Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Got My Eye on You

Click Here to Bid (5x7in.)

I've had this big orange pig sitting around my studio for a while, and I'm pretty sure I've only painted him once before. What a shame!

I had a friend painting with me in my studio for a few days last week. I was telling her about my 10-minute apple exercise and we decided to do it together for practice. I started with an apple and then moved on to a bottle. And even though I've painted hundreds of each, I still learned stuff.

What did I learn? Well ... shadows might be even lighter than I thought. Edges are really important. Lost edges on glass makes it look more realistic. But most importantly, I just got into the hang of painting these things. I am tempted to start each day with an exercise like this. I recommend it.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Seeking Enlightenment

Click Here to Bid (6x6in.)

My apples are always busy. They are either journeying somewhere, participating in secret meetings, piling up amongst themselves, throwing massive parties in bowls, or forming teams for unknown purposes. What makes them act so?

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Meeting at the Square

Click Here to Bid (6x6in.)

Normally my process for painting a still life is from the inside out (island to ocean) - first I paint the object, then everything around it. But with clear glass, I pretend (for the most part) like it's not there. I paint the background first, and then I paint all the little details that make it look like glass. This works particularly well for plates.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

All Stars

Click Here to Bid (6x6in.)

These shoes continue to sit around my studio, so I thought I'd have another crack at them. I've always painted them on a white background before, so this time I thought I'd try something dark. I like the contrast.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Little Dormers

Click Here to Bid (6x6in.)

I took the photo for this one in Germany on one of my visits there. I can't remember which town I was in, but it was somewhere in/near the black forest. I love looking through my old files and finding little gems like this to paint from. Isn't that green just yummy?!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Spruce It Up

Click Here to Bid (6x6in.)

This is a scene from the little bitty town of Enterprise, OR. We passed through here on our vacation this summer in Eastern Oregon. The sun was hitting this storefront at such an angle that only little slivers were lit, plus the bright flowers. The plants were actually lots of colors, but I felt solid red better pulled the scene together.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Candlelight, See Right

Click Here to Bid (6x6in.)

For this one I turned off the light in my shadowbox and lit this one small candle. That said, I still had my windows open and the light on that I paint by, which let some light into my box from the front. But I am loving that soft light.

Recently I got a very nice email from a fellow who said he was inspired by my paintings to write a song called "Still Life." The musician, Jakob Reinhardt, just put out an album, with one of my paintings as the cover. : ) I think he's incredibly talented! If you listen and are inclined to buy the album, you can use discount code "downatthedinghy" to get half off.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Wild Rose

Click Here to Bid (6x6in.)

I found this sweet little wild rose on our family trip to Eastern Oregon this summer. This particular one I photographed on a hike near Pauline Falls. I love the punchy colors surrounded by all the green grays.

A big thank you to all who signed up for one of my workshops last night! I am using a new service, and there was a bug in their system that gave some people trouble. I am still untangling the mess it made, but it should be sorted shortly. I apologize for the inconvenience!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


I will be teaching three workshops next year. All three will be my standard workshop about daily painting and doing small still lifes in oil (or acrylic), appropriate for all levels. You can find out all the information plus sign up by clicking the links below for each specific workshop.

Note: you must pay to hold your spot, but I give full refunds if you cancel (minus the ~4% paypal fee) IF I can find a replacement for your spot (which is usually possible, up until right before the workshop). Please email me with any questions.

May 9-13: Springfield Oregon, Emerald Art Center - register - FULL w/ wait list
May 23-27: Springfield Oregon, Emerald Art Center - register
October 17-21: San Antonio, TX, Whistle Stop Corner (on site lodging & meal info) - register - FULL w/ wait list

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Path to Ritter

Click Here to Bid (7x5in.)

I did this one from a photo I took up in the Sierra's. I dug the difference between light and shadow, and the hazy atmosphere leading up to the mountain, in shadow, in the background.

This past weekend I threw my 3rd annual Bad Art Destruction party! We had a lot of fun eating, drinking and destroying all the bad art we had sitting around our studios making us feel icky. Here are a few photos.

PS. Just a reminder that I'll be posting about 3 workshops tomorrow (Wednesday, Sep 23) at 7pm PST!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Morning Sun Hits Ritter

Click Here to Bid (6x6in.)

I actually started this one during my trip to the Sierra's, but did most of the work when I got home, using the start and photos as a guide. Every morning at sunrise, Mt. Ritter (in the back) would light up first, while the rest of the "valley" was still in shadow. For a few minutes, all the trees would glow kinda like this, and then very quickly light would spill down over everything. I literally had about 10 minutes to get this down, which is why my start is just about nothing. You can see I had to make the mountain a bit more glowy. That's called "artistic lisence." Or (ahem) maybe I got it wrong in the first place. Nah.

The best part about the trip was that we really became intimately familiar with the location. After a couple of days I could predict what the light was going to do, and plan accordingly.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

In the Flow

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

This was an experiment that I think TOTALLY worked. If I do say so myself. Which I am.

I took the photo reference for this when I was at Sweet Creek earlier this year with my painting buddies, Sue and Patti. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it. I had the idea to go sort of abstract, using the shapes of the rocks as a guide for the composition. And that's pretty much how I started out, exaggerating colors here and there and making everything blocky like I do. I think it didn't end up being very abstract, but I love it anyway.

Busy Clouds

Click Here to Bid (5x7in.)

This is from a photo I took in Eastern Oregon this summer. I was on a hike where the landscape wasn't particularly inspiring, so I started taking pictures of the sky. Yay for clouds!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Disappearing Dishes

Click Here to Bid (5x7in.)

This was an experiment to see how much and where I could make things disappear but still read as solid objects.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Cups Askew

Click Here to Bid (6x6in.)

I've done lots of little cup stacks with one or two or three cups, but I've only done a couple of taller ones. Here are all my stacks if you care to peruse.

WORKSHOP PRE-ANNOUNCEMENT: I've decided to teach 3 workshops next year. Two will be here in Oregon (Springfield) and one in Texas (San Antonio). I will be announcing the particulars and starting registration next Wednesday (Sep. 23) at 7pm PST, on my blog, newsletter and Facebook fan page. They tend to fill up fast, so be there or be square.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Cup Confab

Click Here to Bid (6x6in.)

This is an experiment with white on white. With a little pizazz (of course) in the form of a spoon.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Gathering

Click Here to Bid (6x6in.)

And now for something completely different. Ha! For those of you who've been with me for a while, I bet you never thought I'd say that about a still life!?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Rocks in the Morning

Click Here to Bid (6x6in.)

This is the last finished painting I have to show you from my trip to the Sierra's. I did it the last morning, before breakfast and before we packed up and hiked out. And since I'm showing you the last one, I also wanted to show you a couple of group pictures we took, before the hike out (and Paul's leg breakage - who's healing up quite well, btw). Fun, huh? (click image to enlarge)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Lake Layers

Click Here to Bid (8x10in.)

To get to this spot I had to hike in a direction from camp that I wasn't used to going. Because I wasn't familiar with it, I asked around for a buddy. Lori Putnam happily agreed, and off we set. We found our spot, painted, bonded over similar childhoods, gave directions to lost hikers, and started walking back. Suddenly, about 100 yards from camp, we spotted a funny sort of pile that looked like torn up granola bar wrappers mixed with mud. We casually reported this to the cook back at camp and she said, "Yep, I saw that on the way in. It's bear poop. I've had my eyes peeled for bears." Fortunately this was our last day in camp. Otherwise I think I would have been so scared I wouldn't have slept all week!