Friday, December 31, 2010

Sugar n' Spice Winter 5"x7" acrylic #173

I lost my camera which is kind of sickening, because it seems like such a waste of an expensive tool. Anyway, I have ordered a new one, but in the waiting-for-it-to-arrive time I have to scan any painting I do and that is tricky. This one looks pretty good. It is of a working sugaring barn and popular restaurant which is open for breakfast and lunch. It is not far from where I live so I see it everyday. A sugaring barn is where they boil down maple sap into syrup. I have painted this in other seasons. In the fall they tap all the sugar maples around the place so there are buckets hanging from the trees. They have some old farm equipment and cars there which give it a rustic and picturesque look against the mountains. I used acrylic so it would dry fast so that I could scan it. I kept it loose and tried to have strong brush strokes.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Barrier to Perception 5x7" oil #172

This painting is a re-do of an earlier painting I did. I changed the painting he is looking at to a Pollock and put in the electronic barrier that keeps patrons at a safe distance from the painting. I like how he is leaning in to get as close as possible to this massive image. It looks like the painting is going to suck him in!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

kneeling nude 6x6" oil #171

I am all goofed up and have scheduled 3 important things for the same time slot this afternoon, including an online arts radio show I am the featured artist for. UGH! So I feel like burying my head in a pillow and just hiding from the universe!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ink Portrait #170 ink 6x6"

Headed home today. Parked the car in the road so Carl could snowblow the drive and walkways. I came in, built a fire, turned on the thermostats and baked potatoes and brownies in the oven to facilitate warming up the house. Life is good and this relaxed pose reflects that.

Monday, December 27, 2010

mug shot 6x6 ink #169

This isn't really a mug shot, but Karin Jurik is doing a series of 100 4"x4" portraits from mug shots and I think this one kind of looks like it could be one. The model almost fell asleep during this pose and it was a short one...which is why her eyes look so droopy!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Joy watercolor 6"x6" #166

This was from a photo challenge. It is my merry Christmas-weve greeting to everyone. It is difficult for me to get even a little study completed these last few days, and I know so even more for the next few. It really makes me respect all those painters out there that are doing really fine work every single day. Just to attempt to touch upon their discipline humbles me. I think that is true for everyone who is dedicated to what they do. I am enjoying the playful approach I am taking to discovering watercolor and it is so easy to clean up!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Everything's Coming Up Roses 4"x6" watercolor #165

Some days everything just goes right. In my life this is the exception, but yesterday was one of those incredibly easy days, full of fun surprises, and it snow, snow, snowed so beautifully. I have been playing around with watercolor and discovering what it can do and yesterday it did roses. I think I am getting into the spirit of the season.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Zumba 8"x8" acrylic #164

My goal with this painting was to get a reasonable likeness of Lisa, the Zumba instructor, and to create a feeling of movement...hence the blurred hand and foot. I could have increased this by shifting her weight a little more so she was a tad bit off balance. It is a mirror reflection so I hope that comes across.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Check the Weather 5x7" watercolor #163

My husband is one of those guys who is always saying to me, "Could you check the weather?" This means, go to the computer and see what it says on I find this amusing because we live in a house with lots of windows and a climate that always cold and snowy in the winter, so why not just go look outside. So this is the view out our upstairs bathroom window. It is two roof lines with snow, a birch tree, a mountain covered in snow, a grayish sky and a chimney with snow. Honey, it's cold and snowy outside. I think I will go skiing. (still experimenting with watercolor)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Orange Target 6"x6" oil #162

This is a really simple was fun to paint the value and color changes and is a good looks a little lonely....but it makes me think of Christmas stocking...we are nuts and fruit kind of stocking stuffer people.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fluffy 6"x6" oil #161

This is a piece I have reworked several times. I am finally happy with it. Little Fluffy has gone from a menacing Yapper who was a scraggly,
poor excuse for a fashion statement, to the made-over version who just wants to be your friend. I took off the leash, closed his mouth, changed the attitude of his tail, and generally fluffed him out and made him softer. Sometimes the paint brush is better than reality. I really like the top-down perspective, but in some cases it just doesn't work so well.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sunrise over the Canyon 7"x7" watercolor #160

