Saturday, October 30, 2010

"Weather Change"

This piece, like Duet in my last post, is also an oil, 20" x 20" on linen, that I've painted for The Waterfowl Festival.  I posted it on Facebook and got lots of great comments - so feel good about the direction I'm heading.  The actual painting has a darker foreground so will try to get a better photograph when it is dry.

"Weather Change"
20" x 20" oil on linen

Friday, October 29, 2010


I've just finished this 20" x 20" oil on linen for The Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Maryland, November 12-14.  The painting was inspired by a 5" x 7" oil study of a flying egret.   I'm happy with the painting - a step towards becoming more painterly and a tad more contemporary.

20" x 20" oil on linen

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Online brochure on our New Zealand painting holiday

If you would like to know more about our painting holiday in New Zealand, February 26-March 4, 2012, just click here!

Joe Garcia's wife, Anne, has designed a great brochure with lots of clickable links that will show you where we're going and what we'll be doing there!  We will be adding to the brochure in the months to come.

We have enough students to fill one week, so we are adding a second week, March 7 - 13th.  As students who have signed up for the first week may change to the second week, let us know which week you prefer.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blue Rhapsody

I've been working on this 8" x 16" oil for the past week, just an hour or two at a time.  I've found that a painting will often turn out better if I don't rush it.  I'll get the basic idea down - then sit it aside where I can glance at it during the day.  I often find that the painting is more finished than I thought.

This painting isn't quite done - maybe another 30 minutes of tweaking to round out the breast and belly of the bird.  This is one of the originals that I'll be showing at The Waterfowl Festival November 12, 13, 14.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Color Study #2

This is another of the six little color studies I've done in the last couple of days.  Perhaps this should be called a 'mood study' rather than a 'color study'.  But then how do you show mood if not by color?  Perhaps value could indicate mood - such as in a low light with soft edges....but for me, mood is all about color.  I've cropped out the dark border as the glare off the dark, wet paint makes it difficult to photograph.  

I'm finding that I'm no longer interested in rendering or painting detail...been there - done that.  What I want to say can be done with fewer brush strokes.  I want to paint mood.  

This little oil, like the one in my last post, is 2.5" square on a 4" square board.  Framing these little pieces isn't going to be easy but I've decided to use a floater frame, floating the panel on an unseen square of gatorboard, leaving a 1/2" gap between the edge of the panel and the frame.  It's a simple/contemporary way of framing that fits my work.  These little oils will be shown at The Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Maryland, November 12, 14 & 14th.  You can find me in the Gold Room at the Tidewater Inn in downtown Easton.  

Color Study #2

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Colors Studies

Right now I'm working on oils for The Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Maryland in November.  Yesterday I decided to try some simple little color studies of Maryland's Eastern detail, just mood.  These little paintings are a way of working out colors - how one color works against another.  I like the way they're turning out.  This little piece is done on a 4" x 4" panel.  I painted the panel a dark color then did a 2.5" square landscape on the dark paint which makes the moody landscape colors even more intense.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

More on the New Zealand Painting Holiday

We've had an amazing response to our painting holiday in New Zealand. Tentatively, we only have space for a couple more and we haven't even started to promote it other than here on my blog. So we've decided to see if we have enough people interested for a second week. The dates for the first painting holiday are February 26 - March 4, 2012. We'll have two days off and we'll repeat the workshop from March 7 - March 14.  Note that this is 2012 sixteen months from now.

Sandspit, New Zealand
Painted on location

This is a brief synopsis:
Enjoy a late summer painting holiday with Joe Garcia and Adele Earnshaw in Adele's home country of New Zealand.  Spend a week exploring and painting the beaches, island and rain forests of the Kowhai Coast where Adele spent her childhood, just an hour north of Auckland.  Unlike traditional painting workshops, your studio will be the beautiful New Zealand countryside.  Paint as  much or as little as you like.  Artists will be encouranged to complete at least one small watercolor each day that can be bound into a finished journal when you return home.  We will also work on sketches and notes in your travel diary.  You don't have to be a painter to participate.  Non-painting companions are welcome and it will be fun for everyone.  

Following is an idea of what our schedule and activities will be like.  This is our tentative plan for the first day.

Continental breakfast at the Retreat followed by orientation and a watercolor demo by Joe or Adele. We'll take a scenic drive on the way to Leigh Fish & Chip Shop (which is even recognized in Wikipedia as 'well-known for the quality of its offerings!) where we'll have good ol' NZ fish and chips served the old way, wrapped in newspaper.  

After lunch we're going to Goat Island where we'll take a 45 minute trip on the glass bottom boat before spending the afternoon painting on the beach.  If you're not a painter or don't feel like painting, you can rent snorkeling equipment and have the experience of a lifetime as the area is a protected marine reserve.  There's also a two hour hike where you follow the clifftop through coastal forest with views to the outer Hauraki Gulf.   For those who are diligently painting, a mid-afternoon swim will get the kinks out of your back!

On the way back to our retreat, we may stop at the Matakana Pub & Bistro for dinner.  That evening, I may take a small group to the top of Morrison's Hill to listen for moreporks.  This is the sound of the New Zealand bush at night - and more than anything else, makes me realize that I'm home.   While we're looking for moreporks, perhaps we'll see The Southern Cross in the night sky.

If you'd like to add your name to the first or second painting holiday, send me an email at:  For more information, you can go to the workshop page of my website.

Q & A

Do I have to be an experienced artist for this painting holiday?
No.  Joe and I will be there to offer our help, but we won't be hovering over you as we do in traditional studio workshops.   Other than the first day, we won't be doing 'demos' but you are welcome to watch us paint when we're out on painting excursions.  We will offer assistance (if you want it), daily critiques, painting locations and the camaraderie and fun of painting with other artists in one of the prettiest places in the world.   Non-painters are welcome and won't be bored.

 What does the painting holiday cost?
The cost of the painting holiday will be about $2500, give or take $100.  This includes seven nights accommodation (based on double occupancy). We have six two-bedroom, two-bathroom baches reserved at a retreat in Matakana.   (if you click on the link, you'll see images of the resort and baches) You can travel with a friend and have a room with twin beds and your own bathroom, or if you're traveling with your partner, you'll have a king or queen bed.  The cost also includes breakfast, lunch and 4 of your 7 dinners.  We will provide transportation on our daily painting excursions which includes a day trip to Kawau Island, the glass bottom boat at Goat Island and a sheep dog show.

Bach = New Zealand vacation house, cottage or cabin.  Pronounced 'batch'.

What isn't included in the price?
 Not included in the price is your airfare to New Zealand, three dinners, wine or liquor with the exception of the first dinner (we'll stop at the local market where you can buy beer, wine, etc), an optional Maori concert and museum visit on the last day if it works into your schedule, and transportation from Auckland Airport to Matakana if you cannot be at Auckland Airport for two pre-arranged meeting times.  Optional activities, such as snorkeling, are not covered. 

What does it cost to fly from the U.S. to New Zealand?
Depending on where you fly from, the current rates for late February 2011, on Air New Zealand from Denver to AKL (Auckland) is about $1400-$1500 roundtrip.  From Los Angeles, it's about $1350.    Keep in mind that these are 2011 prices as 2012 prices aren't available yet.

How long is the flight?
Eleven to twelve hours non-stop from the West Coast.  The flights leave in the evening - so you board your aircraft, have dinner and a glass of wine and hopefully sleep all the way to New Zealand!  The flight lands in the early morning hours - 5:30 am - 8:30 am.  If you have trouble sleeping on a flight, on Air New Zealand you'll have your own monitor and an unending selection of movies.

Will someone meet me at the airport in Auckland?
We will be at the airport in the morning to pick up passengers arriving from the U.S.  You'll be driven to the retreat where lunch will be waiting for you and you can spend the afternoon unpacking, napping and taking it easy or take a dip in the pool.  We will also be at the airport in the afternoon to meet those arriving from other parts of New Zealand.

Will I have jet-lag?  What is the time difference?
To reach New Zealand you cross the International Date Line, so you will lose a day but you'll get the day back when you travel back to the U.S.  New Zealand is a day ahead and about four hours back from Pacific Time.    If you're coming from the East Coast, you'll notice the time change more.  It is 9:00 AM on Thursday as I write this - and 5:00 AM Friday morning in New Zealand.

