Thursday, September 30, 2010


I've been wanting to do a "portrait" of my husband Jed for quite awhile now. I'm not sure this is quite done; I'll probably work on it a bit more. Jed isn't sure he likes it; he says it looks like Lucien Freud got hold of him. That's a compliment, isn't it???? I don't think he intended it as such...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Cup on Glass Plate"

6x6 $90

Here's that glass plate again. I can't seem to get enough (and I admit I was encouraged by all the positive comments).  I keep wanting to see what colors show up when I set up a still life...starting to look like a series, huh?

I still don't know why it happened, but I accidentally erased all of my "Blogs I Follow"!!!! I meant to edit one and  had to delete it and re-post it...but somehow I deleted the whole darn thing! I'm trying to re-construct it, but if you don't see your link when it used to be there- or if you are a painter/blogger who wants to trade links please contact me! I'm bummed about this setback, but I guess in the big picture it's no big deal. It will get resolved soon enough.

Thanks to all of you who commented on "Grandma". I enjoyed reading them partly because it wasn't just about art, it was about memories. That was nice.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Grandma by the Wood Stove"

12x9 NFS
My Grandma died in 1996 at 96 years of age. A black and white photo  was taken when she was in her early 80's, and I have always liked it. I thought about creating a painting using that photo as reference, but never quite got inspired. Then I say Katie Wilson-Bernatas' paintings, and they gave me the kick I needed. I remember this dress so well; it was checkered, but I didn't think that added to the painting. Normally, I would generalize the face a bit more, but I felt the need to make it look like her as much as possible. That was hard! I went through quite a few old lady faces before I got close. This is close. She had this expression where she pursed her lips, making a perfect little "O". The posture is definitely Grandma. She wore corsets and when you hugged her she was hard as a rock. She never wore pants- always dresses. This was a nice experience, enjoying all the memories while I painted. Thank you, Katie!

Monday, September 27, 2010

"Fork on Glass"

                                          6x6 $90
Do you think I'll ever get tired of this glass plate? It's just so fun to see how it breaks up the color. It's more opaque in the center section than the outer part, so that makes it even more interesting- or more confusing maybe, depending on your perspective.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

'"Bowl in Harlequin Setting"

                                          6x6 $90
I've been wanting to paint something with a harlequin design for awhile. This is more or less "made up" in that only the bowl, spoon and shadow were actually there.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"Perfectly Plum"

This one gave me fits. I liked the little bowl and the spoon, but I kept trying to work with darker neutrals for the rest, figuring that the focal objects were so bright that they worked better against a neutral background. Wrong! Each time I adjusted the color, I thought I liked it- and then I didn't. In one last act of desperation, I consulted the color wheel and went bold with the limey green. Pow! It balanced the brightness of the bowl and spoon. Then I lighted the cloth to the right, and that made the perfect backdrop for the glow emanating from the bowl. Today some friends came over to buy some paintings, and this one was one of those selected. I'm glad I stuck with the task of making it all work!

Friday, September 24, 2010

"At Your Service"

I got a commission to paint several pieces for a local hospital. They are 16" square versions of my daily paintings. Out came the larger brushes; other than that the process was surprisingly similar. The larger paintings have a whole different impact. While the little panels are cute and intimate, these are larger than life and kind of "op-art" looking. I wonder what 24" or 30" square would look like? I don't think all compositions and subjects are suitable for all sizes....I plan to try a bigger one soon.

Thursday, September 23, 2010



I had a compulsion to paint figurative again. I'm pretty happy with this little painting. It captures a mood and the composition is pretty strong. I would love it if the things I learn from composing still lifes could transfer over into all the genres. Not sure it's that simple, but I think there is some transference.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Plum on Glass Plate

                                          6"x6" $90

I'm still playing with glass. The weirdest colors show up with this plate- like the green shadow under the plum.
It forces me to consider all kinds of unusual color combinations. I had a good day painting yesterday, but when I took the photos I wasn't happy with any of them. Thus no post yesterday. They're coming up soon!

Monday, September 20, 2010

"Playing with Glass"

Today was a colorful day. I got this really interesting plate that I didn't realize was actually iridescent. In a way, it's an ugly thing, but it does the most interesting things with the light it casts. Here, I used 2 different colors in the ground and placed a cherry colored glass cup in the upper right side. It also cast some interesting light on the adjacent surfaces. I can see using these elements for a series of paintings, just playing with the breakup of color.
I'm also doing some larger versions (16" square) of my daily paintings for a local hospital.It's pretty interesting to see the difference the format makes. The larger format has, as one might guess, a less intimate feel and a more commanding presence. And they don't take significantly more time (larger brushes!). I really like working larger- but then I like working small as well. Guess I just like painting!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Still Life After Morris Graves"

A couple months ago I painted a still life inspired by a portion of a Morris Graves painting; this is a smaller version of the painting with a little different palette. It's interesting to me because so much of what I've done recently involves light sources and shadows, and that is entirely not part of the equation here. It's all about shapes and placement of an odd assortment of objects. It's good for me to approach a painting from a different perspective. Shakes things up a bit.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"Juicy" again....

