Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Years Eve

Oregon sunset

At this point in my life, I'm thankful to stay put tonight in a warm home and celebrate with people I love.   We'll be ringing in the new year with renewed hope for family, friends and our country.

Have a safe and abundantly blessed 2014.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry Christmas

Oil - 6 X 6

I thought I'd be farther along with a group of portrait studies but I'm six days into a cold and just starting to feel better.   I know I'm feeling better because I'm losing my patience trying to color correct the skin tones on this computer.

And then... I look at the date.  I stop in my tracks.

 House organized?  Not.   Groceries bought?  Not.   Gifts purchased?  Not.   Decorations up?  Not.  Christmas cards?  Of course not.

Time to sign off the blog till the end of the holiday season.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy, happy Christmas and New Year!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Taking a Bath

Remains of the Day - Sold
Watercolor Batik - 18 X 24

Hoping the worst of this nasty cold is gone.  I was able to sleep last night.

I haven't been painting, so the next best thing is looking through art books and art scrapbooks.  I came across this older batik which was based on a reference photo and happy memory of a family trip to London, England many years ago.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Let it Snow

Let it Snow - Sold
Oil - 6 X 6

Since moving to the Pacific Northwest, I have to admit I miss the snow.

I can see snow capped Mt. Hood every time I leave my house.  Still, there's nothing like bundling up and going for walk on a beautiful silent snowy night...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013

Le Pastel

Look Into My Lips
Pastel - 12 X 12

This pastel was done on hot press watercolor paper.  After I worked on it for a while, an artist friend came to the rescue and educated me on layering color over a "more suitable" toothy paper.

I'll put her on the pile and try it again someday soon.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Katie Wilson

Oil - 11 X 14

This is not part of the new portrait series, but
I actually got the idea of doing the series after looking at Katie Wilson's blog ( http://katiewilson-paintings.blogspot.com/ ).   Katie is a skillful painter who has done some incredible collage and oil paintings.  She offers a free download of this technique on her blog, so I signed on.

This is my first attempt at Katie's technique.  I glued a variety of scrapbook-type printed paper on a board and covered it with clear gesso.   Then I grabbed the biggest clean brush I could find and slapped on the paint with reckless abandon (not actually part of the directions).  When dry, the painting was tightened up a bit so it resembled something recognizable.  I was ready to work on the eyes, but stood back for another look.

Not liking it too much, I  re-read the directions before "fixing" it.   Of course, I discovered I had applied the first layer of paint too thickly, so there's really no fixing...

So much for this painting, but I'll try it again soon.  Experimenting with new things always leads to new ideas.  Thanks, Katie.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

For the Love of a Horse

Working Girl
Oil - 12 X 12 

One of the nicest memories I have of growing up in my blue collar neighborhood in Detroit was spending my "tween" and teen summers at the Michigan State Fairgrounds stables.

My friend Bonnie (still my BFF) and I would jump over the railroad tracks, shimmy under a particular length of fence surrounding the rear of the property and head over to the tack room.  After we checked in, we ran over to the barn to shovel you- know- what and do general freshening up.  

Our "payment" for doing this job was to saddle up and exercise the horses.  The BEST part was that we were allowed to exercise the horses by riding them around the racetrack grandstands!  Needless to say, many times I found myself limping home, but I never missed a day of

Fortunately, my daughter has inherited the "love of the horse" gene.  Unfortunately, she has also inherited the "fall off the horse" gene.  Still, she's always managed to get up and dust herself off.

One of my hopes for my daughter was for her to feel the timeless connection between horses and humans; to view horses as not only servants in war and peace, but as friends and teachers.
Thankfully she has felt that connection since the first time she rubbed her cheek against the velvet muzzle of a sweet horse.

What a gift.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Out of the Blue

Elephant Walk - Sold

Oil - 12 X 12 on birch cradle board

Elephants are the largest of all land mammals.  They are playful and mischievous,  self- aware and compassionate.  And I absolutely love painting them.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Christmas Candles

The Christmas Candles
Oil - 6 X 6

There's a sweet story about a town that receives a wish-giving Christmas candle
every 25 years from an angel.  I figured we could use two - just in case.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What Shall I Paint Today?

 Oil - 6 X 6

When I feel like painting but don't know what to paint, I've learned to start painting in a series.  I think its great to focus on one subject or theme and do several paintings of that subject.   Some really prolific artists have even had a couple of series going at the same time.

This is the beginning of a series of paintings of women; not necessarily "femme fatales,"  but those that have kind of an elegance or mystery about them.  I'm keeping them small for now so I can explore crops and color and then will grid them up to larger pieces. 

For those of us who are all over the place with artwork, this is a great way to get a cohesive body of work.  But, as importantly,  the "What shall I paint today?" blues will become a thing of the past.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Wreath 2

 Wreath 2 - Sold
Oil - 6 X 6

Last night, I put on some Christmas music,  poured a small glass of red wine, and wound up with another happy wreath.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Wreaths Unlimited

Wreath 1 - Sold
Oil - 6 X 6

Over the years, I've hung Christmas wreaths on doors, windows, mirrors, walls, and bookshelves.  They've even been used as centerpieces around the house.

This year, I thought I'd paint a few for the magical Christmas season.