Thursday, April 28, 2011

O, Hear Me

The latest DPW challenge: New York Lady...Something about her posture and the light in her hair made me think of prayer, and stained glass.

But tonight, I'm an Atlanta Lady, and a kid in the candy store at the Portrait Society of American annual conference. The "face-off" this evening with about 15 artists simultaneously doing portrait demonstrations was so intriguing and inspiring. The models were very professional and the set-ups and lighting were so good, that it made me itch for a paintbrush. All the artists produced outstanding work, and I'm looking forward to seeing the exhibit of finished paintings. Special kudos have to go to Casey Baugh, who stepped in at the last minute, almost literally. He was delayed by the traffic snarls all the storms have laid down, and finished a lovely painting and likeness within an hour, instead of 2.5 hours. That calm assurance came right through in the painting.  Aloha, y'all.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Warm Light, Cool Shadows

The last of Tom Edgerton's spring Portrait Class. The paint's still wet, so will post a better picture later. So enjoyed this class and learned so much. Will have to wait on the work schedule to allow more, but surely will get back in there as soon as possible! Aloha!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Color Wheel Challenge

Daily Paintworks Challenge, using a limited palette (triad in this case). These were more gifts from the garden, and the tilted glass reminded me of a Daniel Greene setup. Did the first 70% with a palette knife (and fingers...), but then just had to pick up the brush for the last bit. The larger painting I'm working on has a somewhat similar color scheme but much more subdued. This tulip is definitely all about drama.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Long week

The blog fell by the wayside the last few days...nevertheless, have been painting! The album cover is finished and that was a real kick to work on. Lots of other paintings begging for attention now, but the next month looks to be very full of nonpainting activities, so paint time will be precious indeed.

The garden has been delighting me with flowers, despite complete neglect. It's great to know the universe is capable of putting on a display without any help from me. Okay, I did plant it....but that's all. Pretty amazing return on investment, much more satisfying than the 401K...


Monday, April 18, 2011

A Blue World Order


Have to admit it’s a bit addictive to have something finished to show every day, but all this week has been about works in progress, which are bigger projects. Never fear, the Daily Paintwork challenge is coming! I do thank those who have purchased paintings recently, as I have several to send out into the world tomorrow.

This painting was inspired by biology studies, once upon a time, and was suggested by a former housemate (hey, Mary!) who had a keen artistic sensibility. Happily for me, she performed her art in the kitchen, while I painted.



This is one of my first abstract paintings, Crucible. It was inspired by vessels that were in the chemistry lab, used to contain heated reactions. The vessels were beautifully damaged in the process, acquiring a patina like raku pottery. I thought of a crucible as being a necessary component of refinement, of combination, and a place where the unpredictable manifested along with the results predicted by our simplified equations . They also reminded me of the extraordinary beauty that seems to work it's way unlooked for, unbidden, throughout life.  

At the time, I was also feeling the heat, to decide which path and which label I was going to choose, to conform in life: science vs. art, left brain vs. right, logic vs. intuition. To me, those labels and choices were so unnatural, foreign, and artificial, that it was quite painful. Sometimes, in chemistry, the process of combining elements gets pushed, one direction or the other, but it's not a pure process; it's messy. So many years later, my experiment with life is still cooking along, but I'm less interested in forcing the process or giving a pat summary.

Who am I? Who are you? Well, we'll see...Aloha!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Paddling Away

Paddling away beneath the surface. This week, have been working hard on the album cover (check out, and on finishing a larger painting from many years ago. I've been trying to work through my collection of unfinished works and nail them down and sign them. It's a bit of a gift to find out that I can find solutions to previous problems, that effort and study really do pay off.

Tonight started something new; and it's probably one of the most honest things I've ever done. But I think it will wait to share until it's finished. So, here's two older paintings..."dreamscapes" as I called them,  a bit of a continuation on the journey theme. They were important to me at the time, representing physical journeys and also spiritual/emotional ones. Thank you again for going on this painting blog journey with me. I am so grateful for the wonderful messages I've been getting. Aloha!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Journey Home

Working on an abstraction today, which isn't ready to post, but thought I'd share one of my favorite little abstracts, painted in Florida. Sometimes things come together and they just work. For me, this painting contains a journey, a mystery, and a sense of wonder. And ultimately a little peace. We can all use some of that, wherever we find it. Aloha!

Finishing Things

Private Collection

Long day, Tuesday. Besides finishing up a lot of my to-do list, there was painting...Finished a portrait and revised the Germany Challenge Painting (see the new picture, and check eBay!). And the rooster is for the latest Daily Paintworks Challenge, as well as being a great study for a large painting I'm working on. Had almost forgotten about the spurs! Aloha!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Dead Rose

A Birthday Song for Terry

What to get you for your birthday,
When you no longer have hands, or eyes, or mouth.
What to get the man who has nothing, instead of everything?
We had everything ahead of us, and nothing holding us back,
It seemed. And yet you saw shadows, canyons, deserts, danger
Where I saw a great and beautiful land we would explore together…

I tried everything, I willed everything, to dismantle
The bomb strapped to your chest. It exploded...
I cleaned up your blood. I tried to give you everything
And now there is nothing I can give you
At all.

But look at what you gave me…
Life. The little one who clings to me
And is just beginning to try those first steps.
You’re not here to see them.
All these ultimate gifts you’ve given me. Not only life,
But now I don’t have to fear death…not with you moving on ahead.
But oh, how I wish you were here instead.

