Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Argggggg what's going on?

I've been working sporadically during all this time of no posts, mostly on a large portrait of Jerry Garcia, which has been reworked and reworked probably to the point of death.  Every experience has its learning curve and this one has made me literally go back to the drawing board. This is what this painting has taught me so far: don't begin  a color painting with an unsatisfactory black and white photograph, do an excellent drawing before starting to paint, do a small study decide what style the painting will be in and then stick to it, don't combine different photos on the spur of the moment, or in the heat of battle, don't switch to student grade paints because the painting is large and you are a cheapskate. As you can tell I made quite a few mistakes and the painting has been a battle pretty much all the way. And I spent a ton of time on it. So... angst and performance anxiety abound and inhibit.

When not struggling with that stupid portrait, I watched a bunch of inspiring videos on painting. One of my favorite artists is Scott Noel, whose work I've been following for years at the Gross Mcleaf Gallery in Philidelphia and one day as I was trolling the wonderful blog Art Odyssey, I found his work and a video by John Thorton, who's made a bunch of great art videos, and then I found more videos, etc. I found a new brilliant artist to love named Vincent Dessedario, who paints from an apparently photographic memory. Thank you John Thorton. You can check out his videos here:
John Thorton

Last week I took a fabulous workshop in Barque drawing at the Southern Atelier with Charles Miano, Elizabeth Jenness-Burge and Mandy Hallenius. Check out the Southern Atelier here:
Southern Atelier
As I said earlier, I've literally gone back to the drawing board. I bought a set of the plates and the book and I'm going to do the course! I'll have an add on blog for the drawings. I've always struggled with drawing and lately, I'm tired of fixing drawing mistakes in an otherwise decent painting. So that's my long winded story of why there are no posts. I did do a nutcracker painting, which I'll post later, need to photograph it.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Starbursts and Jellybeans

I wanted to paint some jellybeans and had these 4 left at the bottom of my candy jar and there were some starbursts too, so I decided to add them. At first I thought that the color combination was off, but then it grew on me. I like the reflections on the plate.
Still listening to the Fall of Giants.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Tropical Fruit

Star fruit always make me think about my brother who worked in a produce store as a teenager and introduced my family to its tart flavor. Hey Charlie.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014


Fall is very exciting in Florida! O.k. not very exciting, more like something to be endured, kind a like February and March in New York. We're currently happy the temperature has dropped into the 80's. Ooo it's only gonna be 86 today. Perhaps I'll wear my fur lined boots today. On the bright side, we do have acorns and it's almost over. Soon it will be paradise for about 6 months and I'll remember why I moved here. Maybe...

A Pair of Pears

How can you tell if the still life is finished? Easy, just knock it over and if the pears transform into mush on the carpet, it's done!
I'm now listening to Fall of Giants by Follett. Wonderful.


This was meant to be a first pass, but for now, I like it the way it is.


Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Blue Plate Special

Still listening to The Winter of the World by Follett. It continues to be excellent.

Monday, August 25, 2014


I've been gone for a couple of weeks because I went back to work also because I was working on two larger paintings that aren't resolved yet. What a pleasure it was to be back in the studio and painting again. I had a similar still life set up for a while and finally, I got around to painting it. I found this bug last year and have been meaning to paint it but I guess I was intimidated by the wings.  I found a dragon fly too, so I guess there's more bugs to come. I'm hoping to find a butterfly and birds eggs. I'm always looking for weird stuff when I walk my dog. Recently I found a plastic teradactyl.
I listened to Ken Follett's The Winter of the World while painting this picture. I highly recommend it and his other books, as well. He's just brilliant!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Chinese Bowl


Brown and Blue

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ellipses with Pear

I've been working bigger for me, that is. This painting is 9x9", but it's not just the size that's different it's the glass and cloth too. This was a challenge and I've been working on it these past few days. I'm glad to be finished!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bleeding Hearts

I finished listening to Bertie Sings the Blues, which was interesting, lighthearted and profound in the way of McCall Smith and I also finished reading The Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah, which was about what happened to some people from Sierra Leone after a fairly recent war. This book describes a reality that is hard to comprehend from extreme brutality and poverty to intelligent and insightful children and families trying to find hope and thrive within an insane system. I recommend this book.
I'm also working on a portrait of Jerry Garcia for a friend of mine. It's 24x30," which is really large for me and so far I'm working in acrylic. I thought I'd go wild with color and brushstrokes but that hasn't happened yet. Acrylic has the advantage of being easily thinned with water, so it can go on fast. I don't like to use a lot of gamsol in the house even if does it has low fumes, so I have to figure out a way to get my oils flowing. I also had in mind smoke rising because Jerry's smokin of course, but first I wanted to sort out my drawing and values as you can see isn't done yet. I have to use a second photo for his right hand because the hand is cut off in my first pic.Here's a pinterst site about the dead:

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Apricot and Plums

Listened to Bertie Plays the Blues, by McCall Smith while painting this.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Blue Sky Vine

Planted this vine about 8 years ago and it's amazing. Grows 50 feet a year. Anyway, I thought I'd try posting my painter's progress, but I forgot after the first picture. Next time I'll take more. I think in the past I didn't have a definite linear type process, but lately I'm developing one. Still listening to Cutting for Stone. Gosh, or should I say Gooshe, those twins were lucky in their adoptive parents.

