Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It is going to be a busy year!

Current Exhibitions: 14th Annual MidAmerica Pastel Society Small Painting Show

This event is being held at the KC Club, 918 Balitmore, Kansas City, Mo. 66105

I have two pieces in this show. Show dates are 11-19 to 12-30-2010.
This is going to be a busy year. Check out my website under the Event tab to see all of the upcoming events for 2010 and 2011.
Hope to see you at one of the openings!
Happy Holidays,

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Layaway and Christmas Sale-going on now!

It's time for the annual Christmas sale and layaway program. Just contact me regarding any of the paintings on my website. Some are on the layaway plan and others have been discounted in time for Christmas giving.

This is a chance to own original art with payment plans and discounts that fit every budget. What a great way to give or receive art. "Pond Reflections" shown above is just one of the paintings available thru the payment plans.

Contact me thru the website at or by email or phone.



Thursday, October 28, 2010

Big Cedar Lodge Paint Out

These images are pastels that I did in plein aire at the Big Cedar Lodge Paint Out. It was a great event and the landscape was absolutely wonderful. This was the first year for the Paint Out and the staff at Big Cedar Lodge were up for the challenge.
Big Cedar Lodge is just a little south of Branson, Missouri in the Ozarks. Once you enter the Ozarks, you are surrounded with great painting opportunities everywhere you look. Fall is an especially great time for a painting trip to the Ozarks. The fall color this year was not as vibrant as past years but still stunning.
Big Cedar Lodge offers a variety of activities for all ages. Some of the buildings that have been restored make fantastic painting venues. There are many small ponds that reflect the bounty of fall and beckon you to paint them. There are stone bridges and waterfalls in abundance, not to mention the lake itself.
We stayed in the fishing cabins which face the lake and were a short walk to the water. The cabins were fully equipped with a kitchen so we could save on food. However, the restaurants are definitely worth a trip. We ate a Greek salad at the Truman House which was really nice and well worth it.
I'll post more of the paintings that I painted there later.
Have a great day and go paint the world!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New student paintings-Have a look they're GREAT!

The first painting is Chrissy's. She worked from a photograph she had taken back east on the coast. The photo itself had some issues as all photos do. However, we've been working on making good decisions and really planning their paintings. Photos lie and you have to be aware of that when working from them. It helps if you are working from photos you have taken and places you have actually been. Your memory kicks in and helps you fill in the blanks that the photo doesn't capture. I had her start by doing several thumbnails to narrow down her plan and composition. Then I had her visualize her color pallette and actually work up a chart using those colors. then, with her plan in place, she was able to do this painting and she did a great job!
Joyce, on the other hand, is working on the same lesson about working from a photo but hers is still a work in progress. However, the abstract that is here is one we worked on from a landsacpe painting that failed. We looked at it from different angles to see if it could be saved. Well, by turning it sideways and looking at the beautiful melding of colors that she had going on, she was able to turn a failed landscape into a wonderful abstract painting. Loved the little gold touches which just make this painting pop!
Way to go girls-you really rocked it this week in class! I am so proud of you and couldn't wait to share your successes.
Happy painting, everyone,

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Painting portraits from photographs

It is always a challenge painting portraits from photographs, but sometimes, as in the case of my latest commission, it was the only way. The client wanted a sketch done from the only photo of her ancestors that she possessed. The heads in the photos were smaller than 1 1/2" which is usually as small as I like to go to get a likeness. Even for the Grateful Hearts Program, we like to have the heads in the photos be at least 1 1/2" to 2" tall at minimum.

Sometimes ,even though, the photo is not all that you may want as an artist, you can still achieve a good likeness and create a memory for your client. Hopefully, this is what I have succeeded at with this painting. The client has seen the piece in various stage of development along the way and is pleased with the direction the painting is taking.

I can not express more importantly that when you do commission work, it is vital that you involve your client. Afterall, it is their memory and vision you are ultimately relying on to create your work. Some artists have told me that they do not like commission work-feels it stifles their creativity and their voice. I on the other hand enjoy the collaborative effort to involve someone in the production of art. It is also satisfying to know that you have created something that your client will treasure and a memory that will be seen and shared with others.

So go ahead and try commissions, let loose your creative spirit and help it to live on thru others.

Happy Painting!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

New oil painting-work in progress

Every once in awhile, I like to try something new. This is a new subject for me-the Arizona landscape in winter. I decided to do an oil painting from a photo that I had taken in Arizona a few years ago. The starkness of the landscape and the wonderful cloud formations are going to be a challenge.
You never know, when you start a painting if it will be a success or not. Even the failures can provide valuable learning experiences and so should be pursued. The jury is still out on this work. I feel that I have achieved the starkness of the landscape that I felt when viewing it in person.
I also think that the clouds are coming along nicely. However, other parts are still haunting me so I will put this one aside for awhile and look at it again in about a week. Sometimes, you need a fresh eye to see what is working and what's not. Don't be afraid to critique your work-not everything you do will be spot on. I think most of we artists forget that from time to time.
You will never know how far you've come as an artist if you don't remember where you've been. Now go out a paint the world!
Happy Painting,

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My newest paintings from the Joan Parker monthly workshop

These are the most recent paintings done in the workshop held at my Blue Springs, Missouri studio and conducted by Joan Parker,a wonderful Kansas artist. This weeks paintings were done in the Manet style(he did flower paintings in his studio due to his age and failing eyesight). The first painting is of a green pitcher filled with sunflowers and the second is a study in how to paint glass.
The class is held the last Friday of each month at the studio located at 501 NW 5th Street, Suite 500, Blue Springs, Mo. 64014. If you are interested in attending, please contact me and I'll be happy to sign you up.
Next months class we'll be doing studies of boots, wine bottles and sea shells. Each has it's own characteristic which will present a challenge. All paintings are done from life. The workshop is from 9am to 4pm.
Happy painting,

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tired of the heat! Here's a snow painting for you.

This painting is mostly pastel but again with an oil underwash. We were on our way to the Grand Cayon(south rim) and traveled thru this valley brimming with new fallen snow. We stopped to take photos and do color studies(they are hard to do with frozen hands). The shadows from the trees were incredible with light bouncing off the snow like a cat and mouse game being played between the sun and the trees.

Painting this really refreshed my outlook on life that day and renewed my senses with memories that came flooding back. We had a grand day all around!
Happy Painting,

This painting can be purchased via my website at

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

River Mirror, The demo is completed

This is the completed painting from the oil underpainting demo that I shared the other day. I really enjoyed completing this one. It brought back lots of memories of our trip out west and the wonderfully colorful scenery that was all around us. The painting is done from photos and color studies that I made there on location. I have found that when traveling, I don't always have time to pull over and complete a painting but I always seem to squeeze enough time in for color studies and photos.
If you take the photos yourself and do color studies to remind you of the day and place, you can use them back in the studio to refresh your memory and paint with confidence.
Try it next time you are traveling and don't have time to pull over and paint.
Happy Painting,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lessons-Pastel with underpainting in Oil

I have been asked by students and some fellow artists to show my process of underpainting with oils for pastels. So here is the start-

The first image is the underpainting itself. I thin the oils down with Gamsol and fill in where I want to with the colors I've chosen. In this case I wanted to pump up the blues and oranges which will be in the final painting.

Image 2 is done after the oil underpainting has dried. This only takes a few minutes especially when painting in plein air. I am starting to lay in my darks.

Image 3 is adding the colors that I will work with to the end of the painting. I have decided to leave the sky pretty much as the underpainting with just a few touches of pastel to enhance what is already there.

Image 4 is pretty much the final but I still may go back and add more color to the trees or perhaps define them more. At this stage, I usually let the painting sit with it's back to me for a couple of days and then take a look to see if there is something I want to add or change.

I'll post the final when it gets to that stage.

Feel free to email me or call me if you have any questions,
Happy painting,

Monday, August 23, 2010

Three paintings accepted into the Juried Art Show at Got Art Gallery on Third in Lee's Summit, Mo.

