Tuesday, December 11, 2018

2019 Vintage Volkswagen Camper Bus Calendar

It has become a tradition by now. Calendars!

I love creating these fun calendars featuring my art.
A few years back, the whole calendar idea started out as the climax of a month long painting-a-day marathon. Vintage camper owners submitted photos for a chance to have their glamper photo painted and featured on my blog and social feeds. I was painting a vintage camper trailer each day, followed by a public voting. The crowd favs that gathered the most votes were featured in my first camper calendar.
People loved the idea and sent in more photos than there were days in the month! And by the end I had created 30 paintings in one month!

Click for more photos on the website

Let's fast forward a few years to 2017. 
Our local VW enthusiasts have been hosting a 'Gathering of Friends' VW meet at the local Kiwanis Oceanfront Campground in St. Andrews, NB, Canada. Jenny and her husband Barry invited me to come down to the campground and paint at my leisure while the group was set up. And I did just that! 
It was so much fun to pitch my easel in the midst of reno-chatter and the sharing of tips and tricks to tackle specific vintage VW issues. I heard phrases of water cooled engines and sealing leaks Kids were running around and the summer weather was perfect. 
I even met some proud Volkswagen owners!
This past summer I went back, just for a few short hours, unfortunately. But over the last year I created enough VW bus paintings to fill this 2019 calendar.
I still have a few available!
So if you are looking for a year-long gift for the VW lover on your list, here's a video. 
You can order through my website www.SimoneRitterArt.com or pick up in person at our restaurant, Europa Inn, downtown St. Andrews.

Thank you for taking time, it surely is a busy time of year for everyone!
Thank you for your continued encouragement and journeying with me. 

I wish each and everyone of you a blessed Advent and a Merry Christmas! 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Creating House Commission Paintings

simone ritter art 2017 augustus hall st andrews oil painting white historic house home commission art painting

Augustus Hall Commission 8x10in oil painting, sold

'It's not just a house, it is a home'. Homes are personal cornerstone places in our lives, mark special events, people, family members and loved ones, history important in one way or another. Many people build or lovingly restore homes. Houses hold memories of happy times spent and special people met.
Everyone has places that are special to them in a personal way.
It is a special honour to be invited to capture a keepsake painting featuring a special house in someone's life. This painting is such a commission. I was actually very surprised when the collector contacted me asking if I'd be interested in creating a painting of his beloved historic home. He is designing, building and also renovating custom luxury homes.
As you know, I'm more an impressionist, meaning that I'm more interested in colour than correct angles, haha. So, this one was going to be a challenge and I knew it! As an added level, the collector asked for an oil painting. So, I knew I had to put aside extra time to not feel rushed. Also to give myself sufficient time to tip-toe into this commission piece.

Creating the Painting:

And time it took- this little 8x10in oil was occupying my mind and brush for almost a month!
What proofed a challenge was that white clapboard siding, few shadow areas, working from multiple photos taken at various times of year showing various sunlight at various angles.
My aim was to keep correct the angles of the architecture (well, as good as I could manage that is). Also to keep colours crisp and clean while playing with pushing the white towards different tints such as pinks, yellows, blues, purples and so on. Just the tiniest smidge of yellow warms pure titanium white to look sunny and friendly. On the other hand, just a bit too much makes it appear like yellow siding. Also, if a warmed white is put next to a cold, blueish white, the contrast between both colours shifts the cold colour backwards and lifts the warmer colour to the front.
I went back-and-forth. I adjusted angles, whites- and scraping off again. Yup, and I applied paint again and eventually got a pretty good feeling of the home. Yes, I was glad when I could finally say: yes, this painting is finished, I'm OK with it! I learned so much like applying layers, adjusting temperatures and adding pops of colour and I really have to say it has grown on me and I had fun along the way.

