Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"Kiwi Kutlets"

Kiwi slices are such lovely little forms. I love the combination of limey green and purpley blue.
I haven't been able to paint for the last couple days due to other obligations, and may not be able to for a couple weeks since I have visitors from Denmark staying with me (that will be fun!). I do have some paintings stockpiled though from when I had extra painting time, so I should be able to post most days.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Leaning on Lavender"

This is the first painting I did from a little higher perspective. I also fit the whole composition on to the canvas rather than cropping. I'm not sure that I like painting so tiny. As you recall, these are only 6" square to begin with, so the cup,saucer and spoon are all pretty tiny. But then there are people who paint detailed images on miniatures surfaces.....I'll never be one of those.

I got this lavender vase and I am challenged by color schemes that work with it. This is an obvious one, using complements. I'm going to play with others.

Monday, June 28, 2010

"Hot Pepper Party"

How's this for a little color? The name just came to me as I was painting it. That often happens; the painting just tells me what it wants to be called. That's a lot easier than trying to come up with a name afterward.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

"Duck Bait"

I borrowed this decoy from my Mom. His head turns all the way around, so he could be fun for some other poses. He'll never make it to EBay as he was purchased today by friends who live on Lake Union. Three of my little paintings (and one from my Asian Series) are going to Kansas with a woman Jed and I met in Vietnam. She was here in Seattle visiting a friend. It's fun to get such great response to my efforts!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

"Hangin' Out"

What can I say? Cherries are just so playful. This little black vase has a kind of metallic finish, which I think I conveyed successfully in the painting.
All my paintings thus far have been from an upper viewpoint- looking down on the subject. Today I moved my shadow box up much higher for a different perspective. The new paintings should start rolling off the press in the next few days.

Friday, June 25, 2010

"Remembering Grandma"

These items- cup,saucer and spoon- are the momentos I chose to keep when my grandmother died. I kept the palette pale because it has a sort of ethereal quality in keeping with both the delicacy of the china and the "ghostliness" of the theme.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Small Packages"

I found this little blue pitcher (creamer?) at a thrift shop, and thought it was quite precious. The painting utilizes a little different color scheme than I'm usually attracted to, but I think it suits the subject matter. I'm also happy with the zig-zaggy rhythm of the composition.
I had a great time in Portland. It's a good art town, and my imagination was spurred by several things I saw. I started keeping a little notebook in my purse so that I can jot down ideas to try in my paintings.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"Ready to Fry>

This was supposed to be my breakfast (it was my last egg), but I thought "hmmm...what would it look like broken in the pan?.... I think I'll paint that"It was challenging to see the shape of the egg white on the dark pan, but I think you can get a sense of it- maybe because your brain knows it has to be there. In any case, it was a fun thing to paint, and I like the pop of the yolk against the dark pan.

I'm going to Portland for a couple days to visit friends, so I will miss tomorrow's post, but I plan to resume Thursday night.

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Two Pairs"

This was actually a study of a singoe pear in 4 corners of the panel, but I like the way "they" interact with each other. Has "pear"sonality, don't you think?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Bachelor Button"

I can't see painting big bouquets of flowers, but I'm real fond of certain flowers- bachelor buttons, poppies, sunflower and tulips to name a few. Oh yeah- and dandelions. Not in my yard, necessarily, but they really are perky little flowers. These are dandelions featured alongside the bachelor button. This is one of my few "pale pallette" paintings thus far. I'm usually drawn to stronger contrast, but I like the subtle and ethereal quality of this painting.

Friday, June 18, 2010

This is the closest I've come to failing to post a blog since I started this "daily painting" thing. It's almost midnight! I never stay up this late.... This painting features the same cup I painted a week or so ago. I like this cup; I can see lots of possibilities. I didn't paint this one today. I actually started today's piece off quite confidently, thinking I felt solid about the composition and the values and all that. When I was done, I felt good about the execution, but the painting is just plain boring. So that means something is wrong and I have to fix it- just like most of the others. that's why this is a learning process. I hope I can fix it and post it in the next day or so.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Going Seedless"

I didn't paint today because I went hiking. I'm posting one that I painted in Carol Marine's workshop- and revised later at home. I love the glow of the melon and the blocky shadow below.

I'm excited to select one of my "value study compositions" to see if it results in a successful compositon (without revisions!) I'll include my value study with the finished painting.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Big Slices"

Here we have another revised painting above the featured one. "Curiosity" had thin paint in the background and it was lifeless; I think I improved it. Today's featured painting is "Big Slices".
I'm quite happy with the composition and the transparent look of the oranges. I created an exercise for myself today to try to improve my compositions. I take photographs of some possible tableaus, and then import them into Photoshop, where I remove the color so that I see only value. Then I check it against the guidelines, especially the balance of values. It's boring to have equal amounts of light, medium and dark, so you want most of one, some of the second and just a little of the third. Sometimes it's hard to see the value when you're also looking at color.
If I like a composition, but see a problem, I can make the adjustments before I proceed to painting. Hopefully, this will minimize all my corrections and I can get it right the first time!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I took this photo yesterday, and then I decided that the paint on the background was pretty thin and dead looking. I think I went more transparent trying to catch the effect of the light cast on the wall by the glass vase. It didn't work. I fixed it today, and i will post a new photo later. I quite like this little painting, although it's probably unclear the the item in the vase is a single slice of lime and it's refracted by the seem in the vase, thus appearing to be heart shaped. That's why I called it "Curiosity".

