5 Ways To Identify A Painting For YOUR Taste

There are so many choices of painting styles - when you're in the market, it helps to quickly narrow down what appeals to your individual taste....(continued below)

Oil painting by Twomey, barn plantation
Bleak House Barn III
Working on a series of the Bleak House Plantation Barn located in Earlysville, VA. What I'm liking very much about this painting is that I'm loosening up. A dream like, luscious quality is infusing the structure - a quality I very much feel when I'm looking at this venerable barn.

This original is available for sale as a 5 X 7" oil on archival linen board. Framed in a gorgeous custom gold and black floating canvas frame. 

Helpful purchasing guidelines:

1. What's your budget? You can purchase original pieces of art - art that will increase in value - for less than $500.

2. When looking at art samples, what draws your eye first? This includes identifying that eye-grabbing trait: A color or colors? Subject matter, pattern, abstraction? The stroke (or lack of) of the artist's hand?

3. What size? This seems obvious, but are you open to whatever appeals? Or are you trying to fill a big space over the sofa? 

4. Will the artist's work appreciate in value? If this is important to you, take the time to look at their awards, their statement about their work, their Biography. These will tell you if they're in it for a quick fling or have the staying power needed to increase the value of their art.

5. Are you buying from your heart? If so, that magical quality that drew you in is likely to capture others as well. Successful collectors bring their hearts, their instincts AND their minds to the table when making an art-purchasing decision. 

How to Paint An Emotional Icon

Oil painting by Catherine Twomey
Bleak House Barn 2

I have to have a reason to paint. There is so much local history here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge that's it's tough to focus on just one thing. A focus on the barn at Bleak House Plantation tempers an impending sense of overwhelmed-ness that comes with so many choices.
Having just seen Twelve Years A Slave, that's what I'm thinking of as I read about the history of this plantation. I'm revisiting this barn series at the Bleak House Plantation in Earlysville, VA. Built in the1700's when slaves worked the plantation's wheat, tobacco, corn and livestock. 

I wandered around on a hot spring day, capturing many opinions of what this barn meant to the surrounding landscape. It was silent but for the birds in the country, yet I could hear the voices of past inhabitants and the earth gave up hints of previous homes and outbuildings. Google search was an enormous help in finding obscure references to the slaves that worked here, their names, position, ages, value, etc. 

This particular viewpoint is the third in the series. I simplified the structure, concentrating more on the light and shadow colors and shapes. Emotionally I wanted something beautiful but imposing, as this barn was a symbol of prosperity and enslaved toil. 

This original is available for sale as a 5 X 7" oil on archival linen board. Framed in a gorgeous custom gold and black floating canvas frame. 

"Ocean Storm Sunset" Original Oil Available at Auction

Click Here to Bid

Oil on linen on stretched canvas, 8 X 10", 2011. Carefully packaged; signed by the artist.

About the Painting:  Ocean Storm Sunset was painted near Tampa, Florida in the spring. It is a plein air painting, which means it was painted outside on site, all at one sitting. This painting is full of vivid but accurate color, and the textured strokes add to the beauty and excitement of the coming storm. A layer of varnish has been applied, and archival materials were used throughout. 

Note: the second photo shows how the painting would looked framed. If you are interested in a frame, please add an additional $25.00 for a high quality frame and ready to hang piece. 

The Artist

Twomey's interests have evolved from consolidating and translating the most complex, stimulating visuals into personal artistic jewels. Nature and animals are her stimuli. Her images are founded in a love for the flow of the earth; a desire to convey the direct simplicity of the land as well as living, breathing things. Colors complement the seasons and are melded to reverberate off of each other. 

Complexity is explored as a jumping off point for the ultimate in simplicity. Twomey's goals are to create works that are “jewels” full of color, light, design and emotion. Her work can be influenced by the abstract work of Georgia O'Keeffe, or the realism of Winslow Homer, or the Impressionists, or even Pablo Picasso. 

• TED Conference: invitation to and work shown, the medical division, TEDMED (Technology, Information & Design) 
• Winner of the 2010 ArtInPlace Mural Competition Charlottesville, Virginia; Barracks Road, Charlottesville, 12 X 24' on Aluminum 
• Fellow of the Association of Medical Illustrators (FAMI), 2009 
• Exhibition at the William H. Benton Art Museum, Connecticut 
• Winner of the American Horse Publications Annual Awards, First Place in Illustration for 'Da Vinci Horse' 
• Exclusive medical illustrator for Roche Pharmaceuticals interactive multimedia program, OTIS: Organ Transplant Information Systems –Award-winning program distributed worldwide for heart, lungs, liver and additional transplant patient education 
• Accepted into League of Milwaukee Artists, 2005, juried 
• Founding Member, Illustrators Partnership of America, (Top 100 Illustrators nationally) 
• Salon judge and presenter, 2007 Association of Medical Illustrators Meeting, Bozeman, Montana 
• 17th Annual International Exhibition of Animals in Art - University of Louisiana Veterinary School, entry juried in - only 85 accepted out of 900 applicants 
• American Horse Show Association 'Buy' review of The Guide to Equine Electrolytes: What Every Owner and Trainer Should Know
• International Museum of Surgical Science, juried invitational show 
• Association of Medical Illustrators, Award of Excellence; Concepts in Biology 
• The RX Club/Art Directors Club, NYC, Best of Medical Art, Award of Excellence 
• Association of Medical Illustrators, Award of Excellence; Human Anatomy 
• Association of Medical Illustrators, Award of Excellence; Biology: Visualizing Life 
• The RX Club/Art Directors Club of New York City; Award of Excellence 
• Association of Medical Illustrators, Award of Excellence; Human Anatomy and Physiology 

Twomey is a graduate of the University of Illinois School of Biocommunication Arts and Northern Illinois University. She has also studied at Northwestern and Oxford. Catherine has practiced as a Board Certified Medical Illustrator for 25 years, and is currently working with the international eye-care organization, ORBIS, to produce a series of ocular illustrations that will educate nurses about children's eye pathologies in South Africa. 

PayPal is accepted for payment.