Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Early Plum

Early Plum
Oil on Canvas
7x5"
$75

     At our old house we had a plum tree. I painted it sometimes. I found some old pictures of the tree and here was this little plum snugged in behind the leaves. I like its plummy color next to the green leaves.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Ava's Hat


Ava's Hat
Oil on Canvas
6x6"
$100

     Ava Gardner--pure beauty. They say she had auburn hair and green eyes. I like to think she was also nice and smart. I have painted her before and will paint her again. But those Hollywood photos are so manipulated with back light and fill light that you cannot get a good light source effect, so I just make it up the best I can.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Posey





Posey
9x12"
Oil on Canvas

     Posey belongs to my niece (that makes her my dog niece) and she asked me to paint her as a Christmas present for her family. I do not do commissions anymore, but I could not refuse the opportunity to paint such a great girl. Posey is not supposed to get on the furniture, but she was tired from swimming all day.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Resting Puma


Resting Puma
Oil on Canvas
12x12"
$288
 
     In our neighborhood, we call them cougars or mountain lions, but puma is closer to their scientific name. This is another of my Animal Ark friends. She was on her perch gazing serenely into the distance with her great soft paws crossed, ears down and peaceful.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Lovely Rita


Lovely Rita
Oil on Canvas
6 x 6"
$100

     This face turned out fairly good. When they do not turn out, I could blame it on their faces being just too hard to paint, but that is impossible. They are some of the world's best faces, very symmetrical, perfectly aligned, ideally composed. The true problem lies in the artist and her ability to make them as beautiful as they really are.

   

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Moonlight Coyote


Moonlight Coyote
Oil on Canvas
14x11"
$308

     Here is a handsome coyotito. He lives at Animal Ark. 
     My journey with color has many chuck holes. I did not know this would turn out so midnight-ish by drawing with prussian blue, but the moon can cast shadows just as the sun does, so I decided to allow my palette to lead me on into the night even though my subject was photographed in bright midday.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Sunny Side Up


Sunny Side Up
Oil on Canvas
11 x14"
$308

     The matilijas near me at Sierra College, Nevada County Campus, were in such a huge, dense array that people slowed down to look, got off their bikes to take pictures. I liked the way this shot showed them in a sort of tumbling cascade.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Not Gene


Not Gene
Oil on Canvas
6x6"
$100
 
     Painting these little faces is my favorite studio time. I always start with someone specific in mind, but as I paint, the face so often turns into someone else. That someone seems so real to me that I allow it to be and enjoy it instead of fretting over not capturing the likeness I had in mind at the beginning. I realize this kind of thinking would not take me very far if I were in the portrait painting business.


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Winking Fox


Winking Fox
Oil on Canvas
11x14"
$308

     We enjoy visiting rescued wild animals at Animal Ark in Reno where I took this picture. I thought this adorable fox was asleep on his little shelf, but when I looked more closely I saw that he was watching me.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Matilija 2


Matilija 2
Oil on Canvas
12x9"
$216

     The matilija poppies are big wonderful wildflowers growing everywhere in early summer. They are known as the Queen of California Wildflowers. (Some people think they look like fried eggs.) They are large, maybe 6" or more across. They are pretty fabulous to see growing in huge clusters as you drive along. Painting them is a good discipline in painting white.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Susans Bunch 5


Susans Bunch 5
Oil on Canvas
9x12"
$216

     More susans, this time on a warm background. Painting the warm flowers on a cool background is a big challenge.  So easy to turn out as a 50/50 painting and I do not want that.
     Painting a series presents many opportunities to work out problems. The next composition is lined up and I am eager to get started. I will try again for the warm on cool and try to get the proportions right this time.

Saturday, August 6, 2016


Susans Bunch 2
Oil on Canvas
12x9"
$216

     Black-eyed Susans, there must be hundreds of them in that little corner of the yard. One photograph yields dozens of compositions. Nature provides.

