Sunday, July 24, 2016

Slanty Bits of Light 1 & 2

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Click Here to Bid (5x7in. - starts at $1)

I'm going out on a limb here and showing you some experiments. I did two of this same Portland neighborhood scene in order to try out some things. On both I tried blocking in the whole thing first and then refining, which I don't usually do. BUT, I'm finding that works really well with landscapes, and specifically, foliage. I also used my new round brush on a lot of it. I'm not jumping up and down with joy about either, but my husband liked them, so I thought I'd put them out there.

I'd love to start a conversation about blocking in vs. not and process in general. As I try new things I have mixed results, and I'd love to hear what works for you, IF you feel like sharing. Thanks.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Empty Full

This is the last of my bell pepper series. My house guests arrived the day after I painted this one, and I discovered the peppers, 10 days later, completely abandoned in my shadow box, slowly decomposing into the bowl. Woops!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Blending In

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This is pose three for my bell peppers. I caught them trying to blend in with my other still life subjects. I think they're shy.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Casual Negligence

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Recently my son and I were walking down the street and he started doing some random acrobatics. I said, "What is that, parkay?" He said, "Mom, it's called parkour." Yeah, I guess parkay is something totally different. But hey, it's my job to be uncool, right?

Anyway, the orange pepper here is practicing parkour with dishes, and the yellow pepper is failing to be impressed.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

But I Like it in Here

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These peppers called to me at the grocery store. This is the first of a series I did of them before our house-guests arrived. My son-in-law gave me the idea for the title. Actually, the whole room got involved, and it was his idea I liked best. Thanks, Boone!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Strenuous Hike

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I finally made myself do something that I've been telling myself to do for years! I copied a painting I like by a famous artist in order to learn stuff. This one up above is not it. It's this one to the right. The original is by Edgar Payne, and it was much bigger, so mine is a simplified version.

In attempting to copy this painting, I found mainly that I had to use a different brush than my normal flats/brights to get it to work, which was a huge revelation. I ended up using a round brush (Rosemary Evergreen, size 6), which I found very fun and satisfying!

So I took my round brush and did the painting up top, from one of my own reference photos that I took last summer in a spot incredibly close to Edgar Payne's scene. You can see there is less snow now. And, truth be told, I actually made up extra snow.

The lake in the copy is Ediza, and I'll be painting there this August for a week with my pals! But what I really wanted to say is - copy paintings you like (don't sell the copies)! You'll learn a TON.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Plums to the Rescue

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From cherry plums to regular plums. And these guys are on a mission. A mission to save the blue bowl from certain demise. Because what you don't see is the piano falling from many floors above this idyllic scene. Fun fact: plums love drama.

In other news, my granddaughter (now 2!) and her parents are flying in from Texas today for a 10-day visit. I'm ahead with my paintings, so I'll still post, but I'll be busy, FYI.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Don't Cook Us

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As soon as I mentioned jam, my cherry plums got busy performing. I have a feeling they were trying to convince me of their unique abilities so that I wouldn't cook them. But alas, they went in the pot anyway.

My son and I had lots of fun making jam! Here are a few pictures. Unfortunately the only jars I had were purple, so the results weren't as pretty as they would have been in clear jars. So I probably won't paint them, as many of you suggested. But rest assured it will all be eaten!

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Dance of the Cherry Plums

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Several people emailed me after yesterday's painting about making cherry plum jam. So I looked it up and apparently it's the easiest jam to make. And so, since I've never done it before, and because it might be fun to do with my son, tomorrow these beauties are bound for the pot. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Cherry Plum Bowl

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We have one fruit tree on our property. It grows tiny plums that look kind of like cherries. Cherry plums, apparently. They're actually quite good, though there are far, far too many for us to eat. Mostly they just fall on the ground and make a big mess. So I thought I'd save a few to paint.

Saturday, July 02, 2016


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The little cup has the primo spot, and all the others are quite envious, being crowded like they are. What do you suppose they'll offer the white cup for that spot?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Glow in the Dark

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I recently popped down the local rose garden for a new batch of photos. This one was a little dark, but I loved the drama.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Rock Values

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I don't remember where I took the photo reference for this one, though I'm pretty sure it was somewhere in California. The sun had gone down, so everything was in shadow. I love the challenge of trying to convey the rocks under the water. It's hard. Try it.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

A Beautiful Death

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I found this little guy on our doorstep in Taos when I was there painting with friends earlier this year. It reminded me of a series of hand colored photographs by artist Kate Breakey that I saw when I was in college, called "Small Deaths". I like this one in particular. They are even better in person.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Light for Cups

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I have 2 things to report. First, I have new ARTBYTE to announce! It's all about painting white and includes lots of information about how to mix white, mapping out values successfully, exaggerating color so it works, etc. This lesson includes a full demonstration (with voice-over) of the painting above, and applies to any level, oil, acrylic and guache. It's called "What Color IS White?".

Second, we're home! My family very much enjoyed driving through/camping in Montana and Wyoming. We got to see Glacier, the Bighorns, Yellowstone and the Tetons, among other beautiful things. We didn't see any grizzlies or other bears, but we did see a moose and its baby (luckily, from the safety of the Jeep).

I didn't end up painting at all, which was probably for the best. I spent tons of quality time with my family instead. I posted just a few pictures on Instagram, in case you're interested.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

People Watching

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I took the reference photo for this a couple of years ago in a very popular park in San Francisco. People were out enjoying the sun, dressed in their hipster bests, seeing and being seen. I was on the fringes, seeing them too.

Soon we will be heading out for another big family trip. We are loading up the jeep and teardrop camper today, and plan to head in general for the wilds of Montana and Wyoming tomorrow. Our time-line is indeterminate, so I don't know exactly when we'll be back - probably early July.* I'm not bringing my oil paints this time - just a brand new, as yet unused guache set, and my camera. We'll see what happens with that... So, until I see you again, happy summer!

*I won't be able to ship paintings while I'm gone (sorry!!), but my stepdaughter will be shipping books for me. Thank you for your patience!