Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Tiny, Tiny Portrait

2" x 2 " oil on wood

I think this is the smallest oil painting I've done and the first one of an animal. This is Gaucho, our dog that died this year. I painted it for a gift for my husband for his birthday (which was yesterday).  We found Gaucho in 2006 in dire condition in our neighborhood.  We were able to nurse him back to health and when he was fully recovered he turned out to be a funny, smart and spunky little dog. He was a mutt, we think predominantly chihuahua. My husband is really tall and Gaucho was a wee little guy; they made a sweet pair.  We were all heart broken when he died in June and he is missed dearly.  The painting is in the top of a small wooden box that opens to reveal inside his leather collar and tag.

Stamped on the plaque under the painting is "GAUCHO   JUNE 4 2011". The entire piece is about the size of this picture.  I like that it can fit in your pocket.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My Dusty Reading Glasses

watercolor, graphite, & charcoal on paper

5 x 7 inches, oil on canvas panel

These are my reading glasses I often neglect to wear.  I had intended to just do a sketch of them but then I couldn't resist trying a painting too.  But now that I see this posted it looks blurry--- HA, maybe I should be wearing my glasses!  I guess it's back to trying to take a new picture! Or... wearing my glasses.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Good Resting Spot

6 x 6 inches oil on panel

Another pomegranate pose...  this one a little more refined.  Such a great looking (and tasting) fruit.
Note: I replaced the photo I posted yesterday which was a bit washed out.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

One Pomegranate with Company

6 x 6 inches, oil on panel
I'm realizing that this time of year I'm not going to be able to paint/post everyday---just too much going on and not enough hours in the day.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Single Garlic Flower

7 x 5 inches, oil on panel

Couldn't get on the computer yesterday--- this is the garlic flower I finished recently.  My model had dried up so I had to finish from memory.  Again, photographing these dark backgrounds is a real challenge.  When I get a chance, I'll try to get a better photo.  I'm working the Cherrywood Art Fair this weekend so I haven't been able to paint. Hopefully tomorrow....

Friday, December 9, 2011


6 x 6 oil on panel, 1/2" wood frame (sold)

One of the new frames at work.  In real life, the wood is not so blonde (it has a slight warm yellow tone) nor is the painting completely baby blue. I see the background more lavender than blue, but the camera doesn't.  The painting I did this past spring.  I brought home some garlic tops from a farm near by that after a few days of sitting in a vase exploded into these flowers, a complete and delightful surprise. I did three paintings of them. This is the only one I finished at the time. The third I just finished the other day. I'll post it tomorrow.  The first, I don't like it so much.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Frames, frames, frames

I didn't have a chance to paint today but I did get to sand, and sand, and sand by hand---which I actually like to do.  I'm finishing out these raw, pine frames my friend Chris made for me in preparation to frame some of my small paintings.   If I had all the available hours in front of me, I would sand down to 400 grit to make the wood feel like silk and expose all that subtle grain.  Alas, I haven't that luxury but I did get to sand to 150 grit which is still nice and smooth.   I had hoped to post a framed painting (another one I had completed this past spring) but the frames won't be ready until tomorrow. Another bit of sanding needs to be done before the final finish is applied.  So, until tomorrow....

Two Peaches

6 in. x 6 in., oil on panel
I did not paint this today.  It was my son's 7th birthday and with all the going-ons I didn't get a chance to paint or draw, so I thought I'd share a painting that I had done this past spring. These were tiny peaches from our peach tree. The previous year we had harvested a huge crop of fat peaches but this year,  guessing with the drought, we only got six or seven very little, but tasty, ones.  This painting also took me a couple long days to do in which I still could not get it right, but I do like the parts of the plate, the shadows and sections of the peaches.  I'll try and take a better photo of it to replace this one in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bowl of Tomatoes

6 x 6 oil on panel

A mixture of subdued and bright...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tomatoes on Blue

5 x 7 oil on canvas panel

Brighter colors are definitely a challenge for me, I feel more comfortable with more subdued ones. I'm not too happy with this composition, I want to push that plate back.  I miss judged the ellipse and then had to correct it so much it went off the canvas.  Whoops.   I do like the shadows of the tomatoes,  especially the back one.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Two Tomatoes Waiting

6 x 6 oil on panel

I'm not sure what they're waiting for, maybe they're just relaxing and hanging out.  Thinking about trying another painting with these guys with a different, brighter background...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Roma Tomato Study

2- 6 x 6  oil on gessoed crescent boards

I found some great Roma tomatoes with bulbous bottoms and nice stems.  My intended four quick studies turned into eight!  I set up a still life with just two on a plate but wasn't able to finish it. Tomorrow....

