Sunday, December 09, 2012

Nutcracker Pony

This little painting is the last Christmas image for the year. The nutcracker was a gift back in 2007 and actually sits much taller, but I wanted it to look more compact to fit better in the 6x6 format. The result reminds me of a childlike image.

I improvised the background to create visual interest for the space, and the actual colors of the pony are more saturated than the image suggests.

The lines you see are reflections because the paint is still wet, and are not so obvious in the real painting.

Nutcracker Pony - SOLD
6x6 Oil on Canvas Panel
© 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Red Sleigh and White Poinsettia

Red Sleigh and Poinsettia - SOLD
6x6 Oil on Canvas Panel
© 2012
I've been planning to paint a few Christmas images this year and now that Thanksgiving is past, I managed to get one done this week. 

I was kinda blown away by the brightness and warmth of the red sled. Usually green will enhance red, but this red didn't need enhancing... I decided the cooler white in the poinsettia would emphasize just how bright and warm it is.  Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving to all...

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving no matter how you spend your day - of course it is best to do this with a grateful heart. ;o)

The following days many of you will then spend lots of time shopping and decorating for the next big day of the year!

My wish for you is that you carry that same grateful heart with you for a more sane and peaceful holiday season.

 Best Wishes

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Little Grey Pot, Sunflower, Cranberries

While getting the oil changed in my car a few weeks back, I walked over to the Goodwill store. This little pot caught my eye, so I decided to add it to my collection for quick studies. A nice 99 cent moment.

Little Grey Pot, Sunflower, Cranberries
6x8 Oil on Canvas Panel
© 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Copper Pot, Eucalytus and Pear

I've had this hammered copper pot for about 5 years and have wanted to paint it, but just didn't get around to it until now. In fact, I have several copper items that I want to paint.

As for format and size, I am working my way up to doing larger images again now that I am out of the powder room and have more studio space. However, it feels overwhelming yet when I set my large canvas on the easel.

Of course I enjoy painting the smaller ones, and can do one a day if I stay consistent, yet I long to do a larger image where I can really get transported to another mind set.

This image was intended to have an 'old world' feel to it without going too dark and somber. Hope you enjoy it...

Copper Pot, Eucalyptus, and Pear
8x8 Oil on Canvas Panel
© 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fall Arrangement

I wanted to do at least one image for fall and went with 8 x 10 canvas panel. Still working with the lighting in the studio to find out the best approach - the idea was to have a little brighter mood. Attempted a random arrangement with only a small effort to influence the composition.

The pine cones were gathered while walking my dogs and I have enough to use as  fire-starters for building a fire this winter. They really are fun to paint. ;o)

Fall Arrangement - SOLD
8x10 Oil on canvas panel
© 2012

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Really Fresh Garlic!

This painting is the second done in my new studio. Subject is 'really fresh garlic' pulled straight from the ground. My neighbor Cindy use to grow these in her garden and they were amazing! I used a photo as reference, and added a little artistic license with color.

I think the most amazing thing about this painting for me was when I took it to a critique session, it sold on the spot! We never really know when someone will fall in love with an image. ;o)

Really Fresh Garlic - SOLD
6x8 oil on canvas panel
© 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Dry spells... glad when they are over - sometimes!

Larger Studio Space

Whew! It has been over a month since my last post, and no painting either. The good news is the garage ceiling is insulated, and the studio equipment is moved into the larger space.

It isn't fancy or modern and there are no windows for natural light, but it is functional and has everything I need to work. It is lit with daylight bulbs (5700+K), has storage for supplies and still-life props, and room for more than one easel. Even enough space for a seated model if the opportunity presents itself.

I use a small heater to warm the space - then it and holds a steady comfortable temperature. There is a large old desk where I will set up a monitor for viewing reference materials, drawers for filing, and an arm lamp. Under the vinyl is a foam pad recycled from my equine days that will make it more comfortable for standing.

The other half of the garage is almost cleared out for even more room, and more shelves if I should need it. Still have a few things to do - like mounting a mirror but all in all I am happy, happy, happy and ready to paint!

Friday, September 07, 2012

Still life painted circa 1980's

I Amazed Myself... and giggled!

I remember a workshop I attended several years ago after a dry spell from painting. The class was painting a still life. It was a fun class on many levels; 1) because I was thrilled to be painting again, and 2) because I saw many past artist friends also attending - so it was a great reunion time too.

