Friday, December 31, 2010

Simply a Red Cup

                                          6x6 $90
I decided to carry this "simply theme" a bit further. The challenge (to myself) is to feature a simple object in a simple composition and pay special attention to the color scheme and the composition to set it off. I'm also trying to be more experimental. For example, I usually tone my board with a warm color- usually yellow and sometimes orange or red. I almost never use blue, green or purple. On this one, I decided that since the palette is warm, a cool underpainting would be a good idea. I really like the bits of blue peeking through.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Simply an Orange Bowl (and the value of critique)

                                          6x6 $90
This is a revision of yesterdays painting- improved (I think) by the suggestions made by one of my fellow painters. She diplomatically sent her critique to my e-mail, rather than posting it in comments, but I wouldn't have minded if she had made it public. I think we can all learn from the observations of others who view or work. Thus I'm sharing it with all of you. In her case, she thought that the shadow was not believable; it was too uniform in value where it should have been darker at the base of the bowl. Also, it seemed to be too high in the back. She was right. I had to stand on my tiptoes to get the shape of the bowl the way I wanted it (showing none of the interior) and I was not so diligent about doing that when I painted the shadow. Thus, it was seen from a different perspective than was the bowl. I was careful this time to observe it more closely, and it was darker at the base of the bowl and well as to the left in a distinct (if subtle) line. I believe it now looks more believable- do you believe?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Simply an Orange Bowl

                                          6x6 $90

This started out as a much more complex painting. I liked the bowl, but not the setting- so I wiped out the background and painted it grey. Voile! I'm really happy with the simplicity of this painting. Now that I'm back in my studio, I've made a few changes to my recent daily paintings. I will post the more dramatic changes as "new"; the others I will quietly post in place of the existing images.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Blustery Day in the Hood

                                          6x6 $90
I'm enjoying these little architectural scenes. I"m starting with a visual reference and then discarding it in favor of free expression. This one looked a little muddy this morning so I popped some of the colors a bit.

I'm taking a break from housecleaning, as we're packing up to head for Seattle. There will be tenants here most of the winter, so that takes an extra layer of preparation. It's hard to leave this beautiful sunny weather, but I'm really looking forward to painting in my studio again!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

View of the Village

                                          5x7 $90
I can hardly believe it's been a full week since I posted! It's been a fun week, with company and other fun diversions, but no time to paint! It's not going to get any better either, as we are leaving Arizona for Seattle on Tuesday and there's much to do before we depart. Not to mention I've not done a thing in preparation for Christmas. So....I managed to eke out a couple hours to set up my easel in the back yard, and paint. This is not the view from our back yard. I gleaned the idea from a portion of a painting I had cut out of a newspaper months ago. I tried to be cognizant of my values and the shapes I was creating. My intent was to make it as abstract as possible while retaining the clear depiction of a village beyond a foreground of trees. I'm pretty happy with the results, considering it's a "first try" with this type of subject. I might try this again in a bigger format.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Beneath Blue Sky

                                          5x7 $90

I'm trying something a little different here. Theoretically, my work with still life setups is improving my eye for composition and color, which should transfer over into other subject matter. I plan to do some more of these little landscapes, trying to employ what I've learned.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Outsider

                                             5x7 $90
Maybe you noticed I changed the background color of my blog. I got tired of the black and decided I wanted a lighter brighter look. This is a trial period- I'd love to hear if my viewers have a preference.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cozy Up

I'm out of 6x6 panels, so the challenge will be to arrange compositions more suited to a horizontal format. I painted 2 of these today, and then cleared my painting apparatus away to return the guest room to its primary function. We have guests all next week, so the postings will be slim. I hope to get back on the program by next Saturday.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Darling Clementine

                                           6x6 $90
I like the zig-zaggy pattern of this composition. Also the fact that it sort of flirts with the middle of the picture- yet everything veers away from the center in different directions. The background is alizarine crimson, which comes off as pink. Pink is another thing I flirt with. I like it in small doses.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Standing Proud

                                                     7x5 $90
Here's that bottle again. It has picked itself up off the ground and stands proud and tall- well, maybe not so tall. One of the things I love about painting glass is the surprising colors that appear, like the purple at the base of the shadow. I didn't make that up.
Has anybody had trouble commenting on my blog? Kim Blair was nice enough to e-mail me that she had tried numerous times without success. I can't figure out how to make any changes in my settings. I have already checked the box saying that "anyone" can comment- is there anything more I can do?  If you have been unable to comment or if you have advice for me, please drop me an e-mail at I need to find out what's going on!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This Painting is Garbage