Do I have to drive in New Zealand?
We drive on the left side of the ride with the steering wheel on the right side of the car so some Americans prefer to leave the driving to others.  We will pick you up at the airport, drive you to all the painting locations, take you to the supermarket if you need snacks or a bottle of wine and we'll return you to the airport seven days later.

Can you recommend a way for me to see the rest of New Zealand after the painting holiday?
We'll provide you with information on what you can't miss seeing while in NZ.  We'll also give you information on available tours.  For those interested, we're hoping to put together a custom tour with a Kiwi friend who does tours in New Zealand. 

This is where we will be staying.  We have reserved the group of baches cloest to the river.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Today's painting - Trumpeter Swan

This little study got away from me and is more detailed than I intended.   But no time to do another so this is today's piece for the 75 for $75 project.  Click on this link to see the rest of the work in 75 for $75.

The past few weeks, I've been  burning the candle at both ends as I still have a lot of paintings to do for the next show in Easton, Maryland.  No rest for the weary.

Adele Earnshaw - Trumpeter Swan
5" x 7" oil on board, unframed

Friday, October 15, 2010

An Inca Dove for today's 5" x 7"

I do love painting Inca doves. (is it 'dove' or 'doves'?)   A nice round shape and warm colors....   This little 7" x 5" oil study is today's piece for my 75 for $75 project.  To see the rest of the paintings, go to the 75 for $75 page on my website.  All the paintings are $75 each, unframed plus $6 shipping within the U.S.  These little oils are quick, spontaneous studies that I do to help me become a better painter.  This is how I work out color combinations, brush work, etc.  I love doing them too!  I paint 8 am - 5 pm,  six days a week - sometimes 7 days when I'm getting ready for a show.  When I first started the 75 for $75 project, I would do the 5" x 7" study at the end of my work day, but I've found that if I do the little painting first thing in the morning, it loosens me up for the larger, more serious paintings that I work on for the rest of the day. 

Adele Earnshaw - Inca Dove #2
7" x 5" oil study on board, unframed
$75 + $6 shipping, priority mail

Shane hopes to start contributing to the project again this week.  He's been up to his ears in his commercial work.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Lean on Me"

I painted this little oil for the Holiday Small Works Show at Legacy Gallery (Scottsdale, Arizona). "Lean on Me" will have two companions at the show, all 4" x 4" and framed identically.   I can see how my 75 for 75 studies have really improved my color and brushwork, particularly when I'm doing backgrounds.

"Lean on Me"
4" x 4" oil on panel

The Holiday Small Works Show opens on December 2, 2010 and will continue to hang through the end of December.   Opening reception: 7 - 9 PM   

Legacy Gallery, 7178 E. Main Street,  Scottsdale,  Arizona  85251  480 945-1113

A Gull for Today

This may be the first gull I've ever painted in oil.  I really enjoyed painting it - something about painting white in shadow appeals to me.  I think this is one of my favorites of my oil studies so far. 
I am amazed at how much I'm learning by doing these little paintings.

Adele Earnshaw - Gull

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Another blue background!

My sister, Joanne Hanson, recently took a painting workshop from Jill Carver, one of the very best plein air painters.  Jill mentioned that her secret weapon is pthalo green.  I agree - mine too - but also pthalo blue.  Both pthalo colors can kill a painting if not used very sparingly.  I use pthalo green (the only green on my palette) not to mix a green but to cool a color.  Sometimes if I'm having trouble getting just the right color, a tiny dot of pthalo green will give me exactly just the color I'm looking for.  On the other hand, I use pthalo blue to add pizazz to a blue or mauve mixture.   In my humble opinion, there are no other colors that you can substitute for the pthalos.  So the pizazz in the blue background of this piece is from pthalo blue - but just a tiny bit of it mixed in with French ultramarine and a few other colors.

As I've mentioned before, I grew up on a poultry farm in New Zealand so I feel highly qualified to paint chickens - or chooks as they're called in New Zealand.   The photo has glare on it because of the shiny wet paint.  When it's dry, I'll scan it and replace this photo with a better image.

 Adele Earnshaw - Chicken

Friday, October 8, 2010

A little more on New Zealand (scroll down for today's 75 for 75)

If you're looking for today's 75 for 75 paintings, scroll down a bit for today's earlier post.

