My Peppers; My Familia

familia-7Talking about Art is what I love to do! (see note on the bottom if you would actually like to hear me talk about art!)

So here is a story about a painting I did this August. While I was painting it I  took several pictures of my process. Honestly, I never seem to paint two paintings in the exact same way twice but I thought my friends might enjoy some insight into how it all works!

My neighbors are very lovely people and one day this summer they brought over a box of lovely peppers. Immediately, their fresh green skin captivated me. With their interesting shapes and reflective skin I knew I had to paint them. So I set them in a different arrangements until I settle with lining them up closely like a family portrait.


These peppers were fresh enough to reflect their surroundings including each other. My family is affected by their surroundings and definitely reflect each other.So had the idea to  paint the word familia which means family in Italian with the peppers. My husband has Italian heritage and I have a great appreciation for all things Italian especially their love of food and familia!


It was a beautiful summer day and I set up early to enjoy the cool of the morning. Since I was under a large tree the light stayed consistent during the day and it kept it relatively comfortable temperature as well. 

20160808_095814I like to start with expressive brushwork underpainting. Expressive brushwork of yellow-orange formed the first layer including the sides of the painting which are wrapped in canvas

I added the word familia and then started to paint in the background.
On the table you can see my subjects, the actual peppers!
Defining the pepper contours in blue-green.
Painting in the tabletop.
Painting the main forms of the peppers.
Capturing the colored reflections.

The spaces between the peppers create interesting spaces for the light to peek through.

Adding the white highlights.
Lastly, I repainted familia with translucent colors and it was done! Basta!

By the end of the day the pepper painting was complete and then it was time for dinner. Hmmmm, Pork with Peppers and Onions?

If you enjoyed this and would like to hear more about my work I was a guest on the “These go to Eleven” podcast with Nathan Bell and Greg Dutcher. During the podcast we talked about creativity and how that intersects with my faith. I share some of my journey as an artist and hope that it can be an encouragement to others to pursue the arts for the glory of God.

It will be uploaded January 24th, 2017 at 10pm.

 Gwen talks to Greg and Nathan about art and faith

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