Mushroom Tea I (WIP)

Mushroom Tea I (WIP)  7 - Marie Cameron 2015 sm

This week before Halloween seems a good a time as any to begin work on my barn owl.  This bird, who goes by the name of Owlivia at the local Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center, is paired with an Aynsley teacup (circa 1939) filled with trumpet mushrooms. I love the woodland magic of this combination – now to try and do it some justice with paint! Loose sketch in oil. …

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Tulip Tea I (WIP)

Tulip Tea I (WIP) 6 - Marie Cameron 2015 sm

I’ve begun a new bird & teacup piece. This time a Purple Finch (the only red bird I’ve shot) with a Coalport teacup paired with some vintage redwork embroidery, calico and red and white striped tulips. I start, as always with a loose, painting directly on the prepared board. I really should have worked the background first but I decided to block in my reds instead. Eager to see some …

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Painting Wildflower

Wildflower - WIP day 1 - Marie Cameron 2015

I love starting a new piece first thing on a Monday morning, with whole week stretching out before me for miles and miles and nothing on my schedule but a paintbrush! I feel a fresh sense of ease and possibility! I’m so excited to be working on this painting!  It’s a portrait of a singing man, wearing the wreath of wildflowers his daughter had just made. I’m going to try and …

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Seeing Stars

Seeging Stars detail  WIP sm

Seeing Stars is in response to the unprecedented mass die off of sea stars up and down the Pacific coast. This wasting disease, marked by lesions and rapid decomposition of the stars (where limbs will even tear themselves away from the body) is thought to be caused by the Densovirus. Although this virus has been found to be present in sea stars since the 40s, it has never been known …

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Blue Pool - Interference Marie Cameron 18 x 36 in Photography 2014 smsm

I was mesmerized when the television transmission I had been watching broke up into colorful pixelations of abstract patterns before my eyes. Not only was it more beautiful and engaging than the program I had been watching but I was also fascinated by how the human mind likes imagine recognizable forms in the chaos. I quickly took a number of photographs, appreciating the transcendence of this moment of technological breakdown. …

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Training Wings – WIP

Training Wings - Marei Cameron 2014 oil  web sm

Opps! How am I saying yes to yet another benefit? I’m going to blame it on Holly Muñoz, she’s not only a musician and songwriter but she’s a real sweet talker!  She thought it would be fun if the two of us got together and collaborated on a painting and a song for The Imagine Bus Project and their Finding Your Wings event coming up in December.     So …

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More Lures & a Big Red Dot

Painting of Lure - (red brush) Marie Cameron sm 2014

Sometimes its hard to adequately describe why I’m attracted to things. Or maybe it isn’t. Perhaps I can speak ad infinitum  / ad nauseam about it ( hereby exhausting all my Latin) but the real question is will what seems seductive and symbolic and intriguing to me speak to anyone else in the same way? So here it is: the very idea of a lure is fascinating, the idea of …

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Mother of Pearl Lures

Panting Mother of Pearl Lures - Marie Cameron 2014 A sm

Before there was plastic, there was shell. Victorians used to make fishing lures from the mother of pearl of large shells. The chatoyance of the layers of nacre glowing softly underwater like the scales of a minnow, the red and white feathers giving just the right flip of a tail and the red dot would have simulated the eye.       These lures are the subject of the new …

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Painting on the Edge

Shards - Point Alones (painted edge 2) Marie Cameron 2014 sm

Traditionally, the edge of a canvas is not painted. It was probably easier to roll up this way or maybe it was just because the edges wouldn’t show under a big heavy frame. Frames have been optional for a long time. Modern work required a modern way of thinking about exhibiting pieces and frames seemed old fashioned, fussy and pretentious. Today anything goes as long as it is in keeping …

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Painting Pansy Tea for Two

Pansy Tea For Two - WIP 5- Marie Cameron 2014 sm

I couldn’t resist painting another Pansy Teacup and Lesser Goldfinch combo. I decided to keep with the ring theme too. I think it adds to the symbolism of the pansy  - “Think of me”. There will still be pattern in the background but I painted in the base first, after my outline sketch. Notice how the hue is warmer closer to the light source then gets progressively cooler and darker …

