Hot — the Paintings

A couple of Saturdays ago, Jan came by to continue our color explorations. She had been at the Sunday Parkways Southeast as both a participant and a volunteer and was finishing out her day by painting for a couple of hours. Our assignment was to use the hot colors, as Lucia Salemme defined them (cadmium yellow medium; cadmium red light, medium, & dark; yellow ochre; ultramarine blue; titanium white; ivory black; and raw umber, along with mixtures of cadmium yellow and ultramarine and cadmium red and ultramarine). After laying out all our paints, we were to make a “Hot” painting. (Salemme’s book is dated 1970, so “hot” meant temperature and color — and nothing else — to her).

Here’s Jan scanning some remnants of the earlier part of her day for an image to paint:


She decided to paint “hot” bicycles, a choice that puzzled me, but which I knew I couldn’t address. Wheeled vehicles are not my strength.

But I was running out of the size canvas she needed to paint on, so she ended up with a very blue (probably cobalt) background on a painted-over canvas. Salemme says cobalt blue is a cool color. I don’t believe her, which may be why I gave Jan that canvas to work with.


Jan was not altogether pleased with her results (you can see the edge of the blue canvas on the easel.)

But I thought that her bicycles, even if they weren’t very “hot,” were quite splendid:

hotJansPaintingShe says it’s a painting of “Biking in Portland”, with the necessary accoutrements of angels looking after you — and rain.  You see where I get my sense of humor.

For my “hot” work, I did another painting to send off to Sheila. She’s my buddy with whom I’m doing a challenge. Since she has to do twice as much work as I do (she’s doing textiles; I’m doing painting) I thought it only fair to send two pieces to her one. Besides, the only other piece in my studio that looks like the same painter painted it is the one I did called Sheila’s Hydrangeas.


Sheila’s Daylilies, 12 x 16, oil on board, 2009


Here’s the other Sheila painting:


JOU, Sheila’s Hydrangeas, 12 x 16″, Oil on board, 2009

And here, again, is Sheila’s piece, to which I was responding:

azalea mosaic5-09

Sheila Barnes, Azalea Mosaic #5: Slippery Slope, 12 x 16″, textile, 2009

This entry was posted in Art, family, painting, Portland, representative, southeast Portland and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Hot — the Paintings

  1. june says:


    Actually, I’m a crow — and crows trump cats, always –snort —

    I’m finding the challenge great fun. It allows me to do what I love (schmoozing with friends and painting) and yet I don’t feel any pressure. Sheila’s the good companion for such an enterprise — a perfectly comfy person to be around.

    But Diane, how do you know that I am difficult to herd. Harrumph! I see I shall have to improve my public image. Jan told me, in a postcard from a wolf-howling event, that she thought Jer but not me, would have enjoyed the sounds. I felt left out….. sigh. We never will be heroes to our daughters.

    Of course, I’m not sure if this is a public image or a family issue. Anyway, when I told Jan that I felt a bit “hurt”, she laughed and laughed, and then told me that Rick had sent Jer a postcard, just for him, but not for me (it was about baseball, so I discounted the insult.) As you may have perceived, I’m not silent about my feelings…….. sometimes it’s fun to hear your kid laugh at your foibles.


  2. Diane Elizabeth says:

    Jan’s bikes are so much fun! I see a definite mother/daughter link as regards perception of things.

    As for the June/Sheilla challenge — I have to laugh about June’s promised azaelas turning into hydrangeas. Having spent some time getting to know June, I am not surprised! I think that when dealing with June there is always the “herding cats” process to deal with! Sheilla, good to see you take these things in stride! What fun that you are getting to share a challenge together. Diane


    • Sheila says:

      Diane – I am late in replying but had to let you know how amused I was at your assessment of June’s personality! I wouldn’t have phrased it quite like that, but I have come to realize she is definitely a free spirit…and I need to spend more time with free spirits to help me loosen up! And she can be as free as she likes, because I’m used to keeping track of things and putting out gentle reminders. Junes’ just such a pleasant person, I’ve found, talented too and yes, FUN to be doing this challenge with. We occasionally exhibit a little stress during the process, but it is well worth it for the push it is giving us. The rules we have set down are few and flexible and so the results can be as surprising as azaleas turned hydrangeas. I’m glad to hear June thinks I’m “comfy” to consort with – the feeling’s mutual!


  3. june says:

    You – wordy? Boy, am I glad I have some competition! I am not an anal retentive, though, more like the opposite — splattering of verbiage in every direction. By the way, on tomorrow’s blog I respond, in not very many words, to our current status. So we have wrapped up July and August and now can move on to September. I’m already hyperventilating. And trying to think up a Real challenge.


  4. Sheila says:

    Ahh, don’t mind me – I’m naturally anal retentive which accounts for my wordy detailed posts. Can you tell I was a secretary in a former life??? Filing and record keeping appear to be in my blood. VBG


  5. june says:

    Sheila — your blog entry puts me to shame. Guess I’ll have to work harder to figure out what my approaches were. Hmmmm. Oh well, writing after making the art sometimes makes the art…… stay tuned!


  6. Sheila says:

    I really do like those daylilies and now I understand the file name on the jpg you sent me…


  7. Gerrie says:

    I love Jan’s bikes. She has a gift for things with wheels. My son is an avid biker and I once tried to abstract a bike, without success. She had simplified the essence of the bike!


  8. June says:


    I’ll pass along your message to Jan — she’ll be pleased. She was a tad tired that Sunday — she had biked the loop and then was a volunteer to keep cars and bikes from tangling and only then did she start to paint. Amazing that she could manage any paint on canvas at all, let alone fulfill the assignment.

    So my day lilies are only tepid, eh? Hmmm, guess I must have been sitting on ice — it’s all relative. We were in the desert recently and without the humidity, it didn’t feel very hot at all. Well, not very hot. The
    “desert” was at 4000 feet or so, so there were other factors.

    Thanks for the comments. Get that hot wax hot pot — no sense in suffering needlessly.


  9. Del Thomas says:

    I very much like Jan’s “hot” painting “Biking in Portland” and can almost feel the heat of the seat after my bike has been parked outside the library for a couple of summer hours. Your day lilys are only tepid. I do love your funky vehicles in paintings of the past, they are so individual. We have been up to 90F today, but the 88% humidity of yesterday has apparently dropped. My arthritic hands don’t hurt so much – I MUST invest in a hot wax ‘pot’ for them. Hope all is well. Love, Del


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