Monday, August 1, 2016


Susans, Bunch 1
Oil on Canvas
14x11"
$308

     Another gift from this good garden. One corner filled with woody dead stalks came forth in a profusion of black-eyed susans. A series on each of the flowers I discover here would keep me happily occupied for a good long time.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Floppy Roses
Oil on Canvas
8x8"
$128

     We have roses at our new place, and they are where the deer cannot get them. I am hoping for many poses from these roses. 
     This little painting took four tries. I just knew it could work out although I decided to give it up over and over again. I really expect a lot from my canvas to withstand the scrubbings it sometimes has to go through.

Monday, May 30, 2016


Ava 2
Oil on Canvas
6x6"
$100

I have a lot to say about this. First, my subject is so fabulous that it is impossible to capture even a fragment of her beauty. Second, this is not what I am aiming for. I wanted it to be much more abstract, but I got caught in the process of finding her presence that I forgot to be expressive with my paint. Some faces are easy to paint and others resist it. This one resisted. I worked very hard on it. I should have known I was heading down the wrong path. If it is that hard, I am probably too deep into the parts that I do not want to paint but that are jumping up and down demanding attention. I want it to be a painting, not a drawing. 
So am I going to keep it? Yes.

Friday, May 27, 2016


Phoebe
Oil on Canvas
12x12"
sold

     Last week I painted Phoebe for a friend to give to a friend. I do not know Phoebe personally, so I used a photo reference. I think she looks like a dear, and she probably is. After all, someone wants her portrait.
     I often use photo references, but they are almost always ones I take myself. Even the ones of wild animals I take at Animal Ark in Reno.
     Phoebe certainly does not look wild. What a gentle soul.

Monday, May 23, 2016


Simone
Oil on Canvas
6x6"
$100

     So many faces, so little time.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Stella 6
Oil on Canvas
6x18"
$100

     Another little magnolia. This time on an extreme rectangle.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Dark Glow
Oil on Canvas
6x6"
$100

     I will not point out the specific flaws that I now see. There are probably plenty that I still do not see. I just cannot see everything.  If I keep looking, maybe I will get better at seeing. Our own faces are not perfectly perfect either. I still think she is beautiful.

Friday, May 6, 2016


Stella 3
Oil on Canvas
8x8"
$128

     These little flowers continue to delight me. I hope to paint many more.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Young Buck
Oil on Canvas
10 x 8"
$160

     This hungry guy got caught with the evidence right in his mouth. "Flowers? What flowers?"

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Lauren
Oil on Canvas
6 x 6"
$100

     Faces. Without doubt, my favorite thing to paint. I am currently choosing the black and white photographs of the actresses of the 1940's. The lighting is usually interesting, and the poses are a mixture of allure and innocence or pure sophistication. I prefer that to the broad, heavy-handed treatment of sex-appeal that is so often used these days.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Three Galas


Three Galas
Oil on Canvas
12 x 12"
$288

     Bill enjoys Galas and I enjoy Fujis. He says tomaytoes and I say tomahtoes. In any language, red apples, upside down or right side up, are wonderful to paint.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Doug



Doug
Oil on Canvas
6 x8"
$96

     The big gray squirrels drank at our birdbath all the time and I loved them. Then one day there was a new kid on the block, a douglas squirrel. Smaller, more color, and just adorable. He is a favorite now, but the birdbath did not survive the move, and our new location is a bit too low in elevation for the douglas. The grays are here though and I am glad about that.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Stella 2


Stella 2
Oil on Canvas
8 x 6"
$ 96

     Another of those blooms from my new garden.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Stella 1


Stella 1
Oil on Canvas
6 x 6"
$75

     We moved. From big house to little house. Have you ever done it? It is an amazing experience requiring more creativity than painting a picture. 
     One day I saw that a crummy, dead looking bush in the new yard had sprouted the most delicate blossoms--a stellata magnolia! It kept changing daily and showing forth more and more blossoms. I photographed it for days. It was wonderful--until the deer ate every last flower in one night.
     I still have the photos though. How good of my new place to give me this gift to start me up painting again after being away from the easel for so long during the move.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


Jacquie's Roses
Oil
10x10"
$200

     Roses from Jacquie's garden, in massive profusion, stuck in a plastic milk jug. Beautiful anyway. I cropped out these few for the painting. (Left out the milk jug.)

