Recent paintings by Elin Pendleton. AAEA
Horse Paintings by Elin Pendleton
Animal paintings by Elin Pendleton, AAEA
Figurative paintings by Elin Pendleton, AAEA
Still life paintings by Elin Pendleton,AAEA
Landscape paintings by Elin Pendleton, AAAEA
One Painting Each Day
Elin Pendleton's Painting Instructional Videos
Elin Pendleton's Instrucitonal Books on Painting
Thoughts for Students
for Collectors
About the Elin Pendleton, Artist

Search Elin's Site
(opens a new page)

Verified Seller

The Daily Paintings
Archives:

2010
january
February
march
April
May
June

2009
january
February
march
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

2008
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

2007
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

2006
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

2005
Most are now on iTunes, with expanded audio commentary.(Opens new page)
Oct
Nov
Dec

Updated 3/29/12

The Daily Paintings and Postcard-Sized Sketches in Oils and Acrylics

Subscribe to Elin's "Daily Paintings" and receive every beautiful painting or lesson in your email through Googlegroups.

Click HERE to Subscribe

To the Archives (keeps you on the same page)

Prices as noted, many are available through Elin's ebay store.

August 2006

1 Lesson Painting, Stage I Lesson, Stage I

I cut the canvas from a roll of primed cotton duck, with three inches to spare on all sides so that the framing gallery can have an easy time of stretching it before they frame it up. Easier to ship to them, too!
Then I coated it with a good layer of gesso, leaving brush marks for interest, and after that dried, I took some bronze yellow (oddball acrylic) and toned the canvas. That's the yellow you see on the lower two-thirds of the image.
I looked over my William Wendt paintings, and the image sent by the decorator/designer, and then drew up my own interpretation of both.
It is odd for me to begin a painting with the sky and paint downward, but the sheer size of the canvas made normal working conditions challenging. Still, I can see the finished painting in my head, so working on any one area isn't too much of a problem. At least not if I keep reminding myself of where and what the focal point is going to be, and therefore subjugating all the rest of that huge canvas to it.
The sky is the usual suspects of Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin and Titanium White, with a touch of yellow ochre to gray the mixes. The clouds lights are Titanium and a touch of cad orange. Distant mountains are grayed versions of Ultra blue and thalo green with burnt umber and white, some of the warmer areas are tinged with yellow ochre.

2

Lesson Painting, Stage 2

The human eye and mind likes areas of interest, and they also like a hierarchy of interest.  Too much the same throughout the painting, and it becomes boring.  If we keep areas of interest subordinate and dominate to one another, we create a subtle tension for the viewer to enjoy.  
  Here's a second exercise.  Turn your head on its side and look at the painting from that angle.  Got it?  See how you can now easily discern the distance put into the further range of mountains by lightening and the softening of the edges?  One doesn't notice this when it is seen "ordinarily", because we are so conditioned to see things this way--we aren't even conscious of it.
  I lightened the distant range of mountains to make them lay down for you.  (Nice doggie.)  The nearmost rocks have a greater contrast of values.  As I paint the close-up vegetation, the contrast between light and dark will increase, as well as the intensity of the colors.
3 Lesson, Finished I know you've been able to to see the progress of this painting, now it is time to enjoy the finished product! You know, I look at it here in its six inch format, and sigh, because one cannot appreciate this painting's presence any more than looking at the paintings of the Old Masters as depicted in a book. There just isn't much comparison, and this is why I so encourage everyone to go to see art on the walls of museums and on pedestals in hallways of venerable establishments. There is just no experience like standing in front of an original Rembrandt, or a Sir Lawerence Alta-Tadema or an Anders Zorn, in total awe of the execution of brushwork, the use of color, or the incredible ease of the color handling.
That said, perhaps we just ought to enjoy the painting and leave it at that. Yes, this painting is already in the hands of the design team for La Quinta. 36 x 48 inch acrylic.
4 I'm up in Ventura County today, and yet I still have thoughts of the desert in my head. This 7 x 5 acrylic has a different palette from the lesson painting of the last three days, and you can see the variance of hue as well as intensity as you look at the various desert plants. The cholla, or "jumping" cactus is so named because the spines have little hooks at the end of them, and seem to jump to attach themselves to any passer-by. It is a nasty cactus to run into. Next to the cholla is what is called "Mexican Sage" or "Texas Ranger" depending upon which region you're in. It has grey-green leaves and bright yellow flowers in Spring.

