Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Patio Daisies

oil 10x10 inches magnify/purchase info Number 30 in my 31 paintings in 31 days. The light daisies against the dark background makes this a bold painting. I enjoyed painting these common objects on my back patio.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Anza Borrego -plein air paintings from the California Desert

Near the end of January we had scheduled camping trip to Anza Borrego State Park. I had painted there before, but this time the challenge would be squeezing in a painting on arrival day after driving and setting up camp, then again on departure day. With some planning it all worked out. Below are my four daily paintings. If you're interested in a purchase just email me:
DESERT DUSK 6x8 inches. Barely time enough to squeeze this one in. Late afternoon. The sun dropped behind that mountain and instantly the light was gone.
CAMPGROUND PALMS 10x8 inches A morning painting followed immediately by a wind storm. When your paper towel roll is rolling away you are done!
DESERT CHOLLA 9x12 For those of you not familiar with cactus, this is a particularly nasty plant full of fine and painful needles. But boy is is beautiful when the sun shines through. Difficult to capture in paint, but I had fun trying.
BOTANICAL BORREGO 9x12 inches Right outside the campground visitor center there's an informative nature walk. I liked the variety in this grouping, and I liked the nearby restroom too. Always a bonus.
My husband accompanied me on this trip. We enjoyed the many sculptures outside the little town of Borrego Springs, great Mexican Food in town, a hike up Palm Canyon and the REALLY dark quiet nights. So peaceful. I hope you've enjoyed this epic post.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Apple, Grapes & Green

oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase info This one was painted on a black gessoed panel. It results in a bold look if you leave little bits of the black gesso showing though. Believe me, it's always a challenge to NOT slather every speck of the canvas with paint as if I was painting a wall in my house and going for 100% coverage!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Modern Grannies

oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase info Once in a while I enjoy painting a fabric pattern in contrast with some very simple objects. I love solving the problem of getting values right even though the pattern's colors change within a shadow shape. The fabric texture is a result of light coverage and some scraping back. More fun stuff. Number 24 of my 31 January paintings. I hope you like it. We are nearing the home stretch, folks! Newer paintings are piling up. I paint faster than I post.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Still Life With Wine Bottle

oil 12x12 inches magnify/purchase info Number 23 of my 31 January paintings. I'm especially happy with the color scheme here; deep reds with that clean blue and natural greens. The objects give it an earthy feel. That's a handmade botanical greeting card in the back from my friend Mary Jo. It carries the horizontal plane beyond the subject matter. Thanks again, Mary Jo.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Turquoise Pitcher

oil 8x8 inches magnify/purchase info Number 22 of 31 paintings in 31 days, this is one of my favorites. For me, the benefit of painting every day like I did in January, is being able to work with confidence instead of second guessing as I go along. It results in loose looking brushwork; laying down a stroke and leaving it alone, moving on to the next area and not fussing with things as I go. This painting is a good example. It has the freshness I'm looking for in my work. Back when I was painting mostly watercolor I heard this: "Do you want your painting to be like fresh sushi or well-done beef?" I'm going for the sushi. I've got to paint every day.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Fall Cupcake

oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase info I loved the subtle color of this cupcake I found at a local bakery back in the fall. It sat in my fridge for a couple of months before I painted it. Hard as a rock, but looked just the same as the day I brought it home! Wish you could see this one in person. It's a sweet little painting, no pun intended.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Chocolate Cheesecake -a still life painting in oil

oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase info I started painting desserts several years ago, and still they are among my favorite still life subjects. In a nice frame they make great little kitchen paintings whether on the wall or counter top in a decorative easel. This painting is a personal favorite of my 31 January paintings. "Did it taste as good as it looks?", I'm often asked. They usually don't, according to my husband.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Cow Named Mocha -a plein air painting from Amy's Farm

oil 9x12 magnify/purchase info Afternoon at Amy's Farm, Mocha was intent on her lunch and staying there a while it seemed. I set up quickly, snapped a lot of pictures and painted her first. She changed positions several times, so I relied on memory and the photos. Mocha is the new bovine star to groups of children on field trips at Amy's Farm. I painted her predecessor, the late "Grandma Tina", back in 2014. (below, sold.)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Leftovers -a still life painting in oil

oil 8x8 inches magnify/purchase info Number 16 of 31 paintings in 31 days. I'm sorry it's so long between posts. Life has been hectic lately! Though I have been painting, I haven't been sitting down at the computer to post. This painting is an assortment of leftovers from my still life workshop. There is something refreshing about orange and green together. Grapes thrown in for a dark value.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Blue Plate Special

oil 6x8 inches magnify/purchase info #15 from the Strada Easel Challenge, 31 paintings in 31 days. This is a demonstration I did for my January two day workshop.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Blue Bowl Bird

oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase info #13 in the Strada Easel Challenge. This is one of my ceramic birds. Wouldn't it be great if a real bird could pose while I paint?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Patty's Pitcher -a still life in oil

oil 8x8 inches magnify/purchase info Number 12 in the Strada Easel 31 Day Challenge. Continuing with the orange and green color scheme, this is a collection of various objects I especially enjoy painting. Variety of texture is something I consider oftentimes. Here we have glass, ceramic, wood (kinda), flower and paper. The greeting card gives more solidity to the horizontal plane the objects share.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Notions -a still life painting in oil

