Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Sleigh Bells

Sleigh Bells - 6 x 6 Oil on panel

After three starts 😝 I finally got this one going and am happy with the final result.  With Christmas around the corner I am getting in the mood for holiday stuff.  (Sorry Thanksgiving... passed over again!)

Below is a closeup shot of one of the ornaments.  We got these several years ago from my sister-in-law and they've been a regular on our trees ever since.  Just love 'em.  


Thursday, October 29, 2020

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord

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This is my version of the Sleepy Hollow Pumpkin (love that movie!)  I picked up a pumpkin while getting groceries the other day and had fun carving it -- it's been so long since I last carved a pumpkin!

This low-key value range is quite a contrast to my last small painting (in my last post), which featured a small pumpkin gourd in high key values.  It was quite a challenge to get the glow of the candlelight inside the pumpkin -- it had to be really dark on the outside -- something I am seemingly allergic to.  But I am always hearing: "Color gets all the credit, value does all the work."  So I keep trying!  

Below is my carved (not-so-much) masterpiece.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Warts and All

Warts and All - 6 x 6 Oil on panel
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Tis the season for pumpkin gourds!  I have been doing some exercises in color value and temperature lately, so this little white/orange pumpkin was perfect for this sort of exercise.  Warm light, cool shadows, and a nice warmish green to reflect into the cool of the underside of the pumpkin.  A good study.  Plus, when I see them in the grocery store, they are hard to resist. :)

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Cemetery Road

Cemetery Road - 8 x 10 Oil on Canvas

My good friend got me out painting this past Tuesday and I am so glad we went out! The weather was warm and sunny, the colors were amazing and the company was great. And I was happy with my painting (a rare thing lately!) A great day 😊

This painting will be available at the Gifts of Art show at the Suzanne Haskew Art Center in Milford, Michigan in November.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Talk to the Paw

Talk to the Paw
Talk to the Paw - 6 x 6 oil on panel

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Did a little experimenting with this one -- adding more line work, and pushing the colors a bit.  I wasn't sure if I was even going to finish, but I found a weekly challenge on Jerry's Artarama called "Cattitude", so that was the deciding factor.  Being the cat fancier that I am, I had to finish and enter.  😻  I am glad I did, happier with it now.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Another Round

Another Round
Another Round - 8 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
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This is the third in my series of beverage bottles. The still life setup for this one sat in my still life box for a couple of weeks before I got around to it.  I think part of the reason I kept putting it off is because I wasn't looking forward to the precise drawing required, with the symmetry, ellipses, lots of straight lines.  It's not easy.  And so when I got to the finishing stage (past the drawing and block-in stages) I began to enjoy painting it so much more. 

Again, love some of the artsy labels you see on beer and wine bottles, and like the challenge of simplifying just enough to capture it without adding every detail.   I think I tightened up a bit on this one, but still happy with how it came out.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Swan and Cygnets

Swan and Cygnets - 6 x 6 Oil on panel
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This painting is from a photo taken at Kensington Metropark which is right down the road from us.  I have take many photos there and have now painted several paintings en plein air there.  If you are not familiar, it's a beautiful park with over 4000 acres, much of it Kent Lake.  This year you almost can't go anywhere in the park without running into either a sandhill crane or a wild turkey.  We are truly blessed to have this park in our neighborhood.

Friday, July 3, 2020

A Beer Among Friends

A Beer Among Friends - 8 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
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Shopping for groceries the other day, I was surprised to find a "mix and match" of individual beer bottles into a 6-pack.  Most were from microbreweries, with a few from the larger beer companies thrown in.  So I played.

In this piece, if you haven't identified the two beer bottles, I have Michelob Black & Tan and Atwater Brewery Vanilla Java Porter.  Atwater is a local brewery here in Detroit, and the label art was done by the fabulous artist Tony Roko.  He was kind enough to take time out to come and speak to our art association last year and I can tell you he's super nice as well as talented!

This painting presented some challenges, not least of all having to do with drawing.  Accuracy was important in order to capture convincing symmetry, ellipses, and distortions from looking through a clear glass.  But it was great practice, and because I've always been fascinated with the different labels of beer and wine bottles, plan to see at least a few more in this series.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Glowing Cottonwood

Glowing Cottonwood - 12 x 9 Oil on Canvas
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This painting is from a plein air outing with my friend Sara last week. We were headed for a park that ended up being closed, so at her suggestion we went down the road to a sizable cemetery. It was perfect: quiet, beautiful views, and wildlife. This backlit cottonwood caught my eye right away.  Great day :)

Friday, June 19, 2020

Country Chapel

Country Chapel - 8 x 10 Oil on Canvas board
I love painting outside, but admittedly I am most definitely a fair-weather plein air painter.  So I’ve only been out a few times this year (living in Michigan, our fair weather comes later than many other places…) and I am feeling very rusty!  So when a few friends and I went out to Greenmead Historical Park a few weeks ago and saw this quaint little country chapel, I was a bit scared of it but wanted to paint it anyway.  And I'm glad I did -- I feel like I finally got a ‘good one’!  Amen!!

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Tuesday, June 16, 2020


Julieanna - 10 x 8 Oil on Panel
This sweet girl is a commissioned painting for a friend that I used to work with.  As their first family dog who is getting a little older, they decided to have a keepsake painting done to remember her by in years to come.  I have to say that it also brought back memories of our own black lab that we had for about 15 years.  They are among the most gentle and loving creatures on the planet, and we miss him and his wagging tail so much.
If you would like a portrait of your pet, please contact me or go to my website for more details:

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Backyard Bird Feeder

Backyard Bird Feeder - 6 x 6 Oil on Panel
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Another in my backyard critter series.  I painted this from an photograph of a feeder that we no longer have due to some acrobatic squirrels finally succeeding in knocking it to the ground and breaking it to pieces.  I think the birds that were feeding at this particular time were grackles as they had a pretty iridescent blue on their feathers.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

It's a Jungle Out There

It's a Jungle Out There - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
We have a divot in our backyard where there used to be a huge (elm?) tree, which will hopefully get filled at some point.  But in the meantime it escapes the mower blades, so it stays fairly dense and seems to attract the little critters.  This little guy was barely visible in there until he stood at attention (which he did several times while I was sneakily taking photos out of our back window.)  His body was so small that it nearly got lost in the surrounding ‘jungle’ of foliage.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Happy Hour

Happy Hour - 7 x 5 Oil on Gessobord

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I admit it... I love to paint shiny things.  Since I did the glass DPW challenge, I've been meaning to do more.  And we have had these bottles down in our basement forever, so... another glass painting.  I played with less direct lighting on this one, which I thought looked a little more like something you might see at the neighborhood bar.

Saturday, May 23, 2020


Cosmo - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
This is a portrait of my friend Mari's cat.  I saw some of the photos she had taken of him and decided that I had to paint him, he has such a beautiful coat.  This is a little bit more finished than usual, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Backyard Chillin'

Backyard Chillin' - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
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I recently dug out an old SLR camera that we have (by old I mean about 15 years old -- by technology standards, that's pretty old.)  Several people said that my iPhone could take better photos, so I left it in its place.  However, even though it is far inferior to more current cameras, I have found that it takes better photos than my iPhone.

So I've learned the basics and started to shoot some of the wildlife that comes into our backyard.  It's mostly Canadian Geese, but I have seen cranes, herons, and a whole host of other birds and animals.  This goose liked it so much here that it decided to stay for a while and have a rest.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Sleeping Tiger

Sleeping Tiger - 6 x 8 Oil on Gessobord
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Not to leave any of our cats out, here is the third of three of my own pet portraits.  I did one each of the other two recently -- you can see them on my Daily Paintworks gallery.  This one is in one of her favorite poses :)

Friday, May 8, 2020

Pink on Blue

Pink and Blue - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
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What can I say...  more lipstick!  It's something I have readily available and I like painting the smooth metal sheaths contrasted with the waxy lipstick.  Even though I have done several, it's always a challenge.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Line Up

Line Up - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
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I've been digging back into my stash of makeup, and love the colors of these three polishes.  It's a straight-forward composition, but this one is more about the vibrant colors, and I think they stand on their own!

Friday, April 17, 2020

Cloud Study

Cloud Study - 5 x 7 Oil on Gessobord
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I have been wanting to paint clouds for a long time, but for one reason or another I never really did.  I have done suggestions of clouds – like just a swish of paint – but nothing substantial.  So I found this photo of a sunset at sea and gave it a shot.  It is very simple, but I think turned out ok for my first real attempt.  I will be glad to get outside and attempt it from life... soon!

Friday, April 10, 2020

Nature Center Welcome Committee

Nature Center Welcome Committee - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
On one of our many visits to the nature center at Kensington Metropark in Milford, Michigan, we encountered this little guy.  He (or she) was sitting on a railing that bordered the entrance to the walking trails, and just sat there as I got closer and closer.  I got right up to a within a few feet of him and that enabled me to get a great shot with my iPhone.  Later I realized that the reason the animals there are so friendly is because so many of the visitors feed them (even though we're not supposed to!)  Anyway, it's a great place to get wildlife photos!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
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I feel like I'm all over the board style-wise with my recent small paintings, but I guess I'm still growing and trying to find my true style.  For this one I again had a number of challenges for myself: working with 'whites', color temperature and getting accurate values, which I frequently seem to struggle with. I also played with the palette knife in a few select areas.  And the ellipses are ALWAYS a challenge!  Going to break out that value scale and keep on painting!

