Saturday, October 12, 2019

The Kiss

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My husband and I will be out of town all this next week, so I won't be able to ship anything until 10.21.19. I apologize for the inconvenience.

But since I was putting away my paints today, I wanted to take the opportunity to show you how I do that. There are all sorts of (expensive) things you can buy to store your paint in, but I made mine out of an old tupper-ware container and a small piece of plexiglass (that my husband cut to fit inside).

Most of the time I just leave my paint out, since I paint most days, and use it fast enough. But when I'll be gone for a few days or more, I put whatever's out, in the freezer (because it slows the drying time considerably). We have one of those fridge's with the freezer drawer on the bottom, so everything's just kind of piled in there. Hence the note on the lid (darn kids, pawing through my freezer!). The gray piles on top are from when I mixed a lot of paint for something and couldn't bring myself to toss the leftovers. I'll use it ... someday. Or it will get hard and I'll toss it anyway.

Friday, October 11, 2019

The Secret

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So ... one thing I hear from a lot of artists/creative people - friends, students, on Facebook - is frustration over a general lack of motivation to get in the studio and produce. I realized today that one thing I participate in often towards that goal is - CREATIVE FOREPLAY.

This is basically anything that gets your motor running - your creative juices flowing - your heart pounding. And (for me) it can include:

  • simply turning on the lights and music in my studio
  • hanging out in there, looking around, maybe even just sitting down and looking at all my still life stuff
  • flipping through my art magazines or books
  • doing any kind of menial task IN my studio that is so boring I'd rather paint
  • sketching, even just doodling nonsense can work
  • doing timed, 10-minute paintings of one subject at a time (I think I've mentioned this before a few times...)
  • deciding to spend the whole day just composing still lifes and not painting (pretty soon I abandon that when my 5th try is so great I can't resist!)

Because when you are doing everything else EXCEPT making art, but feeling bad about it, you are not any closer to your goal. So take that first little step, and chances are SOMETHING will light a spark, however tiny.

What gets you going? Please share your version of creative foreplay. : )

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Second Interpretation

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I think you can learn more doing the same composition twice than doing 2 different compositions. Honestly I think if I did this 10 times I'd learn even more. But who has that much patience?! : )

First Interpretation

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Every once in a while I decide to try a different version of the same composition. So here's number one.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

The Dance

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This one reminds me of middle and high school dances, hence the title. I grew up in a small town in Texas, so most of the music we danced to was country. There was one song in particular that was always played, by Garth Brooks, called "The Dance." Know it? During this song everyone got very serious and close, but still no one said a word to each other. They just danced, two-step, awkwardly, looking around to see who was dancing with who.

Monday, October 07, 2019

Conquering Cups

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It was tough to climb these cups, especially with no hands, but these apples did it. Hoorah, apples! You set your mind to it, and got it done.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Apple Reunion

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I went for a darker palette with these last couple of paintings, which is not common for me. I do really like the drama, though mixing the colors (values) is a challenge. Especially when it comes to red! For some reason I have to push myself to make the shadow values as dark as they need to be.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Friday, October 04, 2019

Fancy Lemon

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I was thinking today (for some strange reason) about stingy paint putter outers. I'm talking about artists who put tiny little dabs of paint on their palette because ... well, paint is expensive, right?! I can say this because I was one of you once.

Imagine if piano players had to pay a penny for every key they struck. It wouldn't cost a fortune to play one song, but it would sure add up to practice, huh?! Can you imagine the emotional turmoil while practicing? But that's essentially what we're going through as artists. We pay for every dab, whether it works out or not.

Someone told me once, "Paint like you're a millionaire." I didn't understand it really, but I did put more paint on my palette. And because it was there, I used it. And because my palette didn't feel stingy, I was more confident, and eventually I DID understand.

