Sunday, January 26, 2014


So, Here is the final painting.  My husband didn't like the writing....I didn't like the end result either.  If I had it over to do, I would've made the sides white (like a photograph edge), add black corners like it was holding the photo in place in an old fashion photo album.  I would've left the writing in but made it smaller.

As it just didn't seem finished to me....either more needed added (which would've made it too busy) or this.....the end result.

After my hubby standing and staring for awhile, he said he wish he was back at that moment in time.  He also stated he wanted an Eagle painted in somewhere above the boat because they were always there fishing when he was. I feel better about this HUGE work and can ignore it .....MOVE ON TO NEXT PROJECT!
Back to working on 6x6 paintings.  Now I'll be using Pastel for the rest of the month.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Homemade & Home Grown......

12"x9"  Pastel on Wallis paper
Here's another one of my favorites.  I know....I know....this "Should" be a painting just finished....but I'm filling in works for the 30 paintings in 30 days Challenge. My focus right now is in finishing the large painting I posted yesterday.

A few years ago I practiced being a "traveling art instructor". I would go to a student's home for an art lesson instead of them coming to me.   This piece was started at a wonderful woman's home in Bonaparte, IA.  I haven't heard from her in a while but back when we did this still life, she was celebrating life in her 90's.

I've always been fond of this painting.... for the memory of sharing the time with her.  I'm blessed with several such occasions where  creating a painting or drawing is filled with emotions.....more then what a viewer might relate to.   I'm happy when my work triggers a fond memory for someone else too.

 Ahhhhhh....Art is Life...and ....Life is Art!!!  We would be nothing but machines if we didn't have Writing, Dancing, Music, and Visual Arts!  It's easy to take this for least that's my opinion.
 (Art classes are usually the first thing "cut" if something has to go because of budget issues in our public education system.)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Work in progress.....

36"x48" Oil on stretched canvas.
This is the project I started yesterday.  To the left.....6x6 paintings I've been doing for the 30 paintings/30 days Challenge.  To the area and table where I have an easel set up with another charcoal drawing started. (I took over the Dining room.  I have above easel and a wood easel always in place.  One for oil painting, the other for pastels.)

The subject of the large painting is an inspiration from a photo of my husband fishing in Washington State many years ago.  (before I ever knew him)  He came home from work yesterday and shook his head.  He knew I was going to do this, but wasn't sure he liked the idea of the writing along each side.  I thought it was a nice add on to the "story" behind the painting.

It reads......on the left, "May 31st, 1986, 30" Steel head.  Right side, Cowlitz River, Washington.
He has mounted his favorite fishing rods above our living room couch.  This will hang below them.  The room is turning into his "Man Cave" :D.  I'm allowed to hang out there too. (we have a small bungalow home)

Seeing Red.......

7"x5" Pastel on Wallis paper

Hopefully, I'll have time today to create something small that I can add to this month's Challenge Collection.
Yesterday I began working on the largest stretched canvas I've EVER worked on.   So, the above picture here is of a pastel painting I did last January.  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

"Stem toward the Light" #16 of 30P/30D Challenge

6x6 Oil on Gessoed Board

Back to one of my favorite "models" :D
I see a lot of painted versions of this beautifully shaped fruit.  There's something about a Pear !  With this work, my focus was on the colors of the cast shadows and bright highlighted areas.  The extremes in light.

So, I still have to come up with 3 more paintings to be even with the date of the month.  I'm going to do my best this week to catch up. I'm talking about the 30 paintings in 30 days Challenge by Leslie Saeta. Today should be #19 instead of #16.  That's what I get for running around for a couple of days.  Back to the studio I go.

"Garlic in Bowl" #15 of 30P/30D Challenge

Here's the set up the beginning
.....blocking in color & value
...and the finished work.
6x6 Oil on gessoed board
I'm wondering if my kitchen smells of garlic.  I've left these cloves in this bowl for a few weeks now.  Decided to challenge myself with painting the layers of skins.  The end picture above really doesn't give the actual work justice.  I'm having a hard time with focus on my camera.  I'm sure it would be better if it was mounted on a tripod instead of hand held.  I think that's a given!!!!

I'm still behind with this challenge....but truly believe by doing it, I'm learning about color harmony, zeroing in on values, and what makes a good composition.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

"Ready to Eat" #14 of 30P/30D Challenge

6x6 Oil on board

Okay....I'm ready to eat one of these slices.  I'm enjoying working with the color RED.  I suppose I should challenge myself with mixing other colors.

I have learned something valuable about myself with doing these small paintings.  As much as I'm trying to be loose with brushstrokes, I seem to consistently over work a piece.  It may not look overworked at first glance, or second.  My goal is to be more impressionistic in style and I continue to get caught up in detail.  In doing this, it increases the "time" it takes to create a small painting.

One hour is what my goal is for painting a 6x6 work.  It's taking longer then that for most of the work I've already posted.  I'm not done yet...halfway there and have the feeling I'll meet that goal at the end of 30 paintings. Wish me luck :D

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"We're Dancing!" #11 of 30P/30D Challenge

6x6 oil on board
I actually used suede matboard that I brushed a layer of Art Spectrum Colourfix fine tooth primer on for this painting.  Experimenting with the substrate I use for my oils.   This one has a lot of texture to it.  Paint doesn't glide on the surface unless it's thinned down with  odorless turpentine.  Didn't try the Walnut oil I use as a solvent.