$100

5

"Egret Regret" This is a nifty acrylic, and 7x5 is a good size to fit any wall, anywhere. I love the versatility of acrylics, and this little painting is no exception. I thought I'd be painting around the town of Ojai, but the loan papers from UPS have not arrived yet (and it is after 9 p.m.) so not only did I miss my 40th reunion waiting, but we still have to find a 24-hour notary to make the signature deadline for the loan. Ah well, is there any recourse? Only to enjoy painting, and being able to do things for oneself. Relying on corporate business is not my chosen thing.

Perhaps I'll get to paint tomorrow... This little one is still available for $100, or I'll give it to anyone who can collar the UPS people and drive bamboo slivers under their name tags.

to the collection of Gayle and David Youngs of Orange, California

6 "Two Trees, Ventura" I love Ventura.  It has always been the precursor and gateway to the drive up to Ojai.  There is a landmark that has been famous since the 1700s when the Spaniards first sailed into the sheltering harbor.  On the top of one of the hills above the town is a place where two oak trees grow.  The Spaniards looked for them out on the ocean, because they knew the safe harbor was below. They are venerable and treasured landmarks.  I, too, always look for them above the city, as it is a comforting welcome, familiar, and a constant.  I've painted them today for you in a 12 x 12 acrylic box canvas (no frame needed), as a memory of those long ago drives from Ojai to Ventura College and every trip back to my home area.  Also, in an incredible coincidence, "Two Trees"  happens to be the name of the road where we will be living if we ever get through the paperwork!  $350 from me, if I decide to sell it.  My studio will be called "Two Trees Art Studio"... if we ever close escrow.

to the collection of Camille Harris of Ventura, California

7 In packing up some paintings today, I came across this painting which is on my site here:

Now, this is not a new one, and I know I painted it with the five-colors-plus-white I had been using for almost three years before becoming frustrated and desirous of a new color system that would work in all lighting situations.  
  It is fun to revisit "old" work, as you grow as an artist.  The painting never really pleased me, because of the overwhelming greens in the scene.  However, had you asked me about it, I'd have whined, "But that's what I SEE!" and continue to dip into the green to capture the trees, grasses and what not.

  I know now that painting a green scene isn't about painting greens, but is about how NOT to paint too much of green to really get the green to play a leading role.  So I pulled out the oils, and set to work, with the end result being the painting below.  It makes me happy to know I have grown enough to recognize the need for change.
  Yes, they are the same paintings!  16 x 20 oil, $440.
8 "Misty Hunt"  It is so much "fun" to pack. Truly an adventure of discovery! I'm finding in my archives some paintings not on the web site--some starts that I never finished, and some I think are candidates for frisbee championships! (That means they'll go some distance before hitting the dirt of the pasture!)  Today's painting is one I started as a demonstration painting in Kentucky a year or so ago, during a workshop. I was asked to depict mist using my color system.  It came back with me, unfinished, a 9 x 12, and never saw the light of day after that.  Today, as I was packing a box of 9 x 12s, it popped up and said, "I'm ready to be finished now."  
  So here he is, the mist and the hounds, two riders, and trees.  $375 unframed.
9 Cleaning out the studio for the move brought this 12 x 16 oil to daylight. Not quite a frisbee,  I had so many good comments on the last "green machine" painting that I thought you'd enjoy the changes wrought to this one, too.  You can probably guess my creative energy is focused not on creating completely new work this week, but in moving an entire studio from Point A to Point B. A smaller canvas than the first "de-greened" one, this was a plein air painting done on location back in 2000.  
  You can see the original version here, well buried on the web site here.
My goodness, what six years can do to an artist!  I'm sure you'll enjoy the first one ("But it was so GREEN that day!", I'd have told you.) and now this one, where I've laid the color system over it to bring it to a much better painting.  I sure like the color on the new one!  What green???? Enjoy! Same price, $225  
 Reinforces for me the certainty that paintings will ALWAYS get better. 

to Linda McFadden of Murrieta, California.

10 Bing Bang, Badda Boom!  That's what cherries do for me!  These luscious dark Bing cherries came home tonight with the groceries and asked to be immortalized forever before disappearing as dessert tonight.  Entitled "Protection", this painting brings more to the eye and mind than just three cherries.  Note the position and the location of the stems.  Do you see the story in the title?   Fun, like life--full of temptations and interesting challenges.  Original 5 x 7 oil

to Patricia Harris of Ragley, Louisiana.

