Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Santa's Little Helpers"
Watercolor, Pen & Ink
8" x 10"
(c)2009 NL Matus

Finished this watercolor pet portrait I was commissioned to do, and delivered it yesterday. The customer was delighted, which made me feel great. I usually don't do the pet portraits in watercolor, but she wanted it in the style of my botanical watercolors which have a sort of whimsical feel to them. This was a fun project to do, and I really enjoyed painting the little Chihuahua on the right.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"Desert Poem"
Oil on Canvas Board
5" x 7"
(c)2009 NL Matus

This is a painting from a roadtrip from early summer, and I had been tinkering with it off and on during the last month. I was attracted to the contrast of the red-orange cactus blossoms against the shades of green/olive in the cactus itself. Without trying to get into too much detail, and capture that which caught my eye. I have 2 paintings I developed further from this one, and I would like to continue in this theme for a bit. This one is about 4" x 6".

"SanTan Late Afternoon"
Oil Pastel on Canvas
5" x 5"
(c)2009 NL Matus

Now that the heat has subsided, and we are in full Fall 'cooler' weather, it is really nice to be out and drawing / painting on site. I took a drive in the desert, out to the SanTan mountains area, and as the late afternoon sun was making everything golden, I decided this was a good subject for oil pastel. This is a small painting, maybe 5" x 5", and on canvas. The shadows were really deepening by the time I finished, so I had to work pretty quickly to catch what attracted me.

The drive home was leisurely, and I had a folio of sketches and quick color studies to show for my trip. I am so happy that the cooler weather has arrived, as I can now do more of these work trips.
Oil on Canvas Board
5" x 5"
(c)2009 NL Matus

Another small study I did in the field, this is about 5" x 5". This was another recent day trip, out through the Globe/Miami area. The rocks are so eroded and the relationships they form fascinated me. The moon was visible in the daytime sky; I think I will add it as a counterpoint in the sky here. I am finding my small sketchbox and the small canvases are ideal for these trips.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Oil on Canvas
5" x 5"
(c) 2009 Nancy L. Matus

I felt like playing.

I had been going thru some old boxes, and uncovered my stash of dolls from my younger days. Barbie, Tressy (with the hair that grows out of a port in her head!), Tammy, etc, etc., and all their clothes and endless little bits and pieces of "accessories". Also in this box were my troll dolls, which I loved. I had all these outfits I made for them from bits of felt and various trims. Anyway, this one was just begging to be painted, and so I had fun with this project. It is painted on a 5" x 5" piece of flat canvas, so it can be stretched on bars, mounted on board or even put under mat and framed.

A trip today to the art supply store for more paint and some fixative. I always feel so much better after that. Being able to just immerse in 'my world' and relax while I try out new things and let my imagination run.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pastel on Paper
19" x 23"
(c) 2009 Nancy L. Matus

I've been working on an ongoing series of studies of the desert Agave. This is a pastel I did which has been sold. I was struck by the early evening light on this dusky-colored plant, and really enjoyed working with the range of deep greens - purples. I have an oil painting I am working on now, of the Agave, and exploring the interesting composition this plant creates. More to come on this painting later!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

SunDust Gallery Opening Last Night

(c)2009 NL Matus

Here I am, on the left, with one of my fellow Guild Gallery artists, in front of my large acrylic painting (on the right - "Terra III", 36x48") that was in the SunDust Gallery Grand Opening show last night. The SunDust Gallery is the newest gallery in downtown Mesa, and the Guild moved from it's old gallery location to inside of SunDust. Two shows were taking place Friday night; an Arizona-wide juried show in SunDust, and the Guild had it's ongoing group show in its own space. I had artwork in both of the shows. Around 500 people attended this Grand Opening event, and here's a long shot of the interior from the front door:

(c)2009 NL Matus

At a couple of points in the evening, there were people lined up to get inside. It was quite the event!

More glimpses of Artwalk

(c) 2009 Nancy L. Matus

Another sketch from the nights at the Artwalk. . . . . this one is from March, and it was already getting kinda warm in the late afternoon. Once the sun went down, it chilled down quickly. But in the late afternoon, with the sun hitting you just so, a nice iced tea or soda tasted pretty good. Luckily, Kokopelli's was just across from us, so iced drinks were easy to find!

(c) 2009 Nancy L. Matus

This is Dave, a really cool guy who would set up his musical equipment right next to us, and we'd be entertained with light jazz all night long. He was a one-man-band, and he really helped to draw people down to our art booths! This particular Artwalk pays musicians like Dave to play and help create a great ambience, which everyone seemed to enjoy.

It's Artwalk Time

(c) 2009 Nancy L. Matus

So I'm gearing up now to resume the downtown Chandler Artwalk, which is every first Wednesday. It's still hot - in the 100's - but I took off all summer and need to re-establish myself in a good location. In the spirit of revving myself up, I found my sketchbook I was taking with me each time. These are sketches from earlier this year before we broke for the summer.

This scene is the little shop we were set up in front of each month. This was a nice location, and we artists are set up along the curb, facing the shops, under the shade of the sidewalk cover. The sun hasn't gone down yet, and when it does, the little white twinkly lights that are draped on all the roof columns and trees go on, and the shops stay open late that night to tempt the crowds with snacks, dinner, drinks.

(c) 2009 Nancy L. Matus

This was a sandals display that a shop right across from me had set out right outside their front door. Almost every woman who passed this table stopped and picked up and examined a pair, then put them down and moved on. All these lonely shoes waiting for a pair of feet to take them home!

Friday, August 28, 2009


"Constant Journey"
14" x 11", alkyd on linen
Copyright 2009 Nancy L. Matus

It's been quite a while since I posted, and a lot's been going on that's diverted me from my daily painting plan. But I did finally paint this larger piece that has been bouncing around in my mind's eye for a long time. I finally figured out how I wanted to do it, and dug out the sketchbooks where I'd been originally working out the idea. 
This piece is in alkyd, on linen. It's on a canvas I stretched myself, on heavy duty stretcher bars. I have been working with oils and the fast-drying alkyds for the past year, and this is the first larger piece I've done using the alkyds. Typically, my previous day's work would dry overnight. 

For prints: paper, framed/matted, on canvas or notecards, click on link below:
Sell Art Online

Monday, June 1, 2009

(c)2009 NL Matus

Breaking in my new Guerrella pochade box while I manned my booth at MACfest. I will be taking this out with me for most of the summer painting trips I plan to do. The small box size and format worked nicely for me in the booth, as I didn't want to contend with a larger setup and risk getting paint on my prints and notecards. I will be using the tripod instead of the small table when I go out on fieldtrips.

For this painting, I was working from a sketch from an earlier roadtrip. I wanted to be actively painting/demonstrating at my booth, and I was surprised that I got a lot of work done between customers.

Getting my feet wet. . .

I've decided I needed to set up a blog and use this as another tool for my painting efforts. I have been looking for a way to be more productive, and figure this will prompt me to  1) focus on smaller paintings and 'studies',  2) have a goal of finishing each one, and  3) and to post them on this blog.  I will aim for one each day or so, and see how that is working out.