Sunday, May 31, 2009

"Hiding From Mom" & process photos - SOLD

Today, in addition to this, I did a large painting AND managed to get a photo of it every once in a while, in process! Below is the final picture of the larger painting (still needs a title - will be in my upcoming solo show at the Wally Workman Gallery). See the process photos.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

"Wrong Utensil" - SOLD

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If you've ever wanted to know the ins and outs of photographing your own artwork, there is a new e-book just out called "Exposing Yourself," The author has been taking professional photographs of art for years for one of the best galleries I know of in the world, the Greenhouse Gallery in San Antonio, TX. If you want professional photographs taken for you, and you live near San Antonio, this guy, Jason, can do that too. Email me if you're interested and I'll give you his contact info.

Friday, May 29, 2009

"Lost Edge"

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Can you find the lost edge here? If you're wondering what the heck I'm talking about, there are 2 main types of edges: soft vs. hard, ie. lost vs. found. A lost edge is a very soft edge that can in some cases completely disappear. The edge of the plate, to the right of the cup, was the same exact value as the ground behind it and close to the same color, so I didn't paint an edge there at all. But your brain knows it's there. I LOVE that! (oh such simple pleasures...)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Double Decker" - SOLD

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Today we are officially done moving every single last thing out of our old house. Yes, we have boxes piled up everywhere in the new house, but ... it is done. We will sign the papers next week and that will be a huge load off our shoulders. We have worked so hard towards this sale and it is such a relief to have it (almost) finally done.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"Mason Jar"

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The tops of these jars are really tough to paint in this small format. You have to get not only the proportion of the ellipse just right, but all the little lines for the screw on lid as well. But these paintings have a sentimental meaning for me - I used to walk to my grandma's house as a kid and pick flowers for her along the way. She would exclaim over them and put them in a jar on the table. It is a very happy memory for me.

Monday, May 25, 2009


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I am happy to report we are (knock on wood) closing on our house in 2 weeks! Which means we have to get the last of our junk out of it by then, which is what we've been working on the last few days. I did this painting a few days ago to get ahead since I knew I'd be away from the easel. It is of an Indian Paintbrush. I've been wanting to paint one for ages, and I'm really happy with how it turned out!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

"Sunny Side Up" - SOLD

These are wildflowers from down the street. I hope you're all enjoying the long weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2009

"Adoring Mouse"

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This is my favorite mouse of the three. It was a little lighter because of all the white reflecting from below, and there were a lot of subtle shifts in value. It's very exciting to me to successfully suggest a 3-D object with a hairy brush and tubes of squishy color. It's the thing that keeps me inspired day after day! I'm a lucky girl. : )

Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Solid Gold Cute"


This is my second attempt at the mouse and I think I may try again still. Not that I don't like this (I do!), but I want to try for another angle. I want to thank Jean Ranstrom for emailing me about painting gold. She said: "when working with gold, it is the high contrast between the highlight and darks that will give you that great shine, so you may have to make some darks darker and punch up the highlights." I found I didn't have to fudge the darks (or the lights), I just had to paint them as dark (and light) as they really were! And that was the trick - my brain was telling me different things. And the highlights I found worked best with a mix of cad yellow, a tiny bit of cad red, and white (but not too much white). The rest of it is basically various shades of brown, which I made from mixing yellow, blue and red.

I have a workshop coming up in Salado, TX (June 4-6) that was full but 3 people have dropped out for various reasons. It's really a great place, if you're considering it. Contact Andreeva to register.

Click here to see progress on the studio.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Big Ears" - SOLD

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I found this cute little mouse at a real dive of a thrift store with my mom this weekend. We decided that the real finds are often at the dives where you have to squeeze around towers of crap and search through boxes. As opposed the the well lit thrift stores where everything is organized and easy to see - then all the good stuff is found right away, by someone else! The mouse is ceramic and painted gold. A student of mine recently asked me how to acheive the look of gold. I said "there is no secret - paint what you see." Well, shamefully I admit I wasn't successful in acheiving the look of gold here. I will try again tomorrow and pass on anything I learn.

Click here to see progress on the studio.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"Purple Starfloozie"


I'm posting this really late so I'll wait until tomorrow (again) to post about the studio progress. I found this "flower" on a walk aroung the neighborhood with my mom and son. It's sort of a weed/flower, but I really like the gray purples and light greens in it. It had more leaves all up and down the "stem" but I took them all off for the sake of a better pose. It looks sort of Dr. Seusian to me, so I had my husband come up with an appropriate title. : )

Monday, May 18, 2009

"Rollin' Away"


I have been in absolute heaven this last week as I've been able to paint MUCH more than before (due to my husband's layoff and him being home to take care of our son, in case you missed that part)! I think 2 full days a week is just not enough for me to get into a good groove - 4 or 5 days is much better. : ) Meanwhile my husband has been doing more work on the studio, which I will post about tomorrow. - no time tonight.

