Saturday, September 07, 2019

My Five O'Clock Appointment

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I'm off on my trip, but I pre-posted this one painting. This is a spot I painted years ago, on my first trip into the Sierras. The first painting was done in the morning, and this was late afternoon, so the light was completely different. You may not even recognize it as the same place. Well, and this new view is shifted over a bit to the right. They do share one tree.

At any rate, it was late enough in the afternoon that the light was changing very fast, so I only had time for a quick lay-in. This was on the second to last day of our trip, so I knew I had to get back to the same spot the next day if I wanted to finish it. So I went around the next day telling everyone I had a 5 o'clock appointment I couldn't miss. They laughed but understood, since several of them had similar "appointments."

I got there early, around 4, set up, and sat in the shade while I waited. Eventually I got bored, so I started working on the areas in the light, and the distant mountains. After that I started really trying to design the rocks in a pleasing way, because the reality was a little awkward, which is often the case outside. I ended up learning a lot more this way, because it made me really THINK about what I was doing, especially the design/composition. Before I knew it, the whole thing had come together, and it wasn't even 5 yet! I waited a little while longer to make sure the value relationships were all "correct," packed it up, and hiked back to camp for a G&T.

I will resume shipping again as late as 9/18/19.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Peekaboo Mountain

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I still have more to show you from my trip up into the Sierras, but this one I actually did after I got home, from a photo reference. I am showing it to you now because I painted it for this month's Daily Paintworks Challenge. If you'd like a crack at this scene (or rocks in general, which is the theme of the challenge), follow the link for the reference. Anyone is welcome to submit to our challenges!

I hate to bail in the middle of posting my mountain paintings, but I am off to squeeze just one more camping adventure out of this summer. This trip is all about family, and not painting. : ( It also means I won't be able to ship until I return, which will be as late as 9/18/19 (2 weeks). I apologize for the inconvenience!

Monday, September 02, 2019

Moving Water

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This was a quicker moving creek, from the smaller pond to the waterfalls. It's difficult to paint what the moving water looks like, because it is constantly changing. But I figured it's the same with waves, and people manage to paint that. So I gave it my best.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Red Rock Creek

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Here's another creek scene from the upper pond (in the Sierra Nevada mountains). This was the little creek that flowed from the "big" pond, to a smaller pond, down through a series of waterfalls, and eventually to Garnet Lake, which we were camped beside. I know, lucky me, huh?

Saturday, August 31, 2019


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You might ask, "Why go all the way up into the Sierra Nevada mountains just to paint a close-up of rocks?" And yet, this is one of my favorites from the trip. It was in a place I passed by just about every day on the way to one spot or another. But this day I happened to glance over, and the light was just so, with that little bush up at the top, and I was enchanted.

Here is a picture of the beginning of the mule train that carries our camping gear and food. We carry our art supplies, which are heavy enough. It was a 12 mile hike in this time, with a whole lotta up.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Rock Solid

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This is another High Sierra plein air piece, done at the "upper pond." The water is pure snow melt. The snow it was melting from was literally less than 50 yards away, as well as the base of the tippy top of the mountain. Some of us drank the water straight, and some filtered just to be safe. Here's Michele, getting her sketch down:

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Mountain Crack

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I've tried a composition sort of like this before, but I guess I like it because here it is again. One huge difference between this trip and the three I've been on (to the Sierras) before, was there was no smoke! California has had a wet year, and because of this, the number of wildfires has been thankfully low. I'm happy about this for lots of reasons.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Upper Pond

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This year we went to Garnet Lake to paint. About a 45 minute (hard, uphill) walk from there is a little melt pond that we call the upper pond, which I adore. The rocks in the water are a dark red, and the sand at the bottom is a kind of turquoise. Everyone who goes up there says, "wow!" before they even realize it's come out of their mouth. I've painted it before, and I painted it again this time, a few times. Here's the first one. And below is a shot that includes a few of my buddies.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Catch Up

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I'm back from the mountains, but unfortunately we did get eaten -- by mosquitoes! Ack. There were swarms of them, actually. I guess it's because there was tons of extra snow this winter, which has melted into ponds, which the little buggers reproduce in.

