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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Wells Street Bridge

16 x 20
oil on board

I started this one last year when the weather in northern Indiana was more typical of the winter months up here. It was freezing out and too cold to stay outside and paint. I worked then from the photo, but it was a long season and I soon lost enthusiasm so I set it aside, probably feeling too winter weary to stay with it. Then last week, attending the artist reception at The Castle Gallery, I found inspiration in all the beautiful paintings of snow scenes and became enthused to tackle the challenge of capturing the colors and play of light in snow. After this went back up on the easel, it fairly, as the saying goes, "painted itself". The snow in the foreground was the main challenge, but inspired by the works of local artists, Fred Doloresco and my friend Douglas Runyan, I dived in with my brush loaded with paint and laid it on thickly. And I think it worked.  By the way, after I finished today, my husband and I took a bike ride to look at Christmas decorations with temperatures in the mid-60's. Weird.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Thank You Mr. Sullivan

24 x 30
oil on canvas
Chicago's beautiful old Carson Pirie Scott building, now called The Sullivan Center, is one of the masterpieces of architect Louis Sullivan and one of my favorites. This commission gave me another wonderful excuse to go visit my favorite city so I could photograph the building. I won't lie, it was challenging for this girl who prefers figurative and portrait painting and I'm celebrating that it's finished! 

The ironwork on Sullivan's building is magnificent and actually practical since it is fireproof. This building was designed after Chicago's infamous fire and so created to prevent another such catastrophe. Chicago's architecture is an absolute treasure and if you ever get a chance to go up there and take the architectural tour, it will be time well spent.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Doodle

5 x 7 
oil on panel
No, it's not her name, it described my process for beginning this little portrait of my paint friend, Karen. I was sitting at my easel when a very talkative, always entertaining friend called. Knowing this was going to be one of those mega-conversations, I began a loose and somewhat distracted oil sketch of Karen, taken from a photo during one of our plein air outtings. By the time the phone call ended, I had moved from doodling to laying in the thick layer of paint. I was surprised by how close the likeness was for having not given great attention to what I was doing. Later I tweaked things and tried to get closer to a good portrait. It's not perfect, but it was fun. In this picture, she's wearing her big floppy paint hat, her apron, and has her backpack slung over one shoulder, a lot of information that doesn't read well in this closely cropped picture, but I like the light on her face.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

October Morning

8 x 10
oil on canvas board
     Yesterday I met up with some friends from our local artist guild and took part in a paint out in the charming town of Roanoke, Indiana. It was a gorgeous sunny day and I had a great time, although I painted too slow to keep up with the changing shadows, so I finished it today. Painting within a time restriction and chasing the light is a really good exercise for keeping loose and making decisions for color and values quickly.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Pretty in Pink

16 x 20
oil on canvas
   Family love is captured on a screened porch between two beauties in pink.  This is my wonderful neighbor and her little great granddaughter at the reception following a family wedding.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Shadow Dance

16 x 20
oil on canvas
A little girl plays in the surf at Malibu. While she was splashing in the puddles and making shadows in the sand, my nephew's wedding was taking place just to the left of her little playground.

 Jeremy and Alyssa

There were also people repelling down the rocks during the ceremony and others climbing down while we were getting pictures, as noticed in this shot. Lots of fun happenings there on the beach. Another fun fact about this particular location is, this is the site of the final shot in the original "Planet of the Apes" where Charlton Heston rides up and sees the torso of the Statue of Liberty washed up on the shore.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Garden Ornaments

20 x 16
oil on canvas
 A young woman poses on an ornamental bridge in a lovely Indiana flower garden as light filters through pink and green leaves.
For purchase information, please contact The Castle Gallery

Thursday, September 10, 2015

"Sushi"

9 x 12
oil on canvas
It took me awhile to like sushi and I'm still a lightweight, inasmuch as I still haven't developed an appreciation for the more exotic selections on the menu, but what I do like, I LOVE! The last time I met my friend for lunch at a favorite local restaurant, the staff was gracious enough to let me take their photo. There is such atmosphere and color here!
 For purchase, please contact The Castle Gallery

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Santa Monica Street Dance

12 x 12
oil on 1/2" cradled panel

On my first trip to California I learned what all the fuss is about. A weekday visit to Santa Monica treated us to a Chinese celebration and street dance, apparently not uncommon to this spectacular city. The amazing, pervasive sunshine set up great shadows on these dancers.
For purchase, please contact The Castle Gallery

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Up the Creek

18 x 14
oil on canvas
I was crossing over a little bridge on a woodsy road and had to stop the car and take the photo I used for this painting.  The foreground was in shadow from the thick woods while the background was glittering with morning sun. The reflected blue sky was just this pretty. I painted it pretty loosely, that is loosely for me.
This painting is available through The Castle Gallery

Monday, July 20, 2015

Rob

6 x 6
oil on panel
Our good friend Rob. An incredible musician and along with his wife Susie, is the other half of The Flying Suracis. He not only tears up the guitar and bass, he can grill killer brats, is effortlessly funny, and shares my deep, abiding love of Beatle music.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

In the Shade Garden

12 x 14
oil on canvas

I so enjoyed this challenge of getting the dappled light and shade right in the skin tones on this painting.  The model took some time to catch up on her studies while she provided this classic pose.
For purchase, please contact The Castle Gallery

Thursday, July 9, 2015

In the Golden Hour on Theme and Main

11 x 14
oil on canvas
Recently, we were taking a drive to check out the rivers in town which, thanks to the relentless rains this summer, have been very high for weeks. At this location along the St.Mary's river, the sun was just beginning to set and it was brilliantly flashing between the trees. We had to pull the car over to just appreciate the beauty of the moment.
For purchase, please contact The Castle Gallery

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Barr Street Market

11 x 16
oil on board
sold
It's so exciting to be back into the season of garden fresh vegetables and farmer's markets. We went out to one last weekend and it was enough to inspire me to finish this painting that I began last year. This is a popular local market, full of the colors and fragrances of summer.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Landing

11 x 14
oil on board
I'm trying to do more plein air painting and am lucky to have a group of painter friends who have organized weekly outings. Last week we met downtown on Columbia Street West, historically known as "The Landing" since it was the point of landing and departure for people and goods using stagecoaches or boats on the Erie and Wabash Canal. For as long as I can remember, it's since been the site of various bars, delis, hotels, shops, coffee houses and candy parlors as well as empty buildings. Currently it's pretty quiet and largely unoccupied except for a couple of restaurants, some professional buildings, and one very popular and stalwart bar which is subject of my painting. That's probably going to change again soon, for the better, since our city has been actively and successfully revitalizing the downtown area for awhile with expansions that will bring this old street back to life.
For purchase, please contact The Castle Gallery

Friday, July 3, 2015

Garden views

16 x 20
oil on canvas
"In the Garden"
14 x 18
oil on canvas
"Lilly Gardens"
A couple more works painted, or i should say "started", in Indianapolis while at the Randall Sexton workshop. We were pretty much set loose to paint where we wanted. And the model and Randall were very generous to let us take lots of photo references to use later. Randall would come around with advice or suggestions for those who asked, but these two paintings were still in the sketch/ blocking in phase while he was around and finished later at home.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Costumed Model

18 x 14
oil on canvas
I was able to attend a terrific plein air workshop with Randall Sexton last month. The weather didn't cooperate, although we did get some half days out in the beautiful gardens at the estate where the workshop was held. When the rains rolled in, we gathered in a garage where it was hot and damp, but we did get some nice experiences painting models, in spite of conditions. I appreciate how miserable the models had to be, sitting still under a lamp and away from the open garage doors. This portrait is of Rich, who dressed in a uniform which was interesting in contrast to his flowing hair and beard. Nice guy.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Chairmen of the Boards

24 x 12
oil on canvas
A scene captured in Chicago on Michigan Avenue of people playing street chess. I love that city.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Her Father's Turn

20 x 16
oil on canvas
  My friend's daughter was recently married and this captures one of the sweet moments, the father-daughter dance. I took a lot of liberties with the interior at the reception, just for fun and extra atmosphere.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

New Vintage

5 x 7
oil on panel

I love ball jars. And this year, to my great delight,  I found Ball had reissued pint jars in a deep purple! So I set up this little still life of my purple reissued Ball jar on my pink reproduction carnival glass platter. This is the same setting as my blue Ball jar painting, with our back yard showing through the window in the background. The colors were kind of crazy but works since yellow-green is the compliment of red-purple.  I can't wait to can jam in these jars, but will always keep one reserved for painting!
For purchase, please contact The Castle Gallery

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Catching Z's

5 x 7
oil on gessoboard
I've always heard the most brilliant sunrises and sunsets happen during the change of seasons and lately, we've had some whoppers.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Life Drawings





Last week I attended a life drawing session hosted by Artlink Gallery. It has been a very long time since I've had the opportunity to draw a live, nude model and I expected it to be a challenging evening. A friend had said it would come back to me like riding a bicycle and happily, she was right. I'm hoping to do this more often and to improve these skills. These drawings were done with a mix of pencils I brought along including pastel, Prismacolor, and a range of leads. They weren't an ideal mix, so next time I'll know to use more congruent materials.

It was good to become reacquainted with what different effects you get with various paper textures and the soft and hard pencils. The entire session was three hours during which the model gave us five, thirty, and forty minute poses.  All three of these poses were held for approximately 40 minutes and the time flew by.   


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Doctor Banjo

8 x 8
oil on panel

I needed to do a portrait today and our friend Mike was the perfect subject. One of his occupations is being a luthier, which means he builds and repairs instruments. He's also a terrific musician. I took the photo I used for this portrait, when he was doing some work on my banjo. I love the great character in his face. And he IS a character and a good guy, so this will be a gift to him.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Rose Nouveau

5 x 7
oil on panel
My sweet husband Scott brought me beautiful roses for Valentine's Day so I popped one into my favorite art nouveau vase and did this quick little painting. This was the first time I used the light and shadow box I built using Carol Marine's design which is available here.

Last night was the artist's reception for the Valentine's Day show at The Castle Gallery of Fine Art and as always, we had a wonderful time visiting with friends, enjoying gorgeous art, and even jamming a little music. My painting "Be Mine" looked great in it's new frame and though this isn't a good photo, I wanted to share it. It was actually beautifully lit as well.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Updo

8 x 8
oil on panel
After finishing the last larger, more detailed piece of cut glass, I needed to loosen up with some quick paintings. I did a couple small ones including this guy which was an older one that was started and set aside. I totally enjoyed doing both in quick, broad strokes with lots of linseed to make the paint nice and juicy. This little magpie duck with the tufted head feathers reminded me of the fancy updos of the early sixties, (when I was a kid!).

Monday, February 2, 2015

Be Mine

19 x 25
oil on canvas
Valentine's Day is coming and I had it in my mind to do another painting with glass, maybe Ball jars, but in pinks. Obviously as I started setting up my arrangement it morphed into something quite different, but it's glass and it's pink. I have never tackled anything quite like this, but it was enjoyable.
This is going into the Valentine's Day show at the Castle Gallery in Ft.Wayne, Indiana.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Putting In

12 x 12
oil on gessoboard
Launching the kayak on a sunny day. I particularly liked the sun glowing through the plastic body of the boat. We don't need many excuses for getting out in our yaks, no matter the season, but we do need this ice to melt. Every year about this time, I just repeat to myself, "spring's coming".

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Spirit of Music

8 x 8
oil on gessoboard
A painting of "The Spirit of Music", a sculpture by Albin Polasek, commissioned to honor Theodore Thomas, the first conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  It sits now in Grant Park across from the Spirit of Music Garden where she oversees Chicago's Summer Dance series.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Mom

6 x 6
oil on gessoboard
A portrait of my sweet mother, taken from a snapshot. My parents passed away at a young age and so suddenly, we don't have any formal or even very clear photos of them. I was telling a friend how surprised I was to find myself remembering details as I painted this. This was done because of a challenge to "paint your parents" posted on the Daily Paintworks site, and I'm grateful for it because it's something I've wanted to do but have put off for a long time. So, on to Dad.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Saturday Market

12 x 9
oil on gessoboard
This gentleman was good enough to pose for a picture standing by his vintage scales at a summer farmer's market. There were many fun things to tackle in this painting besides the figurative work. The portrait, the fabric folds, the big smooth enamel finish of the scales, the jars of honey, the onions, and the plastic covered bread and lettuce, each carried separate challenges. I enjoyed the process so much, I almost regretted finishing it. Well, on to the next one.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Ice Ballet

5 x 7
oil on panel
It's been a busy Christmas season and happily, my son is still here for a visit during his school break, but since he was off and visiting others today, I took this opportunity to reintroduce myself to my paints. This little quick oil sketch is of a friend's granddaughter, gracefully performing her dance on ice. She's in that beautiful stage of growth where her child's body is stretching out toward early adolescence and I found her in the pose simply captivating.