Thursday, December 18, 2014

At the Fork Museum

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I have a question. Have any of you had any trouble with (recently purchased) Utrecht Ultramarine Blue? I found the last tube I got to be quite unevenly mixed. I get a splurt of oil every time I get more paint, and the paint itself seems dry and stiff. I've tried a few other brands since, as an experiment, and am liking the Gamblin version best (have only tried the ult. blue).

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Visiting Hours

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I haven't painted pears in ages! I was in the store and they were calling out to me. I couldn't resist.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pam in the Doorway

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It's been a while, but this is another one of my Pam project paintings. Pam is a friend who agreed to pose for me around her house while I took a million photographs. I'm waiting for her to get home from Tucson now so I can take pictures of her grandkids. (come home Pam!)

Yesterday I discovered something new. Well, two things actually. Some friends told me about the Savvy Painters podcasts, which are very cool (the first thing). And I decided to listen to an episode while I painted. Usually I listen to music, and this has always worked really well for me. I've talked to people who listen to other things and I could never understand. I assumed I wouldn't be able to concentrate on both things. But something funny happened - as far as I can figure, while half of my brain was engaged by the talking, the other half painted without distraction, and without over-thinking! And I ended up doing a painting I was really happy with. Not this one (not that I'm not happy with this one - I actually LOVE it). But I'm ahead by a few paintings. I'll point out the first painting when I get to it. Meanwhile I am listening to all kinds of things now while I paint, and actually learning some things even. And loving it.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Little Chat

This is a scene from a park in San Francisco. I took the reference photo last year I think. I can just imagine what these two are chatting about. Probably boy trouble. The kid on the left is the brother and trying hard to ignore the whole thing. He's thinking about Nintendo.

Saturday, December 13, 2014


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I got the idea for this one after seeing some really cool illustrations online (I am seriously kicking myself for not pinning them on Pinterest - now I've lost them!). Anyway, the general theme was there being some kind of warm light happening ... off-stage, and only slightly affecting the cooler/bluer light in the main part of the scene. This is definitely an idea I want to keep exploring!

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Balancer

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As many of you know, I got pretty burnt out a couple of years ago with painting - specifically still life. Here are the things that helped me heal in the 2 years since then:

1. Trying different things (other mediums, classes, subjects, etc.)
2. Not painting when I didn't feel like it.
3. Talking to artist friends for support and suggestions.
4. Taking time to get bored (and re-inspired).
5. Uhhhh, wine.
6. And specifically, though I'm sort of repeating number 1, painting a variety of subjects.

It's awfully nice to know I have a whole slew of things I can paint when I wake up in the morning, and not JUST cups or apples. And while I've been enjoying these "other" subjects (cows, cats, trucks, people, etc.), sometimes I get a hankering to paint cups again. And it's usually been long enough that I remember all over again why I fell in love with still life in the first place. Which is awesome!

Thursday, December 11, 2014


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More cows - this one a little bigger. I've done a few of these cow paintings lately, and I don't know if you've noticed, but I've experimented a bit with them. I've varied the brush strokes, colors, and amount of detail. This was the last one (for now), and my favorite, which is how it usually goes.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Curly Whirlies

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These are totally enjoyable to paint. So here's another one.

Today I had the pleasure of meeting Carolee Clark, who, we have just discovered, lives only an hour away! I have long admired her work, and it turns out, she's a really nice person too. I am happy to have a new friend.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Cow Power

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Every year, for the past 5 years, at about this time, I announce a new book/collection of 100 small paintings from that year. But this time I'll be a little late. And it's not for lack of trying! For the last 3 years I've been using a company called Magcloud to print my books, but recently they were bought by Blurb, which is the company I switched FROM in the first place, because I became unhappy with them. I decided to give Magcloud the benefit of the doubt but unfortunately the new book was not up to par! So I pulled all the rest of my books from their site, and am exploring other options. It's not final yet, but I am working with a local company that assures me they can do what I want. So, with any luck, I'll be announcing the next book (#6!) sometime in January. AND, I plan to list it and all my other books/collections on Amazon. I'll let you know when it happens.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Lets Reflect

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I took the photo for this one a couple of years ago in California, somewhere between San Francisco and Santa Cruz. And I had to paint it twice to get it right. But enough about that - my book got written up in Huffington Post! Cool, huh? In the Arts & Culture section. Happy happy!!!

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Outstanding in Their Field

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I still have tons of photos of cows taken when I was in Germany last time. I'm enjoying having a variety of things to paint. It prevents ruts.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Leaf Chief

Fall might be my favorite season. Although I usually say that about whatever the current season is. : ) But I do love the leaves. They are like nature's confetti. I managed to catch this one before it got soggy from the rain.

Thursday, December 04, 2014


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I can rarely get cats to sit still for me. This one only did because she was being loved on the other end by her owner/mother, and my friend, Pam. And because this was near the end of our photography session (I was mainly photographing Pam that day) and she was getting used to me. Thanks to you both, for providing me with such a lovely scene (one of many, actually).

My book got reviewed by Charley Parker on Lines and Colors today! It's an AWESOME review, one I'm not sure I deserve. But I'll take it. Thank you, Charley!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014


And now for something completely different! I got the idea for this a while ago - maybe years - when I was in a restaurant. It was a VERY fancy place, complete with paper napkins rolled around the silverware, with the little white paper thing securing it all together. Anyway, I took the little paper thing, and rolled it into a spiral. And it looked so cool, I thought I'd go home and make a few of my own. And here they are. Ta da!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Hoo You Loookin' At?

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I was seduced by those eyes. Is it possible not to be? I can't remember if I found this guy on MorgueFile or PaintMyPhoto, but they're both good sites for finding copyright-free images.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Don't Mess with my Nuts

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I know you'll agree when I say (write) - it was about time I painted a squirrel! We do have squirrel's here in Eugene (though no snow yet), but I actually got the photo for this one from the Morgue File (a place online with copyright free images). At first I thought maybe it was cheating, since I usually work from my own photos. But then I started spending time sifting through all the terrible photos to get to the usable ones. Let me tell you, there are A LOT of terrible ones. And I figure that sifting is work in itself. But something I enjoy doing in the evening, snuggled up on the couch with my dog.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Mad Hatters

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Here is another scene from NYC. This couple was not only sporting some very fine hats, but also some extraordinarily colorful shoes.

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving! Let me take this opportunity to say I am grateful to you all for your support, in its many forms. I have received some especially wonderful emails and Facebook messages lately regarding my book. Thank you so much!!! You make it worth all the sweat and tears that went into it. : )

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Being Seen with Tulips

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I snapped the reference for this one in NYC this spring. I can't tell you exactly where (because I don't remember), but they had some big eggs nearby. And an ice skating rink. And tulips, which these two seemed to be taking a break from looking at. Anyway, I just loved their outfits! It's like they dressed with the tulips in mind.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

In the Neighborhood

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This is another one from our sister city, Springfield. I was drawn to the dapples and the tree. I had to redo the dapples on the tree trunk a few times, but otherwise it came out pretty easy. I LOVE it when that happens!

Monday, November 24, 2014

In Cahoots

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I apologize for any confusion when I mentioned  a "baby shower" and "taking a year off" all in the same post! I am not having a baby (my kid is perfect, why would I want to chance another?)! I did birth a book recently, as I may have mentioned. : ) And my friend Patti, who has a wacky sense a humor, (one of the two lovely gals - bottom right - picking her nose) offered to throw me a "baby shower" for the book. It was really sweet. She made me a crown and everything. I only took pictures of the dessert, but there was a whole spread, wine, and even a speech. Thank you, Patti!