Colorful Pears

I'm working a little bigger than I have been. This is a whopping 5x7". Anyway, look forward to eating them. Still listening to Cutting for Stone.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

July 2-4

These are what I've been working on during the past few days. I wanted to paint metal. I have a still life set up with a bunch of metal objects and I wanted to practice first. Today I painted pears, but didn't quite finish. Waiting for the day when I can get it right the first time. Hah!
 Still listening to Cutting for Stone. I love the reader and the story even though I've already read it, a couple of years ago, it's still amazing. I'm also reading  Radiance of Tomorrow, which also takes place in Africa. It's really good too, but I think it's going to be sad. I love the title.
Trying to remember where I got this little Buddha head. It's some kind of metal and it seems some how authentic. I love the ears.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

PB and J

I painted this for the DPW's weekly challenge. I listened to Cutting for Stone - awesome.

Cute Little Bugger

My talented dad makes these flies, I guess they're called. Anyway this time I painted one and nabbed a few more for further painting. I think it's so cute and when I showed my dad, he said, "cute little bugger," hence the title. That's the extent of my painting for the 2 weeks I spent in NY. I did go to the Met and saw some wonderful paintings. This time I focused on the Dutch paintings, but saw many others including the American wing. Museums used to be a big part of my life until I moved to Fl. I miss them. We also went to the National Gallery in DC where there was a Cassatt and Degas exhibit. Very crowded. They have a wonderful Ingres and I saw a Raeburn painting that knocked my socks off. I also loved the Sargent painting of a forest floor. Wish I could have spent more time there. So now I'm home and have to get back to my painting a day.

Cigar Matches

 "Just wanted to let you know that I received your painting and love it." 
This was an interesting box of cigar matches that I had fun painting.

Blue Marbles

This is my first NY painting. My mother has a jug of marbles and since I've painted marbles lately I thought I might as well. I guess we bought our marbles at the same time. although it seems like I lost some of mine because I didn't remember half the things she was talking about. You'd think that I, being younger would have better recall, but... My daughter says I need the patch.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Another Marble and Rock #21

Driving to N.Y. tomorrow. Going to the Met and the Hispanic Museum to see the Sorrolla, (I probably spelled the name wrong) mural. On the way back, I'm going to DC and the National galleries and the Portrait gallery. Will also see some of the political sights. Also have a family reunion.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Rock and Marble go to the Beach #20

I  bought a container of these little umbrellas to paint and for a while was to intimidated to start. I set up the still life with the rock and marble and decided it needed something else and there was the umbrella already opened. This has been happening to me a lot lately, I have an object just laying around and then it gets to be in a painting. Is this extreme laziness, or are there some subconscious decisions being made?

Old Fashioned Creamer

"I just wanted you to know I absolutely love my painting. I don't think the photo did it justice."
I went to the Goodwill hoping to find an object to paint and this was it. Reminds me of something my grandmother would have owned.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Marble Rock #18

I've been thinking about painting this rock, ( I live in Fl. where there's a dearth of rocks) and I've been thinking about painting marbles because lately I found 2 when gardening, so ...marble rock. I wonder if the first gardeners also found marbles when they gardened, cause I always do. Where do they come from?

Made in Japan

I got this little guy in the Goodwill. On the bottom is reads Made in Japan, hence the name.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Paintings 10 - 13

Today is the 14th day of my challenge of painting a small painting every day. I'm a teacher and next Tuesday is my last day with the kids, so I will make larger paintings starting next Wednesday.  I'm doing the challenge because I've been disappointed with my productivity.  It's so easy to come home tired and say tomorrow I'll paint... So far the challenge has been energizing and good for me because I tend to take too long to make a small painting. I've worked on paintings this size for more hours
than I want to admit to,  Dog and Bunny took forever.

But now, I even finished one in about an hour.  I want to paint with speed, looseness and accuracy. I once had a teacher, Karen O'Neil, who said you need to get the right color in the right value in the right place with the right brushstroke.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Corks #9

I live in Florida where the rainy season has officially started. We have a lot of silver light when it's overcast, or raining. I love the light in Fl. and I even love the heat, although it gets old come September.
I listened to The Forever Girl, by McCall Smith while painting the last couple of paintings and I'm reading Shanghai Girls by Lisa See.

Say Wha... #8

This troll has a different face, so is it a real troll?

Night Light # 7

This was fun to paint, but now I have wax on my shelf.