11 Today's painting is a 12 x 12 oil, from material I took at the trials over at San Juan Capistrano a while back.  I did a lot of photo reference of the "backstretch" area, full of grooms, horses waiting for riders and action in the background.  One of the nicely colored horses (buckskin) was playing tug o'war with his groom's cleaning rag, waiting for the rider to come and mount up for the class.  A breeze kicked up, and I just loved the tail and flapping horse clothes!  Now don't get after me about the rear views here, I do like both of 'em!
 
to Elizabeth Smith of Carlisle, Massachusetts.
12

Ah, the tomatoes of summer!  Are there any other fragrances so connecting us to the earth than the sun-warmed scents of a freshly picked, ripe tomato?  Here are three of them, garden fresh, and awaiting addition to the salad of the day.  I ate one of them earlier, right out of my hand, and the flavor is incomparable to anything bought in the store, no matter what time of year.

to Nancy Merrill's collection of Salt Lake City, Utah.

13 Time for a glass of wine, time to relax and enjoy the long day's progress in the move.  A pickup full of artwork, canvases, furniture, and books.  Then we spent the hot part of the day working around inside the place, earning the rich reward of a great bottle of wine upon our return home.  I poured 3/4 glass of this cabernet-sauvignon 2004 and looked at the glow of the rich red color... toasted my spouse and headed for the studio.  This is a 6 x 4 oil, and is still around, although the wine is gone! 

to Nancy Merrill's collection of Salt Lake City, Utah.

14 "Tools of the Trade" Moving has surfaced some interesting tools from the studio depths--these two old tubes of oil paint ended up on the taboret for immortalizaiton before being boxed up and sent to the back of the pickup truck for the move. Still good, these oils have probably been with me since the 70s. That Cadmium Red Medium had a price tag of $1.75! On another note, my first daily painting almost a year ago was the same subject matter--different tube, though. Original Oil, 5x7 $100
15 "Blueberries and Blue Glass" Here's another painting of things I'm uncovering in packing the move.  This small hand-blown glass creamer was my mother's, and she kept it on a window sill where the sun would shine through it.  I used to see it along with the the other glass pieces in the window when I came to visit.  I thought the natural colors of the blueberries would enhance the composition, and placing it all on an orange background makes for a very cheerful image!  Original oil, 7 x 5 inches $100
16 "Mailbox at the New Place" Today my brushes were on something totally different for me--a mailbox!  We have to put in a new box for the mail at the new studio, and my spouse brought home one that will hold small parcels securely.  Of course it has to have the street numbers on it, and if this is the portent of things to come, looks like there are many more painting opportunities ahead on non-normal surfaces!  
  I took a view from the end of the street, and put in the mailbox on the left, and then added the scene of the house as one would see it from that point.  The Reserve is in the background, and I think it portrays the feel of the seclusion.  The numbers were done in thalo blue, to contrast with the usual cool palette of distant landscape. I wanted a loose, fun font for the numbers, so I wouldn't have to live up to the calligraphers on the list! First I had to prep the surface with a sanding to rough up the powder coat finish, and then a layer of gesso before painting this with oils. Original oil, about 6 x 12 inches
17 "Moonrise at the Edge of the Woods"  I have memories of moonrises just like this one, growing up in Virginia. In the summertime, I would be out late playing, and look up to see the moon coming up over the trees.  Growing older, moonrise represented romance, wonderment about my future, and a familiar friend.  Nowadays when I see a full moon rise, I have memories to recall, and enjoy the continuity of this life-long event.  I wonder where and how the moon will rise behind the new place?  Where is your moonrise?  Original oil, 6 x 6 on gallery wrap canvas.  $100
18 "Moonrise #2"  I'm exploring the response of my emotions to the moonrise again with some quick color studies to see if I can capture the essense of a mood. This is such a painting. There are nuances of color and brushwork in this one that are missing from the other one. It is an acrylic, but done without layering. It's interesting to switch between oils and acrylics and to see how the use of one affects the other. Can you tell this is acrylic? 5 x 7.  $100
19 "Moonlight Exercise"  This painting is a really quick study that I'll take with me to Kentucky next month, to help explain the color system for moonlight scenes during the workshop I'll be teaching.  I'll do a second one with far more muted colors, to help the students understand that with advanced practice, the colors you choose become more subtle and thusly more beautiful to the human eye.
  It's an oil, 5 x 7 inches.  The horse was done without any yellow but yellow ochre.
$100
20 "So what's with the moonlight, Elin?" Most probably I'm trying to escape into the darkness from all the issues surrounding the new house.  So busy, every day... 
This 5 x 7 oil is the "other one" for the moonlight explanation in the upcoming workshops.  Note the muted colors!  This one conveys the same feel for moonlight, but is done with very muted colors in the system, following the cool palette completely.  There are no cadmiums in this painting!  Compare it with yesterday's strong colors, and you can see how knowing the system requires time to learn to tone it down.  I've had some nice emails from former students whose work is getting to this new level.
  I wanted to hide when I found some anatomical issues with yesterday's piece and today's already gives me the golly-wobbles when I look at it, but I keep reminding myself "this is a quick study" not a carefully crafted piece destined for some museum somewhere.  Hey, teachers need to make an instructional point sometimes at the expense of drawing accuracy.  Don't shoot me.  I'll fix it.  Last year I used pears.  You can make a lot of anatomical mistakes on pears and nobody cares.  Do a horse wrong and everybody notices... 
21 "Stepping Out"  Now is this appropriate for moving, or what? Ho ho!  Here's a PACK MULE (and I sure can relate as I sit here with aching muscles and unmoved loads!) with a full set of panniers going out on the trail.  Those first few steps are full of resistance to forward movement... like me in the mornings lately!  I do have to say that every day it is getting better--the studio boxes are getting unpacked, plans are unfolding for the canvas and frame storage areas, and I'm even getting ready to dismantle the Hughes easel and send (carry) it over to the new place of honor.  Along with great thoughts like that are ones of today's work.  I spent a good portion of it hacking with a machete at cactus that has been around for fifty years, harboring all sorts of vermin way too close to the house.  Temps in the mid-90s.  Hooked the diesel pickup with a logging chain to one of them, and almost pulled some of it out with great excitement, at least until the chain snapped.  Tomorrow, more of the same.  Painting seems so civilized and genteel compared to machetes and logging chains.  Visions of the rat who stole my digital camera go through my head as I swing the tool.  Makes for efficient slicing of a moist and thorny spindle of green, opening up new views and creating room under the pines.  Maybe I'm a bit "mulish" about it???

