Saturday, December 22, 2012

Rose and Berries

Rose and Berries - 6 x 6 Oil on Gesso Board
Click here to buy

Occasionally, while out doing my grocery shopping,  I'll buy a rose and berry bouquet that is on sale for $3.99, and once in a great while I will actually paint it.  I think the thing is that it takes more time and more patience to paint... two things I could use more of :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Calico Kitten

Calico Kitten - 6 x 6 Oil on Gesso Board

Well, calico tiger kitten to be more precise.  This is a painting from an old photo of our cat Belleza, when she was a baby.  My husband found her out back of his office building, hiding in a hole in the ground.  We already had two cats at the time, and said "NO more"... famous last words.  She was just too cute.

I also wanted to mention that I have the honor of being the Daily Paintworks Spotlight Artist of the week this week!   You can read my interview and have the chance to win one of my paintings here:

Thank you, as always, for your interest in my work!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tea with Cream and Honey

Tea with Cream and Honey - 6 x 6 Oil on Gesso Board

Here's a good way to handle painting labels (referring to my last post): obscure them with a cup handle so you don't have to paint the lettering :)   Luckily, positioning the cup and the honey like this just happened to work out compositionally.   I've had this honey bear hanging out in my studio for quite some time, waiting to get painted, so here he is finally.  I like him.  I think he may make another appearance down the road...

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Pear & Raspberry Jam

Pear & Raspberry Jam - 6 x 6 Oil on Gesso Board

I wasn't quite sure how to handle the label on this jar of raspberry jam.  I don't like doing the lettering, but it needed something there.  And I really like the homemade 'look' of this jar (even though I bought it at the local grocery chain store.)  Reminds me of the homemade strawberry jam my mom used to make after we went strawberry picking with the whole family.  Ahh, the good old days :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pear & Pomegranate

Pear & Pomegranate - 6 x 6 Oil on Gesso Board

I'm fascinated by the pomegranates—the beautiful color and interesting shapes— but have yet to eat one.  I've been hearing all the buzz about their health benefits, so I should probably dig in and try it at least.   I'm not even sure if I should eat the berries raw, or if it's better to prepare them somehow??

Monday, November 26, 2012

Three Quarters

Three Quarters - 6 x 6 Oil on Gesso Board

It doesn't show as much in the photo, but these orange pieces are really bright.  I almost called the painting "Dayglow Oranges".  But I didn't use dayglow colors!  I used Cadmium Orange instead of Cad Red mixed with Cad Yellow, because I felt that I couldn't quite get that bright color of the inside of an orange, especially with light shining on and through it.  I may have pushed the intensity a bit too far, but I like it.  I'm not going for photo realism anyway, more like impressionism.  And the brightness of the orange, to me, echos the zing you get when you first bite into one... mmm :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Lazy Daisies

Lazy Daisies - 6 x 6 Oil on Gesso Board

Another semi-quick study from a photo of some daisies I had a while ago.  I liked how they were just laying on my work surface, so snapped some photos for future reference.  These last few paintings are done on gesso board instead of canvas board (they're a bit more affordable than the Raymar canvas boards I'd been using).  It takes some getting used to, but I'm getting there.   I ordered a whole bunch, so I'll be working on it for a while, but the jury is still out as far as my favorite painting surface.  After this bunch is used up... ??

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fruit Thanksgiving

Fruit Thanksgiving - 6 x 6 Oil on Gesso Board

This is a fairly quick fruit study I did the other day (about an hour paint-time).  Things have been a little hectic lately.  I participated in a group booth at an art fair over the weekend.  I put some of my daily paintings up for sale, as well as some of the ceramics I have been working on during our Saturday tile-making workshop.  While it was fun hanging out with my friends, I'm not sure I would do it again.  My hat goes off to those who do this frequently, or for a living even.  I still feel exhausted from the weekend!!  Just glad to have it done, and back to my quiet and peaceful studio :)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Salt, Pepper & Tomato

Salt, Pepper & Tomato - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

The tomatoes keep drawing me in.  This was originally supposed to be mainly black and white, with a red tomato, but other colors kept creeping in.  I think I am addicted to the bright colors now, which is completely opposite of what I used to be.  I did basically black and white mixed media pieces with just a touch of color.  I think it is because I have a better understanding of color mixing and palettes, thanks to the workshops I've taken, but I fully acknowledge that I still have a long way to go...

I also wanted to mention that I put a few of my paintings in the auction for Hurricane Sandy.  "Late Bloomers" has a new starting bid of $30, and you can bid here.  "Scary Little Pumpkin" also has a starting bid of $30, and you can bid on it here.  100% of the proceeds will go to help victims of the hurricane.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Vine Ripened

Vine Ripened - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

I'm still getting some tomatoes from my garden.  Of course they are all picked and in the kitchen waiting to ripen, but they still have some of their vines attached.  I like how each tomato is in a different state of transition.  I keep looking at them every day thinking how wonderful the color palette is, and every day they are each a little bit different color.  I had to get at least one more painting of them before they are all ripe and eaten :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Two and a Half Apples

Two and a Half Apples - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

I'm back at the easel again... yay!  I took a few weeks to tackle a few projects, and a week to get over a bug I caught.  But it feels good to be painting and posting again :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Late Bloomers

Late Bloomers - 6 x 6 Oil on gesso board

I wasn't planning to have a garden this year, but my neighbor gave me some tomato plants in July.  I figured I'd have some green tomatoes... maybe.  Well the deer got the tops off of the plants pretty early, so I didn't expect much.  But about a week ago I went back to check the garden, and hey, there were some tomatoes!  So I brought these three in at the same time, and they are ripening at nicely varied rates, which makes for a more colorful painting :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Happiness - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

This is a painting of my older Maine Coon, whom we no longer have.  She was 20 years old, and playful almost all the way up to the end of her life.  I thought this particular pose was appropriate for the DPW challenge "Emotions", as she seems to be soooo happy that I bought her this $1.99 mouse!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Scary Little Pumpkin

Scary Little Pumpkin - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

Another study from my roadside bounty.  I just like the way these little guys look, and thought it looked  fine all by itself.  This study is a bit more sketchy, but I think that adds to its moodiness :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Autumn Harvest

Autumn Harvest - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

I stopped at a farmers market on the side of the road yesterday and found these little pumpkins and gourds.  I especially love the little curly-cue vines that are attached to some of them.  I was also looking for white pumpkins and indian corn, but they were fresh out...  I'll be on the lookout for those next.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Curious One

The Curious One - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel
Click here to bid

I've been meaning to do something for the DPW "Birdbrain" Challenge and today just got around to it, a few weeks late...  I had this photo from one of our many walks in Kensington Metropark, which is right down the road from us.  We are so blessed to live here—it's a huge beautiful park with plenty of plein air ops.  In fact there is a group of several artists, led by Heiner Hertling and Robert Perrish, two of our local amazing artists, who meet there every Saturday morning, rain or shine, year 'round (even in the sub-zero temps!)  I've been meaning to join them for a few years now, and have yet to get up early enough on a Saturday to get out there.  I don't know what it is about painting outside... guess I'm just used to being in my comfy studio.  At the very least, I have plenty of photos to work from :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day of Lounging

Day of Lounging - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

Here she is again, HRH Bobo, on her day of lounging, which is every day.  But when it's a sunny day and she chooses to lounge in the sunlight, I have to take advantage of it.  I just love how the sunlight highlights the colors on her coat and her eyes.  And hey, she's starting to earn her keep by being my model.  I'll have to have a chat with the other two :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Back To School

Back To School - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

I'm glad to be back doing the daily painting and blogging.  I took a little break to do some art for some local shows.  (Of course they all happen at the same time:)  But it was all different styles: mixed media, charcoal, and one older oil portrait.  So getting back to the daily oil painting I have to stop and say "Ok, how do you do this again?"  Apples always seem to be a good way to ease back into it.   So "Back to School" refers not only to the time of year and the kids in the neighborhood, but to me and my painting progress as well.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Maine Coon 3

Maine Coon 3 - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

Back to a familiar subject: my cats.  Bonita appears more often in my daily paintings, because she is the most polite, and poses for me in one of her favorite sunny spots when I ask.  The other two... typical cats: uncooperative.  But I will keep trying, and they WILL appear... eventually :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

It's a Party!

It's A Party! - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas
Here is my attempt at the latest DPW challenge: Water Balloons!  Carol, who posted the challenge, was right when she said contrast might be a problem!  I had trouble figuring out how to get the darker values in and still be happy with the color combination.  It was interesting though, seeing all of the very subtle colors and values in the balloons once I really started looking.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Black, White, and Bug Light

Black, White, and Bug Light - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

You probably guessed it... another DPW Challenge: Lightbulb Challenge.  I rooted around in our lightbulb cupboard and found—behind the normal bulbs—a black light bulb!  Remember back in the day?!  I have no idea how long that's been back there.  What a novelty :)  The yellow bug light is old too.  I remember someone talking me into buying it, and I have never put it in our outdoor light to see if it actually works.  Maybe now I'll give it a try.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Sunny Egg

Sunny Egg - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel


More eggs and lots more yellow!  For this setup, I actually had a whole egg in the lower right, opposite the egg shells, but liked the shadow from the clear bowl more, so took the egg out.  The shadow sort of looked like rays emanating from the egg yolk.  And the composition worked out better too.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ready to Scramble

Ready to Scramble - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

Another DPW Challenge: The Broken Egg Challenge.  I've been looking forward to painting this one since it was posted on Sunday, just because I've never painting this subject before, and you gotta love the brilliant yellow-orange that the yolks present.  Then there's the shells, with all their subtle warms and cools inside.  It was a fun challenge.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Festive Grapes

Festive Grapes - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

Wow, I can't believe it's been two weeks since I last posted!  Time flies, especially when you have family in from out of town.  (Not that I'm blaming them or anything:)  And even after just two weeks I'm feeling a little rusty.  For my first time back in the saddle, so to speak, after my little break, I decided to do the weekly DPW challenge: Complementary Challenge.  Whenever I do the complements of red and green, I try to not make it too Christmassy, so I lightened and grayed down the green a bit, and added more yellow to tie it in with the green on the grapes.  I think it is still looking a bit festive, but I'm ok with it :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fruit in a Ceramic Bowl

Fruit in a Ceramic Bowl - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel
Click here to bid

I saw this apple, avocado and lemon sitting in our fruit bowl in the kitchen, and was struck by the color combination, so decided to paint it.  I think an avocado is technically a fruit, right?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Trusty Friend

Trusty Friend - 6 x 8 Oil on Canvas Panel

This is another painting of Weezer from Haverhill Farms, who was the model for the last horse painting I did.  He has been well-used for horseback riding lessons because he is such a gentle creature, and because everyone loves him.   I think by painting landscapes in my studio, I am sort of working my way up to actually painting outside.........  maybe.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Rose Study 2

Rose Study 2 - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

I decided to try for one more painting of the white rose before it withered away.   Admittedly I could use some more practice painting roses, and florals in general, but I kinda like how these last two came out.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Rose Study

Rose Study - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

This painting is also for the latest DPW challenge: Roses.  I kept this one extra loose, mainly because I don't have the patience to do every single leaf and petal.  My hat's off to those that do!  But this was a great exercise in observing and mixing color--it's amazing how many different colors there are in a white rose!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Nectarine, Apple & Fish Bowl

Nectarine, Apple & Fish Bowl - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

Well, I was undecided what to do next, so I tackled another DPW challenge: primary colors.  When I went on the search for something red, something yellow, and something blue around the house, I really had trouble in the blue department.  What I finally came up with is a little iffy, but it's the best I could find.  It's part of a set of dishes I picked up twenty-some years ago, and these little bowls now serve as our cats' dishes.  They are the perfect size, and our cats really love the motif :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

In Memory of Blazer

In Memory of Blazer - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel
This is a painting of my friend Jan's dog Blazer, who had to be put down recently.  Jan is making a ceramic tile for me in memory of one of my cats, so this is for Jan.    She gave me a bunch of pictures to choose from, and I really liked this one, with Blazer resting his head on the arm of the sofa.  They sure have a way of knowing exactly how to tug at your heart strings.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Maine Coon 2

Maine Coon 2 - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

This painting of my Maine Coon, Bobo, is very similar to the last one I did, but I wanted to get her front paws in the picture too.  They are basically just a suggestion of paws because they are not the focal point, but I had to get them in there because they are just so darn cute and dainty.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Tea Leaves Apple

Tea Leaves Apple - 6 x 8 Oil on Canvas Panel

I like this title because it can be taken in different ways: as in a news story where the tea has just had it with the apple (as in Katie and Tom); or it could be referring to the tea leaves at the bottom of the tea cup... + an apple; or it could be just a boring old list of what's in the painting, as per my usual modus operandi :)  I liked the color scheme of yesterday's painting so much, that I stuck with it in this one.  Just love pink and green together.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Apples and Ivy

Apples and Ivy - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

I changed my approach a bit with this one, and went with a more classical color scheme.  Previously I've been sort of addicted to bright colors and pushing the saturation envelope, so thought I'd tone it down (a little bit.)  I also painted (fairly) quickly on this one, and might have gotten a little bit too loose, but overall I'm pretty happy with it.

Monday, July 9, 2012


Peaches - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

Two more peaches, minus one very large bite.  :D  I actually started this with the bite facing the front, and it looked too much like a big eyeball, so I turned it to the side... better!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Black and White Warbler

Black & White Warbler - Mixed Media on Paper
I've been working on some different things lately.  This is one.  It is currently in the Lawrence Street Gallery in Ferndale, Michigan, for their annual Summer Invitational Show.  It will be there for the month of July, and possibly in another show after that.  This is another in my series of mixed media bird paintings.  I will be working on a few more of these, and possibly some mixed media figural/portrait pieces for a solo show down the road.  I'll try to get a daily painting in here and there too :)

Friday, June 29, 2012


Peach - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

Just a quick study of a peach today.  Went to the beach on the other side of our lake today, and spent a little more time there than planned, so, less time for painting.  Maybe I'll take some paint and canvas with me next time :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Plums and Silver Creamer

Plums and Silver Creamer - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel
Click here to bid

This week I decided to 'branch out' of my grocery shopping rut, and get some summer fruits.  Whenever I have plums and peaches, it reminds me of our summer trips down south to visit relatives when I was young.  Driving through the mountains, sometimes we'd stop at roadside stands and get really fresh fruit, just off the tree... mmmm, it really does taste better!  "Almost heaven", as JD used to say :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Coming To See Me

Coming To See Me - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

What can I say, I just love horses... and birds, cats, dogs... all animals for that matter :)  This shot was taken at Haverhill Farms, a horse boarding, training, and riding facility near my home in Southeast Michigan.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lily, Apples & Ivy

Lily, Apples & Ivy - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

Thought I'd make use of some of the foliage from our gardens: day lilies and ivy.  My husband has done a fantastic job with the garden beds, planting perennials over the last few years, so that now we can choose not to do any planting for the year and it still looks great.  My vegetable garden, on the other hand...

Monday, June 18, 2012


Snowshoe - 6 x 8 Oil on Canvas Panel

Zora finally made it into a painting :)  She hasn't been very enamored of getting her picture taken lately, so I had to be sneaky about it.  It's almost as if she is snubbing the paparazzi or something, she turns and walks away every time.  But I finally got a decent shot.  I also found out that half Siamese half American shorthair breeds are called Snowshoes, thus the title.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Afternoon Grazing

Afternoon Grazing - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

Well I didn't exactly get outside to do any plein air painting, but I found this photo I took while at Horses' Haven, and thus the third installment in the Horses' Haven series.  At one point I thought I might paint each and every animal there, but at that time there were over 50 horses, about 6 goats, 3 cats and a pig.  Not so sure I'll be doing that, but hopefully there will be a few more in this series at least.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Coffee and 27 Cents

Coffee and 27 Cents - 6 x 6 Oil on Gesso Board

This past weekend I went to a Kyle Martin plein air workshop in Lima, Ohio with my new friends from a previous workshop I attended.  It was a great couple of days getting to know people better, learning some things about plein air painting, and enjoying the awesome weather we were blessed with.  And Kyle was a great teacher, and just a great, easy-going kinda guy.  I did a few paintings while there, which I think need a bit more work, so they're not ready to post just yet.  But I had this one (above) still on the easel from before I left, so I just went ahead and finished it up.    Hoping to get out this week with the beautiful weather we're having and practice some of the things I learned.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Dreamland - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

This was done for the DPW weekly challenge, "Stripes".  All kinds of things went through my head—so many possibilities!  These stripes are in the form of throws, which again, have been altered a bit in order to get more color into the composition.  This was our other Main Coon cat that we had who lived to be 20 years old—a good long life, and went to kitty heaven just a few years ago.  She was a sweetie.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Dinnertime - 6 x 8 Oil on Canvas Board
Click here to bid

This is another scene from Horses' Haven, the horse rescue farm that I worked at in Howell, Michigan.  They did have a few other animals there besides horses, one being my favorite goat, Gabby.  She had the run of the farm during the day, thus the red collar so we could catch her and put her in her stall for the night.  But I think this was one of her favorite spots... the wheel barrow in the hay barn :)  You can read a bit more about her here:

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Remains of the Flowers

The Remains of the Flowers - 6 x 6 Oil on Gesso Board

These are what's left of a bouquet of flowers from last week, and so I thought I'd better get at least one painting out of them before they are all done being pretty :)  Used another piece of gesso board for this one, but coated it with oil-tinted Galkyd medium and let it dry for a few days.  It's another whole animal even from plain gesso board.  It's almost like painting on glass--no paint gets absorbed.  I like trying new things, but I think I'll go back to the canvas panels for a while.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Which Way?

Which Way? - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Panel

Click here to bid

Sometimes when things get too complicated, you just have to simplify :)  I tried the gesso board again and it just didn't work out (partly because of the composition.)  So I did this quick little painting just to say I got something done today!  But I have a few more pieces of gesso board, and I'm not giving up on it just yet.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Apples & Greens

Apples & Greens - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Board

Not much to say about this one... it's apples and greens.  Well... ok... admission time: I took an earlier painting and reworked it.  I left the apples alone but changed the background entirely.  It wasn't working for me as it was, but I really liked the apples, so I put it back on the easel and came up with something different.  I like it better :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Quilting

Memorial Day Quilting - 6 x 6 Oil on Canvas Board
Click here to bid

This painting was done for the current DPW challenge "polka dots".  I wanted to incorporate something to do with Memorial Day, since it was painted today, which is Memorial Day.  And working with fabrics, you have a lot of leeway as far as pattern and color.  I did keep the colors pretty much the same as the actual fabrics, but changed the patterns a bit.  I probably should have gone with red and white stripes, and blue and white dots, but I didn't want it to look like I'd been cutting up an American flag! :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Main Coon


This was painted from a photograph of one of our cats, Bonita, whom we like to call Bobo.  It's way easier painting from a photo: your subject doesn't move, if you move slightly it doesn't throw off the whole composition, etc. etc.  Of course I took a million photos of her before I found one I liked: one of her sitting in the sun with that look that says "Ok, now is it time to eat??"

Thursday, May 24, 2012



Today is the first time I have ever used gesso board.  It takes some getting used to--it was soaking up a lot of paint at first.  But that just made me mix more paint, which is a good thing.  I do like the smooth, velvety quality of the finished painting.   'Fuzz' is the beanie baby, which we found at a garage sale the other day for 50 cents.  I remember when I saw these for the first time like 10 or so years ago, and I thought they were so cute (still do).  How time flies!