Thursday, March 31, 2011

Don't Be Blue

                                 6x6 $90
I'm back "on the bottle(s)" again. This time it looks like the red bottle is trying to spread its influence over the blue surrounding it. It "got" the fork. Lucky Fork. That was another title possibility- "Lucky Fork". Hmmm...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mother In Law Door

6x6 $90
Years ago we were in Nova Scotia Newfoundland and we observed many houses with front doors leading to nowhere. When we asked the locals what that was about they said that since most people never use their front doors they opted not to go to the expense of building porches and stairs. The doors leading to nowhere are known as "mother-in-law doors". Really. Google it. 

I enjoy doing these fanciful architectural structures. They provide a great opportunity to think about color and composition. I think I may go down to Lake Union and photograph some floating homes for reference. 

My little daily painting that I donated to DPW to raise money for the Japan crisis got bid up to $251! I'm so pleased that I can do something I love (paint) and at the same time be a part of such a generous project. They've raised almost $20,000 dollars- and are sure to top that. Wow!

I finally committed to a website. Check it out- Let me know, please, if you find it difficult to navigate or have any suggestions for improvement. I value the experience of other artists!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Little Something

I really like to paint figurative, but I have a hard time creating strong compositions. I'm trying to use what I've learned from setting up still life compositions to apply to other subject matter. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. With this one, I think it worked. I tried to group my values and I also tried to mix nice neutrals. I also wanted to keep the painting as abstract as possible while maintaining the narrative.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dwarfed By the Big Guy

6x6 $90
I painted 4 panels with variations on these bottles, and this may be my favorite. I love all the deep rich colors in the upper third juxtaposed with the bright yellow.The bottle on the right is a beautiful shape and a rich amber color, but it's big enough that I'm not sure if it will ever show up "whole" in my little compositions.

Thanks to all of you well wishers for my trip. It's getting exciting as the date draws near. The challenge is packing, as it's recommended your pack weighs no more than 10% of your body weight. For once, I'm glad I don't weigh 120. Tough enough as it is. I'm sure I will be glad later that I stuck to the limit.

For anybody who doesn't know, Daily Paintworks Challenge is raising money for Japan with an art auction. I donated "Sorting Seaweed" and it's up to $111. I hope it goes even higher; those disaster victims need every nickel! Check out the challenge- they're almost up to 200 donated pieces!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

You Can Call Me Red

6x6 $90
Today was a red day. I primed a couple panels with red acrylic and went to town. I'm trying to accumulate some paintings to post while I'm gone in April and May. My husband and I are going to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago- 500 miles! We'll also spend a little time in Portugal. I'd like to have enough paintings to post ahead every 3 days or so. That may be overly optimistic. We'll see....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lone Plum

                                  6x6  $90
Here's another painting with my little triangle cutouts. I like the tie- in of the dark plum with the dark under painting. I want to tell all of you about the BEST documentary we saw last night (Netflix DVD) called Waste Land. It's about a Brazilian born artist named Vik Muniz who was commercially successful in NYC and wanted to take on a socially redeeming project in his native country. He chose the largest landfill in the world- in Rio- and his goal was to have his art make a lasting difference in the lives of the people. It is a daunting project, but it's highly successful and the documentary is fascinating. I think non artists will enjoy the film and artists will love it, as I did. If you see it, let me know what you think!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Good Morning Joe

                                6x6 $90
This was the first painting I did for the DPW Challenge. The fabric looked nothing like this. I tried to paint the fabric as it actually looked and ended up with quite possibly the worst painting I have ever seen. Anything I tried would be an improvement, so I simplified it and toned it down, and I like it much better. The disastrous experience with this fabric taught me that I prefer simple geometric prints and led me to the solution (for me) that I posted yesterday. I'm pretty excited about the possibilities of this technique, so I'm very thankful for the challenge that led me there.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Caffeine Makes Me Jump

                                     6x6 $90
This is actually my second painting for the DPW Challenge. For those who don't know, this week's challenge was to place a white object on patterned cloth and observe- and paint- the reflected colors in the white object. I wasn't happy with my cloth options, so I made my own pattern with colored paper. I like this well enough to use this technique for other paintings.

Monday, March 14, 2011


No longer available

I've been thinking about how to generate some funds for the Japan crisis. How about this? Anybody who wants to purchase one of my daily paintings can have it between now and March 25 for $80. $60 of that will go to the Japan crisis; $20 pays for my materials and shipping. If you want it in a floater frame, add $30, and it will come to you ready to hang. order, first e-mail me at to tell me which one you want to buy. Then send 2 checks as follows: one made out to either International Medical Corp or American Red Cross for $60 (you get the tax deduction) and one made out to Layne Cook for either $20 (no frame) or $50 (framed). Send to Layne Cook, 16900 14th Ave NW Shoreline, WA 98177. Please send ASAP as the crisis is immediate and also, I am leaving town April 5 -May 25. You can choose from any of the $90 paintings on the site that are still available. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Incredible Edible

                  6x6 $90
Yikes! What's the focal point doing practically in the center of the composition? I didn't intend for that to happen! Somehow it still works for me, though. It kind of looks like the bottles just slid into place and came to a screaming halt. So I couldn't help where things landed ....

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cup of Onion

                                   6x6 $90
This is the final effort from my onion painting day. It lacked punch, and I couldn't figure out why. Then I darkened the background, and I like it a lot better. I think I got my cue from Carol Carmichael. The daily painter's blogs are a great source of inspiration and education!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Let the Light Shine

                                  6x6 $90
Enough of Rome. It's back to the still lifes for the moment. I have made a few changes to my Rome paintings (I tend to "go back in" quite often), and I'll replace the images on my postings as they evolve. So this is another "colored water" painting. The teal bottle actually is that color, but the yellow is colored water in a clear bottle. I love the way the egg picks up the color around it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Piazza cafe

Well, darn! I didn't win February's Street View contest with "Everybody's Checkin' it Out" in Prague.David Sgambellone's winning painting was certainly deserving though. Maybe my luck will change in Rome. I think this should be my entry. I like it the best of the three I've painted. Anybody prefer one of the others?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Abe with Attitude and Winkin' Lincoln

 Each 7x5 oil    $90

Almost every time I see the DPW Challenge subject, I'm a little disappointed, thinking it doesn't sound all that fun. Then it's always fun! In fact, I had such fun giving Lincoln a little smile an the first one, that I decided to try a different expression on another. If I look at the subject matter long enough, and think about what's interesting about it, and what I might want to convey in a painting, it almost always turns out to be an interesting challenge. Keep 'em coming, DPW! And thank you!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Artist on the Piazza

                                   12x12 oil on canvas
This is my second candidate for the Rome Street View contest. I found that I encountered more people in Rome if I went to the Piazzas rather than just roaming the streets randomly. This guy was one of several art vendors. There were only a few tourists roaming around. Doesn't look like a very successful sales day.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Pause That Refreshes

                                   12x12 oil on canvas

Here's the first of the Street View candidates. My printer wasn't working, so I did a rough sketch from my computer screen and went to my studio to create. Because of the "sketchy" reference material, I was more creative and less literal. I think that's why there's kind of a cartoon quality to this.

I have painted one other Street View candidate, and gathered photos for a few more. I'll post these in the next week.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Have a Seat

                              6x6 $90
When I was painting the onions, I had so much paint left on my palette, that I impulsively decided to paint this chair. I think because I'd been painting onions intensely for a few hours, this little painting was rendered quickly and loosely. It was a nice contrast. Man, I love a good painting day!

I've been having fun roaming the virtual streets of Rome looking for subjects for this month's Street View Paintoff. I'm really getting into this. Since I love to paint people, I look for figures in interesting poses, preferably in light and shadow. I've painted a couple 12x12's and plan to do one or 2 more. Then I'd like to post them and have the comments help me decide which one to enter.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Three Mugs and an Onion

                         6x6 $90
Another onion painting. I felt compelled to come up with a color scheme complimentary to the lovely deep reddish purple of the onion. I decided that I wanted the painting to be mostly cool, but the warm colors would incorporate the onion color. I played around with lots of mugs before coming up with this combo.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Grim Reaper

                               6x6 $90
Here's version 2 of the onion setup. This time the surface is a 1/4" mdf panel with multiple layers of gesso on it and black acrylic under painting.I rather like the resulting texture. The painting has rather a dark mood to it- and then there's the knife...thus the title. Thanks for all the wonderful comments on yesterday's painting! It was gratifying to see that so many people liked it.