                                             6x6 $90

On Sunday we went on a 20 mile bike ride through lovely desert scenery and you would think I'd be inspired to paint it. But no- my eye went to a nicely shaped green bottle lying alongside the road. Garbage. Thus the title....I thought it deserved a hot sunny palette to make up for its shameful treatment in the past.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Looking Askance

I painted today and I will take photos tomorrow, but in the meantime I thought I'd post a painting that I did a few years ago. This one hangs in our kitchen here in Arizona and, no, the eyes don't follow you wherever you are. This is a totally made up image that I did on a whim- and I like it. It makes me smile. The frame is one I make myself from frame stock I order from New York. I haven't yet used it on any daily paintings- it might be too large- but, then again, it might work. I'll have to try it.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Separate and Apart

                                          5x7 $90
I found this lovely little oval bowl that's soft yellow on the inside and grey on the outside. Never seen anything quite like it. So the pear with the rich red highlights won the chosen spot inside the bowl (largely because he contrasted best with the soft yellow).

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bow Down Before Me

                                          6x6 $90
Something about this little pitcher strikes me as imperious, and it looks like "she" has ordered the pears to bow down before her. The one on the right is complying, but the one on the left looks like "he" may defy the order....
I actually completed 2 paintings before leaving town for Thanksgiving, but ran out of time to post them. We're expecting more company in a week, so I had better get in some productive painting between now and then. It's hard to keep up with this!!!! I intend to keep trying though. I love my painting time and I'm continuing to learn. For example, on this one, I made the mistake of mixing the foreground color with white, and it looked flat and dead. I know better, but I still make some of the same mistakes. I guess it's progress when I can recognize what's wrong, and fix it. In this case, I wiped it out and mixed the background color with some naples yellow. Now it has the warmth I want.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Key Limes and Blue Cup

                                          6x6 $90
Are you tired of my pathetic attempts to save this painting (formerly known as Key Limes and Purple Cup)? Clyde Semler, my much valued commenter and critic, suggested that it was missing cool blues. I thought why not give it a try; the yellow green and reddish purple combo just wasn't doing it for me. In the process, the cup became more blue than purple; thus the name change. I think I'm done with this one now. If not, I promise to quietly remove the "Buy Now" button and refrain from posting it again. I'm getting tired of it, even if you're not.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


                                            6x6 $90

I've been in Bisbee for the weekend with my Mom and sisters. It was their first time. It was fun to show off one of my favorite fun quirky places. We had dinner at the Cafe Roka (awesome) and breakfast at the Bisbee Breakfast Club (also awesome). The only downside was a 4 hour drunken argument in the room next door that prevented us from getting a nights sleep. I kept waiting for them to pass out....

So...this is a painting that I did before my company arrived. I loved the shadow shape above all. Who would eat oranges with a spoon with the rinds on? Well, I don't know....does it have to make sense??????

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cut Up

                                          6x6 $90
Well, rhe oranges are nearly gone, so just a few more of these before I move on to something else. I'm really getting to know oranges, though. Just another example of the benefits of daily painting. On this one, I was drawn to the reflections of the oranges in the knife blade, as well as the flow of the dark shapes. I'm rather enjoying the 5x7 panels. I love the 6x6, but this is a nice change.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fresh Squeeze

                                            6x6 $90

I I really like painting glass, and the shape of this mug is fun to paint too. I still am having problems with color accuracy in my photographs. The oranges should be brighter and yellower, the brown is too purple and the lavender is too blue compared to the actual painting. When I correct for one it screws up the others. BUT at lease I got some clarity and sharpness. I'll settle for that for now.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Really Big Onion

                                             6x6 $90

I decided to try a really pale palette for a change. I also spent a couple hours this morning playing with my camera and editing options to try to get a better picture. I found if I took it off automatic and used the cloud setting I avoid the excess blue tones that usually mess with my color. I re-posted a couple of my recent paintings below with a better image. I still had a heck of a time with the Key Limes and Purple Cup. as the background is a lemony yellow-green and the key limes are oranger yellows, but I can't get the differences to show up (it's still not right). In general, I'm having trouble with color accuracy, but this particular painting has been a nightmare.If anybody has any suggestions for me, I'll try them!
I have been invited to join Daily Painter Originals, which I'm thrilled about. Thanks to all of you who wrote to welcome me. I plan to officially join and start posting on Dec 1, as my schedule and my situation here in Arizona are less than ideal for doing a good job, and although I will be here until late December, I can handle a month of Arizona postings before returning to my Seattle studio.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Three Bites

                                          6x6 oil
I'm finally learning how to "get close to accurate" photos in my current situation (away from my studio). I like the colors in this one. It's a "happy palette".

