"Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter's soul." Vincent Van Gogh

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Eyes Wide Closed!

Male portrait with eyes closed / oil on linen / 14x11
Winter is finally on the run with several days of rain that washed away most of the snow - and my Christmas Roses look like they survived beautifully. And they are still blooming. What a wonder!

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Experimenting on Paper

Oil on brown paper / 22 x 28

Wanting to do a large figure painting, I found a roll of brown wrapping paper in my closet and decided to try it out as all of my linen panels were much smaller. I have not painted in oil on paper for such along time that I forgot how absorbent it is and struggled mightily with this figure. I do love how the paper grabs the paint and just won't let go - it is quite a different experience than painting on a prepared canvas or linen. 

This next portrait of Chloe was done on gessoed watercolor paper. Each painting is such a learning experience!

Chloe / oil on watercolor paper / 15 x 11

Friday, February 22, 2019

The Lovely Lynn and Another Rabbit Dream

Lynn was such a great subject to paint with her mass of elegantly unruly hair and her slight smile. And I love doing profiles!

Lynn / oil on linen panel / 18x14

And another rabbit dream painting.......

Dignity of the Hare / oil on linen panel / 14 x 18
Yesterday was another snowy day - we ended up having to shovel the snow off the driveway twice in hopes of keeping it clear. I was exhausted at days end - but today is clear and crisp with not a single snowflake in sight! 

This photo is of two small plants in my front walkway that were blooming merrily right before our last big storm. Now they are buried in snow about 8 inches deep - I wonder how they are doing? My girlfriend in the UK told me they are called Christmas Roses and they generally bloom all winter long! What a miracle!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Having some Figure Fun

Oil on cardboard / 16 x x12

This morning we were treated to the additional delight of a small herd of deer in our valley. We have seen them several times this winter. They are mule deer and I never get tired of watching them!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

From Portrait to Figure-and LOTS of Snow!

 Decided to take a break from portraits and do a figure painting yesterday.

Oil on linen / 12x16

A closer look....
It began snowing as I was painting - just a delicate beautiful snowfall. But the storm continued throughout the night and when we awoke this morning we were greeted by a winter wonderland!

Early morning view from the front walkway.

My husband and the snowblower - both getting a real workout!  

Afternoon delight in Reno, Nevada!

Monday, February 4, 2019

Morgan and Picasso

Morgan, almost 8 / oil on linen board, 12 x 12
Morgan is the very beautiful and accomplished 8 year old granddaughter of my cousin Audre. I painted this casual portrait of her as a surprise  Christmas gift. Morgans parents were very happy and rewarded  me with this photo of the painting nestled atop their mantle on Christmas day.

Generally speaking (and after seeing numerous cubist paintings at various museums), I am not a big fan of cubism but I am a big fan of Picasso's early work - he was such a talented and unique painter even then. Recently, after watching the Genius  television series on the life of Picasso, I purchased a used copy of the 1980 catalogue from the Picasso retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. It is a very comprehensive chronology of his work and I have spent many long hours pouring through it and learning from him. Many of the photos are in black and white but there are some fascinating color plates as well.

Pablo Picasso A Retrospective 1980

Child Holding a Dove 1901 and Self Portrait 1901

Woman in Blue 1901

Trying my hand at a Picasso and attempting to understand and emulate his fearless brushwork, I painted this little copy of a vibrant portrait he did in Paris in 1901

Portrait of Bibi la Puree after Picasso / oil on cardboard 12 x 9

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Portrait Practice

Four quick oil portrait sketches - practicing skin tones and trying hard to capture, age, expression and character. Quite a challenge!

Making maximum use of my painting support!

A closer look at the female sketch as I was happier with this one.

12 x 16 oil on linen

8 x 10 oil on corrugated cardboard

My husband and I just got back from a short trip to Palo Alto, California, where we were lucky enough to visit the Cantor Museum of Art on the campus of Stanford University. This is our third trip there and on this visit I fell in love with a Picasso oil portrait (also done on cardboard titled Courtesan with Hat from 1900). She was so lovely that I spent a long time admiring her beauty and the absolute elegance of the execution of this little masterpiece. What a joy to see it!

Courtesan with Hat oil on cardboard Picasso 1900

 In certain areas of this painting you can see the original brown cardboard peeking through and I found myself wondering if Picasso (and others like Toulouse Lautrec and Degas who also painted on cardboard) used any kind of sealant. I searched the internet and could not find out what their techniques may have been other than the use of oil paint thinned with mineral spirits. The information that I did find recommended using either gesso or PVA glue to seal the cardboard prior to painting to decrease absorbency and prevent warping. I wonder if anyone else has experience using cardboard as an oil painting support?

Friday, January 18, 2019

This and That

Portrait Sketch / 10x8 / oil linen panel

First portrait of the new year - done from a photo.

