Friday, May 27, 2016

Cheval Blanc

6"x6" oil for sale by auction
Cheval Blanc....White Horse.  Wandering back roads in Quebec, I came upon this white horse on a hill framed in green.  I stopped to photograph it and he/she temporarily set aside eating to look up and pose.  It was a good day.  Not my usual subject matter, but it sure was fun to paint.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Potential Energy

6"x6" oil for sale by auction
I have recently come to realize that I am truly a part of the older generation.  I am one of those old ladies that sits on the bench while the teenagers laugh and play and have so much ahead of them.  I am not being bitter about this.  Inside I am young and ageless...outside I look "mature" but I work at staying flexible and balanced and keeping a happy attitude, enjoying the joys of this long path.  I love a good joke but sometimes that joke comes in the form of catching a reflection in the window and wondering who that aged woman is!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I Can Fly

6"x6" oil SOLD
I love the expression on this cutie's face.  It was a really fun painting to do and I loved the abstract aspects of it, especially the rhythms and patterns, the dashes and drops of color.  I have been attempting to paint with less saturated colors and this one fits that bill.  It is not that I don't love the beautiful strong colors, it is just that I think I need to explore other options including those that don't come easy for me.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Moody Morning

9"x3" oil
I had an unusual shaped panel and thought this was the perfect subject for it...a moody, foggy day on the coast of Maine.  I loved painting this because I feel like I was successful painting mostly neutrals of grays and browns. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

One of Those

5x7 oil Click to Bid
Yes, indeed, it is one of those gorgeous sunsets we all love to paint, where the colors are so saturated you don't think it is real.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Midday Break

6"x6" oil  Click to Bid
I started this painting totally different than my usual procedure.  I sketched it in in colored pencil and painted on top of that.  I like the results, but it was a lot of effort for a painting that is not significantly better than what I have been doing.  I feel like the drawing did not keep me from keeping it loose which can happen.  What really caught my attention with this image is the crossing lines and lovely design.  I didn't wanted to reproduce the flowers in detail but give an impression of what they look like in a glance. It took me a while to figure out how I wanted the background sky to look...but I like how it looks now.

Monday, May 16, 2016


6"x6" oil
I painted this for 3 main reasons : 1) on one of the painting sights I participate in there was a challenge to paint shoes this month  2)  I have been working on using a limited palette  3) I love the abstract quality of this.  I hope to move into more abstracted representational images, but I suspect it is going to be a slow process.  I used Gumbacher Red, French Ultramarine, and Indian Yellow for this, with Radiant White.  I really like this painting and may do it again with a different palette just to see where I can go with this.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Perfect Day

6"x6" oil
There is a lot going on in this little painting.  There are so many decisions to make along the way..sometimes it is overwhelming.  These are some of the things I was thinking about: composition, creating a variety of brushwork that included soft edges and harder edges, painting convincing soft shadows, getting the light right, creating a sense of depth, and not least, painting a convincing scene of two girls with their fishing nets on a dock, with some sense of movement.  This pond is a favorite subject of mine because it is right behind my house and my grandkids love to play there.

Thursday, May 12, 2016


6"x6" oil
Again, I used a primary triad for this palette using Radiant White with the 3 primary colors.  This little guy was walking with determination.  He had a purpose and his mind was set on it and I think I captured a posture that reflects this action.  I usually am pretty happy with paintings I do that have figures in action.  That seems to be a pretty good reason to continue to investigate this. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Portage

6"x6" oil
I used a limited palette on this painting of Transparent Red Oxide, Pthalo Blue and Transparent Yellow with Zinc White.  I need to research the zinc white as someone told me it isn't a good choice.  I liked how clear the colors looked with that white as it isn't very opaque.  I also like the perspective on this view.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Power Walking

6"x6" oil
I started this painting very loosely and with a limited palette made of some rather unusual choices of transparent colors: Phthalo Blue, Indian Yellow, and Permanent Rose. For the top layer I added white to give it opacity and to add lightness.  I wasn't crazy about the greens from this mixture added with white because they looked chalky and lost the vibrancy of the transparent quality, but I went back on top in the light areas with Indian Yellow mixed with white and that helped.  I should have tried mixing in Zinc White instead of Titanium, but I will reserve this for another experiment.  The surprise and excitement I had was in the discovery is of the most lovely brown from mixing the three primaries.  I was drawn to paint this because her clothes and black with bright magenta hair matched the colors in the foliage and that was just fun!  I would not have guessed that I could make such lovely skin tones with these 3 colors.  Great experiment!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


8"x10" oil
This painting was inspired by a photo taken by Carol Ricker who is a pianist and teacher. These little girls were playing a duet.  The original photo was a close-up of their backs and I loved the subject matter, so I added the missing details of the piano with flowers and their stool and legs.  This is why I say that I use photo references as inspiration or a jumping off place.  It is a bit like a movie about some specialist and only experts in that particular field would be able to tell the fictional parts of the character.  Sometimes it is more convincing than at other times.  For instance, I question the validity of Matt Damon's character in the Martian when he duct taped his suit and tent together on Mars to keep the integrity of air pressure.  Duct tape is amazing stuff...but...really?

Monday, May 2, 2016

Loading Pumpkins

11"x11" oil
Wrong time of year, but I have been wanting to do this painting for a while.  The beauty of painting from photos is that you can capture the image any time you want.  Also, there is the advantage of not having to haul an easel, paints, etc., etc., around with you.  The disadvantage is in not being there in the changing light with the sounds of nature and wind and breathing in the beauty of the experience.  When I paint from photos, I use them as inspiration and almost always change them by adding things or subtracting or rearranging.  I am grateful to feel confident to do this now.  When I first started oil painting I was a bit nervous about adding or subtracting.  Now it part of what I look forward to.  It is the exciting part. The setting of this painting is a local sugarhouse.  I will let you use your imagination to guess what I changed about it.
Gourd Painting acrylic
I also painted this gourd, which I will now varnish.  It is about 15"  tall.  I did one last year and I really like painting these, so I might make an effort to get more.  They are gooseneck gourds which is why I painted it like a weird bird.  The design was inspired by my love for my family with symbols which give a nod towards some of the things we love doing together.
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