Tuesday, August 21, 2018

534 Golden Girl

Golden Girl
oil on canvas
16x12"

     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 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 10, 2018


Dogwood Extreme
Oil on Canvas
8x24"
$300

     My new gingko tree is a delight every day, but I also have a new dogwood tree. It stands where I can see it from my kitchen window. What joy this spring!
     Dogwoods flourish in Nevada County and there are so many different kinds. I just take a picture of the tree and there is a painting in it waiting to be found.

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.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Young Hudson
Oil on Canvas
7x5"
$100

     Rochelle Hudson, such a pretty girl! I tried to show her sweet, bright-eyed charm. Normally, I use only one catchlight in the eyes, but she sparkled so much I had to use two.

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.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Little Square Vase
Oil on Canvas
10x8"
$160

     These marbles are from an old Chinese Checkers game. I keep them because I think they are wonderful to look at, and I was happy to be able to put them in my little still life.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

La Brunette
Oil on Canvas
7x5"
$100

     I have painted her before and she did not look any more like her then than she does this time. She is perfectly perfect. You would think all I needed to do was line everything up and there would be her likeness. I must have made some mistakes in lining everything up. She is still a pretty face and I like that.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pink Carnations
Oil on Canvas 
12x9"
$216 

     Pink carnations are modest flowers, but they are among my favorites. Very serviceable too. The do not cost much and they last a long time. I hope I can get some more paintings from this bouquet before they must go.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Ruan Lingyu

Ruan Lingyu
Oil on Canvas
6x6"
$100

     Ruan Lingyu was a Chinese silent film actress who died young. Her sweet gentle expression charmed me and made me want to paint her.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Nevada County Douglas
Oil on Canvas
8x10"
$160
    
     I was actually taking a picture of something else and then found this little Douglas Squirrel on the tree trunk in the background. I love how nature composes itself and says, "Here I am." 
     On the Fletcher Color Wheel, I was trying for Yellow/Orange in the key of Blue. I ended up with Blue in the Key of Yellow/Orange. I guess. (I have a long way to go.)


Friday, September 22, 2017

Rose Pot
Oil on Canvas
5x7"
$75
    
     Still studying Dynamic Symmetry and Fletcher Colour Control. We have here a sinister diagonal done in red orange in the key of green blue.

Friday, September 1, 2017


Douglas
Oil on Canvas
8x10"
$160

     The Douglas Squirrel was one of John Muir's favorites. I can see why. They don't come much cuter.
     I am trying to use my new education in Dynamic Symmetry and was thrilled to discover "points of coincidence" in this little guy's pose.  I can't take credit though. He just turned out that way.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


Blue Bowl
Oil on Canvas
6x8"
$96
     
     This is the last of the mandarins from last year. The color is such a perfect orange. I have promised myself my own mandarin tree next year so that I can always have oranges with leaves at my finger tips.



Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Edna
Oil on Canvas
9x12"

     Edna is a literary cat. We are not sure if she is named for Edna Ferber or Edna St Vincent Millay. Both maybe.
     When I agreed to paint her, I was happy to do it, thinking it might not be too difficult. Was I ever wrong! What could possibly be so tough about that muzzle?! I think I corrected it fifty times. And here is an interesting thing--because this is a specific cat, I had to get her dimensions just right for her portrait, so I photographed her and measured to the inth degree. But the photograph lied. She just did not look right. Finally, I eyeballed it and it turned out much better. Can't figure that out.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mandarin Bowl
Oil on Canvas
8x10"
$160

     I love to see the mandarins in my blue bowl. What a color combination!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Ginger
Oil on Canvas
6x6"
$100

     I love working with the limited palette. It gives me much more interesting shadows in the little faces. This is ultramarine blue, alizarin, and yellow ochre, and white.

Monday, August 7, 2017


Golden Plums
Oil on Canvas
8x10"
$160

     Very often I enjoy painting just one piece of fruit in a small scene of nature, but the tree was loaded, and painting all the plums I could find in this one shot was a pleasure.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

V Lake

V Lake
Oil on Canvas
6 x 6"
$100

     I needed a blonde to add to my collection. I chose Veronica with both eyes showing. I thought she was cute in Sullivan's Travels.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Jenny

Jennifer
Oil on Canvas
6 x 6"
$100
     The more I look, the more I want to add this, nudge that, adjust here and there. Finally, I say there is no way to be finished. It is time to stop. 
     This is Jennifer Jones quite young. I think I will try her again sometime in her later years.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Snowy Rose

Snowy Rose
Oil on Canvas
11x14"
$308

     Spring had already come, but it always snows in April. 
     I used filbert brushes for this. I was better able to pile on the snow.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017



Grazing Buck
Oil on Canvas
9x12"
$218

     This young deer was grazing in a shady place in the woods. Almost no light source to help me out. But I liked his serene expression and he was so young and gentle looking. 
      Still working with limited palette, I found the results a little disappointing this time. Somewhat somber, but the buck charmed me. I did not know they had long eyelashes under their eyes, like a horse.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Ready Plums

Ready Plums
Oil on Canvas
18x6"
$100

     I painted this small scene of nature on an extreme rectangle. It is more extreme than the Golden Ratio canvas, but it is fun because it is a little odd. I have done many "extremes" and plan to do more.
     The palette was limited to ultramarine blue, alizarin permanent, yellow ochre, cad red light, and white, of course.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Garconne

Louise Brooks
Oil on Canvas
7x5"
$100

     I have recently been fascinated by limited palette and have examined several. For this painting I used the most limited I found: ultramarine blue, alizarin permanent, and yellow ochre (and white, of course).
     I am so amazed by the unity and range of color. I struggled with the painting and the process went haltingly, but I am pleased and eager to try another soon. 
     As for Louise Brooks, she is very cute with her bob, little bitty straight eyebrows, and pouty lipstick. They called the look Garconne. Louise is from the 20's, an earlier period than I usually use, but I like her very much. 
     The image from the internet that I used was not good resolution. She was a little out of focus. Maybe that is just as well.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

On Your Mark
Oil on Canvas
10x8"
$160

     We have Gray Squirrels here in Nevada County, CA, and we also have these adorable Douglas Squirrels. This one visited our bird bath regularly, and here he is getting ready to make the great leap from rock to bath.


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.