Thursday, September 5, 2019

572 Pink Camellias


Pink Camellias
oil on canvas
14x11"
$308

     As you may know, flowers give me trouble. Our camellias this year were so beautiful and I love that pretty pink color. I am just always worried that my paintings of flowers will look trite, and they often do.
     I did enjoy composing the canvas though. I am interested in the divine proportion. If you multiply the length and width of the canvas by .618, you arrive at a result that is better than the rule of thirds. I never brag about my math skills, but I find the way the divine ratio works is great fun.



Monday, August 26, 2019

571 Madison B


Madison B
oil on canvas
12 x 12"


     I do not do commissions. I have said it before and I say it now. But when I saw Madison, I knew I would make an exception. She struck me as truly exceptional.
     She did, however, remind me of why I do not do commissions. First, she is a brown dog. How to make the brown look beautiful? Then there are her white spots. How to include them without it looking stupid? And I never would have been able to reproduce her spots and not someone else's spots. So leave them out.
     Her eyes though turned out more easily. I did work on them quite a while and used all the tricks in my art bin, but I did not find them to be problematical. I hope her family agrees with me.
     



Monday, August 12, 2019

570 For Julee

For Julee
oil on canvas
12x9"

     Julee did a big favor for my sister when she needed some serious help after her hospital stay. As a way of saying "thank you," my sister asked her favorite artist (me) to paint Julee's adorable dog as a gift. Here is the little darling, and, as usual, I fall in love with the subjects I paint.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

569 Peach with Leaf

Peach with Leaf
oil on canvas
6x18"
$162
 
     The Growers Market is the best place to find fruit with the leaves still on. I bought several and then photographed them right away because I knew they would not last. I was right. We ate them immediately. Local summertime peaches--heavenly!


Thursday, July 25, 2019

568 Teapot

Teapot
oil on canvas
24x8"
$288
 
     I suppose most everyday objects are rich material for metaphors, but my favorites are shoes and teapots. When I paint a teapot I can think about the setting, who is doing the preparing, who is doing the drinking, what they are doing and thinking or dreaming. For me, a teapot holds more than just tea.


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

567 Drinking Fawn

Drinking Fawn
oil on canvas
12x9"
$216

     They eat everything in sight. Now something cool to wash it down.
     Our birdbath gave us joy with the visits of so many birds and animals. How sorry we were that it got broken when we moved into town.

Friday, May 10, 2019

566 Marlene D

Marlene D
oil on canvas
6x6"
$100

     I like Marlene very much, but she is just a little scary. Those eyes seem to say to me that she means business.
     She is most often seen in her movies as a blonde but this image suggests quite dark hair. It looks good.
     My favorite of her movies is Witness for the Prosecution.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

565 Line Up with Leaves


Line Up with Leaves
oil on canvas
8x24"
$288

    It is fun to arrange the fruit in a long line and paint them on an extreme rectangle canvas. I have enjoyed including the crease in the linen.

     

Thursday, April 18, 2019

564 Deer Nibbles


Deer Nibbles
oil on canvas
11x14" 
$308

     We love the deer, but they eat EVERYTHING! I caught this young buck right in the act.  He looked at me as if to say, "What?"

Friday, March 29, 2019

563 Loretta

Loretta
oil on canvas
6x6
$100

     Same old problem, they are more beautiful than I can make them. I am doing better these days with the likeness though.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

562 Mandarin Leaf Closeup

Mandarin Leaf Closeup
oil on canvas
6x6"
$75

     Sometimes if I zoom in, I find lovely new possibilities.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Mandarin Leaf
oil on canvas
9x12"
$216 

     Must paint them fast. So good to eat.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

560 Sumi

Sumi
oil on canvas
12x9"
$216

     I love sumi painting and these brushes have so much character. (All my brushes are beautiful.) So I decided to paint their portrait.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

558 Louise B

Louise B
oil on canvas
6x6"
$100

     Louise Brooks--I have painted her several times. I enjoy her "garconne" look, but I do not worry too much about likeness since her haircut identifies her so quickly. But this time I really did try to get a good likeness because I met the president of the Louise Brooks Society, and if anyone would notice if I got it right or not, he would.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

557 Mandarin Shadow

Mandarin Shadow
oil on canvas
8x10"
$160

    It is a lucky find when the fruit still has stems and leaves. I bought the whole bunch and took lots of photographs. When I saw this one, I knew I wanted to paint it right away. At first I did not notice the crease in the linen. When I did, I had to decide whether to leave it in or leave it out. I am very pleased to have left it in. Don't know much about painting drapery, but I like the way this little wrinkle turned out.


Thursday, January 31, 2019

556 Lemon Squeeze

Lemon Squeeze
oil on canvas
8x10"
$160

     I am trying to develop my still life painting, and I love to paint fruit, but utensils are a different story. In my kitchen I use the reamer regularly as I do my steel bowls, but I bet I will not paint them again any time soon. The bowl was not as hard as I expected it to be, but the reamer was ten times harder.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

555 Sliced Boscs

Sliced Boscs
oil on canvas
8x16"
$256

     Although bosc pears look quite brownish, they sometimes also have a lovely orangey color that goes well with blue. Because orange and blue are complementary, the orange came out really, really orange, and the blue really, really blue. They could have used a little neutralizing or some split complement work. Aside from that, I love that little star shape in the center when you cut a pear crosswise.


Friday, December 21, 2018

553 Pitcher with lemons

Pitcher with Gold Trim
oil on canvas
9x12"
$216

     I wanted to paint a still life in an analogous color scheme. The yellow lemons and napkin set the stage. I got my inspiration from Janet Rickus, and I plan to borrow more from her wonderful vision. One problem I have with that is I do not have a lot of crockery. She says she borrows from friends. I may have to do that too.

Friday, November 16, 2018

552 Persimmon Scatter

Persimmon Scatter
oil on canvas
6x18"
$162

     I have always enjoyed round orange fruits for my paintings. It is perfect when they still have a leaf or two on them, but that almost never happens unless I do the picking myself. The thing about persimmons is that stem section. Only four little leaves, what could be so hard? I don't know, but it is.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

551 Army Phone

Army Phone
oil on canvas
9x12"
$216

     My friend found this phone for me at an antique fair. Working rotary phones are very rare now. I just love them. The sound, the weight, the way a secretary would use her pencil to dial because her nails were too long, things like that.
     This one happens to be an army phone. I can just imagine someone using it to call home and tell us all that wars are no more.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

550 Marlene

Marlene
oil on canvas
6x6"
$100

     Marlene embodies that look I love from the 30's and 40's. In this image she is so proud and defiant looking. I almost got it, but not quite.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

548 Lola

Lola
oil on canvas
7x5"
$100

     Lola, beloved kitty. Prettiest eyes in the whole world.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

548 Persimmon Lineup

Persimmon Lineup
oil on canvas
6x18"
$162
     Breaking rules again today. This time it is the "Rule of Odds." There is an even half dozen persimmons in my lineup. Maybe it would have been better with five or seven, but it is six and I do not mind. It looks OK to me.
    


Friday, October 19, 2018

547 Four Fuyus

Four Fuyus
oil on canvas
6x18"
$162

     These extreme canvases, 1:3 ratio, are really too long for good compositions but still fun to do. I like the challenge of arranging the subject, and I find that people enjoy them for just that crazy space on the wall that will not take a traditional canvas.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

546 Persimmon Extreme

Persimmon Extreme
oil on canvas
18x6"
$108

     A funny thing about a persimmon tree is that all its leaves can drop and the fruit still hangs on. You see an old bare tree full of fruit. Persimmons are a good crop in California. The Fuyu, the kind shown here in my painting, is my favorite for eating because it is nice even when a little firm.  The Hachiya, the longer pointy ones are often bitter and make your mouth pucker up unpleasantly. But both can make a lovely painting. Such a color!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

545 Eleanor

Eleanor
oil on cradled canvas board
6x6"
$100

     Eleanor Powell was a fabulous dancer. She had such a sweet, wholesome look that made me like her, but she was not much of an actress, which probably explains why she was never a leading lady. She was still a bundle of talent. I love the one where she dances with the dog.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

544 Redbud Leaves w Rose

Redbud Leaves with Rose
oil on canvas
8x24"
$300

    The leaves here are more interesting to me than the flower. I liked the way they leaned far over to the right (our right, their stage left).

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Inktober

Inktober 1801
The Conversation
dip pen, ink, bristol
8x10"

  This is my first ever pen and ink drawing for Inktober. I used a dip pen and a pot of ink. When I make my Zentangles, I use pencil for shading, but here I used hatching and cross hatching for the value changes. It was fun. I looked at Dan Nelson's You Tube video for a lesson in hatching.
     I will not be able to do a drawing for each day of the month during Inktober, but I will do as many as I can and I will use my own theme as I did here. 
     I will post also on my Sierraink.blogspot.com

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

543 Zhou Xuan

Zhou Xuan
oil on cradled canvas board
6x6"
$100

     Zhou Xuan is a Chinese actress and singer, very popular from the 30's. She is so pretty and delicate. You Tube has a recording of her singing. Hearing it made her come so alive for me.


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

542 New Bottle with Plum

New Bottle with Plum
oil on canvas
12x12"
$288

     I found the bottle at the Habitat for Humanity Restore. The little vase is a gift from a friend. The plum is from my refrigerator and I thought it picked up the pinkish buds on the leaves so beautifully. I was excited and happy with the set up. I used an old used, failed canvas. (I love rescuing them when I can.) And then when I tried to paint, it was crummy, over and over again. So many false starts, but the set up was so beautiful I could not give up on it. Finally, I had to say that is the best I can do.

Friday, September 21, 2018

541 Deer in the Forest

Deer in the Forest
oil on canvas
12x12"
$288

     Getting the black really black for his eyes and nose is a surprising combination of prussian blue and transparent iron oxide red. Alchemical magic I guess. It also works with ultramarine blue.
     I liked the way his face and long throat showed up in contrast against his body as he looked over his shoulder.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

540 Poppies

Poppies
oil on canvas
8x24"
$300

     These are California Poppies that came up in my yard at the beginning of this summer. They grow everywhere. Sometimes they cover a hillside like a thick golden blanket. Sometimes they grow through a crack in the sidewalk. They are dear flowers, but they make painting difficult because they are so simple that your eye does not believe what it is seeing; and their orange and yellow against a blue sky looks almost childish, though beautiful.
     In this painting, I tried for a "surprise color" and surprised myself with the periwinkle blue that showed up in the stems.

Monday, September 17, 2018

539 Gold Slippers

Gold Slippers
oil on canvas
8x10"
$160

     I saw a picture once of Fred Astaire en pointe, so I know men can do it, but in ballet, no. Only the ballerinas. How utterly feminine, satin and ribbons on shoes that enable you to go tiptoe.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

538 Leila

Leila
oil on canvas
6x6"
$100

     I have just recently discovered Leila Hyams from the early talkies. IMDb gives her a glowing write up. I think she is adorable and look forward to trying her again a few more times.
     It is funny how when you are painting, you begin to concentrate on one thing or another and forget about concentrating on so many other things. I would have thought it would all be second nature by now, but for me, not so.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

537 Coffeescape with Moonrise

Coffeescape with Moonrise
oil on canvas
6x18"
$216

   Edgar Payne, the American painter so known for his western landscapes, says to express your composition in one word. When I looked at my setup, I said, "skyline." I liked that and so I went with it.
     (Painting white on white can sure be a lot of work.)

Friday, August 24, 2018

536 Pear Leaves

Pear Leaves
oil on canvas
12x12"
$288

     I sometimes save the greenery from fresh bouquets. They can be so interesting after they have dried. I found them beautifully delicate as they cast their shadow on the background. And I liked how they had not lost their red stem color even though they were quite dead. Mother's antique pitcher was just what I needed to put them in.



