Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Miss Marley

11x14 Oil on stretched canvas - NFS

An adorable (and tiny!) Yorkie friends adopted from a shelter a couple of years ago when she was 12. She is the center of their household, so I wanted to do something a bit regal.  Princesses deserve that!

It never ceases to amaze me that someone would give up a dog when they get old, abandon them, or turn them into a shelter, but I've worked rescue long enough to know it happens all the time.  

Up the road a ways...

8x10 oil on panel

sits this house at the rear of the beautiful lot where the tree below lives. It was built about 3 years ago, and I couldn't figure out why it looked out of perspective until I realized the house doesn't sit square on the lot. but I know why they placed the house the way they did - to take advantage of the view of their lot.  Because it's just a plein air sketch, I won't try to correct it.  It's the light and shadows that made me want to stand there and puzzle it out.  Tip: Put out more paint than you think you'll need.  At least 3 times as much!


Idea: Go outside. Paint a tree. So I did.

9 x 12 Oil on panel 
After months of ignoring everything but the news and training myself for our new 'normal', I packed up my homemade pochade box and walked around the corner from my house.  This tree has captured my fancy at other times of the day, but I noticed the shadow pattern and decided to have a go.  Even on a gravel road, people stop to see what you're doing, so I'll have to find a sneaky way to paint outdoors in the future.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

No Cashews for Yous

Sold-8 x 10 acrylic on linen panel

My personal birdie modeled for me!  I have a thin post attached to the top screw down on my easel for leaning a mahl stick and she's adopted it as her personal place to oversee what's going on down below.  So I get a feather in the paint now and then....so what.  It's good to have adult supervision.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Waiting for the Train

8 x 10 acrylic on wood panel

This is from a photo I got a couple of years ago of two crow friends sitting on the track in the fog.  Very tricky to paint and I had to move the birds.  I'm enjoying acrylics in a way I never thought I would.  It's far more forgiving if you need to 'make repairs' and once dry I doubt anyone but an expert could tell the difference between oil and acrylic.

I see I left a shadow of one of the prior birds.  That's what you get for varnishing in the evening!  I'm curious to see if that can be 'repaired' with a coat of varnish on. 

Or should I leave it as a spooky reminder that we're all only here for a brief time?

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Sulfur Crested Cockatoo

Oil on linen panel 8 x 10

This is one of the parrot species that has wise old eyes.  Maybe because they're distantly related to dinosaurs and you can't get much older than that! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Summer Door

8x10 acrylic on stretched canvas

This was a perfect example of why painting from life is different, and better than from a photo if you have the luxury.  I snapped a photo to see how the camera saw what I was painting.  I was startled at the photo because the window in the door was so much lighter, and that's not what I was seeing as I painted.    Here's the photo:

Monday, July 29, 2019

Cedar Creek

8 x 10 oil on linen panel

A gurgling creek runs through the area where I walk and live and it's captivated me for some time, so I decided to tackle it.  Not happy with what I got, but it's always worth doing because you figure out some baffling little detail or other.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

What to do With All Those Art Supplies!

I'm a self-confessed Pinterest junkie and I've seen many, many storage ideas. Some are more trouble than they're worth, but some are gems.  Here's lots of ideas with several keepers:  45-organization-hacks-to-transform-your-craft-room

Thanks to Belinda Del Pesco's wonderful blog for this and tons of other generous helpful tips.  She's a wonderfully accomplished printmaker and watercolorist with her own warm, distinct style. If you're not already familiar with her work, you can find her here: Belinda Del Pesco

Saturday, June 15, 2019

A depressing little piece......

12x16 Oil on wood panel

Something I did for a group show a while ago, whose theme was 'Yellow'.  What you see is about all of that color I can handle.  No yellow flowers in my yard, no yellow clothing in my closet, and a "Sheesh" each spring when the forsythia is blooming. 

Needless to say - it did not sell.  People want art to be uplifting.  Not everything in life is though, and sometimes that's the subject matter that speaks to oneself.