I happily went about painting the setup arranged by the instructor on my "homemade" stretched linen 12x12 birch stretcher bars for the time remaining in the morning after the teacher demos in such a workshop, and then it was time for the lunch break. Upon going to the sink to clean my brushes before leaving the studio for lunch, I turned around to look at all the student's work and asked "who did that one?" No reply, so I turned back around finished cleaning my brushes, and went back to my spot. OMG!! I had to do a double take because it was my own painting; I had not recognized it! How can this be??

Frye Workshop Still Life-Block In
12 x 12 Stretched Linen
Circa 1980's
The experience left me with an odd yet pleasant feeling because when I first asked whose painting it was, I was thinking whomever did, looked like they had a pretty good start! Even a classmate standing next to me noticed the painting as notable-also not realizing that it was mine. I never finished it because the afternoon session was portrait painting.

Looking now of course I can see things I'd change in the arrangement. but thinking back on this experience, I still have to chuckle a little. The lesson back then - as most of us learn eventually - was it is sometimes helpful to work on a painting looking with fresh eyes from another angle (the mirror trick) or sometimes just setting it aside; it truly does give us a chance to see what the wonderful right brained genius living inside our heads can do when given the freedom to enjoy creating with complete delight - no pressure.

I know this may sound a little strange, but since this experience when I catch myself being too critical while painting, I tell left brain (LB is very dominant sometimes) to be patient for the painting that right brain is doing because RB needs to build confidence - and LB can write an interesting story about it later. It seems to be helping with much less frustration around my studio. ;o)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Life's Crushing Influences vs GRIT

Pear, Mums Blueberries
8 x 10 Oil on Canvas Board
© 2010 (cropped) SOLD
I recently came across a couple videos - and they got my attention. One is answering the question why kids loose their curiosity and achieve below their abilities in so many cases. In my opinion, this doesn't just happen with studies in Science and Math, but in all areas of learning.

As most of us know, it is even more often seen in the Arts - the  first to go in school budget cuts, etc. Art has to be one of the greatest areas of opportunity for nurturing curiosity - yet how it is perceived and taught in so many cases minimizes its importance for optimal life experiences.

Our life path as artists can be a constant struggle to push through these crushing influences and create anyway. The second video talks about 'GRIT' found on a recent post by The Stuck Creative. As I see it, our job as Artists is to persevere (develop GRIT) while creating beauty and finding ways of making it even more interesting for ourselves and others.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Painting New Ground

Pun intended - noticing that many daily painters use a pre-primed gesso board, I thought I'd see what the result would be like painting without canvas or linen on commercially prepared gesso board.

Three Not So Pink Lady's - NFS
6 x 6 on Gesso Board

In my early days as a beginning painter, I use to take fiber board and gesso with multiple layers leaving a texture for the paint to grab onto. The look and feel of these commercially prepared boards is slick compared to linen or canvas or my own gessoed boards, and has the look of old world paintings. This isn't surprising since the old masters painted this way using similar materials.

Overall, it was worth the effort to gain some understanding of the material. Since it was a very rough study, I don't plan to post this one for sale unless I touch it up a bit, and do more paintings using these boards.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Defining Space for Studio Campagna

Powder Room
35 sq ft studio
I am so very excited!! Some of you know I've been using my powder room as a studio space for almost a year now since I moved to my new home. Fortunately it isn't too tiny as powder rooms go, but too tiny for working comfortably, and so I've been dreaming of a larger studio space.

I considered the spare bedroom like I did at the old house, but I decided that it needs to be reserved for guests this time. (Both homes have 2 bedrooms.)

One of the best things about my new home is the attached double car garage that is just on the other side of the powder room wall.
420 sq ft studio
They are insulating on Monday so my challenge today and tomorrow is getting the things still in the garage, and still not sorted since the move, out of the way for the contractor. Of course a garage sale is in the near future, but that won't happen this weekend.

The temperature in the garage the past few days has been as warm as the outdoors and sometimes warmer. In the winter last year, it had the burrrrr factor where you can actually see your breath.

Going from 35 sq ft to 420 sq ft!!! OMG _ that is 12 times more space!!! The bedroom studio was about 150 sq ft, so I am really feeling blessed. It won't be exactly a pretty space since it will still have storage shelves exposed and it's where I do the laundry, but I'll be comfortable and have enough area to set up more than one project at a time, etc. I will even have room for a few students when I am ready to teach again, or invite a few friends over to join me for a day of painting...

One more benefit is that I will be able to finish the remodel in the powder room - painting the walls, install a new sink and toilet, and new flooring. The sink will be handy for cleanup since it is right next to the garage/studio - hmmmm, I think I'll go with a deep bowl stainless.

So as I said in the beginning - I am so very excited!! Hurray!! YES!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Water Soluable Oils

I haven't tried water soluble oil paints yet because I haven't heard much good about them in terms of workability. However I came across this artist review of the Daniel Smith WSO's and now I may have to try them.

When I get this accomplished I will post the results with my experience. In the meantime, here's a video that talks a little more about these paints:

I often order through the online art supply sites, however, we are very fortunate here in the Northwest to have a Daniel Smith outlet store. They carry a huge product offering that you can feel and touch before buying. Of course you can purchase many brands at our other stores like Seattle Art, Dick Blick and Utrecht, but they don't carry Daniel Smith brand products. Dan Smith also has a catalog for ordering from longer distances.

So if this product is as good as they claim, I want to know about it. BTW, they have a 10% off promotion on these right now.

Monday, August 13, 2012

'Where is the dang signup link?!

I worked in the technology industry for all of my past work life; and was one of the first designers to embrace the computer for graphics. However, spending time on the computer everyday, doesn't make me an expert by any means. I am sure most of you will agree technology is sometimes very confusing.

So my point is that I've been writing blog posts for a bit now and thanks to someone who who took a peek, it was called to my attention that I was missing a link and/or widget for anyone who might want to follow.

Seems so silly now, but I'll just bet this is the best time to add this feature since I am finally more comfortable actually writing and posting to my blog.

A huge thank you in advance for everyone who enjoys the posts and of course I always look forward to your comments.

One Peachy Rose
6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel
© 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

It's Back to Work

Ready to dig in and paint again...

 Red Plums
6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel
© 2012


After a garage sale, a movie marathon, shopping for new clothes, visiting the library, craft day - creating a dream-board, riding a tractor, and going to a concert in the park, my granddaughter has gone back home, but want to share a few photos of our time together.

  Cooling off with paper plate boats after the garage sale.

Craft Day included play-do fun. 

 Day at the Park.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

A Special Time

Everyday is special to life in some way. Currently, I invest a lot of hours working either on and in my Art Business or helping people buy and sell Real Estate. However, for 10 days in August, I will be enjoying time with my granddaughter. We have lots of things planned to do - swimming, visit the library, help with a garage sale, and of course I have a few surprises in store for her.

Tennies for a Princess

I have to admit that I am going to take advantage of her adorable looks, wonderful personality and spirit and capture it in photos to maybe use later for paintings! Maybe I can talk her into posing for just a little while as a live model... is this too devious of me?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Some Things About Online Auctions

Victorian Rose

The online auction scene has been great as a first step for me to get my work out and seen by as many eyes as possible. The images are small and starting prices have been set low for a couple reasons. One is to keep the art affordable as to entice a sale - so even folks on a small budget can buy an art piece; and also to see how the value is perceived by someone who buys because they really like and want the painting - not just because it is cheap.

However, I learned that getting them seen by people is a puzzle sometimes, and has a lot to do with how it is listed to fit the searches people do.

One of my buyers who is also my biggest fan right now taught me this lesson. She said originally she found me by 'accident' and then put me in her favorites, but shared with me how she did her searches. BIG HELP!!!!

I finally figured out that sometimes using the same words in the title/description as in the search labels and tags is a good way to be found.

If you my dear reader have any other helpful ideas that you'd like to share to get the work in front of more eyes, please let me know.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Two Blue Plums

I was going to start with red plums for a painting, but these 'black' ones looked so beautiful and yummy they seemed like a better painting subject for the season.

I used a few leaves that were beginning to wilt thinking it would be a good challenge and create more visual interest.

Two Blue Plums 
6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel
© 2012

The red ones will be forthcoming, but may be more suitable for Christmas time and I think about the colors red and green.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

African Violets

I wanted to paint these for awhile now. I miss having a kitchen window over the sink to put these sweet blooms, so I thought painting some to hang on the wall might be fun. I use to have three little plants in a row so I am pretty sure I'll be painting another version in a horizontal format. These are to share with you.

African Violets
6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel
© 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012

White Vase with Posies and Grapes

This little painting was something I debated about for a couple of days. I wanted to paint it because of the vase, but couldn't decide what to add. So I just included the first things that came to mind. I mostly like the way the light filters through the flowers onto the right side of the vase. Red grapes are my favorite grape-they snap when they are just right for munching.

