Friday, March 20, 2015

Floating Colors

"Floating Colors"
9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

I love painting these glass floats! Especially all the crazy things that happen in their cast shadows. This colorful composition, painted under halogen lights in my home studio, is a far cry from the muted, window-lit compositions I came up with when I painted these floats on the coast!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My First Pregnant Model

"Radiance"
18 x 14 inches, oil on canvas
 
 I've wanted to paint a pregnant model ever since I fell in love with Alice Neel's work, back in college. I don't really paint like Neel, but I'm inspired by the frankness with which she sees her subjects - and the fearlessness of her paint handling. She obviously had zero fear of a blank canvas!

I've painted this woman many times, but this is the first time during her pregnancy. It's true what they say - and I witnessed this in myself when I was pregnant - there's a radiance that comes with the territory. I hope I captured just a little of it.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Citrus Morning

 "Citrus Morning"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I really enjoyed painting this orange, which was surprisingly red on the inside - more like a grapefruit than your traditional orange. The variety is called "Cara Cara," and it's also surprisingly delicious!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Curvy Company

 "Curvy Company"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I crowdsourced this great title on my Facebook page. So fun to see what everyone suggested! 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Green Apples, Pink Plates

"Granny Smith Snack"
8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

I love Granny Smith apples. You can keep your weirdly expensive Honeycrisps and your other strange new varieties. My favorite apples to eat (and paint) are these. It's funny, though...growing up in Ohio, and now living in Oregon, apple picking has been an annual tradition - and yet I've never picked Granny Smiths. Where do they come from?

I'm also pleased to report that, though I bought it sometime back in 2014, this is the first time I've managed to (somewhat) successfully paint this pink plate. :)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Teaching in my New Studio

 "Sliced Orange Still Life"
8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

I've been teaching my still life workshop in lots of places lately, but not right here in Oregon. That's going to be changing very soon!

My new studio is the perfect size to host a small group of artists, and I'm hoping to do just that April 10-12th. We'll be painting still lives very much like the one I posted today, and doing exercises focused on loosening up our eyes and our painting hands.

Here's all the information.

And here's a shot of my new studio (before I started messing it up!):


Can't make the workshop? I'm also offering private lessons, in 3 hour blocks, for groups of one to three. For more information on that, email me!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lemon Wedges - A one dollar auction!

"Lemon Wedges"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas
Auction opens at $1!

A few weeks ago, I moved into a new studio - and as I'm coming to find out, getting acclimated to working in a new space is a process! Familiar objects take on new characters, colors don't look quite the same. Lighting has to be experimented with. If you're me, that one's an endless process!

This is the first sketch I made in my new space. Since then, there have been several wipers, a truly weird painting (I won't post it, I'm not really even sure who painted it, it looks nothing like my normal work), and at last, more recently, some better stuff. 

Which I'll begin to show you tomorrow!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Come Paint With Me!

"Garlic on a Purple Plate"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas
$200

Here's a painting from last year which I'm pulling out of the vault because it's a perfect example of the type of subjects we paint in my workshop, "Painting the Dynamic Still Life." It's three days of fun and hard work, and I've got sessions coming up in Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Portland, and also at my home studio in Eugene!

You can read about some of my past workshops here, here, and here.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Red Reverie

 "Red Reverie"
14 x 11 inches, oil on canvas

For this painting, I used a limited palette of Cadmium Red, Viridian, Yellow Ocher, and White. Here's how my palette looked at the end of the three-hour session:

 What a mess!

And here's my work-in-progress:

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Portrait Demo and Workshops Galore

 "Lauren"
9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas
Zorn palette

Earlier this week I headed up to Portland, to Sequoia Gallery and Studios, for a Zorn palette portrait demo. With only 90 minutes to paint, I had to work quickly, but sometimes that's a good thing! It certainly cuts down on any perfectionist tendencies I might be harboring.

Here's my painting, with the lovely model:
 

And here I am with my work-in-progress:


I have a TON of workshops coming up. To see a complete list, check out my Workshops page. Most recently, I've added a still life workshop in San Antonio, at the amazing Whistle Stop Corner Studio in May. Also....I'm finally going to be teaching still life right here in Eugene, at my new studio. More on that very soon....In the meantime, you can register here!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Primarily Apples

 "Apple Trio"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

Here's a painting I did using only the primary colors (Cadmium red, Cadmium yellow, and Ultramarine blue), plus white. A great way to capture truly brilliant bright reds is to lighten them by adding yellow instead of white. Titanium white has a blue cast, which ever-so-slightly cools and dulls orangey Cad red. A dash of yellow lightens it, keeps it saturated, and gives it a warm kick that helps it advance towards the eye.

Here are the three stages of my painting. First, I tone the canvas with a dull orange I mix from all three colors, laying in my drawing and pulling out some highlights. Second, I firm up my drawing with a darker shade, indicating my darkest darks and noting the overall value scheme. And third: add color!

Step two-and-a-half - not shown here - is paint mixing. With a palette knife. A lot of it. :)


Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Coast Memory

 "A Coast Memory"
10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

Back in the studio, feeling excited about painting! Working hard on the concept that if you nail the value, you can really use any color you like. And using contrast to reinforce my focal point. Notice how that little triangle of purple next to the bright yellow slash ever-so-subtly keeps your eye on the glass float, front and center? That's a complementary color contrast at work!

Speaking of work: I've got a portrait workshop next weekend, Feb 20-22nd, at Oregon Art Supply with two spots open. Sign up if you feel like working with me - and having fun too!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Still Life Painting: The Next Level!

 "Teacup Demo at Shreveport"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas
sold

My second workshop in Shreveport, Louisiana (read all about the first one here) was a group who'd painted with me last October. Besides being incredibly flattered that they'd come back for more, I was excited to see how their work had progressed, and try out some new ideas!

We worked on edges, paint handling, color mixing, and stroke economy....


...we took a field trip to the art supply store, and had a varnishing demonstration.

Also they plied me with King Cake!

(I got the baby!)

On the last day of the workshop, we set up a new, large still life, and used limited palettes - one of each of the primary colors, plus white. Below right you can see my demo palette: I chose Alizarin Crimson, Cerulean Blue, and Yellow Ocher.
 

 My painting had very muted yellows, as a result, but the color harmony was automatic. We all learned a ton about the unique properties of the three colors we chose!

"Limited Palette demo at Shreveport"
9x12" oil on canvas

Thanks, Ladies, for being such a great group! Can't wait until the next time.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Painting the Dynamic Still Life...in Shreveport!

"Green Apple Demo at Shreveport"
8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas
sold

I just got back from a week in sunny Shreveport, Louisiana, teaching two fabulous still life workshops! The first was a group of new (to me) students, who spent three intense days delving into values, color, and brushwork, and made some amazing paintings.

We set up three colorful, communal still life tables, and gathered around. The students got to zoom in on the subjects that appealed to them. Some painted apples, some painted turnips. All got a chance to experiment with different colors and subjects throughout the weekend.


 In one of my favorite exercises, we limited the number of brushstrokes used to make a quick painting. Here's my demo: two lemons, in 25 strokes!

 It was an enthusiastic, talented, friendly, and fun group of artists! Grateful I got to paint with you all.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Exploring the Zorn Palette Portrait

 
 "Maya B"
12 x 9 inches, oil on canvas
sold

 January's session of Zorn Palette Portrait was a blast, with a new model every day, two painting demos by moi, and tons of great work by the students!

Here's the progression of my demo of Maya, which took about 2 hours:

On day 2, we had a very special guest model: my friend in art (and life), Gabriella. Here she is, posing, with the students' portraits of her at the bottom right:



Here are the students' portraits of Maya. So good!!


I'm already looking forward to the next round of this workshop - lining up some fresh model faces, too. There are a couple of spots still available for February 20-22, at Oregon Art Supply. Register here!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Specs Steal the Show

 
 "Spectacles"
12x9 inches, oil on canvas

It's not hard to tell where the focal point of this piece is! Those thick glasses really dominate the model's face, blurring the detail of his eyes. They also catch the strongest highlight in the painting - which usually happens on the tip of the nose or on the forehead, in a portrait. 

So, I titled this one "Spectacles," because that's what it's all about.

 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wrapping and Rolling

 
"Wrapping and Rolling"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas
Special Christmas Price! 
$100
Sold

Merry Christmas! Wow, I really squeaked this one in under the wire - my one and only ornament painting for 2014! Last year there were two, in 2012 there were four...

You can see a time-lapse video of this painting being created HERE. Enjoy!

And have a great holiday.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I Expose My Reference

 
 "Self Portrait Sketch no. 2"
10 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I've explained it before - I always paint self portraits from photo reference. I took a slew of selfies the other day, and have been trying out a few different heads - hoping to complete a large self portrait (head and hands) before the end of the year.

It's a tall order. Good thing I'm a short person!

Here's the photo for this one:


Any other painters want to give it a shot?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Sketching Selfies

 
 "Self Portrait Sketch no. 1"
10 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I just finished up a Christmas portrait commission, which, because it hasn't been gifted yet, is unsharable. What to do with all that leftover paint? You got it: Selfies! This kind takes a little bit longer than this kind, but it's a lot more fun.

Here's my sketch-to-finish. The pencil drawing was a quick ten-minute warmup in my studio journal.


Did someone say "Studio Journal?!" Sounds suspiciously like new year's resolution material.....

'Tis the season, after all.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Limited Palette Love

 
 "Triangle Pose"
14 x 11 inches, oil on canvas

For this piece, I used a palette of Cadmium Red, Viridian, Hansa Yellow, and Yellow Ocher. I think of that either as a straight up complementary Red-Green setup, with yellow thrown in because you can't do flesh tones without it - or as a three-primaries palette, with red, yellow, and Viridian green as a stand-in for blue.
Cadmium Red and Viridian mix some beautiful pinks and lavenders, which I might never have fully explored if I hadn't tried this palette combo.

There are so many reasons to try painting with a limited palette...but my number one favorite? It saves me from having to track down all 11 or 12 of my normal colors when I'm rushing out the door on Tuesday nights!