Friday, September 26, 2014

Bird of Paradise

It is experimentation time.  This is painted on a canvas, with watercolor ground as a base.  I am not sure the ground was completely dry.  I will know when I try it paint a canvas tomorrow.  The color and value seemed to run away or fade before my Eyes.  If you are wondering, yes this is watercolor.

I find these flowers intoxicating.  The color and variety of blooms are amazing.  There is a huge plant beside the door at my Florida condo.  The blooms are black.  Someday I will paint them.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


I have been impressed by pelicans, ever since I saw my first one in fifth grade.  They are so big and you can get really close to them.

The bird is a mature one.  They have more color than the young brown pelicans, which are just brown.  The feathers standing up on the back of his head is unusual.  At first I thought maybe he was protecting his perch.  He is standing on a really tall post at the entrance to the pass.  Many birds love this perch.  After painting this pelican the ruffling of his feathers indicate that it was a really windy day. 

I just remembered a photo I got of a pelican I took I south Carolina this spring.  Maybe I will paint that bird tomorrow. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Spirits Soar with Eyes Closed

I know that I have been missing for a few days.  I took and trip to St. Louis, with my husband, kids and families.  We had a great time.  If you ever get to St. Louis, the City Museum is a must.  It is a visual picnic, with a lot of climbing and crawling.

This is a painting of my grand-daughter.  She is now four.  It was very strange to see her in makeup for her first dance recital.  This painting is based on a photo that was taken after the performance.  The low light caused her moving arms to blur.  I tried to keep this painting very painterly.  Shapes and values were very important.

Ari is almost blond right now.  Her hair looked darker in the photo.  She has also spent the summer in the sun and pool.  I do see myself and my daughter in this face.  She seems to get cuter every day.

Friday, September 19, 2014



I have a good friend who just moved to Hawaii.  She loves animals, but she is not too happy about sharing her coffee.  This a beautiful lizard, and I don't think I did it justice.   Hope she gets a kick out of this painting today.

I will be off spending time with family this weekend.  A little fun never hurts an artist.  Be back on the job in a few days. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


The day before we left Florida this Spring we went to a Everglades Garden.  It was really north to be the Everglades, but there were many alligators.  Better yet were the flamingos.  I took several photos, with reflections in the ponds where they stood.  Every bird was standing on one leg.  Not only are their legs long and thin, they seem to prefer to use one. 

I will be paining these birds late this year.  Value makes this study work.  Much is defined with the darkness of the background and of course the lighter color behind the black beak.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Not an Egg

A porcelain chicken and a tomato were the items I grabbed from the kitchen, after walking the dog tonight.  I kept this pretty raw and followed my muses.  The background blue was put in last.  This is an opaque blue, that is pretty bright, but you see its deepest value.  I liked the transparent shadow but had to glaze the blue into the shadow to keep them on the table.  The shadow under the chicken is still taking on a life of its own. Usually I would work something like that over again, but not tonight.

I am having fun with the just doodling.  As an artist I strive for a perfection and a quality of work.  Not having to care so much leaves my efforts open to just pure experimentation and play.  It is a good thing.

Monday, September 15, 2014


Yum.  The smell the color.  These berries cannot be beat.  I have two paintings in the works for a deadline, but this little painting was a nice diversion. 

Last night I had a coughing fit due to allergies.  I waited too long to take Benadryl.  A headache, that felt like strained neck muscles followed.  I just went to bed after my husband left for Kansas City.  I am back with the daily paintings tonight.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


I have done these flowers before as sunflowers.  The centers are made with dropping alcohol into wet paint to make the dots.  The flower petals start out as just wet pain around the centers.  a spatula is used to reates the shapes with the lines being scores made by the spatula. 

The real purpose of this painting is to experiment with, Daniel Smith, Interference Gold.  I have not used it much, but I plan to use it in an painting that is in the works.  It is almost clear, but has gold flecks.  It softens all colors, to create a more pastel effect.  The shininess is subtle which keeps it from looking tacky. 

The results depends on the light, but this pigment gives everything a glowing effect.  I mixed the paint directly with other colors in the background.  Within the flowers I tried glazing, and applying the Interference Gold more heavily.  It can be easily painted over where it is too heavy.  My experimenting was successful and should pay off.

Friday, September 12, 2014


I think that I am hitting my stride with quick paintings.  It seems less of a struggle now.  This took an hour.  Getting Max to pose, the quick sketch, developing shape and form, took one hour.

I purposely kept this loose.  The black was a triad of blue, green and red.  The black had to be elusive or it would  just becomes black.  subtle shading in the black forms makes or breaks black passages.  White is much easier to paint. 

Normally I erase as many of my pencil marks as I can.  With the sketchy technique, I chose to leave all remaining pencil.  My lines were minimal to begin with.

Max is my French Bulldog.  He is roughly 18 months old.  My English Bulldog died, after a season where I lost a preemie grandson.  A good artist friend died.  And then my father passed.  The bulldog was my last loss.  Gosh I needed happy in my life someway, somehow. 

Max came home Two weeks after my Maggie died.  He was named Maxwell Huggins III.  He was my third bulldog, my first male and first French Bulldog.  I was surprised how little this 6 lb. puppy was.  English bulldogs are twice the size.  He had such large paws to fill.

Max, did his job well.  He progressed with puppy training.  He was an angel.  He grew up loyal and smart.  He went from a very eager to please pup to a very independent guy.  After working with behavioral issues one by one we are back to better obedience.  He is happy and lovable, and not in trouble so much.

 I almost kissed him, today, when he put himself in his crate, with the words, "Mommy is going bye-bye."  The game had been 'catch me, if you can.'  He is a fast little fellow.  I never played this game, but it was difficult to figure out how I could get around this.

Earlier this week we conquered the bedtime issue.  Max was like every other kid in the world.  He did not want to go to bed.  No one told Max, that I am truly the boss.  He is very smart and I think he has figured it out.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Birthday Lily

My husband sent me flowers for my 63rd. birthday last week  I pulled a lily from the fading bouquet.
As I painted the wonderful smell of lily entertained me.  The color blue was to make the red pop.
of course what is not painted is very important here.

I started this in the morning and finished at night.  If the lily gets a little confusing, it had changed and was drooping.  I would have done better to stick with it to the end.

Two Turtles

I used two photos for this painting.  The main photo was of the large turtle.  I liked the yellow-green of the water.  The blue reflections to the left attracted me.  I like how the turtle was almost totally visible, but was still under the water.  The moss in the water fuzzed out some of his detail. 

I decided that he needed a bubby.  The little turtles face lines were a struggle.  I think I was fighting the paper.  He was painted second.  If I had attacked him first I would of started over to keep him cleaner.  Note to self: when I am trying to achieve tight detail; do that first. 

The blue was a struggle, and not quite what I wanted.  I am going to have to work on my lights with color. 

Over all I think the painting is successful.  I don't have to meet all my goals to have a painting work.  It is part of my drive to go with what is happening and not with what I want.  Sometimes I want more control, but it may not be good for me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Shell Points

I am in a much better mood after this little painting.  This was fun.  I like it.  This was about values repetition, and then variation.

I am thinking of doing the punched up versions of some of these paintings.  Right now this is about doing something and getting it posted and then moving on to the next painting.  I do think it is important what I do the next day.  There are changes that I would make with this one.  Some of the paintings I will just let go.  That will be something to do later.

I have a really busy schedule the next couple of weeks.  These paintings will have to get simpler or they will have to cease.  Right now I plan to continue. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Round Fish

This is one of my thirty paintings.  I cannot believe the multi tasks that arose while trying to finish this and get it posted.  I was listening to a podcast, and happened to schedule a vacation.

I have no idea what this fish if called.  I photographed him at some aquarium.  I seem to be visiting more aquariums lately. These little paintings all seem rough to me but there is not much time to develop them.  This was fun.  I want to do some more sloppy wet into wet.  A lot of the back ground was smoozed with a scrubber brush.  

