Friday, December 31, 2010

Rose in Blue Pot

"Rose in Blue Pot", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
This is the last painting of 2010. Its not the last rose painting I will ever do, but I'm thinking about new challenges. Thank you to everyone who has supported me in 2010!

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dried Rose

"Dried Rose", 12 x 10, Oil on Museum Board
The objects that I put in the still life are are usually not so important themselves as they are a means to an end--the representation of light, color, feeling, mood, etc. But in this case, the bottle has an interesting provenance--I got it from my Aunt's beach on a river inlet in North Carolina in 2001 after a big hurricane had unearthed a treasure trove of old glass bottles. So these are three disparate objects brought together with no particular purpose other than they contain specific memories for me: the glass bottle, the hand thrown pot from my art student days and the dried up rose from my garden that I found on the shelf stuck in another pot.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Two Roses

"Two Roses", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
Sometimes I get to the end of the day and I can't think of anything to say about my painting--my mind is just a big blank! So here goes--this painting was a fast one--big strokes put down and pretty much left alone, which is not always the case when I paint, as I'm a big believer in judicious scraping. Almost all the rose paintings have been done under my big white skylight with natural light, which I much prefer to light bulbs but limits the painting time to daylight hours--ending about 4 pm in the afternoon during these days.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Yellow Mug with Apple

"Yellow Mug with Apple", 10 x 8 In., Oil on Museum Board
I'm trying to keep it simple during the holidays and interestingly, I find that simplicity of design is good for the practice of brush strokes and paint application. In many ways this is the therapeutic part of painting--just slapping around the paint like a kid.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Wild Rose - Sold

"Wild Rose", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
When I studied with Ovanes, I learned to put a lot of paint out on my palette, but for a long time that didn't necessarily translate into painting with a loaded brush. But more and more I am getting into it and sometimes, such as with this painting, I do it intentionally in order to make it more of a habit.

I've sold a second painting during this holiday week, and this time, my donation of $25 of the purchase price goes to the Orca Network in Puget Sound, as requested by the purchaser.  As with the last donation to Safeplace, I am thrilled to donate to this organization--on the link, take a look at the new baby orca, L115, born to the "L" pod, on December 6, presumably somewhere near San Juan Island.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Yellow Rose Glass Jar

"Yellow Rose Glass Jar", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
It is the day after Christmas. The build up of tension and excitement is over, the relatives have started their journey home and everything is suddenly different. As I look out on the stormy water of the Cove, I know that even though it is the beginning of winter, the light is returning.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Emilia - NFS

"Emilia", 12 x 10, Oil on Museum Board NFS
Emilia is the daughter of one of my painting friends. She modeled for us at our painting group holiday party. Emilia represents the spirit of the holiday season--the regeneration of life, the miracle of existence and the wonder of each new day.

Thank you to everyone who has followed my work this last year and to all the new friends I've made on this painting journey.

From a painting purchased yesterday, I will contribute to a non-profit charity $100. For any additional paintings sold through January 1, 2011, I will contribute $25 each to the non-profit charity of the purchaser's choice.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Rose - Sold

"Christmas Rose", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
These are trying times for many in the world. For the first person who purchases any painting from the entire last year from my blog between now and January 1, 2011, I will donate $100 to a non-profit charity of your choice, in your name if possible. Let us count our many blessings.

The purchase has been made! The purchaser has chosen to donate to Safeplace, the only advocacy agency and confidential shelter for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Thurston County, WA. I am very happy with the choice of this organization. For any additional purchases until January 1, 2011, I will donate $25 of the purchase price to a non-profit charity of your choice!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Morning Rose - NFS

"Morning Rose", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. With this off the easel, I'm heading to the kitchen to make a gingerbread house with my daughters.

