Post Surgery Painting #3

Monument Valley Clouds

This little oil has a lot in it. 9″ x 12″

I finished this Post Surgery Painting #3 and feel really good about it. I went to a bigger size canvas – 9″ x 12″ – because tiny was so limiting (see Post Surgery Painting #2). My subject matter was so busy that a small format would do it no justice. Even this size is too small, but I can always do a bigger one later on.

Again I worked on remembering all the info that I have learned about landscape paintings. I keep hearing all the tips and advice from artists who’s workshops I have taken. Especially Dave Santillanes! He had great advice for us when he was teaching us this past summer. I also keep hearing my friend, Sue McKelvy, and her great teaching and advice she’s given me over the years.

This painting is from a photo taken by Sue in Monument Valley. It was such a lovely vista that I wanted to paint it. The only thing that would have made it better was to be there in person with my easel all set up and ready to go.

I think this little painting turned out well. My shoulder and arm are not as sore as from #2 and I was able to keep on with my day. I’m getting ready for the Plein Air Convention 2016 in Tuscon and feel I’ll have the stamina to paint a bit each day. Until then…..!


Post Surgery painting #2

Monument Valley Juniper

Tiny painting from a photo take by my friend, Sue McKelvy. 5″ x 7″

I attempted to paint again, about 10 weeks after my shoulder surgery. The first painting (See Post Surgery Painting,  April 6, 2016) I did turned out well so I thought I’d give it another go.  This time I used an image my friend, Sue McKelvy, had taken on a trip she and her husband took to Monument Valley. They rode their horses around (with a guide) for over a week and took lots of great images home. I liked the juniper tree and the angle of the slope it is growing on.

I used a very tiny canvas, 5″ x 7″, as I didn’t want to go too big and tire out my shoulder and arm. I did feel a bit constrained by the small size but it was a good exercise. I practiced remembering composition, value and color techniques. I was afraid the things that had become second nature to me were lost in the fuzzy recesses of my brain. But those artistic skills are still there, whew!

After I did this painting, my arm was so tired and my shoulder was aching. I had to do nothing for the next day and recuperate. But I’m glad I did it and won’t stop now!!!

Post Surgery Painting

Earlier this year I had a shoulder surgery to repair a torn biceps tendon as well as my rotator cuff. Ever since mid-January, I’ve been unable to do much in the studio. To be honest, I’ve been unable to do much of anything for a couple months after surgery. After recuperating and starting physical therapy, I’ve been able to do a lot more. I finally got into the studio this week and was able to do a little oil painting.

Value Study of Mt Lamborn

This is a monochromatic value study of Mt Lamborn, near my house.

For my first exercise back into things, I did a small value painting (also called monochromatic painting). I thought it was a good idea to revisit the things I’ve learned to get my muscle memory to come back. I can’t say it was easy because it was difficult to hold the brush and also hold my arm up for any length of time. I had a nerve block in my neck to help with pain control and one of the side effects is some nerve damage. Which can be overcome as the nerves are busy re-routing themselves. Every day I feel a bit more control is returning to my fingers and hand. My wrist still feels like I sprained it similar to when you slip and fall ice skating. My arm muscles are protesting and I know I still am not supposed to use them very much.

Next week I am going to the Plein Air Magazine’s Plein Air Convention in Tuscon with my artist friend, Susan McKelvy. I feel strong enough to participate in several days of plein air painting and workshops with some of the leading painters around. I am just not sure my skills are back up to par with where they were before my surgery. I’ll report back……