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26 February 2009

Any tips?

Nothing to show. I'm going to Central America in a couple of weeks and have been thinking-about-painting-there. Inspired by Loriann Signori, I decided to see if the watercolor/pastel combo would be a good solution to the travel dilemmas. Of course I have no patience so when my effort yesterday did not result in a masterpiece, I dismissed the idea. Last night (when I can't sleep I try to think about painting instead of the economy or other negative land mines) I decided to just take acrylics and be done with it. So, today I laid them out on a paper palette and found some brushes that I thought would work. Wow. It is not so easy to remember how they perform. Mix up a nice purple. Place a stroke on the canvas. Go back to the palette and the rest of it is dry. At one point the brushload dried while I debated exactly where to place it. Now, it's partly due to the woodstove heat, I'm certain. But I'm remembering that I used to lay a thin, wet sponge under the palette paper. Now, I remember I even soaked the palette paper first. I'll give it another try.
And I'll give Loriann's media another try too. Maybe I'll learn something.

25 February 2009

Copper Guard

Oil on Canvas 6x6 SOLD
You may think this looks familiar. The pears are the same but I changed the cloth and the copper teakettle. The original version is in the older post section. Maybe next month I'll change the pears...... .

24 February 2009

Jar and Stem

Oil on Canvas 6x6 SOLD
I didn't like the compostition below. It is funny how the photo of the painting helps me identify what I am unhappy about. I knew I was skating on thin ice with just the white plate and the weighty grapes sitting on the bottom of the painting, but I had to try it anyway. Then there was the photography issue of a dark painting.
Anyway, much happier with the addition of the mustard jar and brushes. Thanks for looking.

23 February 2009

5 Lemons

Oil on Canvas 6x6
At the prodding of Lisa Gloria in her Art Studio Secrets blog, more pondering today about painting from life vs. photos. In the fifth grade, I copied a photo of a horse for a school art show. The teacher knew this because I did it right there in the classroom, with complete innocence. When I was done [it felt like hours of effort], the teacher rejected it for the show because it was copied. She made me feel ashamed, as if I were a cheater and completely without value. Well, I didn't use photos again for a looooooooonnnnnnngggggg time, I have to tell you. But slowly I returned to the occasional painting from a photo, always with some trepidation. Is this cheating I wondered? Then, I was commissioned to do portraits of two young boys and found the Portrait Society website and read a few books and looked at some forums and was reassured that many artists do not expect young children, horses, birds, etc. to sit still for hours while we have our fun. OH! The art police would not be coming after me.
I agree with Lisa that painting from life is more valuable to the artist's own development, however. And I actually find it easier and more successful than most of my work using photo reference.
Sorry, I seem to have gone on a bit here. All this was to explain that late yesterday afternoon, after a rather yucky day, I picked up my brush and painted these lemons from my imagination, with the daylight waning, because I didn't want to spend the time setting up a still life and I only had two lemons in the fridge anyway. : )

17 February 2009


Oil on Linen 6x6 SOLD

Another painting started last fall and rediscovered the other day. That was a cold day. Probably 32 degrees. Ha. Wish we could get some of those now. ....

16 February 2009


Oil on Board 6x6

Sorry to yank you from winter to summer. I had a great day yesterday reworking a few older paintings. This herd belongs to some friends down the road. One morning I was driving past when I noticed they had all escaped. I used my Subaru Forester to herd them across the road and up the driveway to the farm. Actually they escape a lot. One night I woke up to the sound of lowing. Looked out the window to see black and white in the moonlight, dangerously close to the garden. Out I ran to chase them back down the fields. I love Vermont.

15 February 2009

On the Rise

Oil on Linen 6x6

Now I'm feeling frantic that I have squandered so much of the winter working on studio pieces and vacation plans that the snow may melt before I can do MORE of these. haha Half joking. It's gotten warm enough that I go for a walk when I first get up. My line is drawn at 10 degrees. Then I get to see the sunrise on the rare occasions that there are no clouds. It is wonderful to walk up the hill toward the cast sunlight, which makes its way down to meet me.

