Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Small Joys

oil 6x6 inches not for sale. I was able to squeeze in one more painting before 2014 arrives. A vintage choir boy candle with tiny pomegranates, pine cone and a sprig cut from our Christmas tree. The candle and his companions are my most favorite decorations. Growing up, they were on our mantle every year sitting in a most wonderful spun angel hair. I don't think they make that angel hair any more. Mom is 93 and enjoys seeing them on our mantle now. A friend, Mary Jo, surprised me with these teeny little pomegranates. We were talking about gifts and she said, "The best gifts are the ones you don't expect." So true. Happy New Year everyone! May the year ahead be full of unexpected blessings!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Van Gogh Self Portrait

oil 5x5 gallery wrap canvas I've been getting ready for Christmas. No painting going on here, but plenty of other stuff! Here's a little piece I did last week as a gift for a friend. I'm pretty sure I'll get back to my easel next year. Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone! I hope your celebrations are full of love and laughter.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Evening At Graber Olive House

oil 6x8 inches magnifier SOLD The Graber Family has produced delicious tree ripened olives since 1894. On the property are two great gift shops and this little museum. The sun had set while I was shopping and the glow from inside the museum made for a good nocturne. I really enjoyed painting this little scene, first in watercolor and then in oil a few days later. I've been using thicker oil paint lately, which is fun too.
watercolor approx. 8x8 inches Purchase Information and Magnifier

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Big Sun & Little Blues

oil 6x6 inches click for purchase information and magnifier I managed to squeeze one more sunflower painting in before they started looking sickly. This one is similar to Sunflower With Twig, but with more focus on the center, and the small ones a cornflower blue. A nice combo with the warm yellows. I have it under my drying lamp, so if anybody wants it for a Christmas gift, you'd have it in plenty of time!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Small Fruit & Flower

oil 8x10 inches click for purchase info and magnifier These are little tiny apples with a big big price. Good thing I only bought a few for painting. It remains to be seen which will die first, the sunflowers or my desire to paint them.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Sunflowers & Eucalyptus

oil 16x12 inches click for purchase information and magnifier Some grocery store sunflowers with eucalyptus clippings. Out on old dairy land I found some huge unattended eucalyptus right by the side of the road. I love the variety of greens with the yellow sunflowers. Tomorrow night the 6 Squared show opens at the Randy Higbee Gallery in Costa Mesa. I'm really looking forward to seeing all the great little works and meeting fellow artists!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pomegranate Field Study

oil 8x10 inches click for purchase info and magnifier Dianne and Joe Wheatley own a little gem of a parcel in Chino where they grow pomegranates. They graciously invited me to paint there, and gave me a tour of their house built in the late 1800's. What a pleasantly quiet time it was...the sun trying to come out, chickens roaming and a cat playing with a potato bug. I forgot I was just four miles from home. Can't wait to go back. Below are some shots of my new plein air equipment cart. In case you're looking for a way to carry your stuff, you might want to consider this one from thecontainerstore.com. Main compartment holds tripod, paper towels, umbrella mount and still has extra room. Two side pockets will hold paint tubes, small sketch book, water bottle, wipes, brush washer, apron, bug spray, sunscreen. Back pocket holds umbrella and pole. Panel carriers drape over handle and Coulter Plein Air Box slides down handle too. The cart is very lightweight, moves well in dirt and gravel, folds up, and has a large cooler pouch inside the main compartment. I did a lot of looking before I purchased, and I'm really happy with this cart.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Leaf & Persimmon 2

oil 6x8 inches click for purchase info and magnifier The last of my short persimmon series, as the persimmons have gone to mush. This might be my favorite. I like that linear stem going behind the persimmon.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Leaf & Persimmon -sold

oil 6x8 inches click for purchase information and magnifier This is the second in my persimmon series. I'd better hurry up and post these Fall pieces because it's already time to get out the Christmas decorations! Good news! Thanks to Daily Paintworks, I have a "Buy It Now" feature for this piece. So if you don't want to bother with an auction you don't have to. Quick and easy purchase, and fast shipping too. Click on the link above to check it out.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Persimmons & Leaf

oil 6x8 inches click for purchase info and magnifier Ahhh, the power of the three primaries! Painted with just red, yellow and blue, plus white. Specifically, cad red light, cad yellow medium and ultramarine blue. I like painting these fall leaves, mixing the paint on the canvas with overlapping brushstrokes. Thanks to my daughter, Shelly who shared these perfect for painting persimmons. And while I'm at it, I THANK YOU ALL who follow my blog, leave comments and purchase my paintings. I feel so grateful to be painting nearly every day, and I appreciate you all very much!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sunflower & Twig -SOLD

