Introduction

Hello!  My name is Susan Gupton and today, I am opening a portal into my world of painting!  I work with, primarily, oil on canvas.  I love still life, portraits and plein air for subject matter.  I would classify my work as painterly realism.  Painting has a certain “zen” for me.  It is challenging, enlightening and brings colors to the canvas I had not noticed in the actual subject.  When I look at one of my finished paintings, I always remember the journey and what I learned by taking that first step.  I hope I can share these steps with you!  Art is not always how an artist interprets a subject.  It is, more importantly, how the artist’s work speaks to a viewer!

Bridge

Bailey II

Bailey was at Scottsdale Artists School yesterday for the first time. You may remember the first drawing of Bailey was at the Loft, a couple of months ago.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the Saturday afternoon drawing session. Downtown Scottsdale temperatures were in the high 80′s, and the streets were full of sunshine and tourists checking out the local art galleries. As I left the Studio, I spotted a horse and carriage pulling smiling tourists past the iconic galleries and eateries. My camera unfortunately, was in my backpack in the back of my car.

Anyway, my choice was a sitting pose instead of just her face. Bailey has such beautiful eyes, I wish I had gone for the close up! But every painting is a lesson and the three-hour session was over all too quickly.

We had a surprise visit from David Kassan, who will be doing a demonstration at 5 o’clock PM Sunday night at the Legacy. David is truly a living master, and we will get an opportunity to watch his process and understand how he works to achieve his life portraits.

His model for Sunday night? Our very own Bailey! I caught a sneak peek of his charcoal sketch, he did of Bailey this afternoon. All I’m saying is that Sunday night is going to be very exciting!

I’ll be sure to catch a picture or two to share on Artsprings!

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Contemplation of Autumn

Autumn came to sit for us at Scottsdale Artist School a few weeks ago — a beautiful girl, with short, black hair and dark eyes. I loved her peaceful demeanor and quiet beauty. A wonderful Saturday afternoon painting Autumn, and this is the result.

“Contemplation of Autumn” is an 11×14 oil on canvas-board, as well as a part of the “Painting Today” collection.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope your quiet moments are as graceful and serene as Autumn herself!

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Vanessa #2

Vanessa graced a “Monday Night — Open Session” at Scottsdale Artist’s School a week or so ago.

I love how she always changes things up for us, doing different things with her hair and dress but always leaves in the grace and beauty that makes Vanessa sparkle.

“Vanessa #2″ is a 12×16 oil on canvas-board and is part of the “Painting Today” series.

I hope that your day is something you get through as gracefully as Vanessa does a 3 hour session with a bunch of artists painting her. She is amazing!

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Vanessa

Painting Vanessa is always fun. Her hair is always different, her makeup perfect and her poses are always interesting.

We were talking during her break, and I told her that I must have six paintings of her at home that I have done.

She laughed and said, “you must be getting sick of me by now!”

I told her “No, I loved painting her and getting to know her and her approaches to posing always keeps it fresh for me as an artist.” And, at the same time, I know that she can go back to her poses after the break and recapture the grace that she possesses in each of her poses.

This “Vanessa” is an 11×14 oil on canvas-board, and is a part of the “Painting Today” series.

Hope you enjoyed my “visit” with the beautiful Vanessa. I know I always do!

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White Tank Mountain Park

“Plein Air” painting is one of my favorite ways to spend a morning or afternoon.

Morning light is crisp and clean and full of promise for the new day. Evening light slowly lengthens and glows with a golden cast striking the tops of trees, buildings and mountains, as if to say, “Good Night” before the sun, boiling in a pot of oranges, yellows, purples and pinks, sinks below the horizon.

The “White Tank Mountain Park” painting was started at noon and finished around 4 o’clock in the afternoon, as the shadows just started to elongate. It’s almost as if the shadows chase away the light, a little at a time.

The park is beautiful! The Sonoran Desert at it’s finest, with the tall Saguaro cactus standing guard over mesquite bushes and the cholla cactus that spreads out over the ground.

Cholla is one of my late afternoon favorites because of it’s long, soft looking thorns that cover the cactus almost like fur. When the sun slides downward toward the West horizon, the outer surface of the cholla glow a hazy white from their sun drenched thorns. It’s a beautiful sight!

