Wednesday, October 9, 2013


8" x 4", Oil on paper

Standing Straight, Trying to Find Balance, To the Point...some other titles I was thinking of while painting.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Single Spatula and a chicken

6 1/2" x 4 1/2 ", Oil on paper

The painting above no longer exists. Why? Because of a chicken---

When I finished this painting I took it outside to show my husband. While we were chatting, I was holding the painting (attached to a piece of cardboard) at an angle to my side when, for whatever unknown reason, our chicken jumped up and tried to land on it. Right on my just finished oil painting.  And since it was at an angle, she slid down the paper with her little, sharp claws dragging across the wet paint.  It happened so fast it shocked us both.  Ironically, we had just been talking about said chicken, how we both really liked her (and still do).  Why did the chicken jump on my painting?  To teach me not to bring them outside!  Her claws didn't tear the paper but left deep indentions that I couldn't repair. Sigh, sigh, sigh.

Well, happily I had taken a photo of it before the damaging encounter. I was particularly happy with how the metal of the spatula turned out and with the small scratch on the handle.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Red Wine

6" x 6", Oil on paper

Experimenting more with the Arches paper.  I was aiming for an appearance of a print (being on paper with the traditional clean, white border) yet still be a painting.  The actual size of the paper is 12" x 12". So it looks like this:

Saturday, September 28, 2013


8" x 10", Oil on paper

I'm trying out Arches Huile paper for the first time.  It can take oil paint directly without primer.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Sweet Dog

6" x 6", oil on cradled panel

This is another wedding related painting.  It's a commission from a dear friend of mine for a gift for her dear friends who got married today.  It's a portrait of their dog Suki.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fruit Tart

6"x 6", oil on panel

This I did as gift for a bride-to-be who among many things is also a talented baker.  It was so hard not to just stick that fork in it while I was painting and eat it!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Figure Study #16

A new alla-prima figure study from today:

8" x 10", oil on gessoed paper

I was hoping to paint the whole figure but before I knew it the time was up.  Sigh... I would have liked to continue on this one.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Figure Study #13

14" x 11", acrylic and oil on paper

I did this study in two session----last Thursday and today. The first two hour pose I did in tones of green with acrylic (below), then the second I painted over it in oils.  I could barely sleep last night with the anticipation of getting to add the color today. Even though I didn't get to finish it completely and there's some funny parts I'm pretty happy with it. 

14" x 11", acrylic on paper

Monday, August 5, 2013

What's New --- Verdaccio

Figure Study #12

10" x 8", acrylic and oil on primed paper
I did this a couple weeks ago at the open studio two hour pose.  I began by doing a green tonal underpainting in acrylic and then finished it with oils on top as sort of an experiment.  At the time, I saw  a lot I wanted to change and planned to paint more on it at home but I never got to it.  Now I'm kind of glad I didn't mess with it.  I even like the yellow and blue preliminary sketch marks coming through.

Then something very different:

Verdaccio Study #1

14" x 11" Oil on linen

This is the verdaccio style painting I've been working on for a couple of weeks. The underpainting is complete and next I'll start adding color in thin transparent layers.
I'm taking an informal class with portrait artist Debra Richardson to learn her verdaccio method.  She provided the reference image for this study. Everyone in the class is using the same picture; it's super interesting to see how different each is turning out. I am eager to finish this one and to start another but of my own image.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Three Apples, One Stem

Taking a little break from portraits to do a still life study...

4 1/2" x 7", oil on panel (sold)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Figure Study #11

This is my most recent alla prima 2+ hour pose. I did paint again on the last post (figure #10) but I didn't photographed it, not sure what I think of it.

10" x 8", oil on gessoed paper

Monday, June 10, 2013

Figure Study #10

This is my latest open studio life drawing(painting) practice.  The model is returning this week to do the same pose. I may try and continue the painting or go to a different spot in the room and try another angle...I can't decide.

10" x 8", oil on gessoed paper

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Graphite Portrait #2

My sister-in-law:

14" x 11", graphite on paper

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Figure Study # 9

This is from a another 2 1/2 hour open studio session.  I think my drawing realistic practice is already starting to help.  This painting actually looked like the model. 

