Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Over 60

oil on canvas panel 8x10 inches
click here to bid

Friday my friend, Lisa McDill and I got outside to paint. She knows all the cool overlooks in the Chino Hills area. I have an eye for detail which is both a blessing and a curse...hence this busy painting. Even so I like the brushwork, the overall pattern and the loops and curves. Her fabulous painting is visible in the photo, or click here to find it on her website.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Short Leash

oil on canvas panel 10x8 inches
click here to bid

I've been waiting to paint this scene for a long time because frankly, the figures scared me. Now less scared, it was time. We went to Los Angeles for the Amgen Tour of California time trials a couple of years ago where this attendee caught everyone's attention. Like Carol Carmichael said recently, if there was a leg challenge, I could enter this. They really were that long. Things are incongruous here. I looked that word up in my synonym/antonym book. :-) Guess who's walking the dog? Also incongruous.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Class Watercolor Stage 2

An update from my November 15th post. Much like choosing spices for a recipe, we developed a limited color palette by looking at the reference and making little mixed color swatches. A limited palette brings unity to the painting. The little color wheel indicates the pigments chosen. Both the color plan and value study will guide us along. Pictured here is the painting after our first class. The lilies were masked, then an underpainting was applied over the entire paper. The bushes at the top are done in alternating layers of paint and masking fluid, working from light to dark. In fact, all the paintings we do are painted from light to dark, building up in layers, working over the entire painting, a very traditional approach. I don't normally use mask when I paint, but for beginners and teeny things it's helpful. I hope this information is helpful to somebody out there. To see the previous stage "Thumbnails and Value Sketches" go to labels at the bottom of this post. Click on watercolor and scroll down to November 15th.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Old Idaho Winter

watercolor 11x14 1/2 inches
click here to bid

Driving around in Meridian my daughter-in-law was kind enough to circle back and pull over so I could take some shots of this scene. While I was trudging along the side of the road, she worried that somebody would come out of the house with a rifle. I'm told Idaho has more guns per person than any other state. In fact, I shot a few of them while I was there. Oh yeah...back to the painting. Everything looked so cold, but the afternoon light gave the sky a glow that I thought would make a nice painting. Bare trees mean a lot of calligraphy, and they can end up looking spooky. I think the trick is to notice that in general the branches reach up and out, not down. I hope I captured the feel of winter.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Check'n The Map

oil on gallery wrap canvas 8x8x1 1/4 inch
ready to hang
click here to bid

While in San Diego we did a walking tour of Balboa Park. My husband sat down to see where we were going next. The tiles at his feet were also between him and the water, and painted as a solid color field it was reading as a vertical plane instead of horizontal. I had to add some indication of tile pattern receding in space which seemed to help. I've submitted this to Dana Cooper's DPW Challenge; the seated figure. To see the other entries click here.

Monday, January 23, 2012


watercolor and gouache 12x13.5 inches
click here to bid

The rainy weekend got me working in watercolor. I have a big picture window in my watercolor studio over our garage where I can paint and watch the rain fall. The photo reference for this piece was taken on a visit to Joshua Tree National Park. It was late afternoon when we found this oasis. If you dig down a bit you hit water. So cool!!! The only oasies I had ever seen were in cowboy movies, or "shoot'em ups" as my dad called them. Oh yeah, back to the painting. I used some tinted gouache at the end for the man's shirt and blue sky holes (more subtle in the painting than here.) Lots of fun on a rainy day.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Riley Smiles

oil on canvas panel 10x8 inches
private collection Brighton Colorado

Riley the smiling Corgi belongs to my brother and his family. In the photo reference Riley is enjoying the desert with its red dirt. It must have been a cloudy day because there was no division of light and shadow, and yet a little reflection of the sky shone in Riley's eyes. I included most of his body to get that Corgy look; big ears and short little legs. I toned the canvas with thalo red rose and indian yellow which gave it a glow I'm really happy with. This is a late Christmas present. Merry Christmas, Bro! Hope you like it!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tapatio, Tomato & Taupe -sold

oil 8x6 inches
private collection San Juan Island, Washington

I thought about naming this one "Fiesta" because the tomato looks so lively, but I just couldn't resist all those T's. Here's another: Thanks for all your comments. I appreciate every single one.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Familiar Fruit -sold

oil on canvas panel 6x6 inches
click here to bid

Back from Idaho yesterday afternoon, I painted this after dinner last night. It's always good to start back up with something familiar, hence the title. That's a Honeycrisp apple in all its technicolor glory.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Fountain

oil on canvas panel 8x8 inches
click here to bid
shipping available after January 17th

Yesterday fellow painter and blogger Dana Cooper and I met up for a day of plein air at the circle in Orange. This fountain in the circle center just glowed with the morning light. I quickly decided it deserved to be smack dab in the middle of the canvas, dominating the scene. We were oblivious to the cars whizzing in a circle around us, caught up in the perfect weather and the morning light out there painting together. We agreed it was an ideal spot to set up and paint. After a nice lunch we took photos of the area and headed home. I finished it up in my studio last night from memory and photo references. Can't wait to go back!
In other news: Thursday I head off to Meridian, Idaho to visit our son and his family. I'll post again after the 17th when I return. Later!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Three Plus One - sold

oil 6x6 inches
private collection Orange, California

My husband laughed Sunday morning in the produce section of the grocery store when I said, "I knew there were cherries in the stores, 'cause I've seen them in people's paintings." They came from Chile, and they're big and very dark. It's curious how odd numbers are more interesting to the eye than even. Wonder why that is? Even more curious, here are four cherries, but the eye sees them as two odd numbered groups...more interesting than if there were just four in the dish.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Scotsman -sold

oil on linen panel 12x9 inches
private collection Rancho Cucamonga, CA

On Thursday I had the opportunity to paint from the live model with a group at the Chaffey Community Art Association gallery. Our model had never posed before, and he did a fabulous job. He looked so authentic! I'm sure it was his Scottish lineage. Usually I paint only the head, but I couldn't resist the beautiful shirt with its leather laces. Now the scary part was to get the face readable on a small scale. Oh no...here I go again! (The little girl's face in previous painting!) As it turns out, I'm happy with the painting but truthfully, the best part was painting with friends.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


oil on canvas panel 12x9 inches
click here to bid

A cold morning at Fisherman's Wharf. Waiting is hard for little ones. This mother had such as sense of peace, you'd never know she had a preschooler running all over. Her little toddler had the most forlorn expression on her face. (HARD to capture in paint!) I love how she's all snuggled in. This painting took a while. I enjoyed the slightly larger canvas, the cool tones and clear division of light and shadow. I painted the little girl's face several times, then decided I'd done the best I could, time to move on.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Modern Thought-sold

oil on canvas panel 8x8 inches
click here to bid

Another from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, this guy's orange sweatshirt tied in nicely. Again, the blah colored floor and reflected color proved challenging, but I'm happy with how it ended up.