Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Doggie Meet and Greet" (sold)

Oil on Board
$145 plus $10 domestic s//h

I played hookie this afternoon and went for a hike enjoying our first real day of warm spring weather--so in keeping with yesterday's post is another painting of some dogs I know.  There's Mazzerati and Ace and Tobey in the background.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Bichon Playing" (sold)

Alkyd Oil on Panel
$250 includes domestic s/h

I think the word "happy" could be defined by the image of a bichon running!  I'll never forget the first time our first bichon, Murphy, started doing the "bichon buzz" around our house--so low to the ground, ears and tail flying--it was the funniest thing I'd seen!  I can't imagine ever getting tired of seeing such joy in action.  This little pup is named Kit.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Pine Ridge Bluffs, Red Cloud Agency" finished!

Triptych, total size:  36"x90"
oil on canvas

This isn't a very great photo, but it gives the idea of what the three panels look like together.  There is alot more going on with darker values on the cliff walls than shows up here.  It's great to have finished this!  I'm very pleased on the whole.  There's a wonderful lyricism with the brushwork and overall movement of the piece--very fun to paint.  Now it's time to see where I am with my "regular" work!  I'm looking forward to getting back to it tomorrow!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Study for "Audrey's Shoe"

Oil on Cradled Panel (doesn't need to be framed)
$125 plus $10 domestic s/h
click here to ask to purchase this painting through Paypal

I think this my third attempt at this subject!  I have always gotten stymied by the faces--not happy with the skin tones and struggles to find the right amount of information to put in them.  I've got them sketched onto an 18x14 panel and decided to do this study first.   However, tomorrow I hope to finish the Pine Ridge commission I've been working on before I get to painting this mother and baby.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Painting in Process--Pine Ridge Nebraska

triptych:  each panel 36"h x 30"w
oil on canvas

I have been continuing my work on this commission between illustration jobs and my other painting.  It's  been quite the process!  As some of you may have read in previous posts, this painting represents a return to a style I worked in many years ago.  At that time, the early 90's, my infatuation with Georgia O'Keeffe's work and a new desire to paint the high desert landscape came together.  I thoroughly enjoyed traipsing through the rock formations and canyons of eastern Oregon where I would do watercolor sketches from which to make my large oil paintings.  I loved just using the sketches and photos as points to depart from in order to paint how the landscape felt to me.  This commission is of an area in Nebraska which I have never visited.  From numerous photos, though, and the encouragement of the person who commissioned this painting, I am enjoying going back to that feeling of improvisation as I paint.

And this brings me to an interesting place!  For the last four years, ever since I discovered the daily painters (Karin Jurik and Carol Marine in particular!), I have put alot of energy into my own daily paintings, working on a small scale and using photos ALOT for reference as I try to achieve a level of realism I hadn't worked for before.  It's opened up a new world of painting for me and I love it.  It seems like so many things in life lately have been urging me to do my work differently and I'm questioning just what that means.  I feel like I'm still looking for my "voice"--after all these many years!!  Kind of frustrating!  I'm wondering if this experience of painting this commission and the way it allows me to paint more freely is an invitation to see how to get that quality into my figurative work.  I would like that--the painting more freely part, not worrying so much about "getting it right".  I don't know what it looks like--but I guess that's kind of the point!  I'm not sure how I feel about all this--guess a person just has to trust the process. . .

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Heading Back to the Stable" (sold)

oil on panel

A painting from the archives. . .done with an idea of a creating a feel of the golden light that characterizes this area (Oregon high desert) at the end of a warm autumn day.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

'What's Happening Over There?"

Oil on Board
$175 plus $10 domestic s/h
click here to ask to purchase this painting through Paypal

I have lost count of how many paintings I have wiped off this week!  It seems to be a time of finding a new way and not alot is working right now.  I've often thought of the words of an art prof of mine many years ago--I had reached a plateau and drawing wasn't going as well as it usually had.  He told me not to worry, that it was because I was learning something new.  I don't know how many times I have passed that on to my own students over the years when they get discouraged, but I sure don't like having to deal with it myself--especially after so many drawings, paintings and so many years.  I guess there are two ways to look at it:  1.  I will never find a place to "rest" with my painting where things predictably work or, 2., I will never find a place to "rest" with my painting because there is always growth and change.  Ok, I know the answer. . .it just isn't always very pleasant!!  (:  Happy growth in painting to us all!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"Practice Pieces #2"

Oil on panel

Well, there are quite a few things about this painting that make it a practice piece!  First off, I have wiped off two nearly completed paintings before I decided to go ahead and call this one that I would photograph!  Then, I used a very limited palette:  cad red medium, yellow ochre, ivory black, radiant and titanium white, some raw sienna and burnt sienna.  I bagan the painting each time with a strong charcoal drawing I was very pleased with.  My challenge was to see if I could utilize more flat areas of color than I usually do--not so much modeling--and keep some of the line quality.  I'm not so sure I succeeded, but it has been a good exercise--each time I've painted it!   I will probably wipe this off. In the next one, I want to concentrate on trying to get some warm and glowing skin tones.  I have a difficult time finding the colors to use to get something that I like the looks of.  For this, it was OK.  I knew my limited palette had--well, had limitations!  We'll see what the next version brings!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Practice Pieces #1

app. 40"x30"
charcoal and pastel on newsprint

A number of things have came up lately showing me that I need to explore some different ways of doing what I do.  I love the little paintings, but also feel quite constrained by them.  I often feel like the time I spend on them could be better spent working on larger pieces that I could have more freedom with.  I have been needing and wanting to play more with my artwork.  I like working with the figure.  I like the "slice-of-life" subject matter.  I've spent the last few years looking at other artists work that I really admire and trying to learn what they do with their figurative paintings.  I am now trying to figure out how to branch out to see how I interpret the subjects, what comes natural to me.  So, today, I got out newsprint and taped it together until I got a sheet that was as big as I wanted to work with, some charcoal and pastels and looked at my collection of photos and just started drawing from them.  I hope to make more time for practice like this, time for working without the expectation of a saleable piece.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Winter Afternoon on Robson St." & ANNOUNCING NEW WEBSITE

Oil on Board
$400 plus s/h
click here to ask to purchase this painting through Paypal

This is a painting I did this past winter.  It is one of my favorites:  we were in Vancouver, BC just having left the Vancouver Art Gallery on a cold, clear day not long after Christmas. 

Also, I have just got a new website up:  I have been taking a class through our local community college on building a website using Wordpress.  It was great for someone like me who wants to have something they can easily update and who doesn't really know anything about html and all that!  The instructor, Matt Farrell, was great.  He hosts websites, designs them and teaches.  You can look into his work at  Anyway, my site will be tweaked and changed, but for now it is functional and I am thrilled!  Hope you visit it!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Painting in Process--panel one of Pine Ridge triptych

oil on canvas

I was able to get back to work today on this triptych I've been commissioned to do.  After I met with the client, we decided to change the color, so this is going in a different direction.  It originally had alot more golds and oranges, deeper purples, reds and red-purples.  It will be interesting to see how this goes!

Monday, March 7, 2011

"Little Westie #2"

Acrylic on 3/4" cradled board; does not need framed
$100 plus $10 domestic s/h
click here to ask to purchase this painting through Paypal

I am away from home and studio and had acrylics with me but no oils, so--an opportunity to try them out again.  A nice change!  I would love to learn to work with acrylics the way I work with oils.  Then again, it would just be good to see what acrylics do differently and to have fun with that.  I didn't even think about underpainting until the painting was about finished--would have been fun!

Friday, March 4, 2011

"Running Like the Wind"

Oil on Board
$140 plus $10 domestic s/h
click here to ask to purchase this painting through Paypal

Today's painting is inspired by Beaudreau, a little dog that occassionally visits the local dog park.  He is such a kick--just runs and runs, getting the other dogs to chase him.  His favorite thing, though, is chasing balls--he lives for it!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Little Westie" (sold)

Oil on 3/4" cradled panel (doesn't need framing)
There was a beautiful little painting by Debbie Miller in today's Daily Painter Gallery ( of a dog that inspired me to do another dog painting today myself!  This little guy is a Westie puppy that comes to play at the dog park in the summer.  He's about a year and a half old and full of life!