Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Rogue Valley Honey

 "Rogue Valley Honey"
12 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

I went South last weekend to spend a couple of days hanging out by a large, beautiful river. It rained the entire time, which kept me from even attempting to paint plein air. To be honest, that was more than OK with me, since there was a Camellia bush in full bloom right outside our front door - and this gorgeous, glowing jar of honey, calling out to be painted from the moment I spied it on the kitchen shelf. So this still life is the product of true serendipity; my artistic journey is like a never-ending scavenger hunt with so many precious treasures hidden along the path, absolutely guaranteed to be found by me if I just keep looking. It's still exciting every time I find one.


When I did eventually brave the rainy outdoors, I was rewarded with visual treasures of another sort:

Oregon is amazing! After ten years of living here, I'm still in awe.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Green Olives and Tea

 "Green Olives and Tea"
12 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

Here is my thumbnail sketch for this painting:

And here is a studio shot with my work-in-progress - the still life, my thumbnail sketch on the floor, for reference, and my easel cuddled up close to all of it, for a bird's eye view. In the background, by the window, you can see the still life setup for "The Pattern Beneath All Things," which I was painting at the same time as this one, in the afternoons, with the blinds open.  I had tape marks on the floor, and I just shifted the easel over.  

The thumbnail sketch for this piece snuck into this random shot of my studio desk as well - along with some objects from the painting - the garlic, the blue-rimmed plate. The olives are even hiding in this shot. (Hint: they're in their jar.) I think my motive for taking this picture was to document the excessive number of sketchbooks in play at once. Or maybe I just found the overall scene pleasing. I do love a good jumble of objects.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Teaching the Figure in OKC

 "Adrian in April"
14 x 18 inches, oil on canvas

I just returned from a fantastic workshop at The Conservatory for Classical Art in Oklahoma City. We were doing alla prima figure painting - three days of live models, plenty of paint mixing, and value studies. It all resulted in some gorgeous work by my students!

I'm always so impressed with the drawing skills and dedication shown by the students at the CCA, across a wide range of ages and backgrounds.  

What a great group! I'm already looking forward to my next visit, "Painting the Dynamic Still Life," in October. 


And if you're interested in painting the figure with me in Oregon, I have a workshop coming up in June. Email me for details on that!

Friday, April 14, 2017


10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

Learning to see a complete spectrum of colors in an arrangement that at first seems to only contain yellow, blue, and white - and showing it to you! Just one tiny part of my answer to the big question: "Why paint?"

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Pattern Beneath All Things

 "The Pattern Beneath All Things"
10 x 20 inches, oil on canvas
I am amazed that I have no work-in-progress pictures of this one. It just kind of snuck out while I wasn't looking. 

So, here's a picture of a cow:


I passed this girl and her buddies every day on my post-studio decompression run. Running by the side of the highway sounds pretty dismal, but as you can see, it was anything but. And pretty peaceful - not much traffic - just me and the cows and the huge changing sky. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Bright Breakfast

 "Bright Breakfast"
10 x 20 inches, oil on canvas

A couple of weeks into my residency at Playa, it suddenly felt like my studio was full of paintings. How did that happen? It was the elves. I came into the studio every morning excited to see what they'd been working on overnight....

....and stopped on the way to snap heartbreaking sunrise pictures like this one! 


Monday, April 3, 2017

Garlic-Stuffed Olives

"Garlic-Stuffed Olives"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I may have forgotten certain things when packing for my artist's residency last month, but the powers that be saw fit to sneak some random items into my luggage that came in very handy - like a jar of olives. Olives? Not exactly one of my go-to studio snacks, though I like them. 
 And I like them as painting subjects even more.   

Here's my setup, with some preparatory sketches. All three of these sketches became paintings. So you're actually getting a preview of my next two posts - click on the image to scrutinize at close range!

A time-lapse video of my underpainting. If you're reading this in your email, you may need to click this link to watch it: