Monday, December 31, 2012

Fabric Challenge

This week's challenge on the Daily Paintworks Challenge is to paint fabric.  And that, I knew, would not be easy. So here is my attempt. This  mug was a gift at Christmas and it is sitting on an old linen napkin.
There are many interesting paintings using fabric on the above link.

6 x 6

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Flowers in December, revisited

I used a palette knife to enhance the oranges. I want them to be the most important part of the painting. It helped along with a few sharp lines to define the center of interest.
I have been painting up a storm in the new studio and will be sharing over the next few days. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry Christmas

Another wonderful art class today but nothing to post. Ongoing, learning, creating.
Here is my holiday greeting to you. Santa has a wonderful, thick beard and a smile hidden way down beneath there somewhere.
Have a joyous holiday week!

Friday, December 14, 2012

White Plus One

Presently I am working on several things and it can get a bit overwhelming.
The very large canvas (large for me 24 x 48) that I am working on in class in really shaping up. It has been so much fun to see what will appear each week.
In January I will submit a couple of paintings for a show called White Plus One. Did someone know I love callas? And white roses.
So now on to more flowers.........Monday's post will get more abstracted and Tuesday's will get more defined negative spaces. Looks like a good weekend.

16 x 20

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tuesday's Flowers

For Tuesday I started with a new palette and my main objective was to keep my colors clean. Wild and crazy colors in those flowers but for today, I painted them just as they appeared! 

8 x 8

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Morning

Here is my Monday morning, let's get going painting. I love that it is bright and colorful. It is loose, very loose. So the question remains for me.......what is too loose? I like the composition, and the lines which hopefully lead you to the center of interest. Maybe more flowers tomorrow. Just do it is my motto, also.

8 x 8

Friday, December 07, 2012

Revisiting a Red Barn

Happy Friday to all. The season is zooming by.  One of my December projects is to revisit some older paintings that just are not working so well.  This painting was done in a manner that suggested sepia tones. It was very quiet. So my goal was to push the orange, purple, green palette and see what happens. More life, more energy and a better defined center of interest. A happy painting

8 x 12

Monday, December 03, 2012

A little of this and a little of that.........

This weekend was truly for a little of this and a little of that. For starters, when I just had to paint and not think so much about oughts, I grabbed a Santa from the mantle and painted.  He was made from a  very stiff canvas which did prove difficult to do. But I got to paint.


This is a 5 x 7 study of calla lilies done in preparation for an exhibit that is called White Plus One. If nothing else,what a great notan exercise. The work definitely has strong darks. I like the looseness of the top lily.


Here is the large red barn painting that is the end piece of the two smaller ones completed earlier. I do not often work this large, 16 x 24 or so, so the studies really helped me.  It needs a little more work, but not much. Almost done...........


I have always admired mixed media.  This is the first stage of a mixed media piece. I have laid down the first layer and all I know is that next there will be a coffee cup. How about "Ode to Morning" for a title! LOL
Great learning weekend.
Now for a softer Santa, the cup, fix the perfect arc above the red barn, keep reflecting on values for the white plus one......................

Have a great week.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Blue Challenge

The blue challenge was to paint a work using blue and to keep the painting in high key, or light hues, and to not use any red or orange. It sounded simpler than it was but here is my first attempt.  And it is my best attempt. It amazes me how easy it is to lose freshness which is what happened on the second try. So, enjoy. Probably the last fresh roses of the season as it is now raining cats and dogs. ....and large, large drops.

6 x 6

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Updated Tree

Today I took a tree that I did a couple of months ago and revisited it. It was ok, not what I really wanted. So I attempted to unify the color palette, join the darks and give some life to the lights.  It is better and that is what I was after. I am not sure the trunk demonstrates the age of the tree as I see it but all in all, an improvement.  It felt great to do. And that tree does have something to say, no?

 11 x 14

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday, November 20

This is the exercise our art class is to do this week. Just paint and have fun. See what emerges. Black, white, grey only. You willl notice I have a warm white and a cool white. I was so excited to see the animal and the fish just be there. It is a little 6 x 6 study and one could paint many, many of them. They do reveal lots about what is on your mind......
My next two had figures hidden in them. Unusual figures.......
Go figure!

Just had to show you Miss Pretty got her second leg!

Here is my fun for this morning. The light is coming in from the left and is fairly strong on the buildings. It was difficult to pull off but for my first go at this's all good.  Three buildings.......a broken fence and a majestic tree full of shades of orange and gold.
What's not to like. Where will it go.......time will tell. So good to be back in the studio.

5 x 7

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Three Roses

My last post featured a shot of this work with a horrible glare.  Today I used the rainy skies land took the photo outside. It is much better but still the original problem exists.  Too much medium.  So my next step, when it is very dry, is to apply another coat or glaze with some wax in it. That should take care of the shiny. We will see. I still love the freshness.

