Tag Archives: painting

A Succulent Affair

I admit that I have an obsession with succulents. Thankfully, its not a fatal attraction. Its hard to kill one…even the leaves will start growing roots! My attraction has produced several paintings. If I get a good photo sometimes I paint it more than once.

I like to experiment and use different mediums, change the composition, and see what I can do with it. Sometimes, the combination is so successful that I produce a series using the same concept but with different photos, like my Shadow Dance series. I have this amazing agave that is producing pups like crazy. I took some photos of it and the shadows on all the pups just really stood out and when I painted them, they turned into the focus. These little gems are painted on an upcycled panel from an art crating warehouse that ships art for museums. I love these little panels. They are covered in a brown paper that I primed so I could paint over it. The brown paper is what you see in the background.

ShadowDanceCollage

Another painting I’ve done 3 different ways is the Prickly series. I just liked the photo so much that I kept painting it. The first one I painted is the pastel on black paper in the middle. I love the texture in that paining. The second one was a commission that I did and its a very large oil paining (3’x5′), the details and soft color changes in the agave’s petals are beautiful, you can really get lost in it. The last one, on the right is my most recent rendition. I have been working on a series of small paintings on paper with acrylic. With all the different mediums and surfaces, the effect produced is entirely different.

Prickly Collage

I was asked to paint a series of my agave and succulents on paper for a show at the Rebecca Molayem Gallery this past July. I had seen some new paper from Arches at Blick that you could paint with oils on without any additional prep work. So I bought several sheets of it and created these paintings.

MolayemCollage

The original paintings are available on my website athenamantle.com. You can find these and my other southwest prints on FineArtAmerica.com

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Filed under Art Exhibition, Art Work, Succulents

Vintage Cars

I’m not sure why but I seem to have an obsession with vintage cars.  I guess they are more interesting than your average modern car.  They have interesting shapes and colors.  I would love to have one but fear I wouldn’t like the lack of modern niceties that come with cars these days like um….power steering, seat belts, power windows, oh and my favorite feature, power locks. My favorite thing about my Prius isn’t the gas mileage, but that is nice I admit, its the keyless entry.  I hate searching in my purse for keys!  I love that my car knows I’m there and unlocks the door for me!  But you don’t want to know how lazy I am so let me tell you about my vintage truck paintings.

Somehow I am always finding cool vintage cars in my travels.  I think its one of those things that when you like something you see it all around.  I’ve managed to get some great shots of these cars and make paintings of them.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.  There is one location in Lyons, Colorado that I took several shots of and ended up making 3 paintings from.  I’m not sure if I can squeeze out one more but it was just such a great subject!  That blue truck made it into all three! Here they are in the order they were painted:

Here are some more of my vintage finds…

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Good Shepherd Charity Design Project

Today designer Mollie Ranize picked up my painting “New Blue Agave” for her design project at the Good Shepherd Homeless Center for Women and Children where she is beginning her transformation of one of the many rooms that are part of the Good Shepherd Design Project.

Mollie makes sure to stay connected with the design community through her professional memberships with ASID, NKBA and USBGC.  She is also a regular contributor to many environmental, animal and human welfare organizations.

Her interior design studio ranges from large scale residential renovations, exclusive photography and production studios, restaurants and lounges to highly publicized health and fitness centers. dmar interiors is a well versed design company with impeccable attention to detail, respect for budget and belief that customer service is what makes the most positive outcome on a project.

I’m excited to see how she incorporates the piece in the renovated room.  I’ll share some photos when we get the big reveal!  Happy Designing Mollie!

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Celebrating Women Artists of Southern California

The Women’s City Club of Pasadena at The Historic Blinn House is pleased to announce “Spring Forward – Celebrating Women Artists of Southern California.”  The exhibition, which runs from May 1 through July 30, 2011, features fifty paintings by seventeen Southern California women artists.  It will be the first exhibition produced by Margaret Danielak, The Women’s City Club of Pasadena’s new Curator of Exhibitions.  

The “Spring Forward” exhibition features the work of artists Ruth Olenick, Beth Summers, Carol Steinberg, Elizabeth Wallace, Linda DuPas, Frances C. Muenzer, Ellen Brown, Barbara Thorn-Otto, Julie Snyder, Kate Moriarty, Beverly Lazor, Athena Mantle, Anna T. Kelly, Judy Taussig, Marian Fortunati, Merrilyn Duzy and Robin Neudorfer.