NFS

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Red Cup Yellow Rose - SOLD

"Red Cup Yellow Rose", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board - SOLD
I'm posting early today because I need to clean my house for the holidays. You know you've turned a corner when you're so obsessed with painting that cleaning the house, holiday shopping and wrapping presents feels like something you use to do in the past, but you can't exactly remember when. My neighbor showed me his faux Christmas tree last night, complete with pre-wired lights, but so far we still go out to the tree farm and get a real one, though we get a pre-cut one in the barn rather than walk a mile with a hand saw in the rain to find the perfect one.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bottle Apple Spoon

"Bottle Apple Spoon", 12 x 10, Oil on Museum Board
On this painting I did something I almost never do--paint on it after it was dry.  I painted over one object from the setup that wasn't working, but mostly just played around with variations of neutral colors.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Monday, December 20, 2010

White Rose White Vase - SOLD

"White Rose White Vase", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
It is 4:30 pm and nearly dark. Not only do we have the darkest day of the year tomorrow but tonight a complete lunar eclipse that peaks at 12:17 pm PST. According to the US Naval Observatory, the last instance of an eclipse matching the same calendar date as the solstice was Dec. 21, 1638.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Yellow Rose

"Yellow Rose", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
I should go out and buy real roses and maybe I will, but I find the fake silk kind works just as well.  It reminds me of a story I read by Henry James when I was in high school called "The Real Thing."

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pink Rose - SOLD

"Pink Rose", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
The discipline of daily painting is certainly one way to keep my sanity during the darkest days of the year and the stresses and diversions of the holidays. Though I have painted a few paintings ahead to fill in the gaps of available time, I am cherishing my habit of retreating into my studio to clear my mind and slap a little paint around.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Red Rose - SOLD

"Red Rose", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
This is the first of a series of small paintings that will hopefully get me through the holidays. The format is simple so I don't have to think too much and it gives me a chance to practice painting the essence of the rose. Maybe its an unusual subject for a holiday theme, but somehow seems to me to be fitting.

SOLD

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blue Pot - Sold

"Blue Pot", 9 x 9 In, Oil on Museum Board
When my sister cleared out her storage unit recently we found this small blue pot that I'd made years ago when I studied ceramics at the University of Washington. In those days we sold pots on the Ave during the street fairs and practiced raku firing at a pottery studio sitting in the middle of a lot with mostly dirt and ramshackle buildings down on Lake Union. Everything's changed now, of course, but it brings back good memories.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Yellow Roses - SOLD

"Yellow Roses", 12 x 10, Oil on Museum Board
However rough this one turned out, I like it anyway, mainly because of the colors.  Strange how that is, sometimes.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Winter Clouds

"Winter Clouds", 10 x 12 In, Oil on Museum Board
This is the view outside my studio window. With the changing tides and the varying winds from southwest and north, it is a continually changing drama. In the winter its often rainy and gray with not much contrast, so on a day like this one, even though I've done it so many times before, its fun to paint it one more time.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Yellow Roses with Apples

"Yellow Roses with Apples", 12 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board
The experiment with this painting was using mainly cadmium yellows and ivory black. I love painting with ivory black because of the beautiful blues you can make from it, but it is tricky and can overwhelm the other colors.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pot with Spoon

"Pot with Spoon", 12 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board
Most of the time I paint alla prima--meaning that I do the painting at one go and I don't work on it after it dries. But this painting I continued to work on even after it was dry. Fortunately, rather than being a waste of time, it turned out to be an interesting study in grays.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Oil Bottle with Herbs - SOLD

"Oil Bottle with Herbs", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board SOLD
I have a tendency to paint things over and over. I like to paint certain jars, pots and spoons. I like to paint apples. One of the objects I like is this square bottle of oil with herbs in it because of the beautiful colors and because of the size of the bottle--not too big and not too small. There is some precedent for this habit of rearranging the same props over and over found in the work of one of my favorite still life painters, Giorgio Morandi.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Yellow Mug

"Yellow Mug", 8 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
I did this painting a few days ago at the end of the day after I had gotten fed up with spending so much time on another painting. Sometimes it relieves the painting soul to just slap on the paint and not worry about the result, but it is definitely easier to do this on a small size panel.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

