Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fawn


Fawn
12x12"
Oil
$288
(Daily Paintworks Auction beginning bid $185)

     Deer often come through our yard. They eat anything in a flower pot and they drink from the birdbath.  I love it when they visit, but it is especially good when I can get a picture of them doing something more active like this little one scratching his ear. My problem here was to emphasize his cute self, not his rear end facing the viewer. I made his nose and eye very dark against the light background to make his face the focal point and left his bottom a dark value against a medium background to de-emphasize it. I like the way his body naturally creates the composition even though the focal point is in the lower quadrant, not what I usually prefer. Nature just has a way of offering us surprises.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas


Poinsettias
11x14"
Oil


     Merry Christmas to everyone.
 "Peace on earth. Goodwill toward men."



Monday, December 19, 2011

Meghan


Meghan
14x11"
Oil

     This a portrait of that wonderful niece of mine, the owner of Scratch the bunny. Young girls are so full of beauty, mystery, and possibilities. They are the vessels we pour our hopes into.
     This painting was fun for me, not just because it is of someone I love, but because I ventured into the high-intensity color palette. The phthalos and quinacridones go together in a bright, vibrant combination. I love the result. I usually go back to the ochres and siennas for animals, but these intense colors seemed right for the bright pure colors of fresh youth.
     Naturally, I gave this painting to Meghan's mother.



Thursday, December 15, 2011

That Rabbit!


Scratch
9x12"
Oil
$216
(Daily Paintworks Auction beginning bid $150)

     What is it about this rabbit?! I have painted him five times now. He belongs to my darling niece, so I know him personally. He has a funny nose due to a childhood accident, but he is just adorable, full of personality, very precious to all of us.
     I had several false starts on this painting and finally decided to start with his full eye and work outward from there. When I realized I wanted to put my heart and energy into that one spot of the painting, the rest of it fell into place.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monte's Kong


Monte's Kong
8x6"
Oil
$96
(Daily Paintworks Auction beginning bid $65)

     When I saw that the Challenge this week was to paint your dog with his favorite toy, I was delighted. I love painting Monte and have done it many times. I will probably paint him again many more times. One interesting feature he has is his one blue eye. I have to be careful not to make it too blue or it will overpower his face and ruin its beauty. The concentration you see in his face is for real. When he is involved in sports, he is very focused.



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cupcake for Wayne


Cupcake for Wayne
8x8" 
Oil
$128
(Daily Paintworks beginning bid $65)

     This week we were to paint something in the style of a famous painter. It was known as the Picasso Challenge. I chose Wayne Thiebaud to imitate, one of my all time favorites. He often painted cakes, pies, ice cream cones, all lined up in a case, or singly. He is really a lot of fun, and always bright. When he signed his name he included a little heart, so I did too.
     As much as I admire him and enjoy his work (and what can be simpler than one little cupcake?), I found that I was not really able to paint in his style. It still looks very much like my own painting. I think there is a lesson in that. 



Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dancing Shoes


Dancing Shoes
6x8"
Oil
$97
(Daily Paintworks Auction beginning bid $65)

     This week's Challenge was to paint your shoes, anyway you want. I chose shoes I rarely get to wear, but I really love them, high enough to be pretty and low enough to be able to walk and dance!
     The shoes are metallic gold and I set them up on a gold colored cloth. All the color was gold, gold, gold. How was I going to make a cool shadow when the shadow I saw was dark gold? I think it could have been good with a dark gold shadow, but I tried for green instead because it is the warmest cool. Then I put a little of the green in the shoes themselves to unify the canvas, and then I needed a little gold in the green shadow to balance that out.  Sometimes the simplest painting like this one takes a lot of work.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Sycamore


Sycamore
9x12"
Oil
$215
(Daily Paintworks Auction beginning bid $115)

     Landscapes! If I could learn to paint them, I would have a world of joy at my fingertips. I look around and behold the beauty of the earth. There are paintings just crying out to be done, no end of subject matter for me and my brushes. But success lies just out of reach. I continue to try because I know that if I can make it, I will be a very happy painter.
     These trees are at a park near Beale Air Force Base. I took lots of pictures there. As I said, there are paintings everywhere. I chose this one this time because it was mainly one tree, and the thing I liked about it was the light on the white trunks. I thought if I just stick to those simple parts, I might be a little further along on the road to success.  I wash down so many landscapes. I am going to keep this one.



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Lioness with Cub


Lioness with Cub
18x18"
Oil
$648
(Daily Paintworks Auction beginning bid $420)

     A friend went to Africa and brought back so many wonderful pictures of wildlife and landscape. I was lucky that she shared those pictures with me since my own safari is yet to come.
     This photo shows the mother lion with her cub by the scruff and another cub (twins!) trotting alongside. To compose the painting, I had to eliminate the second twin and save him for another painting some day. I wanted this painting to be very vague in all areas except in the faces and paw. Those areas I gave detail to but left the rest of the image almost an abstraction. I also wanted the general color to be analogous with only a little spice color in the detailed sections. 
     With those goals in mind, I think it turned out, but not without two or three false starts.









Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Paint Your Pumpkin Challenge


The Great Pumpkin
6x8"
Oil
$96
(Daily Paintworks Auction beginning bid $65)

     I suppose the Challenge implied that the pumpkin should be a Jack O' Lantern type, but this one lives in the front yard of one of the lovely Victorian houses here in Nevada City, Ca, and because it reminded me of Linus' Great Pumpkin, I felt it was appropriate for the occasion.



Saturday, October 29, 2011

Four Red Apples


Four Red Apples
9x12"
Oil
$215
(Daily Paintworks Auction beginning bid $150)

     This poor old canvas. I have painted so many unsuccessful pictures on it and washed them down each time. The threads I love so much in the texture of good canvas are almost smooth now. 
     Sometimes, when I hit a wall, the best thing for me to do is tell myself to just paint something for myself and forget about all the rules and lessons I have been trying to teach myself. And so here is something I will keep on the canvas.
     This morning I heard Tony Bennet on NPR. He said he had been advised to study successful singers, but to not try to imitate them or he would be just another voice in the choir. How hard it is to find your own voice.

     I am pretty happy my Belgian Bangs was chosen as a DPW Pick.



Friday, October 28, 2011

Little Puffin


Little Puffin
12x9"
Oil
$215
(Daily Paintworks Auction beginning bid $150)

     Puffins look like clown birds, and how funny they are running across the surface of the water with their bright orange feet. This little painting was both easy and difficult. The easy part was the pure white next to the pure black, making the wonderful contrast. The difficult part was painting the face, trying to capture the color without making him look like he had painted on a clown face. The last stroke was the little bit of orange on his belly to reflect those amazing red-orange feet.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Golden Apple


Golden Apple
9x12"
Oil
$216

     This past summer I began working on compatible palettes and color schemes, using Exploring Color by Nita Leland. Much to learn and relearn there. This is one of the pieces I did that turned out a little different than the usual. I enjoy painting small scenes of nature as this one is, but instead of a sunny effect that I often try for, I chose the earth palette, which rendered a completely different mood. The arch composition and the limited color scheme gave me a painting I have grown to really like.
     This painting is hanging next month in the Small Works Exhibit at the ASIF Studios (Artist Studio In the Foothills) in Grass Valley, California.





Monday, October 24, 2011

Ten Minute Challenge


Six Gourds
6x8"
Oil

     The Daily Paintworks Challenge this week was to divide your canvas into small sections and then paint the same subject in each section, allowing only ten minutes per section. I used the little gourd that sits on my window sill in the studio. Our house if full of gourds because of Bill's work, but this one is mine. I think its stem is so graceful.
     At first, I thought I could not paint it over and over again, but now I see the value of the Challenge. The variety of treatments is probably endless, and giving myself only ten minutes to do each one prevented me from belaboring the task.
     The painting is not for sale. I washed it down. I did the work for the exercise and for the discipline. It was worthwhile.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Easter Girl Challenge


Easter Girl
8x6"
Oil

     This week's challenge was to paint the little girl on Easter Morning. The reference photo has cars, people, and trees behind her. We were supposed to simplify the background shapes, but I found painting the face on such a small canvas to be so challenging that I felt simplifying the shapes in the face to be demanding enough. Once again, the Challenge enabled me to do a thing I would not choose on my own. 


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Magnolia Pair


Magnolia Pair
12x16"
Oil
$385
(Daily Paintworks Auction beginning bid $250)

     This is the second of the Magnolias I did last summer. That tree was old and huge and loaded with flowers. It was a beauty, but I think I will have only one more painting from it.   
     I liked suggesting the leaves and branches in an abstract way, but the best part was laying on the titanium white to highlight those big, thick white petals. Of course, they are not entirely white as very white objects rarely are in a painting.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tyler






Tyler
9x12"
Oil
Sold

     This is the painting that was used for the exhibit at the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley for the Open Studios Tour. It sold and I am grateful, but I always have mixed emotions when that happens. Happy to sell a painting, but sad that it is not mine anymore. 

     The first weekend of the Studio Tour was beautiful. The weather was gorgeous and the setting where I am sharing gallery space with friends is perfect. Weekend #2 is coming right up, and again I wish good luck to all the artists.







Sunday, October 9, 2011

Magnolias


Magnolias
24x36"
$1700


     What a time I am having! Last Friday I did a demonstration for the Lake Wildwood Art Club. I enjoyed that very much. And then I prepared for the Open Studios Tour this weekend and next. Hoping it goes well for all the artists on the Tour.

     Magnolias is one of my larger paintings although not the largest. I photographed a huge tree in full bloom and had so many images to choose from it was hard to pick one, so I have done two so far and may do more. This was the first one and I like many things about it. At first, I wondered why I was so pleased with it and then realized it is an example of the 25/75% principle--25% warm or cool, high or low value; 75% vice versa. This is mainly a cool, dark image, with the smaller per centage of warm colors and high values. I will try to pay more attention to that principle in all my paintings.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Moab


Moab
20x24
$960
(Daily Paintworks Auction beginning bid $625)

     I painted my "foster dog" Moab in our adirondack one summer while he was visiting. He used to visit often and we always loved having him here. He does not come much anymore because he is very senior now.
     This painting is always a hit at art shows. I think people associate it with other dogs they have known and loved. It has not yet sold, but I think the people like it just the same. It is a little large and so a little expensive. Or maybe people merely like it but do not want to own it. I feel that way myself about many things.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Big Girl


Big Girl
16x16"
$512
(Daily Paintworks Auction beginning bid $350)

     Horses are difficult to paint only because they are so beautiful. If you make them as fabulous as they really are, it looks as if you are romanticizing them. They are mythic by nature and so they are irresistible to painters, but the work can so easily appear trite. Who cares? I loved painting this wonderful creature. In fact, I have painted her more than once and will probably do it again.

   

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wine Leaf


Wine Leaf
6x8"
Oil
$128
(Daily Paintworks Auction beginning bid $85)

     This week's Challenge is to paint something to welcome the new season. We were to tone our ground with an unusual color. I chose Dioxazine Purple. Then let some of that color show through. You can see some of the purple around the edges. 
     It is still very summer-like here in Nevada County with only the slightest change in the color of the landscape. I was lucky to find this one red leaf in a neighbor's vineyard.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Three Peaches


Three Peaches
12x12"
Oil
$288


     Here is another piece from last month in my work on palettes. This is done in "high key," lots of colors in the upper range on the value scale. I tried to make most of these colors number five and above on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being white.
     This painting received very little notice on Daily Paintworks, yet it remains one of my favorites.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Red Peach


Red Peach
8x8"
$128


I did this little painting last month. It is an example of my work with various palettes and color schemes. This is the analogous color scheme, using colors next to each other on the color wheel, and then using the complementary colors in the focal point. The painting is small, so the intense warmth of the color is not too uncomfortable, but I would probably like it even if it were large.
***
I sold the Western Tanager this week before the paint was even dry. Isn't that great! Very happy.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Western Tanager


Western Tanager
8x8"
Oil
Sold

The Western Tanagers live near us, but they rarely come right into the trees in our yard. It is always a little thrill to have a sighting. This female perched in the madrone tree just above the birdbath, and I was able to photograph her underlit with the reflecting light from the water. Painting that effect challenged me a bit.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Monte's Things


Monte's Things
6x8"
Oil


Here is this week's DPW Challenge. I had to plan my painting and count the shapes. Then I was supposed to use one brush stroke for each shape. I planned 18 strokes. The pink bone took six with two pale pink highlights. It actually took 22 strokes to do the painting of the objects. I did not do the background but painted on a toned canvas leaving the background untouched. These Challenges are so good for me. I might try this again, but I will bend the rules a little next time, giving myself some more freedom.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Zorina


Zorina
24x20"
Oil 
$960


Zorina is a ballerina and actress from 30's-ish Hollywood. She is very delicate. I loved painting her slim graceful figure. Another thing I liked about doing this one is that I painted the background first and let it dry. Then I carefully put her into the picture. You can see some parts that I thought it would be interesting not to paint, like the lost edges along her arm. 
***
I am happy to report that the demonstration in Sacramento last Saturday went just fine. The people were very sweet and seemed to appreciate anything I wanted to show them. I remembered all my materials and the projector worked like it was supposed to. Nice day.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dreamsicle


Dreamsicle
18x14"
Oil
$500

This kitten belongs to my sister. She took the picture with her cell phone and sent it to me because she thought it was so very cute. I agreed completely and loved painting it. It earned a First Place award for me in a Sacramento exhibit this year, so it is a little extra special to me. It is now being shown at the Smith Gallery in Sacramento.

Speaking of Sacramento, today I am giving a demonstration on animal painting at a very nice art club there. I hope I do a good job for them. It is an honor to be invited.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Debbie's Bouquet


Debbie's Bouquet
7x5"
Oil
$70

This is the result of a Challenge from two weeks ago. We were supposed to paint using only rectangles. That really appealed to me and I got right to it. I just love the way it turned out. It looks very impressionistic. I could never have painted that lavish bouquet if simplifying it had not be built into the Challenge.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cougar Cub


Cougar Cub
18x24"
Oil
$865



Cougars are my favorite "Big Cat." I was lucky enough to actually see one in my yard one time, but this is not that one. I found this charming guy in a reference book for artists. Naturally, I was eager to paint him.



Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bales o' Hay


Bales o' Hay
5x7"
Oil
$70


This is my submission for this week's DPW Challenge. I really liked doing it. Thalo green is a very powerful color and can run away with you, but because this is supposed to be monochromatic, I was on fairly safe ground. 

I have had the photograph of those Oklahoma bales for a couple of years and have tried to paint them before, but with no success. Once again, the "Challenge" forced me to do just the thing I wanted to do.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Pig


Sour Mash
6x8
Oil
$95

This is my painting for the "Paint Your Pig" Challenge. I titled it Sour Mash because she looks a little tipsy, like she got into the farmer's sideline. I have been wanting to do a pig for a long time, so I am glad this Challenge presented me with the impetus to go ahead.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Daily?!



Cat in Indigo
20x16”
Oil on Canvas
$640


When I first heard about Daily Paintworks, I thought it meant I had to paint every day. You know--“daily.” I do not actually want to have to do anything every single day, but then I learned that it did not mean the same thing for everyone. With freedom to decide for myself, I am able to enjoy and learn and, hopefully, develop as a painter.

My Gallery looks like a potpourri of painting styles. That is because I am trying everything! But I so admire the artists whose voices are strong and consistent.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Daily Paintworks



Last month I joined Daily Paintworks and have been very happy that I did. I sold a painting that first month, which is wonderful, but that is not the only benefit I have received. I am loving the "Challenges" and being pushed beyond my comfort zone. I want to grow as an artist, and aside from investing a fortune in going back to school, this might be one very friendly way to expand the limits of my studio. Anyway, it is fun!

I love looking at the work of all the artists. I have such respect for them. They are all so unique.

This is my first Blog. It was Daily Paintworks that made me realize I probably should have one.