Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"Tropical Breeze" © #mayanrivieramemories #austinpaletteclub #palmtreepainting

©2014 Debbi Smith Rourke
"Tropical Breeze" 16"x12"
Oil on canvas
I painted this yesterday in a demo I did for the Austin Palette Club, hosted by Joe Cates and Shirley Slaughter. Thank you! Was so much fun and loved the painting that resulted. I brought it home and tweaked it a bit. I'm inspired to continue painting from all the fab pics I took a few years ago when Jim and I visited Grand Velas on the Mayan Riviera. Swanky place in paradise! What more can I say. All good!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

McNay © #sidebysideexhibit #Mcnayartmuseum

©2014 Debbi Smith Rourke
McNay  30"x24" 
Oil on gallery-wrapped canvas
$1300 + $70 sh/h in US

This is the last of my new works currently exhibited at The Old Bakery & Emporium through September. The show is entitled "Side by Side" and includes photographs by Bill Oakey and my painterly interpretations of them in oil. We had a wonderful Artists' Reception Friday night with lots of friends and patrons joining us – and there were red dots flying! Love that! 

I painted this from a photograph Bill shot at the McNay Museum in San Antonio. It is my husband's favorite. I'm also posting Bill's photograph and some pics from our reception. Thanks to all who joined us, cheered us on and to those stopping by to see the show this month. Your support is always appreciated!

"McNay" by Bill Oakey 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Into the Leaves © #abstractoil #smallwork #sidexside

©2014 Debbi Smith Rourke
Into the Leaves  10"x8" 
Oil on canvas board 

This painting is a Daily Paintworks Facebook picks of the day today / Labor Day! Yay!
Hope you'll come by our "Side by Side Exhibit" artists reception this Friday at Old Bakery and Emporium (10th and Congress) from 5 - 7 pm. You'll see this work and the photograph by Bill Oakey that inspired this abstract. Well, here you go....Thought you'd love to see my inspiration whether you can come or not.

Purple Iris / Large © #sidexside2014 #largefloralart

©2014 Debbi Smith Rourke
Purple Iris / Large   30"x24"
Oil on gallery-wrapped canvas
$1300 + $70 sh/h in US
Contact me for local pick-up or to view in studio

Here is another image for my "Side by Side" exhibit with photographer Bill Oakey, starting next week!!!!! Yay!!! Our new works will be installed this Thursday, September 4. And our reception is this coming Friday, September 5, 5 - 7 pm. I had such fun working with Bill's amazing photograph pictured below. I did a small 10"x8" using the palette knife and thick, juicy paint, a more abstracted version, and this large expression that is powerful, more representational though still impressionistic. Hope you'll come see all three images in person.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

"Lake Shore II" © #sidebysideexhibit #abstractedlandscape

©2013 Debbi Smith Rourke
Lake Shore II  24"x30"
Oil on gallery-wrapped canvas
$1300 + $70 sh/h in US

I painted this from a photograph by photographer Bill Oakey for our 2014 Side by Side exhibition Sept 1 - 30 downtown at the Old Bakery and Emporium Gallery. (Reception Friday Sept 5, 5 - 7 pm!!) I painted a smaller version that was an abstracted landscape with a bit more detail - see "Lake Shore 8x10." As I created this larger version, I simplified the image even further. Isn't that interesting? You'd think you'd put in more detail but I keep trying to simplify everything down to basic shapes. Enjoying this road to further simplification. And digging these colors.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Purple Iris © #abstractfun #sidexsideexhibit

©2014 Debbi Smith Rourke
Purple Iris 10"x8"
Oil on canvas framed in natural wood and black  frame
$350 framed + $25 sh/h

Here is another abstracted image for my "Side by Side" exhibit with photographer Bill Oakey next month at Old Bakery and Emporium. (In our "Side by Side" shows, I paint my interpretations of Bill's photographs.) This is all palette knife work. No brushes. Fun. Makes for easy clean up, too – no brushes to clean. :-)
I may do another larger version. You'd think larger versions would have more detail, but the larger I get, the more I simplify. Interesting! Love the process and exploration. Again, you'll have to come to the exhibit at 10th and Congress during the month of September to see Bill's stellar photo of one gorgeous iris.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lake Shore © #SidexSide #bluebonnets #TexasWildflowers

©2014 Debbi Smith Rourke
Lake Shore 8"x10"
Oil on canvas panel

This is the first new work for my next Side by Side exhibit with Bill Oakey this October at the Old Bakery and Emporium. Working on a batch of new works, all based on his photography. You'll have to come to the show to see his image. :-) Love these abstracted landscapes with lots of of thick, juicy paint. Love using the palette knife and mixing in a little brushwork. Fun!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ranch Road ©

©2014 Debbi Smith Rourke
Ranch Road 11"x14"
Oil on canvas / framed in natural wood and black frame
My parents sold their farm and ranch home near Lockhart, Texas last month. Will miss the lovely views, but painting them will help keep the memories alive. This painting uses some of the simplification techniques I learned in Sandy Ostrau's workshop. I enjoy using both brushwork and palette knife application. I think I want to paint this again and simplify it even further. Will also paint it more realistically, though still in an impressionistic style. I love experimenting in my art, trying new techniques to see what I respond to and what might emerge. It's all a delightful adventure!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Early Morn Lake View / Vertical © #commission #LakeAustin #360bridge

©2014 Debbi Smith Rourke
Early Morn Lake View / Vertical 40"x30" 
Oil on unstretched canvas 
Commissioned / SOLD

Last Saturday, I put the final touches on this commissioned work for a client in Ohio. She has an Austin connection and loves this view. Her interior designer is also my dear friend Kay Rasoletti. Gotta love that! They were keen on teal and burgundy colors and requested a vertical version of a prior painting of mine. The requested size was large, 40x30" plus 1.5" on each side to cover a gallery-wrapped canvas. And it had to be shipped, so I worked on loose canvas so it could be rolled and shipped in a tube. I learned many things in the process, so I thought I would share the stages. It was challenging trying to get a good photograph in my studio. I wasn't able to get a good photograph until it was finished and dry and I could carry it outside to shoot in natural light. So pardon the quality of my process photos.
I bought unstretched canvas and cut a size larger than my 43x33 needs, stapled it to a plywood board and created registration marks for the surface size (40"x30") and the full size.

I added three coats of gesso.

Next, I put in the darks and established the basic layout, and established the lighter areas.

 I added detail, mid-tone values, texture in layers, put burgundy glazes over the lower, dark hills and softened the sky.

 Preparing to roll, put in a tube and ship!

 You can get a sense of the scale when you notice the legs of my office chairs in the background.

In a tube and on its way to Ohio!!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

"LBJ's Rocking Chair" © #LBJRanch #LBJchair #LBJRanchPainting

©2007 Debbi Smith Rourke
LBJ's Rocking Chair 18"x18"
Oil on gallery-wrapped canvas / unframed
$500+ $50 sh/h in US

I was invited to go on a plein-air painting trip with some friends a few years ago at the LBJ Ranch in Stonewall, Texas, back when Lady Bird was still living. Was a lovely day and I decided to paint the porch of the house with the rockers because so many historic photos were taken there. The LBJ Ranch is also special to me because my mom worked for the LBJ company back in the 80's and was so fond of Lady Bird. This painting has been hanging at my parent's ranch house at their farm, something they were inspired to build after visiting the LBJ Ranch many times. So as my parents sell their ranch home, this painting has come back to me. What a circle of inspiration.

Monday, May 12, 2014

"California Dreaming" Article / Life as a Human #ArtArticle #LifeAsAHuman #CaliforniaPaintings

"Wine Country" 24"x 24" oil on canvas - SOLD

Check out my second article entitled "California Dreaming" published in the art section of "Life as a Human" online magazine. I love the California landscape and capturing the drama and excitement through color and shape-inspired paintings that truly evoke the emotions of being there. 