You were probably expecting a landscape painting, but I had this one left from before the trip. And I need to pick all the mosquitoes out of my mountain paintings before I photograph them.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Chit Chat

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This'll be the last painting until I get back from the mountains. Unfortunately this means I won't be able to ship anything (paintings or books) until 8.27.19. Cross your fingers for me, please, that I avoid seeing any animals close up that are capable of eating me or any of my artist friends. I'd really like to keep painting.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Waiting for the Boys

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Just three days left until I head up into the wilderness (Sierra Nevada Mountains). Meanwhile, a few more paintings done in the studio. Here's one from Florence.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

My Yellow Bag

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Here's another scene from my trip to Italy this spring. Apparently Florence is famous for it's leather, and this gal had clearly invested in a beautiful yellow specimen. The wall she was leaning against was the same color as the steps - gray. So I used Photoshop to mock up some alternatives. A purple wall was the winner, which is how I painted it, being careful to keep the "shadows" around her. But my favorite part is that little light reflection on her glasses. It's pretty funny, the things I'm proud of.

Saturday, August 10, 2019


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This is the last of the lemons. To see other lemons I've painted (including a couple of things that just include lemon in the title) go here.

I am currently packing for another trip into the Sierra's. This means I'll climb up into the mountains with art friends and all my gear and paint landscapes for a week, with absolutely no access to internet or running water, sleeping on the hard ground, bathing in a glacier lake, and apparently, this year, being eaten alive by mosquitoes. It's ... fun. Really!

Friday, August 09, 2019

Break It Up Lemons

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I haven't mentioned this in a while (because it hasn't happened in a while) but this was one of those paintings that just magically appears after a trance. I'm sitting there, with a brush in my hand, minding my own business, and suddenly it's like I wake up, and this magnificent painting is in front of me. This is what I live for. My husband calls them "paint-gasms." Yes!

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Hallowed One

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I'm heading off tomorrow for a little getaway with my husband. We are self-employed, and tend to forget to take weekends off. So every once in a while we force ourselves to head out of town and not work for a few days. I'll be back on Thursday (8.8.19) and will ship again then.

Friday, August 02, 2019

Alotta Lemons

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And now, lemons! Often the only ones I can find at the store are the giant ones. But the small ones are so much cuter, I think, especially to paint.

In other news, I just slashed prices on all my remaining abstract collages to $50/ea. Shipping is free (within the US) for you - it costs me $25, and the frames cost $25 - so you are getting them completely at cost (not counting materials or time or any of that silly stuff). If you'd like to see them framed, click on the link above, then an image you like, and then the second image (under the big one) in the pop-up. I framed a collection of 4 for myself that is hanging in my bathroom, and I think they look so good together!

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Talented Tomatoes

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Well here it is, the last tomato painting (for now) - we made it! I did this one on a black gessoed board. I like how moody it is. Like a pile of tomatoes you'd find in a dark kitchen, on a midnight prowl for grub.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Cut Clear Tomatoes

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Before I did this one, I painted some quick, 10-minute tomatoes (to the right). I ALWAYS learn a lot from them, even if I've been painting lots of this subject anyway. And it's because I know they won't be "finished" (or saleable) and so I experiment. We aren't learning new things unless we're TRYING new things. 

In other words, if we always do what we always do, we'll always get what we always get.

So pull out a spare panel, divide it into smaller parts, and try sh*t. Do it today. Then show a friend. Tell them what you learned. It doesn't have to be something HUGE! You'll learn tiny little things that you can apply to the next one, times four.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Troublesome Tomatoes

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Here's #5 in my current tomato series. I was just looking through all my other 127 tomato paintings to date, and thought you might want to see as well. : ) What a long strange trip it's been.