Category Archives: Fresh Paint!

Iris Painting in Progress

It might be fun, for a change, to share a painting in progress. I chose to paint these irises  because I am in love with the light captured in the photo and purple is one of my favorite colors to work with. I had spent a few hours the day the photo was taken enjoying all of the flowers in my country garden. The fresh air, warm sunshine and the peace and quiet on that late spring day was quite lovely. This is a nice way to remember a magical moment.

This first photo is actually at the second stage of the painting process on this piece. Here, I am beginning to work on it outdoors at the St. Albert ArtWalk in front of St. Albert Place.

A Few Technical Details

The canvas was sanded, prepared with 2 layers of GAC 100 before hand. It was then coated with a thin layer of quinacridone magenta mixed with gloss glazing medium. After allowing it to dry for a few hours, I drew the shapes on the canvas fairly accurately with a watercolor pencil. This worked well because corrections can be made easily with a moistened cloth. At the ArtWalk event, I began to block in the background so that I could view the overall design more easily.

painting in progress, pink background, loose shapes

Here we are at approximately the third stage.

Blocking In

This is one of the easy stages and the image progresses quite quickly. After this initial block-in, I began to focus on creating some of the background colors and shapes. Later, I tackled blocking in some of the highlights and shadows in the flowers themselves. It was also helpful to introduce some of the more intense purple color to help me compare the strength of the other colors.

purple and white irises, flowers, painting in progress

Quite a bit has been filled in since the previous photo.

Coming Together

The quality of the iris painting in progress still appears pretty rough to me and will need several more layers. It does look like it’s coming together quite nicely already. The most fun will be refining all of the details, especially the subtleties of color that will make these irises interesting to look at.  Deciding which areas of the image to emphasize and which to push back is part of my thought process.

purple and white flowers, close up iris flowers, realistic painting

This seems to be really coming along nicely. Handling the lines in the petals takes a bit more focus to get the patterns right.

Concentrated Effort

Having had very little painting time this summer and fall means that it takes a bit more energy to focus on the intricacies of this iris painting. Sometimes the details in the grey tones and the stripes on the petals took more concentration than they would had I painted more often. Stay tuned as more photos are posted during the journey to completion.

painting of white and purple iris flower

Here we are at about 85% complete!

The Home Stretch

Since the weather has become wintry and a few other tasks in the house and office have been taken care of, I feel there is more room and energy available for me to re- focus on this painting in progress. It seems to take a while to switch gears sometimes and re-arrange my routine to paint more during the day instead of just after supper. Making the refinements at this stage is pretty satisfying. The next question is what should be done with the background?

three white and purple irises painted realistically

This is pretty close to complete.

Painting in Progress Nearly Complete

There was a lot of back and forth as I worked on the background. Adding shapes, then taking them out; rearranging shapes and colors, pushing them back again. The stripes on the purple petals took a bit more concentration in order to get the patterns right and were so much fun to paint! These hues are achieved not through mixing paint colors, but by a careful layering process. At this stage, it feels as though the painting is complete or very near. I will let it rest for a few days, maybe turn it to the wall and re-examine it later to see if anything needs to be adjusted.

A Quick Little Peak

New Miniatures on wood as of Jan 15, 2016

A quick little peak of New Miniatures on wood as of Jan 15, 2016

Here is a quick little peak of some of the new artworks created in the studio. Pictured above and below are just a few of the new miniatures that I have painted this winter. Some of them are on wood and some on paper. So much fun!

I took a few chances in composition and enjoyed working with the variety of color and subject matter. Switching between working on these little ones while working on larger paintings makes studio time even more interesting. Larger paintings take much more focus and time. Each miniature takes between 3 and 5 hours depending on level of detail, which is not a large commitment. Some may be painted again in a much larger format because they were so successful, have great design and fun color combinations.

New miniatures on paper as of January 15, 2016. May of these will be attached to blank greeting cards.

New miniatures on paper as of January 15, 2016. May of these will be attached to blank greeting cards.

The tiny works on paper pictured above measure about 1.5 inches by about 2 to 3 inches. Many of them will be used as greeting card appliqués and sent with hand written notes as needed. A few of them may be double matted and shrink wrapped for sale.

Because they are created on paper, I allow myself to let go of the expectation of having them turn out well. Paper is cheap and easy to cut. Even less time is spent painting these than the miniatures on wood and with them I am learning to trust my own memory and imagination. Often I will not use a photo reference for these and will make up the scene as I go along. Very good practise indeed!

You are welcome to make arrangements for a studio visit to come and see what I currently have in stock. There are new paintings coming every week!

Looking Back

old-barn-trees-wp-webThis lovely little scene is from a place that holds fond memories for me. My best childhood friend grew up on this dairy farm.  I used to walk or ride my bike to her place in the summer during my early teen years, when ever I had permission. (If I recall correctly, there was a time or 2 when I did not actually have permission… ) It was only a five or six mile hike and I had to pass by this barn before arriving at her house.

Itching For Spring Color


“Spring Garden Smiles”, original acrylic on wood by Judy Leila Schafers, 3.5″ x 4.5″, framed, $110

Maybe. If I paint my beautiful, vibrant garden flowers, spring might come sooner. I have always loved purple and this was so much fun to create!  Working with certain colors lifts my mood instantly. I have learned over the years, that some colors cannot be, or are very difficult to mix. The purple in these pansies. called dioxazine purple, is one of those. If you add just the right red and varying amounts of white, you can achieve quite an array of effervescent hues. 

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head
And whispered to her neighbour,
Winter is Dead”
–A.A. Milne

Quiet Country Roads

fall-country-road-WPwebTo find yourself on a quiet country road on a perfect fall afternoon. It never seems to last long enough. These are the moments that refresh the soul.

“One Blissful Day”, original miniature acrylic on wood by Judy Leila Schafers, 4.5″ x 4″,  $110

Fresh Paint!

long awaited springAbove: “Long Awaited Spring” , original acrylic miniature on wood, 8″ x 3.5″, $135

On my previous website, I had a page entitled “Fresh Paint” where I would post my most recent works. Since the format for this site is completely different, I thought I would display my most recent works on this blog roll instead. Every week or so (or as new work is completed), I will be posting never before seen paintings on this page and shall see how this works for a while. I may create a page for these new paintings if that would work better. After some feedback, I will re-evaluate. It would  really help me out to have your comments on this idea, so please leave a reply. Thanks!