Monday, December 28, 2009

Mother & Daughter

Hope everyone is ready for a new and exciting 2010! This is my 100th post and I can't believe how fast the time has passed since my first post in June 2008. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog and especially to leave a comment. I've been so fortunate to have comments that are both encouraging and uplifting. As an artist, I am looking forward to the next year and what experiences it will bring and hopefully will continue to learn and grow.

Happy New Year from the Smith Family


I haven't posted lately because I've been visiting with family, doing a little entertaining, working and of course painting! This is a portrait that I have been working on of a Mother and her Daughter. They look so happy and I hope that is an emotion that I have captured.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Play Ball

Yesterday I took an art workshop with Jason Daniel Jackson sponsored by the Hopkinsville Art Guild and we painted a still life. What attracted me to this set up was the rim light on the dog. Can anyone come up with a good name for this cute little pooch?

10 x 8
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Deep in Thought--Head Study

I've been a little lazy lately, well not really lazy just concentrating on cleaning and organizing my house, watching movies, cooking, enjoying this beautiful Fall weather--ok maybe lazy! This is my last Monday night head study and our model looked a little wistful, hope I captured that feeling in the painting.

On one of my previous posts, I said the view behind my house is ever evolving. I took this picture just a few minutes ago, such a beautiful day today--in the 60's with a little brisk wind.

This shot is of the cutest donkey that hangs out with the cows in the field behind our house. Correction, I think he's cute until he starts braying in the middle of the night--have you ever heard a donkey talk???


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Latest Head Study plus scenery

I've learned my lesson, take a bigger canvas to my live model sessions!!! I ran out of room on this one so I just improvised and painted on the tape. This model had the greatest hair with red gold highlights (wish my hair looked that good).

Today was so beautiful with the sun shining and temperature was in the mid 70's--very unusual for this time of the year so we just had to take a motorcycle ride and as we passed these mules we had their undivided attention.

I have several pictures of these corn stalk stacks (???) and I love the way they look. I hope everyone has a great week!





Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fall is in the air

It's finally Fall, one of my favorite times of the year! It was so pretty the other day that my Husband and I went walking around the farm and ran into my Father-in-Law George, his dog Presley and friends!

Sunday morning I was up early and decided to drive through the campus and take a few pictures--I always carry my camera with me just in case you hadn't noticed.

This reminds me of my Father because he would decorate the graves of soldiers every Memorial Day with little US flags to honor them. I thought the light was beautiful.

Driving up College Street to Cherry Hall on Western's Campus. I love the shadows across the road, lots of wires & cables too.

My sweet dog Lucky is feeling frisky and checking out the yard. He likes to keep an eye on everything. I have a few small pumpkins for Fall!

I snapped this picture of a barn that pays tribute to the mighty Kentucky Wildcats--a lot of basketball fans in Kentucky!

I was walking around the farm and saw these big round bales of hay, they looked so interesting that I had to take several pictures at different angles (LOL). I love to paint them with the sun shining on them.

This is the view from our back yard, I love this pond because there is always something to look at. Sometimes there are cows swimming (do cows swim?), ducks or cranes on the pond, wild turkeys--you never know.

Pre-Ballet Class

20 x 16
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2009
I observed and took pictures of a pre-ballet class and even though this is a small portion of the dancers, they were all so adorable. I'm sure there will be more of these paintings since I love to paint dancers! I'm not used to painting in such a high key but it was challenging for me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Emily--study from life

This is a study from life of Emily, she dressed a little "retro" for us. She was an excellent model and needless to say she got lots of oooooohhhhhhs and ahhhhhhhhhhs. I spent about 3 - 3 1/2 hours on this study. I'm still concentrating on watching my edges.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rhonda the "Model"

I've always wanted to know what it feels like to be the "model" and now I know. We have a group of artists that get together from time to time and paint each other or our spouses, our children, etc. My friends said that I did a good job modeling and didn't move too much but they didn't ooooohhhhhhh and aaaaaaahhhhh over my beauty, guess I'm more of a character model. My friend Angela painted this and I think she captured a good likeness--maybe a little younger but that's good!



Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Monday night live model session

As I was going to work this morning, I noticed the sunrise and had to pull over, get my camera out of the trunk and take pictures of the golden sky. What a glorious sight! It was the prettiest part of the day, especially since it rained all day.


We had a wonderful model last night, she had the best outfit on, black pants and lace up patent leather boots. What a perfect figurative painting! But I took a teeny tiny canvas to paint on, don't ask me why but I've learned a lesson here--always take a larger canvas than you think you will ever use!!! So I had to force myself to paint her lovely face, life is rough (lol).

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tribute to my Dad

Marion G. Hartis
World War II Veteran
Korean War Veteran
20 year career in the US Navy
Retired United States Postmaster
My Father passed away on September 19th at the age of 83 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. He was a man that enjoyed life to the fullest, a family man, an outdoorsman that taught my sons to hunt and fish, a dreamer and a romantic, a poet, a songwriter and a singer. My family and I will miss him so much. The following is a poem that he wrote while in the Navy that shows a beautiful spiritual side. I will definitely be thinking of these words as I celebrate the Holidays this year.
"Let Christ be with you this Christmas"
As the bells ring out so clear, spreading joy and Christmas cheer,
Let us all recall the holy birth of Christ our Lord this year.
While the bells of Christmas rings and an Angel choir sings,
May we all praise Christ our Lord and loving Master in all things.


We'll bow our heads in silent prayer, on that Holy Holy hour,
And thank God for all our blessings and the joys we have to share.
May the Christmas spirit be close to every Christmas tree,
And with every gift we give, Oh Lord, Let us give thanks to thee.


May Christ be with you all the way, on this joyful Christmas day,
Let him share the joy you feel in everything you do or say.
Though you be poor or rich with fame, Christ has borne your sin and shame,
So let him join you on the day of days, that bears his Holy name.

written by Marion G. Hartis on December 12, 1954, Memphis, TN


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ballerina from the Capitol Show

After the show at the Capitol last month, I pondered on what to do with my ballerina and flamenco dancer paintings. I wanted them to be shown in a setting where they would be enjoyed and maybe even inspiring to those that love dance! Kathy at Dance Images in Bowling Green was kind enough to let me hang my "Dancers" at her dance studio. I've also taken pictures of some of the classes there and I have some wonderful shots that hopefully will become paintings.

Here is another ballerina painting from the Capitol Show. I chose this pose because of the light and the gracefulness of the dancer.

7 x 5
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sports Fan-Three Hour Study


This is my study from a couple of weeks ago from my Live Model Session on Monday night. This was challenging for me because doing the whole figure instead of just the head required a lot of drawing and measuring to get the proportions right. Because of the time constraint, I was not able to develope her head as much as I would normally. The very last touch was her toes!


Friday, August 28, 2009

Sunday afternoon figure study

This is a quick study (about 30-40 minutes) of a model from life. I was pleased with it but I had wiped down the three previous attempts at other poses. I think it took me a little while to get warmed up.
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Misty Morning

A couple of years ago my husband and I went to South Dakota on a motorcycle trip and this is one of the beautiful rivers that we saw. I believe the atmosphere is what attracted me to this scene. I'm ready to go back to see Mount Rushmore, Iron Mountain, the Needles Highway. . .

I don't know why but I had to take a picture of every fly fisherman that I saw (and there were several).
10 x 10
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Ballerina and her shoes

7 x 5
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2009
Anyone that follows my blog knows that I love to paint Ballerinas. So here is another one of my favorites. I think for me, it's all about the shoes in this painting.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Flamenco Dancers

I've already posted one of these but decided to post the series of 4 dancers. I love red-I believe I interited this love from my Grandmother Mazie that loved red and purple. She would always use lots of color in the quilts that she made. She made me a brown & white quilt (at my request) and for years she said it was the ugliest quilt that she had made--ouch!

I was striving to lay the paint on thick and to show movement in the paintings.


7 x 5
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2009

7 x 5
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2009

7 x 5
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2009

7 x 5
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Catching up--3 hour studies painting from life

I'm back from vacation all rested, sunburnt and rejuvinated from my trip to the beach! My husband and I took a motorcycle trip to South Carolina--Folly Beach--and I just disconnected for the week. I did manage to sneak in a trip to Savannah GA and Charleston, SC while relaxing. While in Charleston, I spent the day visiting several Galleries on "Gallery Row" admiring the beautiful pieces of art on display there. Such a treat and a reminder that I need to PAINT MORE! I'm still attending my Monday Night sessions in Franklin TN, although I did miss a few while working on the shows. Here are my four latest paintings of models from life.
The first painting below is from 2 weeks ago. I've just finished a 6 week drawing class with Dawn Whitelaw and Erin Jones and tried to incorporate what I learned in the class. I'm trying to spend more time in the designing stage instead of diving right in but when you only have 3 hours it's very hard to wait.

On the model below, I tried to capture the weight of her beautiful thick hair in this study.

This model had great hair and lovely lips!

I like to think of this model as my Greek Goddess. She has the perfect profile.

Once again, I value your opinion and your visit to my blog!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Practice Makes Perfect--yes a Ballerina!

Faye and I were "Posing" in front of the Gallery in a spare moment during our opening reception. We had a wonderful crowd and lots of fun.


I named this painting "Practice Makes Perfect", another one of my ballerina series that I did for the Capitol Show.

7 x 5

Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2009



Friday, July 17, 2009

Bouquet of Roses



20 x 16
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2009


here's a closeup

White roses are a favorite of mine so I wanted to paint a bouquet for the show and I have to admit I really struggle with florals. This is from life but before I could finish it I had to buy more roses and really needed to get a 3rd batch but refused to (lol).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Richie" and "Petals and Poses" Exhibition

I have a new neighbor and I'm so excited about it. It's this beautiful horse whose name is Richie. He is a Rocky Mountain Horse that is known for being even tempered and good natured. Sometimes in the morning when I leave for work, he's standing there waiting for me to say "good morning Richie". I know you think I'm crazy, talking to a horse at 6:30 in the morning but he is so adorable. I have a great view of him from my studio, so sometimes I take a break and watch him. If the sun hits him just right, I grab my camera and head outside to take pictures (I have several already). This particular painting is from one of my first shots where he was running towards me. I tried to capture the movement but this is my first attempt at this so . . .