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Four Bites and a Gulp

6x6 $90

I'm back! My new battery charger arrived yesterday, so I have an operable camera. I still can't figure out what is the right adjustment for my photos, though, as my laptop image changes so much depending on how I tilt it. I don't know what you are seeing on your screen....Anyway, we got a big box of oranges that we're racing to finish before they go bad. You'll be seeing paintings of oranges for the next few days. I like them when they're cut in these little wedges. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Key Limes and Purple Cup

6x6 $90

This is the last of the key lime paintings. Also the last post until I get my new battery charger for my new camera. I should have thought of this earlier, I know. I have a battery charger, but not the right kind. Sure hope I'm up and running again soon. In the meantime, I'll try to get some paintings done.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Key Limes

                                            6x6 $90

yesterday's photo updated with more accurate shadows

Here's another version of the key lime and glass vignette. I'm also attaching an updated photo of yesterday's painting because I figured out that I greatly emphasized the shadows due to the way I was viewing the photo on my laptop. I'm not used to using a laptop- nor Picassa editing- and there's a bit of a learning curve going on. Anyway, this version is a bit more vibrant, I think. I'd be interested in whether you think so as well- or not.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

One in the Glass

                                             6x6 $90
We hike with a club every Thursday, both here in Arizona and in Washington.  last Thursday, one of the members had a bag of "overstock" key limes from her tree. I didn't know they would be yellow! They look more like lemons, but they taste kind of lemon-limey. The glass is one of a pair that was a housewarming gift from a neighbor- intended for marfaritas (which I avoid because they're loaded with calories). It's hard enough maintaining weight around here with all the Mexican food!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mexican Bowl and Tomatoes

Some house guests left us with a Mexican chips and salsa set. Since we try to avoid eating chips very often, I'm finding other uses for the bowls. The large one is ideal for salads and the small one became the subject of my daily painting!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Two and a Half Tomatoes

                                          6x6 $90
Here we are in sunny Arizona, and I finally got in a painting day! It felt weird not having my studio, but I do have my light box, so I'm semi-functional. I also don't have Photoshop on this computer, so I'm working with Picassa. The colors aren't as bright as in the actual painting- especially the yellows. Maybe I'll get more proficient as time goes on. Our house here is colorful, and somehow greys just look wrong in Arizona, so you'll be seeing the more vibrant side of my palette for awhile. Boy, it feels good to get back to my easel. I missed it!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Headed for Arizona

                   Dining in our AZ house (Layne's art in background)

Tomorrow morning we will be on the road headed for Green Valley, AZ, where we will spend the next few months hiking, biking, swimming- and I intend to do some painting! Maybe even a little plein aire, although I'm rather a messy painter and find it difficult to be that organized. Anyway, I've been busy the last couple days in preparation for the migration, and haven't had a chance to paint. Ditto for the next few days on the road. In fact, it's unlikely I'll post until at least Tuesday the 26th. I'm eager to paint again. I miss it horribly!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Tucson Bungalow"

Some of you know about Kay Zahn's "Street View Paintoff" where you find Google street view image in a specified location (in this case Arizona) and use it as reference for a painting. I am fond of the Sam Hughes historic district in Tucson, so that's where I found my reference photo. I was attracted to the star like pattern that the palm tree cast on the ground in front of the house.

On Thursday my husband and I leave for Arizona. If you haven't already checked out the link on the right side of this page under "other interesting websites and blogs", you may want to do so. We have had fun turning a rather ordinary little house into a colorful art filled space that we enjoy living in when we are down south. There's still a bit of work to do, but not so much that we won't have plenty of time to play. We plan to stay until at least mid December and maybe into January, if I can work my mind around being away from family over the holidays. I plan to take some painting supplies so that I can continue posting, although I can't get Adobe Photoshop to work on my laptop, so that's a handicap. Somehow I will find a way....