Tuesday, August 21, 2018

534 Golden Girl

Golden Girl
oil on canvas
16x12"
$384

     This delicate creature is awaiting adoption at the Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Center in Reno, Nevada. She looked straight at me and my camera as if to pose. I loved her right away, but I am in no position to be giving my heart to a horse, so I remained all business and came home with a few good shots for studio work.
     For this one I aimed for her long, slender grace in gold in the key of green.

Monday, August 13, 2018

535 Linda's Toe Shoes

Linda's Toe Shoes
oil on canvas
9x12"
$216

     How good of my dear sister-in-law to loan me her shoes for a few paintings. Ballet slippers have an essence of magic. They make dancers twice as beautiful, and I know that only the chosen few from another world are able to put their toes in that box and be graceful about it.
     Here, I wanted to show the shine on the satin and the nature of the loose ribbon laces. I could not quite paint the magic.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Sliced Red Pears Extreme
Oil on Canvas
8x24"

     In trying to use my new information on composition, I found it liberating to place my central pear right smack in the center of the canvas with other elements radiating from there. Still so much to learn.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Shy Buck
Oil on Canvas
16x12"
$384
 
     My photograph of this deer shows his full body at the edge of the woods as he peeks out looking at me. There was something about the mood of it I knew I wanted to paint, but I did not know how to compose it. I wanted it to be special because I felt he was special, and that made me afraid to begin. After more than two years I have finally put brush to canvas. I think he was ready at last to be painted. I love him.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Girlfriend Flowers
Oil on Canvas
6x18"
$120

     When you have your girlfriends over for lunch, it is a nice touch to have some fresh flowers on the table. (de rigueur) All the better to have something to paint after lunch.

Monday, May 21, 2018

El Santo
Oil on Canvas
14x11"
$308

     El Santo, the jaguar who lives at Animal Ark, was resting in the sun on a log platform, and I could not see quite all of him. When I do see all of him, he takes my breath away because he is so powerful and beautiful.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Gingkos with Blue Marble
Oil on Canvas
9x12"
$216

I like to buy a little bouquet from the market and then see how long it will last. I got some good mileage out of this one from Trader Joe's. The leaves are from my new tree which I love, and the marble is from Bill's childhood Chinese Checkers game. I think ordinary things can be very beautiful.


Friday, April 6, 2018


Cougar Jog
Oil on Canvas
24x18"
$864

     George Lepp, the wonderful photographer and teacher, took the splendid photograph that my painting is based on. I give him full credit for capturing this fabulous creature in mid-lope. Usually, I take my own photographs of cougars at Animal Ark, but this image was irresistible.
     Next month I will be visiting my friends at Animal Ark and hope to have lots of material for painting this summer.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Black Marble
Oil on Canvas
9x12"
$216

     I am not very good at arranging flowers, but I really got a lot of mileage out of those carnations.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Narrow Ribbon
Oil on Canvas
8x10"
$160

     The marbles are getting easier to do, but the ribbon would not cooperate. I finally just let it have its way.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Small Buck
Oil on Canvas
11x14"
$308

     This young deer was drinking at the birdbath with his herd. 
    My first try at painting him just fell flat. I knew it was worth a second try. He was so lined up in such a happy Dynamic Symmetry. I just could not give up on it. The painting went fast the second time around and I tried not to labor over it and ruin it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Rochelle
Oil on Canvas
7x5"
$100

     I try to do the faces fast. When I struggle with some part, I will, without fail, overwork it. I am learning to wash it down right away and start over. Saves time. I want it to be the briefest expression of the lovely face. And if I do enough faces, I will learn so much about how a face is made. 
     I learned the indentation above the lip is called the philtrum. I love knowing that.

Sunday, October 22, 2017



Little Round Vase
Oil on Canvas
12x9"
$216

     I have painted flowers many times (often in great frustration). Seldom do I create a still life setup to paint. Lately I find I am enjoying it. I wonder what will become of that.
     I used Dynamic Symmetry to help me arrange the objects, and I used the concept of the color triad in a key, like in music. This is supposed to be a blue/green painting in the key of red.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Louise in a Hat
Oil on Canvas
6x6"
$100

     Louise Brooks, from the 20's and 30's, I think. Those crazy little eyebrows. I think she is cute. I must try to see one of her movies.