oil 8x8 inches magnify/purchase info Here we have things in a jar again, and I continued with the orange and green color scheme. This will look great in my sewing room if someone doesn't snatch it up. # 11 in the Strada Easel 31 Day Challenge, 31 paintings in 31 days.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Cad Orange -a still life painting in oil

oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase info On days when I have just a little time to paint, I paint small. This was one of those days. For you fellow painters out there, when you don't know what to paint you can paint what you paint with. I'm always attracted to the grungy patina on my brush washer and never tire of painting it. Orange and green as a color scheme was new for me and with this painting I inadvertently started a mini series of orange and green which you'll see in my next few posts. A painting about cad orange, but ironically I almost never use cad orange. I mix my oranges with cad yellow light and cad red light, both Utrecht. (Brand makes a difference in the yellow.) Number 10 in the Strada Easel 31 Day Challenge. IN OTHER NEWS: I'll soon set dates for March and April 2 Day Workshops in my studio here in Upland, Ca. If you'd like to be on my email list for workshop notifications, send me an email at

Thursday, February 9, 2017


oil 12x12 inches magnify/purchase info I can't even begin to tell you how much fun I had with this. Number 9 in the Strada Easel Challenge, 31 paintings in 31 days.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Afternoon Lemons -a plein air painting of lemons

oil 12x12 inches magnify/purchase info Each sunny day during the January challenge I tried to make it a plein air day. When my painting time was short because of other demands, I looked for subjects in my back yard. A still life outdoors is something I've wanted to do for a long time, so I quickly set thie up. It was late so I had to paint furiously before the shade enveloped the whole yard. I even moved the whole setup about half way through to the last patch of sunshine. Still, the last 30 minutes I painted from memory. I like the looseness of this time to tighten up or overwork.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

That's A Big Marble -SOLD

oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase info I enjoy painting glass. Glass in glass is even better. This is number 6 in the Strada Easel Challenge.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Spanish Olives -a still life painting in oil

oil 8x6 inches magnify/purchase info I'm fascinated by how shape and color change inside a jar. This is #5 in the Strada Challenge, 31 paintings in 31 days, all painted from life.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Patio Seating -a plein air painting from my backyard

oil 8x8 inches magnify/purchase info When finding a subject outdoors I look for light and shadow. It was a clear morning, when light is strong and clean. I got excited about the shadow moving across the chair. The basket holds limes from our tree. Did you know that fully ripe limes are yellow? This is #4 in the Strada Challenge: 31 paintings in 31 days.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Overcast, Abalone Point -a plein air painting from Crystal Cove, Laguna Beach, CA

oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase info Third day of the Strada Challenge I had the pleasure of joining the PAM (Plein Air Mission) painters down at Laguna Beach. Painting can be a very solitary endeavor, so getting together with like minds was refreshing! Thanks to Bob Francis who invited me.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Camellias -a plein air painting from my backyard

oil 8x8 inches magnify/purchase info Right up against my studio wall grows this camellia bush in all it's glory. It was here when we moved in more than a year ago. It always reminds me of my mother. I think we had camellias when we lived in Santa Ana from the time I was two until I was twelve. I can see her bringing in a few and floating them in a shallow bowl. If purchased, this painting ships after Feb. 1.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Valencias -a plein air painting of oranges

oil 8x8 inches magnify/purchase info This is the first painting for the Strada Easel Challenge: 31 paintings in the 31 days of January. Probably hundreds of artists have signed up for this. Each day we post on Facebook #stradaeasel. There's a chance to win a Strada Easel at the end of the month. In addition to the goal of painting every day, I have set some personal goals: paint 50% of them outdoors (didn't know we'd have this much rain!), paint what is around me, paint things I've wanted to paint for a long time but never have gotten around to it. So far I have 17 paintings. Eventually they'll all be posted here on my blog for sale. Please note, if you purchase, shipping will be after February 1. About this painting: I set up in our backyard and painted one of our orange trees-something I've wanted to do for a long time. The next day I added a few more oranges in shadow on the left for balance. It's still heavy on the right, but hey! our juicy oranges are heavy! Long post! If you have read this entire post, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Pear & Grapes -a still life painting in oil

oil 6x6 magnify/purchase info A simple painting, and one of my favorite color combinations. Next post, painting number one in the Strada Easel Challenge.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Primary Things -a still life painting in oil

oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase info One of my October paintings. Thank you to my friend, Lorry for this cute little blue vase. It was pretty difficult to paint, but it's going to come in handy when I need a bit of blue in a painting. On January 1 I started painting every day as part of the Strada Easel Challenge on Facebook. 31 paintings in 31 days. Very soon I'll start posting those paintings here for sale. If you're on Facebook, you can send me a friend request (Karen Laster Werner), and get a sneek peek of the 11 paintings so far.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Cherry Jar

oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase info Still catching up. I painted this one in October! Have you ever looked closely at stuff inside a glass jar? The changes in shapes and colors intrigues me. I should paint more stuff inside jars.