A few days ago,  on Tuesday October 5th to be exact, I announced that Joe Garcia and I have been asked to do a Painting Holiday in the part of New Zealand where I grew up.  Here it is, Friday October 8, and the trip is close to being full!  Wow - I think we've broken all records!

Just in case you're interested, I'm posting a bit more information about it.  Today I came across a few blog entries written by an American writer visiting the Matakana area, where we're staying on our painting holiday.  When you get to the bottom of the page, make sure you click on older entries so that you see a couple more posts about the Matakana area.  I particularly liked his post 'Drinking Wine With the Sun Gods' about a visit with John Crone, winemaker and owner of Hyperion we hope to visit on our painting holiday.

Some have asked if non-painters can come on the trip.  Unlike painting workshops where your spouse/partner/traveling companion may be bored to tears while you're in class, our daily excursions to the bush, beaches and islands of New Zealand's Kowhai Coast offer plenty for painters and non-painters alike. Almost all the places we'll be visiting have great hiking trails.  One afternoon will be spent at Goat Island, where after a trip on the glass bottom boat, the artists in the group can paint for a few hours.  Non-artists can rent snorkeling equipment and see the most amazing marine life as Goat Island has been a protected marine reserve for 30 years.  Diving lessons are also available.   On the following day, we'll take the launch out to Kawau Island we'll spend four hours paintings, exploring and hiking.  After returning to the mainland, perhaps we'll visit a few wineries before heading back to our Retreat for dinner.  After dark those who are interested can come with me to the top of Morrison's Hill where we'll look for the Southern Cross and listen for Moreporks (a native owl) or ruru.  Shortly after dark, if you're in the right location, you'll hear moreporks calling and answering each other.....more-pork....more-pork.  This is the sound of the New Zealand bush at night - and when I know I'm really home.  

My painting for today and Shane's for yesterday

Shane did his 75 for 75 painting yesterday and I forgot to post it here as I had to make a run to Legacy Gallery in Scottsdale to drop off four new paintings for their fall collection.   I love his new little 5" x 7" and when I read his titles, I wonder if my son might be part poet.

Shane Rebenschied - "Too Late for a Casual Withdrawal"
5" x 7"  oil on board
$75 + $6 shipping priority mail
Shane will add the 'buy now' button here shortly

This mourning dove's lively background happened when I had a few large blobs of blue paint left on my palette after painting another piece.  Rather than waste it, I used it behind the dove and found I rather like it.

Adele Earnshaw - Mourning Dove #6
5" x 7" oil on panel
$75 + $6 shipping

Again, if you'd like to see the rest of the paintings in our 75 for 75 project, go to my website by clicking on this link.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Only 10 am and my painting today is already finished!

Today's painting for the 75 for 75 project is a hummingbird - it  could be either a ruby-throated hummingbird (found in the east) or a broad-tailed hummingbird (found in the west).  They're very similar and I don't have enough detail in the painting to show the subtle differences.   When hummingbirds are displaying or keeping other hummers away from the feeder, they remind me of X-Wing fighters from Star Wars - such wonderful little acrobats.

This painting illustrates the reason I'm doing the 75 for 75 project.  I can be more daring - more painterly with nothing more to lose than a little time and paint.  If the painting doesn't work - it's OK as I don't have much time invested in it.  Because of this, I find myself being much braver with the paintbrush, using a brush loaded with paint and laying down thick, broad brushstrokes.  I love painting this way!

The photo is not the best.  As I just finished painting it about 15 minutes ago, it's very wet therefore hard to photograph because of the glare.  When it's dry, I'll scan it and post a better image.

Adele Earnshaw - Hummingbird #7
5" x 7"oil on panel
$75 + $6 shipping priority mail


To see the rest of the paintings in the 75 for 75 project that my son and have been doing, go to my website, by clicking on this link.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

75 for 75 begins again today!

Adele Earnshaw - Raven #3 
5" x 7"  oil on board
$75 + $6 shipping
My son Shane and I are starting our 75 for 75 project again today.  This is my new piece - cleverly titled 'Raven #3'.  I've had tons of requests for different species so will start with the most popular ones first.  I am amazed at what at how this project has really helped my painting skills.  I'm aware of it all the time when I'm working on larger pieces for shows and galleries.  Check out the 75 for 75 page on my website (there are still a few unsold from the last project) or go to my blog for the latest piece.