to the collection of Charlotte McDavid of Birmingham, Alabama.

22 "Problem Child Revisited" Remember this one? It was a couple months ago (June 17) that I was on location and painted the first version of this 6 x 6 oil. Now, what with moving and chaos abounding, I decided to pick this one up and make some serious surgical changes. Call it a face lift! Compare the prior image to this one, and see if you can see how many design changes I did. Don't say, "you removed the water edge," but rather, "you increased the shape of the water and mirrored the land's shape to create repetition that intrigues the eye." When you make corrections to paintings, use design terms to describe what you did, and that will go a long way to help you know WHY what you did worked. Just saying that I put in some branches only states the obvious. Saying that I keep the viewer's eye from going out of the top of the painting by the shapes of the leaf clusters, says a whole 'nother thing. This one may get more work, but I'm loading the horse trailer with dog kennel panels early tomorrow, so I'm due to do some serious checking of the eyes for light leaks. 'Night.

This painting is no longer available.

23 "Afternoon Pear" One of the handiest tools for teaching is to have an example/sample visual for students to handle when grasping new ideas. Last year I did a series of red pears in all types of light, and since that time, have sold a few of them. Now I'm replacing those missing ones with some new ones. This is the example I'll use to explain the shadow behavior on afternoon light. I've enhanced the shadow a bit for clarity. $100
24 "You Say Tomato" Today's image contains more of the tomatoes that ended up in the salad du jour, but paused for a while on the taboret. I enjoyed painting these fellows because of the need to make them step back in space.  You see, I knew that was my focus before I even lifted a brush. We have tools at our hand to make distance appear on the flat planes of our canvas--saturation, focus, value.  I'm really pleased at how the edges change from tomato to tomato, and how the colors decrease in both value and saturation as the illusion is made to "fall back" in space.  As I sat and looked at their luscious form and color in the studio, that distance and space was not apparent. As artists, we make reality more beautiful.  7 x 5 oil for $100.
25 Every once in a while I find myself painting something totally silly.  Silly sock subjects.  As I was folding laundry this afternoon, I started to see these ordinary socks in a new way.  The character of the socks became more important than their utilitarian purpose.  Arranging them to reveal that character took almost as much time as the creation of the painting itself.  No master piece this, yet I found the painting of socks to be sublimely rewarding and funny.  I'm chuckling as I look at the painting attached, and almost feel as though the Aflack duck is looking back at me.  Who would have thought "Silly Socks" would have such character?  What makes a good painting?  Is it is the subject, or how it is painted, or the story it reveals?
  There's a question for the ages.  5 x 7 Original oil, $100 for a silly painting of silly socks! Good for a laugh anytime.
26 "A Swish and A Wash" I'm never more astonished than when I uncover something that I could hardly remember creating, and moving is really uncovering an interesting array of artwork. Since this is Saturday night, and I'm tired from a long day of moving and cleaning the house for people to see on Sunday, I thought you might enjoy a journey into the past. (Why do people want to see the house when it is in such disarray? These people better buy it!)  
  The story behind this watercolor (!) is that I painted it 38 years ago while enrolled in a figurative painting class at Ventura College, on the coast of California.  Watercolor was how we learned to do quick studies, and I must have done fifty of them. This one was the best of the lot. I gave it to my aunt and uncle, and they had it professionally framed under glass in the gold you see here.  
  The work itself shows youthfulness, no color sense, and yet the proportions on the figure are better than one would expect.  I went through a period of doing quasi-abstractions, mostly to cover a lack of the pure knowledge that comes with time and practice.  I can remember putting in the squares on the lower right, exploring my new knowledge of negative space. I thought that they would add interest and movement.