So today, the flowers opened up as they will do. I decided on a strong diagonal and semi-abstracting much of the painting. The center of interest is pretty darn close to the center, but what a supporting cast! It was a great morning painting, then off shopping with my four year old grandson for new clothes.....he is turning five next week. We had lots of fun and bought blue to match those beautiful eyes of his.........

Friday, November 16, 2012

Needing to Paint

Home from vacation and just needing to paint. I did work on some exercises from class which I will post at a later date. This morning I wanted to paint, not fuss with anything else.  The resulting piece has too much medium which, I think, is why it looks so shiny.  I will leave it at what a great feeling to just paint, look  at values, play with colors. It looks like a rainy weekend so perhaps I will can revisit this particular set-up again. For now, mission accomplished!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Lessons learned, off for vacation

5 x 7 has now been done in an 8 x 10 format.  Such fun. New challenges. Is my dark pattern dark enough? Does the majesty of those eucalyptus trees translate.  So many issues.  A great learning experience with red barns. How could one lose? Just a moment in time.

Miss Pretty needed to have some form. We are looking a half of a sphere. Now, how could I forget that? LOL
Now she has more form and she is placed in reality with some lines holding her in place, helping your eye around. Next challenge is to take this information and start anew.  And maybe give her a second foot!
Off on vacation early, early Tuesday morning. So excited.
Happy  painting.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Palette Unified

With a simple change, giving my sky a more purple cast, I unified this little study. Purple, orange, green. Done.
On to the larger size.

5 x 7

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Miss Pretty #2

Here is Miss Pretty again. It just feels good to lay down the paint, feel the texture of her feathers and try to capture her attitude. In this version she seems a little chubby. The painting will go to class tomorrow so I can ask about cropping. I know there are more views of her.......I just need to explore.....and try to avoid that tangent at the top of her head.

8 x 8

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Study, barns and eucalyptus trees

From our deck I look down on the neighbors little ranch. I see the back of their home and outbuildings which have a backdrop of tall eucalyptus trees. This study was taken in the late afternoon when the area was well lit. I hope to take this work larger and then even larger. We will see. This study is only 5 x 7 and full of wonderfully shaped negative spaces.
I hope you had a great day!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Josie, again

One of the questions I have been playing with this week is, can I do a daily painting in 45 min. to an hour. When I work which is 3 days a week, that is my time allotment. So I persist.
Here is Josie again. The last attempt at this black lab of mine did not have the amount of life I wanted.
My solution here is to use brighter in cad orange! Her coat is purple and blue.
I feel she does have an attitude which is a huge improvement.
Would anything else be just fussing as we are so prone to do?

As the saying goes, onward and upward!
And back to drawing, drawing, we all need to draw!

6 x 6

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cloud 4

The cloud challenge continues. Number 3 did not survive.  Number 4 intends to show more confident strokes, finishing parts of the sky with a palette knife, emphasizing the wonderful sweep of the clouds after a storm. I love this challenge as I just keep exploring and learning.

6 x 6

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Today at class I did this painting with softer colors, not cropped and it was soooo sweet. Yuk.  So my lesson for today was how to use stronger colors and fewer shapes with the negative shapes holding their own with the positive shapes.  There are still issues with this painting but it was a wonderful learning day at class. Fun.

6 x 6

Monday, October 22, 2012


This week the challenge is to paint clouds. Any way you want  as long as they are the main focus of your work.  Dennis and I live where we overlook mountains and have lots and lots of skyscapes from which to choose.  This is my second try at the challenge. In it I got cleaner colors and just felt a little more secure painting the fleeting clouds. I love how the challenges focus us, how much we learn from each one. This is done on canvas paper, a great way to experiment and learn before one goes for the more permanent surfaces.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Adobe Pumpkin Farm

Today art class visited the local pumpkin patch.  There were old cars, pumpkins, scarecrows, barns galore and flowers everywhere. This is my take on several of the old barns. Drawing was crucial and the purple, orange and green palette fun to  paint. I like how the barns wander across the painting.

9 x 12

Sunday, October 07, 2012

The smallest of changes

This work has the smallest of changes but I feel it really helps.  The small barn has been greyed a bit to let the larger one sing. It's a good thing.

11 x 14


I loved this little scene in Putnam Park on Wednesday. Such beautiful light, lovely shapes to paint.

It seemed that with each area of the painting, less was more. Isn't that easy? It certainly was fun.

I just rephotographed this piece to correct the color. It is much better.

6 x 6

Friday, October 05, 2012

Great Class again.......

I finished class with this quick study of one of the flower pots to the right of the above scene. It was quick and , as the class said, came out pretty sweet but sometimes sweet is ok. Love the texture of the background. And for both of them..........just a little moment in time.

6 x 6

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Revisions and Letting Go

Here is the revision from the title of this blog entry.  I lost the sky holes hoping one would then concentrate on the trunk area. When I lowered the base of the tree, the composition seemed to work better.  By graying out much of the top, one's eyes go to the bottom and the interesting play of colors.

The yellow barns were not working so I had to let go. Not so hard. Now the barns are a burnt red-orange and work much better in this painting.  Now the whole work is hot, hot. Must be a summer day on the mountain. A definite improvement. The barns could be settled in a bit more, but I am done with this one. There is another painting waiting to be painted.

This Country Chicken is a commission. Love her feathers. She just stands there and owns what she is. Now that is a girl after my heart. Good job, country chicken.

With each painting that I posted today, I learned. As the title says, revise, let go, and then enjoy.
Paint for the  joy of painting. Feel the oils grab the board. Play with color. See form.

More tomorrow.....more paintings, more joy.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Color on the mountain

Here is that little scene from the Sonoma Mountains with much more intense colors. It gives the painting a very different feeling, not as peaceful but yes, more active and lively.

9 x 12

My attempt at painting the mountains but losing them also. And how can you go wrong with red barns?
11 x 14

This is my first study revised. It needed color and life. There.

6 x 6

My last oak tree for a time. This one had way too many revisions. I got it, I lost it. Such is the way of some paintings. So I scraped, fixed and let it go!

11 x 14

Monday, September 24, 2012

More Fun with Trees

More fun with far can I push them?  Something tells me I am only starting!
Love the intense colors in this one.

8 x8


Her is the 12 x 12 from class last week. I "refound" my darks and put another layer on the greens. I also tried to add interest to the tree branches.. Maybe it is done, maybe not. It will go to class for a critique on Wednesday.

12 x 12


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sonoma Mountain 3

Here is number three.  Number two got painted today in a 12 x 12 format but I lost my darks. So it is drying and I will revisit it later in the week.  Each time I paint this tree, I learn a little more. Gesture I have but I need to work on really exaggerating it.  And making my darks interesting without losing the darkness. It was a great day painting!

8 x 8

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Notan, Study

This morning I started out carefully. I had a photo from last week of a tree with wonderful negative spaces that I want to paint this week in class on the mountain.  So I printed the photo and then I played with a pen and sketched dark and light, notan.  It is not perfect, not the  point at all at this stage. I wanted to learn the lines and gestures of the tree. I also need to see if my light and dark pattern is pleasing.

The next step for me was to mix a palette. I was happy with what I mixed except tomorrow on site I need to take it out to include a purple tone. And that red dot on the trunk is a little much so when I paint the larger version, I will watch for that. This study is 6 x 6.
Now I leave it alone and then in the morning look at it with fresh eyes and see what needs to be revised.  Am I ready for the larger version I have planned?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sonoma Mountains

This little scene I found a couple of miles further up the mountains than the one I did two weeks ago.
It was a perfect little picture of times of old on the mountain.
I loved it.

9 x 12

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fascination with Roses

The question is: how few strokes can I use to define this white rose (Iceberg)?
My fascination is on many levels but one for sure is that roses are fleeting....into the fall, they are lovely and then they are gone for several months. So this is make hay while the sun shines!
I love my roses and I continually try to capture their essence.  They are so good to me, showing beauty and joy to any who look.

6 x 6

Saturday, September 08, 2012


This is the third or fourth try and finally I am getting somewhere. It is done on a 10 x 16 board which is an unusual size. I will now leave this one and take all the information forward for the next larger painting.

Abstract Rose

6 x 6
It just was fun to keep looking and see what is there. I scraped it off once as I was getting too fussy. This is more my style.....a little wild and crazy!

The art opening was very nice last night. I have three pieces in this show, the 25th Anniversary Show at Gallery One in Petaluma. Stop by if you can.........

Thursday, September 06, 2012


How can it be September? Just sayin......
This morning I gave myself one hour to finish up or fix a 12 x 12 inch work for yesterday's art class. It was my intention to take a flower to that size successfully. Sandy, the instructor, worked with me and I learned so much.  I do not feel successful yet but I intend to do a repeat performance next week. I want to feel more capable with a larger support. We were at the dahlia farm and yes, I know it looks like a sunflower. But you would be surprised at how much it looks like the dahliain front of me. Learning is the key word here.

As part of the one hour I was to also do a 6 inch study. Here it is, the same flower, still looking like a sunflower but the point is......I was painting.  Walking forward. Doing. Having fun.
What more could you want?