some very memorable smells. For me those smell remind me of days played in the woods behind our house. When it was safe for children to play outside, mostly unsupervised. We built things and discovered tiny creatures, played chase and hide and seek until sometime just before dark our moms would call us time for dinner. At night i’d fall asleep thinking of all the discoveries I’d made and what we would play tomorrow. Good Times.

#30in30paintingchallenge! Day #15 & #16

lesliemillerfineart.com- #30in30paintingchallenge! door-greeter

Please Share

I’d love to hear from you, share your olfactory story in the comment section. What’s the oddest scent that brings happy memories to your mind?


Vegetation Observations Along Offa’s Dyke Path

Vegetation Observations Along Offa’s Dyke Path

4 Sensory story nettlesDesert of Wales

I am not sure why the earth sometimes feels squishy, under my feet, perhaps it’s the “aeration” made my the weight of the livestock that roams the land. The moorland has a high rainfall and much of it is covered by peat overlain with moor grass.To me, the ground feels like it’s squishy from the elaborate maze of roots of the heather, bilberries, bracken and gorse. Like there is no soil near the surface, just the roots. 

The term Desert of Wales has been used to describe the area since at least 1860 when the following was written:

The locality we were now traversing is one of the most untamed and desolate in either division of the Principality; it has indeed with perfect truth been called the “great desert of Wales.” Vast sweeping ranges of hills with round tops, add to the dreary aspect of this nearly unpeopled region…[2]

Travel is limited to narrow roads, forestry tracks, footpaths, and bridleways. It is a sparsely populated area, consisting largely of rolling hills, gorges and steep valleys with ancient native Welsh oak forest.
The area has high rainfall and much of it is covered by peat overlain with moor grass

 Damn Nettles

The Heather, bracken, and gorse are very common vegetation along the Offa’s Dyke Path. The other vegetation doesn’t look like much, but it will make sure you remember it. Stinging nettles seem to be at every kissing gate, stile, narrow path, and place you need to be. One touch and you’ve got a stinging and itching red spot for at least an hour, or if you’re  a fair-skinned redhead it might be four hours.Those damn nettles!
I here people make tea from these mean plants. Just can’t see putting those needly greens anywhere near my mouth! Even CRAZIER!
#5- #30in30paintingchallenge! lesliemillerfineart.com


Paintings # 4 and 5 of 

#30 in 30 Painting Challenge!

I had a bit of an issue with uploading my photo for the other day, so I’m catching up with this post.
The first is a young, shy, draft horse. He was very deft at hiding behind his mother but finally did catch a quick shot while he was distracted by all the attention, the nearby shetland pony was commanding, of other hikers.I love how long and narrow his legs are and how big and clunky his feet are, much like a pre-teen. 
Painting number five depicts a typical scene, the rolling hills covered in wheat and the shifts of color. I need help to find a name for this one. Any suggestions?
I need a name for the one.

I need a name for the one.

Sensory Storylines and the #30 in 30 Painting Challenge

Follow along each day of September  I’ll be adding a sensory story, inspired by a few sensory storyline prompts, I wrote to take me back to the time and space where the reference photos were taken. These stories may not jive (coincide) with the day’s painting. Hopefully, these sensory stories will give you a better sense of the place, of our experience, and of walking across Wales.

Feel free to share this project on your favorite social media sites.Please add the hashtag #30 in 30 Painting Challenge!

Painting Mostly Everyday

Painting Mostly Everyday

beauty&grace lesliemillerfineart.com

Beauty and Grace

Well I am finally back to painting mostly everyday. Daily painting is a practice I whole heartedly believe in for growth and development as an artist. It been a challenge to buckle down and get organized after the move.

Our New Home- Tubac,AZ

The building of the house here in Tubac was completed last November, the hardscape and landscaping was not. We have been concentration on that since our return. Tubac is a very small but friendly and active village south of Tucson. When we are outside working many neighbors and visitors to the resort pass by on the walking trail behind our house. I get easily distracted chatting to our many new found friends.

Then there is the village of Tubac, just a ½ mile away, filled with art galleries and unique shops and more interesting and friendly people.The weather is so marvelous and the views incredible I want to be outside all the time!

Cultural Happenings

Since our return there have been numerous events to keep me from painting, luckliy they have been very inspiring. A gallery opening, an art festival, Anza Days a historical reenactment, and Día de Muertos.

I have been painting though here are some of the results, some still in progress.

betatakin ruins

all-dressed-up-&-no-where-to-go-Leslie Miller Fine Art

All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go-Leslie Miller-SOLD