Monday, May 19, 2014


I am still working on finding my happy place, and getting out of the emotional slump that only family can provide.  This is an imaginary place, from a memory of one of my women's retreats to Land Between the Lakes.  I found the horizon line to look a bit crooked, even though I measured it, and I think it is a visual problem with the slope of the hills and trees. Nevertheless, I am quite pleased with the effect, and I worked diligently on representing both cirrus and stratus clouds in a believable manner.  When I was much younger, I did some flight schools, and my favorite thing about them was to fly through and above the clouds.  While I would have liked to go on to be a pilot, the fuel became too expensive to log enough hours, so I continued with my pursuit to become an artist.  Still, clouds are close to my heart as a subject!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

My Happy Place #1

It is amazing how emotional stress can really drop you into the has taken me a few weeks to be able to paint again.  When I did start painting, it was in my mind to go to my 'happy place'.  So here is "My Happy Place #1".  It is an image out of my imagination.  A combination of golden fields from Wyoming, vineyards of California, and forests of the Midwest.  I worked hard to make the cumulus clouds believable.  This is a painting done in acrylic on a 5"x5" canvas.  I have already begun "Happy Place #2", so stay tuned!  Oh, and I am trying to listen to that inner voice that tells me when to STOP painting.  Usually I want to add detail, make everything perfect, and smooth.  This time I stopped in time to leave some really good shadows in the golden fields...Yeah!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Due to a death in the family, I will be gone for about a week. I hope to have a new painting up very soon.

Monday, April 7, 2014


My completed painting! Most of my family won't really like this, but I am excited! The drips are to signify the freshness of my painting, and the discovery of the bright colors and transient subject matter.  As I was finishing up the painting, the squash and apple was rotting, decaying into nothing.  I feel that I was able to catch them at their most colorful and ripest.  I wanted the subjects to almost grow out of the canvas.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


I have begun to paint my subjects, using thicker layers of acrylics than yesterday, much less water, adding some acrylic gel medium to get it to glide on the canvas better.  Departing from my usual style of painting ultra realistic, I am trying bigger, broader strokes.  I want it to look realistic, but show more emotion.  I am building up my subject in a way that I call 'sculpting' ...layering the color, glazing with transparent paints for the shadows.  I have started adding a few areas that have thick, textured paint to give some dimension.

I have built up the background with a series of whites...flake white, titanium white, bamboo, and unbleached titanium.  I want to leave the background neutral and capable of letting the subject pop off and OUT of the canvas.  My idea is to create something from nothing...I am creating my own squash out of paint and brush strokes, and I want it to leap out at the observer.

Saturday, April 5, 2014


I started putting in my beginning washes today for my squash still life.  I quickly became aware that my paint was acting in a rather unusual way...I had accidentally picked up a water media canvas, used mostly for watercolor!  My acrylic paint was beading up and running instead of gripping the canvas like normal. My washes were staying quite bright, unlike when I normally work a painting, and the color tends to dull and soak into the surface.  How exciting!!! I immediately did a bit of rethinking on what my painting would (or rather, COULD) come out to be.  I have an idea...

Friday, April 4, 2014


I am starting a new painting.  I decided to put together a still life with a turban squash and a Braeburn apple for sheer bright colors, which I need right now for my sanity.  I have also decided to do something different with the composition.  Keeping with the classic pyramid style, I decided to add balance to the mixture.  It took a bit of doing to get the apple to balance just right on the squash..I finally had to add a bit of tissue paper to get it to set the way I wanted it.
I chose a 12X12 canvas to emphasize the balance and composition.  Using willow twig charcoal, I sketched out my drawing before getting ready to paint.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


I am actually really pleased with this sketch.  I used three different photos from a trip to the zoo, and none of them were really helpful.  I did a bit of research for the eye...cobras actually have a round pupil, unlike a lot of other reptiles!  I especially like the blocky, squarish scales on the head, and the self-satisfied smirk on the snakes' face.  Reminds me of someone I know...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


I found this stone while on a nature hike the other day, and decided to work on some of my pointillism skills.  They look kind of like tiny ants crawling all over the rock, so I guess I had better work harder...

