$7 Renoir found in Flea Market

Oil Painting, Painting

“A woman from Baltimore, who chooses to remain anonymous, recently purchased a Renoir from a Flea Market in West Virginia. She purchased a box of items for $7 and the painting was included in the box. She claimed she bought the box because of the frame that the picture was in: she really liked that frame.”

Little did she know that she had purchased a $100k long-lost Renoir.

via $7 Renoir found in Flea Market.


Blank Canvas

Anne Gatchell, Art Process, Oil Painting, Painting

Sometimes a blank canvas is a beautiful thing. This is usually the case when it is being prepared for a painting that already exists in my mind, or for a feeling that I want to paint as I experience it. But, at other times, a blank canvas can seem like an insurmountable challenge.

I have some ideas for a painting I want to do, but none of them are fully formed. I want it to be beautiful and full of meaning. But, I have a deadline to meet with this piece, and so I need to get it going. I also have lots of code to write and a career fair to prepare for.

I often think that restrictions are great for the creative process. They wake up the engineer in me.
I feel like I am rising to a challenge and it helps my come up with creative solutions. But, when I am faced with a blank canvas that holds a million possibilities, sometimes is feels far more suffocating than the most restrictive palette or assignment. Especially when the only restriction posed is one of time.

So, I think I need to let time get incorporated into my creative process. Or, perhaps, learn to harness it to my advantage.

In my creative process, I like to grab an idea, and then let it stew in my subconscious mind a little bit. Then, I feel it slowly forming underneath the surface. I let it simmer until it is solid enough to grab onto and think about until the next roadblock appears. I am still figuring out how to apply this process to this particular piece. I suppose I have narrowed the subject matter down significantly from infinity, but that merely opens up another infinity of possibilities for how to portray and arrange this subject matter.

I guess that is why art is so beautiful. It will never, ever become dull.

At least I am proud of my nice stretch job on my heavy duty bars:



Hanging Lake and New Watercolor Tools

Anne Gatchell, Drawing, Painting

This weekend, I had the pleasure of hiking up to Hanging Lake, followed by a heavenly dip in the Glenwood Springs Hot Sulphur Springs pools. It was magical for many reasons.

The beauty of Hanging Lake is unsurpassed, as anyone who has seen it can attest. The beauty and variation of the landscape on the way to Glenwood from Boulder, and the wonderful, varied, and warm people we met on the trail and at the lake are some of the reasons that Colorado will always be in my heart as my favorite place to be.

I used some lovely watercolor pencils from Faber-Castell and my amazing new water brush to do a little sketch of the lake. I only bought three colors of watercolor pencils: burnt umber, Prussian blue, and dark red, so I did not have the means to capture all the green around me and the perfect turquoise of the lake. But, we all know what it is like to buy a whole box set of colors and only use a select few, so I limited myself to those three when I was at Meininger’s last week getting paper for an unrelated concept art project.

I love the pen, I love the pencils, and I heartily recommend both.


Brush with Garlic

Art School, Oil Painting, Painting

I just completed (I think) another still life, and I figured I ought to share it! I used a four-color palette: Titanium White, Ivory Black, Terra Rosa, and Yellow Ochre. I limit myself to this palette for my current painting class. For many paintings, I find that it is surprisingly suitable. Though, I usually choose still life objects that are not incredibly high chroma, or I sneak in some Cadmium Yellow for a highlight!

I haven’t been posting artwork nearly as often as I would like to. It has been an overbooked semester, that is for sure! There are many projects I am working on this April. I am very excited for the museum installation that my team and I are working on. It is projected to be installed by the 20th. I will write a post about it once it is complete, and we are hoping to do a making-of video. The only thing in our way is legality and privacy issues with filming.



I have had strong tendencies toward abstraction lately. There is something so blissful about putting down the colors and brushstrokes that feel like they need to be there. On Friday night, after a sparkling evening, I came home with the desire to paint how I was feeling.

Happily, I had a 24″ x 30″ canvas available, so I painted until late in the night, and it was amazing to listen to my intuition for that entire time. Once I started to lose steam, I stopped. I think many artists will agree that when you work on a piece of art from the wrong state of mind, nothing will quite sit right. You cannot force it, or you may not even be able to recover the piece. So, since then, I have added to it here and there as the mood strikes me. But, alas, I must work on assignments for school today.

Being busy isn’t so bad, though. I find that the busier I am, the more things I accomplish in the “free time” that I manage to steal. Here is a small snippet from part of the canvas. I look forward to sharing the piece when I am done.

Oil on canvas: