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 though 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 13, 2018

533 Pear Pair

Pear Pair
oil on canvas
6x6"
$75

     I have not painted pears in some time.  Now I realize why I painted so many of them in the past. It is hard to get tired of them with their wonderful shapes and colors.

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 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.