Saturday, July 23, 2016

Avocado Appetizer

"Avocado Appetizer"
12 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

I'm really doing the yellow thing lately - well, always - and it doesn't get much more gorgeous in the yellow-green department than an avocado!


No video of this one, but if you're interested in my process for beginning a painting, I have a new video on YouTube. Watch it here!

Strangely enough, my last avocado was posted on July 24th....2008!? Exactly 8 years ago? There are no coincidences....


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Teaching In My PJ's

 "Purple Arrow"
8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

My new online art mentorship program is off to a great start! It's been a couple of months, and the improvements I'm seeing in my students' work are exciting - plus, I'm loving watching them inspire each other (and me). It's like art school, without having to get dressed. Not that I put too much effort into that back in the art school days....

This piece was a demo for one of my students - I recorded our session, and edited it down from over an hour to about 20 minutes. You'll hear us chatting about various things... some related to this painting, some not. Enjoy!

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Artist's Vacation

 "Oranges on a Grey Plate"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas
Sold, workshop demo painting

 I just returned from a wonderful whirlwind week in the Midwest. I think it's safe to say I covered all my bases while I was there, too! I taught a workshop, had a gallery opening, visited my father in Cleveland, my sister in Chicago, hit two amazing art museums, and did plenty of other cool touristy stuff - since, after almost a decade in the Pacific Northwest, I am pretty much of a tourist in the land where I grew up.

It all started at BayArts, in Bay Village, Ohio - a pretty amazing place. Here's a panorama of my solo show, "The Color of Light." 

Next up was a workshop. BayArts has a fantastic classroom. You know the feeling a space gets when art is made there for years and years? Lots of that going on here!

It was a great group of students - enthusiastic and talented. Check out their paintings from day two!

Then I decompressed from all that artmaking with some hardcore art viewing. Modigliani at the Art Institute of Chicago:

I have lots of workshops coming up, including another round of the same workshop I just taught at BayArts, at home in Eugene. Spaces are still available for this Saturday and Sunday. Info and registration here. Join us!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Watching the Sun

 "Watching the Sun"
14 x 18 inches, oil on canvas

I had a beautiful Fourth of July, painting a model en plein air at Eugene's big summer arts festival. Longtime readers may remember me doing this before - it's become a yearly tradition that I really look forward to! Here is my post from 2013 - and here is last year's.

My painting with the model, basking in the sun:

My friend Heather joined me this year - it's always fun to have company - and someone to help you wrestle around with your umbrella in the wind!

Here's my work-in-progress. I had to get that face in first! You can see me starting to test out my color mixes by smearing them on with a palette knife, over her left shoulder:

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Painting Together, Painting Alone

 "Blueberry Tart"
10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

I love a new project - and I have one this week! I've been attending open studio sessions to draw and paint the figure for years, and lately have found myself wondering - could that model (no pun intended) work with still life? Get a group of like-minded artists together to paint, chat, and share a still life set-up...why not?

The inaugural session of the Still Life Open Studio was this past Thursday at Whiteaker Printmakers' Annex - the same space where I recently taught a figure painting workshop. There were six of us in attendance, but I brought enough subject matter for a small army of artists. Tea and lemons....shocker!

The fruit tarts were a change for me. First time painting one - and I loved the shiny fruit! 

Underpainting to finish. I always start my still lives the same way: with a wet-toned canvas in a warm neutral orange, then a value block-in in thin paint. I recently made a video for my online mentorship students demonstrating my whole process. If you enjoy watching it, give it a thumbs up on YouTube - I'd appreciate it!

Talking to myself in an empty wonder I was craving a group of painters to hang with!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Her Thoughts Elsewhere

 "Her Thoughts Elsewhere"
12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

I've been painting this model, Miranda, for many years now. In fact, she was the first model I ever painted in Eugene - my first nude model since the MICA years. I never posted that painting online. When I made it, I wasn't even sure that figure painting was going to be a real part of my "work." 
Well, it was.

And in the name of see-how-far-I've-come, I'm finally going to post it:

"Seated Nude, Red"
16 x 20 inches, oil on canvas
January, 2011

Funnily, these are the only two unsold paintings of Miranda that I have: the first one and the most recent. 

 Here's a work-in-progress on the new one:

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Limited Palette Portrait Painting

9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

 This is my two-hour demo from Limited Palette Portrait, which I taught right here in Eugene over the weekend. Below is the progression - I tried to snap a picture at each model break, so every 30 minutes. It went through an ugly stage just before the end, eh? 

The limited palette we use in this class is also called the Zorn palette - cadmium red, yellow ocher, and ivory black - plus white. We started the weekend with a simple color chart. 

As one of my students recently described it - the difference between just mixing up the colors on your palette, and actually painting them on the chart is like the difference between driving through a neighborhood and walking through it. I love that analogy! 

If you'd like to try walking through this neighborhood yourself, you can find my color chart template here.
Two intense days of painting for my students! I saw a ton of progress in a short time - their work speaks for itself!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Color Mixing For Painters


I  seem to be blogging about nothing but teaching lately - probably because I've been lucky enough to be doing a lot of it! Last weekend found me in Shreveport, Louisiana, mixing up a storm of paint, and enjoying some real storms, some serious humidity - and serious air conditioning.

This workshop, "Color Mixing for Painters," is designed for beginner/intermediate students, but I firmly believe that exercises like these can benefit painters at every stage in our development. I know I get something out of them each time. 

Grayscale value studies help us practice seeing the relationships between adjacent values.
You can watch a short video of my demo (on the left) on YouTube.

 Translating those values into color is the next step - and if you're familiar with my painting and teaching, you know how much I love using apples for studies like these! Check out this incredible student work:


 Thanks again, Shreveport. I will be back!

Friday, June 17, 2016

A Lovely Evening for a Portrait Demonstration

12x16 inches, oil on canvas

I love painting in front of an audience. I just searched my blog post history and turned up about ten instances of me painting out-and-about somewhere and gushing about it. Am I a show-off, or what?

In the last few years, I've painted for audiences at a gallery, a hotel, an art society, a conservatory, an art supply store (or two), and a church - oh and another gallery

Last week, I visited Shreveport, Louisiana, to teach for the third time. The evening before the workshop, I gave a portrait painting demonstration. The best part was that my subject was the teacher who organizes all of my workshops there. Her students loved watching her suffer under the pressure of my unflinching gaze.
...or maybe they were just enjoying the wine and good company!


Regardless, it was a blast. And check out that room! We were lucky enough to be hosted for the whole weekend by The Artist's Collective, a new gallery in Shreveport. Great spot for an art gathering, perfect place for my workshop.

 (The aforementioned unflinching gaze, in action)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A Portrait Commission

"Untitled - Portrait Commission, May 2016"
18 x 24 inches, oil on canvas

It's cool how one thing leads to another, isn't it? The woman who commissioned this painting saw my portrait of a friend of hers, and decided I'd be just the artist to update a very sweet wedding-night portrait of her and her husband of 38 years! 

I really enjoyed spending time with these two, in their sunny living room surrounded by enormous house plants and blooming orchids. We had three in-person sittings, and then I completed the painting from photo reference.

I started getting to know them with a quick sketch:

Once I feel that a portrait is finished, I send an image to my clients for approval and suggestions. Here is my preliminary finish, on the left, and the final painting, including their suggested changes - which were all just right. Can you spot any of them?


 Framed and ready to deliver:

Do you have a portrait project you'd like to discuss? I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, June 3, 2016

(Another) Nude With Silver Rings

 "Nude With Silver Rings no. 2"
14 x 18 inches, oil on canvas

Number one can be seen here. Kind of a similar painting - if not a similar model!  

I'm happy with this one - and I'm not making any apologies about the mouth. This guy has a mustache. It's large. It's anachronistic. So I indicated it loosely, and I leave you with this quote from my favorite painter of all time: 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Teaching The Figure

 "Nude with a Pear"
11 x 14 inches, oil on canvas
workshop demo price: $200

My Limited Palette Figure Painting workshop happened last weekend, here in Eugene. This was kind of a trial run for me - I've taught portrait several times, but never the nude figure - and I can humbly report that it went very well!  

On Friday evening I did a demo, which was open to the public. A few students of mine from other classes and private lessons joined the workshop attendees to watch.

The next morning, we started off with 4-value paintings. Two light flesh tones, and two dark ones to model the whole form. See? It can be done! And it's a great way to start a painting by working from the general (large shapes of value) to the specific (small anatomical details).

My demo of the 4-value exercise. 9x12" oil on Arches oil paper

Here is the progression of my demo from the second day. I can hear you thinking, 'All these demos, when did the students have time to paint?' They didn't watch the whole time - I just used this piece to demonstrate certain phases of the process. 

Believe me, much painting was done by my students.... 

Incredible painting!

I have two more workshops just like this one still to come in 2016 - one in September in Malibu, CA, and one in December in Eugene. Join me!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Apricots, Fake Milk, and Art Mentorship

 "Apricots and Milk"
10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

A very good example of a complementary color scheme: yellow-orange and blue-violet. Limiting the range of colors within your painting is a great way to keep it simple and harmonious - and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with using a limited palette (though if you're looking for color harmony, there's no easier way to find it than to use one). 

For me, setting up a still life is an exercise in color mixing - before I even take my palette out of the freezer. (What, you don't keep your palette in the freezer? You actually have food in there?) 

Speaking of the interest of full disclosure, I admit that this is not real milk. I gave up eating dairy products four months ago, so almond milk is the model here. I never knew changing my diet would have such a profound impact on all aspects of my life! Ha.

Before I end this post, I will sneak in an announcement: I've begun offering online art mentorships, and I'm pretty excited about it! More information here. :)