The dog now is insisting on a walk and then it is bedtime. 

Elevator Up

Elevator UP
'Elevator Up' is being shown at Waverly House in Springfield, Missouri.
I got the Idea for this painting in New York.  My daughter needed a restroom.  Those who have visited New York City, know this can be a problem.  My husband suggested a nearby hotel.  The elevator had a mirror in the ceiling.  What a great painting that reflection would make.  I did not take a photo.  In the Naples, Florida Art Museum, the elevator had a mirror in the ceiling.  I shot the needed photo in packed elevator.  I was ready to paint.
This painting took forever to paint.  It was quite complicated with several figures.  The number of figures alone would dictate that this be drawn using a grid system.  The unusual vantage point made things extra challenging. 
Every figure needed to relate to the ones beside it in value and color temperature.  The elevator itself had to adhere to correct perspective rules.  The details were very important.  If one thing was not right the painting would not pull together.
After much fussing and changing all goals are accomplished.  The painting seems to be received very well.  It was worth the time and struggle.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Yellow Fish

This painting may drive me underwater for awhile.  "What will happen if," was the theme of today.  This little guy looked much better in the beginning, but I tried moving paint with alcohol but the paint clung to the fish.  It move everywhere else.  In the end the opaqueness of a cadmium yellow saved the day. Wet into wet made most of the background.  On with experimentation tomorrow.  

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Paddle Boarding

This is something I think I might want to try.  Of coarse balance and strain on the back may be a concern.  It doesn't hurt to try it once.  I can not wait to get back to the gulf.  This was more work than I thought it would be.  The more I do water and it's movements the stronger my vocabulary should become for the wet stuff. 

I think that I will experiment with fish in the water tomorrow. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

I am done for the day.  Did not have much time for this one, but maybe this one is only a first attempt.  I think I may try a sunset soon and use a cold press paper.  It seems more workable, and the paint moves better.  I think the colors are too intense and this is a bit harsh. 

The sky in a sunset is smoother and there is a fine line with the dark and the light.  Actually the color is created from the sun shining just below the horizon.  Sunset is at a time of day when the light is special, but low.  the only real color is in the sky.  The water is usually dark and does not have much color.  It is sometimes hard to wrap your mind around the idea that there is not much light but it is also about the light. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Three Tomatoes

Three Tomatoes
painting 3: Thirty Paintings in thirty days
Today I painted tomatoes.  The tomato crop is good this year.  I often had dead plants before the tomatoes form.  One year the temperatures remained in the 100's for weeks.  All the leaves fell of my plants.  Come August the temperatures dropped and it rained frequently.  My rose bushes and tomato plants grew leaves and looked great.  We had a frost before the second crop of tomatoes appeared
I chose to use a hot press paper.  I am rarely happy with the painting process on this paper.  It holds onto the paint and creates hark edges where I don't want them.  I used a soft green for the background to heighten the red color. 
When I laid these on the art table, on a white piece of mat board I notice great colors in the shadows. There were two light sources.  One was the overhead lights which created the shadows.  The second source was the window.  This is not idea but real life.
Hmmmm. What will I paint tomorrow?  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Shell with Pink

Shell with Pink
I have taken a challenge of a painting a day for thirty days.  The first posting I did not put on this link maybe I will be successful of connecting tonight.  I have a cold and it is my birthday but I am determined.
This was complicated little shell to paint for a simple study.  I tried not to paint every little nub and shadow.  The texture and the movement was what I wanted to capture.  Scraping when the paint was wet helped me achieve some of the texture within the shell. 
I drew curves extending from the arcs of the shell into the background.  Then I under-painted color into each shape.  Carving out the outline with the development of the background just felt good.  At some point in this process I decided to turn the subject on it's side.  The paper turned as well as the shell.
This evening when doing a few touch ups I notice the shadow created by the lamp on my table put red in the under shadow.  I see things I could do to this, but this is probably and exercise in letting go.
I am done for the day.  Tomorrow I am home so I will try to post the painting from day one on the blog as well as my third study.