Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Glow in the Dark

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I recently popped down the local rose garden for a new batch of photos. This one was a little dark, but I loved the drama.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Rock Values

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I don't remember where I took the photo reference for this one, though I'm pretty sure it was somewhere in California. The sun had gone down, so everything was in shadow. I love the challenge of trying to convey the rocks under the water. It's hard. Try it.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

A Beautiful Death

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I found this little guy on our doorstep in Taos when I was there painting with friends earlier this year. It reminded me of a series of hand colored photographs by artist Kate Breakey that I saw when I was in college, called "Small Deaths". I like this one in particular. They are even better in person.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Light for Cups

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I have 2 things to report. First, I have new ARTBYTE to announce! It's all about painting white and includes lots of information about how to mix white, mapping out values successfully, exaggerating color so it works, etc. This lesson includes a full demonstration (with voice-over) of the painting above, and applies to any level, oil, acrylic and guache. It's called "What Color IS White?".

Second, we're home! My family very much enjoyed driving through/camping in Montana and Wyoming. We got to see Glacier, the Bighorns, Yellowstone and the Tetons, among other beautiful things. We didn't see any grizzlies or other bears, but we did see a moose and its baby (luckily, from the safety of the Jeep).

I didn't end up painting at all, which was probably for the best. I spent tons of quality time with my family instead. I posted just a few pictures on Instagram, in case you're interested.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

People Watching

Click Here to Bid (6x12in. - please click image to enlarge)

I took the reference photo for this a couple of years ago in a very popular park in San Francisco. People were out enjoying the sun, dressed in their hipster bests, seeing and being seen. I was on the fringes, seeing them too.

Soon we will be heading out for another big family trip. We are loading up the jeep and teardrop camper today, and plan to head in general for the wilds of Montana and Wyoming tomorrow. Our time-line is indeterminate, so I don't know exactly when we'll be back - probably early July.* I'm not bringing my oil paints this time - just a brand new, as yet unused guache set, and my camera. We'll see what happens with that... So, until I see you again, happy summer!

*I won't be able to ship paintings while I'm gone (sorry!!), but my stepdaughter will be shipping books for me. Thank you for your patience!

Monday, June 06, 2016

Spring Study

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I love little close-ups like this in photographs, so I thought I'd try painting one. The reference came from a hike in the Wallawas (in Eastern Oregon). You'd think I would have just popped into my backyard. : ) But no, I like to do things the hard way.

I also have a fabulous tip for you! Sigrid Junold K├Ąppeler sent it to me after struggling with painting an ellipse. In order to see where her mistake was, she painted concentric circles on a piece of glass/plexi and held it up (tilted) in front of her painting. It sounds confusing, but a picture's worth a thousand words. -->

You could also try holding a glass cup up in front of your ellipse. Also, my husband pointed out that you probably need to close one eye when looking at it. Happy painting!

Sunday, June 05, 2016


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I painted a few egg demos for my recent workshops, which got me excited about doing more at home.

Friday, June 03, 2016

One Too Many

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I finally had a chance to try out one of the new products I got at the plein air convention. It is a solvent made of lavender oil, from Chelsea Classical Studio. Granted, I only tried it for one day, but here are my thoughts:

It cleans brushes very well. And if you're really sensitive to OMS, it is definitely worth a try. But it's crazy expensive ($45 for 32 oz - much more than the Gamsol I use). And it smells VERY strongly of lavender. Don't get me wrong - I love the smell of lavender. But this is pretty overwhelming (full disclosure - I am sensitive to strong smells). I also felt that it dried faster than Gamsol, which threw me off some. I'm sure I could get used to it, if I was motivated enough. For me personally, it's not worth the price. But then, I'm not sensitive to OMS. My 2 cents.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Being Coy

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More props from class. Plus a few bottles of my own. And a plate. And some purple paper.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


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I've been using some of the leftover props from my workshops to pose for me. They are very obliging.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Layers of Light

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It's almost summer here and the roses are in full bloom. Here's a scene of a couple of our local roses lit from behind.

And my demos from last week's workshop (all sold):

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Circus Roses

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I just got done with my last spring workshop. I won't be teaching again until October, in San Antonio. People ask me all the time how to get into my workshops and the answer is - watch out for the announcements and sign up asap (they fill fast!). I'm only doing 3 workshops a year now, and I usually announce for next year in the fall/winter.

To the right are some photos from my class last week (I remembered this time!). As you can see, my kids were very studious and hard-working. They did some really great work and I hope learned a lot. We had a super fun time together!

On the last day, as usual, I took them outside to demonstrate how I photograph my paintings, and we took a group photo right afterwards. We snagged a guy from a nearby office to take our picture. Max did great, but he was shy and didn't tell us exactly when he was going to snap the photo. So we weren't all prepared. : )

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Down the Block

Click Here to BUY ($600 - 10x10in.)

This is another scene from NYC. There is a cool thing there that used to be an elevated train, but is now a public walkway up on the tracks. It's called the High Line. I was up there, walking along, when I took the photo for this one. I've wanted to paint it for a long time.

Above is a still life from my current gallery show - one of my personal favorites: "Being Cool with Dishes" - 12x24in. - $1000.

Tomorrow I begin another 5-day workshop, so expect a pause from me online.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Reclusive Rose

sold. (5x7in.)

In the past I have drawn my roses very precisely, even gridded them somewhat. But the last few I've done (and other subjects too) I've gotten more interpretive with the shape and made adjustments where I thought it might look better. I think this means I'm growing! I'm showing the original photo here - honestly I thought it would be even more different.

Here is another of my current show paintings. "The Magic Hour" - 16x16in. - $900. The scene is from San Francisco, taken when I was walking from downtown to the Mission District.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Out Shopping

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I spotted this gal in New York City a couple of years ago. I've painted 45 scenes so far from the photos I took during that trip to NYC. I've got tons more, but I've already got the hankering to go again! It's such a cool place.

Here's another painting from my current gallery show. "Escaping the Bowl" - 16x16in. - $900.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Four Pear 3

sold. (6x6in.)

Here is the last of this pear series. On the first two I put the stems in near the end, and for this one I put them in after the pears and then painted the background around them. You decide which you like better.

And now for another painting from my current gallery show.

<- ("It's In Here Somewhere - 10x10in. - $600 - a scene from Times Square, NYC)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Four Pear 2

sold. (6x6in.)

Here's version 2 of my pears. I felt the first one was a little tight, so my goal with this was to be a little looser, with bigger and fewer strokes. Here's a page with all my old pear paintings in case you're curious.

And here's another of my recently gallery show paintings. ("Outdoor Seating" 12x6in. $500)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Four Pear 1

sold. (6x6in.)

When I was all done with my last workshop, there were some good looking pears left over, so I decided to do a series, all with the same general composition, as practice. It turns out I like all 3, so here they are, starting with number 1.

Also to share, is the video of my interview with the mayor on the night of my recent show reception. It's weird for me to watch, but you might get a kick out of it. Fast forward to 1:45 to hear me talk.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Isuzu Alley

sold. (8x8in.)

Lots to report, so I'll make this quick: alley, Seattle, near Capitial Hill.

Last week I taught my first workshop in 1 1/2 years, which went really well. On Wednesday I remembered why I love teaching - on Wednesday things start to sink in, my kids get really quiet and productive, and they do really great work!

Unfortunately I completely forgot to take pictures, except for these two: the studio set up but empty of people, and two of my kids doing special "art workshop yoga."

TWO of my kids gifted me paintings. One is an abstract by Kristen, and the other is a portrait (of me!) by Piyali. Isn't that awesome?! I guess it puts a lot of pressure on my next group of kids ;) (which is next week, BTW).

And the last image, which I DID remember to take, is our group photo. You guys were awesome!

Sunday, May 08, 2016

The Path

sold. (8x10in.)

This was a total experiment. I decided it was the perfect subject for blocking in the whole thing and then putting the details in on top. As many of you know, this is not how I approach a still life. I am experimenting with lots of things.

"Father/Son Day" 10x10in. $600
Here is another painting from my show.

I spent the entire day getting set up for my next workshop - 5 days starting tomorrow, in Springfield, OR. I probably won't post much, though I will try.