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

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Sakoto / oil on convas / 16x12
Sakoto posed for us at the Portrait Society session on June 11th and I painted her portrait that day. Once I got home and had a chance to evaluate it more critically, I took a rag and wiped it off. This full  figure rendering was done from a photo I took that day. I am infinitely more pleased with it than I was with her portrait!

Friday, June 27, 2014


Guinness / oil on canvas panel / 24x18
What a challenge! Guinness is a 9 year old 180 lb black furry mountain of a Newfoundland dog. My daughter asked me to paint it as a surprise gift for her boss. I sure hope he likes it!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Nicole / oil on canvas panel / 16x12
 A special treat at the Portrait Society today - Nicole, who is hearing impaired brought her helper dog, Coal, with her. He was so gorgeous and a perfect gentleman.In fact, when a deliveryman knocked at the door, he immediately jumped up and demanded to know exactly who it was that was interrupting us! I badly wanted to paint him but Nicole has such a beautiful and interesting face that I chose to do her portrait instead. If I had brought a larger canvas I think I would have attempted both Nicole and Cole.
Nicole and Coal, her Hearing Aid Dog 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Jaimie and an Art Show

Jaimie / 16x12, oil on canvas panel
 These past two weeks have produced lots and lots of starts for me and very few finished studies. I have been quite unhappy with the way I have been painting and so have wiped off miles and miles of canvas. I was feeling rather down about myself and almost decided not to go to the weekly portrait session this morning. But I set my alarm and forced myself to go, and, of course, had a wonderful time. In the car on the way to the studio, I talked myself into just relaxing and not thinking too much and, thankfully, it seemed to work. Our model was the lovely and serene Jaimie. She is a local college student and has experience modeling for photographers. I can see why! She was so beautiful, held her pose perfectly  and wore a garland of flowers in her hair!

Jaimie and her portrait in progress
 Reno is famous for the month of July being "Art Town" with numerous art related events celebrated throughout the month. As part of the festivities, the Reno Portrait Society is holding a show a of portraits painted by members. The subjects are all models who work at the Reno Food Co-op and that have posed for us over the course of the past year or so. There are so many wonderful portrait artists in this group so I was absolutely astounded to have 5 portraits juried in. Here they are, all framed and ready to go.
Juried selection for Art Town portrait show
The show is going to be held in the gallery space of the First United Methodist Church. It is the oldest church in Reno, being built in 1870 by Methodist missionaries. It was a meeting place for travelers on their way to California to join the Gold Rush - that was before silver was discovered on the Comstock and Reno became a destination in its own right.

First United Methodist Church at corner of First and Sierra Streets - its much more beautiful that the photo depicts.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Glorious Sunday Afternoon!

Caleb / 16x20 / oil on canvas panel
What a great Sunday afternoon! The weather was warm and wonderful with a delicate breeze perfumed by flowering trees and bushes. It was intoxicating and I felt so peaceful, so happy as I headed over to the Museum for open studio. My panel today, at 16 x 20, is the largest size I have used in painting from life. I have been having trouble fitting the model on smaller panels and so wanted to try painting a little larger. As you can see, the figure still ended up barely fitting! It must be me and not the panel size at all! Caleb was the seasoned model as he has posed for many weekday open studio sessions but today was the first time I had an opportunity to paint him. I loved his relaxed pose and pale skin with shadows filled with wonderful color. I painted him in about 2 1/2 hours and may decide to work more on the background in my studio.

Last Wednesday at the open portrait studio session, Kay modeled for us and this was my attempt. I want to call it a feeble attempt as I am not happy with it. She looks too tentative to me, too forced. and, not surprisingly, that is how I felt as I painted.

Kay / 12 x 12 / oil on canvas panel