If you love remembering your travels and adventures, consider an art experience commissioned painting. And bring the joy home everyday.  :-) Hope you enjoy the article and the online magazine.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

"Aqua Spring" © #AbstractPainting "AustinAbstractArtist #TealAbstract

©2014 Debbi Smith Rourke
Aqua Spring 10"x8"
Oil on canvas panel / unframed
$250 + $25 sh/h in US

While I painted this last weekend, I had the idea for a series of teal-dominant abstracts many months ago. Teals, grays and a splash of contrast color, anywhere from mustard yellow and poppy to purple. Having fun. Look for more to come. Palette knife strokes and brushwork abound. Zing!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Take a Load Off ©

©2014 Debbi Smith Rourke
Take a Load Off  8"x10"
Oil on canvas panel / unframed
$250 unframed + $25 sh/h in US

I painted this almost two weeks ago and am finally posting. I love deck chairs and beautiful outdoor furniture. These colors, thick juicy paint and the cozy chair just make me smile. The colors are kind of peppermint-y, don't you think?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mt. Bonnell Bend ©

©2014 Debbi Smith Rourke
Mt. Bonnell Bend  5"x7"
Oil on canvas panel
Yet another painting of one of my favorite views. It makes a nice pair with "Lake View." Also available in black and gold float frame. 
"Mt. Bonnell Bend / Framed"

Saturday, April 19, 2014

West Austin View ©

©2014 Debbi Smith Rourke
West Austin View 24"x24"
Oil on gallery-wrapped canvas
This is an enlargement of one of my favorite 12"x12" paintings. It's a simplified view of Lake Austin looking west. I am enjoying focusing on shapes, forms, color and texture.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Coffee Time ©

©2014 Debbi Smith Rourke
Coffee Time 10"x8"
Oil on canvas panel / unframed
$250 + $25 sh/h in Contiguous US

I started this painting over a year ago and set it aside. I took it to my Sandy Ostrau workshop and added more layers of color and texture. Now I love it. Everybody needs a little coffee time, right?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Creative Possibilities ©

©2014 Debbi Smith Rourke
Creative Possibilities 12"x12"
Oil on gessoed .5" thick plywood board / unframed
$400 + $50 sh/h in Contiguous US

I started this painting in the Sandy Ostrau workshop I attended back in January. But after I got home to my Austin studio, I added the red-orange elements. Now it is a tretrad of blue-green, blue-violet, yellow-orange and red-orange. Yummy. Love the simplified shapes, large brush strokes, mix of brush and palette-knife work and surprises of color where they might not appear in reality. Creative possibilities are infinite!! Love that. What possibilities inspire you?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sandy Ostrau Workshop Jan. 2014

Sandy doing a landscape demo 

I was thrilled to attend Sandy Ostrau's 3-day workshop in Orinda, California (Bay Area) in January. Everything about it was delightful. My dear friend and fab artist Nancy Hartley invited me. She and her hubby Brian went all out to make every moment of my trip so delightful. Thank you, all!!! I was inspired on so many levels.

 Sandy's color mixing

 Sandy showing ways to optimize use of layers

 Another sweet Sandy demo

Learned a few fabulous tips: 
- Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. 
- Experiment. You can always paint over the work, or turn it 90 or 180 degrees.
- Color gets all the credit. Value does all the work.
- Quinacridone red and white make a luscious sky color.
- Learned to make earthy taupes that mix well with oranges and greens.
- Unexpected color pops brilliantly when placed next to a neutral.

Play time!!! I burned the candle at both ends. Up early for breakfast then Nancy picked me up and we laughed our way to class. We watched Sandy and were endlessly inspired, painted with amazing painters all day, enjoyed al fresco lunches, went gallery gazing, took walks on the reservoir, dined out, laughed and shared, enjoyed home cooked meals and even attended Brian's running club's annual gala in San Francisco the last night. On top of that, I met ad pal Roberta Taub Abel for a delightful dinner, too! She drove into Danville from Berkley to see me and catch up. What fun.


 Yummy home-cooked meal at Nancy and Brian's. Delightful and healthy. Oh the stories I must have told.
Nancy and me after painting, shopping and drinking. Art buddies for life!

 Nancy and Brian on gala night in San Francisco. So delighted to be their guest. We danced all night!
 Dinner with Roberta Taub Abel. We worked at Leo Burnett and JWT together in Chicago 
too many years ago. So many stories and so many common friends!!

 Sad departure. Glorious views!!

Thank you, Nancy!! What a dear, dear friend!! Lot's of love to you! XOXO