Wednesday, December 7, 2016

November Sky

November Sky - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
This painting was done from a photo of a tree that I planted in our front yard several years ago.  It was a seedling sent to us from the Arbor Day Foundation - one of about 10, and the only one that lived (due to user error, I'm sure.)  I'm not sure what kind of tree this is - if it looks familiar to anyone, let me know.
I have always loved berries and leaves, and liked the look of these against the stark overcast November sky.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Girl in Red, White & Blue

Girl in Red, White & Blue - 16 x 12 Oil on canvas
This is a painting started at my weekly figure painting group, and finished at home.  I am happy with everything except her face.  It is a good likeness, but I just feel like it doesn't have the same painterly quality that the rest of the painting has.  Overall I'm pretty happy with it and have entered it in a local art show.

I have missed a lot of days for the 30 in 30 challenge, and will miss some more I'm sure due to the craziness of life, so I am not going to worry about finishing it, I'll just post when I can.  Possibly I will try again in January.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Demo #1 - Honeycrisp

Demo #1 - Honeycrisp - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord

30 in 30 day 13.  I started teaching a beginning oil painting class for the first time yesterday.  I was a little frazzled, but I think it went ok.  The painting above was the demo I started there (and finished at home.)  I'm not 100% happy with it, but I guess it's ok for being so nervous.  I have always been a studio painter, and not used to painting in front of people.  I know, it's something I need to get over -- and I'm sure I will over the course of the next 7 sessions, hopefully.

So I kinda fell down on the 30 in 30.  I missed days 10, 11 and 12.  Hoping to get back in the saddle again now that the class is prepped and underway!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Park Bench

Park Bench - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord

30 in 30 day 9.  This is a quick painting of a photograph that my husband took at Kensington Park a few years ago.  There was a little (baby?) red-headed woodpecker sitting on the park bench, presumably waiting to be fed.  It is a spot where bird-watchers go to feed the birds, sometimes right out of their hands.  It is a beautiful spot and we are fortunate to live only a few miles away.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Portrait of Cecilia

Portrait of Cecilia - 6 x 6 Oil on Arches Oil Paper

30 in 30 day 7.  This is actually a portrait I did a few weeks ago at my weekly figure painting group.  I was having trouble with my canvas, as I had only applied one coat of gesso, and the paint was just getting sucked right in.  So I pulled out my Arches Oil Paper, which I had not had occasion to try yet.  Well, it kinda sucked the paint right in also, but I kept going and I am pretty happy with it.  Her face looks like oil, but the surrounding areas look like watercolor.

Another thing I found was that the paper doesn't take varnish well, it sucks the varnish in too.  So the areas with thicker paint are glossy, and the surrounding areas matt.  Well, I guess it was a good experiment.  I am still going to enter this one into a local show, along with another figure painting.  I haven't entered any shows in over two years, so excited to get back into that too.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Pastel Toiletries

Pastel Toiletries - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord

30 in 30 day 6.  I have decided to call this my toiletries series, and here is one more painting in the series.   I am liking the little bottles of colored liquid!  I have to admit that I pushed the pink a little bit, but it worked much better with the color scheme.  This will be hanging in The Menagerie Room Gallery in South Lyon later this month through October.

I found this quote that seemed appropriate: “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” —Pablo Picasso

Monday, September 5, 2016

3 Shades of Red

30 in 30 day 5.  Another in the series of lipstick paintings.   I think it’s the graphic designer in me, but I just really like things lined up and centered nicely.  (Slight case of OCD? No – too many things left unfinished:)  This will be hanging in The Menagerie Room Gallery in South Lyon later this month through October.

I am thankful to Leslie Saeta for promoting this challenge – it is a true motivator!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Evening Preparations

Evening Preparations - 6 x 6 Oil on Gesso Board

30 in 30 day 4.  I had an email request a few weeks ago to do more paintings of lipstick or nail polish, and I have been meaning to for a while, so here is one with both.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Jellybeans and Bubblegum

Jellybeans and Bubblegum - 6 x 6 Oil on Gesso Board

30 in 30 Day 3.  I'm not sure why I chose the bubblegum pink color for the ground on this one -- it's not really my style, but I like how it turned out.  I like the combination of the pink and mint green, and it lends a playfulness to a fun subject.  Jellybeans just make ya happy :)

Friday, September 2, 2016

Preparing to Paint

Preparing to Paint - 6 x 8 Oil on Canvas Board

30 in 30 day 2.  I thought this one would be an appropriate start for the 30 in 30 challenge -- preparing to paint... a lot!  I painted it for a few reasons: I wanted something to use as a cover photo on facebook, and I wanted something I could use to advertise my oil painting class at the SHAC in Milford this fall.  Now it is ready to be auctioned off on DPW :)

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Commission #3

Commission 3 - 8 x 10 Oil on Canvas
Well it's been a busy, busy summer.  I haven't posted for a while, but I have been painting here and there.  This is my third pet portrait commission, and I have a few more coming.  I probably won't ever do people portrait commissions, but I don't mind doing pets -- I love animals, and they are a little more forgiving than humans if the likeness is not exactly spot on!

I am thinking I will join the 30 in 30 challenge that Leslie Saeta is sponsoring on her website.  It may be hard to do something every single day, however, as I will also be teaching oil painting for the first time at the SHAC in downtown Milford, where I also work part time.  It will all be a challenge, but I will do my best.....

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cumulus Clouds over the Huron River

Cumulus Clouds over the Huron River - 6 x 6 Oil on panel

I took a plein air workshop with Kim Casebeer a few years ago, and while I don't feel any of the paintings I did during the workshop were worthy to post, I did get some photos while we were out at Gallup Park in Ann Arbor.  That is not to say that Kim isn't a great artist and teacher -- she is amazing!  I am just landscape and plein air-challenged.   I need lots more practice.  That said, I am pretty happy with this one that I did from one of the photos.  I tried to remember what Kim said about cool and warm temperatures, and atmosphere, etc.  I had to imagine some of that as the photo of course flattened out the shadows and highlights.

So here in Milford we have a plein air group that meets at Kensington park every Saturday at 8:00 am, rain or shine.  And I hear that some of the members are more than happy to help newbies with tips and tricks of the trade...  I think it is high time I ventured out into the elements for some plein air painting!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Stroll in the Park

A Stroll in the Park - 6 x 6 Oil on panel

We have a great little market near us called Colasanti's, which we visited the other day looking for plants.  They have a miniature nature park area and pond out front with ducks, geese, turkeys, chickens, guinea hens, and peacocks (and probably more.)  For a quarter, you can get a handful of peanuts to feed the ducks.  So when we came across these two little guys wanting to be very sociable, we realized that they were actually just looking for peanuts :)

Monday, July 4, 2016

Tea in the Parlor

Tea in the Parlor - 6 x 6 Oil on Gesso board

We don't really have a parlor, but I would love to have one. :)  Actually, we (my husband and I) found these silver salt and pepper shakers the other day when we decided to check out a local resale/antiques shop.  We found several great still life props for very reasonable prices - it was a good day.  My husband (who has a great eye for design) set up the cup and silver for me, and I added the plants in the background.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Life is Like...

Life is Like... - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord

I was so happy to find cherries at the grocery store the other day.  I love the alizarin color of these... just like the red delicious.  In fact I liked the color scheme of '3 Red Delicious' so much I decided to use it again with these cherries.  And of course they are soooo delicious.  If I can get another painting out of these before they are eaten up... life is good :)

Here is what it would look like in a nice frame from King of Frame...

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Cutie - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
This is the other commissioned painting I mentioned in my last post.  This one was actually commissioned as a surprise birthday present for our friend Charlie (hopefully he isn't reading this right now).  We understand that the two are best buds, so I hope that Charlie will approve of this painting when he sees it!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Green Eyes

Green Eyes - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
This painting was commissioned by friends of ours who wanted portraits of their two pets - one of this lovely cat, and the other which I will post tomorrow.   Thankfully their animals weren't shy like ours.  This one seemed to even pose perfectly for the camera... yay :))

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Little Copper Pot

Little Copper Pot - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
So this one is a little different for me.  Slightly more muted colors, maybe more along the lines of a traditional still life approach.  And I am liking playing with more varied colors in the background rather than one flat color, which is more often than not what I have been doing.  I think I'll keep playing with this approach.  Progress...

And here is what it would look like in a nice frame from

Monday, June 13, 2016

Defiant, Vivacious or Coy?

Defiant, Vivacious or Coy? - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
I hardly ever wear nail polish, yet I have about twenty bottles in my cupboard, along with lipstick I never wear.  However, you never know when you will need it, right ladies?  At any rate, they are great for colorful still life subject matter, and they may be revisited soon. :)

Friday, June 10, 2016

Cologne Bottles 2

Cologne Bottles 2 - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
I like all of these little bottles of my husband's, they make great arrangements of shapes: circles, squares, rectangles.  I guess I particularly like the green and gold Polo bottle -- it takes center stage again.  I love the challenge of the transparency as well.  A good exercise.

Another quote I like: “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” —Vincent Van Gogh

Thursday, June 9, 2016

3 Red Delicious

3 Red Delicious - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
This is one of the new ones I mentioned in an earlier post.  I really like how this one came out.  I initially had an olive green background color, but it wasn't really grabbing me, so I wiped it out and changed it to more of a muted blue.  Obviously I missed some of the green, but I think that the variety of color makes it much more interesting.  

I like this quote by Scott Adams: “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.  Art is knowing which ones to keep.” 

Here is what the painting would look like framed.