Recently Sold: "Steaming Tea" oil painting by Tricia Cherrington Ratliff

My recent painting called "Steaming Tea" took a short tour before finding it's collector home.

First, this painting was selected as a marketing feature painting for a recent "Something Hot" exhibit in Leesburg. At the time it wasn't varnished because I had just finished it. Then, it came along to Broadway Gallery in Alexandria to be shown during my still life drawing demo ... if you check my profile photo you'll see it hanging above my head during the demo. Shortly after that, it was selected by Ventana Fine Art to exhibit in Santa Fe.

From it's first days, the painting has gotten a lot of attention and many people approached me to share their enjoyment of it. Their responses ranged from the warm feeling it evoked, enjoyment of the flowing steam and curiosity about the technical aspects of painting that hot red. Your responses to the painting have made it that much more special.

So, when I met the collectors who purchased it during the Historic Canyon Road Paint Out, it charmed me to know where it was going. It will hang in one of the homes of a very warm art collector couple here in Santa Fe.

Goodbye Steaming Tea ... I'll miss you but have enjoyed our time together.


Great Days in Santa Fe

The weather in Santa Fe has been AMAZING! It's cold at night but beautiful each day here. A few artist friends and I are hoping for good weather tomorrow because we'll be outside painting in the Historic Canyon Road Paint Out. I also delivered a new painting to the gallery today ... and will share a photo of that in my next newsletter -> http://tricia.fineartstudioonline.com/email-newsletter

This trip has been wonderful. I've been staying in a great adobe home just four blocks from canyon road. Adobe has an insulating quality that catches the daytime sun and keeps the home warm all night. I find this fresh, quiet air so soothing.

Poem: Landscape Painting by Theresa Ann Moore.

Brush strokes with tints, line, and texture
From an artist’s palette willingly surrender
Lending to interpretation of visual conjecture
With inspired mastery they convincingly render

Focus and purpose of intent adhere to the surface
Locking in the impressions of sunlight and shade
Leaves on trees shimmer with coolness beneath…
Near a curving brook that invites an ankle deep wade

Veiling clouds give movement to the atmosphere
A mountain of strength is admiringly proclaimed
Flowering trees bloom and scent the tranquil air
The completed painting will forever stay the same

As the landscape of reality changes day by day
Skies turn to gray and become a menacing threat
Storms with burnishing winds mercilessly obliterate
Streams overflow as trees stand in naked silhouette

Return to the consistency of yesterday’s serenity
Seek the gentle warmth of the season and reminisce
Captured images are sustained within the picture frame
Calming with a tender embrace and a comforting kiss


Historic Canyon Road Paint Out - Looking forward

Historic Canyon Road Paint Out

As the days here in Virginia grow cooler and the weather has drawn us back outside I'm looking forward to flying to New Mexico to participate in the Annual Historic Canyon Road Paint Out for the first time in 2012 and will be painting at Ventana Fine Art.

I'm already thankful to artist friend Wendy Higgins for enthusiastically telling me about this event last year. She describes it as a wonderful day where artists of varied interests all come out together and have a great time creating. It's not a competition but a good old fashioned paint out where anything goes. It's this kind of camaraderie that creates a beautiful balance in the independent lifestyle of many studio artists. While our contemplative life in the studio or daily experience of painting alone "en plein air" affords us plenty of peaceful time that many of us cherish - the bursting dialog of visual ideas is an equally important and stimulating treat.

Come listen with your eyes!

If you're in town, please drop by and see me outside Ventana at 400 Canyon Road. The Fifth Annual Historic Canyon Road Paint out takes place from 10am - 3pm on Saturday October 20th in Santa Fe.

For more information about the event visit the event's webpage:
Fifth Annual Historic Canyon Road Paint Out

To see my latest artwork , learn about upcoming events, private lessons and educational opportunities sign up for my newsletter at: http://tricia.fineartstudioonline.com/email-newsletter and visit my website http://www.triciaratliff.com


Teacher ... What's on Your Palette and why isn't it on the materials list?

I kind of chuckled as I wrote the title to this post.

The previous post led me to the realization that I never give students a straight answer when they ask "What colors are on your palette". The truth is that it changes based on the goal of the painting. But, for the sake of sharing I'm going to write down what I'm thinking when I load up paints and see if it's useful to others.

First, when I'm starting a painting I ask myself if it needs to be hot and bright, subtle grey tones, old master, tight, loose etc.

Then, I decide if I'm going to finish it all in one sitting or work through many layers to get a particular look.

Those considerations determine what I lay out on the palette. I always set out my basic limited palette of 4-5 colors: Alizeron Chrimson, White, Ultramarine Blue, Indian Yellow and sometimes Cadmium Lemon Yellow. From these colors I can create a surprising range of temperatures in a painting with soft tones. I leave space between these colors for others that I might add for another simultaneous painting. Transparent Red Oxide and Thalo blue are often the first to be added because this combo gives me two of each primary. So, if you walk into my studio, you'll see the following.

- White
- Alizeron Crimson
- Transparent Red Oxide
- Indian Yellow
- Cadmium Lemon
- Ultramarine Blue.
- Thalo Blue

Then ... I have some favorites below that I add when the situation calls for them. Usually, the "situation" is something unusual like I want to get some screaming hot pinks, or maybe a little color vibration on a turquoise glass bottle. I might use a variety of reds next to each other if I want to create a shimmery glowing red. Finally, orange, cerulean, naples yellow, purple and kings blue are colors that are quick problem solvers for various situations like quick portrait oil sketches.

- Quinocridone Red or Quinocrdone Magenta (Don't always need Alizeron)
- Napthol Red or Parylene Red (transparent)
- Cadmium Bright Red
- Cadmium Orange
- Cadmium Yellow
- Thalo Green (sometimes Viridian)
- Thalo Turquoise
- Sap Green (I love juxtaposing this with Thalo)
- Cerulean Blue or Kings Blue (if I'm working on a 2 hour portrait sketch)
- Cobalt Blue
- Cobalt Violet (I only seem to use this for quick floral shadows)
- Manganese or Dioxazine Purple (depending on whether I want bluer vs redder)
- Naples Yellow (I've used just this and Trans Red Oxide for dramatic oil sketches)

So, take a look at my palette on any given day and a few pigments from the second list will be added to the first list. Look closely and you'll probably see that selected grouping of color has something to do with the subject of the painting.

The bottom line is that together this is a long list when you really consider that there are twice as many optional colors as there are baseline colors.

The reason I don't mention the great old faithful colors like ivory black, cadmium red deep/dark, cadmium red, yellow ochre, mars yellow, burnt sienna, prussian blue etc. is that with such a wide range of colors in the two lists above, these remaining colors are easy to make or replace. It just never crosses my mind to buy them. For example, transparent orange is a really useful color -> you can mix it almost exactly by using a transparent yellow with parylene red. When I put them on the palette it's usually because I want to use up an old tube that has been patiently waiting in the bottom of the paint box.

That's the most direct answer I can give. If you are a student you are welcome to sit down with this post and my paint box to get a feeling for which paints have been relegated to the crease behind the main compartment ... and why.

Wishing you a fun day of painting!