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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


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!


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


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.