Monday, February 28, 2011

Ripe and Ready

                                 6x6 $90
Here's my entry for this week's DPW Challenge. For those of you who don't know, the challenge is to mix a new paint color for each stroke that's applied- and no small brushes. The idea is that the painting will be more fresh and spontaneous, and the colors will be more unified and interesting. I painted 4 paintings featuring these onions; look for them in the days ahead!
One more thing- does anybody know why the thumbnails are no longer showing up on many of the blog links?????

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Too Close for Comfort

                         6x6 $90
The flower looks concerned that it's being stalked by the bottle in the back, doesn't it? I love painting glass bottles because they makes these crazy distortions that are fun to paint I'm also quite fond of this relatively monochromatic palette. 
Today has been a fabulous painting day. I have 3 red onions, one of which is sprouting. I painted one setup on a black primed panel (dry), the same setup on a green primed panel (wet), then a whimsical setup using one of the onions and a complementary color scheme, and finally a setup using multiple colors that I tried to tie together by working a little of each into the other. On the first 2, I really tried to do the DPW Challenge of laying down a different color with each stroke. On the second 2, that fell apart a bit, but I was still mindful of the principle. Whew! What a day! I'll be posting these over the next few days.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Crow Standoff

I took a little liberty with the blue here- I guess no crow ever looks that blue. Oh well, as painters it's our  prerogative to take liberties with reality!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Light My Fire

This was my entry for the Daily Paintworks Challenge, which this week was to paint the Zippo lighter using only 3 colors- ultramarine glue, titanium white and burnt sienna. I was out of ultramarine, so I used Cobalt instead. These challenges are interesting, as I end up painting things I would never have thought of painting. It's also fun to see how other artists have chosen to depict the subject.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Everybody's Checkin' it Out

I entered this painting in the Street View Paint Off contest. The theme this month is Prague, and I had fun virtually strolling the streets and looking for subjects to paint. I will post the Google image below so you can see where I got the inspiration. If you like this, you can vote for my entry at You need to click on the "Contest" tab at the left.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Weight at the Bottom

                       6x6 $90

Here is the black under paint version of this setup. I must say, I think it has more drama than the other one. I don't think the black will be my choice for all my paintings, but there are times it seems to be the better choice.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wait the Bottom

6x6 $90

I painted 2 versions of this because I am experimenting with different grounds. This one has a cad lemon under painting (oil) and the one I will post tomorrow has a black (acrylic). As you can imagine, the effect is quite different. It's good to know these things so we can select the ground that will give us the results we want. So much to learn and remember!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

"Brother in the Bowl" and reworked "Sand and Surf"


This is the last of the 12x12's- for now, anyway. I have more blank canvases, so there will be more. I am going to do an 11x14 for a birthday present for my aunt, and then I'm thinking about doing one for the Google Street View challenge. The February one takes place in Prague, and I had fun strolling the virtual streets looking for subject matter.
I got confirmation from several comments that the man's leg led the viewer right out of the picture. Every time I looked at it, all I saw was that leg! So- the wonder of paint- I painted out the leg and changed his posture. I'm much happier with this!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Behind the Bottle

             6x6 $90

I had an inspiration to use food coloring in the water so that I would get some interesting color changes.That works pretty well, since I don't have a collection of colored bottles. The little vegetable is an Indian eggplant, in case you're unfamiliar with them (I was).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sand and Surf

                              5x7 $90
There's a  lot I like about this little painting. I think I may do a larger version, but I may change a few things. If you have any gut responses to the compositon- especially constructive criticism- I'd love to hear them! I really value the input I get from fellow painters.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Car Camping

I felt the urge to paint larger and came up with this one. I like almost everything about it, but am wondering if I should re-paint the older guy with his head tipped down and a book in his lap. There's something  intensely intimate about the interaction (or lack of interaction) between the two of them that might alienate potential buyers. I don't paint specifically with sales in mind, but I'm not interested in storing a lot of paintings either!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Three Plus Three


Time for another 12x12. This is another new color scheme for me. I'm kind of into the really light blue right now. I like the way it looks with the orange (although I think I'd also like the composition if that cup were dark instead. Hmmmm........) I'm especially fond of the reflection colors in the glass.
I just have a zillion ideas right now. Way more ideas than painting time, but I'm trying to keep up.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sorting Seaweed

When we were in Thailand in 2009, I took this photo of a young girl sorting seaweed. In actual fact she was wearing a dark shirt and light shorts, but that didn't work as well for the painting. I have painted her before, but I wanted to see how my "lessons learned" in daily painting have affected my painting style. I worked hard to try to get the values right, knowing that when I added the highlights the forms would read correctly. That kind of sums up my "new" approach- and I find it works well on figurative work as well.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Here's another of the 12x12's I recently painted. I'm enjoying painting a little larger than my dailies (not that I've abandoned the little ones...). Yesterday I even tackled an 18x24! This is pretty funny because I've painted as large as a 48x30 without hesitation. But now I'm applying the things I'm learning as a daily painter to the larger format.I don't want to avoid getting more detailed, so I use larger brushes. Anyway, enough about that. That's not even today's post. This post employs that little yellow bottle again, but I had to make it a little shorter because I didn't want to cut it off at the neck.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Two on a Tabletop

