Thursday, December 22, 2011

Stacked but Uncracked

Some times the holidays leave me "stacked up" with to do lists, errands, gifts and baking.   This year I tried VERY hard to get things done ahead of time so I can enjoy time with my family home for the holidays.   So far, my list is stacking up but I am UNCRACKED!   I know I know .... I only have 2 shopping days left!

Stacked but Uncracked   6x6" Oil on panel

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

First Gift of the Season

This was the first attempt at painting a package this year.   I used very little opaque paint - mainly transparent.  Last December Carol Marine demonstrated painting a package in her workshop I attended.   She makes it look so easy!

This is currently available for sale at our Daily Painters Gallery on the Go! at Nativa Furniture Store in Solana Beach, CA.

8 x 8" Oil on Panel

A Christmas Gift

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and all of the blessings of the season!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sunflowers and Silver

A Friend of mine brought some beautiful sunflowers in a silver pticher over to paint a couple of weekends ago.   Things were going along just fine until I realized I had painted each flower "head on" in a circular shape!   Stop!   Scrape and paint what you see.
Sunflowers and Silver 8x8 Oil on Panel

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Coffee and Roses

How to handle the composition when the "focal point" rose is actually further away than the "secondary" rose closer to the viewer?  Well, one way is to keep it lose and duller.  At least that is what I tried here.   An interesting challenge since we want to define more clearly the closer items.

Coffee and Roses   8x8 Oil on Panel

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Life is Good and Full of Color

Who Cares if it is December?   8x8" Oil on Panel

Another Sunny Day in Sunny So Cal   8x8" Oil on Panel

Athough December is knocking on the door and the turkey and dressing leftovers are gone, the sun is shining which reminds me how thankful I am for the colorful blessings in my life!   Family, friends and the sunshine on flowers.  Time to reflect on the Good Life - one full of color!   Color comes from paint, flowers, tears, joys, hurts and yes especially those heart felt moments of love.  Isn't it fun to remember and be thankful?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sunflowers and ....

I think the music in the mall stores has gotten to me .... I was painting these sunflowers and pomegranate last week and somehow couldn't get the image of a Christmas ornament out of my mind.   Where's the thought of the turkey and stuffing?  So once home, I toned down the shiny ornament and forced it back into a piece of fruit.   It is easy to look forward & worry about what lies ahead.   But for now, I will focus on the present ... and the in season pomegranates!

8 x 8" Oil on Panel

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hot Pepper

Red Hot Red Pepper!

Hot Pepper 6 x 6 Oil on Panel

Takes Two to Mango

These two paintings continue my efforts on focusing on a small vibrant area of the canvas with color and letting the rest fall into the background. I am drawn to this limited color palatte but am feeling I should try and branch out a bit! Change is difficult!

Takes Two to Mango  8 x 8 Oil on Panel

Green and Yellow  8 x 8 Oil on Panel

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Single Rose

This was a cropped image from one of the still lifes set up at my workshop in Texas.   I zoomed in on the photo and choose a small part to paint in 6" x 6".   This single rose makes me imagine how one feels after a wonderful evening out ... coming home with a single rose ... and sitting and remembering the night.   Sometimes the memories are better than reality!

6 x 6" oil on panel

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

 I attended a workshop given by Qiang Huang in New Braunfels, Texas about a week ago.   We had a wonderful group of painters, a fabulous host in Mary McIntosh and of course a great instructor with Qiang.   These are the three paintings I did while studying his methods of using dark grey backgrounds with a bright focal point in the foreground.  I will continue working in this style until I feel I have captured my intention!   Hope you enjoy.
Jar with Fruit


Thursday, September 15, 2011

I am preparing for a workshop at the end of the month with Qiang Huang.   I am very excited to see how he approaches painting.   

I watched his video:  then set up a similar still life and tried to follow his steps.   I am fairly happy with the results but plan to do several more for practice!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

La Paloma Woodie

Every third Thursday in the summer in Encinitas it is "Car Night" where folks stroll up and down looking at vintage cars. I was lucky to spot this green woodie parked in front of the La Paloma theatre.

  6 x 6" Oil on Panel

Friday, September 9, 2011


At the new Whole Foods Market on Hwy 101 in Encinitas there was this very colorful bin of watermelons. With a little help from my painting friends …. a touch of light blue as the highlight on the melons made this painting.

