Daub du Jour

My name is Marianne Plumridge. I am an artist of mythic fantasy works and fine art images. More of which can be seen at my website, 'MariannePlumridge.com', and also my main Blog, 'Muse du Jour'. These sites are in the links section of this page. This site began life as a painting a day blog in 2007. However that project has now passed, but I still find myself painting in that way. So this site will now be the showcase my new paintings as inspired by those previous efforts.

My Photo
Location: New England, United States

Saturday, May 14, 2022

The Essential "Beauty Rose"...



(16x20", Oils on Canvas, Framed)  Price: $1200.00

 (Not completely sure why this image is so washed out. It certainly isn't the case in photoshop on my computer)

This is one of the major pieces I managed to produce for Illuxcon in 2018 after my broken arm had finally healed enough to paint. Luckily, I had the design drawing for it already completed before the before snapping my painting wing. The reference for this work came from our Costume Salon and Sketchlab sessions at Illuxcon from the year before. I'd taken something like 1400 photos from various sessions during that year's salon and this was one of them. I'll take many multiples of photos from a multitude of lighting and shooting angle, and this singular snap inspired me to create a painting using the 'keyhole' effect framing the model's face as the center of interest for the painting. I also chose to use a close cropping affect for the composition to experiment with 'viewer intimacy'...ie. bringing the viewer further into the painting as if seeing the subjective Beauty in a passing moment of self-reflection that we rarely see in real life portraits. So, I brought a moment of 'real-life' into a painting. Hence the lack of 'formal portrait composition'. This photo, like most any photograph of a painting does not do the richness of the paint any justice at all. Nuances have been lost and depth of perception of the painting severely curtailed. In the right lighting, my Beauty GLOWS. The hands almost seem 3D and I am so proud of that achievement, since it has been many years since I have painted human hands so well. That in of itself proves to myself that I have not totally lost all portrait or figurative painting talent in the decades of not painting people. And I have to admit that 'Beauty and the Beast' is literally my favourite fairy tale and this photo session made me a bit giddy to finally have inspirational fodder to attempt to paint a version of 'Beauty'...

This is the original sketch for 'Beauty'. I added the background by my usual smooshing around wet paint into something I liked, giving suggestions of roses in the dim distance of the garden. I also added the roses in the foreground to complement the rose that Beauty is putting in her hair, creating the moment of her having just plucked one from the bush beside her and absent-mindedly tucking it into the top of her veil. It brings to mind the original reason for Beauty being in the Beast's castle and garden in the first place and that the freedom of being able to freely pick roses comes at a price. 

Here are a couple of easel shots taken during the painting process...


Notice the roses and the drapery of the satin sleeve as the painting approaches completion...

I didn't get too adventurous with the palette for this painting, so most of the usual colour suspects were used. I probably added Permanent Rose to the line up along with a tiny bit of Permanent Green Light and Sap Green. As I get further into posting paintings from more recent times, I'll get back to toting up the colours and paintbrushes used for each painting. At the moment, I'm reaching backwards in time several years past. 

Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Birds abroad...

 "Favourite Roost" 
(14x18", Oils on Linen, Framed)    Price:  SOLD

I had to create a bunch of paintings for two major shows within three months of each other...and I had little to no  standing inventory of paintings to do so. That would be seen as a major advantage for an artist, because SALES. However, I was burnt out and panicking. I had started this painting, Favourite Roost as a demo I was painting in situ at the Boskone (SF convention) Artshow work space in February 2018 and hadn't completed it. So, I dragged it out and finished it over a week and half during a particularly grueling time and ended up being so pleased with how it turned out. It was really soothing painting the background and vines, let alone the bird, a White Pigeon. The references came from a trip to England during a previous December when we visited the old Cinque Port of Rye in the Southeast of England. We, with our Brit friends dined at the ancient and very famous Mermaid Inn. We got a tour and I literally drooled over the history of the place and all of its antique appointments. When we exited onto Mermaid Street, the outside of the inn was encased in winter vines and home to roosting white pigeons. I took a bazillion photos and combined two of them to create this painting. It's still very much a favourite.

