Thursday, February 05, 2015

Oil Painting of Crystalline Glaze Tea Pot and Eggs

"Two for Tea"
Oil on Board, 9" x 12"

Hot off the easel. I just finished this little piece. Usually I paint by the north light that comes in from the large arched window in the studio. I started this under north light, however, here in Washington in the winter, the light fades fast and with so many overcast or rainy days, the light fades even faster in my studio. I like to paint in all day sessions but the fact that by 2:00, it's too dark, put a damper on my work day. So I added some artificial light to supplement. It did warm things up a bit and made it possible to work through the day, but I'm not entirely happy with the cast the light put on my set up. The shadows turned rather cool in response to the warmer light and the work just didn't have the same feel. I'm thinking that in the future, I'll either paint entirely in warm artificial light or just wait out the weather. Your comments are always welcome.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Oil Painting of Magnolias in a Red Vase

"The Red Vase"

Oil on Linen

I finished this piece some time ago and it is hanging in Gallery 9.  Somehow, though, it never got posted here. It's a small but unassuming piece and yet I like it because of the strong shapes and the bright red vase which pops the piece.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Oil Painting of the Virgin Mary

Madonna in Moonlight
16" x 20", Oil on Linen

A commission for the virgin was my Christmas project. She's kept me busy for some time but was worth the fun and challenge. The composition is a traditional triangle which also represents the Holy Trinity and lends stability to the painting. Mary is painted in moonlight and has a soft halo around her head. The background is stark and rather simplified to bring attention to Mary and represents the world before Christ came into it. Unlike more traditional paintings of the Virgin, Mary is depicted alone, engaged with her unborn child. Her expression has a slightly sad but sweet smile prompting the viewer to wonder at her thoughts.

This piece was very difficult to do as the subject is in moonlight. Under normal conditions at night, the cones in the eye shut down leaving the rods, which depict light and only the colors of blue and green, to do the work. This generally renders the landscape in tones of blue and green. Reds show up as black. Obviously, one can't paint a figure in all blues, greens and black. She'd look like the daughter of Dracula. So I needed to take a lesson from the masters on this and used mostly cool variations of skin tones with cool reds to warm the features. Depending on your monitor, she will either appear a bit cool or a bit too warm. In person, she looks neither. On my monitor the painting appears a bit bright, but she is resting in a dim environment.

I have prints and cards available of this painting. Email me to inquire.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Trompe L'oeil


Oil on Linen, 9" x 12"

About ten years ago, I was primarily a pastel artist. It was about that time that I became interested in still life, having worked primarily on landscape. My early forays into this genre were mainly trompe l'oeil or "fool the eye" kinds of things. I thought I'd try my hand at it in oil. Depending on your screen the colors may or may not look convincing. The screen can do nasty things to color temperature which in a piece like this makes all the difference.  Do wish you could see this in person. It's more fun. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Oil Painting of a Rose in Cut Glass Vase

"Red Rose in Cut Glass"

9" x 12", Oil on Linen Panel

Time for a little alla prima piece. While polished realist pieces offer a challenge in terms of bringing a painting to convincing finish, alla prima painting (painting in one sitting), offers a freshness and immediacy that's hard to accomplish over several sittings. I try to keep my hand in alla prima painting because I learn more about color and paint handling by doing them. It also allows me to complete more paintings in a given amount of time, thereby increasing my practice. While viewing my two kinds of work may be sometimes confusing to a patron, I think that my personal handwriting manages to show through in both. What can I say. I have Gemini on my midhaven. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Oil Painting of Sea Shell

"Sea Gift"
Oil on Linen, 6" x 8"

A class mate at Georgetown Atelier, created a very large beautiful still life of a huge conch shell the year we graduated. Of course, I've never forgotten that shell and the work that Holly put into it.  This can't hold a candle and it's quite small to boot. But I'm still happy with it.  I framed it in a beautiful arched frame that looks spectacular with it and will be hanging it at Gallery 9 this September. I plan to do a series of these small paintings in arched frames. Eventually, I should have enough to do a whole show of them. Fun!