What a surprise when the collector came and not only picked up the commissioned oil painting, but the (below) watercolour as well. I hope both paintings will be a sweet memory of their beautiful home! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to capture your special place!
Augustus Hall Commission 8x10in, watercolour, sold

Thursday, January 11, 2018

St Andrews Winter Painting Spears Fishing Hut

simone ritter art 2018 spears fishing charter lobster hut wharf art painting view st andrews winter snow plein air

St Andrews Winter Painting Spears Fishing Hut

orig. oil on canvas, 8x10in approx. $225

more info and purchase here

This one took me a bit longer to paint. I am determined to not give up with the sub zero temperatures the East Coast has seen lately. So I strapped my oil painting kit and tuckered off down to the wharf to do some paintin'. Smart thinking I was loaded with hand warmer pads, ski pants and triple layers underneath my down coat. I guess I must have looked like the Michelin Man wobbling down the street. I have to say I stayed warm until almost to the very end when the sun went down and my fingers and toes got nippy.
First session, laying underpainting down[/caption]
I couldn't quite finish the painting in one session, so I went down a couple of days later during similar weather. My hope is to see the various colours reflecting in the snow. Not just the dirty, brown snow, but the blue and purple-ish cast shadows, the yellowish snow reflecting the low angle afternoon rays and so on... it is a journey. The longer I am looking at snow (and white in general), the more I learn to see subtle colour variations in the landscape. I hope to continue observation this winter... sun is setting, time to finish the painting

Living the long winter

Making myself go out does my spirits well as they are lifted in the fresh breeze and with the sunshine. Winters are hard for me here, German winters are shorter and not as harsh, and I have to admit that I never really have adjusted to the winter climate here. My dear husband has just put in an order for a 'mood light' to help me beat the winter blues. It hasn't arrived but I'm looking forward to indulging in a daily dose of 'happy rays'. Only 50 more days til Spring, yey!
Hope to being able to share more painting with you soon! Thank you for stopping by!!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

RPod Watercolour- Creating Custom Paintings

simone ritter art 2018 watercolor kims rpod 8x10in art commission glamping painting

RPod Watercolour- Creating Custom Paintings- (Painting is Sold)

Before Christmas I got contacted by a woman who proudly owns an RPod camper.
She has seen my name endorsed on the Girlcamper.com website and sent me an email after visiting my website.
So far I have painted lots of vintage campers, glampers, VWs and the like but modern, new campers have not been my regular fare. I loved how she reached out and accepted the commission.
It was funny how I quickly set out to put the first layer of basic shape on the paper and it was the oval, egg-shape of so many of my vintage 'glampies'. I really got a juckle busting my own well trodden path, haha! Nothing better than starting the new year with something new, right?
The owner is a designer and wants to create a custom flag for her campsite, too. So came to an agreement of using the image for her personal use. So far I have not been approached by a designer to use my art in a design product. I have used them myself in my calendars, cards and other products though.

About Copyright:

Interesting to know, the copyright of artwork stays with the artist even if the painting is sold! Many people don't know this and might (unknowingly) infringe on copyrights by creating cards and the like of artwork they own.
simone ritter art 2018 watercolor watercolour rpod camper glamping blue

I appreciated the openness of the collector and it made for a very positive collaboration. The painting is already on the way to its new home and I hope she will enjoy her painting and her camper flag. I am excited to see her final product and cannot wait to share with you;-).
With sub-zero temps in the Maritimes again, I'm dreaming of summer, sun, warm and camping and meeting new friends and likeminded! Only, hm... maybe 4 more months to go, haha! Thanks for stopping by and stay in touch with new art soon!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Collector's Pics

Christmas updates from my collectors:

It ALWAYS makes my day when I receive Collectors Pics of my paintings in their new home.
This year a couple of people sent in these pics of the paintings under their Christmas trees. I see it as a great honour being included and getting a glimpse where my paintings find their home.
I was so busy tending to commissioned paintings that I didn't have a lot of time to post on my blog in December, so I hope to thread in in the next few weeks what has happened last month in my 'studio' (actually my easel is pitched in my living room by the warm fire, haha).

