Category Archives: Nature

Aspens Spring I

Aspens Spring I by Mary Ellis LaGarde 36" X 60" Oil on Canvas
Aspens Spring I
by Mary Ellis LaGarde
36″ X 60″
Oil on Canvas

Mary LaGarde finished her latest painting.  The painting, Aspens Spring I, is oil on canvas and is 36″ X 60″.  Mary is a portrait painter by background.  She decided recently to use the Venetian method of portrait painting to create portraits of aspen trees.  She believes that the subjects of her paintings have almost human characteristics which she attempts to capture in her paintings. Mary has the amazing ability to paint with both her right and left hands and it is not unusual to see her painting with the canvas upside down.

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Aspens Winter I

Aspens Winter I by Mary Ellis LaGarde
Aspens Winter I by Mary Ellis LaGarde oil on canvas 36 x 60″

 The subject of Mary’s painting is an old aspen tree she found while hiking near Mount Evans in Colorado.  As usual, she used the Venetian painting technique which is very time-consuming.  She started with a charcoal under-drawing.  The under-drawing was then covered with an under-painting or grisaille.  After that, she spent months adding layer-after -layer of pigments and glazes working from the dark pigments to the lights.  The painting is oil on canvas and is 36″ x 60″.

Aspens Winter I by Mary Ellis LaGarde
Aspens Winter I by Mary Ellis LaGarde

Aspens Winter III

Mary LaGarde Winter Aspens II Oil on Canvas 18" x 24"
Aspens Winter III
Oil on Canvas
18″ x 24″

Mary found this grove of Aspen trees near Echo Lake in Colorado.  She used the Venetian painting technique consisting of a charcoal under drawing, a grisaille, and layer upon layer of pigment to create an almost three dimensional look.  The process is very time consuming with this painting having taken several months to complete.

Study of Monet’s “Bouquet of Mallows”

Study of Monet's "Bouquet of Mallows" by Mary Ellis LaGarde
Study of Monet’s “Bouquet of Mallows”
Oil on Canvas
18″ x 24″

Mary visited Monet’s house, gardens, and studio in Giverny, France several years ago.  She decided to study the techniques used in one of the most famous French Impressionist paintings by Monet.
Continue reading Study of Monet’s “Bouquet of Mallows”

Aspens Autumn I

Aspens Autumn I by Mary Ellis LaGarde, oil on canvas, 36 x 60″

Mary is working on a series of aspen tree paintings she calls “The Four Seasons”.  She hikes Echo Mountain near Evergreen, Colorado every three months to collect possible subjects for her Aspen paintings.
 She started painting the first of a planned series of four large canvases using the same Venetian-style painting techniques she uses for her Renaissance portraits.  It is a slow and intense process involving at least 12 layers of paint.  She often spends an entire day working to get a shadow just right. Here is the first painting which is oil on canvas and 36 inches by 60 inches. The painting is hanging in the living room of her lake house/studio in Colorado.