BOOK UPDATE: If you are in a mother/stepmother situation/relationship in Austin (or nearby), please consider attending our No One's the Bitch Meeting at Book People tomorrow (Tuesday, May 19th) at 7:30 PM. Thanks!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

"Tomato March"


When I first started doing small, produce paintings, this was the sort of thing I did pretty exclusively. I'm not sure what it is about simple, backlit objects and long shadows that do it for me, but they do. What's tough about tomatoes is they're fairly translucent and so the values within them are only subtly different from each other. That said, reds don't photograph well and so I think there is a little bit more variation in the painting than you see here.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

"Olive Shot" - SOLD

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I have to admit I hate olives. But I LOVE painting them! Color-wise, I tend to be drawn to complimentary colors a lot, but also often colors near each other on the color wheel, like the green of the olives and the turquoise background. I particularly like this combination.

Friday, May 15, 2009

"Wind Tossed" - SOLD

There's a whole slew of these flowers that have popped up across the road from our house. They are really lovely. Unfortunately this one changed considerably while I was painting it, and so the details I intended to add at the end were abandoned. But I liked it well enough without. I liked this flower specifically because it wasn't perfect ... it was a bit wind tossed.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Lone Lightbulb" - SOLD

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One trick I talk about in my workshops for escaping the "floating object" trap esp. in these daily paintings - is to show, accurately, how the object interacts with it's environment. For example, this lightbulb casts a specific shaped shadow, and depending on the angle I view it from, and the angle of the light, it is slightly different. I really paid a lot of attention to this in the drawing phase of this painting and got it just right before I started painting.

A quick reminder, I have 2 workshops coming up this summer with some spots open: both 5-days, one in San Antonio at the Coppini, July 6-10 (email Donna Bland); the other in Canada near Red Deer (Alberta), August 10-14 (email me). Thanks!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Yellow Shot" & panel holders - SOLD

A big thank you to all who wrote with kind words about my husband's job loss! We are trying to see it as part of the grand adventure. One upside is that we can travel (cheaply) without worrying about using time off, and wherever we go, I can paint! We are considering a trip to Big Bend National Park in the next month or so.
A while back I posted about my husband inventing a panel holder for me to use when I paint. It's a simple thing that uses friction to hold the painting, and 1. keeps small panels in place, and 2. allows one to paint off all four sides without anything getting in the way. It is a GREAT tool - one I use every single day. A former student's husband has offered to make these and sell them for me here. Here is a photo of my very used one (left) and a new one (right). The top and bottom smaller peices are glued in place. The middle peice and the painting (duh) are moveable.

They are $18 + shipping. BUY THEM HERE

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"Drink For One" - SOLD

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I've got good news and bad news. The good news is, starting today, I get to paint a lot more often! The bad news is, my husband was laid off yesterday after 10 years, due to a loss of funding at his company. He was the only one on his team not willing to spend months out on the oil rigs. I'll paint more because he'll be able to stay home with Jacob (our son - 4). For those of you who know me/us, we were planning for his early retirement anyway, just not this early. This'll make it tight for a little while, but nothing we can't handle. As of now, I am the bread-winner, and my husband is full-time dad/househusband/inventor/studio builder/handyman. You can expect more regular posts from me going forward.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Kids - group photo

Here are all my kids from Sedona. It was a fabulous workshop (thanks ya'll!), and a fabulous location! I look forward to returning in November and again next year. This was the view from behind the school. I didn't ever get outside to paint - maybe next time.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


Here is a bad photo of all the demos I've done so far for this workshop. Well, the bottom left painting is one I did after class one day, but a couple people watched so I included it. They are all sold. FYI: My email has been completely messed up since I got here - I'm not getting any OR able to send any. So you know, in case you wrote me and I didn't write back.

Sedona Kids

This first picture gives you an idea of how large the space is here in Sedona, but also how large my class is: 19 kids! They have been my life these last few days -with no time left at the end of each day to post. These pictures might dissuade you into thinking they are calm and behaved, but do not be fooled. They are a rowdy bunch and they insist on dragging me to wild parties and fabulous restaurants every night. And if I weren't having so much fun, well, I might complain. : )

I will photograph my demos today and post them soon.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

"Peeled & Waiting" - SOLD

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I arrived in Sedona this afternoon. This is my second visit and I am stunned anew by the beautiful rock all around. I got in a quick hike and was really tempted to set up and paint but I knew I'd be pushing it for light and time.

I did this still life right after the last one I posted. The orange seems a bit naked to me now ... in a silly kind of way. Waiting for the bus maybe - my worst nightmare. : )

Saturday, May 02, 2009

"Peeled" - SOLD

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When I set this up it had a great glow that I really wanted to capture. A glow through the peeled orange and also a lightness over the whole thing. I was also trying to DEFINE a little less than usual, and capture a feeling instead. It's a step in a direction I want to go. I have to remind myself that I can't get there in one painting ... it's a process. It's my mantra in general, and I find it makes me very happy. Life is a process - enjoy it.

Friday, May 01, 2009



I have a renewed inspiration to paint (!!!) and not enough time to actually do it - always the way. My babysitter is out sick so I've been stuck with just nap time since I've been feeling better. But I've done a couple today and will post over the next few days. I leave on Sunday for a 5-day workshop in Sedona, AZ.

In other news, there will be a book reading at Book People in Austin for our "No One's the Bitch" book on Friday, May 8th, from 7 to 8pm. Unfortunately I won't be back from Sedona in time for it, but Jen will be stunning I'm sure as will Izzy Rose, our friend who just wrote a book called "My (not-so) Glamorous Transition from Single Gal to Instant Mom," which is equally fabulous!