Thursday, February 27, 2014

Poppies on Purple...

Poppies on Purple/ oil on board/ 6 x 6/ $100
I have a friend who hates purple....and purple is one of my favorite colors. Today I wanted to paint the bright red poppies from last year. This year's seeds are germinated and tiny poppy plants are starting to appear....
I used a modification of Julie Ford Oliver's fracturing technique to "mess up" the edges.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Spring is coming!

Spring is coming/ oil on board/ 5 x 7/ 
My tulips are coming up (and the rabbits are eating them...). Spring  can't be here too soon, even as I remind myself to not wish away the present.
I couldn't resist painting this as my warm up today...all the red colors are like candy..
Hope this brightens your day.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Portrait for this week

I received a small image last night that looked like a great challenge for this portrait series. I am painting these portraits "free hand" so I am struggling with likenesses. I loved the colors in this submission. The lighting was incandescent so it was a warm yellow tone. I have some scrapers but I am on track for one a week....(scrapers count: I am still learning!)

Friday, February 21, 2014

One of my goals for 2014 is to complete, even in sketch form, a portrait once a week. By the end of the year, I hope to have a collection of 50. Last session, our life model forgot our appointment, so I was drafted to sit. Otherwise, as those of you who know me, I would not have a reference photograph of myself to paint from.
If any of you have a well lit image of a loved one that you might like to donate for this project, please let me know. Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cowboy Sketch

Cowboy Sketch/ watercolor/ 6 x 6/
Last weekend, we attended the Bull Rider's Finals in Raleigh. I caught a number of fantastic images. Here is one cowboy, pulling open the pen...before running out of the way of the enraged bull and his rider.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Portrait Study

With the goal of 50 portraits , many from life, by the end of the year, last week I was our model. This is from a photograph and is in progress.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Rose Study #2

Rose Study #2/ oil on board/ 4x4/ $75
Second rose for this week. Roses are challenging. Although this is the second one published, I have wiped several other attempts...

Feels nice and warm on this icey, cold day!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cyclamen Study

Cyclamen Study #1/ oil on board/ 4 x 4/ $75
While I was shopping for my Valentine rose, I fell in love with this new frilly-petalled cyclamen. I can kill a cyclamen a little faster than  a I better paint it while I can!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

We are expecting a snow/ice event later this week. This will make it difficult for floral deliveries. Therefore, mine is early and I can paint it daily as it opens and matures!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Duck Sketch

Here is yesterday's painting with the background less "stripe-y". I think this improves it. I also made the dots of the nostrils and eyes less distinct. The consequence of these changes is a more "soft-edged" painting and less predictability....

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The painting process

I am reading a great book, "The Painter's Process" by William F Reese. Quoting from pg 21, "My advice to all beginning painters would be to fall in love with the process of painting and learn to make this your reward. Remember that one is never as good a painter as one thinks when a piece works, or as bad as one thinks when it doesn't. Tomorrow you'll try the same thing that proved successful today and fail, and vice versa. We all will experience humility in major doses"
The craft of painting can not be taught to us, but, it can be learned by us. The most we can expect from the greatest of teachers is direction and guidance. In other words, our teachers can only show us ways to teach ourselves, the rest is up to us. This is basically a process of self education we must go through. It will only be through endless hours of disciplined practice that we will develop the skills and sensitivity necessary. Once the craft is mastered, if indeed it ever is, there is no guarantee that we are even beginning to approach art. To be an artist is to reach a higher plane, a level of high excellence and sensitivity that must come from within."

On the days when my paintings are a bigger struggle, I am grateful that I LOVE the process of painting.

Rooting Around/ oil on canvas board/ 8 x 8/ 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Two Warm Red Paintings

Poppy Anemones/ watercolor/ 12 x 8/ $135
Another "vignette" painted with white areas left to integrate foreground and background. I like this style of painting. It gives "air" and "freedom" to the subjects.
That said, sometimes I like the finished layered look of a painting.

Red Zinnia and Swallowtail/ watercolor/ 5 x 7.5/ $75

For example, here is another painting in very similar colors. This gives the painting a very different "feeling".

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Do-Re-Mi/ watercolor/ 7 x 13/ $135
 I came across some photos I had taken of a baby robin. I decided to paint three images I had as if they were musical notes. I also wanted to change the dull brown camouflage color of this little bird so I chose a triad instead.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Freehand Iris Sketch

Another watercolor vignette. Again, leaving white in the flowers allows them they to be integrated with the white of the background.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Superbowl Six Pack

Superbowl Six Pack/ watercolor/ 6 x 6.5/ $75
I have been studying edges and tying the foreground with the background. See if you can identify the lost edges. Some are lost by softening them and some are lost by juxtaposition of similar values. In this little painting, I also wanted to paint a vignette on a white background. To keep the pansies from being isolated, I had to plan saved white areas within them.