Saturday, March 28, 2009

Time to Go Home

"Time to Go Home", 9" x 12", acrylic on canvas board.

This is my Different Strokes for Different Folks painting for Challenge Week 27-28. I turned the little girl around so she wouldn't be walking out of the painting, and left the sky cloudless since the foreground is so busy. With her head down, she appears to be sadly leaving the beach. This was fun! The source photo may be seen on the Different Strokes Blog. There is a link below.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Meet Frank

Oil on Canvas, 16" x 12"

This is my handsome husband, best friend who gives me patient loving support and understanding while I go about being an artist. This was painted when he was into the boats are gone and motorcycles have taken their place. So, guess it's about time to paint the "Biker" stay tuned...

Monday, March 23, 2009


Sketch 1 - Thinking about a breakfast theme
Sketch 2 - Grab the tea kettle - make the glass pitcher interesting
Sketch 3 - Add a cup (a separate scrap of tracing paper)
Sketch 4 - Use pears instead of apples

Usually it's just so much easier and faster to use the digital camera and Photoshop Elements to do "sketching". However, sometimes I simply want to play around with a pencil on tracing paper or a stick of graphite on a large newsprint pad to get the "feel" of what might or might not make a good painting. I'm crazy about this little copper kettle and am forever trying to work it into a set up. Here are some recent sketch ideas. First starting with a theme and letting it lead, then in a review of the work, asking myself: "Would I want the pitcher AND the tea kettle?" Probably not. "The cup AND the glass?" Probably not...Will I ever paint this set up? Probably not...but the exercises were easy and fun and got the creative juices flowing.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Our beautiful daughter-in-law, Debbie, has signed on as a follower to my blog! Thank you Debbie! She inserted a photo from a portrait sketch I did last summer. Oil over acrylic on a birch board panel. I really enjoy painting her.

Yesterday was spent with no more than two hours painting and the rest of the day working on taxes! We're meeting with the accountant Monday. I'm almost ready! Since it's always a shock to see how much was "invested" in art supplies, books, show entry fees, workshops, art club membership dues, etc. during the year, it's a good thing I'm having so much fun!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Today I'm posting photos of our pretty Jade. We adopted her just after Christmas when we saw her photo on our local animal shelter's website. She's a Belgian Tervuren Shepherd...maybe a mix? For the last 25 years we have had male German Shepherds. Jade is our first female and our first Belgian. What a difference! She's just as smart and easy to train but very head strong. She is the sweetest dog very affectionate. Going for rides is her favorite thing in the whole world. Second is playing ball. I hope to paint her very soon...The painting in the slide show is of Joshua who died two years ago. We still miss him.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cool Palette Still Life

Oil on Masonite 18" x 16". Almost the same arrangement as the "Warm Palette Still Life" but with cooler tones. I like the warm one better.
Will probably work some more on this one later. I'm tired of roses and back to painting people!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Blast From The Past

Yesterday when posting the painting of Darian at age 4, I remembered I had painted her mother about that age, in a yard swing with her dad, my brother. Last night I found a faded photo of that painting. Must have been about 1982. Maybe I was just learning to compose, harmonize color, etc. but the passion was there! The swing was a tractor seat on a chain suspended from a branch on a tall oak growing on the side of the hill. We would swing way out over the driveway and feel free as a bird! The little bushes grew into trees, the driveway was paved and Stacy grew up...but the painting remains to remind us of the fun we had with that swing.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Varnishing Darian's Dream

Today I am putting a final varnish on this portrait sketch of my great niece, Darian. (detail - 24" x 18" oil on wood panel.) At four years old, Darian wanted to dance. That was her big dream. I wanted to play with creating special lighting and thought putting Darian in an imaginary setting under bright lights holding her pet rabbit, Snowflake, would be fun! It was...not sure it was a total success...but was fun! The painting isn't quite as "hot" as the photo...but almost! Now at five years old, Darian is dancing.

I am using Grumbacher Damar Varnish. I place the painting flat, wear a glove, and use a soft scrap of tee-shirt rag. Starting in the center of the painting and working outward, I rub the varnish onto the painting and leave to dry. This method seems to work best for me. I like shine!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

New Portrait Commission

I will be painting this little boy. Isn't he adorable! Would like to do a full length pose as a companion piece for the portrait I did of his older sister a few years ago.

Yesterday Susan Carlin visited my blog, posted a comment and sent an email! Oh My Gosh! Did that ever make my day!

Sarah Auerbach signed on as my first follower! Thanks Sarah, I'm following you too!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Warm Palette Still Life

After working a little more on the warm palette still life, 20" x 16" oil on birch board, I'm posting it. More to do, especially with the large rose...but will let it rest a few days. Today I will continue with the same set up using a cooler palette. I took this photo inside. Will post the finished painting in the future with a better photo. I am using Grumbacher Oil Painting Medium II rather than Liquin and am missing the "fast drying" properties of the Liquin.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Art Critique Group

The second Wednesday of each month our Art Critique Group meets. This group is made up of award winning serious artists. We share information, books, magazines, gallery news, etc. Each artist takes up to three pieces finished or in progress for sincere evaluation. I'm always amazed at how hard we work and how dedicated we are! My three pieces yesterday included two painted from a still life set up outside in the sun, one using a cool palette and one a warm one. These are not quite ready to post but will try and finish both by the end of the week. My third was a fast portrait of Grandson Eddie from a photograph taken in January. Today calls for a trip to Home Depot for full spectrum florescent light bulbs, 100 watt...the spirals...that screw into the socket...not tubes. Trying to get better lighting in the studio for painting at night.

Monday, March 9, 2009

"My Song"

My Song, oil on canvas, 36" x 48" might be my signature piece. It was with this painting that my style I call Romantic Realism came about for me. This was about 8 years ago. Up until that time, I just painted giving little thought to a particular style. It's true what artists often say, "Be patient and a style will find you".