They are (top) Autumn Celebration in oil
(middle) Mexican Girl in oil
(bottom) Rio Grande at Rio Hondo in pastel
The group show starts September 7th-30th, 2010. The opening reception is September 9th from 5pm-9pm. The gallery is located at 18 SW Third St., Lee's Summit, Mo. 64063.
Come on out and meet the artists and have fun during the Uptown Downtown, a ladies night out with wine tasting business event, hosted by Good Times.
See you there,

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Revamping paintings to success

Sometimes,for whatever reason, a painting just doen't work when plein aire painting. I have decided to revamp a few of these paintings. Now that I have new skills in oils, I want to push these little studies to new heights.

Every artist goes thru these spells and learning curves. Instead of just giving it up to the trash pile, see if you can raise it from the dead zone instead. It might not work on all your junk pile but remember one person's trash is another's treasure. If the composition works and the main focus or center of interest is working, why not give it a shot!

So, look at your junk and go change it into treasure!
Happy Painting,

this painting will be up on my website and for sale in the New and Recent Works category-so if you've fallen in love go check it out and it could be coming to your home soon.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Painting the "New" Masters

The blog this week is on copying the Masters. This process was done religiously among the Impressionists and even artists that came before them. They flocked to the museums, private collections and the many schools that taught traditional art techniques. What they learned was invaluable.
My students are exploring this old technique for learning, but we are copying the "new" masters. Those artists that they greatly admire and whose work is very recognized in today's world. They can also chose to copy the older artist like Cassatt, Van Gogh, Monet, etc. It's their choice and then after they copy a work, they need to chose one of their own photos to work from in that artist's style.
This affords them a way to test out different styles and techniques that can learn to incorporate in their own work or decide it's not for them.
The painting above is Chrissy's take on Albert Handell's style. Mr. Handell is a wonderful painter whose use of light, value and shapes are not only unique but wonderfully easy on the eye. I have had the honor of working side by side with him at several mentoring workshops and feel that this has enhanced my own art in many ways.
Any chance you get to paint alongside a master should be jumped on as you will learn so much from the experience. If you can not do this because of time, distance or finances then get books or go to museums where you can study their work up close and personal.
Now go Paint!!!
PS: No work you copy can be sold. This is just for your own use and learning process.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Paintings I did in class today

I believe that every artist needs to keep constantly learning and developing. You should never let yourself become stagnant or complacent, but try new styles, learn from new teachers and stretch your visions. Once a month, I have been offering a class at my studio in Blue Springs taught by a wonderful artist named Joan Parker. She is an exceptional artist and teacher. She paints in plein aire and also in her studio. All of us have enjoyed learning new skills and concepts from her. These are the two paintings I completed today in class. One is a value study and the other a finished piece. Hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed painting them.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A few pictures from the One Woman Show at City Hall in Lee's Summit Mo.

Here are a few pictures from the opening reception for the One Woman Show at City Hall in Lee's Summit, MO. Thanks to all who came out for the opening. The exhibit will be on display and the art for sale until October 15, 2010. City Hall is located at 220 Green St., Lee's Summit, Mo. The hours to view are Monday thru Friday from 8am to 5pm. If you get a chance stop by and take a look. If you find something that you love and would love on your walls just give me a call at 816-898-6646. I also do layaways on any piece of art over $150, just call me to find out how the layaway program works. Paypay and credit cards can be used via my website at
Have a great day,

Saturday, July 3, 2010

One Woman Show at Lee's Summit City Hall

Just a little preview of the paintings that will on display and for sale during the One Woman show at the Lee's Summit City Hall from July 15 thru October 15, 2010 in the main lobby gallery.

The opening night is Thursday, July 15th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Lee's Summit City Hall Lobby, 220 SE Green St., Lee's Summit, Mo. 64063

There will be landscapes, animals, and people paintings on display.
Hope to see you at the opening night!
Jennylynne Gragg

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Plein Aire in a Blue Springs Garden

These two paintings are studies done in a Blue Springs Garden during the BS Historical Garden Tour. The first is the cloud study I did while watching the impending storm descend upon us. The second painting is a vignette of a little corner of the garden.
These are just two of the paintings done in the garden. The weather was around 90 degrees but there was a great breeze which helped keep me cool. I painted under a nice shade tree on the property. When the storm finally broke in full force, I had packed up most of my equipment the car. Just when the rain came down in buckets, I carried my french easel back to the car where I broke down the legs under the cover of the hatch. My equipment stayed dry but I was soaked on my back and head. Suddenly, the temperature dropped to 68 degrees. Needless to say, I got cooled off quickly. Oh, the joys of painting in plein aire.
Happy painting,

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Taking a chance

Sometimes we artists get in ruts. We want to stay in our comfort zones and not venture out into uncharted waters. Well, this week at a workshop, I decided to branch out and take a chance. I am reacquainting myself with oils after a long hiatus. I have done portraits and figurative work in pastels for years now and that is my comfort zone. On the encouragement of my instructor, I tried this painting from a photo he had in his stack.
My fears proved to be unfounded. What I learned is that if you have good basics in other mediums, you can try new mediums with a modicum of success. So I encourage all of you to try a medium that is new to you and see how far you can take it. Good luck and have fun!

Friday, June 18, 2010

First Oil of my favorite pond

I often paint this pond at Blue Springs Lake area. The pond lies in a quiet area just up from the bigger lake. I intend to paint this pond is all seasons, to see how it changes thru the seasons.
Oil paintings is the same as pastels, in that, you apply the color the same-from dark to light. Unlike pastel, the more paint you get on the canvas, the easier it is to lay in additional layers.
Hope you enjoy the view!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New photo of Around the Bend

The first photo is the new photo that I took yesterday under the correct lighting. When taking photos of my work I try to either take them outside on a cloudy or overcast day with direct lighting or in my dark room in my studio. The studio situation works much better since I can control the lighting. I use two Ott lights set up at 45 degree angles to the painting so that the light is even across the surface. I also put the painting in my black box set up to take out all distracting colors from the room. The camera is set up with the lens in the middle of the painting and I make sure the tripod(which the camera is on) is level. I also have a setting on my camera that will take successive photos of either 3 or 7 while changing the apperture and fstops. This gives you a better chance of getting the colors to be real.
Hope this helps, you can definetly see the difference. The second picture, with all the golds, was taken under regular incandescent lighting in the studio.
There are of course other options for taking photos of paintings, this is just mine.
Happy painting,

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lazy Day Lion

Years ago, I took a photo of this lion at the KC Zoo. This was right before they started remodeling and updating the zoo. This guy looked so bored. All he had was a small patch of earth to roam on and the rest was concrete and rock. They have improved the exhibits and also the places where the animals are kept and live. I'm sure this guy is thankful!
This is a pastel on velour and will be available for purchase on my website soon.
Thanks for looking,

Saturday, May 15, 2010

New oil painting from Augusta

This painting was done from a photo that I had taken in Augusta, Mo. just down from our cabin. I laid in a monochromatic value sketch and then painted over that in an alla prima style. I put a time constraint on the painting process just like I would have when painting this scene outside on location.
This is good practice for those rainy days when painting outside is more of a challenge than you want to endure. I also worked on a new surface that I had not tried before. Jury is still out on the surface!
The photo is a little different in color than the actual painting. I took the photo just using the track lighting from the studio and not my usual photo set up. But, I'll take another photo later under better conditions later.
Fun day at the studio-finished a cat portrait commission(first one in oil since I started painting in oil again). Did this little painting and drew out my next project on the canvas. Rainy days can be productive afterall!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Collaboration on a painting

While in Augusta, Mo. at the cabin this year, we all decided to collaborate on a painting for the owners of the 1870's cabin we stay at every year. I had never tried acrylics and neither had Chrissy. With Erlene's encouragement and guidance, we all worked on the painting while sitting on the cabin porch. The sun, which had been elusive, was shinning brightly and the weather was beautiful. Chrissy painted in the sky, I did the trees and foreground and Erlene did the cabin. Then I framed it and we all signed it.
Bob and Judy loved it and were very touched that we had done this for them and the cabin. We all had input into it's design and how we should approach our subject. We tried to keep in style with other decor of the cabin. Judy and Bob have done a wonderful job of decorating the cabin and making it look like someone has owned it and been there for years. It is a wonderful mix of the old and new.
If anyone is looking for a quiet place to chill out and relax, the cabin is the place. They offer it for romantic getaways, friends or family reunions, and much more. The cabin can accomodate up to four people, three comfortably. I think it would be a great place for sisters to go and re-connect. (hint to all my sisters-sorry brother.)
To find out more about the cabin just google "Critter Cottage" in Marthasville, Mo. Bob and Judy would love to have you.
Thanks Judy and Bob, cant' wait till next year!
Jennylynne Gragg