6 x 6″ Oil on panel

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Boogie Boarders

A couple of fellows carrying bright boards caught my eye on Moonlight beach. The problem is that there was not much sun out so my photo reference had few light variations. While I tried to brighten some areas to create highlights it is difficult to paint what you don't see!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

End of the Day

The weather has been overcast - finally saw the sun today.   That didn't stop beach goers at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas.   I caught this couple packing up around 5 pm heading home.   I loved the beach towel - snapped a photo and here you go!   Don't you hate it when it is the end of the day and you just wish you could stay another hour?
6 x 6" Oil on Panel

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Interestingly enough .... I find myself drawn to this simple set up.   Small white plate with something red on it.   First it was apples, then cherries (twice) then strawberries!   Usually a blueish background.   The good news is that drawing an decent ellipse is getting easier.   Still taking several tries.   The bad news is adding a fork is what became my new challenge!    I had it to my satisfaction then starting adjusting.   Adjusting more then scaping yesterday's work.   This led to some muddy areas.   This is on my "to do again list".  
6 x 6" Oil on Panel

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weisse, Weisse and Weisse

Dark glass painting is mysterious! You have to really look for the color in the dark bottles. The labels however are bright and fun to paint!
8 x 8″ Oil on Panel

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Corona … Gordita and Coronita

I have always loved painting glass. Dark glass is a bit different than light/clear. This was interesting to find the color in the darks.
8 x 8″ Oil on Panel

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Shiner Bock and BBQ

My artisit collective Daily Painters Project's theme in July is the play Five Course Love at North Coast Rep Theatre. Each act is set in a different restaurant – one a Texas BBQ. What goes with Texas BBQ better than a cold Shiner Bock? This subject allowed continued practice painting glass bottles with cropped distorted angles. What could be more fun?

8 x 8" Oil on Panel

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Who Gets the Cherry?

This is the second cupcake I have painted this week – same cupcake but I used a neon pink tint on the canvas this time.   Last time I used blue.   It really didn’t affect the outcome as much as I thought it would even though I left “bits of the tint” on each painting.     So … who gets the cherry?

6 x 6" Oil on Panel

Monday, June 20, 2011

Lots of Pink

Looking at everyday things in a new way can be exciting!   This is another attempt to get up close, crop, and see the angles.  It gave me a chance to fine tune my drawing skills and practice staying away from the details.

6" x 6" Oil on Panel

Friday, June 17, 2011

Stacked Pink

Cropping images in interesting angles, zooming in, close colors.   All things to consider. 

 6" x 6' Oil on Panel

Back of the Water Mill Cottage

How I would love to spend the summer in a little cottage in France!   This is a building still standing in France built for Marie Antoinette as part of a model village.

Difficult to paint a building where you can see so much detail and reduce it!

6" x 6" oil on panel

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Let Them Eat Cupcakes!

It might be a strawberry or it might be a cotton candy cupcake - but it will be good!   Hopefully not too many turpentine fumes penetrated the icing.

I tinted this canvas with a neon blue and went to the opposite side of the wheel for the pink icing.   A little graphic, a little muddy, but a lot of fun!

6" x 6" Oil on Panel

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Market Samplers

Here are the last two paintings for the Daily Painters Project's May Gallery on the Go! event this Saturday at Baker & Olive.   One of my dear friends gave me the "Market Sampler" box from B&O a few weeks ago and I love the fabulous EVOO & Balsamic.  

I took some photographs of the 4 bottles looking down, light shining on them and got a different perspective which motivated me to finish out the month's theme of "all things Italy and cafe" on a different note than the more realistic set ups I have been painting the last few weeks.   I really am glad I stepped out of the box for these.  

I named these Market Sampler and Market Sampler II.  

6" x 6" Oil on Panel

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bruschetta Anyone II?

They say practice makes perfect. This is the second “practice” at this still life set up. I wanted the background less prominent and the tomato the brightest possible red/orange that reality allows.

6″ x 6″ Oil on Panel

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bread & Oil

A good loaf of bread and a great olive oil. What else do you need?

This olive oil bottle from Baker & Olive is shaped like a wine bottle. But olive oil it is. Painting bread convincingly is difficult. It's dull colors can be challenging. Using more yellow might have resulted in richer tones in the crust. I think I will try it next time!