If you have been following my blog, you have seen above painting before. You can read the story behind this painting in the blog post by clicking here.
And the painting below was purchased by a sweet husband who wanted to surprise his darling wife. I had painted the Winnebago Cabover Painting as part of my 'camper a day' project this past September. He called me up mid December and I got the painting on its way right in time for Christmas. I am smiling as I see how lovingly it is placed! You collectors of mine are theee best, thank you! I appreciate each one of you so very much! You keep me painting and pushing my limits to become better at what I love to do! Thank you!!!
simone ritter art watercolor vintage camper art collectors photos

Cold Snap

Have I mentioned it was cold here in the Maritimes the last couple of weeks? Below are some photos from the St. Andrews wharf I took just a few days ago. The sea smoke on the water is a sure fire indication that it is a verrrryyy cold day. 

My painting day today

We are expecting a 'snow bomb' to explode here in the Maritimes tomorrow. Markus and the people of St. Andrews have been busy getting their houses ready. I hope people will stay home and stay away from the roads. Here this was the view from the wharf this afternoon. Isn't it beautiful? I started a painting, but couldn't quite finish due to frozen cold fingers. Will post about that in the next few days sometime. Hope to finish some last touches, maybe tomorrow. St. Andrews Waterfront View Wharf winter simone-ritter-art-St-andrews-wharf-waterfront-view-whalewatching-hut-lobster-boat-sunset-2018
Thanks for taking time to visit, and stay in touch again tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Two Apples, More Vitamins

Two Apples, More Vitamins

oil pastels, 5x7in approx. matted to 8x10in

more info and purchase, click here

Day two this year and I've painted a second apple, wohoo! The little pleasures. So I call this sketch Two Apples, More Vitamins. I like this medium, always come back to it as a ways to see things new. It is straightforward to judge the colour stick to the actual colour of the object. I then can either put it down or substitute by finding a different colour the same value. This creates little colourful flicks here and there that make the painting more interesting, more colourful. Well, a colour junkie talking here, haha.

Hope to find time again tomorrow for another little sketch. On Thursday another snow storm is expected, so I might be stuck inside still with the kids bouncing off the walls. At least the temperatures are expected to be higher and freezing water pipes are less likely.

simone ritter art 2018 oil pastels work in program

Monday, January 1, 2018

Welcome 2018!

Welcome 2018! I hope you had a great start into this new year!
My very best wishes to you and yours! A new year upon us gives us a chance to reflect back and also plan ahead. I am in the midst of both. Here is a little vignette I created for my Instagram feed, it shows the nine most popular posts of the last year. Yes, I was travelling, painting as often as I could, hm, or should we say: walking the tightrope between my mommy life, wife life and artist life. Surely keeps things interesting, haha! I think for the most part it worked out thanks to my supportive family big and small. Thanks guys!
simone ritter art 2018 5x7in approx oil pastel apples red cut slice

Welcome 2018 with an apple a day!

orig. oil pastel 4.5x6.5in approx.

purchase info click here

What am I looking forward to in 2018? I want to tackle my website, which likely means a complete overhaulin'. Painting regularly and especially POSTING more regularly. I have been pretty good on my social feeds, but my blogs and newsletter have been neglected somewhat.
In the spring I hope to do some renovations to my little Shasta travel trailer. This old girlie is in her 50's, so requires some TLC along the way...
Well, the year is young, so let's start with some fun and bright small sketches! Have taken my oil pastel set out and just finished 'An Apple a Day'. The system of applying paint is the reverse of watercolour, where I usually start with very light washes and work my way to darker and darker shades. Here i am very roughly outlining where my subject shouldbe on the paper and start with darker colours first before adding lighter tones and highlights last.
I'll keep you posted as I'll be working my way through hopefully more little sketches. I hope they'll help me judging values when painting from life.

I'm sending you my very best wishes for the new year, may your dreams and hopes come true, esp. health and happiness and God's blessings!

Ritter painting oil pastels apple 2018