"Boreal Chickadee"
(6x6", Oils on Canvas, Framed)   Price: SOLD

This was just a very quick study and keeping to the winter theme. I adore my chickadees. 
"Picking Flowers"
(11x14", Oils on Linen, Framed)   Price: SOLD

Inspiration for Picking Flowers came from a series of photographs my friend and fellow artist (read famously talented) Tom Kidd took in his backyard some years back. He graciously let me borrow the photos for my burgeoning bird photo reference collection. I used three of the photos to build this concept and then had an absolute blast painting it. The background is a bit more blurred than I usually do, but I didn't want it to compete with the busy, complicated foreground. Painting the flowers and vines was so much fun. It was sooooo soothing and fun. The bird picking flowers for his nest is a House Finch. Thank you so much, Tom, for letting me play in your backyard with your birds, so to speak. 
"The Conversation"
(8x10", Oils on Linen, Framed)   Price: SOLD 

These are Australian Fairy Wrens: tiny birds of brilliant arrays of colours and feisty attitude. Possibly my fave Aussie counterparts to my beloved Chickadees here in the United States. I was getting really burnt out by this stage and was starting to really reach for inspiration and enthusiasm. Not one of my best, but I always get great enjoyment out of painting my birds. 
"Baby Owl"
(5x7", Oils on Canvas, Framed)   Price: SOLD 
It's a baby owl. Enough said. Seriously  though, I adored painting this little guy.
Sorry, I can't recall the paints I used in these paintings, but you can bet that all of my usual suspects from my palette were in play and I probably used my reliable outriders like Cadmium Orange or purples from time to time. Very teeny brushes were also used a lot for the small size and tiny details. Listening to music and audiobooks helped massively.

Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by, there'll be more soon.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

The Long Silence....

 What happened in 2018...

 "Dave Scott -Astronaut"
Apollo 15
(9x12", Oils on Linen) Price: Not For Sale

After a horrendously difficult year in 2017 of selling one house, buying a second condo next to our original one and trying to finalize two house sales, pack ALL THE THINGS, and move all three around like Tetris, we successfully still have a home and studio to work with. But it took its toll. On top of that, going into 2018 I was already severely burned out with trying to produce art for shows. I was coming out of that around May/June 2018 and had started drawing a lot to be proactive at getting ahead of proposed paintings I had to complete for shows in the Fall. I'd just finished the last of what I could get done before actually starting to lay paint when the world, my world got spun on its axis at full tilt. On my birthday in late June, I was just about to start laying paint on a small portrait of Dave Scott, Apollo Astronaut, when my hubby said 'Come on, let's go out'. Reluctantly, I said okay. He wouldn't tell me where we were going at the time. We get to a beach side bar to meet a school friend of his. I'm not dressed for it, nor really inclined to be a bar fly in any way shape or form but I go along with it. I trip on the sandy pavement and fall. I sprain my right wrist, break my right elbow, scrape up the palms of both hands, and the muscles in my left foot seize up very painfully until the next day. I'm not going to go into the semantics of that day, other than it truly fouled things up for quite some time. I went to my doctor's office that day and was immediately sent for an x-ray. Took two days to find out that I indeed had broken my arm. Doc's nurse told me to stop doing everything, go buy a sling to immobilize said broken wing and booked a date with an orthopedic surgeon the next Monday to see if I needed a cast. On the day between the accident and the diagnosis, I was looking a deadline in the teeth and decided to start painting on a pre drawn up board. I got 98% of the above portrait done of Dave Scott...didn't finish the final detail on his helmet clamp or helmet swing joint (round thing near ear), but I came very close. I was holding up my shaking right arm with my left near the end, but just couldn't do that last tiny bit of detail. I downed tools for the night and thought I could do it in the morning. But that was when the nurse rang...  It was now less than five days before we had to leave for Spacefest in Arizona. My first big show with ASTRONAUTS. I'm a product of the 1960s and adored the space program, so I was determined to be there, meet them, buy autographs, and maybe sell a few tiny paintings and/or prints. I spent quite a bit on this once in a lifetime chance of meeting ASTRONAUTS. You might guess that I'm a fan. LOL The other little painted portraits didn't get painted, but I framed up Dave Scott's and took it with me. I paid extra for him to sign the back of it and indicate his Apollo flights. I took photos of him with it. That all changed my little painting from simply art to an artifact. On the back of the painting, in a plastic bag are the photos, the receipt for the autograph, and a certificate of authenticity: just in case I get a major financial offer to buy it that I can't refuse in the future. Meanwhile it sits proudly on my study wall and I am so danged proud of it, at what I painted that day. One of my best ever wet-in-wet, painted in one session, sketchy portraits. The photograph above just doesn't to it justice. The painting has such vibrancy and almost a 3D look to it in real life. Maybe I'll paint the other drawn up canvas of astronaut Charlie Duke one of these days. 

After that, my husband's anxiety over a couple of minor medical issues of his own went into overdrive and my own mindset spiraled trying to deal with his plus my own. I lost six weeks of painting time but managed to squeeze out  a couple of portrait pieces...sadly nowhere near what I'd previously planned...and a few space pieces for Illuxcon 2018, trying to fill an expensive display space I erroneously purchased the previous year. I filled it, but not with what I had originally planned, sadly. After that major burn out again, I failed to paint again for just over two years. 2019 brought it's own difficulties with beloved husband going through eye surgery and needing multiple doc' visits throughout that year. Just a FYI, I am now breakable, post-menopause, and ended up breaking my right pinky finger the week of hubby's eye surgery, and my right thumb socket six months later in another fall...just on carpet that time. Just when things were starting to calm down after Christmas in 2019, 2020 brought the Corona virus and the lock down, and it's own set of anxieties and fears. Like a lot of creatives out there during this time, I felt the creeping paralysis that strangled my creativity big time. My reserves were directed toward keeping my husband balanced and working throughout the scariest of that year and 2021, since his career didn't completely stall. He painted and drew, and kept up his contracted projects, and we dredged paintings, books, prints and drawings out of our archives to sell online. We actually did quite well. Me? I buried my head in endless reading of books, and I kickstarted my writing again in a big way, and we visited with friends and family via Zoom and kept up contact with our singleton friends who were alone at home during the shelter in place. Keeping connected. One blow, though was that during July of 2020, my beloved Dad passed away at home in Australia. He was very sick, but the actual loss was still devastating to my tiny family. The borders were still closed until recently, but hubby and I are planning a trip home soonish. We're waiting a bit to give things a chance to settle down, especially with the attempted Russian genocide taking place in the Ukraine. You have just got to ask 'what the hell is WRONG with people?'

Anyway, I've started to paint again. My depression, post menopause anger issues, etcetera, that made doing even the most tiniest of things seem like gigantic hurdles is finally coming to an end. Which is what making this blog post is all about. Making myself finish image processing, collecting my thoughts, and get out of the way of my too introvert mindset and reaching out to the world again. Admittedly, it still is difficult some days, but it's getting better. Over the next days and weeks, I'll be adding more blog posts showing off the rest of the art from 2018, the singular commission piece I did for a publisher in late 2019, and the few little space/rocket doodle paintings that I've managed in the last six months. As for the pages you see below, these are from my special sketchbook that I've kept for 30 years, where I sketch a public figure (author, actor, musician, explorer, astronaut, etc.) and get them to sign it for me. I filled the last pages of that book in 2019, so my lovely husband surprised me with a new one where I drew astronauts to christen it's first pages as well. So...onward...

Dave Scott - Certificate of Authenticity 
and photos

On the easel...

Pages from my special sketchbook/autograph book and the source from where some of my future painted portraits may come from in the future.

The two astronaut drawings here are actually signed, but I don't have updated photos of those right now.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope to put more up soon. Expect portraits, birds, space doodles that include rockets and space stations. Meanwhile, stay safe wherever you are in the world and hug each other when you can. I've lost several friends and family this last few years, as have others, and life is way too short... Bless.





Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A Whisper of Rain...

(14x18", Oils on Linen)    Price: $ 600.00
I somehow managed to fall on my birthday in June, fracturing my right elbow, spraining the same wrist and opposing left foot. Not at ALL how I planned to spend half of that day. Thankfully, I had done a bunch of design drawings all through that month as preparation for forthcoming paintings. Those paintings are in progress. To jumpstart my lost momentum, I thought I'd start with something simple. I had taken snapshots of fellow artist, the lovely and charismatic Rain Delmar while she was in Halloween costume at Illuxcon in Reading, PA two years ago, and decided that it was about time that I put them to good use. So I tentatively drew Rain...my first attempt in over six weeks to draw again...and was pleased with how it came out. I drew the sketch down on to a Linen board, took a deep breath, swallowed the same old fears I have when not having painted for several months...and began to paint.  The usual array of colours on my palette: Gold Ochre, Burnt Sienna, French Ultramarine, Titanium White, Buff Titanium, Cadmium Yellow Hue, Sap Green, Chrome Green, and  tiny bit of Alizarin Crimson. The result is very rich in hue and texture, and I am quite happy with it.

 "Firebird" Painted Sketch
(5x10", Oil on Linen) Price: $80.00
I was trying to tidy up a bunch of boxes in our studio space last week, trying to make room for a dedicated photography set up. I sort of got fed up with some of it and felt my paints calling to me. Since I wasn't ready to go back to work on the large painting on the easel, I pulled out a small linen canvas and a couple more snaps I took of Rain. OMG she is so photogenic, with natural presence. I decided just to go with whatever I could carve out in paint on this minute surface. This photo doesn't do the original justice, and I feel that maybe I overworked a couple of things...but it was getting late and my eyes were beginning to get squinty. However, using the leftover paint on BOTH my palettes, I managed to make a credible painted sketch toward a larger work in the future.

If you want to see what Rain is up to, this is the link for her website...