Monday, June 1, 2015


Cat Nap
Oil
10x10"
$200
     I took the photo for this painting at the Reno Animal Ark, a wild animal rescue refuge. One of my favorite field trips. Taking the photo was easy. Painting the picture was hard. I had to try three times. "What could be so hard?" you may ask. My answer is, "I don't know. It just was."


Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Michel and Mamacita
Oil on Canvas
12x12"
$288

     I have painted Michel and Mamacita before, but separately, never together. In this one, I painted their faces the same way I do eyes, both at the same time. Even so, it is still twice as much work to paint two cats as it is to paint one.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Post Office Poppies #2


Post Office Poppies #2
Oil on Canvas
6x18"
$110

     A host of bright red poppies! How to paint each one and yet give the image a focal point. I think the thing to do is to make some of them touching to create a shape that draws the eye, leaving the others as supporting cast. Now I think of that. I painted what I saw and forgot I could move things around if I wanted to.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Post Office Poppies
Oil on Canvas
6x6"
$75

     There was a riotous display of these Oriental poppies in the planter along the parking lot at my post office. I took lots of pictures, just random shots, not knowing if anything could come of it. There were hundreds of poppies, but I chose just these few petals to paint this time.

Monday, April 27, 2015


Birdbath Robins
Oil on Canvas
8x24"
$200

     I am glad I tried these robins on the extreme rectangle. They would have been OK on a conventional format, but the extreme fit them fine I think. Their wonderful red breasts were so bright this spring.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Library Poppies


Library Poppies
Oil on Canvas
6x6"
$75

     These poppies grew in the parking lot of my local library. The way the front petal dipped over was as pretty as a picture. Poppies are delightful with their pure bright color, but the trouble in painting them comes in choosing a background color. Nature usually provides the perfect complement, but in painting nature, my work sometimes looks...not so good. Here I kept the colors mainly in the same family instead of going complementary. Maybe not so bad.




Saturday, March 14, 2015


Freshen Up
Oil on Canvas
10x8"
$160

Cats are very cooperative models. They will lie still or strike poses, but when you are lucky enough to get a good picture of them doing something, like jumping, playing, or washing, it is even better. Mamacita is my favorite model because she is so very white and her ears are so very orange. A real beauty. (Isn’t it interesting to try to paint pure white!)


Friday, February 20, 2015


Yellow Scarf
Oil on Canvas
6x6"
$100

     Painting from photographs can be tricky. The camera does not see as well as our eyes do to discern subtle variations in color and shadow. But when you try to paint from the black and white glamor photos from the 30's and 40's, it gets even trickier. The photographers would use back light, fill light, and I don't know what else. It is hard to know where the light source really is. Very tricky. But the beauty and glamor is thrilling to paint. I think I will never tire of it. Meanwhile, I get to work on my color theory. Nothing in a B&W to influence and confuse me.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Greta
Oil on canvas
6x8"
$110

     As time goes by I hope to do better with likeness. Sometimes it comes so easily, and other times, not so much. I loved the angle in this pose. I naturally want to straighten and line up the features as I paint, but I did a pretty good job of leaving them on an angle this time.