Now, back to the easel I go ...Hi Ho!  Hi Ho!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ready to Pick, #9 of 30P/30D Challenge

Here's the first step - outline sketch of the composition.
Starting to establish the value range and fill in around the main subject.
6x6 Oil on panel

Here's the end result.  Did I mention the challenge it is to create a vibrant green with the palette I'm using?  I had to add a bit of Sap Green to this mix before I was satisfied.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"All in the Family" #8 of 30P/30D Challenge

6x6 oil on panel

Every time I see a Grapefruit, my mouth starts to water.  I love Ruby Red's! There's nothing like fresh fruit first thing in the morning.

This painting was a particular challenge in that with using the limited colors that I am, a vibrant Orange is difficult to impossible to mix.  I have a tube of Cad. Orange and was sooooooo tempted to place some on my palette.  Nope....I fought the urge and dealt with what I had.  I have to say, I did like the end result.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

"Plein Aire Painter"

16"x13" Sketch pencil and Charcoal on Watercolor paper.

So I couldn't help myself to go ahead and do another sketch before going back to my oil painting.  This is a challenge for me to work with charcoal.  AND....especially on the surface of this paper.  When I used to draw, I worked with drafting pencils on bristol paper.  I was so wrapped up in details.

I thought working with the charcoal and slightly rough paper would force me to "sketch" in shapes yet, I still got caught up in wanting to show details.

Personally?......I'd like this picture as a pastel painting.  I've gotta sketch more often.  It really is a different mindset from working on a commissioned painting.

Monday, January 6, 2014

"Breaktime for the Fire Chief" #6 of 30P/30D Challenge

23"x18"  Graphite on Watercolor paper

I decided to do something different today. I guess I felt the need to practice my sketching.
 Digging through my photos, I found this picture I took a few years ago of my neighbor Dean.  He is a Volunteer Fireman in our small community.

The fire station is located across the street from where we live in Pulaski. I had my camera ready on a day   they were doing smoke drills (how to enter a building safely when you can't see, plus more stuff I have no clue about) .  I couldn't pass up this pose of Dean when he decided to take a break.

Now back to my oils!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

"Pick Me, Pick Me! " #5 of 30 P/30 D Challenge

6x6 Oil on panel
I love the vibrant red here.  Screams...."am I ripe enough for you?"  We had a couple of Cherry trees along the East side of our property.  There was a lot of stuff growing along there and when trees needed cut down for safety reasons, the Cherry trees went too.

I've taken several photos of fruit trees and flowers when that "Tada" moment hit me (and I remembered my camera).  It's when the light reflects off or shines through things ...sometimes something out of the corner of my eye catches my attention.  At those times, my first reaction is, where's my paint brush or my pastels?  I'm ready!!!!!!!!

I have those moments A LOT......especially when I'm in a hurry to get to a destination driving down the road.  I rarely give myself travel time to pull over (key here ....PULL OVER & STOP) to catch the light and subject with a camera.'s a New Year.....a chance for New & Better Habits :D  (notice how I capitalize the first letter of each word?  I'm saying, this is important enough to make it a muntra or put in an affirmation.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

"View from Above"....#4 of 30 P/30 D Challenge

6x6 Oil on panel

Yep...back to pears for my subject matter.  I have no idea why I'm drawn to the simplicity of this fruit. There are so many varieties of it too!  Lucky Me!!!!!!!

Anyway.....I'm still working with a limited palette and for some reason my camera shows this as being a bit too rich on the green side.  Close, but no cigar... as the saying goes.  It looked even stranger when I tried adjusting the color, so I left it alone.

Now, off to paint I go!

Friday, January 3, 2014

"Buddy's #2"....#3 of 30 P/30 D Challenge

6"x 6" oil on panel
 Still infatuated with the color Red :D  It may be toned down in the next painting .  As far as the Best Design on this painting,( and the last)......I broke my own rule of not putting a strong straight edge close to a paintings boarder.

If I were to do these paintings over, I might have moved the boards edge up a bit.  Hey!....that's what this challenge is about for me.....taking the time to explore design and color in a way I may not otherwise do.

To check out more challenge painters..go to

Thursday, January 2, 2014

"Buddy's #1"...#2 of 30 D/30P Challenge

6x6 on panel
So here is #2 of Leslie Saeta's 30 Days/30 Paintings challenge.  Still using a limited palette, which is forcing me to mix, Mix, MIX the paints.  I found it particularly challenging to come up with a vibrant green.  That's because most the colors I'm using are on the "cool" side.  Very little "warm". 

(speaking of's 5 degrees outside with windchill of -7 Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!) 

The colors I'm using for this challenge are  Naples Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Ultramarine Blue, Phthalo Blue, Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson,  Burnt Sienna, Titanium White, and  Mars Black.  

I was trying to narrow this down to 4 to 5 basic colors (this includes white/black)....but I like this mix.  I'm open to suggestions from fellow painters on color selection for a limited palette.  Either email me or send me a Facebook message.  Click the FB button on the sidebar here :D

Since using this color combination.......I look at some of the Master's  works (John William Waterhouse's "The Soul of the Rose" for one) and see more of the limited palette he used. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

"Three of a kind" #1 of 30 Days/30 Paintings Challenge

6"x6" Oil on board
Here is the first of many 6x6 paintings to come this month.  I'm using a limited palette for this years 30days/30 paintings challenge by Leslie Saeta  I joined this challenge last year and she's challenged us again this January.  The BIG difference between 2013 and 2014 is each work I'm doing will be an individual painting.  (last year I divided 3-18x24 canvases  into small squares for each days work.)

This is a GREAT way to start the New Year.  Happy New Year everybody :D