Friday, December 2, 2011

Rose Study with Alligator

6 in. x 6 in., oil on panel
I don't really think of roses blooming in December but maybe because of our extended drought coupled with our recent rains (it rained all day today) and a so far mild winter we get flowers---not too bad AND they smell great.  I cut these from my mother-in-law's bushes.  Thank you Ingrid!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Vessel #2

5 1/2" x 4" porcelain, leather hard stage

Some clay today...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Small Bird Press


6 in. x 6 in. oil on panel
This was a good one to practice glass, wood, metal and reflections!  The little bird is a lemon press; you lift the tail up (it's hinged at the eyes) and place a wedge in the belly space then lower the lever, press, and a teaspoon of lemon pours from its beak. It's really great and so simple.  Sadly, I've only used it a couple of times but I look at it everyday as it rest on the top of our stove center stage.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lemon Study

6 x 6 oil on gessoed crescent board

I did four quick studies to see how I might paint the blue, glass bowl and to try different yellows and oranges for the lemons---kind of a warm up.  Then I set up a still life with these elements plus a small chopping block, a knife, and a metal bird lemon press, all on that spotted fabric, and started painting---eh, way too complicated!  I didn't finish it.  Hopefully I can tomorrow.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Daisies in Shallow Water

6 in. x 6 in., oil on panel
When I set this up to paint I had a different idea how it would come out. I wiped the whole painting off three times! After the second time, I had half the thought to just paint an entirely new subject but I tried once again.  It's still not the painting I wanted it to be.... I really struggled with those darn daisies... but I'll let it rest and move on.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Inks and Brayer

6 x 6 oil on panel

Some of my old printmaking tools resting on a piece of white glass.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Ink Bottle

watercolor, graphite, charcoal on paper
5 x 7 oil on canvas panes

I had intended to make another vessel today but woke to rain and then an afternoon with strong, cold winds --- not good for outside work. So instead, I did a small sketch of an ink bottle.  Liking the shape so much I couldn't resist doing some painting. These are two 15 minute poses.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Post Thanksgiving Day Clay

 porcelain 5" tall, leather hard stage

The boys and I spent this lovely, fall afternoon outside with our hands in clay---one of my favorite things to do.  I've had these vessel ideas in my head for awhile for shapes I'd like to paint so it was nice to have such a perfect, relaxing day to make the first one. When it dries it will be white,  but I kind a like it gray.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Apple & Pig

6 x 6 gessoed crescent board

This morning I did two 30 minuted poses of the apple, this time with the guest appearance of the pig.  Shortly after, the apple was given over to the pie which we are just about to eat (many hours of cooking later).  I really liked the first pose, the second not so much. Now having done both, I prefer the 15 minute poses.  I did like painting the pig and apple together.  The title makes me think of the pig with the apple in its mouth, I like this look better.  I may paint them again another time....  Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Granny Smith Apple Study

6 x 6 oil on gessoed crescent board

Wanting to try looser work today,  I did four 15 minute poses each to be painted in a 3"x 3" square.  Tomorrow I think I'll try two 30 minute poses with the same apple then it will be sacrificed for our Thanksgiving pie.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Flowers from Karibou

7 x 5 oil on canvas panel

This was fun to paint but REALLY hard to photograph.  Maybe the paint is too wet?  Once it dries I'll try and take a new picture that doesn't have that glare.  The background is a deep maroon that gradates almost to a black. I'm wondering too if painting on canvas with its texture is also responsible for the glare?  I need to figure something out because my photos look washed out. *note: I replaced the first picture that had lots of glare but this one still looks washed out. Those dark surfaces...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Linseed Oil and Friend

7 x 5  oil on canvas panel

This is very old bottle of linseed oil. The oil is no longer oil but more like a gel.  Why do I keep it? I don't know, I guess to paint an image of it.  It's back on my shelf now hanging out with the younger bottles.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Purple Heart

5 x 7 oil on canvas panel

The Purple Heart  is in a sweet, little glass pitcher.  I'm really fond of small milk/cream pitchers and have been slowly amassing a collection of them.  I imagine they will make their way into this blog sooner or later.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Flowers from Ingrid

 7 x 5 oil on canvas panel

When I sat down to paint these flowers, my youngest son felt I needed an audience of Playmobil animals to watch me work.  A bull with a yellow blanket, a calf and a horse didn't make it in the painting.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Onion with Two Peppers

5 x 7 oil on canvas panel

A view from the other side...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Two Peppers with Onion

5 x 7 oil on canvas panel

There's one window in our dining room.  In the afternoon, the warm western light bathes the table.  It's one of my favorite places to paint.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Green Plate

Everything I put on this green plate looks lovely and thus, inspires a painting.
-oil on panel, 6" x 6"

Monday, November 14, 2011

Little Elephant

My first piece in my series of daily studies: a small oil painting.  The elephant is a little eraser that's always somewhere on my desk looking at me. He's all gray, smooth and round with tiny black eyes and a simple trunk. His head turns all the way around. I've drawn him many times, from all angles---I just love his shape.  The pen next to the sharpie is one of those that has the pungent smell and squeaks when you draw. I both really like and dislike that smell.
Originally, I had thought to post a painting a day but I don't always want to or can paint everyday but I do something always everyday, so I may post a painting, drawing, sketch, ceramic piece... depends on the  day.