Sunday, November 29, 2020

Cat Lookout


Click Here to Bid (4x5in. - GOUACHE - starts at $75)

One thing I have found about gouache is that it's really easy to over-work. For me each painting is like a little dance. You've got one chance at it, and if it doesn't work, you just try again. I have a pretty big pile of the ones that didn't work out - maybe even a little bigger than the pile of ones I like.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Now What?


Click Here to Bid (4x5in. - GOUACHE - starts at $75)

Here's another little doggie gouache. I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving and didn't eat too much. I always do, and I always mean not to. It hurts. But I sure enjoy it while the eating is happening.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Ideas in Reserve


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Here's one of the big paintings taking up room on my shelves. Whoever buys it will help make room for more paintings. : )

Thank you in advance.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Ready for Anything


Click Here to Bid (4x4in. - GOUACHE on 24-ply illustration board - starts at $75)

I just covered one whole wall in my studio with "shelves" for propping up paintings. I used a simple L-shaped moulding from Home Depot (see close-up below), and screwed it into studs. I've wanted to do this for a while for larger work. I love that I can immediately put new work next to other work - it helps me to see if a painting has something fundamentally off about it, like it's too dark over-all or something like that.

I labeled a 6x6in. painting so you can see the size of that compared to the other stuff I've been working on. I think my dog approves of the wall. That's Meep, our 10 lb. Havanese, who will be one this Christmas. I will paint her at some point - when she's able to hold still long enough (in good light) for me to take pictures...

Sunday, November 22, 2020



Click Here to Bid (4x4in. - GOUACHE on 24-ply illustration board - starts at $75)

This is an example of a painting that I was sure until the final stroke was not going to work out, but now I love it. In this case I think it was because I was hoping to get by with just big, broad strokes, but it was those little tiny spotty details that I begrudgingly added that ended up totally making it. I had to be careful because this guy had one THOUSAND spots, and I certainly didn't want to add them all. The biggest thing I've learned about that is - variety. You don't want them too evenly spaced or evenly sized. Or even the same color necessarily. So I took my time, and thought about each little dot. Whew.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Leafs Three


Click Here to Bid (5x4in. - GOUACHE on 24-ply illustration board - starts at $75)

Before the snow started to fall around here, I went around and collected a bunch of leaves. I took tons of pictures, but for some reason just wasn't getting any traction with the idea of painting them large in oil as I have before. So I tried them in gouache, and I love how simplified they are, and yet they still read as leaves! Like magic.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Dozing by the Window


Click Here to Bid (3x5in. - GOUACHE on 24-ply illustration board - starts at $75)

My family had cats when I was a kid, but my new family is all allergic, so we have a dog instead. This cat reminds me of our old cat, Fritz, who was a sweetheart. We had 3 other cats: Fruitcake, Fax, and Faux Pas. Notice a theme?

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Sad Fish, Mad Fish


Click Here to Bid ("Sad Fish" - 4x4in. - GOUACHE - starts at $75)

I think you'll understand quickly why I HAD to post these two paintings together. Sad fish and mad fish. Could it be any more perfect?

Click Here to Bid ("Mad Fish" - 3x5in. - GOUACHE - starts at $75)

Monday, November 16, 2020

Looking for Bugs


Click Here to Bid (4x4in. - GOUACHE on 24-ply illustration board - starts at $75)

Little known fact: I can do a particularly accurate impression of a chicken. We always had a flock of them growing up, and I spent a LOT of time outside. So if we're ever able to meet again in person, and you think of it, ask and I'll do my impression. My family still gets a kick out of it. That or they're humoring me ...

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Just Keep Swimming

Click Here to Bid (3x5in. - GOUACHE on 24-ply illustration board, starts at $75)

Painting these animals with gouache really helps me loosen up with color! I'm learning so much. I think it's a really good idea to try subjects with more than one medium. I've been hearing that from great artists for a long time. How did it take me this long to actually do it?!

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Just Showing Off

Click Here to Buy ($1,100 - 24x28in. - OIL on gessobord panel [unframed] - free US shipping)

This is a painting I did a few years ago with the idea of eventually getting into a gallery, mostly because I think it's so much better if you can see larger work in person. But I had trouble finding a good gallery fit, as you know if you've followed me. And now a lot of galleries are (sadly) closing, and many are going online. So I feel lucky that I'm already here! And I can list paintings without charging the extra 50% gallery commission. : )

This painting looks SO much better in person. There is a ton of texture that you can't see in the main image (so I tried to capture some of it in these close-up pictures). Also it's really difficult to get good pictures of big oil paintings. One must position the lights to avoid glare, but that often makes the light irregular - in this case the left/right edges of the painting got a little washed out.

My return policy makes it easy to return if it isn't a fit in your house - just use the original box, and pay for return shipping, and I'll give you a full refund.

Friday, November 13, 2020

A Friendly Face


Click Here to Bid (4x5in. - GOUACHE - bidding starts at $75)

I thought this was an otter, but I just googled them and they all have black noses. Got any idea?

Update, this is an American River Otter! Thank you, Posh, for figuring it out. Here's a photo:

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Passing By

Click Here to Bid (4x5in. - GOUACHE on 24-ply illustration board - bidding starts at $75)

I end up using some artistic license with these fish, but mostly with the space around them. The photos are almost never perfect, and often I end up changing the background in order to help keep the fish as the center of attention. Also, if you squint at this particular reference photo, you'll see that the values (and colors) at the bottom of the photo are very similar to those of the fish. Your eye can separate these in the photo, but it's harder to make that clear in paint. So I left out the sea floor. That's easy with water - tougher when the background needs to make sense, and you've got to make it up. That's where choosing the photo carefully is important. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

I See You


Click Here to Bid (4x4in. - GOUACHE on 24-ply illustration board - bidding starts at $75)

In my playing during the past month or so, I did a small fish painting in oil. The next day I decided to try it again, in gouache, and ended up liking the second version a lot better! One thing I noticed in particular was that the gouache was lighter and brighter. This realization has really helped me with my oil painting. It also inspired me to do lots more gouache animals, which is what I'll be posting for now.

Monday, November 09, 2020

Fish in the Sea


Click Here to Bid (3x5in. - GOUACHE on 24-ply illustration board - bidding starts at $75)

I started painting and posting (almost) daily 14 years ago, and it has been wonderful for my career, in so many ways. Painting daily improved my skills quickly and ... a lot. Getting my work out there regularly boosted sales and prompted others to invite me to teach and write books. Etc. I recommend it to ANY aspiring artist!

But I've learned that the creative spirit (mine, anyway) is a delicate one, and must be handled with care. I am not a machine who can crank out endless ... well, anything. In order for me to remain sane and happy, I must follow what is in my heart, which is always evolving. Unfortunately this does not always coincide with making money. So art is a tough career choice if you want to be happy and rich!! Also, posting daily and being in the public eye - it can be tough to make changes, even little ones, because people will tell you what they think, and it does not often align with what's in the heart. And for sensitive people (like me), the pressure from that can be ... quite uncomfortable.

So I had to take a break. And while I wasn't posting, I was most definitely creating. I have played and experimented with many of the ideas that have popped into my head over the years. I call it "chasing butterflies," in that I have allowed myself to follow any idea, anywhere, until it ran out or I got bored, and then I chase a new butterfly. It has been a wonderful. And a roller-coaster. Most of it no one will ever see. But I got so much out of it!

What have I learned so far? In general, two things:

1. I need variety to keep me interested and challenged. I've always painted a variety of subjects, but going forward I want to avoid only painting things that I think will sell, and I want to experiment with all kinds of mediums and subjects. Even if it never goes anywhere.

2. The unknown is scary but exhilarating. I've always avoided the things that scare me, but lately I've been diving in head first and some amazing things have come from it - things I never could have done on purpose! I want to do lots more of that.

So, while I'll be posting again, whenever I think you might be interested in something, I will continue to chase those butterflies. Because that's what makes me happy. Thank you all for your support!

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Feeding the Pool


Click Here to Bid (8x8in. - OIL - starts at $100)

This is the "other" creek painting I promised, done on a smoky day, but lets call it "overcast." I went out again recently on a sunny day, but I guess because it's getting later in the year, the sun wasn't peeking into the canyon in the same way. I finally set up to paint a scene in shadow, only to have the sun suddenly blast over the cliff and completely change what I was looking at before I had a chance to get it down. I felt pretty frustrated, and came home after wiping my panel twice. It happens.

Meanwhile, I have been PLAYING with all kinds of ideas for what's next. I am having SO much fun that I don't think I want to stop anytime soon. : ) So if you don't hear from me for a while, just know that I'm enjoying myself. And maybe someday, something will come of it.

Friday, September 25, 2020

End of Summer Trickle

Click Here to Bid (6x8in. - OIL - starts at $100)

We've had smoke in our valley off and on for a month or more, mostly from the California fires. Amazing that it can travel this far! But the water in this creek is at such a perfect level, I went back anyway, even though the smoke essentially made it look overcast. It helped that I had made plans to meet a new friend there, which was great motivation! And we had a lovely time. 

The upside of overcast is that the light doesn't change much, so you have longer to ponder, and you don't have to worry about the sun going behind a cliff or something. I did 2 little studies, and they were both too dark (a problem I often have painting outside), so they took some work once I got home. But I'm very happy with them now. I'll show you the other soon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

In Line for the Ride


Click Here to Bid (6x6in. - OIL - starts at $100)

Here are a few more tomatoes. And you might find this funny, since I just found a great light, but I'm going to take a break from the small still lifes. Maybe a big break. I've been doing them for 14 years and I guess ... the shine is off the apple (haha!). It's become harder and harder for me to come up with compositions I can get excited about. So I'm going to use that creative energy and focus it on exploring. I'll still post people and landscapes and stuff like that sometimes, but otherwise I'm heading off into uncharted territory with only some very vague ideas. It's scary. But it has to be done in order for this creative person (me) to remain happy and sane. Thanks in advance for understanding.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Up to No Good

Click Here to Bid (6x6in. - OIL - starts at $100)

I have finally found light nirvana. This is lit with an LED spotlight, 50W (equiv), 5000K. I tried to find a 4000K (a little warmer) and couldn't, but this seems to have a really lovely, balanced temperature IMHO. It's nice and bright (but not too bright) and makes GREAT shadows! Unfortunately I couldn't find just one, so I got six, on Amazon. They fit into a regular light socket, and (bonus) they are pretty and come in a lovely box.

Several of you told me about new, dimmable, color controllable bulbs (thank you!), but I couldn't find anything in a spotlight, which is what I really wanted.

BTW, the jar in the painting contains multi-colored cherry tomatoes. But now they look more like gumballs to me. Ha!

Sunday, September 20, 2020

And I Also Got...

Click Here to Bid (8x8in. - OIL - starts at $100)

I've wanted to paint this one for a while (from Florence, Italy), but wasn't sure how I was going to handle the background. As you can see > the wall is kind of weirdly textured, with no context. What I ended up doing was painting on the general color, mixed with a bit of gamsol, and then moving the paint around with a squeegee. Then once that was somewhat dry, I added some darker bits on top and modified the edges next to the girls. I'm really happy with it. I'm definitely going to try that again.