Saturday, November 26, 2016

Martini Before Lunch?

Click Here to Bid (6x6in.)

Painting this was an odd experience. When I was arranging the objects, I was really frustrated because I didn't think they looked all that great together. I decided to paint them anyway, because it was the end of the day and I was tired of arranging and re-arranging. And I ended up liking the painted version WAY better than the real life version! How can I make this happen again?

And no, I don't drink martini's before lunch. Not even while on vacation in Germany. : ) This is the last painting I will post here - I'll be home on December 1st (unless the Lufthansa strike continues).

Friday, November 25, 2016

A Little Lie Down

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Happy belated Thanksgiving! This isn't a holiday in Germany, but we will be having a little party here today anyway. And afterwards, we'll all have a little lie down too, probably from eating too much!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ambitious Pear

Click Here to Bid (6x6in.)

I haven't painted much here in Germany. I thought I might get some good photos in Berlin, but the weather was mostly gray and dreary, and I wasn't feeling inspired. I did manage to go out one day by myself for a few hours when the sun was sort of around, and got a handful of photos. Most of them I think will work better as references for larger paintings, and I only brought small panels. But I had a few extra still lifes when I left home, so that's what I've been posting. I hope I remembered to throw the actual pears away before I left - otherwise I'll find them decomposing in my studio when I return!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Hangin' Mostly Out

Click Here to Bid (6x6in.)

While we are here in Germany, we find ourselves needing to understand a lot of German. Duh. Since I don't know all the words (understatement of the year), I end up letting the German sort of wash over me, and trying to get the gist, looking up words when I'm lost. By the end of the day my brain is spilling out of my ears. I'm sleeping 10 hours at night and still exhausted by 8pm!

We are here for one more week and then we begin the long journey home. 1 day in the train. 1 day in the plane. And one day in the car. Verr├╝ckt (crazy)!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Just One Shot


I've been meaning to do this for a while - paint an example of how value does all the work but color gets the credit. After painting this one above, I did this other version where all the colors are in the right family, but the values are mostly wrong. You can see how the colors are still interesting, but nothing holds together - the scene is only vaguely 3-dimensional. Honestly, I could have (and meant to) push it a lot further (make the values WAY wrong), but my brain pushed back against it. I will try again someday.

Value is the number ONE thing I end up helping my students with. If you want your painting to look 3-D, you've got to get the values right.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Apple Bottle Battle

Click Here to Buy (10x10in. - $600 - free shipping - still won't be able to ship until December)

Hello from Germany! We have been having quite an adventure here in Berlin - seeing and learning lots. Tomorrow we move on to our next adventure.

This painting is one I did before we left. It's a little larger than normal.

Sunday, October 30, 2016


I'm leaving tomorrow for Germany with my family. We'll be gone the entire month of November, so I won't be able to ship any paintings from now until December. My stepdaughter, Maddie, will remain here, and ship books for me.

sold. (8x10in.)

This is a scene from California, up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I've had lots of practice up there painting from life, but this one is from a photo I took a couple of years ago. You can see how I approached it from my process shots below. I ended up having to repaint the foreground a couple of times. Little tufts of grass are hard to paint!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Rocks in the River

Click Here to Buy (10x10in. - $600 - won't be able to ship until December)

While I was in Colorado, my friend and I did a lot of driving around looking for the perfect spot. After about three days we realized - there wasn't one! So we just started painting, not wherever, but in what I would consider semi-perfect spots. What I got out of it, mostly, were notes. Notes on color and value. I also took a lot of photos. And between my notes and the photos, I will be able to do some finished pieces. Like this one, which I am quite proud of.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Colorado Color

sold. (6x12in. - click image to enlarge)

This is another one from Colorado. It was right at the beginning of fall, when tree colors were just starting to change, but the grass was already golden.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Across the Pond

sold. (6x12in.)