Painting outdoors is the best of my two favorite worlds: being outdoors and painting. Painting is more abstract because of time constraints, colors are boosted, lights and darks are marked out and arranged for optimal composition and Mother Nature keeps you company while you paint. Loving the Earth, marveling at the sky and listening to a concert of birds and insects. Wow! So peaceful!

Anyway, “White Tank Mountain Park” is an 11×14 oil on canvas-board. It is part of the “Painting Today” series.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope your day is like the Sonoran Desert, surprisingly full of life!

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Athena

Athena’s name comes from Greek Mythology.

Legend claims that Athena was a favorite daughter of Zeus. She was a busy goddess with attributes of:  wisdom, strength, courage, inspiration, civilization, law & justice, just warfare, mathematics, crafts, arts and skill. She was, also, the patron goddess of Athens!

Our Athena, from “Monday Night – Open Session” at Scottsdale Artist’s School, seems to possess many of the attributes of the original Athena.

Certainly, she exuded an inner strength and was an inspiration to all the artists in the room. Because she was modeling in front of a room full of artists — she became our “goddess of the arts”, at least for three hours.

Athena, it was a joy to paint you!

The painting, “Athena” is an 11×14 oil on canvas-board and part of the “Painting Today” series.  Thanks for stopping by!  May your day be one of “mythological” awesomeness!

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My Sweet Pickins

I really enjoyed painting at Downtown Glendale’s “Spring in Paris” Festival. Painting outdoors was made popular by the famous French artist, Claude Monet. The French called it “plein air” and that’s what it is known as today. The painters that came to the festival were mainly from The Arizona Plein Air Painters group. They are a very active painting guild that does “paint outs” all over the state. I saw the work of a couple of the painters and it was fabulous.

My finished piece is called “My Sweet Pickins” in honor of the store I was painting next to. As you can see what captured my imagination was the old truck! I’m not sure how old the truck was, my guess is anywhere from 1930 to 1940. It is a Chevrolet with a wood box bed.

We had lots of sunlight with gentle breezes to keep cool. I was happy to meet and talk with the owner of the Sweet Pickins Antique Shop and the gal who owns the truck. Both were very excited about the painters and having the store and the truck represented in a plein air painting.

“My Sweet Pickins” is an 11×14 oil on canvas-board. It is being shown in the “Plein Air” category, here on this blog.

Thanks for looking, you are always appreciated as my viewers.

Thanks to downtown Glendale for inviting plein air painters to “invade” your festival! We all had a wonderful time. “Merci!”

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Exhibition at the Gilbert Visual Art League

The Gilbert Visual Art League has graciously accepted my entry, “Purple Orchid Line Dance”, a 16×20 oil on canvas, into their 11th Annual Gilbert Fine Arts Show.

The Gilbert Fine Arts Show is hosted by the Gilbert Historical Museum located at 10 S Gilbert Rd in downtown Gilbert.

The art show began on March 1st and will run through March 29th, From 9 AM to 4 PM, daily.

I was there for the opening Artist’s Reception and the artwork is awesome in every category. The gallery is loaded with time, talent and creativity in every piece.

While you’re there, walk through the Gilbert Historical Museum! You are bound to learn a little more about the history of Arizona and the small thriving town of Gilbert.

Besides, thanks to the good folks in Gilbert, I can now claim that I had a piece of my artwork in a museum!

Nandi

Nandi was our model for “Monday Night – Open Studio” at Scottsdale Artist’s School.

Petite, with a lovely face and black hair that seemed to tumble down one side almost to her waist, I loved it that I ended up on the side of the room where her face was framed by that tumbling hair.

“Nandi” is a 12×16 oil on canvas board. It is a part of the “Painting Today” series.

So glad that you had time to stop by today for a visit. We hope to have more new stuff up soon.

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Bailey

Bailey walked into a Saturday session at The Loft in February, on a cold morning. It was going to be a nude session, but all the artists agreed that her “layered look” was spectacular. Especially, with her smokey eyes framed by her hair and the hood of her jacket! Besides, it was a tad cold in there that morning.

The painting of Bailey seemed to do itself. Her features, traced out in pencil flowed onto the canvas-board as I filled in lights and darks and tone, striving to capture her pale skin and light brown hair.

It was the layers of clothes that took time. In the space of four hours, I seemed to have accomplished my goal. A beautiful girl on a crisp February morning, posing in an art school in downtown Tempe.

Needless to say, she made my day! Thank you, Bailey. The painting, “Bailey” is a 16×12 oil on canvas board, and it is in the “Painting Today” series.

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