Thursday, February 26, 2015

Reflecting San Francisco

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This is a scene from San Francisco. I just love the reflections of windows in the car from the building beside it, and the peek of the bay in the background. It took me 2 tries to get this painting right. It was really hard to convince myself to do it over, but it was totally worth it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cozy Spot

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This is a little scene from a hotel my husband and I stayed at in San Francisco last year.

A friend of mine sent me a link for some interesting frames for paintings on panels. They look pretty neat, and VERY inexpensive. If anyone gets them, please let me know what you think! If the quality is good, I'd like to recommend them on a regular basis.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Angels in the Architecture

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After a few successes with the "darks first" method, I had a few total disasters. So I retreated back to my usual method for this one (islands to oceans). What I've discovered is there are pros and cons to each. My goal is to figure out when to use each one, and if there's some way to use them somehow together. I will keep experimenting. Thoughts, anyone?

Meanwhile, I did this one from a photo I took inside the NYC downtown library. I chose a bigger panel for it and found it was MUCH easier to paint people when they weren't crammed into a 6x6! I've been wanting to do this one for a while, and am very happy with the result.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Street Market

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Here's another one with the same experiment as yesterday - putting down the darks first, and mapping out all the values with that color, then the rest on top. I promised I would talk about the benefits (that I can think of right this moment), so here goes.

1. The base color (whatever you make the darks of) ties the whole thing together quite a bit, because that color is everywhere (I used a mix of red, blue and yellow).
2. It is far easier to judge each value as you go because you're just matching the color to the value that is underneath. (BTW, I actually switched the photo to black and white as I was blocking in the values, so I wouldn't be distracted by the color)
3. I could easily see (and adjust), throughout the whole process, somewhat how the whole thing was going to look in the end, because all the values were already there (vs. how I usually work - from islands to oceans).

Again I'd like to mention that it worked particularly well here because the colors are all fairly neutral. I wouldn't use this method on a scene with really saturated colors, as my still lifes often do.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Who Needs a Taxi!?

Click Here to Buy (8x8in. - $350 - includes a free book, my 6th collection of 100 small paintings, from the year 2014!)

So, ok. I tried something new for this one, but it's actually something very old too. And I'm embarrassed to admit it, because it's something I specifically do (and teach) kind of the opposite of. But humility is good for us, right?! So here goes.

For this one I put down the darks first. Crikey! Actually I made a pretty thorough value study with just one dark (a mix of red, blue and yellow), painting in the darks and wiping out the lights. Then I painted on top of that. I think it worked well because 1. it's a dark dominant painting, and 2. there aren't any super saturated colors that I needed to keep "clean." I don't think I would try this method for many of my still lifes, but I will definitely try it again for this kind of scene. I'll explain the benefits in my next post.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Foreign Exchange Students

Here are some folks I spotted in San Francisco, huddled together, looking up English phrases. Or at least that's what I imagined they were doing. My sister spent her junior year in high school in Germany. I thought it was quite an adventure, but didn't want to learn another language (which is funny now that I'm learning German), so I spent my own junior year in Seattle, (coming from a small town in Texas) living with some friends of the family. It was quite a year. Quite the learning experience.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


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I can't believe I haven't used this title before. I've done a ton of paintings where one thing is left out. It's been a theme in my life. Growing up in a small town I was always the odd-ball. Not that I would ever expect anyone to pick this out in my work. I paint for the colors and shapes, and for the sheer challenge and enjoyment of it. If a concept works its way in (one that isn't silly, anyway), it is purely by coincidence. I am an artist without a statement. Or rather, a very simple one. Beautiful life.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Apple Migration

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My son has this week off from school so we have been going on some family adventures. Kinda like these apples (above). Today we saw a new waterfall. The apples saw ... the plate. Life-changing.

<-- Here is another of my little abstract paintings. bid

Monday, February 16, 2015

Apple Support

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The green bottle is so intent on supporting the apples, it's actually leaning a bit. Can you see? Yeah, that actually happened.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

On the Playground

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I spent the last few days in Seattle, enjoying a little R&R with a buddy. I got a handful of photos and will paint from any that are worthy. If not, I'm going again in the summer for an official picture taking trip. I saw five gazillion front porches worth painting! Meanwhile, more apples.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Apple Mania

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There was only one apple brave enough to see its reflection. All the rest are hiding where they don't have to look. But the brave one will go back and tell them it's ok. "Heck, if the plate can do it, so can we!"

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Red Door, Duplex

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This is another scene from around my town. I seem to be drawn to front porches especially. And even better when the doors are red, and the light is dapple-y.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Sunshine of Your Love

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I had to paint this three times over to get what I wanted. I have a tendency to paint my shadows too dark for some reason, so each time they got a little lighter. I also had to write "click" over a couple of times, because "Lick Here to Bid" wasn't quite what I was shooting for.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Fill You Up Rose

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Red/orange always looks better in person, so you know. I also wanted to show you one more abstract I did the other morning. This one is my favorite of all 3. ->

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Delicate White

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A new friend of mine asked me recently, "How do you decide what to paint every day?" I said, "I paint whatever I feel like." And it struck me, not for the first time, how insanely lucky I am to have the job I have!

And speaking of whatever I feel like, I woke up the other morning totally inspired to do some abstracts. I did several, 2 of which you'll find here (with bid's starting at $1). Here's my favorite:

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Big Shopping Day

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Recently I was interviewed by a nice guy named Bob, for a local blog about art, called Eugene Art Talk. Meanwhile, here's another scene from my trip to NYC last spring.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Glowing Sidewalk

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This is another one from New York City. I love the shadow and light areas as the scene recedes. I think the bits of light on the sidewalk are reflections of light from windows on the other side of the street.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Peach Odessey

Click Here to Buy (12x12in. - $600 - includes a free book, my 6th collection of 100 small paintings, from the year 2014!)

And now for a larger peach painting, before they get too ripe.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Penitent Peaches

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A student of mine gave me this beautiful glass plate, and it finally found it's place in a painting! The peaches absolutely adore it. Maybe it's because of their complimentary colors.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Plump Peaches

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Recently Random House (the publisher of my book) asked me to write a (short) blog post for their "Books for Better Living" blog. It's called "Add a Daily Dose of Art to Your Life," which is my theme, I guess : ).