I painted this on a recent trip to Colorado.  My friend Penny and I had driven out to her friend's farm, and found this lovely pond at the back of the property. I had just learned about galkyd, and so experimented with this painting. I love galkyd! I actually painted the house and yellow bushes first, just to make sure I got those in before the light changed, but then I painted in the trees. And then all the pond stuff. So by the time I put in the distant mountains and sky, the paint on the trees was tacky enough not to make mud where they touched. This is a solution to a problem I've had forever with landscape painting!!

Also, here are all my kids (and me, and 2 of our illustrious hosts) from my San Antonio, Texas workshop last week. You guys were awesome!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

At Attention

sold. (6x6in.)

I am home from my San Antonio workshop and slowly catching up with things here. It took me a couple of days to recover emotionally. These kiddos (to the right) may not look rowdy, but they definitely kept me on my toes. The great food and wine helped keep my strength up, but by the end I was a puddle on the floor. I'm hoping they didn't notice. Oh shoot, did I just admit that?!

Here are a couple of my demos from the class, and a couple of partial demos too. I was especially happy with the bacon, and plan to paint it again. Not the actual bacon - I ate that.
I'll post the group photo soon. Meanwhile, I need to let you know that I'll be heading to Germany at the end of the week, and we'll be there a month! I'm hoping to get some new reference photos, and maybe paint some of them too.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Standing Room Only

sold. (6x6in.)

Tomorrow morning (far too early) I'm flying to Texas! I'll spend a few days visiting family, and then teach my last workshop of the year, in San Antonio. I'll be back late Sunday the 23rd, and will ship any paintings that have sold, then (I apologize in advance for the delay). Toodles!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Take Your Pick

sold. (6x6in.)

I can't believe I forgot this, but a major milestone has passed. Ten years and four days ago is when I started this blog! Wow. What a journey this has been, and continues to be. To the right is the first painting I posted here, on October 6th, 2006.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

No Personal Space

sold. (6x6in.)

Recently I experimented for the first time with Galkyd. It makes paint dry a little faster, which I found is especially useful for landscape block-ins. Specifically I have used it to block in the dark masses of trees, so that when it comes time to put in the light sky the colors don't mush together at the margins and make so much mud! This has been quite enlightening! So I've been experimenting with Galkyd in still lifes too, and blocking-in there as well. I don't have answers yet, still just lots of questions. But I'm having fun.

Thursday, October 06, 2016


sold. (6x6in.)

Here's another one from eye-level. Someone told me once, long ago, never to paint a still life looking down because it looks like it's going to slide right off the table. Obviously I ignored them! But what do you guys think? Just curious...

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Little Red

sold. (6x6in.)

I used just my soft, white light for this one. At some point I'd like to do an experiment where I paint the same composition over and over, each with a different light.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Sea of Saucers

sold. (6x6in.)

This may seem like a simple scene. But it was HARD to paint! It was like a puzzle of never-ending little bits of color, that all had to work together, especially in the cups. Lots of reflected light. Oh man.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Cups for Company

sold. (6x6in.)

For this one I used two lights: a warm halogen, and a cooler florescent, hence the double shadows. I also like how shiny it made the cups look!

Speaking of lights, after a post of mine a week or two ago, a gal (Linda) wrote in about some lights she bought that she thought some of you might be interested in. They come as a pair (she shared one with a friend) and you can get them on Amazon. She uses them to light her painting and her setup (though she paints from a photo of her setup at night). Happy to share.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Don't Leave a Tomato Behind

Click Here to Buy - $70 (6x6in.)

I actually painted these twice before I ate them, so here's the second go.

In other news, I was interviewed yesterday by a very sweet gal from Toronto. Her podcast is called "Art Pro Podcast," and if you haven't tired of my story yet, you can listen here. Thanks!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Homely Heirlooms

sold. (6x6in.)

These two beauties were home grown and gifted to me by some friends. They were quite a challenge to compose with, but I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed eating them afterwards! Heirloom tomatoes are the best.