Untitled / 24x20 / oil canvas panel
 And a larger oil done last year. I am still struggling for a an appropriate title for this one! A close up of her face gives an indication of her demeanor and hints at a good title. I just have not discovered it yet!

The Reinert Gallery was kind enough to frame the paintings I sent to them and send me these two photos - you can see that they are safely guarded by the ferocious gallery guard dog!

My husband and I spent Christmas in Las Vegas in December as neither of our children could make it home for the holidays. It was very cold and even snowed a little bit on one frigid, windy day! But we braved the chill and drove to Red Rock Canyon, which is only about 20 miles outside of the city. It was so unique and so beautiful! Here are some photos:

Hope everyone is having a great beginning to this New Year and that it is proving to be filled with creativity and accomplishment!

Monday, December 31, 2018

Last Painting of 2018 - and on to 2019!

Happy New Year and the biggest wish I can muster for a year of peace, prosperity and good health. And  many, many days of wonderful painting!

16x12 / oil on canvas panel / untitled as of yet

Sunday, December 23, 2018

All I Want for Christmas ...

is peace on earth and good will to all. 

A new painting as a gift for my sister. I shipped it off to her home in Los Angeles and I am keeping fingers crossed she will like it.

Lady Madonna / 8x10 / oil on cardboard

In a very ornate golden frame!

Merry Christmas and I wish you all a most wonderful New Year!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Some New Work at Reinert Fine Art

Closer to the Elusive Goal / oil on linen panel / 18x24

Deterministic Chaos / 16x20

Fundamental Synergy / oil on linen panel / 18x24
Three new hound dog paintings shipped off to Rick Reinert at the Reinert Finae Aat Gallery in Charleston, South Carolina. Thank you to Rick, Ann and Jason. 

My husband and I are off to Las Vegas for our Christmas holiday this year as neither of our children will be home to celebrate with us. Instead we will treat ourselves to a Golden Knights hockey game and at Cirque du Soleil show. Everything changes and so we must go with the flow!

A very merry Christmas to one and all!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Anders Zorn and the Zorn Palette

There is a silver lining to every cloud. With my current back issues making it impossible to stand at the easel for any length of time, I have had plenty of opportunity to devour some of my art books from cover to cover. I have spent the most time looking at my incredible book on Sweden's Master Painter, Anders Zorn. The color plates are of great quality and it is easy to see that his portraits are nothing short of magnificent. His brushwork is virtuoso while his colors are so so subtle and real.

I was intrigued by his limited palette. It is said that he only used four colors - referred to as the Zorn Palette. He worked his magic using cadmium red medium, ivory black, yellow ocher and titanium white. How could this be possible? I decided to find out for myself and spent time today creating a color chart using just those colors. I always learn so much about color when I take the time to do an exercise like this.

The first photo shows the color chart next to the book open to a page showing  two of his portraits.

The next photo shows the actual chart - I will remove those blue tape strips when the paint is dry and position this in my studio so I can reference it while I am painting. I will definitely try out this palette one day. And I do recommend the book - not only are the plates clear and crisp, it makes for great reading as he was a bigger than life character and became a much sought after portrait painter among the wealthy in  late 19th century America.

Hopefully, it wont be much longer before I can get back to painting.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Fraught With Possibiity

Fraught With Possibility /Oil on linen panel / 24 x 18 / 

Close up of upper body (the color turned out strange in this shot for some reason).

She fits on the canvas!

Fitting her on the canvas using my sketch as a reference
In this painting, doing a preliminary sketch helped me to decide what size canvas I needed and also helped to place the figure on the canvas. Unfortunately, my back went out in the middle of this endeavor. I powered through it but think I will take a few days rest now. :(

Monday, March 20, 2017

Back to the Drawing Board

Ballerina / multi-media - graphite, charcoal, pastel on newsprint / 24 x 18

Close up of upper body
I rarely do a preparatory study for a larger painting but having, tried her in oils twice without success, I thought I would try sketching her. When I was painting, she kept demanding a larger and larger canvas. I may try her again in oils one day.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Matter of Degree

A Matter of Degree / oil on linen / 12 x 9

Her enthusiasm is showing although she may pay for it with a backache later tonight!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Rekindling Enthusiasm

Rekindling Enthusiasm / oil on linen sheet / 16 x  12

A return of one of my ballerinas. She emerged from my brush when I stood in front of a white canvas wondering what to paint.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Portrait Practice as a WIP

Portrait practice, alla prima, oil on linen sheet

Loose oil sketch directly on canvas establishing light and shadow

Mostly done but I decided to add a quick pinkish background

Finished - oil on linen, 12 x 16
I did this portrait today as I am having a crisis of subject matter - nothing seems to be catching my imagination and demanding to be painted. When that happens (and it does from time to time) I tend to fall back on the basics and wait for inspiration to hit.