Sunday, May 31, 2009

Flanders poppy

It practically killed me to pluck this from our front yard in order to paint it last night. It was sacrificed in the name of art.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Untitled 40

A strong one.

Hate how when images are uploaded onto the blog, they sort of wash out and blur a bit. Has anyone figured out how to correct that yet? I know we're all waiting...  This is a lot more vibrant in person.

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Friday, May 29, 2009


The Husband just bought a few of these to plant near our deck. I love the sort of droopy yet elegant shape.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009


My dear, dear friend Ann came to pose for me the other night for three hours. (Yes, I paid her. I don't abuse my friends...too much.)

She'd like you all to know that she "doesn't always look that tired." :)  

It was hard to figure out a setup in my home studio for a model and lighting and everything. (Plus putting a DVD movie on for her to watch while I painted her, so she wouldn't die of boredom.) In the end, we went with what sort of worked, though it was far from ideal in terms of physical arrangements, space, and lighting. I made sure to give her a very uncomfortable hard chair so she wouldn't fall asleep. ;)

I tried a new surface and a new technique. I keep experimenting because I'm still unsatisfied with results. Perhaps someday, if I have three or four more lifetimes, I'll figure it all out. Or not.

Amazingly, though, it did capture, remarkably well, something ineffable about her.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Poppy bud

I love it when those inner petals start just peeking out... This is one of those pinkish-salmon-colored ones.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Out Walking With You the rain. The rain, the rain, the rain! Aaaaaghhh! Someone make it stop!

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Untitled 39

It has been raining here all weekend. I think this is something like 8 weekends in a row now...unheard-of for here. I'm tired of my humidity-hair (Jewfro). My paintings aren't drying. The Husband still hasn't patched our roof. Anyway...

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Peony / Noblesse Oblige award

Carrie Jacobsen has given me this Noblesse Oblige award. Thank you, Carrie! You can go visit her site and look at her wonderful animal paintings and read her fun posts (especially the most recent one about alizarin crimson... Oy), and see a more detailed description of the attributes an awardee should possess. But in brief, it's that the more "power" you have, the more you are expected to give back. In art blogging terms, this has a lot to do with sharing process and solutions.

I in turn pass this award on to Loriann Signori, Leslie Saeta, and Karen Phipps

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Thursday, May 21, 2009


This was the last alla prima portrait from a few weeks ago, before my instructor stopped teaching it. I was pretty happy with it, although as you can see, I never resolved one eye. Thought I'd post it anyway, especially for those of you who also do alla prima portraiture.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Change of pace / Pace of change

And now for something completely different (as they said on Monty Python)... 

These are some awesome shots from The Husband. (Yes, he's an artist too: acrylic, encaustic, photography; though he makes his living as a management consultant, which generally pays for my art supplies.)

See lots more wonderful photog from The Husband at his site Haiku Expeditions.
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Stole this adorable sprig of forget-me-nots from the neighbor's. 

Hope they're not reading this.

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Monday, May 18, 2009


Back in the realm of trying out new surfaces. I'm down to a third of a roll of my favorite surface, and they've stopped making it. Waah! 

Can I just vent for a moment and say I've been feeling sorry for myself, artistically? No? Well, I'm going to say it anyway. First, my art school closed down without warning after I'd completed not quite two years. Then, my alla prima instructor recently stopped teaching it all of a sudden and I can't find any model sessions in town. Then, I found out my favorite painting surface suddenly stopped being made, there's no more to be had anywhere in the universe in spite of hours of phone calls, and everything comparable (I've been requesting samples and trying them) is literally ten or fifteen times as expensive. 

Well, they say bad things come in threes, right? So maybe I'm home free for a while. :)

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Untitled 18

I was too exhausted last night from planting warm-weather vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants), to do any painting. Here's one from several months ago.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Linen fabric

This was a small swatch of beautiful hand-dyed linen, one I created while taking a workshop a few years ago on vegetable dyeing. The piece of fabric was a little bigger than a handkerchief, about life-sized in its 4" x 6" incarnation, here.

I hadn't ever done a drapery painting or study before (I'd done one drawing in the past), so decided to try this last night. At the point of about an hour, it completely sucked and looked laughably, weirdly amorphous. Once I gave myself "permission to fail," it started getting better and toward the end (total 2.5 hours), I finally understood how I was supposed to represent it illusionistically. What a learning experience!

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Jake, and a recommended alla prima book

Here's one from art school last year. It was a quick portrait and light study. Ever since then, I've hoped for the opportunity to paint a model with dreadlocks. It still hasn't happened.  

As a matter of fact, my instructor has indefinitely stopped teaching the alla prima portrait class I was in; those of you who've been following along may have been wondering why you haven't been seeing any from me lately. Moreover, thus far I've been unable to find any open model sessions in my area that do a long pose (and only a single one that even does short pose). So, no more portraiture from me! least until something changes.

Unrelatedly, I wanted to share a great painting book I just discovered: it's called Alla Prima by Al Gury. Wonderful, inspiring painting reproductions from various artists including the author, good advice, a few step-by-steps. I'd say it's written at approximately intermediate level (e.g., a raw beginner likely wouldn't understand the jargon about value, saturation/chroma, cool vs. warm colors, etc.). I just borrowed a copy from the library but it's something I'd like to own.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Shell 2

The second of the marvelous shells I found at the thrift shop. I really loved painting this, and it came together really fast. A surprising and pleasant painting experience on this one last night.


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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Yellow pear 4

When I first started trying to paint pears, I thought they should be easy but found them nearly impossible. I'm glad I persisted. I feel as if they and my paints finally befriended one another.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Untitled 38

...Because sometimes more would just be too much.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

White lilacs

Tired of lilacs yet? I'm not.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lilac in handmade vessel

It's fun painting whatever's in bloom at the time.  This cute little brown pottery vase is another find from the thrift store. I like how it's so plain and simple that it doesn't compete with flowers. It's small--that's a single lilac sprig in there.

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Friday, May 8, 2009

White poppy

I was very happy with this one, as I was going for loose and painterly. Poppies are one of my favorite flowers, the delicateness of their petals, the openness of the blossom, their tough yet ephemeral nature.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Untitled 37

The other day I looked out the kitchen window and saw my sleek little black cat Cleo in the midst of the neighbor's giant red tulip patch... Aahhh.  If only I had a photo, but I know you artists out there can picture what it looked like.

In lieu of that, you'll have to content yourselves with this recent pastel.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009


One of my great finds at the thrift shop the other day.


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Monday, May 4, 2009


Is there anything that better demonstrates the golden mean/Fibonacci sequence than a shell? When I first heard about these concepts, I remember thinking, Oh my god, that is SO COOL. (And I'm not at all a math person.) I feel the same way about it today.

I went hunting for still life subjects at a thrift store the other day and found some great stuff. This is the first one (yep, found some seashells at the thrift store! Good thing, since I'm landlocked) that I've painted. There's some more great subjects to come from that nicely inexpensive shopping excursion.

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Untitled 36 (Blue Glow)

My most recent pastel.

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Friday, May 1, 2009


A big splash of color on a grey spring day here.

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