Monday, March 17, 2014


This drawing is for my mother, who turned 81 this month.  She loves the active little chickadee, and delights in it's cheerful antics and pretty patterned feathers.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Still drawing sticks...I loved the acorn with this one.  I had to chase off two squirrels to acquire it!

Saturday, March 15, 2014


With my cold making me bleary-eyed and whiny, I decided to take a break and go for a walk in the woods.  I came back with a couple of interesting sticks to draw.  My momma ( a watercolor artist and very wise woman) always told me that if you can draw a stone, you can draw anything.  I figure the same has to be true about sticks.  So here they are!

Friday, March 14, 2014


I decided to dig out my drafting supplies today, and used a compass to make a perfect circle.  I used the protractor to plan out where each petal of the flower should be, and then I used a fine tip pen to start sketching my flower.  Brush pens gave it a bit of dimension, and I tried to liven it up with curves and uneven line work. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Sharpee brush pens are fun, fun, fun!  I chose a simple shape and sculpted with the colors.  This was about all I could handle today...a cold virus has descended upon my household!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


I continue to keep up with my sketching, and I especially love my grey gradient ink brushes.  I am working on composition, and some interest with abstraction. I love leaving a bit of the drawing to the imagination...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Finally! A completed painting! If you have stuck with me the past couple of months, you will notice that the early pics of this painting had leaves hiding the bird's tail.  I finally owned up to the fact that I was hiding behind them, and painted them out.  I am pleased to have learned a lot about myself, my procedures, and my creative processes with this painting, and I should be able to move a bit quicker from now on...with less struggles. I am proud to have GROWN with this painting!

      (detail of Grosbeak: learning to be more painterly with my brushstrokes, less detail oriented)

Monday, March 3, 2014


Yes, I really am painting!  I have been fighting my new computer tooth and nail...I am not sure that I like Windows 8 at all!  Finally capable of downloading pics from my camera, though it takes 3 times as long. I am still not on mobile...what is the difference between SMS and MMS?  It obviously doesn't like SMS, so will try the other when hubby stops swearing...and Blogger doesn't seem to like my new search engine and keeps rejecting is like being in high school all over again!!!  However.... back to the painting.  I am actually finished with this painting, and will post the pictures ASAP, but I wanted to show you a bit of the process.  Initially, I used Ultramarine mixes in the background, and didn't like it at all, so switched to Cerulean, and am much happier.  I did what I call 'sculpting' of my paint, starting with some base darks and building up to really give some dimension to the bird.  I am using acrylics, by the way.  I decided to throw out my usual OCD detail work, and have started working the feathers in such a way as to give movement rather than a stiffer 'perfect' brush stroke, and I am finally feeling like I am developing my very own style!  It has taken years to get away from technical training enough to find the art in my soul.  It is coming along....

Sunday, February 16, 2014


As well as having the flu, a cold, and various other health issues this past month, my computer also contracted a virus. Even the reliable Geek Squad from Best Buy could not help my poor, 6 year old computer, and it had to be put down.  After a brief period of mourning, we forked out the $$$$ for a new one, and are trying to get our systems back up and running.  I have so far encountered a variety of important one being that the new comp is not compatible with my digital camera!  We are trying to get through and around the obstacles, so meanwhile, I am going to try to go mobile with my blog...I wonder if my new phone is compatible?  I have been painting, so be patient...hopefully today or tomorrow will show my attempts at painting with a bad cough  (I may have to go abstract)  Sorry for the long pause in posts.  I hope not to have this happen again!

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Yes, excuses, excuses...I have been down with a nasty case of the flu since last I posted, as well as a few major and minor crises (crisises?)  However, this is my drawn and revised drawing on an 8x10 canvas, which I will be painting this week.  For your information, and your amusement, I will tell you that I had a devil of a time with the tail of the bird.  It is at an odd angle, and my photo from last spring did NOT do the bird justice.  I eventually just stuck a 'fig leaf' in the appropriate position and decided to move on, or I would never get this painting off the ground!  I overthink EVERYTHING!!!  I am determined to paint, good or bad, so keep on encouraging me to get up and do it...I know I can do something important one day.