oil 6x6 inches click for purchase information and magnifier Purple, and hanging over the fence it was. Perfect with a yellow, yellow sunflower. I snipped it off and made this cheerful painting. Wouldn't it look great hanging on your wall? It doesn't even have to match the couch.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chapel Light

oil 10x8 inches click for purchase information and magnifier "We'll leave the (green) light on." It's not every day you see a church painted mauve, and with a green light too. I couldn't resist the color or the shadow patterns either. This little chapel is somewhere in the old part of Chino. I was driving around town a while back just looking for stuff.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


oil 8x8 inches magnifier I painted this back in September while demonstrating at the fair. A new friend, Weezer Scarborough, who also happens to be a fabulous photographer, gave me free reign to use any of her photos. Thank you, Weezer! This one caught my eye over all the beautiful vistas she had captured elsewhere. Here we have life and beauty springing up in spite of rocky circumstances, or maybe because of them. I really loved painting this, and I'm pleased with the result. Tomorrow I'm off to Idaho to visit my son and family. I'll post again when I get back.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Little Pumpkin -SOLD

oil 6x6 inches WHAT? It's November already??? This happy little pumpkin is a day late in wishing everyone "Happy Halloween!" Hope it was all fun. And just for fun, the bidding for this painting starts at just ONE DOLLAR with $5 shipping within U.S.) Wouldn't it look cute as part of your Halloween decor next year? Just place it in a small decorative easel on a table. To join the bidding fun, click here.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fall Still Life

oil 9x12 inches Click for purchase info and magnifier I love the colors of Fall. For this painting I grabbed a pumpkin off our front porch, and some leaves from our neighbor's yard. The 1920's silver water pitcher was a great find at a flea market. I left it tarnished, cause that's the way I like it! This is actually the second painting I did from the subject. On the first go-around I did not take my own advice that design is the most important thing, and if the design drawn on your canvas doesn't look good, no amount of excellent painting will improve it. Lesson learned (again!) The more I paint, the more need to learn...and re-learn.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fall Bouquet -SOLD

oil 12x9 inches click for more accurate color and magnify feature Another painting from the same grocery store bunch. I loved working with all the subtle variations of greens. Greens can be tricky. I don't use any tube greens. I mix all my greens with combinations of ultramarine blue, cad yellow medium, and cad yellow light. For a brighter green I use thalo blue instead. But I almost always add cad red light. Somebody told me once, "Every good green has some red in it." I think it's true. Of course sometimes a careful touch of T white is needed.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


oil 12x6x1 1/2 inches click for purchase info and magnifier I prepped this canvas with oil ground. Then for the painting, I toned with burnt umber and wiped it down. The texture and color gave it a stained look that I liked so much, I decided to paint only the objects and no background. The image wraps around the sides. I really like the rustic look of this, and I LOVE the eucalyptus. The blue-greens are so yummy! After this, I went driving around looking for eucalyptus trees I could cut from for future paintings. I found some gigantic unattended ones in dairyland. Woo hoo!!! Here's the painting leaning on our fence so you can see how it wraps around the sides.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Armstrong's Fountain

oil 16x12 inches (painting), framed. click for purchase information and zoom feature I loved this fountain the minute I found it in the courtyard at Armstrong's Nursery. The lion heads got me first, and then the sound of the water. The dappled light was appealing and challenging too. This is one of those pieces that invites your eye to wander rather than making a simple bold statement. Though I think it's well painted, it received no recognition in the plein air competition. Ah well...there's always next year. I'll just keep on painting.
The frame is wood, 2 1/4 inches wide, dark cherry.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pismo Sands

oil 9x12 not for sale Of the paintings I did at the Fair, this is one of my favorites. I plan to paint a larger version, which is why it's not for sale. Tomorrow is the Tustin Art Walk and I'm all packed and ready. Armstrong's Nursery there in Old Town Tustin gave me permission to set up in their patio area and paint their beautiful fountain. So for the past three mornings I painted in the shade listening to the fountains nearby. Not a bad deal! Hope to get a good shot of the finished painting tomorrow morning before I take it to the judging area. Thinking about coming out for the Art Walk? There'll be 60 artist booths, live music and wine tasting too! I'll be near the corner of Prospect and Main. Come say hi and hang out a while!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Camp Store