I tried another watercolor. I have a lot to learn but each time I do one I figure out more. This was from an artist's daily photo challenge. I used to live in the Grand Canyon so this is a very familiar and stirring image for me. I am not confident with what watercolor paint will do, and painting the Grand Canyon seems challenging, except that I remember that it is all just shapes, colors and values and it becomes manageable.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Walk With Paw-Paw oil 5"x7" #159

I am so not with the holiday this year. Today I am going skiing for the first time this season, so maybe that will stir up some sentimental feelings. I haven't done any Christmas shopping, however this painting is a present to my husband. When we are with our grandson, Carl gets up early every day and he and Ollie take a long walk together. It is their special time. This painting isn't a masterpiece, but it is loaded with love.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

still life with onion and garlic oil 6"x6" #158

I don't really have a title for this yet. It is a study in gray but I guess that is not really obvious. When I did this I was in that almost meditative state of hard looking. It is difficult for me to enter that place but the results are always a lot better when I do. I am by nature a "cut the corners" kind of person, so I rush most of my paintings and I need to slow down and look, look, look. I get a feeling of elation when I enter this zone, so that makes the painting memorable to me. Some people may not like the "black hole" but I do, and I love all the round shapes and the "kissing points" and all the other rules this doesn't follow.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Highland Lighthouse 5x7" oil #157

When I am painting I constantly am questioning how much detail. Lisa Daria has the amazing ability to capture wonderful planes of color and value with the most minimal of detail. Claudia Hammer keeps her subjects simple but uses glowing color and strong shadows to give the impression of detail. Jonathan Aller's still life paintings are in a silent world of their own...minimal subject matter with perfect detail. Karen Bruson has wonderful painterly strokes that are so loose they seem to almost want to dance away, but she has a fair amount of detail in her work. I vacillate between detail and less detail. I really tried with this one to just talk about the surfaces and only give enough detail for it to be recognizable.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Under Cover 5"x7" oil #156

The model struck a reclining pose and we set up for a 1/2 hour session. A couple of minutes into it I noticed she was twitching all over. I thought she was going to have a seizure but it turned out she was just freezing cold, so we covered her up and took a break. This is as far as I got. It is a winter wonderland here and we need to remember to kick the heat up for the models. I like the quick little portrait though.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Samara the Teething Garden Fairy 8"x10" watercolor #155

This is the second (and last) painting I did in Robert O'Brien's workshop this weekend. It was a watercolor landscape workshop, so I don't know what I was thinking when I chose this image to paint, but it is all about shapes, right? I really like watercolor and it requires me to exercise a huge amount of patience, which is good for me, but I love the immediacy of oils and the edginess I get with those. I want to keep practicing with this medium, but also keep up with the oils, which is already a challenge. A samara is a maple seed (also called helicopters). It is appropriate for my granddaughter, Samara, to be a little fairy in the garden, however she is the teething queen of fairies, so something has to go in the mouth. In this case it is her tutu. I am still struggling with grays, and I am not referring to my hair color.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snowy East Mountain Barn 14"x18" watercolor #154

I am taking a watercolor workshop with Robert Obrien this weekend. He is a master at watercolor, a medium I have always wanted to use but haven't had the courage to try, except one workshop last year. So this is my first watercolor landscape and I am happy with the results. It is such a wonderful thing to observe an artist doing a demo because I think that is where I really learn. The way he swishes the brush, paint and water on his palette is where the work happens and applying the paint is the magic. As Lisa Daria ( said today, "The best thing about painting with other people is you get critiqued which results in hearing ideas about your work you wouldn't normally think of."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Edgy charcoal 14 x18" #153

a very quick portrait of a beautiful model...I was really pleased with how much it looked like her....she was very thin and it was fun to paint her edginess...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Beached Boat 6x6 oil #152

A lazy hazy day and the water is still, but not sparkling...the boat has been neglected too long and has washed ashore and is tipping awkwardly, but in the stillness there is a quiet beauty and the lighthouse is still a heartwarming landmark. Should you have to describe your work with words? It should speak for itself, so I will shut up. There was an easiness to painting this that I really enjoyed. There is more that could be done, could be stated, but I am going to leave it alone.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Boardwalk Over the Marsh 6x6" oil #150 & #151

Another summery piece was yesterday's choice when it was snowing heavily outside. This is from Cape Cod. I have a couple of tweaks I need to make to it, but overall I am happy with it and it came easily, without all that struggling. I am also posting a close-up of Aslan. I had to photograph it through the window so there are glass reflections and the top of a little pine tree in the right hand corner. I added the streamers to the witches body and it looks really cool.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Narnia - window dressing with painting #150

On behalf of the Carving Studio and Sculpture Center, I put together a downtown holiday window display with artist Ruth Hamilton. It is based on the story of the "Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." There are marble sculptures in the windows done by really amazing artists, and Ruth's paper mache' witch who turns the land of Naria into perpetual winter and those she doesn't like into stone. A fan moves the lions head back and forth and blows the feather crown of the witch and her streamy hair....I am adding a crepe paper streamer body to her today which will blow around too. I did the painting of Aslan, the lion hero. This was an extremely fun collaboration.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

MYA 6"x7" oil #149

This is the MYA which is often seen off shore in Hyannis Port. It is a beautiful schooner built in 1940 and owned by the Kennedy family. This gorgeous August day was one of family fun, with lots of young people coming aboard. It is easy to understand how you could get addicted to this sport if the money was no problem. There is such exhilaration and sense of freedom in it. I was particularly interested in the young man who was sitting out on the bumpkin.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Lone Artist 6"x7" oil #148

This painting really reflects my state of mind currently. I guess they all do to some extent. I feel like the lone artist out there struggling with the craft on my own. The internet connects us to a wider world, but we still sit alone so much of the time and try to be good. We just keep trying and miracle of miracles, sometimes it all comes together almost perfectly. I live for those days and try to enjoy what I get today.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Too Cold oil 6"x7" #147

I need to find myself again...I am not finding a lot of satisfaction in my work but I know this will pass just like bad moods and dirty dishes.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Attempt 2 oil 10"x12" #146

Ok this is a day for honesty. This is my second attempt at capturing this handsome young man. So you ask, "How could this be the same person as I did in pastel yesterday." The first answer and only one that counts has to do with confidence. I lost my confidence over the holidays and I only started to regain it yesterday. I took my time and just followed the shapes. It requires hard looking and I don't think I knew how to do that a couple of days ago. I had forgotten. The hand just does what the eye tells it to do. I think I tried to just draw in pastel without the hard looking. There are no real short cuts are there? I painted this on un-gessoed mat board so it is only a sketch. Now I know I can do it, so lets see if I can repeat it on board or canvas in a larger format. I also am feeling like oil is more familiar to me right now, not pastel.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sketch 1 for Commission pastel 5"x7" #145

Yesterday Qiang Huang ( said, "....if you can paint shapes, you can paint anything." I agree completely, but boy you better get those shapes right, especially if you are doing a portrait. This is the first sketch in preparation for an important portrait. I have one photo, have not met him, and will not have the opportunity to meet him. It is a real challenge, and I don't usually like doing portraits of smiling faces, but I can't really make up his features....I am not that clever. I am hoping that by doing many sketches of him I will get to know his face and hopefully pick up on his personality through the process, before I do the finished portrait. Also, today "Overdressed" went swimming.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Overdressed 6"x6" pastel #144

So things did not turn out as planned. The wind blew out our power 30 hours ago and left us in the dark (literally). It just came back on tonight at 6pm. The house is a little chilly and the studio even more so! I left home this afternoon and grabbed my pastels as I went out. I found a warm spot and did this pastel of a present. I called it "Overdressed" because the bow is so much bigger than the package. It is a little package sent to me by Karen Appleton who is doing a project called "Present and Accounted For." The assignment is to photograph it in various places. Today I took it to a jewelry store and talked them into letting me display it in their window. I shot it from in front of the store. I have plans to take it several other places but I am not telling yet where they are. On another note, the model did not show up so I won't get to do my life painting exercises this week.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

4 Days worth #140, #141, #142, #143

I have been traveling for 10 days and have not been able to post since last Saturday. I took pastels with me thinking I would do many small pastel paintings while I traveled. This didn't work out as planned. It was inconvenient, messy and improbable under the conditions and I went into painting withdrawal and only did a few really poor quality drawings which I am posting today. Now I am facing that daunting new beginning again with the fear that I won't be able to do it. I know this is all nonsense, but somehow it is very real nonsense. I am sure once I get back in the groove it will all be ok. So, I am posting 3 pastels: "Tangerine and Pear," "Fingernail Polish'" and "The Green Ornament." As well I am posting an abstract oil, "Coltrane," that I did as a warm-up.
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