Shane says about his new piece for the start of 75 for 75:
I started this one as a quick, 15-minute speed study in Westcliffe, CO and finished it up back in the studio. I love how blue her face was with some subtle warms below and above the eye.

This piece is also the first for today's commencement of a new "75 for 75" project; at least one painting, every day, for a month. Hard work, but always an exciting challenge, starts today!

Shane Rebenschied - "Checking Eyelids for Leaks"
5" x 7" oil on panel
$75 + $6 s/h

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Come and see my New Zealand!

Joe Garcia and I have been asked to do a late-summer Painting Holiday in my home country of New Zealand.  This is in the planning stages - it's still not definite - but I'm putting it out there to see how much interest we have.

Notice I said, 'we've been asked to DO a painting holiday' - not teach a painting holiday!  Unlike our traditionally structured painting workshops where we spend the day in the studio with only one or two excursions to paint on location, this will be a laid-back holiday and our studio will be the beaches, islands and rain forests of the Kowhai Coast - the part of New Zealand where I spent my childhood.  Joe and I will be there to give you individual instruction if you want it, or you can go off on your own and we'll see your work at the end of the day. We'll be painting too - you can choose to watch if you like. We'll work in both transparent and opaque watercolor, completing small paintings that you can have bound into sketch books at the end of the trip, such as the watercolor sketch books that Joe and I have painted in different parts of the world. 

We will provide the painting locations, picnic lunches, informal art discussions on everything from composition to galleries, assistance and critiques.   Unlike painting workshops where your traveling companion has to find something to do while you're in class, our excursions are also for non-painters.  They can swim, hike, photograph or just enjoy the scenery while you are painting.  We also hope to visit the studios of local artists, watch a sheep dog demonstration, visit a winery or two, and see a part of New Zealand you usually don't see as a tourist.  My sister will also accompany us to serve as guide and translator  ; )

A page from Joe's New Zealand sketch book

WHEN:  February 27 - March 4, 2012. (16 months from now)  This is the end of NZ's summer.  
WHERE:  One hour north of Auckland, North Island, New Zealand  (near the town of Warkworth)

MEALS:  We will provide all breakfasts, lunches and 4 of 7 dinners, which will be typical New Zealand fare.  (we can provide gluten-free meals at our retreat)
EXCURSIONS:  We will provide transportation to and from the airport, to and from our daily painting locations, sightseeing, the glass bottom boat at Goat Island and the launch trip to and from Kawau Island.
ACCOMMODATION:  We will stay in five 2 bedroom/2 bathroom guest cottages, grouped together.  Each cottage has its own living area and kitchen.   Standard price is for double accommodation, two per bedroom in either twins or king bed. Every bedroom has a private bathroom.   Single accommodation is available for a slightly higher price.

A page from my New Zealand sketch book

There are several things I must do on every trip home to New Zealand that I hope to share with you.
*  Have fish and chips at the Leigh fish & chip shop (still served wrapped in newspaper)
*  Go out at night to listen for the moreporks (a native owl) and look for the Southern Cross.
*  Walk the rocks at Buckleton Beach at low tide
*  Swim in the warm water of the South Pacific
*  Stand in the bush (rain forest) and call in Piwakawaka (fantails).
*  Listen for Kiwi at night
*  Go to a Maori concert

We're looking into some optional trips for non-painters such as snorkeling at Goat Island.  (Goat Island is a marine reserve known for fabulous snorkeling and diving)

So start saving your pennies, pack your paints, togs (swimsuit) and jandals (flip-flops), and come with us to New Zealand!   If you are interested, please email at

Not provided in the fee:  Airfare, wine or liquor with the exception of the first dinner (but we'll stop at the market so that you can buy your own),  Maori concert,  transportation to Warkworth if you cannot be at Auckland airport for the two pre-arranged meeting times, three restaurant dinners.

The cost for the workshop is not fixed at this time and may go up or down.

FLASH!  We have 15 students tentatively signed up.  This means we only have 4 more spaces the painting holiday is definitely ON!