  As you look at it, I hope you realize that making art is all about growing, not about arriving.  This work is signed in ink with the name I used at that time (Patricia Thomas), lower right, with a number 1/20 as though it was a print. I didn't know squat about print runs, and numbering this original is a splendid example of my ignorance.  20 x 13.5 inches, in gold frame, $300 for a piece of history.
27 "What, Me Warhol?" Moving means emptying out the kitchen, and what is more common than a can of corn? Everybody has a couple of these on the kitchen shelf, and this one didn't get packed today. So it was a late dinner. I enjoyed painting it before digging in, because of the turn of the can from light into shadow meant that I worked through the warms to the cool palette as it slipped into shadow. Ellipses are also a bit fun to do, as the roundness of the can needs to fall back in space. Since I've moved my antique parlor mirror over to the other studio, my "silent critic" is truly silent! Original oil, 7 x 5 inches. $100
28 "The View is History" This 9 x 12 painting came off my brushes tonight. I have been driving back and forth between the old house and the new and one part of my drive takes me through the last of the open space near our old place. Going through the construction zone that USED to be this view is part of that drive. This WAS a particularly beautiful stretch of California fields, backed by these hills, lit in the morning light of an autumn dawn.  Every year the farmer would plant hard winter wheat, and it would go from green in our "winter" to light gold by April, and then be harvested, leaving the wheel tracks in the stubble. Now all of that is gone, under the developer's blade, and never to be seen again.  Houses, streetlights and parked cars replace this beauty.
  Although it breaks my heart, I also feel a small sense of rebellious satisfaction as I preserve the memory forever.  Original oil, 9 x 12 inches, $200

29 "Life in the Field" Tonight's painting is an extension of yesterday's, in that I have returned to the same scene, and added a cow to a new canvas. The cow seems to know changes are coming, ignoring the viewer and staring off into space. Changed the time of day, too, toward noon, and more of the summer light of California.  
 We're having some wildfires in the region, which makes for some spectacular sunsets with the orange cloud cover creating red-orange scenes. Might make a good subject for tomorrow.
This is a 12 x 16 inch canvas, and incorporates the "mama, papa, baby" design theory as put forth by watercolorist and teacher, the late Edgar Whitney. The low values of the shadow and the black on the cow are the baby. It's a good way to easily divide a canvas for pleasing design, and you can find out more about this from his book "Watercolor the Edgar Whitney Way" (I think... because my books are over at the new studio. This painting is entered in the Animals in Art show at the Louisiana Veterinary College.
30 "Evening Glow" Today we received our wifi at the new house, and it was fun to collect emails while sitting outside. In the eveing I was watching the doves come down to drink from the bird fountain in the front yard. I looked up just at dusk to the hills behind the house, and saw this light on the rocks of Box Springs Mountain. I know that we are going to especially enjoy the evening light in the Preserve around us if this is any indication of how it is. Original oil, 7 x 5 inches. $100
31 "Cebolla" is Spanish for onion, pronounced "see-BOW-yah", courtesy of an artist friend Luz Perez, whose studio is called Cebolla Studio. Today's painting slips back into the acrylic world as I get ready to teach the workshop in Lexington in just over a week. I've packed one box and mailed it off, with some supplies and clothes; the second box will go out tomorrow.  Considering that I pack my supplies padded with clothes I intend to wear, I sure hope the boxes make it to Melissa and Bill's farm before I do! Else I'll be in the same clothes for a while. It's fun to come back to acrylics. The workshop is about teaching students to reach beyond the ordinary way of handling them, and to give them tricks and tips about handling this versatile medium. They may paint horses, but they'll paint them in new and different ways!

My emails have increased, and today I found out I was mentioned in the New York Times.  Not sure about it, because I don't have access to the site (too busy to sign up).  I was wondering why there were so many emails... now I know.  Hmmm, I wonder what they said?

to collector Fay Bohlayer of Dawsonville, Georgia.