Sunday, August 30, 2015

Got Candy? -a plein air painting from Balboa Island, CA

oil 9x12 inches This painting is available at the Debra Huse Gallery. Last chance to purchase one of the many great paintings for Just Plein Fun Invitational! Just visit the website to see them all. 949-723-6171 While I was MIA, my husband and I enjoyed a two week once-in-a-lifetime trip to Paris. I hope you enjoy the pictures below. Now we are packing up the house. In the next few weeks we'll move about 10 miles north to Upland. I'm very excited because I'll have a much larger studio for painting and teaching. Don't know if I can keep painting while preparing to move, but I'm going to try.
Montmarte was my favorite place in Paris. It was thrilling to walk the cobblestones the impressionists walked and eat lunch while surrounded by artists selling their work. Sacre Couer, at the top of the hill was my favorite cathedral of the many we visited.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Utilities -a plein air painting from Balboa Island, CA

oil 10x8 inches magnify By the afternoon of the third day I was feeling a bit overbaked and extra crispy from the sun. So I walked to this familiar spot I've painted in the past knowing I could sit in the shade. I hear the residents of the island are not fond of the utility lines and poles and there's talk of burying them. For me, they add to the island charm and are great verticals for paintings! I've always loved the sun and shadow between these two houses. This painting is framed and available at the Debra Huse Gallery, Balboa Island 949-723-6171 IN OTHER NEWS: We will be on vacation for the next two weeks. So there will be no posting and no shipping until after August 27th. See you then!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Banner Day -a plein air painting from Balboa Island, CA

oil 9x12 inches magnify Here's a back of the car shot, the only one I have of the finished painting! We were painting like crazy, framing in the backs of our cars and hanging them wet in the gallery. Sometimes I'd take it off the wall the next day to tweak it a bit the back of my car. In the scene, the cars were a big challenge. Work trucks kept coming and going. But I loved the flags strung up across the street, hence the title. This painting is available at the Debra Huse Gallery, Balboa Island, CA 949-723-6171

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Deck Work -a plein air painting from Balboa Island, CA

oil 9x12 inches magnify The second morning I found a nice place in the shade for this piece. The worker was coming and going, but I got plenty of phone shots of him in different positions. I placed the figure in the initial draw-in, then finished him last using my photo references. The human element always adds life and interest to what otherwise might be a fairly mundane scene. This painting is framed and available at The Debra Huse Gallery, Balboa Island, CA. 949-723-6171

Thursday, August 6, 2015

One Way -a plein air painting from Balboa Island, CA

oil 12x9 inches magnify I painted this on the first afternoon of the Just Plein Fun Invitational. The surfboard in the corner is not immediately noticed, but I intended to make it the focal point along with the umbrella. When I finished the gallery was closed, so I left it framed and in my car overnight. Then I had an idea. In the morning at the back of my car I gave the surfboard a red stripe down the center. It brought a spark to the focal area and a nice foil to the blues, tans and greens throughout the painting. And...I was so excited I forgot to shoot a pic of it! Well you can see it in the gallery and on the website. This painting is available at The Debra Huse Gallery 949-723-6171.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Balboa Bronco -a plein air painting from Balboa Island, CA.

oil 12x9 inches magnify First morning's painting for the Just Plein Fun Invitational. I set up to paint this mechanical horsie and the colorful storefront. Children hopped on an off while I painted, but this one little boy in particular became my official model. Once he discovered I was painting him, he kept coming back to model again and again, looking over at me to see if I was looking at him. Adorable! What a great way to start the week! This painting is available for purchase at The Debra Huse Gallery, Balboa Island. 949-723-6171.
Here are some of the thirteen invited artists. (from top left) Tom Biagini, myself, Michelle Byrne, Sally Jordan, Eileen McCullough, David Solomon, Rita Pacheco, Susie Hyer.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

L-5 Cottage At Crystal Cove -a plein air painting from Crystal Cove State Park -SOLD

oil 9x12 inches magnify This was a fun little piece which sold practically off the easel. The next day we headed home and I started preparing frames and packing up for the Just Plein Fun Invitiational on Balboa Island. Nine paintings in six days, and meeting other was a great experience! Sorry I'm slow lately in my postings, but they're coming up next.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Crystal Cove Overlook -a plein air painting of Historic Crystal Cove -SOLD

oil 11x14 magnify/purchase info I got out to paint one day while we camped at Moro Campground. This view has been painted my many artists over the years, and I was glad to finally have my turn. The morning started cloudy which allowed me to get my shapes in, and as the sun burned through I added the light. You can see that in the progress shots below. Today I'm packing up for Just Plein Fun on Balboa Island. So excited! Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Cloudy Day, Big Bear Lake -a plein air painting from Big Bear, CA.

oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase info Just got back from a beach camping trip, so here I'm finally posting the last of my Big Bear paintings. I got rained on a bit during this one, but I enjoyed it! Holding an umbrella in my left hand slows me down, but that might be a good thing. I have two paintings from Crystal Cove I'm anxious to post next, but in the meanwhile Just Plein Fun on Balboa Island starts Monday! I'm so thrilled to have been invited! I'll be on the Island or in the Fun Zone painting from Monday through Saturday. The two hour "Brush Off" competition is from 4-6 Saturday on Marine Avenue, followed by the Artists Reception and Awards at the Debra Huse Gallery. For more info, click here.

Friday, July 17, 2015


oil 12x9 inches magnify/purchase info Nobody was home in these cabins just a few doors down from where we were staying. I walked down with my afternoon iced coffee and parked myself under the pines. What a nice rustic scene.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Boulder Bay -a plein air oil painting from Big Bear Lake, CA

oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase info I made adjustments in the studio to enhance atmosphere and light. I lightened up the value of the distant mountain and grayed the color to push it back in space. I warmed up the shadow sides of rocks a bit, and added light and warmth to the lit surfaces. Sorry about the wet paint glare in the upper right.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Painting At Boulder Bay

Next day at Big Bear Lake granddaughter Emily (9) and I went out to Boulder Bay. It was Emily's second time painting outdoors. She finished two small acrylics and waited for me to finish this 9x12. Then we headed off to lunch. I'm going to make some adjustments on this one in the studio. IN OTHER NEWS: Just Plein Fun is coming up very soon on Balboa Island. I'm so grateful to have been invited to participate in this event! If you're in So Cal check it out! I love painting on the island, and this time I'll be joining some outstanding fellow artists.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Big Bear Lake From North Shore -a plein air painting from Big Bear, CA

oil 8x10 inches magnify/purchase info Last month I joined my daughter, granddaughter and friends for a scrapbooking weekend at Big Bear Craft Cottage. Each day I went out to paint and played with watercolors in the evening. If you quilt, craft, scrapbook, etc., check out Big Bear Craft Cottage. This painting was from the first day when my navigation led me to the wrong house! I sat waiting for others to arrive, but when they didn't show, I got Starbucks and went off to paint. I finally did get to the right house about dinnertime. Whew! More Big Bear paintings coming up next post. The watercolor sketch below is from the weekend before, camping at Idyllwild Pine Cove. These boulders were right in our campsite. With our kids and grandkids we enjoyed hiking, fishing, horseback riding, archery and the pool. The best part was just being together enjoying nature. A short lull in the action one afternoon allowed me to sit down and sketch a bit. I hope you're enjoying your summer!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ceramic Bird & Stuff -a still life painting in oil

oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase info I painted this one in bits and pieces yesterday and today. I was juggling paint with repairmen for the washer, both refrigerators and a blown electrical circuit. At least I got a lot of breaks. That can be a good thing for a painting. Sometimes. Speaking of breaks, I'll have to break from posting for a while. I'm going to the mountains to paint this weekend, then next week a sewing project and a trip to Idaho. We're going to visit this precious little baby, Emmy May Werner, our seventh grandchild. Emmy was born on Monday and this Gramma has some hugs and kisses to give her!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Three Times Three -a still life painting in oil

oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase info Our camping trip was great. While I get back to normal, here's a painting I did last month but never posted. These little dried pomegranates have made it into more paintings than I can count. They seem to be just the bit of color I need. MORE ON BRUSHES: Last post I realized that by comparing Rosemary's Master Series to Silver's Bristlons it was like apples to oranges. I suspect Rosemary has a line of bristle or synthetic bristle that hold a chisel shape nicely. I only intended to discuss how important it is to consider the different types of marks made with various brushes. Recently I was asked via email how I clean my brushes, since they last so long. So here's what works for me. First, I use turpenoid to get as much paint out of the brush as possible. After trying three different brush soaps, Jack Richeson's Linseed Studio Soap works best for me. I dip the brush in the soap and scrape the excess off on the rim of the jar. Then I work the brush on the bottom of my sink, quickly turning it over, back and forth pushing it into the sink while adding just a tiny bit of warm water. (Don't push it around in a circle. That will ruin the shape.) When it looks like no paint color is coming out of the brush I do the same movement in the warm water to rinse. Then with some hand soap in my hands, I rub the handles to get them clean. Then rinse the whole brush and dry with an old towel, squeezing the excess water out of the bristles, and shaping them. I lay them flat to dry. I used to do this after every painting session. But now if I know I'll be using the same brushes the next day, I just get all the paint out with turp. I try to make sure I don't leave brushes around that haven't been washed. I've heard Murphy's Oil Soap works for a lot of people, but I don't like the smell. Please let me know if these practical tips are helpful, and I'll keep them coming.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Fruit, Flower & Mug -a still life painting in oil

oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase info Yesterday I held a teeny tiny oil workshop in what is normally my watercolor classroom and studio. Just three participants, and they did a fabulous job. This is the 6x6 demo I did for them after lunch. Why is the strawberry almost as big as the apple? That's a baby Granny Smith. So cute and a nice pop of wonderful green! Below you can see each participant's morning value study as they are just starting their color studies. I should have gotten pictures of their finished afternoon 6x6's. I get so focused on the content and guidance that I forget to take pictures! Recently I received an email question about how I clean my brushes. I'll address that in the next post. Meanwhile, we're off camping for Fathers' Day weekend. Have a great weekend, all you dads out there!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Blue Plate Special -a still life painting in oil

oil 10x10 inches magnify/purchase info I wanted to see what all the hoopla was about, so I ordered some Rosemary brushes. These are their Master Series Long Flats. The brushes seem well made and are extremely soft compared to any other brush I've used. That took some getting used to. I decided they're perfect for soft-edged passages, but if I wanted a clear mark or thicker paint I used my Silver Bristlon Flats. In the photo below, you can see after one painting the Rosemarys are splayed a bit even though I carefully cleaned them. (I didn't use the largest one.) The Silver Bristlons (a synthetic) on the right are years old and still have their beautiful chisel shape. I'll use both the Rosemarys and the Bristlons. Once in a while it's fun to use a different type of brush than you're used to. It's good to play with the way you lay down paint.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Yellow Rose 3

oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase info My friend, Mary Jo keeps sharing her roses with me so I can paint them. Let me just say, the rose is a humbling flower to paint. If you have a problem with pridefullness and overconfidence, paint some roses from life. I wiped off the first attempt.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Horse Farm Tunnel -a plein air oil painting from a horse farm

oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase info I couldn't resist the light at the end of this tunnel, a barn on beautiful Baker Scudder Farm in Rancho Cucamonga. Thursday friends and I met up there to paint. Though overcast for most of the day, the dark inside the barn made for some nice contrast. I don't like to make changes once I get the painting home, but this time I risked it. Basically I added more interest in the focal area, and reduced interest in the foreground. Below is how it looked before the changes. I decided the red rake detracted from what I wanted to convey.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sunflower And Poms -a still life oil painting

oil 12x16 inches magnify/purchase info Yesterday I grabbed an old painting that had been lying around my studio minding its own business since 2012. "At least I can improve those gawd-awful greens", I said to myself. So with no still life or photo reference I repainted the entire painting. Really fun!!! Here's the old painting: