Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Irises in the Afternoon

Irises in the Afternoon
Copyright 2016 Hirschten
Oil on Canvas 11" x 14"
Original painting available on Etsy

"Then we had the irises, 
rising beautiful and cool on their tall stalks, 
like blown glass, 
like pastel water momentarily frozen in a splash, 
light blue, 
light mauve, 
and the darker ones, 
velvet and purple,
 black cat's ears in the sun, 
indigo shadow, 
and the bleeding hearts, 
so female in shape it was a surprise they'd not long since been rooted out. 
There is something subversive about this garden of Serena's, a sense of buried things bursting upwards, wordlessly, into the light, as if to point, to say: 
Whatever is silenced will clamor to be heard, though silently.”
-Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

I created this painting en plein air in my garden one sunny afternoon....

First I set up my easel with my circular rainbow of colors.

Next I mapped out the forms using the burnt sienna and ultramarine blue.  
The darkest shapes are in.

Now the fun start with mixing the vibrant colors in the shadow side of the objects.

And last but not least I added the bright sections that are highlighted by the sun.

I get asked so often by students how to break down paintings into steps that I created this free mini-course.  You are welcome to this detailed step-by-step guide for free...

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Alchemy of Art Podcast, Episode 27: Interview with the Painter Randall David Tipton

Randall David Tipton hard at work in his studio!
Find out more about his work at:

Podcast also available on iTunes.

Today's episode of the Alchemy of Art Podcast features an interview with the painter, Randall David Tipton and the folktale, "The Moon and the Dressmaker."  Find out more about Randall's work at:

Riverlight by Randall David Tipton
See!  Doesn't Randall's work remind you of Asian painting?  It has these open, uncomplicated expanses of spaces where the eye can rest with swift bold brushwork at the focal points.

On the Alchemy of Art Podcast we interview artists from a wide variety of mediums about their creative process and art philosophy.  Each episode includes folktales and true stories about artists to inspire you and keep you going.  Hosted by Addie Hirschten, a contemporary impressionist painter, art teacher, author and public speaker.  Find out more at

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Wind through the Trees

The Wind through the Trees
Copyright 2016 Hirschten
Oil on Canvas 18" x 24"
Available on Etsy

"There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is; nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open."
-Martha Graham

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Alchemy of Art Podcast, Episode 26: Interview with Squam Retreats Founder, Elizabeth Duvivier

Elizabeth Duvivier in her element!
Find out more about Squam Art Retreats at:

Podcast also available on iTunes

Today's episode of the Alchemy of Art Podcast features an interview with the founder of Squam Art Retreats, Elizabeth Duvivier.  This is an interview about believing in yourself...
 It is about finding the strength to be successful.

And like all of the best chats our conversation wandered to include such questions as what we would grab from our houses if there was a fire.  

Elizabeth said she would grab her book, "The Adventures of Perrine" by Hector Malot.  

I would grab this cross stitch piece created by my mother the year before I was born...

What would you grab if there was a fire?  
Asking yourself this question can tell you a lot about yourself and what you value.