Out Back

9x12 Acrylic on chipboard NFS

This view is what I look at each morning once risen to get my morning fix (of coffee).  I love looking out there and I'm protected from anyone building behind me because there's a gully that stays soggy for nine months of the year.  Can you say 'mosquitoes'?  Anyhoo, I got out my acrylics and slapped together a little study to remind me of what I had when they ship me off to the home (or if I move to another location - whichever comes sooner).

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Another African Grey

8 x 10" acrylic on Raymar panel - SOLD

Done for a show called "Purple Haze" at the Hoffman Art Center Gallery in Manzanita.  The pattern in the rug looks more like scattered flowers than woven in but I decided to let it be one of the happy surprises that happens when you tackle something new.  

My bird Sophie spends a lot of time under the couch when she has out of cage time.  Not sure what the appeal is, but who am I to question her preferences?  She's her own woman.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Painting Blocks

Whaaaaa ....you say?

I became fascinated with the techniques of the Virtual Art Academy, as laid out by a terrific German artist named Thomas Ruckstuhl who managed to move from science to art with the instruction of the above mentioned art program.

He suggests doing 150 of these studies.  I've done 9.  What I learned is that I can mix better colors with acrylics than oils. 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Meeting Julie Ford Oliver

On July 13th, I had an opportunity to meet Julie, whose blog I've followed for years.  She's always impressed me as warm and kind, and extremely generous with her knowledge of painting.  So when I left a comment in June on her blog: Art Talk and she responded that she was coming to Cannon Beach, OR - a mere 30 miles from where I live - and asked if I'd like to meet.

Yes, yes! Oh my yes!   Sometimes you just know in your gut you would enjoy making the acquaintance of someone you've met online.  You. Just. Know.

Julie is as down to earth, warm and friendly as she seems on her blog, but she also has a wonderfully droll sense of humor.  She was in the company of her friend Jan, who had kindly driven her to Cannon Beach from Portland.  I sat down at their table in a cozy little place we met for breakfast, and we all three fell into easy conversation immediately!

Julie had cataract surgery 5 days before flying to Oregon and I'd had some minor hand surgery so we compared notes on what a non-event some procedures have become.  We talked about favorite pets, Julie's studio in Albuquerque, discussed a bit of personal history, and took a tour of a local art gallery.

Julie suggested we wander the gallery separately, pick a favorite piece of
artwork (we couldn't limit ourselves to just one) and tell each other why we were drawn to it when we joined back up.  That was fun and provided additional insight into these two women I'd just had the pleasure of meeting!  Do it the next time you go through a gallery with a friend.

Julie posted a photo Jan took of the two of us on her blog, but I didn't have the sense to get a picture of all three of us. (What are passersby for anyway?)

There you go....vicarious thrill for the day.  If you ever have the opportunity to meet someone you enjoy online - go for it!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Local Shows for Artists

12 x 16 oil on wood panel

10x10 oil on masonite panel

The theme for a show in Nehalem at the Recreation Center was 'Seeing Red' and that's not terribly limiting, so I sat down and painted a couple pieces with red stuff in it. I consider red almost a neutral because it looks good with everything.  
The shows at the Rec Center are well attended because they foster local artists and events.  Plus they only charge a 10% commission  

We love it/them!  

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A Foray Back into Acrylics

8 x 10  on Canson Acrylic paper.

I love the blending ability and oily luxury of oils, but acrylics are wonderful for dry brush effects.  And they dry so rapidly, painting over an area is easy-peasy.

I used Canson's Acrylic painting paper, which wouldn't stay taped down once wet, and I'll have to press this piece under my gargantuan dictionary in order to flatten it so I can glue it to a backing board.  Thumbs down for me.  Fredrix Canvas pads don't curl and feel better to work on.

Canson products get glowing reviews on Dick Blick, and I always wonder if they've tried any other brands.  I've tried several of Canson's products and the only one I find really good is their Arches watercolor paper.  Anyone out there have a Canson product they love?

Friday, February 2, 2018

Another flight study...

