Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Passed

 "Merry and Bright"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I'm just a little bit late for Christmas with this one, but hey - your tree is still up, right? I figured I had until New Years before this would be really inappropriate.  And I didn't want to miss my annual opportunity to pull out the fun paint tubes - Pthalo Turquoise, Quinacridone Rose....

I say it a LOT: you can create the illusion of almost any color using a limited palette. Case in point: the golden egg yolks seen here, painted using only Yellow Ocher - a very dull, earthy yellow. But to really nail the intense colors of these ornaments, special pigments are required.

Here's a work-in-progress, at the halfway point:

And! Also too late for Christmas (I could give you my list of excuses, but Nah...) I made my Calendar for 2016! One of the best things about making these is that throughout the year, I'll randomly get a message like, "Hi! July's painting is just lovely!" And I'll have five long seconds of having NO idea what you're talking about.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Looking Inward

 "Looking Inward"
12x16 inches, oil on canvas

My newest nude, painted from a live model. Here's a progression:

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Fruits of the Season

"Fruits of the Season"
9 x 12 inches, oil on Arches oil paper

 A dark pomegranate painting for a dark time of year. I used the same black-as-blue palette as my previous post, which I'm sure is contributing to the dense, velvety feeling here.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Black is the New Blue

 "Pink, Purple, and Red"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

Here is my demo from last weekend's "Mindful Mixing" workshop. I painted it with - you guessed it - Yet another limited palette! This time I picked Azo yellow (a lemon-type yellow), Alizarin crimson, and Ivory black. For those of you not familiar with my limited palette technique - that's a color to stand in for each of the three primaries: yellow, red, and blue. In this case, black is the blue.

Here's another demo, using the same palette. My "Stroke Economy" exercise: 25 brushstrokes to paint a pomegranate, this time. Always fun, and kind of scary! Did I say scary? I meant - um, challenging.

And here is some student work. Another amazing group - I was really impressed!

Want to get back into painting in 2016, or make the switch from water media to oils? My next workshop is for you! Intro to Oil Painting, January 9-10, here in Eugene. Info and registration here.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Persimmon Season, Once Again.

"Candle in Glass (Persimmons)"
12 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

So grateful to have been gifted some beautiful persimmons to paint this month. And I always love painting candles. It's been too long - for both subjects!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

One Last Egg

 "Farm Fresh"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

The last egg painting for a while! I'll have 5 of them on display at the Small Pleasures show, which opens December 4th, in Eugene. 

Here's a shot of my underpainting. With this limited palette, I use a simple mix of Alizarin and Yellow Ocher for the underpainting. Makes a nice Burnt Siena-ish tone to work into.

 And here's the card for the show. Look at that list of artists! (click on the pic to see it larger...)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Painting Eggs at the Duck Store

"Morning Eggs"
12 x 12 inches, oil on canvas, framed

I was invited to demo at the University of Oregon Duck Store (what might be called a "campus book store" at a less football-crazy institution) during their art supply trade show last week. Two full days of painting and talking about painting. It was a blast! 

I decided to keep working on my series of limited palette egg paintings. Here's my palette, all mixed up. The "parent" primaries are yellow ocher, alizarin crimson, and ultramarine blue. From those three, I mixed a color wheel, and then an "inner ring" of tints:


 I'll be showing this whole series of egg paintings next month at the Jacobs Gallery's Small Pleasures Invitational, in Eugene. If you've never attended this yearly show, it's truly a showcase of the area's best - at seriously affordable prices. Opening reception is Friday December 4th!

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

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Limited Palette Portrait Painting in Oils

11 x 14" oil on canvas

It's always a treat when I can rope a friend into sitting for me. It's not that they're unwilling, my friends, but busy lives being what they are, it's rare to actually nail someone down for an entire afternoon. Hmm.... rope, nails...sounds painful! 

Daniel was still smiling at the end, though:

I've got a two-day portrait painting workshop coming up next weekend - November 21-22nd, in Eugene. Limited palette, live models, lots of fun. There are a few spaces left - join me!


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Simply Cracked

"Simply Cracked"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas, framed

Another in my new series of limited palette egg paintings. I'm aiming for six of these. Three down, three to go!

I'm ready to paint up a storm this month, after hitting up Oregon Art Supply's semi-annual canvas sale this morning. Here's my haul, hanging out with some friends that have already been painted and framed. Before and after!

Monday, November 2, 2015

A New Series: Limited Palette Eggs

 "Shell Game"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I enjoyed this limited palette demo at my last workshop so much that I've decided to do a series based on it. This trio of colors is a strange choice for painting eggs since the yellow is so muted - and egg yolks are such a vivid, vibrant yellow - but the subtleties and harmonies are pleasing. And, as with all limited palettes, in the absence of anything "Yellower," Yellow Ocher does just fine!

My colors for this series: Ultramarine Blue, Yellow Ocher, and Alizarin Crimson - with Titanium White, of course!

The paint brand is M. Graham - my favorite.

Below is my underpainting. I put a wet tone on the canvas - with this limited palette, I use a red-orange, but any warm neutral orange (such as Burnt Sienna) works well - as long as there's no white added. Next, I sketch into my tone, pulling out the lights with a clean brush or rag and Gamsol, and deepening the darks by adding some red, purple, or blue to my toning orange. 

I think of the underpainting as the first two "stages" of my three-stage painting process. The first is layout, or drawing - the second is values - and the third, of course: color! I'll be discussing this and much, much more during my still life workshop at Winslow Art Center this weekend. There's still time to register, if you're interested!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Zorn Palette Portrait Workshop Demo

9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

I took my portrait workshop on the road last weekend, painting with a great group of artists at Sequoia Gallery + Studios in Hillsboro, a town outside of Portland. We spent an intense two days mixing colors, painting from live models, eating early Halloween candy, and enjoying the sounds of rain...flooding the parking lot. 

The perfect way to spend a fall weekend in the Pacific Northwest!

My next Zorn palette portrait workshop will be held in Eugene, at the fabulous Oregon Art Supply, November 21-22nd. All the info, materials list, and registration can be found here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Shadow of Her Face

 "The Shadow of Her Face" 
11 x 14 inches, oil on canvas

Can you see why I chose this title? Hint: check out her shoulder!

 Here's the model with her portrait. I've painted Hannah twice before - Here and here.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Limited Palette Love

 "Ocher Yolk"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

Here's my limited palette demo from last weekend's workshop. I used Yellow Ocher, Ultramarine Blue, and Alizarin Crimson - plus white, of course. 

I admit I had some doubts about that egg yolk - trying to capture that vibrant yellow with only Yellow Ocher on my palette? Limited palettes never let me down, though. As long as there's nothing "yellower" to show it up, Ocher does just fine, as you see.

Here I am, in the underpainting stage: 


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Still Life Workshop....Day 2!

8 x 7 inches, oil on Arches oil paper

Day two of last weekend's still life workshop kept the paint flying. I sketched out this color study while my students worked on their 3-hour afternoon paintings - in between dropping by their easels, of course. 

I'm sure I've gone on about my love for the color combination of purple and green before, but in case you're new to the blog: it's my fave.

I'm really proud of this group. Great work was made by all!


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Still Life Painting Workshop....Day One!

8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I just finished up a fabulous three-day workshop here in Eugene. "Wedges" was my first morning demo, and below you see some of my students, painting up a storm!

Here are their pieces....and this was just the first day! Awesome, right?!

My next still life workshop will be November 7-8th, at Winslow Art Center, on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Spaces are still available, and all the information can be found here.

Friday, October 9, 2015


14 x 18 inches, oil on canvas

 I had a LOT of fun painting this hair - can you tell? Painting it, or not painting it - as I left some spots of golden underpainting peeking through for highlights.

I don't tone my canvas when I paint with the Zorn palette - so the face and body were painted directly onto a white ground. You can see below that I did tone the background before painting the bluish gray over it, so I could have that warmth underneath.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Painting Pretty Pears

"Three Red Pears"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas, framed

Another painting of these beautiful pears. They lasted a long time in the studio, but went from unripe to rotten, so I never got to eat one. Oh well, I bought 'em for looks anyway. You know that feeling you get when you're shopping for produce to paint, picking up 20 different apples to find the prettiest one --- like people are looking at you funny? Yeah, me too.

Here's a halfway point work-in-progress:
I'm teaching my last three-day still life workshop of 2015 next weekend, October 17-19th, here in Eugene. All the info can be found here. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Paint Out! Last one of the Year...

 "Autumn Afternoon in the Vineyard"
12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

Over the weekend, I participated in Plein Air Washington County, and it was just a heartbreakingly gorgeous fall paintout.  The event was organized by Sequoia Gallery, where I also teach workshops (Portrait painting coming up, October 24-25!), and they did a fantastic job - making sure we were well supplied with fun places to paint. 

Here's a scene from a local nursery. There were tons of artists there - plus a news crew - on the morning I painted this. The perfect combination of exciting and peaceful!

"Blooming Junction Barn"
12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

Posing for the paparazzi, with my painting-in-progress: 


 And here are both of my landscapes, ready for the opening reception:

 One reason I love this particular paintout - and returned to do it for the second year in a row - is the Quick Draw with costumed models. Two models, two hours, two fabulous period costumes! 

I'm pleased to report that this portrait went home with the lovely model's grandmother! 

Thanks, Sequoia Gallery, for a great weekend of painting. See you October 24-25th for another one!