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Painting in Augusta

Well, it's that time of year again, spring! I am in the process of packing up my art stuff for the annual painting trip to the plein aire 10 day event in Augusta, Missouri. There are about 100 artists signed up this year to participate. If you get a chance to venture that way during the 10 days, starting on April 21st, you should definitely try. It is amazing to be in the company of so many artists painting throughout the countryside. There are also planned painting events during the event and sales of the paintings completed during the event on May 1st. and the Mount Pleasant Winery from noon to 6pm. in Augusta, Mo.

The artists will be painting at Balducci's winery, the town of Augusta, Montelle winery, Definace Mo, Augusta shores, Chandler Hill Winery and along the Katy Trail. for more information contact Corinne at 636-228-1111 or go to the Augusta, Mo website.

Hope to see you there,
Jennylynne and Buddy(the plein aire painting dog)

Friday, April 2, 2010

On Top of the World-new painting

This painting was done from photos taken when we were up in Leadville, Colorado. The clouds were hanging low, in fact, at times it was hard to tell what where the clouds stopped and the mountains began. It was way to cold to paint,even for this die hard plein aire painter. This was the trip that my brave husband kept pulling off the side of the road(sometimes in grave peril and under protest) to let me take my photo references.
Let me know what you think by leaving comments on the blog site.
Thanks and have a great day!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Rainy and Cloudy days are great painting days

My blog today is about cloud painting. This painting was done while sitting on my porch in Taos, New Mexico on a very cold and rainey day. I hauled my painting stuff out, put on a jacket, and painting for about four hours under the canopy of my porch. It was wonderful sitting there painting clouds while the rain came gently down. Plein aire experiences can work in any weather-you just need to be open to the moment. Happy Painting!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Blue Springs Art League Exhibit and Sale

These two paintings will be in the Blue Springs Art League Exhibit this weekend. You can see all the wonderful artwork on display this Saturday and Sunday at the Vesper Hall Center on Vesper Rd. in Blue Springs, Missouri. The opening reception where you can meet the artists is Saturday from 7-9pm. You can buy tickets for the opening at the door.
Come on out and say hi!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What do awards really mean?

Today's blog came about because I listended to two of my students bemoan the fact that they haven't received awards at the shows they have entered. It seems to be a re-current theme among aritst that enter shows. I have heard several of my artist friends who are devastated by the fact that they don't win awards.
What is it about awards that make our lives so centered around whether we "win" or "lose". When did it happen that it became more about the award and less about the art? Don't get me wrong awards are great. They are a validatioin that for that piece, on that day, someone thought your art was a stand out from the rest.
What I think we forget sometimes is that awards are someone's opinion about our work and the work of others in that particular show. What I think should be more important is how you view your work. Is it the best you could have produced? Does the composition and values work well for the concept? Are you proud of this piece? Is the drawing accurate? Does the art "say" what you wanted to say when you produced this piece? Does this piece move you and therefore your audience?
Art in the long run is a personal journey of each artist. Enjoy the journey and the process and your art will always be an "award" winner.
Happy painting,

Monday, March 8, 2010

Two paintings that will be in the Blue Springs Art League Show

Coming up March 21 and 22nd is the Blue Springs Art League Show at Vesper Hall in Blue Springs, Mo. The painting "Toward the Light" featured here will be in this show along with a painting called "Waiting". Hope all of you come out and see all the great art that will be on exhibition and for sale.

Michael Davis, one of the woodworkers in the Gragg Art Gallery, will also have two pieces featured at this show.

The opening reception is Saturday from 7-9pm.Tickets to the reception can be purchased at the door the night of the reception $8.00 each or $15.00 per couple.

The Exhibition is open free to the public.