Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Long Stem & Two Tangerines

4 x 7 1/2 inches, oil on linen mounted on panel

So this one I painted during the day again with two natural opposing light sources and again really struggled with the colors. And, I tried a mixture of black and blue for the background which is very different for me---I seldom use black. Maybe I should of scrapped this one but there are parts I like: the leaf on the right, the stem, the 2x4.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A single tangerine

5" x 3 1/2",  oil on linen mounted on panel

This one I painted in the evening with only one light source which made it easier to see the contrast. The previous tangerines were painted during the day with light from two opposing windows. I'm going to keep painting these guys to see if I can figure out how to arrive at one I really like.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Conjoined Tangerines

4 1/2 " x 4 1/2", oil on linen mounted on panel

Our friends let us raid their tangerine tree that was so laden with fruit it made the tree looked more orange than green.  Now I have a whole bowl of subjects all waiting to have their portraits done...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014

A little painting and more framed pieces

 I really like the shape of soap dispenser bottles….

6"x 6", oil on panel

and some more framed pieces that are in my show of my double series:

Monday, November 3, 2014

Frames, A Show and Halloween

We hung my show today.  Here are a few of the pieces I framed for it.  Even though it's a lot of work, I really enjoy making the frames (especially the sanding part) and then the end result, the resting of the painting in the frame, is so satisfying.

And my boys as Spy Vs. Spy for Halloween-

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Lunaria #4

11" x 8", oil on paper

I'm preparing for a show in November so I won't be posting much for the next few weeks….

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Frog Toy

4" x 6", oil on canvas panel

I've always been fond of this wooden pull toy and have thus held onto as it has collected dust. So this is a small, parting portrait before this guy is passed along to another family...

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Stand Oil

7" x 5", oil on panel

I had painted this same stand oil bottle when it was new a couple years ago.  I recently came across that painting and I remembered I was never that happy with it.  So, on this overcast, rainy day, I painted over it---the new got some character, slimmed down and hopefully transformed into a better painting. Below was my first attempt :


Friday, September 12, 2014


 in an espresso cup...

4" x 6" oil on canvas panel

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

6" x 4 1/2" oil on panel

A break from the Lunaria to do a little still life of an old can of bird seed.  In the yellow circle on the actual can (too tiny to paint) it reads " Hartz Mountain Bird Foods are Guaranteed by Good Housekeeping as advertised therein"---I love the "advertised therein". The can is from 1935---such pleasant graphics.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Lunaria #3

8" x 6",  Oil on paper (paper 14" x 11")

And another Lunaria cutting in a little handmade vase from our friend Chris Campbell ….

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Lunaria #2

8" x 6" Oil on paper (paper 14" x 11")

Another Lunaria cutting...

Thursday, August 21, 2014


8" x 6" Oil on paper (paper 14" x 11")

I carefully brought these cuttings back from our trip this summer to Portland, Or.  They're the dried seed  leaves of the Lunaria plant. I can't stop looking at them.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Third Single Cutting

8" x 6", Oil on panel


On my recent flight home I met the artist Harry Ahn who, as I was later to learn, is a renowned portrait painter and a teacher in Michigan.  I showed him an image of the last painting I had done (middle image in column to the left) and he kindly and generously gave me a little critique.  Today, while looking at my second attempt of the Single Cutting, which I was never fully happy with,  I thought I would try changing some of the aspects that he had pointed out that could use improvement ---mainly the background and the shadow of the jar.  I didn't have the plant any more but I had the jar so I improvised and played around.  I think it worked. I'm much happier with it now.

The last thing he said to me before we parted was "practice, practice, practice and then practice more".

So that's what I'm doing. And I realized I am a daily painter but I rarely can finish a painting in a day that I'm satisfied with….but maybe the rarely will become often with practice.

Thank you Harry Ahn.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pearl Glaze

7" x 5", Oil on canvas board

A small teacup with a pearl glaze on a stack of scrap two by fours (or on carrot cake as my friend thought).

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tea Cup with Little Blue Flowers

5" x 5 1/4", oil on panel

This is sweet, little tea cup from my mother-in-law that I set on piece of scrap wood that I dug out of a pile in her backyard---her house is getting some renovations.  I used the Quinacridone Red instead of my usual Alizarin Crimson and I think it worked well.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Quinacridone Red

Alizarin Crimson vs Quinacridone Red :

16" x 22", oil on canvas
I've just returned from visiting family and friends.  While away I had envisioned painting but it didn't happen.  I did read a book on color harmony in which it recommended the use of Quinacridone Red in place of the less permanent Alizarin Crimson. I bought a tube and when I got home I set up a simple still life with an apple and gave it a try.  It was a disaster.  I felt like I had forgotten everything I had ever learned about painting. After sulking for a day I decided to just mix colors and get familiar with the paint again. So I did the above charts comparing the two reds. The top group is Alizarin Crimson, the bottom is Quinacridone Red. Each is mixed with my favorite colors (top horizontal row) then lightened with white (vertical row). It's hard to tell from this photo and being so small on the computer, but there is clearly, although subtle, differences.  Alizarin Crimson is blueish and the tints have a smokey quality in comparison to the Quinacridone Red which is also less transparent than Alizarin.  Quinacridone Red and Cadmium Orange make a beautiful bright red.  The most significant difference I found was when mixing with other transparent colors. I'm still partial to the Alizarin as I'm more familiar with it but I think the Quinacridone can be adapted. I'm going to give it a try. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Single Cutting

8" x 6", Oil on panel

This was my first attempt. I wasn't happy with the jar or the composition so I let it dry and did the double study (previous post) to see what I might do different. Once dry, I sanded  the surface a little to make it smooth again and then painted over it (above). My oldest son likes the one to the left better---he said it's happier. It's true, the poor cutting wilted a bit between paintings but I like the shape it became. My younger son likes the top painting because the little red flower looks more real. I like parts of both but I prefer the top more which is good since the the other one doesn't exist anymore---the risks of painting over something...

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014

Coffee Break

Another painting from the kitchen...

7" x 5", Oil on panel

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Still Lifes at the Sink


10" x 8", oil on paper

A scene in my kitchen I look at multiple times a day and have often thought- I'd like to paint this.
So finally I did and happily I managed not to get any paint on the counters.  

Monday, May 19, 2014

Pair of Snips

My favorite gardening tool
7 3/4" x 5", Oil on paper

and the quick double study I did beforehand:

8" x 10" oil on paper

Friday, May 16, 2014

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014


6" x 6", oil on panel

And finally, after many attempts, the tomato---now a little spoiled but still edible.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Double Tomato Study

6" x 6", Oil on gessoed Crescent Board

This week I started a small still life of a single tomato on a white dish towel---simple and straight I thought---I wiped it off twice.  I'm still working on the third attempt but decided to set it aside today because it was too wet. So I got another tomato and did these quick studies to play and have fun and remember why I wanted to paint that stinking tomato in the first place.  I toned the surface on the left side with burnt sienna and on the right with green. I like doing these studies, I often do them as a warm up exercise. I'm hoping now I'll return to my other tomato with fresh eyes.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


One of my favorite foods...

3 3/4" x 5 3/4", Oil on canvas (sold)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sunday, April 6, 2014