Friday, August 08, 2014

Floral Oil Still Life

"Summer Medley"Oil on Linen, 24 1/2" x 20"

It's been a beautiful summer up here in the great Northwest. And though I haven't posted (my bad), I've been busy. Although I'm noted among my friends for having a black thumb and I have trouble growing them, I still love to paint flowers.This one took a while between family visits and other things - among them plumbing woes.

I'm proud to announce that I am a new artist at Gallery 9 in Port Townsend, WA. I showed for the first time this past Saturday for the Port Townsend Gallery Walk. If you get out that way, come and visit. It's a beautiful gallery with a great stable of fine artists. 

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Oil on Linen Mounted on Board

Oil study of Asian woman

Jen models for my Monday life drawing group. This time around she wore a white satin wedding kimono but dropped it off her shoulders. The little painting is only 6" X 8" but it carries a bigger impact. To check out the auction at, click here.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Nude Study

"Study of Jen"

Oil on Linen

When working toward a more polished piece, I fall back on training and work out a couple of color studies first.  I wanted to get a general sense of the skin tones for this painting of a nude, and so turned out this study today. I'll more than likely do a couple of more of just her head and then a few of her feet before I'm satisfied that I have the color where I want it. But I liked the way this one came out today so I'm posting it. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Female Nude

"What Dreams May Come"
Oil on Linen Panel, 8" x 6"

The figure is my favorite subject. I never tire of painting the nudes or even costumed models. Once a week I sponsor a figure drawing group at my studio and together we pay for 2 1/2 hours of a model's time. This model in particular is a dream to work with. I knocked out this little study the other day. She's for sale. To view the auction or bid, click here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Painting of Asparagus

"The Great Escape"
Oil on Linen Board, 6" x 8"

Painting asparagus proved to be more of a challenge than I thought they would be. I wanted to get detailed enough to get the little devils to look like themselves, but not too detailed. As it was, a painting that I intended to spend only a couple of hours on, turned into a five day fiasco. Now, you ask, "what possibly could have taken her so long to do?" Well, actually, the painting time wasn't all that much. But because of numerous interruptions and emergencies, I ended up having to abandon the piece time after time while the asparagus continued to wither on the stand. One of the drawbacks of painting food from life is that you have to get the little devils done in a day. These actually started to grow and twist. One of them actually grew about eight inches long; right off the corner of the painting! One of the rubber bands broke (still don't know where it went) and they started turning a bit orangey brown. Definitely not the painting I had in mind. I think the title fits. Not only did one of the asparagus escape it's confines, I finally finished and escaped the studio and all the asparagus escaped getting eaten. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Painting of Three Pears, 6" x 8"

"Conquering Hero", Oil on Linen, 6" x 8"

Pears always make a good painting. There's something about their shape and the variety of colors that they come in. I painted these cute little fruits in a more layered technique than usual, using glazes and a bit of scumbling. I generally paint small pieces as alla prima works, or works done in a single sitting for Daily Paintworks, but my sessions kept being interrupted by one thing or another and so it evolved into a longer painting with more passes. The title came to me in a heartbeat when I put them on the cloth, turned around for a second and then turned back to arrange them and they had arranged themselves. Cute huh?  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Still Life of Egg and Japanese Lanterns

"Egg with Japanese Lanterns"

Oil on Linen Board, 8" x 6"

Eggs are nature's wonder. They're the perfect food, have a wonderful shape, come in many colors, and flavors, if you count chocolate. And...they're wonderful to paint. They glow from within.  I have a farmer girl for one of my students and she brings me fresh eggs. This one had a very slight green cast to it that intrigued me. I kind of hung on to it for future paintings. It has its own little spot in the fridge.  It would probably be dreadful to eat by now, but it's still lovely to paint. The Japanese Lanterns were a gift from a good friend. Thank you, Anne!

Click here to bid or just view the auction. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Oil Painting of Mountains

Alpine Morning

8" x 6", Oil on Linen Board

I painted this mountain landscape from Hurricane Ridge this past summer. It was mid morning when I started and nearly noon when I finished but I think I captured the earlier moment in this little plein air painting.

Click here to see the auction.