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Painting of Rose Tea

Rose Tea WIP 11 - Marie Cameron 2014

It all starts with the teacup. I like a vintage piece with a fabulous form, a little iridescence or gilt (for the light to play on) and, most importantly, a flower or fruit that I have either in my garden or someone else’s! Then I like to to a bird that compliments the still life. Here I thought an Anna’s Hummingbird  would be the right scale and it’s plumage echoes the golds and …

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Painting Pansy Tea

Pansy Tea WIP 6 - Marie Cameron 2014 sm

Now that I have my reference material all composed, I am able to precede with my Pansy Tea painting. I like to sketch out my outlines with thinned oils on a white ground. I feel it helps me to maintain a clarity and vibrancy of color. I begin to block in a bit of color as I feel more confident about the way the drawing is going. Since the bird …

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Making Pansy Tea

Pansy Tea Prototype 1  - Marie Cameron 2014 web sm

Those wild birds simply refuse to join me in the studio but through the miracle that is Photoshop I am able to integrate my birding photos with my still-life set ups. I can use my magic lasso and drag them about with my mouse, scale them up or down and even flip them if so required until they find their place in the composition. So immediate, so satisfying!  Here’s a …

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Forget-me-not Tea and Feathers WIP

Forget-me-not Tea WIP Marie Cameron 2014 7 sm

A little birdie told me to get out my tea cups again! This time it’s a bluebird of happiness alighting upon the forget-me-nots plucked from my garden and an art deco teacup I found at a local antique shop. I began sketching with my brush and thinned oils directly on the 12 x 12″ canvas. Sadly, my sweet little drawing was off center and it’s important to me that the …

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Painting Point Alones Abalone

Point Alones Abalone in progress 5- Marie Cameron 2014 sm

Ah  Abalone! I’ve been wanting to attempt a large scale painting of abalone for some time now. I’m stunned by how this once plentiful mollusk, so vital to an equally struggling sea otter population, had become so severely depleted in less than a century. I don’t want to simply paint the masses of shells that use to litter the beaches but I also want to introduce other elements that would …

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The Perfect Stretcher

Stretcher 7 sm

I think what separates the art student from the professional artist is the quality of their stretcher. (OK, so maybe that’s the least of it ), but it certainly feels that way sometimes. As a student it was all about experimenting with materials, with the image. These paintings were often ephemeral – try something and maybe paint over it and try something else. You didn’t really worry if someone was …

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Other Side of the Easel

On the other side of the easel  photo by Jeff Owen 2014

Well this was fun! Portrait artist Mark Nardini needed a volunteer from the audience to model for his classical painting technique demo for the Los Gatos Art Association’s March meeting. It’s been years since I’ve been on this side of the easel so I thought I’s give it a whirl (besides, they said I could take the painting home)! This classical technique involves a careful tonal underpainting that’s very thin …

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Painting Orchard I

Orchard I - Marie Cameron oil 20 X 20 2014 sm

I don’t care what the calendar says – once the trees start blooming it’s spring! I just have to set aside whatever it is that I’m trying to will myself to do in honor the season. This week I was inspired by both a trip to a stormy orchard in Saratoga and a landscape painting demonstration given by Karen White at the Los Gatos Art Association. She has a stylized …

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Painted Chair Project

Painted Chair Project - picking my chair at the Woman's Club of Palo Alto - Marie Cameron 2013 sm

Started work on my 1930′s folding chair today! I’m painting this chair as part of a joint fundraiser for the Pacific Art League and the Woman’s Club of Palo Alto. There will be a gala fundraiser in March where some 100 chairs all painted by different artists will be auctioned off. So far my favorite part was adding real rose branches to the legs and stretchers of the chair. I love …

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Painting Rose Petals V

Painting of Rose Petals V- Marie Cameron 2013 6 sm

A loose outline in hot pink. Blocking in some mid-tones. Trying out a few highlights early on. Trying to create a swirling action. Icing the cake. Paying attention to building up the volume of the center head of the rose. I hate to leave it here, but  I’m going to have to come back to it tomorrow to pump up the Fragonard factor – damn these short days! Day 2 …

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