8 x 10 oil on Centurion linen panel - SOLD

I'm tempted to join Leslie Saeta's 30 day challenge. Hmmm.  Already 2 days behind.  Can I do it?  Naahhhhh!  Know thyself is what I say.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Marco Bucci's Easy to Understand Terrific Videos

Ever look at a painting by a local artist (or your own) and not know quite how to explain what's wrong - but you know there is something wrong?  The following videos explain what those problems are, and provide a checklist for your own work.

Mr. Bucci is a professional illustrator who manages to distill what every artist needs to know into five "Better Painting in 10 Minutes" videos, and does it with a pleasant speaking voice, obvious skill, and no confusing terms.  Probably best for those who have a little practice under our belts, and he does much of his explaining via digital art, but these are relevant for anyone who seeks to avoid common pitfalls.

You will have to use the 'Skip Ad' button after 5 seconds of an ad, but worth it.

10 Minutes to Better Painting - Episode 1 - Merging Shapes

Episode 2 - Visual Language

Episode 3 - Digital Brushwork

Episode 4 - Good Shapes

Episode 5 - Color Harmony

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Painting Neon Signs

12 x 12 oil on wood panel - SOLD

I had to go in search of tutorials on YouTube to help me figure out how to paint a neon sign.  The trick is painting the letters in a solid background color and using white on top.  I'm sure I'll give it a go another time. 

  A coat of Kamar retouch varnish makes colors pop.  Varnish is a dilemma for me.  Can't wait 6 months for final varnish, and the brush on Gamvar varnish which claims it can be used after 3 weeks of drying time doesn't leave as nice a finish as their MSA spray OR the Kamar retouch varnish. 

What do you use on your work before you show or send off to a buyer?

Monday, September 11, 2017

Reworked Wave

12 x 12 Oil on stretched Canvas - SOLD

This is a painting I started in 2013 and abandoned for what reason I do not know.  Picked it up out of a closet and had another go at it, and I was gratified to find I could handle some painting methods that weren't available to me when I started.  Nice feeling!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

What I learned from this exercise....

12 x 12 oil on panel 'Not Idaho' - SOLD

Was it hard to try and paint in the style of Millan?  Yes!  But in an all encompassing and joyful way, and I intend to do it again and again.  Those old masters were onto something.  When you copy another's work you are forced to 'look' in ways that can't help but open your mind to new methods and ideas.  It also reinforces the importance of value....even over color.  Any artist's ability to manage value is what imbues a painting with emotion.  Color may be attractive, but what brings a viewer back to look again and again is how well they manage value.  

Friday, August 4, 2017

The DPW Challenge -Copy of Carlos San Millan

Oil on wood panel 12 x 16

Carol Marine and her husband have created a wildly successful website called Daily PaintWorks and each month a new challenge is posted.

July 22nd's Challenge was to copy a painting of an artist you admire, then use what you learned to do a second piece using what you learned.  I copied from a fine Spanish contemporary artist whose work you can see at this link:  Carlos San Millan .  The painting I copied is 4 rows down and on the far right.  There are two versions of this painting out there in cyberland, but I wasn't aware of that so I chose what was probably a study for the more precisely rendered version.

Hard, yes, but really enjoyable.

The main thing I learned is unless you have the skill of a master forger, doing a copy that looks much like the original is virtually impossible because each artist's style is a result of specific brushes, knives and paints and the way his/her arm and hand work to apply the paint.

Should you decide to do copies I suggest copying from a long-dead artist.  You can call it a copy and sell it, but contemporary artists will have copyrights and your copy can't be sold - even identified as a copy.

Lookee Lamb

Oil on linen canvas 12 x 16 - SOLD

This was painted for an entry into a local group show themed 'All Things Farm'.
The only painting that sold in the show was a peaceful seascape I titled 'Fish Farm'.  There were barns, and chickens and freshly harvested vegetable paintings, but none of those sold.  Fickle fickle public!

Know how to tell the difference between a long haired goat and a sheep?  Sheep have drop ears, and goats ears stand up.  

Friday, April 7, 2017

Marvin Meerkat

12" x 16" oil on canvas board

I've been wanting to paint this guy from the moment I saw him.  Meerkats inhabit the Kalahari desert at the southern tip of Africa, and travel in 'gangs' or 'mobs'.