             6x6 $90

I'm really fond of red underpaintings. The problem I've had in the past, though, is that I don't care for the amount of red that affects the other colors- especially too much pink! Lately I've been using an acrylic ground and applying just a bit of the ground color in oil when I begin the painting. I don't think I'd feel the need to do that with yellow, but with red and blue I find I like it better. I'm very happy with the colors in this painting!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ten Minute Poses

                             6x11.75 on 1/2" board  $150
Here's my entry for the 10 minute challenge. I didn't expect the experience to be as exhausting, stressful, instructive, nor satisfying as it was. I feel like I know this cup intimately! I wouldn't be surprised if I repeat this exercise for myself with other objects. I think the biggest thing I learned is that it will look right when I add the highlights if I get the shapes, values and proportions right.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bottled Belles

                                     6x6 $90
I have some more 12x12's to post, but I'm taking a break from that. I don't often paint flowers, but that could change. I really like this painting. I also did the Carol Marine challenge but it's not dry enough to photograph. Somebody- I don't remember who- said that she was exhausted at the end of this challenge. Man, so was I!!!! It took a lot of concentration. It was magical, though. When I got the shapes and the values (nearly) right, it took only a couple strokes and highlights to make the object  (a cup in this case) real!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

12x12 Paintings/ "Not a Great Hiding Place"

The mandarin orange was trying to hide behind the apple, but didn't realize that the reflection in the bowl would give his secret away. There's even a bit of his shadow peeking out, but he might have gotten away with that.

Monday, February 7, 2011

12x12 Paintings

A few months ago, I sold several paintings to a local hospital. Now they have asked for some small paintings to place in exam rooms- preferably with a "botanical" theme. I painted 6 new paintings for this project; this one and one other are based on existing 6x6 paintings- the others are entirely new. The blue under painting gives this a decidedly cool look, and the orange doesn't pop as much as if the under painting were warm, but there is a moodiness that intrigues me with these mostly cool paintings.

Lately I have been mushing all my leftover paint at the end of a session into a big pile of "neutral" that I use in my next painting session. Does anybody else do this? I find the neutral is usually lovely as it is, but I can also alter it to my liking.  I also love the idea of not wasting paint...

I replaced yesterdays post, wiping out the buildings to the right. I originally placed them there to stop the eye from traveling off the picture plane, but ultimately decided they didn't add anything to the composition. I prefer the simplicity, but would love to hear responses (if you have an opinion).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Orange House

                    6x6  $90
Here's another made-up landscape. These are painful for me, as I have to think so much about making interesting shapes, value shifts, etc. I keep hoping it will get easier and more natural.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

From Tree to Thee

                                 6x6 $90
My latest obsession is with this stainless bowl. So many interesting things happen when it enters the picture.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Market Day

I decided to take an image that I have painted before and try it small and loose. This is from my Asian series from early 2010. The original painting is 30x40 and includes some more background. The challenge was to crop it into a nice composition and create a loosely painted piece that conveys the feeling that inspired me in the first place. Part of me keeps wanting to go in and "tidy up" the things that don't make sense. The other part of me is learning to appreciate the movement of the paint and the captured moment. I know from experience that when I go in to "correct" it, I more lose the spontaneity that I liked in the first place.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Around the Jelly Jar

                                  6x6 $90
Can anybody tell me how to avoid the "autofill" feature on labels? I start to fill it in, and then a totally inappropriate label from a past painting jumps into the space. It's so frustrating! Anyway, I finally got a few hours in the studio this morning and had so much fun! I have some 12x12 canvases that I'm painting for a local hospital, and I got started on that as well as completing 2 daily paintings. A very successful day!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sunny Destination

                            6x6 $90
Most of you are probably familiar with the painter challenge presented by Carol Marine and Daily Paint Works. My image of Florida is dominated by pink and turquoise buildings (and birds and alligators and swamps, but I couldn't figure out a way to work them in). Anyway, I thought a pink (or more accurately, coral colored) building would be a great foil for the dark car, so I made up a street scene to complement the car. Now, if it only had a driver, it could go to the beach! I wasn't initially drawn to the photo of the car, but I had fun with this painting!
I've been away from my studio far too much due to the demands of rental properties (fun stuff like cleaning, repairs and remodel). Hopefully that's waning, and I can start doing more of what I want to do- like painting!!!!