There's more to see in the coming weeks, now that I actually have the set up to photograph on a regular basis again. So, please come back for a look, meanwhile, thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Little Red Rover...

"Zero G Walkies"
18x24", Oils on Canvas   Price: 700.00
 In my rush to get paintings done for the two big shows early this year,  I realised that I did not have anything representing my ongoing Birds 'n' Bots series for the shows except old design drawings. There were always going to be more Rover paintings, and more robot and bird paintings of other ilk in my creative future. But I just hadn't gotten around to any by the time the deadline was bearing down on me. So, I went back through my old design ideas, photos and thumbnail sketches and rediscovered some of my references for something I'd only ever called 'Walkies'. The initial premise was set in space, as you see in the finished painting, but not happy with how that was gelling, I at one time placed the setting in a garden with a tall 'owner' robot instead of the space ship. I did the sketch for that one some time ago but also didn't do anything with it. So, back to basics. I woke up one morning with the composition finally set in my mind...by adding the globe with the bird in it. Rover is chasing the bird in the remote control space globe. He is hooked up to the ship by a very long leash. Someone asked me why a robot dog would need to 'go walkies', euphemism for going outside to go to the bathroom. Well, I said, there is not only the obvious reason for putting your puppy outside, but to get the rambunctious little bugger out of your tiny spaceship cockpit before he accidentally presses any more buttons he shouldn't....let alone the self-destruct one or depressurization. 

"Lullaby Run" 
9x12", Oils on Linen  Price: $500.00  SOLD 
In the middle of the fever heat of creating for my shows, I woke up one morning with a complete Rover painting idea. Simple, elegant, lots of fun. However, none of my old reference photos of Rover worked, so I set up an elaborate dark setting in the middle of my new studio, went outside and rounded up some twigs, gathered up Rover and the camera and had me a little robot photoshoot. I took a bunch of photos and the resultant painting was a combination of two of them. Have you ever taken your babies out driving in your car to lull them to sleep, or seen someone else do it? This is what Rover is doing. He's rolling along with his two tiny passengers, trying to get them to go to sleep in the darkening evening. Hence, the title "Lullaby Run". One owlet is asleep, the other is resisting it, and Rover is just enchanted. Consider this a cute version of my painting "Branch Line".

I will always enjoy painting my robots, but Rover is close to my heart. Even as just a toy wind-up robot, he has loads of personality. He still hangs around my easel in my new painting digs.

More to post soon. Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Space Station Epics...

Starborn Station
(8x10", Oils on Linen)   Price: $250.00 SOLD
 Making a change from plain rocketship doodles, I created these two paintings to add to my display at a recent show. I love noodling nebulae in oil paint. The first one, 'Starborn Station' depicts one of my little space stations against a nursery of stars swirling colourfully in the night sky. Hence, the name 'Starborn'. I can see scientists living and working on the station, earnestly studying why, where, and how stars are born...waking every morning to that spectacular view.

Blue Horizons
(8x10", Oils on Linen)  Price: $300.00 
 I've been wanting to paint 'blue space' again for quite some time, now. Saw a space photo in a magazine and went... "I can do something with that". Bit of tweaking, bit of colour saturation in layering French Ultramarine, Pthalo Turquoise, and Cobalt Blues came up nicely. I added the rocket to give it balance and purpose. The title, 'Blue Horizons' is self-explanatory. What a view to wake up to!

My palette encompassed the usual suspects, along with the extra blues in Blue Horizons:  French Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cadmium Lemon, Cadmium Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Titanium White, Yellow Ochre.  Paint brushes included a few size 0 and 1 rounds, a half inch Wedge Flat, a size 6 Filbert, and a big fluffy blending brush, and an itty bitty ragged round blending brush.

There is much more to post. I have been slack in posting the new Rover paintings and bird paintings, but I plead a crushing schedule this last four months. Will add new paintings soon. 
Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Super Sized Rocket Doodles...

Well, I had to rush to get a bunch of artwork ready for two shows in a very short amount of time. I had some ideas for larger rocket doodles...and two out of the three actually turned out. 
"Vector Shift"
18x24", Oils on Canvas.  PRICE:  $1000.00 SOLD

This is a place holder for a better photo of this painting.

"Far From Home"
18x24", Oils on Canvas.  Price: $1000.00  SOLD

And this one is a bit of a ringer, as it was painted for Boskone, Feb. 2017

"View From Titan"
18x24", Oils on Canvas. Price: $1000.00 SOLD 

These are all explorations of imaginative space, ala 'pulp' as envisioned through my eyes and inspiration. I will eventually paint my rocket/space station doodles this big again, but for the moment I'll be aiming for smaller sized epics, but no less large in heart and soul. 

Thanks for stopping by...