Put more paint on your palette. It makes a difference. No longer will you make the decision not to mix that last color you need because your blue has run out, and you mix a color that isn't quite right, but whatever. You'll have plenty of blue. And paint every day too, so that you can use the rest tomorrow. And if you can't paint tomorrow, put your paint in the freezer so it lasts longer (I'll post my solution to this soon).

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Lemon Potions

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I have a bunch of patterned fabrics that I haven't even USED yet! To be honest I envisioned them more for larger still lifes, but that hasn't happened yet so... I thought I'd start pulling them out and trying them with these small ones. I will keep playing.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Tea for Three

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For the first few lemon paintings I used my regular (halogen) lightbulb. It usually takes me about three tries before I remember I have other bulbs. Is that habit? Complacency? Laziness? At any rate, I used a softer, cooler, florescent bulb for this one.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Making Limoncello

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When I was in Italy this past spring teaching my last workshop, we had wonderful dinners every night. They usually started around 7 in the evening, and I (personally) generally fell into bed around midnight. Italians take their dinners seriously, and you know ...when in Italy... At the very end of each dinner, after I'd already had too much wine, the limoncello would be passed around. They call it a digestive (pronounced dee-jes-teev), and if you haven't had it, well, it's interesting. You only need a tiny bit. And then you sleep like a baby.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Plotting a Revolution

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In case you didn't know, Daily Paintworks runs a monthly contest. First place gets you $400! We have a record low number of entries, and it's almost the end of the month, so your chances are especially good right now. Think about it. Submit

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Lemons in Glass

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We bought a bunch of extra lemons from Costco recently because ... I'm not sure why. We needed like 2 of them. So now the rest are painting fodder. I'm sure they're excited about that. Until I start cutting them up ... which will happen.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Rainbow Pond

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Last one! Last painting from my Sierra trip. And I personally think it's one of the best. It's from the upper pond, which my friends are now calling "Marine Pond," or "UltraMarine pond," but I'm calling this one "Rainbow Pond" because of all the colors.

Here's the whole crew. What a trip!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Calm Reflections

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This is a scene about 5 minutes from camp, our local pond. I've painted many scenes around this pond, but rocks star in all of them.

Monday, September 23, 2019


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I'm honored to be featured in the November issue of Artists Magazine! A four page spread, no less. Or would you call that eight? Dude. Regardless, I'm on cloud nine!

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Morning Rocks

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I found this scene just a few steps from camp (in the Sierra's), in the morning, before breakfast. This was the only time I painted so early on this trip. I tend to shy away from painting too close to sunrise/sunset, just because the light changes so fast. Maybe someday I'll get more brave. This was perhaps an hour or so after sunrise, and the light on these particular rocks didn't change a whole lot. That said, I still had to make some adjustments back in the studio - again mostly darkening the shadows.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Mountain Layers

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Here is another Sierra painting that I worked on more back in the studio. The biggest thing I changed was darkening the values of the shadow in the foreground. The reality is that as we look around at the world, our vision adjusts to the varying lighting conditions. When we look into shadow our pupils adjust (open) to see more there, and as we look into light areas, they adjust the other way. So when we paint, if we're not careful, our values can all start to fall in the mid range, without enough contrast. That's what happened here, but fortunately I was able to make the adjustments at home. Woo!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Just What's Showing

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Hello! We are finally home from camping and, well it's one of those times we need a vacation from our vacation. : ) So I'm happy to still have some paintings left to post from my Sierra trip.

This was actually the very first one I did, or a version of it. From here on I will show you paintings that weren't 100% completed on site. I did some work after I got home, adjusting colors, values, shapes, etc. One problem we had out there, as I mentioned before, was constant mosquito's. My solution was to wear loose, long sleeve shirts and pants, and a mosquito net over my head, pretty much all the time. The net was black, so it affected how I saw a bit (though I forgot about it most of the time).

Honestly, this was my best "haul" of all our Sierra trips, and the only time I wore a net while I painted. So I'm considering wearing it every time I paint! What do you think? : )