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....

Monday, October 18, 2010

"Sitting on the Stoop"

                                          6x6 $90

I have a number of old photos of my Dad when he was a boy. This one especially intrigues me. This is my Dad and his sister and father sitting outside their home.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Grouping

My friend Linda bought this assortment of paintings to hang in her new kitchen (the cabinets arrive tomorrow- I guess we jumped the gun a bit in hanging the paintings). These are hung with a 3" square, 1/2" thick piece of mdf on the back so that they hang out from the wall with a shadow line behind them. I really like this method of hanging.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"When Orange Meets Black"

                                            5"x7" $90
I am thrilled with this painting for several reasons. One, I think the composition works well. Two, I am very pleased with the richness of the grays and how they balance the vivid colors of the oranges. Three, it displays the looseness that I want but often lose in my paintings as I rework them to get them in trying to make improvements. I think the glow of the under painting is largely responsible for making the gray work. My goal is to have more and more of my paintings achieve this degree of success fairly quickly. However, since I never intend to give up experimenting, I know that there will be challenges, failures and partial failures- and that's partly what keeps painting interesting.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I'm happy with the composition on this one- and I'm still working on those neutrals to enhance the saturated color.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Over the Line"

                                           6x6 $90
This is pretty simple and direct. It's easy for me to see the pattern and value and color in a composition like this; much harder to see when the subject becomes more complicated.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Basking in the Glow"

                                          6x6 oil on gessoboard

Here's the translucent amber cup again, this time with some more color. I think this shade of green works, especially with the blue dots. I used to have some cad orange, and I was able to get a wonderful translucent orange that really glowed. I'm having a hard time doing that with mixing red and yellow. May have to invest in the orange again, although I'm not unhappy with the look of these oranges.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Back to the Easel

Didn't I just "learn" this lesson a couple weeks ago? Once again, I failed to use enough greyed tones to balance my color. This appeals to me much more than yesterday's posting. I was thinking the other day that I wish people would leave "constructive criticism" comments because as nice as it is to get compliments, it's more helpful to get criticism. Then it occurred to me that they are more or less "voting" by commenting (or not commenting) at all. When I get no comments I have to think about why that particular painting isn't particularly appealing. There's usually a reason....or reasons....

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Amber Cups

                                          6"x6" $90

I am still enjoying working with the transparency of glass. These amber cups cast a lovely glow on the surrounding surfaces. And who could anticipate all the lovely colors that are the result of the reflections and the light cat through the cups onto the tabletop. I can see in the photo that I didn't quite nail the shape of the upper cup on the right; the oval rim is off a bit. Does that bother anybody? I'm never sure how much that matters. Is it charming or annoying?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"A Tip of the Hat"


Again, I have no daily painting to post. I painted one but ran out of time to photograph it. So here is another of my Asian Series. There is a companion piece for it ; maybe I'll post that later.

Friday, October 8, 2010

"Ricefield Diptych"

                           60x48 (2 pc) $4600
I haven't had time to paint today, so I thought I'd post one of my large pieces for a change. I painted a series based on my husband's and my trip to SE Asia in 2009. It was a fabulous trip, and the images were just buzzing in my head for a long time afterward. Fourteen of these paintings are on more or less permanent display at Thoa's Restaurant at 96 Union in downtown Seattle. They are for sale, but have not exactly been flying off the walls. I'm not sure people actually know they're for sale; the price tags are discreet and the paintings look as though they were designed for the decor. Oh well, just another one of those things I need to address one of these days- maybe host a "meet the artist" event? We'll see.....

Thursday, October 7, 2010


                                          6"x6" $90
Does it get any brighter than this? I'm having such fun with this plate!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

'New Car"

                                                      7"x5" NFS
Jed's grandparents were in their early 50's when this photo was taken, as far as we can figure. Their names were Beulah and Alva. I was attracted to the composition because of the way the light sky leads into her dress, because of their postures and because of that cool looking car. It's not really intended to be a portrait; I worked hard to depict faces that were believable but not too detailed- it's hard on a little 7x5 piece!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Teri's Trio

My friend Teri bought the panting in the middle, entitled "Under the Knife." She wanted to buy 2 more pieces and hang them together. She liked the Japanese Vegetable series I did a few weeks ago, so I painted some modified versions for her. The lotus root became zucchini and the colors tweaked a bit to work with this group. She likes red. Can you tell?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Painting Problem Analysis

The last still life I posted "In a Yellow Bowl" was not pleasing me at all as I continued to look at it. As I see it now, there were several problems. One was that it was too color saturated- not enough neutrals. It  looked garish to me. Two was that it was too "middle value"- needed more dark (or light). Three was that the composition was too boringly linear. It marched straight across the picture plane with little to draw the eye around the rest of the space. That's a lot of problems! But I liked the elements that were there, so I decided that it was worth saving. As you can see, I added a plum as a dark element. With its reflection in the bowl, it creates a connection with the end of the spoon (which reflects the plum as well). Its placement in the lower right also serves to move the eye around and to create more interest in the shadow area. I also toned down the cup a bit so that it picks up some of the other colors and it integrates into the shadows, allowing the bright yellow bowl with the glass of water to be the primary focal point. Now I think it finally has the cohesiveness I want in my painting. The down side is that nearly all the under painting is now covered, so I've lost the spontaneity I'd like in my daily paintings. That's OK though; I learned some things and I'm quite happy with the finished piece.

Friday, October 1, 2010

"In a Yellow Bowl"

                                          6x6 $90

My husband built me some shelves for my studio and now I have all my props out where I can see them. I can see all kinds of paintings in there! I haven't painted this yellow bowl before- nor the green cup. The purple in the shadows is actually more neutral, but I can't seem to get it to photograph that way. . I loved painting the glass of water and the spoon.

I also finalized the painting of my husband. It took a little tweaking, but I think I'm quite happy with it- and it does look like him.