Saturday, December 14, 2013

Keeping You In the Dark

8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

Last one from my recent foray into the darkness

Although I'm in denial, I think I heard somewhere that there are only 10 shopping days left until Christmas. Fear not! You can still order my 2014 calendar, get it on time, and save 50% with the code 50OFFPRODUCT. 

Now, if anybody needs me, I'll be hanging my show. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Star Light

 "Star Light"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas
Available, click to buy

The glowing candle shining through this glass jar was the spark that drew me into this composition, but as I worked my way through the painting, the golden light-shape on the little orange rapidly became the "star." I love the loose hazy quality of low-light atmospherics, and the challenge of reigning myself in as I capture them.

Not getting too detailed, looking closely but not so closely that I strangle the gloomy potential of a scene like this is a challenge and a joy.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Day and Night: A Two-For-One Blog Post

 "Day Light"
12 x 9 inches, oil on canvas

"Night Light"
12 x 9 inches, oil on canvas

SEO be damned! I couldn't resist posting these two paintings together. The brilliant snowy light pouring through my (freezing, garage-studio) windows was too amazing not to capitalize on, and the early darkness too absolute not to cheer up with some votive candles.

I've forgotten how thrilling candlelight can be to capture in paint. A warm undertone and thin paint on the cast lights are the keys to capturing the effect.

Look for more candlelit paintings of these humble, beautiful objects from me in the next few days!

These paintings, and practically everything else I've painted this year will be on view and available for purchase at The Gallery at the Watershed, beginning Tuesday December 17th. Please email Amy, my fabulous Gallerista, if you'd like to inquire!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Garlic, Snow, and Ice

  "Garlic Braid on a Tea Towel"
16 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

Another painting of my glorious Thanksgiving garlic braid.

If you're like me, you've had it up to here with snow pictures on Facebook lately. At the expense of boring you with yet another diatribe on local weather conditions, I will say this: I have been snowed in for the past three days, and am now iced in. I live in a city that doesn't plow or salt the roads - also a city with some pretty serious topography - including my neighborhood, which is basically a hill on a hill.
What I'm trying to say is, I'm going crazy! Thank god for home studios.

And just in case you aren't fed up with snow pictures....

At least someone's happy about it!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Looking Back and Looking Forward

 "Christmas Clementines"
12 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

I love the combination of oranges, cranberries, and gold. It's a combo I've been wanting to revisit since I first tried it two years ago. Time flies!
(...And speaking of...)
 Hanging day for my show at The Gallery at the Watershed is one week from tomorrow! Please do plan to join me for the opening reception on Friday December 20th, at 7 pm.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Snowed In

"Christmas Cuties"
10 x 10 x 1.5 inches, oil on cradled birch panel

Santa's elves threw up all over my living room over Thanksgiving weekend, and mother nature followed up with a whopper of a Pacific Northwest snow storm in the wee hours of this morning. There must be ten inches out there as I type! Good thing I've got plenty of these little oranges (and toilet paper, don't worry) stockpiled: I don't think I'll be going anywhere for the next day or two!

I grew up in Ohio, where this kind of snow would be just another winter day, ho hum. In Eugene, Oregon it's Armageddon. They don't do snowplows or salt on the roads here, so when the white stuff happens, we just stay home. 

And I'm not complaining! So many gorgeous ornaments to paint. Thank you, little elves!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Lady Never Reveals Her Age...

"Self Portrait at 34"
18 x 14 inches, oil on canvas

Here I am. I was motivated to paint this by the sale of my last self-portrait, which was painted ten months ago, and much has changed since then. One thing that hasn't changed is the fact - and I freely admit it - that I painted both from photographs.

I don't paint anything from photos....except commissions from afar, out of necessity - and self-portraits, also out of a strange necessity. You see, every time I've painted myself from mirrors in the past, I've been intensely frustrated by the sole response: "It doesn't look like you!" Well, no kidding! I'm a highly asymmetrical person, and what I see when I look in the mirror is (thankfully) not what you see when you look at me. As true to the reflection as I get, as good as my drawing skills become - if I'm looking in a mirror, my self-portrait will not ring true for you. I kind of like the fact that my self-concept is based on a reflected image that only I see, and it isn't the one I paint, it's only for me.

The worst criticism I've gotten regarding this painting - and it's been seen in my studio by several close friends now - is that I look sad.

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Looser Look

 "Lindsey, Loosely"
14 x 11 inches, oil on canvas

Here's my second painting of this model. Two very different approaches, I know. I didn't walk into the session consciously thinking, "Tonight I'm going to keep it loose!" It was just the mood I was in, I guess.

At the model break, I was offered some encouraging words by the palette fairy:

(Another reason why joining a painting group is a really good idea!)

 Here's our lovely model. You can see that I really didn't do her beauty justice!

From sketch to (sketchy) finish:
The holiday sale in my Etsy shop is still going on. Save 25% on your heart's desire - or a special gift for the art lover on your list - with the coupon code BLACKFRIDAY. 

My best friend Gabriella is also offering an exciting deal this month: 20% off and free shipping. I think of her paintings as yoga for the eyes - relaxing and yet invigorating. Let me know if you agree! 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Garlic Braid and a BIG Discount Code.

 "Garlic Braid with Knife"
9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

You can guess what became of this beautiful braid of garlic during the melee of Thanksgiving dinner preparation. I'm glad I got it on canvas before it went into my mashed potatoes!

I'm in full-on show-gear-up mode, which obviously requires lots of hyphenation in addition to tedious tasks like varnishing and (*groan*) finding things. I'm always thinking of my beloved Etsy shop, though, and am offering a killer (if-I-do-say-so-myself) discount to you all, this most online-shopped of weekends.

25% off with the code BLACKFRIDAY! Use it today, use it tomorrow, and use it on Monday. Because I'm too busy to create a new coupon code just for Cyber Monday, yeah, busy finding things and then hyphenating them.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I Finally Get Around to Posting!

18 x 14 inches, oil on canvas
 Available, click to buy

I'm so far behind on posting! I blame my upcoming solo show, and the fact that I've been painting larger lately, but truly I shouldn't make excuses. I painted this a week ago! It's Tuesday again, and happily I'll be having another sitting with this lovely model tonight. So, watch out, fellow open studio painters, I want a front-and-center spot, and I'll be showing up ready to fight for it!

Here's my progression, with an underdrawing in Burnt Umber. I used a limited palette, kind of an expanded-Zorn deal, with Alizarin Crimson and touches of Cobalt blue and Cad yellow thrown into the mix.

(click on the image for a better view.)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Dark Dream

 "Dark Dream"
18 x 24 inches, oil on canvas

Here's the third in my series of reclining women, and a new model for me. At nearly six feet tall, she barely fit on my couch! We made it work, though. I like that she feels relaxed, even with her legs bent so sharply - and I really like the fold of her legs against the many folds of the drapery beneath them.

I'm trying to move away from my usual obsessive interest in the face in these figure paintings. In each one I've focused the strongest light on the lower body, and where the face hasn't been averted completely, I've kept the eyes down and the brushwork loose.

For the second sitting on this pose, I was joined in the studio by my friend Farley. We always paint together on Tuesday nights at Maude Kerns Art Center, but this was his first visit to my place. It's always so great to have company - the more creative energy in the room, the better!

And here is the painting from start to finish:
Have a great weekend, all!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pomegranates Everywhere!

 "Red, White, and Blue Pomegranate"
12 x 9 inches, oil on canvas

Pomegranates are everywhere these days - in paintings, in viral videos, haunting my dreams... 

I love it that they look so much like Christmas ornaments. Every autumn they remind me that the joy of painting those shiny little orbs is mine for the having just as soon as I gather the nerve to face the leaning tower of tote bins that is my seasonal storage area.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Title Tryouts

18 x 24 inches, oil on canvas.
Click to buy
Here it is: the second installment of my new series, tentatively titled "Everybody gets to rest but me." Alternate tentative title: "Where did November go?"

I painted the model from life, over two sittings, about seven hours total. Then I painted the drapery from photo reference and I don't even know how long that took. I was in the zone.
Coming soon: the third installment! And I can guarantee a spoiler on Facebook sometime today...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Painting Patterns and Persimmons on Periwinkle. Period.

 "Persimmons and Periwinkle"
20 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

I've been working hard and loving it. The only downside of working on larger, multi-day paintings is that I miss my small still lives (and my #2 round brushes). I still have my preparatory sketches, though! Here's the sketch for this piece: 

"Persimmons and Periwinkle (sketch)"
10 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

As you can see, the blue-on-white patterns look a little more polished on the larger canvas. Sketching them wet-on-wet is fun, but if you have the patience to paint the fabric and let it dry a day or two, patterns go on quite a bit more smoothly!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Flying out of the Studio!

18 x 24 inches, oil on canvas

Well, I feel blessed! Blessed to have such a wonderful model, a comfy couch in my new studio for her to pose on, and wonderful collectors who rush over to view my latest paintings fresh off the easel. 

The feedback I've gotten has been overwhelmingly positive, and I really appreciate it. I'll be taking suggestions that I turn it into a series to heart!

In the meantime, here are my in-progress shots:  

The figure was painted entirely from life, but I did use photo reference for the drapery.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Preparation Pays Off

 "Persimmon Plenty"
20 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

When I sat down in front of this groaningly overloaded platter of persimmons, I knew I'd better start with a get-comfortable sketch. I wasn't working out the composition as much as familiarizing myself with the interaction and movement of the fruit within the dish. The larger painting just flowed off my brush - I even enjoyed the drapery - which makes me think I may be entering another drapery phase. It's a good way to spend chilly late-fall afternoons, really: cuddled up to my studio space heater, immersed in the details of folds.

This preparatory sketch is the final offering of my One Dollar Auction week, and bidding is open for a couple more days:

"Persimmon Plenty (sketch)"
8.5 x 6 inches, oil on paper


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Being Green

 "Tahni in Green"
18 x 14 inches, oil on canvas

My latest figure painting. Here's the progression - between the first and second shots, I changed the lower body, and before the final photo, I changed the background. That bat-shaped, dark drapery was totally Halloween-appropriate, but probably too distracting for the other 364 days of the year.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Mark Your Calendars!

 "Quiet Plums"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

This is the first time I've used natural light on a still life in my new studio. The late afternoon light is a tranquil blue coming through my windows - especially on drizzly, overcast days like a few we've had recently. And yes, this gray swirly cloth is a repurposed curtain.
I'm all smiles (and stomach butterflies) about an exciting event coming up soon - my first solo show in nearly three years! The Gallery at the Watershed isn't a humongous space, but my paintings are small. My point is, there's going to be a TON of work on display. Which is good, because I paint a lot.

Mark your calendars! And if you can, please do come to the opening. The show will be a mix of still life, figure, and portrait, and you might even spot one or two of my models in the crowd. The Gallery is hosting several fun events around this show, so stay tuned!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Seven Days of Steals!

6 x 8 inches, oil on canvas
(The week's last) $1 Auction!

A huge thanks to everyone who's placed a bid this week! Here are the final two offerings. All seven paintings are still up for grabs...

"Cherry Hearts"
6 x 6 inches, oil on canvas

Thursday, October 24, 2013

One Dollar Auction Week: Now, with Persimmons!

 "Early Persimmon"
6 x 8.5 inches, oil on paper

 The persimmon tree in my mother's yard is a step ahead of the seasons this year - loaded with almost-ripe fruit, and it's not even Halloween yet. I'll be clambering onto her garage roof to pick more as they ripen (because I love to live dangerously), but I've already got a huge bowl in my studio just waiting for their chance to be my subjects!

Here's a peek at how I began this little painting. That's a wash of Burnt Sienna, and a shot of my start. You can sort of see my underdrawing in Alizarin Crimson, and plenty of evidence that I don't paint from background to foreground. My instant-gratification junkie just has to paint the fun part first!

An oil painting on paper should be matted and framed under glass. Even though the Arches Oil paper I use is archival, and should stand up well over time, it's not a surface you'd want to be dusting or touching for any reason. Here's how it would look framed: