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Friday, November 22, 2013

Nick

5 x 7
oil an Ampersand
 This face, my son's, is my favorite in the world - and one of the hardest for me to paint because I know it so well. The challenge is to not just capture his likeness, but to express something about the incredibly kind and intelligent person he is.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Susie

6 x 6
oil on panel
Another addition to my friends and family wall, my dear friend Susie Suraci. Susie is an amazing artist whose paintings we have proudly and lovingly hung in our home. Her beautiful work is often shown in galleries and exhibitions around this corner of the country. As soon as she gets another website up and rolling - I'll add it to my favorites on the right side of this blog page.  Susie is also a singer-songwriter and is currently teamed up with her likewise very talented husband Rob in the band, The Flying Suracis.  Oh - and she's a writer-writer.  She's a constant source of inspiration to me in so many ways and one of my nearest and dearest.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Best Buds

8 x 10
oil on Ampersand Panel
A lovely little bouquet that my sweet husband put together from out of our yard. I had an intense romance with blue Ball jars this summer and Scott kept them filled with these little treasures from our flower beds.  The cupcake was a bonus!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Dorine

6 x 6
oil on Ampersand Panel
Another little portrait in my family and friends series. This is my husband's late mother. She was tiny but with a great cloud of cotton candy hair that was particularly fun to paint.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Aunt Jerry

5 x 7
oil on Ampersand Panel
As I worked on this, I kept trying to imagine what I could say to describe my Aunt Jerry and found I couldn't adequately edit a fitting description down to a few sentences. Those of us that knew her and loved her know the amazing person she was, so I'll leave with the following. She lived long enough so that she forever etched her great love, faith, and optimism in her precious face.  We all miss her dearly.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Paul

6 x 6
oil on Ampersand panel
I'm still slowly working toward my goal of painting mini portraits of my family and friends, all to hand together in our house. This is our friend Paul, an amazing musician, songwriter, carpenter, craftsman, and the best banjo picker I've ever personally known. This was taken from one of his photos, with his permission.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Freddie

6 x 6
oil on Ampersand panel
The last month has been a busy one with festivals, family celebrations, and other events but life is settling back to normal. I was determined to sit down and paint today and was very happy that it all rolled along smoothly. This is a portrait of my late father-in-law Freddie, a charming, intelligent, good man.  This is from a photo my husband took about a year before he died at age 93. Right up to the end he and his wife lived independently in their own home, mowing his own lawn, driving, and hanging out with his best friend, the guy next door.  He certainly lived up to the reputation of being a member of the "greatest generation".

Scott and Freddie


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Applying Patience

8 x 10
oil on panel
I'm not much of a flyer. It takes something pretty important for me to climb on to an airplane, such as a trip to see my son, but I've mostly had decent experiences.  The exception was on my last return trip during which my expected four hour layover turned into almost three days of cancellations and rerouting and would have been longer if I hadn't finally rented a car and drove home.  The weather was the main culprit but the airline's lack of customer service made a bad situation miserable.  This couple settled themselves in with their devices and seemed to take it all in stride, but then again their plane actually took off.



Monday, September 16, 2013

An Outside Job

8 x 10
oil on panel
A few years ago I took a plein air workshop.  It was in July of 2010 which was a summer of grueling heat and humidity. The model was a friend of the artist conducting the workshop and generously baked in the sun as we painted.  This was from one of the reference photos I took that day. I tried to approach painting it in the studio with the same loose, efficiency you have to use in the field.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Rosy Cheeks

4 x 4
oil on Ampersand panel
In looking through files for a subject today, I came across pictures of the lovely Miss Adora Levine whose life has been chronicled on a blog called Adorable.  She is four now, and since she was a baby, she has been the subject of over 600 artistic interpretations by artists at the invitation from her parents.  This is the second portrait I've had the pleasure to paint from a photo taken by her parents.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mayfield Pond

10 x 10
oil on canvas
On my last visit to Austin, Texas, we went to Mayfield Park and Preserves.  The park is a beautiful, scenic two acres that include flower gardens, six of these lily filled ponds, and most notably, peacocks.  Peacocks are walking around everywhere, spreading out their gorgeous feathers and letting you come up close to photograph them.  The ponds are really pretty with their white, pink, and fuchsia flowers and are home to lots of fish and turtles.  Then there is an additional 21 acres of preserves used as a wildlife habitat that visitors can hike.  
I so love painting while I'm listening to podcasts of Artists Helping Artists.  If you're not familiar with it, click on it or you can access it through the iTunes store to subscribe. The program always provides helpful and practical advice to artists, interviews with professional artists, tips on managing your business, marketing strategies, and just about any topic of interest. I just love it. 
It's hosted by Leslie Saeta who is also hosting a challenge to artists to paint every day and post it on her blog found here

