Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Two Heads are better than none.

Or is it tow-heads? Here's two of the four siblings...a big thank-you goes out for permission to post. These are small 8 x 8 inch oil on paper paintings. In all except the littlest (the girl here), I was able to do at least a sketch, and in the two oldest was able to do an initial painting "sketch" from life. Still some painting left to do on the others, so will post later this week, if time allows. Thanks to the kids for posing! Aloha...

Memorial Day

This painting was done after September 11, 2001 and is called Releasing of Souls. Today is the day to remember and to honor all those who have given of themselves, and their lives with us, for us. We spent Memorial Day, casually and happily,  in the presence of servicemen and women and their families. Having grown up in a military family,  I am grateful always, and remember always, the sacrifice they are prepared to make, and that they do make, daily.

Also on Monday, I had the special pleasure of painting four siblings, separately, all of them with their family resemblance, but entirely unique. It was great fun spending the time with them, and trying to portray something of their characters. We'll have to see about permission to post the images, but thought I'd share the experience. Hope I'll have the opportunity to paint them again someday.  Aloha!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

More Gifts

Today's painting is still in the the block-in stage...I've been wanting to paint this scene, and it finally came into being today, thanks to the oak leaf hydrangea blooming in the far back yard and the enthusiasm of my little one. Lots of lovely views at the Sedgefield Stable Horse Show today, also. If you're in the area tomorrow, you may want to go see! Great sights in all directions, and a very relaxing atmosphere. Did I mention the homemade ice cream?

Seems I've started a lot of paintings lately, and am going to have to limit myself to finishing some in the next two weeks....wish me luck. Aloha!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Learning from Before

Of course most artists copy the works of others as part of their "learning process"...at least that's the story. Really, it's about love! You love it, you paint it, and then you know it. Painting is an intimate act of knowing. Thinking along these lines reminds me of the quote....

“In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.” Baba Dioum 1937.  

Well, I think we sometimes learn to understand that which we love, whether taught by others or by experience or by reflection. Knowing, loving, and understanding all go together. This painting is "after" Kandinsky's Marienplatz...and it was in the painting of my version that I came to care for it and to "get" it. I've heard various people claim to not even see art, as though it were so much background; it's invisible to them. I didn't "get" Picasso until I forced myself (quite literally) to slow down and look and look and look again at books full of reproductions. Suddenly, one day, my brain flipped a switch. I got it. Vision happens in the occipital cortex, not in the eyes. It's a great place to be...hope you enjoy. Aloha...

Studio Orange

Maybe nothing rhymes with oranges, but peaches seemed to go with them. Painted entirely from life, with lots of detail, which makes it more of a "miniature", rather than a just a quick study...... a bit "paintstaking" to do! On clayboard support, 5 x 7 inches.

 Also orange are the latest pet members of the family. We now have two goldfish, who very nearly didn't survive the new tank set-up. Had some panicked water adjustments and our little friends have decided to stay, in all their splendid colors of gold, black and white. Hoping they will return to some of the previous attractiveness, so they will be comfortable posing. Aloha!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

All Clean

Spent several hours in the studio today, doing everything except painting...cleaned, organized, and tackled paperwork. That gave me room for a still-life setting that's out of the way, finally. So, that became the afternoon's painting subject, on the new clayboard that I'm trying. Will post a photo of the painting as soon as I can get one...Aloha!

In the Works

Lots of new works started today...a new portrait in class, with such a great model that I am really looking forward to next week (thank you, Heather). Then, stuck my toes in the water on another project: a set of family portraits that have been pending for a while. Trying some new things, I did two 5 x 7 sketches in sepia ink, on clayboard instead of stretched canvas.

Then started in on a new painting whose subject has been so insistent on emerging the last two months, that I think I may end up with my first series...of sheep. Reminds me of the little lamb I raised from Day One....nothing could get your attention like that bleating! Aloha, Friends!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Little Peace

Lots of Wild Things running around today, so it was nice to have a little quiet time this morning at Meeting. Outside, this perfect magnolia blossom presented itself, almost inviting contemplation. Have been thinking about Georgia O'Keeffe a lot lately, so this painting is my taking time to look, really look, at a flower, and then paint it.

This is the first monochrome value study/underpainting that I've tried, for the Daily Paintworks Challenge this week. The entire painting is Burnt Umber and ...nothing! For now, that is. Back to the Wild Things! Aloha...

Afternoon Walk

After such a lovely day, this afternoon's walk motivated me to head back to the studio for part two of the German Landscape Challenge from DPW. At 16 x 20 inches, this painting is much larger than the little one I did for the first image, and I have to say it was a lot more fun to fly the brush around a bit.

 Had wanted to post before midnight (since I painted this on Saturday), but I love my new Turtlewood Palette so much that I take very good care of it, and had to clean everything up first. Try one of these palettes if you get a chance at  http://turtlewoodpalettes.com/. Handmade in Tennessee, light as a feather, with all kinds of room to mix. And your hand will still work after painting. Aloha!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Street Party!

The original painting...and today got the disc and cover.  I was listening to the rough cut while painting, and have to say the final version is great! Have a listen (http://www.streetpartyband.com/)...and crank it up for your next party, even if it's just you and the cat (hey, it works for me).

Working on this week's portrait...all the light disappeared, so putting it back! Just to share for those who haven't taken up a paintbrush (yet?)...the paint really changes as it dries sometimes (but not all throughout or in the same degree, depending on the pigment). All part of the dance. Aloha!

Gallery Up!

Just a quick note...added Picasa gallery to the blog. So you can enjoy the slideshow (which is random right now) or click on it to see one organized by genre. Or click and choose to see the entire group...Maybe music next? Aloha!

Monday, May 16, 2011

What a Day!

One new portrait started, again from Tom Edgerton's class. Paul was nice enough to "sit" in when the schedulled model didn't make it, so a big thank you to him. And a revision (more a continuation) on the self-portrait for DPW. And revised the painting from the DPW color challenge. This painting has been bugging me constantly and I considered giving up on it, but I really wanted to explore this. Since I'm new to oils, this was my first major "wipe out", meaning I just removed a lot of paint (the entire background and the tilted glass and camellia), before repainting. Much happier with it now! All of these are still wet, so may post better photos later, but it was a fun day to play with paint. Aloha!

Saturday, May 14, 2011



Finally, a chance to paint! Have been working full time (the alter-ego life) the last few weeks...so was delighted that my friend Karen came over to paint this evening. She is working on a wonderful rooster still life (truly "nature morte" since the rooster is a taxidermy specimen). And I jumped right into this week's Daily Paintworks challenge. Always wanted a gray kitten like this! Had Modigliani's Gypsy Woman with Baby in my head the whole time because of the wonderful grays and red, but the of course a different technique. Will be falling into a more regular schedule now, so hope to post more often. Thanks for following! Aloha!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

The DPW challenge was veggies...this keepsake box was given to me almost 40 years ago, by my grandmother, so seemed appropriate for Mother's Day. I'm grateful for a lovely day with family and the chance to paint. Aloha!

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Decided to keep working on this painting, since it's larger than the usual daily painting, and am still learning from it. Not done yet, but progress. Thanks to those who have commented. M.D., go for the portrait!! You can do it! Aloha

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Self Portrait

This week's Daily PaintWorks challenge is appropriately enough to do a self-portrait. So, tried to remember some of the lessons from the conference, although with some serious time constraints! Will have to let the paint dry a bit to post a better photograph of it. My mirror view...Aloha!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Atlanta Light

Portrait Society of America weekend continues. The first time I walked into this lobby at the Hyatt Grand, I felt compelled to try and capture the rather magnificent and soft light. So, Tom Edgerton was gracious enough to allow me a few photos and I holed up painting during the banquet. This little sketch results. Wish I'd had a better brush with me or bought one today, but still it was fun to try.

The conference has been remarkable! I've gotten to meet some of the finest artists that live, and they have been gracious, fun, inspiring, and instructive. As have all the attendees that I've met (definitely hope to see you all again!). The paintings are so moving and of such profound technical merit, that I wish I could share them all. Check out the Society website and enjoy. Aloha!