Saturday, January 26, 2008

Golden Beets

Golden Beets 12"x16" oil on linen panel

On Thursday my youngest needed a purple cast on her wrist...figure skating injury. After I was sure all was well, I raced to my workshop. I was excited to see gorgeous beets... golden orange no less. The greens were lush and they were just calling to be painted. I jumped in to it and really lost myself in the process.

I looked into the shadows like Michael had taught me and saw gorgeous blues on the plate, so I rubbed some blue onto the panel. This instructor does not allow any type of thinner or medium, so getting the panel toned evenly wasn't that easy. I began building on top of that, and eventually pushed the lights in the front beet and on the front edge of the platter.

I completed this in 2.5 hrs and am quite pleased with the results.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Skull 12"x16" oil on linen panel

I am taking a workshop at Art Center College of Design, my alma mater. It is a seven week direct painting class. When considering whether or not to take the class, I figured that it was 3.5 more hours that are concentrated on painting. No phone, no carpooling, just me and my paint. Oh... and Ginny and Debbie too. What could be wrong with that?

After arriving an hour early (can you tell I was ready for this...), I wandered off to kill some time, and when I returned to the class she was setting up a chrome object. I thought YES! something to get my teeth into right away. Wasn't meant to be... She wanted those of us that had not taken her class before to use a limited palette and paint a skull. Inside I was stomping my feet, and wishing I could paint with the big kids. However, I didn't want to ruffle any feathers straight away, so I minded my manners and painted the skull. Actually using the limited palette of White, Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber and Ultramarine Blue was a good lesson. It is similar to my grisaille, but in an alla prima method, you see the results immediately.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Cobb Estate

Cobb Estate I 6"x8" oil on linen panel

I love to see the fresh growth after a good rain, here in Southern California. At the Cobb Estate on Wednesday it was peeking out. Set again the blue hills in the background, I found my spot for the morning. My intention was do do three small paintings and call it a day. I think I visited a bit too much because I only completed one and a half. The plan is to go back next week, so I will finish off my group of three.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Coffee Notes

Coffee Notes 5"x7" Charcoal on Strathmore 400 series

This month many lists are being made of notes, changes, and expectations. 2008 has much in store for me.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Name of the Game

At first I was going to write that I was not going to set to any goals as of today. However, I have decided that I will commit to taking forward steps throughout the year. I have many challenges facing me throughout the coming months, but as long as I keep my art as my goal, it will please me to no end to see all that can be accomplished even at a slower pace.

Sometimes I do work that isn't quite a "hit" in my eye. Of course that isn't to say that I haven't learned a tremendous amount from doing the painting or drawing. It just didn't quite have the ummph that it needed, to encourage me to see it through to the end.

At times the light has changed far too fast, I am trying a new approach, or at other times I have struggled seeing the true colors. Not that I haven't stared at the subject looking at a multitude of colors. My eyes perhaps are confused, or my mind is tired, or distracted to actually "see" that day. They are all good lessons, and I have decided to share a few recent "strike outs" with you.

Michael would probably have said wipe it down, begin again. Problem is... sometimes by the time it occurs to me that I am struggling... it is much too late to begin again. My other life is calling me and I must pack up and put on a different hat. So... I have a quiet chat with myself, reminding the perfectionist side of me, not to be discouraged. I pull the positives from the negatives, and attempt to take that knowledge into the next round.

I share a few recent "pops"...

I worked on this in Eaton Canyon one day. What drew me to this particular composition was the gorgeous blue sky behind the brilliant branch. I knew I had a challenge in front of me, but I have never been known not be be up for one. I always bite off more than I can chew. This day had me questioning the colors in the shadows. Against the blue, I saw warmth, and yet as I turned back I saw gorgeous blues in the shadows. Confusing, but I am proud of myself that I have never once thrown a brush.

Anticipating a lunch date with a few artist friends, I was dressed in clothes that I did not want paint on, so this day I took my gouache with me. For those of you that are not painters, this is waterbased, and can be easily washed out if a mess occurs. With me that is often. I had never tried a watercolor canvas panel, but I found this one in my supplies so I thought I would check it out. So for that, it was an okay experiment. The clouds played games with the light. So the colors on the City Hall bounced around every minute. It was an enjoyable hour with Ginny, even if the results are less than stellar.

Oh... I wanted this one to work so badly. The light on the steeple was just magnificent. It was such a crisp morning, the chill was really hard to deal with. I do not know how some of my painting pals can paint in the snow. I had my Starbucks to warm my hands for a while. But even that didn't last very long after it sat on the cold sidewalk a few minutes.

I studied the light in the shadows. I saw yellow, pinks, mint greens. They looked to be jumping around. Perhaps the next time, I should crop the subject, so that I can focus on that which I want to study. Yet it is similar to an ice cream store. You want a taste of it all. The light of the steeple against the sky, the form, the shadows... Perhaps it all just can't be captured in a plein air. To capture it in an hour, is quite the race. It sure is fun to try though.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


"If you want to make good use of your time, you've got to know what's most important and than give it all you've got."
Lee Iacocca

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


"The time has come. The time is now!"
Dr. Suess

If you don't get started today, you'll be in the same place
tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that...