14 February 2009

Luneville Paradox

Oil on Linen 6x6

I had a lot of restarts on this one. Should have taken shots of its many identities. The background was pale blue, then cardboard, then violet, then orange...... The white cloth had more pronounced shadows, but the silver spoon got lost and that is really my favorite part of the painting. Let me know if you figure out the paradox to which the title refers. Thanks for looking!

09 February 2009

Stem Cell Study

Oil on Canvas 5x7

So after painting the Delicata squash and tomato, I put them in the refrigerator to retard further spoilage, with the plan to reposition them and do another painting the next day. Hang in here, this is a funny story. Denny called me to dinner and what do I see coming out of the oven but my beautiful Delicata squash. Death by baking. The tomato was safe. He doesn't eat tomatoes. I started laughing even as I mourned the loss of my model, but then started scrambling through the trash for the STEM. There it was, clean but broken. "Oh no, my beautiful stem!" Denny was a tiny bit puzzled by my disappointment. "Can't you just make it up?" Well, I guess he has a point. I can paint whatever I like into a painting. But there is something about doing these still lifes and trying to really see what's there that precludes additions.
So, I grabbed a butternut squash and taped the stem together and glued it on.
And now I have learned that butternuts are not much fun to paint compared to delicata. As a matter of fact, it was really hard. I went through green shadow, umber shadow, blue shadow. None were right. I finally decided that to balance the red tomato a bit of red needed to go into the shadow which turned it purple. Then I added some of my new cad yellow deep to the lit body of the squash. Straying from my usual approach I found the shadow color first and the lit color second.

thanks for looking!

08 February 2009

Hummingbird Breakfast

Oil on Board 9x12 SOLD

I know it's hard to believe, but I used a reference photo for this. The Buddleia (sp?) is an odd variety. I've moved it twice already. The blossoms ARE beautiful, BUT, most of the time the shrub actually has so many dead blossoms that it detracts from the new ones. I didn't include any dead ones. I think this spring it will move further down the hill, maybe behind the Nicotiana "Only the Lonely". Or maybe the deer will eat it. They have been burrowing through the snow to munch on something.

07 February 2009

Newly funded stem cell research

Oil on canvas 5x7
This is almost the same painting as below. But the stems needed more attention.
I need to keep my priorities straighter. Frequency of posting goes down one notch.

05 February 2009

Stem Cell Research

Oil on canvas 5x7 n/a

The last of our 2008 Delicata crop. I noticed a little rotten spot near the stem and realized that its modeling days were numbered. When I found this tomato at the store, I bought it more for the stem than anything, although it does look promising, tastewise. In honor of Valentine's Month (what? it's only a day?) I arranged them to create a bit of a heart. See it? Then I turned on my ipod to listen to the Violin Concerto by Philip Glass and something strange happened. Some Glass piece that I've never heard before started playing. It was great, but I can't find it on the ipod and guess I might never hear it again. So, things were going pretty well. Then my order arrived from Dick Blick with some new Michael Graham oils. I got a cad yellow deep and a cad red light which I immediately opened and slammed onto my painting. JUST what it needed.
So far, I love this paint!

Thanks for reading all the way to here. Leave a comment!

04 February 2009


Oil on canvas 5x7 SOLD

While taking a walk today we passed a couple of enterprising guys who were taking trees from the roadside, cutting to length and splitting them right there. They offered to sell us the load for $175, but we hope we have enough. Unfortunately, our pile is pretty close to the roadside, also.
If oil prices go back up we may need to make adjustments.

02 February 2009

Double Dare

Oil on Linen 6x6

Painting every day is one thing. Completing a painting every day another thing. And Posting your painting every day is probably the part that we like the least. Some manage to do it. Some don't. There are many reasons that we start slipping. Should I post this if I'm stockpiling for a show? Should I revisit the whole ebay thing? Etc.
I had such a time photographing my last pears that I thought I'd try again. Dark background, etc. I'm not sure this was more successful, photography-wise. But painting the red pears! They were definitely a double dare.