White Roses with Orange - SOLD

"White Roses with Orange", 14 x 11 In, Oil on Museum Board
Still life paintings are an opportunity to work out design, color, values, edges and everything else. Many times I scrape the built up paint from a still life painting after working on it for awhile because I need to re-think one of these aspects and I've got too much paint on it to really make any changes.  The only thing I changed in the painting was the vase--half way through I felt the vase I was using wasn't working at all and I plopped in a glass vase to replace it.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pots with Orange - ON HOLD

"Pots with Orange", 12 x 9 In, Oil on Panel
This is sort of a minimalist still life. As I work on these still lifes I'm not trying to make them pretty or beautiful or even completely accurate--I'm trying to do something else and hopefully I'll figure it out as I get into it. This one, like some of the others, is under the natural light of the skylight, and that is my favorite light to work with, though not always possible with our Northwest weather.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pot with Yellow Apples

"Pot with Yellow Apples", 12 x 8 In, Oil on Panel
When I paint still lifes I am attracted to painting certain objects over and over, and one of these, strangely, is the apple. There is always a variation in color and shape.  I especially like golden apples, so you will probably be seeing more of these in the days to come.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Monday, December 6, 2010

White Pitcher with Apple

"White Pitcher with Apple", 12 x 12 In, Oil on Panel

About the Picasso exhibit:
Next to Picasso's work, most contemporary painting seems innocuous, pale and pretty. But that doesn't mean I liked all of his work. There were some works I really liked, including the small portraits of Dora Maar--these were paintings I wouldn't mind having in my house. Picasso apparently painted "classical" paintings when he was around 13 years old, but it didn't take long to give that up. He lived through two world wars and had many relationships, so much of the imagery is not surprising. It would appear that there was not a bone in his body that attempted to please anybody--and maybe that is the most attractive thing about the work for an artist. There is a power in the images and the execution that you just don't see in most current art. The exhibition is definitely worth seeing.

In contrast, see Scott Burdick's YouTube video, "The Banishment of Beauty", which though it is an interesting perspective, seems to have a hint of sour grapes about it. If you've seen the Picasso exhibit, let me know what you think!

Robert Genn's article on the SAM Picasso exhibit includes many different and varied comments.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Two Peonies

"Two Peonies", 12 x 10 In, Oil on Panel
This is a painting I did a couple of days ago so that I could spend the day today up in Seattle at the Picasso exhibit. We are off and I will let you know my impression of the exhibit tomorrow!

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wind on the Cove - ON HOLD

"Wind on the Cove", 12 x 8 In, Oil on Panel
Sometimes at the end of the day after I have put away a painting I have worked on for two or three hours, I like to just let go and paint the moment--especially of the view directly out my window of the Cove as the light is changing. It is the type of painting that is quick, in this case about 30 minutes, and is truly an impression and not "fixed up." The wind was howling all day, pushing the water into the Cove and the clouds across the sky.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pot with Yellow Apple

"Pot with Yellow Apple", 12 x 10 In, Oil on Panel
This is another still life with a simple value scheme and colors.  The test with this one was to make the pot symmetrical as I have a tendency to slant everything.  I have to always check the paintings of objects with a mirror or better yet, reverse the image in photoshop to see how its gotten off.  Since this is a very unconscious process, I've learned to be more aware at the beginning of the painting of my tendency to do this.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Black and white

"Black and White", 12 x 8 In, Oil on Panel
Sometimes its a good idea to practice value composition by breaking it down into three basic values--dark, light and gray. This quick still life study utilizes a limited palette with the stark contrast of areas of pure Ivory Black and pure Titanium White.  This sort of goes against some rules I have in my head, so it was a lot of fun and very liberating.  It also utilizes the natural light coming in through the big white skylights I have in my studio, which I like a lot better than set-up lighting. 

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Valley Escalante

"Valley Escalante", 10 x 12 In, Oil on Panel
This is my last painting from the Utah series, at least for now. Meanwhile I'm looking around my studio at all my mugs, bowls, pitchers, bottles and fake flowers and putting myself into the still life mode. I pulled from my bookshelf one of my favorite books related to still life--the one about Giorgio Morandi. The other one I'm still looking for is a beautiful little book titled the The Last Flowers of Manet.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

White Rose - SOLD

"White Rose", 14 x 11 In, Oil on Museum Board
Still life painting is a challenge for me--deciding what to paint, how to set it up, all the gear required in the studio to get a good set up and good lighting. I have two big skylights but natural lighting is hard to come by in the Pacific Northwest during the dark months. So I use really big pieces of foam core to create a box around my table for the set-up, which works pretty well until my cat comes in and bats the foam core around because he's hungry. Everything about still life for me is experimental.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Capitol Reef Cliffs

"Capitol Reef Cliffs", 10 x 12 In, Oil on Panel
I'm transitioning to doing more still lifes, but I still have a couple more Utah paintings. This is from the west side of the Waterpocket Fold near the park headquarters, an area blazing with color. It is an exercise in high key values. I had broken my foot a week before we left for the trip, but by the end was taking some fairly long walks in these areas in my "boot."

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Still Life with Apple

"Still Life with Apple", 10 x 10 In, Oil on Panel
As we go into the dark of winter I will be doing more still life paintings with studio lighting. Right now, the natural light from my two big 4 x 4 foot skylights starts to fail around 3 pm as the sun is so low in the sky and drops behind the big cedars out in back--if there is any sun at all! So I'm just starting to remember how much I struggled with still life set-ups last winter.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Utah Horizon

"Utah Horizon", 8 x 12 In, Oil on Panel
Some subjects lend themselves to the simplest of compositions along with fast and straightforward painting. Such was this painting of the distance on a Utah backroad.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cliff Shadows

"Cliff Shadows", 8 x 12 In, On on Panel
As much as there are warm colors in the Utah landscape, at certain times of the day there are beautiful blues with the atmospheric perspective. This painting was an exercise in painting that perspective.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Apples - SOLD

"Apples", 8 x 12 In, Oil 0n Panel

Apples are the simplest of fruit and what better way to express everything that we cherish about Thanksgiving than to paint a still life of apples.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Last Light Escalante - SOLD

"Last Light Escalante", 8 x 12 In, Oil on Panel
I still have a few more Utah paintings since I painted ahead for the holidays. This one is basically about color patterns. The snow is still on the ground here around Puget Sound and my cats are flummoxed by this cold white stuff--and I'm still dreaming about the warm colors of the Southwest.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Naxi Woman -- NFS

"Naxi Woman", 9" x 7", Oil on Museum Board NFS
I posted this painting back in September, but I'm posting it again because it was a finalist in the FineArtViews Painting Competition for October. It was my favorite portrait of my marathon "30 portraits in eight days" before I left for Cornwall, and I am grateful to Scott Prior, the judge of the October competition for selecting my painting as one of the finalists.

I visted Yunna Province in China in March of 2009 with Barry Raybould and Timothy Tien. The ethnic minority in the Lijiang and Yuhu Village areas are the Naxi people.  In Yuhu Village, just beneath Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, we stayed at a delightful guest house. Scroll down to the second set of photos in this Yuhu Village link and you'll see photos of the guest house, the wonderfully accommodating proprietors, and the mountain above the village. Most afternoons at the guest house, a group of village people would gather in the courtyard to play mahjong. Some of them agreed to model for us--but it was always clear that their interest was with the mahjong table. It was March and still cold, elevation about 8,000 feet, so they had cement bowls filled with hot coals around the group for heat. We just wore a lot of clothes! This painting is from a photo of one of the women watching the game.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Yellow Rose

"Yellow Rose", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board
I have a few more of the Utah landscapes to post, but today I just wanted to do a simple still life. I started out this blog 11 months ago doing still life's and in the summer switched mainly to plein air landscape. So now I feel like I'm coming full circle.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fremont River - NFS

