Friday, April 27, 2007

The Queen Anne Cottage

This was painted on Wednesday at the The Los Angeles County Arboreteum and Botanic Garden, in Arcadia, CA. A lovely garden, and a lovely day. They were beginning the set up for the upcoming yearly Garden Show. If you live in the area, it is great to wander through gardens designed by some of the best in SoCA. Amazing that they construct these gardens in a week or two.

Jury Duty

...are sketchbooks allowed?

DARN! The case was settled.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Eaton's Meadow

12"x16" Oil on linen panel

It was a beautiful spring day at Eaton Canyon.
Wonderful to be able to hike in a little ways to capture this view.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Middle One

As some of you know I am working on a large painting of my work Treasures. Today I decided to christen the new set of pastels that arrived yesterday. Yummy colors, and not as soft as I expected... which is good. At first I was searching for something new to draw, but I came back to my boxes, and decided on a perspective change. I wanted to draw the box that stands independent of the others, and yet is tucked in close. This box is creative, supportive and cheerful.
It is the middle one.

Again... working on the challenging aspect of spacial depth.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

"Guard it with your life", he says

I knew it, but then again it kept eluding me. Why do we always make it harder than it needs to be, when in the learning phase? It took keen observation by Michael, a few hearty laughs to move me along.
A quick atmospheric thumbnail is a wonderful guide.
Thumbnails Tutorial

I do believe that it is important to understand the process of making art. Some think that all that is necessary is to find a good photo and copy it. That can be fun, and yet so much is lost in that process. Sure it can be a challenge, and yet it does not engage the spirit. What I have learned in the last 30 years of professionally making art, is that I need to use all of my senses. Well.... I am going to have to think how I use taste, but certainly most of my senses. I search for subjects that connect to my soul. I have found recently that I am deeply moved by this process. I hear the tools that I use make their own music on the canvas, or paper that I work with. My vision is sparked by capturing light and color, almost so clearly that it can be tasted. Ah... there it is. I am always amazed that the simple marks that I make can become pleasing to the eye, if I work hard enough.

Some people think this all comes naturally to a certain few. Somehow, "these" artists have a gift no one else has. This is so far from the truth. It is dedication, passion, and a tremendous amount of hard work. I can stand tirelessly at my easel all day if necessary, to see the results that I am trying to achieve. It isn't magic. We study, we sketch, we back away and observe. We wipe away, we begin fresh, we are driven. Our eyes drink in masters work, not just once, but daily if necessary to understand basic undeniable lessons.

For me, the gift is the passion that somehow I grasp, and I want to honor that gift by not hiding it away. I continue to pick up the tools and create.

I challenge you to find your passion.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Focus and Effort

Focus on your future instead of on what you have missed.

Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the
attainment. Full effort is full victory.
-Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)

Full effort is mindfulness. It's being present in the moment, concentrating on the task at hand and not on the results. When we're in that space where we're putting in effort, doing our best, we lose track of time and experience the now.
That's a victory!
-Lissa Coffey

Friday, April 06, 2007


8x10" Charcoal sketch

Yesterday, after studying "space" at the Norton Simon Museum, here in Pasadena, CA, I took a stroll through the gardens. Afterwards I sat for a while with a cup of coffee, enjoying the waterlily pond, and drew this Iris. The plants surround the pond. All in beautiful bloom. This one happened to be a bright yellow.
What a gift!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Learning File:
All paintings are lessons for the next. It's an ongoing learning process, increasing skills for future works.

I am currently working on learning a new skill. Well... actually two. I am first learning the art of pastel sketching, and the second is to create spacial depth in my work. It is quite complex and one that I am going to have to hit many resources to perfect. I know I can create form, but to put those forms in space isn't easy. I have learned ways to create it in my plein air work, but it is new to me when you are talking about stretching inches into miles. Such as in a still life. Making the correct color choices, to achieve this goal is where I am headed.
I will be doing some research on this and will get back to you with what I have found.

Here are a few that will keep you busy for a while:
Transparency: A key to spacial depth Part 1
Transparency: A key to spacial depth Part 2
Creating Depth