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Light a Candle

Light a Candle - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
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This painting was also a little different for me.  It was filled with challenges!  First of all the ellipses, so many!  Definitely the hardest challenge for me.  But good practice.  Then there's the high-key color scheme, and the glass.  And of course the flame.  Getting a flame to look bright on a high-key painting...  whew!  It was a good exercise.

Just thinking about all of the people who have not survived Covid-19, and the ones who are sick and afraid.  They're all in my prayers.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Mirror Image

Mirror Image - 5 x 7 Oil on Panel
Today, in lieu of painting the model from life, I decided to paint myself from life, through a mirror.  I set up a small hand-held mirror on my easel and went to town.  I admit I left out all of the sags and wrinkles, but I think it somewhat resembles me, and I'm fairly happy with the result.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Weird Science

Weird Science - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
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I got these little bottles a long time ago, intending to do something with them.  So when the glass challenge came along, I thought I'd put them to use.  I played with a lot of different colors of background and colored water, and settled on this one. It's a little different for me but worth the dual challenges of working with glass and with these almost fluorescent colors.  Kinda looks like the makings of a science experiment!

Friday, March 20, 2020

Fluid Ounces

Fluid Ounces - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
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I decided to participate in the DPW monthly challenge again, which happens to be "glass" this month.  So I went through about all of the glass I have on hand and picked these four pieces, filled some with water and the shot glass... well it is supposed to look like Hot Damn liquor, but it is really just food coloring in water.  Hopefully it comes off as the former.  I really like painting glass -- it presents its challenges like no other material.  And I have some ideas for more glass paintings...

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

On a Silver Platter

On a Silver Platter - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
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I finally got my still life box set up again after a slight rearranging of my studio, so was able to paint from life again. (Our weekly figure group is suspended for now.)  This silver platter is part of a tea set that my mom had sitting in the dining room for years.  It took some scrubbing to get all of the tarnish off, but now it looks as good as new.  On to the tea pot...

Monday, March 16, 2020


Curiosity - 8 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
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Another painting of our curious cat, Zora.  On another note, some of my usual activities have been suspended for the next two or three weeks, so I'm hoping to use that time to just stay at my easel and paint.  May be the silver lining in all of the craziness of the world right now.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Desert Sun

Desert Sun - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
From another photo taken in Arizona, here is a little study of the prickly pear cactus bathing in the sunlight.  I love the colors of the different 'discs' of the plant, from cool blues to warm greens.  All set against the red earth.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Sitting by the Window

Sitting by the Window - 8 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
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Here is yet another painting of our Maine Coon cat Bonita.  I just happened to get a great photo of her with the light from the window streaming in on her, so it had to be painted.

Hope everyone out there is staying safe and healthy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Desert Flora

Desert Flora - 8 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
A recent visit to Arizona inspired this oil sketch of the desert landscape.  We went out to visit friends and managed to snap a few shots along the way.  I love all of the flora that is so different from our home state of Michigan.  Even the residential neighborhood yards had multiple species of cacti, palm trees, citrus trees.  It's a beautiful, inspirational place!

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Black Cherry Tomatoes

Black Cherry Tomatoes - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
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Here are a few more of the little green/red tomatoes that I like.  I think the correct name is Black Cherry tomato.  Plus some other supporting cast members.

And for some more food trivia, according to Wikipedia:  bell peppers, cucumbers, green beans, eggplants, avocados and squash are all technically fruit, but are considered a "culinary vegetable" and generally cooked as vegetables.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Solanum Lycopersicum

Solanum Lycopersicum - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
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I decided on this subject matter for a few reasons.  I had a package of these multi-colored cherry tomatoes, and wanted to include them in a painting, especially the green/red variety -- just love their colors.  And the other reason was that I decided to do the "Crumpled Challenge" on DPW.  I know the crumpling is minimal, but it is in there!  I may give the challenge another try before the month is out.  Crumpled fabric is an especially great thing to know how to paint for clothed figure painting.

Interesting trivia: while I knew the tomato was technically a fruit and not a vegetable, I just found out (from Wikipedia) that it is actually classified as a berry!

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Profile in Charcoal

Profile in Charcoal - 9 x 12 Charcoal on paper
So another one of my art goals for this year is to work on my drawing skills by exclusively drawing at a model session on a weekly basis.  This, my first charcoal in a very long time, was done from life with our lovely model, Morgan.  While I can see things I could improve upon, I think it's a good start, I had fun and I look forward to doing more.  This was drawn with vine charcoal with a few areas done in charcoal pencil.

Monday, January 6, 2020


Nuances - 6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord
A few of my good art friends have encouraged me to state my art goals for 2020 in an effort to improve my skills and practice, as they are also doing.  I am so grateful for the support I have around me!  The goals I have stated include painting more, completing more paintings, updating my blog and website more frequently, and experimenting and enjoying the process, among others.  So here is the first blog update since then.  While I don't think I could manage to post every day as other artists do, I think (and hope) I can manage a few paintings per week.