Oil on paper,  8" x 10"

I'm almost done with a second portrait drawing.  Being larger and so detailed they take me about a week to complete.  Hopefully in a day or two I can post it.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Going Back To Basics

I've been struggling with my painting lately and I think my troubles are coming from my rendering skills.  So I'm going back to the basics. I don't necessarily want to paint realistic portraits but I do want to capture my subjects likeness. I feel like I really need to practice seeing and then interpreting everything correctly to give myself a good strong foundation of skills to then apply to my paintings and hopefully see some improvement.  All that said, this is my first drawing with those intentions:

13" x 8 1/2", graphite on paper

 And this is a painting I did last week during an open life drawing session with a 2 1/2 hour pose:

8" x 10", oil on primed paper

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Portrait Study- Bani

6" x 6", oil on primed mat board

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Figure Studies

Figure Study #6

10" x 8",  oil on primed paper

This is from today's life drawing session, another  2 1/2 hour pose. It's very unfinished, but if I rush (as I have done in the past) it turns into a mess. I'm hoping with continual practice I'll be able to get further each time.  Painting from life is so different than from photos and for me, so much more satisfying, but a live model isn't always possible.  So, below is one did a few days ago using a photo reference. I timed it, pretending I was attending a life drawing session, for more practice, trying to be more decisive and efficient. Even though I finished it more (cheated a little, bit over three hours) I think the above one has more life.

Figure Study #4
10" x 8 ", oil on primed paper

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Figure Study #5 : Model Reclining

8" x 10", watercolor & graphite on paper

This is from another open studio life drawing session---30 minute poses.  This particular session doesn't allow oil paints. I started  drawing the figure with just charcoal and pencil and then, for the last pose I pulled out my little watercolor set---that was a lot of fun. The next time I think I'll do them all with color.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Detour into figure studies

8" x 10",  oil on primed paper

This is from an open studio for life drawing (and painting) where the model does one long pose (about 2 1/2  hours). I came away really happy with how her shoulder and the portion of her arm resting on the couch turned out.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Rose Leaves in Glass

Now just the leaves....

5" x 5", oil on panel

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Back of the Rose

8 1/4" x 4 3/4", oil on panel

I have one of these roses on our dining room table. It has fully opened and it's six inches across! I can smell it from a room away. I wish I knew what kind it is.  It came from my mother-in-laws bush---thank you!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Front & Back Rose Study

6" x 6" oil on gessoed mat board

When I turned the rose around to see more of the stem I was really struck by the shapes of the leaves---that will be my next painting...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Lady Banks Roses

This is another Lady Banks study. I had prepared a larger canvas to do this idea on it and this was to be my quick study.  The blooms were wilting quick even though fresh cut and with water. You can really see the difference in my previous study, the flowers were much more perky.  I went outside for another branch and found they were all going. Sigh. So I took this study a little further and will wait for next spring.

3 1/2" x 11 3/4 ", oil on gessoed mat board (sold)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Lady Banks Rose Study

Our Lady Banks Rose bush is doing its once a year spectacular show.  The blooms come and go so fast---I'm hoping to do another painting but I might just have to wait until next year!

3 1/2 " x 11 3/4", oil on gessoed mat board

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Mustard Study

A study for my next painting: 
The left side I toned the background with burnt sienna, the right with ultramarine blue. I played with the yellows too. The left is predominately cadmium yellow deep and the right is lemon yellow.

6" x 6", oil on gessoed mat board

And some more portraits ---all sepia ink on paper:



Judy's sister

And... today when I was doing my mustard bottle study, my boys were drawing with me while I painted--- I'd have to say, one of my most favorite ways to spend time.
My oldest, 8, did this---A fly over grass. I love his red eye and curled proboscis.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


5" x 7 " Oil on cradled panel (sold)

This was my warm-up exercise. I do this sometimes before I paint my object if I'm feeling out of sorts.  I kind of like the way this one turned out.

6" x 6" oil on gessoed Crescent Mat board

And some select portraits from my portrait a day project:

sepia ink on paper

sepia ink on paper

charcoal pencil on paper

sepia ink on paper

sepia ink on paper

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Three in One

My first painting of the year-
The photo is a tad blurry. I would take another photo of it except... when I reached to remove my still life, the can, my foot bumped the easel leg and the painting tumbled off, did a full, impressive somersault  and ...yep...landed face down on the floor. Sigh.... sigh, sigh, sigh...
I once read that if something like this happens, whatever you do don't try and clean it off until it dries.
And yes, I've done this before, outside though. As hard as it was to do, I set it aside and will let it dry. I think it's salvageable. I'm glad I got a picture of it at least. 

5"x 7", oil on wood


I've continued to do my portrait a day project. I've been trying new methods and most I don't like but here's a couple I do like:



Wednesday, January 23, 2013


So far most of January has been devoted to a big house project: thoroughly cleaning and finishing our kitchen. That means scrubbing inside, outside, on top of, underneath everything and building the last two cabinets and putting in a tile backsplash.  Fun and rewarding but time consuming. All my creative energy has gone into that but I have been drawing everyday and stuck to my goal of a portrait a day. I'm not liking every one so I haven't been posting. Here are a few I do like:

great great grandfather

In addition to our kitchen, I've been going through and organizing ALL my photos---feels like I have thousands---which have been the inspiration for these portraits (with the exception of the last post).  Some of them are very old and faded with not much information, it's like I'm drawing ghosts. 



Granny Lita





I was flipping through a magazine and this image of the actress Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games) caught my eye. I like her expression.