oil 9x12 inches click for purchase information and zoom Every evening while camping in Big Sur the sun seemed to go down so quickly behind the big redwoods. The little camp store would glow in the shadows, inviting campers inside. They had a little bit of anything you might need. Today I painted in Old Town Tustin. I hope to get a good painting by Friday for the Plein Air Competition on Saturday. If you're local, I hope you'll come out and enjoy the day. The weather will be cooperating this year. Come enjoy the art and live music. For more info, click here.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Redwood Shadows -sold

oil 16x12 inches click for purchase information and zoom In August we took our little RV up the coast to Pismo Beach, then Big Sur. Our favorite was a quiet spot near the Big Sur River surrounded by huge redwoods. One day we rode our mountain bikes on HWY 1 to Pfieffer Big Sur State Park where we then hiked to Pfieffer Falls. Not an easy hike for us, but beautiful. Never having painted a forest scene before, I figured it would be a challenge, and it was. But I loved how the light made the red bark glow, so I thought it would be fun to try it in paint. In the painting and in my photo file, the tree trunks are in rich dark shadow. I don't know why the whole painting is lighter when posted to Blogger. To see an accurate image click here: My gallery at Daily Paintworks.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Blue On Blue

oil 6x6 inches click for purchase information and zoom I always enjoy painting these tiny Dutch ceramics pieces. This time my friend, Elizabeth offered me a selection of her collage papers to place it on. While painting this at the fair, I got a great question from a field trip chaperone. Looking at my usual palette of colors she asked, "If what you're painting is all blue and white, then why do you have all those other colors (on your palette)?" I explained that almost nothing in real life is color straight out of the tube, and that also the color is different depending on whether it is in light or shadow, close to you or far away. I explained how I need the three primaries and white all the time to make subtle variations of color. I showed her quickly with little dabs of color. She was fascinated! This was my favorite question for the whole month of the fair. Basic color theory. It's really very simple. I wondered, why don't we all learn this in school like counting and the alphabet? There's an amazing world of color around us all the time, and the more you understand about color, the more amazing it is!!! UPCOMING EVENTS: Tustin Art Walk and Plein Air Competition Saturday, Oct 19. 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, Old Town Tustin.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Pottery And Poms

oil 8x16 inches click for purchase information and zoom Last of the pomegranate paintings for now. This is an old honey pot I still love though the lid broke years ago. I included the sticks for linear elements, otherwise everything would be curvy. UPCOMING EVENTS: Tustin Art Walk and Plein Air Competition, Saturday, October 19th. I'll paint on the streets of Old Town Tustin the 16 through the 18th. Then I'll bring lots of work for viewing and sale in my booth on the 19th. More later on my exact location. It's a fun day of art an music not to be missed! This painting is available at Vander Molen Fine Art, Arcadia, CA.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pom With Sticks -SOLD

oil 6x6 inches click for purchase information and zoom Here's number two of three pomegranate paintings I did at the fair. We're back from a great little camping trip to the beach which included sunshine, biking and a nice dinner out to celebrate our 39th anniversary. One day I even pulled on my old wetsuit to romp in the surf 'till I decided the romp was a bit too rough for me, and no lifeguard either. Didn't want anybody to have to tell my six grandkids that Gramma drowned trying to body surf!! How humiliating! HA! One more pomegranate painting after this and then it's on to a variety of things I painted at the fair....25 paintings was my final total. Not that the number matters of course, but hey...I was just keepin' busy.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Three Pomegranates

oil 6x12 inches magnify/purchase A fellow artist brought in a branch from her pomegranate bush. The variations of color made this one especially fun. I used thalo red rose mixed in for some of those bright hot pinky reds. We're off to go camping for a few days at the beach. I'm looking forward to some rest and ocean air! Be back in a few days.

Friday, September 27, 2013


oil 12x9 inches click for purchase information and zoom This is the last of the four pieces painted from my photos of Mission San Antonio de Padua. The mission is located within the perimeters of an Army Base. On Sunday morning it was great to see service men and women arriving for mass. Inside the chapel a patriotic bunting is always kept over one of the front pews in honor of fallen soldiers. The day I visited, light was coming in onto that pew.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mission Courtyard

