Welcome to the Creative Catalysts web site. Blog of Artist Marion Corbin Mayer about her art and other adventures.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

12 of 30

French Laundry, 8x8", Oil on canvas panel, $100
12 of 30

Yes, I know, I have fallen a bit behind on the challenge. I accept that the 30 paintings in 30 days is a challenge & goal that may not exactly fit the reality of my life.  I do intend to keep striving though!

This piece is based on an image I snapped in Belaye, France.  On the other side of that low wall is a cliff, with the Lot river valley opening up below. Vineyards & sunflower fields are far as the eye can see...

I have a show opening tomorrow night at a very nice new gallery in Cincinnati called "Art on Vine".  I am so happy to have been included in this group show.  It's really great to see my work collected in one place, too.


 


Two pieces were inspired by our trip to Paris & Giverny in 2011, the rest came from images from our trip to southern France this past summer.  We stayed at www.hautbaran.com & it was amazing. If you ever want to visit France with people who create an amazing experience FOR you, this is the place!

If you are in the Cincinnati area, please come to our opening tomorrow night, details follow the link below.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Information on my upcoming group show "Inspired by Abroad" can be found here

Sunday, January 11, 2015

11 of 30

Shh! It's a Secret!, 8x10", Oil on Panel, private commission
#11 of 30

So here it is - my secret commission for an anniversary gift TODAY!  Hope she likes it. He was happy with it. I am pretty darn happy as well.  I love the moment when the dog's personality emerges from the paint.  Because this is a black dog & black can be such a "dead" color I worked in a lot of other colors. I think this is the best dog nose I have ever painted.  The anatomy of dog noses is really weird (IMHO). It is gratifying to be getting a hang of it.

Here's the magic behind the scenes...



at this point I always think, "Great heavens! What have I done?"






A grand day's work! Since I had this done already I was able to spend this afternoon doing some framing for my upcoming show. The opening is this Friday. See link below. Hope you can come!

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Information on my upcoming group show "Inspired by Abroad" can be found here

Saturday, January 10, 2015

10 of 30. 1/3 though the month!

Castlefranc Bridge. 6x6" Watercolor
10 of 30

Again I went to my photos from France for inspiration tonight.  We painted this bridge on location in Castlefranc (means "free castle") I was able to catch someone wearing a bright blue shirt gazing at the waters.  Didn't make it into my oil sketch but made it into this watercolor.  It was a beautiful morning to be out painting in France.  We went into town & enjoyed a picnic lunch in a wonderful community garden, then explored a church that had been built in 1465.  Before "Columbus sailed the ocean blue..."  The beauty of this area of France is that it had no strategic importance so was spared both WW1 & WW2. So much stuff is really, really old there.

My oil sketch was way more somber:

Castlefranc, 6x6", oil on panel
It's fun to wallow in summer memories when it's 20 degrees with sleet and ice predicted...

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Information on my upcoming group show "Inspired by Abroad" can be found here

Friday, January 09, 2015

9 of 30

Haut Baran Hydrangeas, 8x10", Pastel on Panel, $225
9 of 30

Today I attended a pastel class led by Ray Hassard (www.rayhassard.com). I have been working with Ray for many years. I love his teaching style and wonderful work. I own two of his pieces. It was a grand afternoon plus I managed to complete another painting.  This is the third version of this scene that I have painted, first on location in oil, then in watercolor from a sketch I started on location and now in pastel. I think this is the most successful.


H.B. Hydrangeas, 6x8", oil on panel
x
H.B. Hydrangeas, 7x5", Watercolor
The process of painting in pastel is very different than oil or water color.  There are so many colors to use (I've been collecting pastels for years!)

Start with a sketch, then build up the darks




My pastel collection in my Heilman "backpacker" box
http://heilmandesigns.com/?product=heilman-backpack-pastel-box

The thing to know about pastels is no matter how many you own there are way more lovely colors to lust over...  I am concentrating on using what I have. We are blessed in Cincinnati to have Great American Pastels manufactured right here.  http://www.greatpastels.com/

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Information on my upcoming group show "Inspired by Abroad" can be found here

Thursday, January 08, 2015

8 of 30

Apples, 6x6" Watercolor
8 of 30
 Today it was very, very cold. We began the day below zero & made it up to 18 degrees. Walking a dog in this weather is very challenging. And yet I managed to get to my swim exercise class and assorted other commitments. Painting at the studio was replaced by packing up a painting to mail and .. and...

So here I am tonight back with my watercolors at home.  I based this painting on a shot I toook looking UP into an apple tree last summer. We have one tree in our neighborhood that the deer love. The owners don't seem to like apples.  It's a good tree.  I just feel uncomfortable harvesting a tree not on my property.  As I said, the deer love the apples, as do the yellow jackets.  The sight reminds me of summer.  and being warm.  I am grateful to be snug & warm at home tonight.

I play with watercolors. These are my travel kits.
I hope that you too are warm & dry tonight!

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Information on my upcoming group show "Inspired by Abroad" can be found here

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

7 of 30

Sarlat Hydrangeas, 6x6", watercolor, $75
7 of 30

Today I completed a secret pet portrait that is scheduled to be given as a gift this weekend to a lucky person (IMHO).  I will post it Sunday after delivery. So I needed to paint a second painting to post today.  It's really, really cold in Cincinnati tonight. I decided to work in watercolors since I am home, safe & warm. I can't work in oils at home because we have cats who get into everything.

My home studio

I loved the hydrangeas of France, as well as the blue, blue pottery.  While visiting Sarlat on market day, we stopped for lunch at this restaurant (displaying the hydreangeas) for a traditional mushroom omlette.  The side benefit to sitting down in a restaurant vs buying your lunch at one of the many vendors is you get access to the flush toilet / restroom in the restaurant vs the crude public facilities.  Well worth the money & wait (again, IMHO)  The mushrooms of the region are amazing!

Rosalee Haas shows off the mushrooms collected in the nearby woods.  www.hautbaran.com
Here are a few more images of the market day, Sarlat, FR.

There were many streets filled with booths, then at 1 pm they all disappeared.


Sausages!

More sausages...
I truly loved my time in France.  Everywhere you look there was a potential painting.  Truly visual overwhelm.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Information on my upcoming group show "Inspired by Abroad" can be found here

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

6 of 30

Sarlat Strawberries, 6x6", Oil on Panel, $75
#6 of 30
Today was challenging, full of errands to suppot my husband (aka "el Patrone") plus I had a lovely reflexology session with Gary Hopkins (www.findingsource.com)  Thai Reflexology with Gary really helps my plantar faciatis issues.  Since I have upped my walking to satisfy the tyranny of my new fitbit, my feet hurt more.  However, I am still aiming for that 10,000 steps a day goal.

This painting was inspired by an image I took in Sarlat, France, on market day.  The strawberries in France are red all the way through, unlike those in the USA.

nom... nom... nom...
There was so much to see on market day it was really hard to choose where to focus. I took a ton of shots to keep me inspired throughout the upcoming grey Ohio winter.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Information on my upcoming group show "Inspired by Abroad" can be found here