Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Plate, A Love Story

"Amy's Plate"
10 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

  Sometimes painting still life is all about serendipity. I haunt thrift stores, gratefully accept donations and loans of lovely little things from friends, and frequently paint my food - but chance is a powerful force in my work, and small romances with objects often bear fruit.

I'd been flirting with this plate - which belongs to my gallerist, and is usually a vessel for opening-night treats - for a while, but found myself awake at 5 am and thinking about it yet again this past Saturday morning. With the addition of a few things from my collection - and some eggs stolen from her family's breakfast - my vision congealed.

 Never discount the possibilities inherent in just showing up prepared to paint. The universe will always supply what we need, as artists, when our eyes are open.

In progress....the block-in

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Go Ahead, Indulge...

"Have One"
 8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

The Valentine's day paintings march on! I admit I'm not in possession of a huge sweet-tooth. It's harder for me to sit in front of a still life of something salty and delicious and not nibble. Some artists paint sushi, sardines, even PB&J - brilliantly - but not me. I'd never get past the block-in. I'd be chowing down!

These cherry cordials are actually disgusting. I had to bite into two of them to get the goo to ooze out just right. These are the sacrifices I make for my art.

in progress, not nibbling.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Getting Hungry

 "Baba To Be"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I've been painting chocolates all morning, so I'm extra happy to bring you a healthier piece during my blogging lunch-break!

Baba Ganoush is one of the best ways to eat eggplant, though, if I'm cooking, I'll always go Parmesan! I did eat a few of these in a stir fry, but the rest were thrown away (in a sad, sad, moldy state after their long stint in my studio). 

I love Middle Eastern food so much, but I live in a part of the world that is sadly lacking in good places in which to eat it. The best Hummus in this town is made in my own kitchen! Believe it or not, out here in the Willamette valley the best restaurants tend to be Thai. Moving to Oregon turned me into something of a Thai-food-lover.

Mmm....time to eat!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sweets For the Sweet

8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

 I've been spending my Saturdays happily painting on-location at The Gallery at the Watershed this month, and here is my painting from last weekend. You may suspect what holiday I'm anticipating...

My solo show will be up for two more weeks, and that means two more Saturdays to drop in and hang out with Amy and I. We have a good time.

In other excellent weekend happenings, I was invited to contribute a post about my favorite paintings of 2013 to my friend Taryn's blog The Art Room. She's also linked to my favorite paintings from 2012. Time flies when you're painting up a storm.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sketching It Out, Part 2

"Curved Spine"
approx. 8.5 x 5.5 inches, oil on paper

Here's my second sketch, the "rear-view" of the first one, and my choice for a follow-up, more in-depth painting next Tuesday night. Stay tuned for that! And feel free to let me know which you'd have chosen.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Sketching It Out

 "Little Lindsey"
approx. 8.5 x 5.5 inches, oil on paper

The pose at figure painting this week was so great that I just couldn't choose an angle, so I sketched it out. Two small studies later, I've decided which to focus on next week. Tomorrow I'll post number 2, and we'll see if you agree with my decision! In the meantime, they'll both be up for auction on Daily Paintworks, starting at one dollar.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Treasure Trove

"Three Baby Eggplants"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I was wandering around my local Asian market last week - where I usually stick to the relatively recognizable soy sauce, noodles, and tofu - when I had a revelation: the produce aisle! It was a treasure trove, the perfect remedy for my midwinter apple-and-orange-painting malaise. 

These little beauties were labeled "Indian Eggplants," and were as delicious in stir-fry as they are to my eye. It's cold enough in my studio that some of them are still hanging around, posing. It's cold enough in my studio that my toes are looking a bit purple, too.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Sculpture in Paint?

20 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

After I got this one home and spent some time looking at it, I realized what it reminded me of: a marble monument - the kind where there's lots of amazing flesh and drapery depicted in stone. I'm always so blown away by sculpture (mostly because I absolutely cannot do it), and I think this is the first time one of my paintings has put me in mind of one.

  The lower body started off a bit too small in my initial block-in, and kind of grew as I painted, ending up with a nice solid feeling. I kept the legs loose and brushy in an attempt to have her face as the focal point. I feel like it worked - even though every time I glance over at this painting on the studio wall I feel like I'm going catch a knee to the eye!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Star Turn

 "Two Oranges"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I spent a delightful day at the gallery yesterday, doing what I love to do most. 
...And by that, I don't mean being a film star. (Though I can't say I mind!)

You can see three more snippets of film on the gallery's Facebook page

Interested in being my co-star? Drop in this Saturday and chat - on or off camera!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

I Run the Numbers

 "The Brown Dress"
16 x 20 inches, oil on canvas

Here it is completed: my first painting of the year. It always feels so strange to create a new desktop folder of paintings for a new year, and file away the first one in that vast empty space. I know it won't be lonely for long - it's time to start filling up that folder!

By my (most-likely faulty) calculations, I posted 81 still life paintings last year, 50-ish figure paintings or portraits, 15 plein air pieces, 2 self-portraits, and 3 portrait commissions. That's fewer still lives than in 2012, but twice as many figure paintings.

Here's an in-progress shot of my studio, my painting, and my friend Farley's painting on the left. See how much more paint he has down than I do? I struggled around with the drawing on this one for hours, but her luscious flesh tones flowed relatively easily.

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Big Fat Happy New Year and Some Paintings Too!

Woah, it's 2014! I spent the last few weeks of 2013 putting finishing touches on my solo show, and then jetting off to sunny Southern California for Christmas with family. 

I did, of course, manage to hastily apply some paint here and there.

These portrait sketches were done at some point during the craziness. They are both about 8x6", oil on Arches oil paper.

Just after the New Year, I was thrilled to wake up to this lovely article about the show, and The Gallery at the Watershed.

And I began the year on an excellent note, painting a model in my studio with good art friends. Here's a detail shot of the nearly-finished piece.

 Now I'm off to the gallery for some First Friday Artwalk fun! I'd also like to announce that I'll be gallery-sitting every Saturday this month, so if you'd like to see my show, and maybe test out how much I really resemble that self-portrait of mine, stop by!