If there is no light without darkness, then the darkness of your death
Must be making a tremendous light somewhere. And if death makes life sweet,
Then my life must now be the sweetest.
I just can’t taste it yet.

I wrote this poem four years ago...seemed like the time to share it. The painting was done today, another challenge. Aloha...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Florida Times

Have been working my way through all the Daily Paintworks Challenges since I found the site, and enjoying the process. Was dreading this one a bit, because I've never been into cars, and the angle on the Challenge photo seemed so unnatural to me, that I wasn't sure I could get into it. But the little smidgeon of background spoke to me, since I used to stomp around St. Augustine a bit, and that feeling took me into the painting. Wasn't happy with it until I just piled on some ivory black straight out of the tube in an abstract way, and that cheered me right up.
Here's to vacations, whenever and wherever you find them. Aloha!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Help for Japan

En plein air (meaning I actually carried my easel, palette, brushes and medium outside into the yard to do this). So, I had to wear a mask because the pollen is pretty heavy today, and I'm sure it looked interesting to everyone passing by. I swear a couple of cars slowed down as they passed. This painting was done for a very special Daily Paintworks Challenge, which is an auction to aid relief efforts in Japan after the Earthquake and Tsunami devastation. Please feel free to bid on the work (it is only available thru this site Daily Paintworks link. I will donate all the proceeds and shipping to Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support. 

This little birdhouse was made by a local artisan and purchased at our farmer's market. It's humble but makes me happy every time I see it. And it has weathered many storms including the most recent which took down 2 large trees on my street.
Hope you are all safe and Home...Aloha!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

And now for something completely different...

Here's a completely different method of painting than usual for me, but I had fun with it. One of those things that when it was in my head, I had to do it…maybe because it’s tax time. Here’s a little courage for anyone who needs it right now. Like me!

Also, if you are feeling flush, check for Melle Ferre on eBay. Trying to figure out how it works, so will start listing a few small things, easy to buy and easy to send.

And for the person who sends in the best title for this painting…I’ll send you a print of it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Old is New

Started this painting about 25 years ago, and carried it around incomplete...Now it's done, and thought I'd share it since flowers have been a recent theme. Also working on a new painting which is white on a colored background, which reminded me of this one. Off to lunch with a friend!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


For a small painting this sure took a long time...Another Daily Painting challenge and probably the hardest I've done. Haven't really done many landscapes, and found if hard to work from a photo of someplace I haven't been. After this sits for a while, I might try to simplify it a little. But not today!

Hoorah again for Tom's portrait class. How lucky to be in the studio with a world class professional and my motivated, creative and inspiring classmates. Last night, Tom painted our model, and I really benefited from looking at exactly the same setting while we both worked. I'm glad I'm at least seeing some of the things he is teaching us about, even if I can't always make it happen. Check out his website (sites of interest).

A big thank you to so many people who responded to my email about the blog.It is really great to hear back from people that I care about and to share my passion for art. You are magnificent!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Small Gifts

My little one brings me these precious gifts from the yard...doesn't know the difference between the wild flowers and the domesticated ones. And now I don't mind the too-short cuttings. I'm one lucky gal.

This was another Daily Challenge. One stroke of the brush only for each mixed color and only one brush...tough to put aside the "usual" way of painting and do something different. Almost gave up at the beginning, but rather like the result, after all. Since it's a little 5 x 7 inch canvas, I call it Small Gifts.....Aloha!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

No Pollen in Paint

So beautiful outside today, but a challenge to breathe! At least I had some time to work on this floral study inside, in relative safety. Thinking this evening how the beginning of a painting is always exciting, and then there’s the hard work in the middle. Seems to me that there is usually an “ugly” stage for most paintings…that’s the middle, when you start covering all the beautiful beginning marks that you are in love with and start mining for new ones.  Much like other ventures in life. Of course, the finish line is always exciting. So, looking forward to that next.

p.s. May 16, 2011: interestingly this painting did not make it to the finish line...for reasons having nothing to do with paint, and everything with moving forward, this became the canvas for portrait class. So, now it exists only in photograph and memory. Aloha...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Daily Four!

This little painting is an exercise for a fun daily Painting site. The challenge was to divide the surface into four and then set the timer for 10 minutes per picture. Surprising how challenging this was. Would have been easier to do the same subject 4 times, but somehow I had this in my head. Can tell I started on the Tigger, and then got better as I progressed to Pooh. I'm still a bit slow with oil paints vs. acrylics, so it helped to premix some paints on the palette. Will refine these more, but wanted to show the results of the exercise. It's great to start the day painting....makes it a good day already!      Aloha!

Friday by my book

In my mind, one in the morning still counts as the night before!. No painting today, but did get some rough drafts off for a commissioned album cover. These were little thumbnail sketches, which I have done as a habit. But since I am in full-on learning mode, and they have been mentioned often in recent reading, thought I'd give them a try.  Showed them to everyone I came in contact with as an informal poll for the band. To my surprise, the thumbnails were well-received, even for a work that would be fairly abstract...

So, a new tool in my kit! Nice. Also, found some great frames (yea!) at a local thrift, which made me feel like a million bucks. One of my finds already has an Edvard Munch print in it. Family concensus is that it is too "spooky" but I suppose now I have to find out if it is a "real" print as opposed to a poster/cheap repro. Since it's custom-framed...well, guess I have to check before I tear into it!

So, this is a large work completed last month...Hoping for a good painting day tomorrow.