Friday, January 23, 2015

My Mannequin


My Mannequin
Oil on Canvas
8x6"
$96

     This week's Daily Paintworks Challenge was to paint something that is beside your easel. I looked around and did not like the pots of brushes and trays of paints. What could I paint? Then I saw this little friend who holds my color wheel. He has never helped me paint a figure although I think that is the intention of this little tool. I just think he is cute and I like having him around. So I painted him. Here he is.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sunbath


Sunbath
11x14"
Oil on canvas
$308

     Imagine how restful it would be if all you had to do right now is lie in the sun. I liked the way the sun hit that little foot tucked underneath her with her other foot and tail hanging loosely and relaxed in the shadow. I almost chose to do just her face, but her whole pose captured my deeper interest.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


In Blue
Oil on Canvas
6x6"
$100

     If anyone were to ask me who this is, I would have to decline to answer. That is because I did not get the likeness and they would know I fell short of the mark. I did not try to fix it because I always worry about overworking the paint, and besides, as she became someone else I started to like her.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Zinnias 1
Oil on Canvas
6x6"
$75

     Inspired by Lisa Daria and Carol Marine, I thought I would try flowers in a jar again. It was fun. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Rabbi
Oil on Canvas
6x6"
nfs

     This is a little surprise I made for my friend Rabbi Greenbaum, who retired this year. We are going to his retirement party today and we are not supposed to bring gifts, but this is not actually a gift, is it? I hope they won't be mad.

Monday, November 10, 2014


Loy
Oil on Canvas
6x6" 
$100

     Each face I do becomes my favorite face. I am enjoying this so much I have forgotten my original goal which was to try for abstract expression and value-color choice over local-color choice. By saying that I remind myself to pay attention to my intention. We will see if I can do it. Abstraction! It is so difficult.
     Loy. What kind of name is that? Nora Charles I understand. Is it Irish?

Monday, November 3, 2014


Claire
Oil on Canvas
7x5"
$100

     Claire Trevor was always interesting to watch. The photograph for this painting must have been taken when she was seventeen. She was as flawless as an angel. She looks a little mad here, but she really was very pretty. I loved her in Key Largo.



Monday, October 20, 2014


Miranda
Oil on Canvas
6x6"
$100

     Carmen Miranda, the girl in the "Tutti Frutti Hat."  She is very adorable. I dreaded painting her teeth, but I could not avoid it. So many of the glamorous ladies of the period had the sense to keep their mouths closed, but Carmen could not contain her personality. She was great fun to paint, teeth and all.



Saturday, September 20, 2014


Baby
Oil on Canvas
6x6"
$100

     We all know that daily painting is good for us. I wish I could paint daily. Even though my recent work is not daily, it is more frequent than it sometimes has been, and I feel the difference! I can hardly express how important I believe it is to paint, paint, paint. You gain more confidence with your brush and paint when you paint all the time, but what happens with yours eyes is the main thing. How much more you begin to see when you are looking, looking, looking. I guess this is old news, but it is still exciting.

Friday, September 19, 2014



Hopkins
Oil on Canvas
6x6"
$100

     Miriam Hopkins has a lovely face and I enjoy her in the old movies. She aged beautifully. Bette Davis gave her a good shaking one time. They sure knew how to take photographs in those days.


Saturday, September 13, 2014


Young
Oil on Canvas
6x6"
$100

     I have been working on the value, regardless of the color. Now I need to try to get color right too.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Dee
Oil on Canvas
7x5"
$100

     This was very difficult. Sometimes a painting just seems to paint itself. Not this time. In fact, I washed down the first effort and started over from scratch. It is OK. I believe in practice.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Garbo
Oil on Canvas
6x6"
$100

     Last week's Challenge enlivened an old love of mine--people! For me, there is nothing so interesting as the face. With the inspiration of the Challenge, I am lining up some of my favorite faces and wishing I had nothing but time on my hands!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Value over Color Challenge




Harlow 1
Oil on Canvas
6x6"
$75

     I love this Challenge. Use value, not local color. I will definitely try for this again. It makes for some very interesting paint. My goal for a long time has been to become more abstract. I find that to be the biggest challenge of all because I lose myself in what I am painting and the details begin to fascinate me and I forget what I am doing. In this one I tried very, very hard to concentrate on the planes of the face, not the details. And the Challenge to use value, not color, helped. (I should have made her lips blue.)