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The Blinn House was built in 1905 for lumber baron Edmund Blinn and his family.  The Blinns hired popular Chicagoarchitect, George Washington Maher to design their Californiahome in the Midwestern Prairie School Style.  The building has been home to The Women’s City Club since 1945 and continues to serve the Pasadena community as a meeting place for civic, cultural, and educational activities.

“Spring Forward” will be on view from May 1 through July 30, 2011.   The Women’s City Club of Pasadena is located at 160 N. Oakland Avenue in Pasadena, CA  91101.  Parking is accessible behind the building from Madison Avenue.   The phone is 626-796-0560 and website is www.womenscityclub.com

 The Women’s City Club of Pasadena is open for art viewing Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  During the run of the exhibition, Curator Margaret Danielak will be on hand for special viewing hours on Fridays from 3 pm until 5 pm and by appointment.  Margaret Danielak may be reached through her blog at www.gallerywithoutwalls.blogspot.com , via email at Margaret.danielak@gmail.com or via phone at 626-683-9922. 

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Filed under Art Exhibition, Art Work, Oil Paintings, Pastel, Plein Air Painting, Succulents

Artists Against Drugs

I firmly believe that drugs are not the answer. Unfortunately, so many people turn to drugs not only recreationaly but through prescriptions from trusted professionals to “handle” problems that they have no solution for. I understand the need to make the problems go away but I’ve never believed that taking a pill would solve anything.
I support the non-profit Say No To Drugs every year by running (ok, mostly walking) the 5K held at Universal Studios.  When I was approached by the group’s organizer, Ryan Kugler, to donate art to the Artists Against Drugs Art Show I was delighted to contribute. The show is Saturday the 21st of May at Satine Boutique in West Hollywood.  I hope you will join me in supporting this group by attending the art show and hopefully taking home a piece of art to call your very own.  I’m told there is art from all kinds of artists including some by actor Jason Lee (My Name is Earl).  Who knows what kind of celebrity folk might show up for this! 
It’s sure to be a fun night…I hope to see you there!
Athena

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Just Plein Painting It!

It has been my goal to get out there and paint the world in real life – not using photos. So, this past week I did just that. I thought I’d take a moment to share with you what I did.

I started last week inside a friends house with some lovely Iceberg roses that caught my eye.  I decided I’d try making a pastel sketch and then do a painting for each subject.

These were both painted “al a prima” or in one sitting.  I am not sure if it’s just the rectangular orientation of the pastel or what but I prefer the pastel on this subject. How about  you?

The next day I was able to capture a succulent with pastels in my friend’s backyard. This was fun because all the other succulents I’ve painted have been from photos.

“Iceberg Roses” and  “Propagation” are available in my Esty shop.

Stay tuned for more plein air painting and I’d love to get your feedback, so feel free to leave a comment!

Happy painting!

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Just Plein Motivation

I find it hard to get out there with the easel and paints and just start creating.  I liken it to getting out to exercise.  Sometimes it’s just hard to get past the comforts of home and get out there. I took a workshop in plein air painting recently and really enjoyed it. It is a whole new world for painting, I think it stretches your creative muscles much more than painting in a studio from photos. I even went so far as to buy a painting box meant for this activity as the French easel I bought was so huge and clunky compared to what all the other students had. Not to mention I brought every brush I own and the instructor teased me about it. It really does helps to have the right equipment and not a stitch more. The idea of lugging a huge easel, all the paints, turpentine, brushes, towels, canvas or boards, etc. to some beautiful remote location made me forget the idea the minute I considered it. Taking photos was a much more appealing option.

I just came across this great article by Lori McNee which I really does give that needed motivation to get out there and paint!  http://www.finearttips.com/2011/03/10-motivating-tips-for-the-plein-air-painter/.  Read it and subscribe to her blog, she’s full of good information for artists.

Below is a slideshow to give you a glimpse of the fun I had at Frank Serrano’s urban painting workshop, in and around downtown Los Angeles.

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Filed under Art Work, Oil Paintings, Plein Air Painting