Wednesday, October 31, 2012


This is a commission that I was lucky enough to paint for my friend, Debbie, and her husband. We talked ahead of time about doing a painting from one of their vacation photos, so they were very aware that every photo they took was a potential painting.
We looked them all over, one afternoon, and I was impressed with their compositions and choices. Made the job of picking just one very hard, so I have some future painting commissions planned, too!
While they were at Yellowstone, there were fires burning that created a more smoky backdrop than they would have liked, so I used some artistic license to intensify the values and color saturation of the sky and mountains. I still kept some of the atmosphere so that it had the feeling of moisture, otherwise the grasses in the front would start feeling like straw, in my opinion.
I also, eventually, decided to make the background trees darker on the right, so that there was a feeling of cohesion along that plane. The grasses went back and forth, but I finally got the feeling I was going for, soft and flowy- yet a dog's fur.
I know that everyone's eye goes first to the reflections, so I felt like I could have some license to play and stay loose with the foreground. If I had to pick a favorite part, for me it would be the grasses. Nearly everyone else has said the reflections got them.
I think my mother would like to just jump into this painting and stay there for a while. She's a Western gal and finds this quite evocative. I think she misses her mountains. I understand that feeling. I didn't grow up with mountains but fell hard for them when visiting my daughter, Sami, in Richmond, Va. Love them now!      

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Again, I have let time slide by without an update. I'm debating on whether or not to catch you up on the process for each painting I've done or not. Most of us don't want to read a whole, long missive, so maybe I'll just let the photos tell the story. Here ya go: Orchids, Austin Skyline, Lotus Blossom, Stained and Beach Southside (in progress)...go!


The finished product: "Beach" 24x30 oil on gallery wrapped canvas.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Don't Fight Your Style

                                                                  1st session
                                                                2nd session
                                                                3rd session became the reason that I took a palette knife to the first hour's work, in the 4th session, and scraped it top to bottom before coming back in with the energy and color that made me happiest. Still a work in progress.

                                           4th session 

It seems that the one lesson I have to learn, over and over, is that your style will win out in the end. And, probably, that is why this painting had some schizoid moments of old style and newer style fighting it out.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012


 "Poppies" 18x24" impasto oil on linen

In March, the corner neighbor's front yard was a riot of color, with these red poppies being the dominant flower. They had the traditional type and a more ruffly type that I found fascinating.
Around the same time, I kept seeing the colors and stripes of my favorite yoga blanket, whenever I'd close my eyes, so it made sense to me to incorporate them into a painting. Violets and lavenders and various shades of greens made it into this painting, which play well with the vibrant reds.
This will soon be varnished and packed carefully to be shipped north to my mom for Mother's Day. Yay!

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Fence Reflections

                                                Fence Reflections 24x36
                                oil on gallery wrapped canvas

I've been watching the shadows the bare trees have made on my fence at night, all Winter long. The shadows of the limbs were so graceful and the trunks seemed to flow across the boards into the ground. I knew I would paint them and I knew it would have to be an abstract.

As I started the work, in many layers, I reflected upon the dance that my palette knife and oil colors create as they hop and flow across the canvas. Some days, it was all about yellow. Other days, I found that I needed greens and peaches. And then take that palette knife and cut through it all to the red and blue ground. The white, like a breeze moving the branches in unison, is the unifying effect in the end.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Better Photo of Bigass Agave

                       Bigass Agave 48x48" oil on gallery wrapped canvas

I did some sort of upgrade on the Blogspot template and now can't seem to find a way to edit past posts, so you get a brand new post. Nothing new, except that the photo is ten times better, owing to my wonderful hubby generously carrying this behemoth outside to the back porch this afternoon so I could utilize the wondrous sunshine.
Don't know if this beauty is finished, but it sure is in a fun spot, don't you think?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

More Progress on Bigass Agave

Since I left you last, the Bigass Agave has gone through quite a transformation. When I was in yoga class last evening, our teacher read a quote that pretty much summed up what I've been attempting with this painting. I'll have to paraphrase since my memory isn't all that great: be willing to give up what you are to become what you can be. In painting, that might apply to this piece. I've been willing to paint over what I loved to see what else this painting was capable of becoming. Enjoy the process. Its red period Its blue period Its most fun incarnation yet!

Saturday, February 25, 2012


My experiment with covering the painting with color and then scraping was eh, okay. Not as drastic as I'd imagined, but only because I lost my nerve and used a LOT of Liquin Impasto medium with the yellow so that it was a thick glaze instead of an opaque covering. But, I'm thinking my next glaze will be red and we'll see where that takes us. I think it'll 1)take off some of the yellow glaze because it hasn't had a week or more to dry and 2) deepen the values on some of the hidden darker stuff. We shall see!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Gee, it's been a while

I guess I lost interest in posting about my non-painting periods, and then when I did paint, was too busy to blog? That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it. To check on what I've worked on since July, check out my website: And now onto the photo record of what I've done with the painting, "Bigass Agave", which may or may not be its final name. BAA is 48x48" and is costing me a fortune in paint since I just use Liquin Impasto as my medium and Old Holland oil paints. I haven't found any other paint that I like as much, so will continue to stick with the expensive little tubes. Even though I use palette knives to apply the paint, I still don't seem to use a ton of paint most of the time. This bigass canvas is another story. Especially since I did an experiment with toning the entire canvas with just paint, no medium, as a way of getting an oil primed canvas. Can't say that I see a big difference over just the gessoed canvases, but I think I will continue to do that until I can get me an order of oil primed larger canvases. The professionally primed ones really are awesome. I can see a difference over acrylic primed canvas. Much brighter colors and no sinking in. So, now here is the photo record of what is done so far. The next step is a thick yellow glaze that I will scrape off in some areas...sort of a poor man's approach to Gerhardt Richter