10 x 8

Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2009


I have my car loaded up and ready to deliver my paintings to the Capitol Arts for my show "Petals and Poses" that I'm sharing with fellow artists Faye Christian Phillips and Susan Lackey. The opening reception is Friday, July 17th from 5-7 pm at the Capitol Arts, 416 East Main Street, Bowling Green, Kentucky. We would love to see you and there's a "Concert in the Park" that night starting at 7-7:30.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Petals & Poses Show Ballerina & Blog Anniversary

7 x 5
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2009

This is one of the ballerinas that I have painted for our Petals & Poses show at the Capitol Arts this month. I wanted my focus to be the light. I have worked on it more since this picture was taken so it's better now (hopefully). I have five ballerina paintings so far. Our model was in this beautiful white costume with a scarf that attached to her hair with a dramatic drape that wrapped around her arms. What caught my eye was the light filtering through the costume and scarf.
Blog Anniversary
My Blog is now a year old and I feel that I have made good friends all over the world via the blog experience. I've even met one of my Blog Friends--Paz of Paz's New York Minute when I was in New York last February. I've received a lot of positive feedback and comments, not even one negative experience. I've branched out into Facebook now, who knows what the next year will bring. A big "Thank You" to all of you that visit and leave your lovely comments.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Dancer in Red

I've been working on several figurative pieces and I hope a little "Chi" is conveyed in this painting. As usual I'm looking for smart witty names--any suggestions?


7 x 5
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Onion Still Life

I haven't been a very attentive blogger lately but time hasn't allowed it. I've been painting ballerinas lately in anticipation of my next show with Faye Christian Phillips at the Capitol Arts. This post contains an onion still life that is part of my show at The Gallery at 916. Onions are very interesting to paint; lots of thin layers and colors.
Since it's Father's Day, I went to see my Dad early this morning then my hubby and I went on a little motorcycle ride. It's a beautiful, hot, humid, sunny day in Southern Kentucky and I recharge my batteries by riding (as the passenger of course) and looking at farm land, cows, horses, goats, hay bales, corn crops etc. etc. I'm a country girl at heart, what can I say!

10 x 8
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

"A Slice of Life"

10 x 8
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2009
I've been focusing on still life paintings from life. This painting is all about the "orange". I tried to pay special attention to light and edges.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Martini---It's Showtime!

You're invited to The Gallery at 916 on June 5th from 5-8 pm for the Opening Reception and Gallery Hop. Featured artists are Bill Guffey and Rhonda Hartis Smith (yours truly). The name of the Exhibit is "Sizzling Summer" and I hope to see you there.

Doesn't this look delish?


16 x 8
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2009







Saturday, May 23, 2009

Apple Martini

I've been diligently painting for my show at The Gallery at 916 opening on June 5th. I'll be sharing the spotlight with Bill Guffy, a very talented artist, check out his site via my link. I've been painting a series of "martini" drinks. Personally I don't care for the taste, but they look so cool. This is my Apple Martini and I adore the greens. The glass and the liquid was a challenge to paint and I'm still tweaking them. This is one of four for this series.

16 x 8
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rhonda's Lilly Pads

I've really enjoyed using my palate knife lately. I love impressionalistic paintings so I've been working on painting with less "crispy" lines and using more paint. Not really sure if I'm finished with this one but this is where it is right now. I took the picture in the Florida Everglades while dodging the alligators on an air boat, what fun memories. When I was in New York City, I stayed in the Monet area for a long time looking at his lilly pads (of course mine don't begin to compare but I can dream. . .)


I have to share good news, my son Justin is graduating from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green Kentucky, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture, his area of concentration is in Agronomy. We're are so proud of his accomplishment and we're going to C E L E B R A T E!!!

I have to name this for my show, but I don't have the energy right now!



12 x 12
Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fountain's Beauty

I'm painting for my next show at The Gallery at 916 opening on June 5th, so please forgive me if I haven't paid you a visit lately. This is my latest "fountain" painting and I think it's my favorite. I used a palate knife for the sky, I have blue paint everywhere in my studio. As usual, if you have a title suggestion, I can use some help.



16 x 20

Rhonda Hartis Smith © 2009



Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Live Model Session, Monday night

Last night I painted in Franklin, TN and this is my study of Becka. The lighting was dramatic, shadowing her eyes. She has wonderful pouty lips which were fun to paint. I need to lighten up the background to make this a stronger painting. I was a little challenged because I had my canvas reversed and I was painting on an unprimed surface. Guess I was really in a hurry. Being the optimist that I am, I realized that this forced me to use more paint. I'll make sure I have my canvas on the primed side in the future though--much easier!

This is the same model painted previously. Her hair color was different.


I thought a little motivation was in order so I posted several of my head studies from the Monday night sessions. I really like it, I can look up and see years of head studies and hopefully some progression in the right direction.

More studies and I still have room on the other side for new ones!

Thanks for joining me, can't wait for next Monday night!