oil 12x9 inches click for purchase information and zoom Just five days remain of the Los Angeles County Fair. So far I've completed twenty paintings. Talking with the general public who come to see what I'm doing has been rewarding and interesting. Visitors have lots of compliments and questions too. Questions about my materials, and of course, how "long does it take you to do that?" Well, "five hours and eight years of study and practice." And there are stories about their aunt, or dad or grandma who paints. On Sunday I got the most insulting question ever, which I refused to answer, and won't repeat here. But soon after, a family from Upland came by. Ten year old Jordan has been following my blog and came to meet me. She found my blog a while back by searching "artist". Surprised and delighted, I shook her hand, we talked briefly and they were off to enjoy the rest of the fair. Wish I'd taken a picture! So here's a shout out to Jordan from Upland: Thank you for finding me! It was a delight to meet you, and you made my day!!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mission Sunrise

oil 9x12 inches click for purchase information and zoom Last spring while visiting the Mission San Antonio de Padua I stood in this damp field early one morning and painted. I also took some great shots of the light just beginning to strike the buildings. I used one of those shots as my photo reference for this painting. I loved the light and shadow of course, but also how the dew on the grasses turned them a dusty blue green. In my photo of the painting the greens are soft like I painted them, but when I post it to Blogger they look yellow and garish. As usual, better in person.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mission Hallway

oil 8x8 inches This is the first of four paintings from reference photos taken at the Mission San Antonio de Padua. I visited there last spring with fifty fellow members of the California Art Club. I'm holding onto this little painting to use it for painting a larger version. I might put it up for sale at a later date.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Solvang Windmill

8x10 inches click for purchase information and zoom While painting at the Fair I have time to draw from my backlog of resource photos. In my travels last spring I found this sunlit windmill early one morning. The little town of Solvang was just waking up and the smell of cheese danish was in the air.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Still Life With Amber Bottle -SOLD

oil 6x12 inches click for purchase information and zoom Another still life "landscape." This little amber bottle has starred in a few of my paintings. In this set up, I loved the muted tones in the apple sitting in the shadow of the amber bottle.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Still Life With Baby Shoes

6x12 inches click for purchase information and zoom I like the idea of a still life with objects lined up. This wide format is perfect. Think of it as a still life landscape, if you will. I painted these baby shoes once before, a few years ago. It was even more fun this time. I'm very happy with how this one turned out. This painting is available at Vander Molen Fine Art, Arcadia, CA

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Natural Snack 2 -SOLD

oil 6x8 inches click for purchase information and zoom I had this "landscape cotton" panel with me at the fair. A rougher texture than I usually work on, I thought it would lend some texture to another "natural snack" painting. The fair is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so I just enjoyed two much needed days at home to catch up on things. On Monday laundry, and I took two naps! Just like a baby, one in the morning and one in the afternoon! Guess I was tired. Today I took advantage of our temps in the high 80's (instead of 100's) while I beat back the backyard jungle, planted more jungle, killed some ants and periodically jumped into the pool. Now I'm high on vitamin D and fresh smoggy air and ready to paint at the fair again tomorrow. This painting is available at Vander Molen Fine Art, Arcadia, CA

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sill Life With Doll

oil 12x9 inches click here for purchase information and zoom These objects made a nice muted green and violet color scheme. I also liked the contrasting textures of metal, ceramic and fabric. The doll's small face was difficult. My first two attempts were pretty scary looking. I thought it was funny how just teeny tiny touches of paint could make a mouth or eye go from wrong to scary, to deformed, then finally right. Pardon the glare around the cup handle.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Pleasant Valley Oranges

oil 10x10 In the Gallery Store at the Fair we have beautiful citrus crate labels for sale. I borrowed one for the backdrop to these oranges. Since I didn't include the Pleasant Valley text at the top of the label, I knew it might read as a window, or who knows what. Painted on an oil primed Gessobord, the surface was not what I was used to, so this one was a fun experiment.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Still LIfe With Sunflower

oil 8x16 inches In three and a half days of the Fair I have done five paintings. This is the largest and my favorite. I love the neutral greens and browns possible when I mix transparent red oxide, cad yellow medium and ultramarine blue. Don't know if I'll put this one up for sale or not.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

Natural Snack

oil 6x6 inches click for purchase information and zoom I love the Granny Smith green with the red grapes. Leaving them on my wood cutting board gave it a natural look that I really like. All the color is muted just a bit which helps too. Today I'm off to Opening Day at the LA COUNTY FAIR. Lots of painting time ahead, as the fair runs the entire month of September. Last year resulted in 22 paintings! My days there are long, so I'll have to sneak in a post when I can. For all of you locals, come and hang out! Look for the Millard Sheets Gallery. It's cool inside, and there's a huge variety of art to see.