Saturday, December 27, 2008

Portrait of Jim & Lisa

I was commissioned by a young couple, Adrienne & Tom, to paint this as a thank you gift for Tom's father Jim and his wife Lisa. I was honored to be chosen because I know this was a very special gift for them. Their excitement and enthusiasm was catching and I wanted to make sure that I delivered in every way possible. I have to admit that I made a couple of changes after taking this picture--just can't help myself.


Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Holidays and Baby Mallory

This is my unofficial shadow shot for Sunday (LOL). We were riding in the Great Smokey Mountains last Fall when I snapped this picture. I hope everyone enjoys the Holidays with family and friends!
This painting is little Mallory, what a cutie. The challenge on this painting was, of course, getting a likeness but also using a magnifying glass and tiny brush to get the detail. I think I need to paint BIGGER!!

Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Portrait of Susan


Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2008

This is a small but prescious portrait commission that I've been working on. I spent several hours on her arm, trying to capture those cute rolls. I hope that her parents will cherish this for years to come.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

TAGGED & Yellowstone National Park

Since I have been working like Santa's Elf on Christmas Commissions, I haven't been a very good blogger. Hopefully I'll be back on track soon but you know how busy the Holidays are. Meanwhile,


Deborah of Pictures Pots & Pens tagged me right after I started my blog, also, Artist Joan Breckwoldt has tagged me to reveal 7 little known things about myself. Please visit their sites if you get a chance. I have to say that there really isn't a lot that is exciting about me but here goes--in no certain order:

1) I absolutely LOVE Yellowstone National Park. my first visit was several years ago and I've been back every other year since then. I can't see enough of Old Faithful, buffalos, eagles, love all of it (see pictures below), 2) I'm afraid of needles, 3) I married the boy next door, 4) I love to collect stuff, 5) I'm a motorcycle enthusiast--we travel all over the United States with our friends. We've had lots of fun on it--from coast to coast, north to south, beach to mountain--last year we went to--you know where--Yellowstone. 6) I love to visit museums--art, history, nature, etc. 7) Did I mention that I love to travel?

I'm tagging all of my blog followers to reveal 7 unusual things about themselves if you choose to participate.

Rules:1. Put a link to the person who tagged you in your post.2. List 7 little known facts about yourself.3. Tag 7 other bloggers and let them know.

My first trip to Yellowstone was in the mid 80's. I was on a trip for work, staying in Laramie, Wyoming and stayed a few days extra to visit the park--after that I was hooked! I can honestly say that Bowling Green, Kentucky is no where near Wyoming so I must love it to travel so far. Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872 and here are some of pictures of my last trip in July 07. This was a motorcycle trip and we stayed in Idaho around the West Entrance.

Old Faithful is the most famous and consistent geyser which erupts every 45-90 minutes and is located in the Upper Geyser Basin. There is a webcam that you can see on their website.

These beautiful mountains are the Grand Tetons a little south of Yellowstone. Jackson Hole Wyoming has a great view of the Tetons. The Tetons have their own national park (love this one too).

Back to Yellowstone now with a lovely scene within the park--breathtaking actually.

A waterfall in the park.

Here is the eagle we passed quite often.

You can't visit Yellowstone without seeing the Buffalo.

This is just a little playful bear we saw in the park. I was just a little nervous since I was sitting on the back of a motorcycle with no protection. Fortunately, he ignored us.

This is a beautiful steaming pool (hot pools). The intense colors come from two sources--water temperature and chemistry (pigments with microorganisms). There are over 10,000 thermal features in Yellowstone of which only 3% are geysers.

More hot steaming pools, we had to see every one of them (as a matter of fact all thermal 10,000 features--LOL) on our first trip there together.

Thanks for joining me on a trip to my favorite place and I'm thinking about 2009. . .

For all you basketball fans. . .

12 x 16
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2008

This is my first official "sports" painting and everyone loves college basketball! The couple that commissioned this painting are BIG North Carolina Tar Heels fans and wanted a painting to go in their room devoted to -- you've got it, The Tar Heels. So they gave me several items and I came up with this still life. My favorite part of the painting is the basketball, it was in a plastic box and there were lots of neat reflections. I'm not crazy about painting the lettering and had to work really hard on them. This is my contribution to basketball season!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Tropical Sunset

12 x 16
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2008

This painting was a little harder than I thought it would be--as usual! The sunset was so beautiful and I really had a difficult time capturing it. Wouldn't it be great to see this scene every evening? If that was the case, would one take it for granted?????

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We had our usual family gathering with lots of good food and of course lots of love, we have so much to be thankful for.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The River Hat

My reference for this painting was a small snapshot taken while on vacation in Mexico many years ago. My husband and I were in a boat also and we passed this boat with an adorable little boy with the white hat. I love the palm trees and the bank of the river as the back drop for the boy. I spent a lot of time on this painting trying to get it "perfect". Well I didn't succeed but I certainly tried! This painting is one of my favorites and will stay in my private collection.