I set all my paintings on a ledge on the wall, and decide which ones I am going to call "finished" and which ones I want to try to improve. My first "casualty" occurred when I decided that I still didn't like "The Chosen One" and I tried once again to fix the problems. I failed, and I was out of ideas, so I scraped the paint off, and it will be a whole new painting. I'm kind of glad to see it go. I learned what I could from it, and I'll never do a composition like that again.I'm hooked on thrift store shopping for props. It's so entertaining to wander through and try to visualize how I might use certain pieces. Today I picked up a couple tall vases- everything I had was short and/or transparent. I've decided I have to get rid of some things to offset all these things I'm accumulating. Also have to re-configure my studio space for easy access to the props.

Monday, June 14, 2010

"A Little Flavor"

Here's one that's been through several renditions . I was happy with the items, but I had trouble with the shadow and the background color. I'm going to be careful from now on with shadows that run off the bottom of the page. They give me nothing but trouble. I enjoyed the challenge of the stainless and the acrylic shakers.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Struggling with Compositions

I had a really good painting day today. However, I'm not posting any new ones until I show the rivised paintings. I don't know which order they will pop up in, but you can figure out which is which, I'm sure. First, there's "Snuggle Up to the Cup", formerly "Looking Fine(er)" I decided that the problem was bigger than the shadow. All the interest was on the left side of the page and the shadow just led you right off the canvas. The colors also bugged me. I decided the blue was too strong. So, this one was revised so much that I gave it a new name- "Snuggle Up to the Cup". The next one is "The Chosen One" The "criss cross" of the utensils was too contrived and unrelated to the tomato.I added a bowl in the back so that its shadow would connect all the shapes. Finally, there's "Just Peachy" which I decided didn't need the turquoise plate and needed more neutral colors.

All this reworking is teaching me a lot. It's also adding more paint to the canvas, which isn't quite the look I wanted. I'd like to get things right the first time so that my brushwork will look more spontaneous and a bit of the toned canvas will show through. I'm achieving that more successfully in my latest paintings- I think. Who knows; I may look at them too in a day or so and decide they can be improved.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

"You guys wait outside"

Today I spent a lot of time reworking existing paintings that displeased me. It was a real learning experience, and I will share it tomorrow. I'm really struggling with my compositions. This little painting worked out, though, after one misstep. The background was light like the foreground, and that made the center of interest march right across the center of the canvas with nearly mirror image borders top and bottom. I solved that pretty easily by darkening the background.
I also dropped off my painting for the Edmonds Art Festival juried show. If any of you Seattle area people are interested, it's a fun art and craft fair. It's held Fathers Day weekend- June 18/19.
My husband left yesterday for a 3 week motorcycle trip to Alaska, so I have lots of studio time. I intend to put it to good use.

Friday, June 11, 2010

This was really a fun one to paint. The transparent blue/green cup cast a lovely light on everything. I will definitely paint this cup again! Initially, I didn't include the blue bowl in the lower left corner, and the composition looked like it might slide right down that way. I'm learning.....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"Just Peachy"

I wasn't able to get the photo just right on this one; the greens are too "limey", but other than that it's a fair representation. I'm pretty happy with the composition and the colors.

Today was my hiking day, and we did 9+ miles, so I didn't paint. I have a few paintings from the workshop that I revised (improved, I hope). I will post one of those tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"The Chosen One"

Here's my attempt to paint stainless. At first I painted what I saw and the shadows were as dark as the utensils, so they just looked like weird shapes. So, per Carol Marine's advice, I darkened the utensils and I lightened the shadows, and now you can tell what it is!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"Looking Fine" (er)

Today's painting is a modification of the one I posted day before yesterday. I decided the shadow really bugged me. I like this better. I got more accessories (props) at the Goodwill today. I really have as many as I need for now; it's just so fun to imagine painting the things I see. I am learning SO much. Today I finished one that depicts stainless steel salad fork and spoon. I painted it as I saw it, and the utensils didn't "read" correctly. Then I remembered Carol Marine saying that when she paints stainless, she always has to make it darker than it really is to look right. I tried that and it worked! At least I think it did.You can decide for yourselves when I post it tomorrow.

Monday, June 7, 2010


I'm very pleased with this painting. It may be my favorite to date. We have about a thousand volunteer California Poppies in a section of your yard, and they are so beautiful. I am particularly fond of the way the orange pops against the brown background. I learned a lesson with yesterday's painting "Looking Fine". I was so taken with the reflection that I failed to notice how boring the shadow shapes are. I'm going to fix that and re-post it tomorrow.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

"Looking Fine"

Day #2 of Daily Paintings. I was intrigued by the tomato's reflection in the cup. It's funny; you think y9u are setting up one thing, and you see something entirely different. Thanks to all of you who commented on yesterday's painting. It's very fun to hear from y'all.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Renewed Commitment!

Today is the first day of my commitment to post daily (or almost daily) to my blog. I attended a fabulous workshop in Sedona that has inspired me to take a new approach to my painting. The teacher was a super professional and likeable young woman named Carol Marine( who is convinced that executing a painting a day is the surest way to improve one's skills. She has been doing this for about 3 years now, and now, with over 1,000 paintings to her credit, her little daily paintings sell for $100-$400 each on EBay and she is represented by 6 galleries, where she sells her larger paintings.

Since I returned to Seattle, I have arranged my studio with everything I need to set up still lifes and produce daily paintings. Still lifes never interested me much because I never thought they had the liveliness and gesture of humans and animals. However, with the approach to brushwork and composition that I learned in the workshop, I'm finding that they can be SO MUCH FUN! My ultimate goal is to do the EBay thing, and to that end I am working on setting up a website again. As with this blog, I will endeavor to keep it current and relevent.

Now- enough talk. I am posting the first of my daily paintings. This one is called "Lose Something?" and it was inspired by tomatoes that had lost their "vine mates". As with all my daily paintings, it is small- this one is 6" square- and when I start posting on EBay, the starting bid will be $100.