                                          6"x6" $90
I posted this before, but the background was darker and didn't "read" as reflective. Now you can see the shapes of the reflections and the spoon no longer looks like it's floating. I don't know why I don't spot these problems when I complete the painting...I guess i am looking at different things and need time to gain some perspective.

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Pile of Peaches"

                                          6"x6" $90
More peaches with a border......

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Competing for Attention"

I got a pair of these bowls with the lovely conical shape. It was surprisingly hard to capture the right angles to the right and left of the bowl, It kept looking skewed. this is kind of an unusual color scheme for me; I think i like it!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"The Three of Us"

                                          6"x6" $90
I rather like this border concept- especially with the spoon breaking into it. I'm still loving painting peaches...more to come

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Peaches and Plums" new version

I liked this painting, but something was really bugging me- and I didn't know what. I'm sure you fellow painters know what I mean. Well, it finally hit me that the bowl was too linked to the peaches (by color and value) and needed instead to link the dark shapes of the plums. I also darkened the knife a bit to facilitate this. Now all the darks are linked. Much better, I think.

I'm leaving Monday for a 6 day womens retreat- hiking and otherwise enjoying ourselves in Northeastern Washington. I am scheduling posts during that time- including this one.

Monday, September 13, 2010

"Japanese Vegetable Series"


As promised, here's the commissioned series of Japanese vegetables.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"Japanese Veggies Series 3"

This is the "final installment" of the Japanese Veggies series. Tomorrow I will post a a picture of the 3 together.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"Japanese Veggies Series 1"

This is the painting that hangs to the left of the one I posted yesterday. The interesting little slices are lotus root. They don't have a lot of taste, but they have a satisfying crunch- kind of like jicama. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

"Japanese Veggies Series 2"


I got a commission to create a series of 3 paintings inspired by vegetables used in Japanese cooking. I'm showing the center one first because it's central to the composition, and is flanked by the 2 others. At the end I will post all 3 in one photo. I had a great time perusing the Asian grocery and selecting items to paint. I had to determine which vegetables fit the theme, and for that I used good old Google. I did use some artistic license in choosing a standard eggplant rather than a longer thinner Japanese variety because it simply looked better (that's in the #1 painting). This is Daikon radish and snow peas. The bowl is one I received as a guest at a Japanese wedding at least 10 years ago. I love the way the transparency of the radish reveals the darker surface below.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Green Bottle Beauties"

                                          6x6 $90
I was at a party last weekend, and the table was set with individual flowers in green bottles at each place. It was a lovely table (and the food and entertainment were fabulous as well). I borrowed my "Centerpiece"- it wouldn't exactly be called a Center Piece, would it?....Anyway, I brought it home to paint. This is a little dahlia, and I especially liked the dark leaves and buds. Love the little green bottle (once held capers, I was told).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Sit Up and Be Noticed"


I enjoyed painting the reflections of the pear on the metal container. Then there's the triangle of the reflected metal container that bisects the pear shadow on the plate. Geez! Who knew this could get so complicated?!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"Through the Looking Glass"

                                          6"x6" $90
Well, I know a glass bowl isn't exactly a "looking glass", but it was the best title I could come up with. If you think of a better one, let me know. This painting just seems to be all about the glass.

Monday, September 6, 2010

"A Tomato Pitcher"

This is one of my favorite palettes; there's something very soothing as well as uplifting in it....what can I say? The pitcher is a fun one to paint- nice lines. I always love doing silverware and.... well, I just love painting!
BTW, I know you're not supposed to run things into the corner, but rules are made to be broken, right? In this case, it doesn't seem to lead my eye out of the picture, so in my book, it's OK.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


                                          6"x6" $90
Peaches have been so yummy this year. They're also great fun to paint. I placed these on glass, so the reflections created a subtle abstract pattern in the foreground. I had the spoon in an entirely different position- almost parallel with the edge and just above the left hand peach slice. I wasn't happy with that composition (why does it seem to be fine when I set it up?), so I removed it and painted it in the current position. I'm much happier with the results.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


                                          6"x6" $90
More black eyed susan and plums-this time with a polished metal vase. The flower has wilted and the plums are soft, so I think this theme has run its course for the time being.

Friday, September 3, 2010

"Absolutely Dotty"

                                          6"x6" $90

I've been wanting to play with the dot theme with these large and small plums and the black eyed susan. The light through the glass vase is so fractured and frenetic looking that the overall effect looks a bit crazed. To me it looks as though the craziness is emanating from "Susan".

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"Lonesome Clove" (revisited)

                                          6"x6" $90

We've been away for a couple days and I don't have a new painting to post- but I do have this revision of an earlier painting. In the earlier version I decided the dots were too prominent and competed with the garlic. I like this better. If you want to see the original, it's in the archives in the right margin of my blog.