16 x 20

Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Site Coming. . and Help--Still Life Paintings that need names

I'm ready to start the new year with a new and exciting site thanks to my wonderful webmaster so stay tuned. . . I'll send a link to my subscribers and will post on my blog when it's ready.
I've taken a few days off to regroup after my show and now that I've rested up, I'm ready to paint again to complete my Christmas commissions. Since I haven't finished one yet, I'm posting a few still life's that I painted a little while ago that are unnamed (poor paintings). As usual I need help and you creative folks do such a good job . . .


Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2008

Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2008

I want to say a big "Thank You" to those who visit me on a regular basis and offer words of wisdom and make me feel warm and fuzzy. The blog wouldn't be any fun if I didn't have any visitors------next post A W A R D S!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Main Street 24x36 painting & Opening Event

Our opening was last Friday night, November 7, and before it began, Faye and I were taking a few pictures. I am standing in front of a long wall that was devoted to my works of art. Faye's art was on the other wall. I would like to say a big "Thank You" to Lynn and Melissa at "The Gallery at 916" for a very nice opening event. Several attended and fun was had by all! I'm sure Faye will have pictures also so visit her at her blog Faye Christian Phillips (I have a link on my favorites list).

On my previous post, I showed a small snippet of our Main Street and "Fountain Square Park". Although I have painted Main Street several times before, here is my latest and largest painting. I was working hard to get it delivered before the show and I made it--yeah (at noon the day before)!!!

Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2008

Southgate Studio and Fine Arts Student Exhibition

You probably remember "Roxie" from a previous post. Southgate Studio and Fine Art in Franklin, Tennessee has an annual student show each November and Roxie was my entry. Unfortunately, I didn't get to attend the opening due to a previous commitment so I got to see it for the first time last Monday night. Please stop by and see Pat and Jody, the show looks great and there is so much talent, amazing!! Roxie really pops doesn't she--with all those pink feathers.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

November Show at The Gallery at 916

Here are some pictures of our beautiful downtown area in Bowling Green, Kentucky--"Fountain Square Park". The first picture is the Fountain that I have painted a couple of times and I have to admit that I adore our little downtown area. It's full of personality and as I have said before, there is a sense of pride here. This is the same composition of the night painting of the fountain that I did.

The next picture is "Main Street" of which I am currently painting and should finish it tomorrow night. I have painted Main Street several times and everytime I look at it, I see something new.

This is "The Gallery at 916" on State Street in Bowling Green, Kentucky and this is where my show is for the month of November with fellow artist Faye Christian Phillips. If you get a chance, our opening is Friday, November 7 from 5-7 pm. Hope to see you there!!!!!

You may recognize "Blossoming Friends" named by my friend Pat from Brooklyn New York. This is part of the show at the gallery.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Three Sisters

16 x 20
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2008

My niece is a photographer and she took this picture of three little girls that are sisters. I fell in love with it and asked her if I could paint it. I have to admit that I've never painted such little legs (middle baby sister) with such cute little pink toe nails!!! Any suggestions on names for this one? I know you can come up with something better than mine (Three Sisters).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Fountain at Night

16 x 20

Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2008

This painting is of the Fountain in Downtown Bowling Green, Kentucky. I was on the square for a musical event one night and took a night shot of the Fountain and really liked the way the buildings had a golden glow behind it.

There is a lot of history on our Downtain Square, the square originally had a courthouse built on it in the early 1800's. But eventually a new bigger, better courthouse was built in another location and in May of 1872, the area was officially named "Fountain Park" by our city's leaders and a fountain was placed there. The original fountain was replaced in 1881 by a 6,000 pound precast Fountain from J.L. Mott Ironworks of New York City. The Fountain is crowned by Hebe, the Goddess of Youth. Statues surrounding the Fountain are Mythological figures of Flora--Goddess of Flowers, Ceres--Goddess of Grain, Pomona--Goddess of Fruit and Melpomane--Goddess of Tragedy. There are two arch entries into the Park made of Bowling Green limestone. The landscaping is beautiful and buildings surrounding the park have been renovated. Very charming and a source of pride to the citizens of Bowling Green.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

tea cup series # 3

12 x 16

Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2008

This will be the last tea cup that I finish before my November show--yes it's time. This was very challenging for me because of the two glass pieces. The candy dish was a very thick glass and not very transparent so I struggled with it. The cup & saucer was more transparent so the process was easier to get the feel of glass.

On my previous post, I received several very good suggestions of names for the paintings, thank you so much. It was very hard to make a decision but I decided to name the painting "Blossoming Friends" because the yellow rose signifies friendship.

Now get your creative juices flowing again because we have # 3 to name (please. . .).

Monday, October 27, 2008

Blossoming Friends

3 panels 12x16 each

Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2008

This trio is for my November Show at The Gallery at 916. I wanted to use 3 panels and have a continuation of the roses from one panel to another. My Mother-in-Law was kind enough to let me have a couple of roses off her rose bush. I tried to keep it soft and delicate.

Ok guys we have more paintings to name. . .

Sunday, October 19, 2008

3 pear still life

8 x 10

Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2008

Pears are sooooo much fun to paint, they have the odd little shapes--kind of bulging at the bottom or side and in a certain light they have all kinds of colors. Here are my three little superstars posing for me. The actual painting has more color to it--I need a photography class (in my spare time)!
Don't forget I'll be at The Gallery at 916 on November 1 from 10am to 5pm and November 2 from 1-5pm and look forward to seeing those of you that can come.

2nd in tea cup series

12 x 16

Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2008

This tea cup has special meaning to me because the tea set belonged to my Mother. She passed away at the age of 40 after a long illness and I was 19 at the time.

When I was a baby, we moved to Northern Ireland where my Dad was stationed in the Navy. We lived there for about 2 1/2 years so I learned to speak with an Irish accent and dance the Irish jig (according to my parents--I don't remember it). My Mother bought this tea set while overseas so of course I cherish it very much.

Now I depend on you guys to come with suggestions for names. What do you think?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cityscape--"Dusk in the Big Apple"

12 x 16
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2008
This was from my trip to New York City last February, it was at dusk so that's why it's a little grey, at that point in the day when you finally turn on your headlights. What's a good title for this one? I know you can do better than my "The Big Apple". I feel like this painting needs something but I'm not sure what--any suggestions?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My Cousin, Jr. Hartis

My cousin, David Hartis Jr. (known as Jr.) age 63 was buried today after a long battle with cancer. He was an avid outdoorsman excelling in hunting and fishing. He was a master at many things--bow maker, call maker (turkey, ducks), knife maker, fishing lures, carpentry, excellent marksman and was also very artistic. But most important he was a family man and he loved his wife Loretta and daughters Lynn and Tia and their families very much. He was loved by many and will be dearly missed!

The image above is a painting that Jr. painted and gave me of an American Kestrel, I love the detail of the bird, flowers, even barbed wire. I keep it in my studio as one of my inspirations. Below is a painting he did of a turkey. My son is also an avid outdoorsman and when he killed his first turkey, Jr. mounted the feathers and painted the turkey on the leather piece. The bottom image shows the feathers also.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Roxie in Feathers

On Monday nights I travel to Franklin TN to Southgate Gallery at the Factory to paint from life. We have painted Roxie many times in the past and she always has great costumes to wear, some of them she has made. Usually we only have one session of about 3 hours but every once in awhile, we get two sessions. We got to paint Ms. Roxie 2 nights and she was splendid in her purple feathers (a little challenging I might add). The next image is my finished product after about 6 hours of painting. I'll do a slideshow with my different Roxie's in a couple of days.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Enchanted Forest

8 x 10

Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2008

This is a little plein air painting called "enchanted forest" that I painted in Murray Kentucky. This one really has a lot of mystery and atmosphere in it. I haven't painted plein air in a while and I really enjoy it so I don't know why I haven't. Now that Fall is in the air and it has cooled off some, I may get outside and paint!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pop Art--Flower Power

This piece of art was one of the first commissions that I did. This consists of 4 16x20 canvases. They can be hung together as pictured or you can separate them and put space between. The bedroom is accessorized in pink and black and is gorgeous. The flower has the black background and a pink square was painted on the wall to highlight the "painting". What a great focal point for the room.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Miniature series

These four paintings are the last of the miniatures that I have painted so far. . . I may do some ballerinas. I think my favorite so far is the one of my father-in-law on his tractor and the sheep. I believe that makes me a country girl (I already knew that though). When I was a girl, I used to go with my neighbor (who is now my father-in-law, yes I married the boy next door) and feed the pigs and cows. He would pull a little trailer behind his tractor and that is where I would ride. I moved to Kentucky from Nashville, TN and I thought it was wonderful to feed the cows, chickens, pigs, climb trees, ride horses. . .

A little nautical painting--this is for my Dad, a retired Navy man of 20 years!

My little "Tuscan" like scene--love those little trees that grow there.

Kentucky scenery, a lone barn in the middle of a wheat field. I took this picture on the back of our motorcycle on a weekend ride.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

miniature beach paintings

Here are more miniatures that are about 3 x 4" in size. I wouldn't mind being under this palm tree right now!
This is from one of my vacation pictures--I love the reflection of the bird on the wet sand.

My friend Sandy relaxing on the beach (she does that a lot--I'm jealous).

Just some lone beach umbrellas waiting to shade someone!
Any suggestions on names for these little jewels?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Miniature paintings with easels

I have a fascination with these little easels made out of forks. I've gone to all the antique stores around and collected quite an assortment of forks and my husband provides the labor to transform the forks into these lovely little easels. Well I had to paint little paintings to go with the easels. Here are a few of the paintings, the first one is a vineyard, the second image is a better view of the easel, the third image is my little still life of three pears and finally I painted my father-in-law on his tractor and some of his cows (his big pets). So far I've painted eleven so stay tuned for more.