"Fremont River", 10 x 12 In, Oil on Panel - NFS
The Fremont River runs east cutting through the Waterpocket Fold that runs north and south through Capitol Reef National Park in Southwest Utah. The multi-layers of rock are amazingly colorful. According to Wikipedia, "The area was named for a line of white domes and cliffs of Navajo Sandstone, each of which looks somewhat like the United States Capitol building, that run from the Fremont River to Pleasant Creek on the Waterpocket Fold. The local word reef referred to any rocky barrier to travel.[2]



Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sundown Escalante

"Sundown Escalante", 8 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board
I'm still not done with painting images from Utah--maybe because it has been raining here so much. I want to keep remembering the colors and sunlight as it gets even darker, grayer and colder in the Northwest.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Backroad Utah -- SOLD

"Backroad Utah", 10 x 12 In, Oil on Museum Board
This is an area in the Dixie National Forest in Southwest Utah. The National Parks in this corner of Utah--Bryce, Zion and Capitol Reef--are spectacular.  But the backroads where we found hardly any tourists are just as beautiful in their own way.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Valley Floor Escalante - SOLD

"Valley Floor Escalante", 8 x 10 In, Oil on Panel
I can feel that I'm coming to the end of this series of paintings from Southwest Utah--a few more paintings, maybe. Yesterday I painted two and scraped both of them. But what will come next? In this little painting, I hope I conveyed some sense of the vastness of the land.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Storm Coming Highrock

"Storm Coming Highrock", 12" x 12", Oil on Museum Board
Yesterday a storm actually did come to the Pacific Northwest and the power was out in our little community for nearly 24 hours--no TV, no internet, no electricity and even the phone service went down for awhile. So I built a fire in our fireplace insert, which will pretty much heat the entire house, worked on a painting under the skylight and read a novel in front of the fire.  This painting was done in response to a challenge on an artist network I belong to.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Capitol Reef Backroad - SOLD

"Capitol Reef Backroad", 8" x 10", Oil on Panel
Of all the places we went last fall in Southwestern Utah, the little known Capitol Reef National Park was my favorite.  Capitol Reef has multiple layers of rock from pink to green and the light in the canyons is amazingly luminous.  This is the western side of the monocline, called the Waterpocket Fold.  We drove down to Lake Powell on the eastern side on the road shown on the national park link, meeting only a few cars and a park ranger who was on the look out for big game hunters coming illegally within the park boundaries.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Out West - On Hold

"Out West", 10" x 12", Oil on Museum Board
In this simple painting I am trying to capture the feeling of the mountain west. The area is somewhere on the way to Utah, my memory is that it was a small town in the mountains in Nevada.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cedar Canyon - SOLD

"Cedar Canyon", 11 x 14 In, Oil on Museum Board
When I went to Utah last fall, this scene of the Cedar Canyon was the first outdoor painting of the trip--but not this particular painting. That first painting had a good feeling to it, but it just didn't work out in some other ways. So I have been trying to re-do this painting over the last year and this is my 4th or 5th attempt. I'm hoping that sometime I will really be able to figure out how to express the light that I remember in the canyon.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Utah Shadows - SOLD

"Utah Shadows", 8" x 10", Oil on Panel
When I do a series of paintings on a particular theme, I am often portraying a particular place, such as Utah, but also working on my understanding of how to put a painting together.  Sometimes it helps me to paint slowly and scrape and re-do until I get the image I want.  Other times, I set the timer and do quick studies as a way of taking myself out of my head. This is one of those quick studies.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Last Light

"Last Light", 8" x 10", Oil on Panel
Doing a painting with low light is a challenge. My latest instructor made a big point of saying that if a passage is not working, scraping is a good thing. I scraped this painting entirely at least once and certain parts of it more than once before it came into "tune." The values and colors of this painting are so close because of the light that it was hard to get an accurate photograph, and this photo of the painting does not quite portray the color/values as the actually are.

Purchase this unframed painting.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a plein air frame.