Vase, Grapes and Posies
8 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Sunflowers - Free Spirits

I think almost all people like something about Sunflowers, myself included. So in my journey to develop my painting skills I decided to try to communicate what I like about Sunflowers. Mostly I they are beautiful. They don't smell so sweet, but love how they are strong and hardy and a bit irregular or playful. Simply a free spirited bloom.

6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel
© 2012

I used some scrapping technique on this one to see if I liked the effect. I guess I do since I left some of it in the image. The colors are very vibrant under daylight bulbs. I think it will look nice with either an antique gold or wood tone frame.

Monday, July 02, 2012

"Countryside Studio"

I did some teaching for awhile several years back when I had a business called 'the Countryside Studio'. The photo below is the entry.

It was located in a space I rented for a full year and had great ambiance. Barn board siding and walls, large tall windows, a large fireplace in the middle of the front area, and plenty of room in the back room for easels, models and still life setup and of course students. It was really a dream come true... until the owner's family lost their mom and had to make some family decisions. This of course influenced my plans. Nevertheless, it was a great experience and a whole lot of fun to say the least. I painted everyday and taught about three times per week. This next photo is the fireplace.

After about a year, things were going well with the studio, but my personal life took a bit of a down-turn about the same time - it was like the perfect storm, but by the grace of God, I am still here.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Plein Air - First Day Results...

Here's a photo of the scene I chose from the first day of plein air painting this past week. It is a little overexposed, and of course the normal changes between sunshine and cloud cover was part of the experience so nothing new there... BTW, the bugs were out and wouldn't you know I forgot the repellent!

Deep Lake Dock Photo

The resulting field sketch here is a little loose and undefined... but a good reference for later. Found something pleasing to my eye...

Deep Lake Dock Field Sketch
6 x 8 on Canvas Panel
© 2012 (June)

And the finished study from the studio... I so enjoy doing these! You can purchase this at Daily Paintworks.

Deep Lake Dock Final
6 x 8 on Canvas Panel
© 2012 (June)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Oranges for Sale!

This past week I bought some oranges that were the sweetest I've eaten in a very long time. I enjoyed every juicy bite.

I decided to paint a few of these to share with you... hope you can just imagine how sweet and juicy they taste. BTW, these are for sale on ebay...

I am also working with a few new colors on my palette. Prussian Blue (instead of Pthalo Blue) and Quinacridone Magenta (instead of Alizarin Crimson). I really like they effects of these two colors. I also understand that they are more stable colors, have to be really careful with the Prussian Blue and its high tinting strength. It makes a beautiful mix with the Ultramarine Blue for a little different tone.

6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel
© 2012

6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel
© 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

A gift for Leslie...

This little landscape painting is a thank you gift for Leslie. She and I have been friends for so many years I kinda lost count. She shares my love of horses, and told me about my Arabian Mare Bella that I owned for 18 years.

This is one of Leslie's favorite trail riding spots on the Green River,
and she wasn't expecting it, so it was a lot of fun to surprise her too!

Thank you Leslie, I hope you enjoy it for a very long time!

On The Green River
8" x 10" Oil on Linen Panel
© 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Georgetown Atelier - Student Show

I got the bug to do some figure drawing again, prompted by the 'Paint Two Images' project. So I did some research and found the Georgetown Atelier. This is an art school that teaches good traditional skills and technique for creating art.

I have always been a fan of traditional art skills. Even if the artist's work has gone a different direction, he or she still knows the basic foundation for this time honored profession. The basic skills will serve well no matter what direction they are headed.

The Atelier is planning its student show for this year to be held 
June 30th 5-9 pm.
Located at 5628 Airport Way S. Suite #330, Seattle, WA  98018

Saturday, June 16, 2012

First Image Idea for 'Paint Two Images'...

When I first wrote about 'Paint Two Images' a couple weeks ago. I had no idea what to paint and I am still not locked into the idea just yet. I considered landscape, still life (floral), and figure. Any of these would work as a basis to start, but I am leaning toward figurative - partly because it is a favorite subject, but also this is an opportunity I don't get very often. And figures on a bedroom wall will look more fitting, rather than in the dining room. 

So here is a drawing that I am thinking about using for one panel... Not a finished rendering, but the bud of any idea. I haven't drawn figure for some time, so this may take a little while to get comfortable with again. I am just very glad I do not have a hard deadline for this project. It is teaching me that stress is not always good for good art. 

Model Sketch
Newsprint & Charcoal
18 x 24 Original
© June 2012

Model Sketch - closeup
Newsprint & Charcoal
18 x 24 Original
© June 2012

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Lost and Not Found... Still Life

As some of you know, I moved last year and still unpacking to move in. Recently while going through my inventory, I was searching for a couple more small paintings that are earlier works from 2008. I couldn't find them, but did find a couple small images shown below on the left.

This was about the time I started doing smaller studies before a larger painting.
I noticed my brush work was a little different back then - mostly painted with bristle brushes, and the colors very chromatic - but using a limited palette.

I rememberd these were a lot of fun to paint so I thought I'd repaint them, and share new versions with you on ebay. Let me know what you think about the differences...

6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel
© 2008 - © 2012

6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel
© 2008 - © 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

"Paint Two Images..."

Earlier this year as I was waking one morning, to my amazement a voice said "paint two images for over the bed". No matter how mysterious or mundane it seemed, it did not seem like my own voice or my own idea. It was very odd like a direct order, and there was and is no doubt it is something I'd better do.

Since then, the many small images I have been selling on-line were in part intended to get control of my materials in preparation to begin the project. Every time I felt doubt creep in I'd get a little reminder so as not to forget about the project.

I've thought about content - subject matter, composition, and color. Searched for visual inspiration and discovered many possibilities. Oh yes, I have done some praying about this project and expect more answers as I begin to work and make it tangible.

For the next few weeks I'll be painting less for on-line sales while I work on this unexpected  'commissioned work' and will post my progress. I have selected some source materials to start my studies.

Now I am ready to begin...

Friday, May 25, 2012

What is a weed?

There isn't anything about painting here nor a profound reason for this post except to share some quotes I found rather interesting. In someways these quotes could be metaphor for experiences in life.

I've been painting mostly blossoms of various plants that we normally think of as beautiful and desirable for our gardens, but here are quotes that caught my attention.

"What is a weed? Any plant that is found in a place it doesn't belong."
~Geoff Reed

 Imagine a rose bush growing in a cornfield!

“What is a weed?  A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Plants we think of as a nuisance in our gardens may have amazing properties that could help us in some way, or something to write about, or perhaps simply view in an interesting way.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Two Plus One Pink Tulips

Well I did it! I managed to get another tulips painting done before they had to be thrown away... I like the way this one turned out even thought the flowers were not as fresh.


Two Plus One Pink Tulips
6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel
© 2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Three Pink Tulips

These are my daughter's favorite flowers. They are a lot of fun to paint too!!! It will be posted for sale on ebay next week... maybe I'll get another one done before the bouquet is ready for compost.


Hot Pink Tulips
6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel
© 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Christmas Camellia - Still Life

I have mentioned before that I walk my dogs - everyday morning, noonish (when I am home), and evening. I notice so many beautiful blooms in the neighbors' gardens that just seem irresistible. 

There are many varieties of camellia and can be challenging to paint because of their perfect symmetry; I think this one lends itself to a less rigid style.

The Yuletide Camellias are not in bloom right now - not until later in the year. The leaves are used to make tea, and this plant also provides oil for many uses.

Hope you enjoy it.

Christmas Camellia - SOLD
6 x 6 oil on Canvas Panel
© 2012

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

White Rhodie in Warm Light

Found this beautiful Rhodie Bush while walking the dogs. Just had to paint it. Lots of small shapes to discern in the process and wasn't sure it would turn out. Used a warm light and thought it set off the cool shadows very nicely.

Painted mostly with a mongoose angle brush... using a brush shape that resonates with the subject helps get the feel of it. What do you think?

White Rhodie in Warm Light
6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel
© 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

Pink Country Rose

Did I mention that I'd be painting more roses? Well this one has a little different personality from the traditional rose. Lots of soft varied petals. Honestly do not know the official name, but it reminded me of the country.

Painted with a mongoose extra long egbert brush... hope you like it.


Pink Country Rose
6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel
© 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Peach Rose Still Life

Painting roses, use to scare me and stop me in my tracks, but I persevered and enjoy working with them as painting subject. Flower portraits are especially nice because I can concentrate on the unique nature of each bloom. Roses, roses, roses.... more on the way!

Peach Rose - SOLD
6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel
© 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Floater Frames

Learned about Floater Frames that are really perfect for small paintings on Canvas Panels. Lots of styles available too. Here's are the links to some suppliers of these great finds:

King of Frame

Metro Frame

Franken Frames

Friday, April 20, 2012

Golden Roses Still Life

I am having fun with roses - more on the way. 

Golden Roses Still Life - SOLD
6 x 8 Oil on Canvas Panel
© 2012