For purchase information regarding this or my other paintings, click here.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sand Fences

6 x 6
oil on Ampersand panel
These little iconic, weather beaten and sun bleached strips of fencing are used to keep sand from reeking havoc with beach front homes and their air conditioners, plumbing, and pools.  To an inland person, they were always a mystery until I Googled it - thank God for Google!  This was taken along the beach at Hilton Head, South Carolina.

I used a bit of palette knife action on this to cut in those fine weeds, especially in the background. 

For purchase information visit my gallery at Daily Paintworks.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Kamora

6 x 6
oil on Ampersand panel
This radiant redheaded girl was born with a bone deformity in one of her hind legs rendering it useless. In this bad news, good news scenario however, she was adopted by my dear friends Beth and Roger Wilson, making her one of the luckiest pups in the world. Kamora is dearly loved and pays it forward with her sweet disposition.  She still gets around OK on her three legs and has the huge muscular chest of an Olympic swimmer. 

I've been trying to paint (a painting!) every day this month as part of the 30 in 30 challenge hosted by Leslie Saeta. To see today's entries click here. I didn't make it this weekend but last night I thought I would lay this one in and get a head start on today. At two this morning, with 90% of it done, I finally went to bed! Maybe I'll catch up on if there's enough coffee in the house! 

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Different Kind of Painting





My goal was to try to paint every day and I guess this qualifies even though I didn't paint a picture with my usual medium.  This is one of the pottery pieces my husband made out of redware and my job is to do the decorative painting. This is a combination of slip, glaze painting, and sgrafitto for a Klimt inspired pattern on what will be a mirror.  Sgrafitto is a technique in which you first paint the pottery with a slip, then scratch a design into it, letting the terra cotta colored clay show through.  We do a lot of traditional, reproductions of early American designs but he also lets me be as creative as I want as with this piece.  I should add, this is all I do with the pottery - Scott everything, throwing, glazing, and firing.

Here are some finished examples of redware and stoneware and also our booth at The Johnny Appleseed Festival here in Ft.Wayne, Indiana.




and us...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Firefly Flowers

9 x 12
oil on 1"cradled gesso board

I met my sister at a coffee shop this morning to see a painting exhibit by my friend, artist, singer, and songwriter, Susan Taylor Suraci.  Her paintings are gorgeous and inspiring and I was all fired up to paint but didn't have a subject in mind. As we were leaving I looked over and saw this scene of the cafe's patio and deck area.  It was alive with color, the sun was shining, and the crazy sunflowers were at attention.  It was like a gift!

$125

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Yankee Doodle Sweetheart

6 x 12
oil on canvas board

WaHoo!  I didn't think I was going to make the goal today to paint and post every day this month - but take that Day 4!!  This little study will serve as a problem solver for a larger painting later, maybe.  Those leaf shadows look a little like feathers in the background in this small format - something to practice more!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Reflections

5 x 7
oil on panel

Stage lights casting stark reflections on a young man's face and drink as he listens to a band.

Monday, September 2, 2013

What a Doll!

6 x 6
oil on canvas panel

It was suggested that participants in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days project, pick a theme.  I had kicked around the notion of doing a series on my toys and other familiar items from my childhood in the 1950s and 60s. I spent a day digging in our storage for the big container that stored my toys and then upon finding it, had a wonderful reunion with them all.  I was amazed to find the girls in remarkably good shape considering how enthusiastically I played with them and how many multiple moves they've made over the years.  Among my treasures are Tiny Tears, Betsy McCall, Beth of Little Women, three Terri Lee Dolls (no relation), my Trolls, Skipper, and of course Barbie.  Barbie was my most loved doll and went with me everywhere. I still marvel at the details in her clothes and little accessories.

BUT she was surprisingly difficult to paint!  This ended up as tedious and worrisome as anyone else's portrait, especially since everyone knows what Barbie looks like!  I decided after this to do some paintings along this theme, but not exclusively.  The Barbie Game made a nice background for her although her pose looks like a cruel Yoga position.  Poor girl is going to be 54 next month after all.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Spread the Joy

6 x 6
oil on Ampersand panel

Today I am beginning the challenge to post a painting every day throughout September.  The host of Artists Helping Artists, Leslie Saeta, is hosting this challenge and so far 340 artists have signed on.  September is probably the busiest month for us since my husband and I are very involved in a big weekend festival, doing a show with his pottery and doing a set every day with our string band.  And additionally our band plays two other events the next week.  The pottery alone is pretty all consuming around here right now.  But I'm going to try my best to paint every day and produce something worth posting because there's no better way to improve and to build commitment to this skill than to exercise it.  

This portrait is of a friend who radiates joy with her warmth, humor, and spirit. She is also extremely skilled in her job and her comforting presence always leaves me feeling blessed. 


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Perfect

16 x 20
oil on canvas
Sold!
This is a painting of blue ball jars and vases and our back yard as viewed through all that beautiful turquoise glass.  I sat them on a mirror in front of a window and loved the effect.  Then had to recreate the whole thing later with the Gerber Daisies which were added for the color pop.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Pick Me

8 x 8
oil on Ampersand Gessoboard

This is a "do again", not so much a do-over, of a painting I did at my workshop with Dreama Tolle Perry last February.  I used the photo she had given us in class and added a squashed version of a beautiful ball jar a friend had given me.  (Love that jar Susie!)  I recently gave away the original painting I had done in class and thought I'd just do it again as a pick-me-up.  That was such a fun class and Dreama's style is so liberating and energetic, it was a fun treat to revisit it for something to do on this humid Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Good Life

8 x 11
oil on canvas
This was an impulse painting from an old photo taken of one of my dearest friends several years ago while hiking.  She had written "The Good Life" on the back, so that's what I called the painting.  I didn't try to capture her likeness, I was really chasing the challenge of conveying the energy and colors of this beautiful stream.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Book Store

11 x 14
oil on panel
Waiting out an afternoon rainstorm in a wonderful Austin Bookstore.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Shadowy Figure

12 x 12
oil on Ampersand panel
This painting was fun because of the great interplay of shadows, especially from the straw hat.  The sun was intense but her face was glowing from the gold reflections from the hat.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Boston Boy

8 x 8
oil on panel

I met this little guy in the park the other day. What a cutie. He's five months old and was just thrilled to let a stranger rub his little puppy belly.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Radiant

10 x 20
oil on canvas
This lovely young woman is one of my co-workers who graciously agreed to model for me.  We chose a day she was available that just happened to be a perfectly beautiful day.  I'm so happy with the cooperative sunlight and shadows - just what I was hoping for.   And I'm equally grateful that, as much as I tried and nearly succeeded, I didn't fall into this fountain while I was setting up her pose.  The title of this painting refers to the subject more than the wonderful sunlight. Emily thank you.  You are beautiful inside and out.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Double Talk


9 x 12
oil on gessoed board
sold
I am so happy we're back in the sunny months!  As a Hoosier, we have to wait for warmth and good sunshine to find it's way back to Indiana after long, cold winters, but this little scene is from the southeastern coastal area where such gifts are more plentiful.  This couple was deep in conversation while taking a late afternoon walk on the beach.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Visitor

20 x 20
oil on canvas

Our friend being made welcome by Kitty.  I loved the picture they made sitting in the oversized chair that our cat claims as her own.




Monday, April 22, 2013

Indiana Morning

11 x 14
oil on canvas board

Old brick homes, probably built around the time of the civil war, are still found everywhere in our region and probably all of the country.  They have a timeless charm.  We were invited to paint this one by it's owner during a plein air workshop but this painting was done yesterday from my photos of that event. On this day, it was extremely hot but a storm was closing in, providing a wonderful wind.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Crystal and Light

7 x 5 
oil on canvas

All last week I was in a paint-slump.  Even though I had a head full of loose ideas for painting subjects, I couldn't gather any momentum for actually starting one.   It's like having a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear.  Then yesterday, the switch flipped and I painted this little flower arrangement and the little dog portrait just posted.  Both are small, but successful in achieving what I was after, in this case to capture the texture and sparkle of light coming through a crystal vase. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

In a Sunshine State

5 x 7
oil on board
 
This sweet girl adopted my friends, Beth and Roger, and has taken good care of them.  This little painting was done from Beth's wonderful photo. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mona

6 x 6
oil on Ampersand panel
Continuing on with the little portraits of my own loved ones to go up on my peeps collection, this is my precious friend Mona.  Mona was also the subject of the painting "The Dixie Chick" which was posted back in Jan. 2012 after our girl trip to Hilton Head.  She's a New Orleans girl, passionate about music, art, her friends and family, and is the epitome of southern grace and style and COOKING!  I'm so lucky to have such beautiful and talented people in my life.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Beth

6 x 6
oil on Ampersand

There are so many things to say about my friend Beth.  I painted her and posted it here once before and noted at that time how absolutely photo resistant she is.  She's incredibly slippery and is brilliant at avoiding the camera, something we have in common.  It's a miracle that I had this nice straight on picture to work with since she's usually captured as a blur.  

A month or two ago I posted a little portrait of Beth's husband Roger and she, like him, is a person with a philanthropist's heart.  So much so in fact, that I choose them both to represent an "everyday star" in Ft.Wayne's Murosity Project ( Murosity = Mural + Generosity by highlighting a person or persons who give their time and talents to contribute to the betterment of this community ).  Click here for the website and mural. Hint : My panel is 6th from the left on the second row.  And here is my panel illustrating Beth among some of the critterdom she so loves.

12 x 12
acrylic on canvas

The panels were prepped with the subtle image of the overall painting of the mural, and the task of each artist was to create their painting within the constraints of that image.  
 
I painted Beth this time just for Scott and me and will join the others on my wall of peeps we love.  


Monday, March 25, 2013

Our Bloomers

12 x 16
oil on Ampersand panel
"The Meaning of Spring" is this week's theme on the Daily Paintworks Challenge and midway through this painting, I realized my seasonal floral faux pas.  That is, that lilies and snapdragons are more summer bloomers up here in northern Indiana, but I also threw in a few beards tongue and pre-bloomed Allium to even things up a bit.  Anyway, in my defense, my first thoughts of spring are the brilliant, spectral, fragrant gifts of our garden and I can't wait to see them again.  They're on their way, even though this morning their little green preludes were barely poking through the four or five inches of snow we were blessed with.  But then again, it's water and after last year's drought, we'll take it however we can get it because Spring is here!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Varietal Show

8 x 10
oil on hardboard

My cousin Janice took an inspiring photo of an Italian vineyard while vacationing there and this is a loose interpretation of that scene.  I'd love to go there and experience for myself those dramatic blue mountains and patchwork of grape vines.  I can appreciate why it's been the subject of so may artist.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Precious Cargo

8 x 8
oil on Ampersand panel

I was in the park with a group of plein air painters when a woman walked by with her beautiful baby in this old classic pram.  She was kind enough to stop and let us grab sketchpads and snap pictures.  What a photo-op.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Patrick O'Riordan

6 x 6
oil on Ampersand Panel

Just in time for St.Patrick's Day, here's my favorite Irishman, our very dear ,very precious friend Pat.  If you happen to be an Irish whistle (penny whistle) player, you probably already know of him.  He distinguished himself as an internationally known whistle maker and is credited on many albums as such and also has a magnificent tenor voice.  The day I met him was a miracle for me.  He was playing music at a festival with a small group of people that he brought together and simply put, I was memorized, I joined them, and they became my best friends and one of them, my husband! We've been friends and making music together now for 37 years - so far!  I'm so happy this turned out well - it will go up on my wall of "mugs" of the people in my life. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Juicy Fruits

6 x 6
oil on panel

Another quick, fun painting of one of the fruit and vegetable roadside markets in South Carolina.  I just love the rich, juicy color explosion!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

On Her Break

12 x 12
oil on canvas
Sold!
Kitty Pie keeps to a pretty tight schedule of eating, sleeping, cackling at birds, and waking us up every morning at four, making pitiful sounds to be fed.  Here she is taking a little break to stare out the window. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fresh Shrimp

6 x 6
oil on Ampersand panel
Sold!
This was one of the many roadside markets we saw while driving though the Lowcountry of South Carolina.  I guess fresh shrimp is the main feature of this particular stand, although I only saw the lovely, colorful fruits and veggies.  Determined to keep my strokes loose, I had to force my hand away from my tiny detail brushes again and again, although I gave in to using it on the signs and a couple other spots. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Benediction

9 x 12
Oil on Panel
I have been wanting to paint this beautiful statue for some time.  Her serene expression and open arms offer a sense of peace and acceptance that I've always loved.  When a "Statue Challenge" was offered on Daily Paintworks  I was happy to have the excuse to finally get to it.