6" x 6" Oil on Panel

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Yellow and Red Makes Orange

What happens when you mix yellow and red tomatoes with olive oil? You get something wonderful! In this case, the oil was infused with red peppers and had a delicious orange glow as the sun shone through the bottle. I tried to stay with the blue and orange world of complimentary colors though the tomatoes were really red and yellow.

6″ x 6″ Oil on Panel

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bruschetta Anyone?

This basil is from my garden and it is beginning to go crazy out there in the bright sunshine! It is fun to get ready for summer recipes ... waiting on the tomatoes. I have always wanted to find a way to connect gardening, cooking and art. This is a good combination! This painting is all about the dark background against the white. The sun shinging through the olive oil was tricky - it was a brighter yellow than you would believe! Enjoy, and just try not to have an Italian dinner tonight!

6 x 6 Oil on Panel

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mellow Yellow

Some days are bright blues and pinks other days are deep rich tones of browns and reds. Yesterday, out of the garden came a single yellow flower that found its mellow place against a dark background of burnt umber and alizarin crimson. Can you see the dark clouds?

Mellow Yellow 6″ x 6″
Oil on Panel

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Who's a Chicken?

This chicken was painted for the Daily Paint Works Challenge. Another predominantly white painting which is always such a mystery to paint. The canvas was tinted a bright red and I tried to keep white-blue for the cool whites and white-yellow for the warm whites. Afterthoughts: a green tinted canvas might have been a better option than red; letting a little more canvas show through would have been a good thing.

Who's a Chicken? 6' x 6' Oil on Panel

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I had a "rocky" start on this little guy ... having only painted a pet once before (and that was about 5 or 6 years ago) I wasn't sure it was going to work.   Half way through putting the lights and darks I decided to quit.   But ... took a deep breath and dove back into it, kept the course and by the end was happy with the result.

This is the April challenge from the "A Day Not Wasted"  photo by Lee A. Brown of his dog Zoe.   I have renamed this little one Rocky in honor of his rocky start!
Rocky 8" x 8" Oil on Panel

Friday, April 8, 2011

My One and Gnomely

My Artist Collective is painting Gardens and Gnomes as our April challenge.   Having no gnomes of my own, I happened upon this one in the drugstore just a few days before our challenge began.   Unbeknownst to me he leapt into my cart !   Gnomes are very sneaky!   Also, a bit tricky to paint. I will surely be painting gardens and plants this month. But another gnome I can't predict because you never know when a gnome might slip into a painting without the artist even knowing.

My One and Gnomely  6 x 6 Oil on Panel

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Scoot Over!

There was simply no more room for this last rose!   Feeling left out, wanting to scream out "Can't you all just scoot over?"This still life set up in my class was painted from every angle.   The light was directed on this transparent blue vase but didn't have the simmering effect as seen from the other side.   The values of this piece are a little too close - too much in the middle and really no darkest dark.   Don't be surprised to see this again with some lighter lights and darker darks screaming SCOOT OVER middle value!  Make room for me!

6" x 6" Scoot Over! Oil on Panel

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Central Park Sax

This fellow was photographed in Central Park by Lee A. Brown and is the March challenge for "A Day Not Wasted":   I have been painting musicians and was pointed to this challenge by Linda Nickels - see her blog in my list.  I used the daily painting 6" x 6" format and tried to avoid the "over do - redo" trap!   It was a lot of fun painting the mottled background but the horn was a real challenge!

Central Park Sax 6" x 6" Oil on Panel

Monday, March 28, 2011

Blue Pitcher

I painted this little blue pitcher at a Carol Marine Workshop back in December.  I was thinking about how to make my paintings more successful -- browsing back through my notes -- and it struck me that simplicity is a good thing!  Particularly when painting in the 6" x 6" format.   Some of those old sayings come to mind:  "Less is More", "KISS ... Keep It Simple Stupid", "The Less Said the Better".  These seem to hold true for painting as well!

Blue Pitcher 6" x 6" Oil on Panel

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Palm Near the Tracks

Plein Air painting is one of the hardest things I have ever tried.   That is probably why it has been over a year since I have attempted it!   Last week my painting group ventured out between Hwy 101 and the Del Mar Race Track.    The train tracks were on one side of us - the Coaster whizzing by - and the horse track on the other.   It was a gloomy socked in day at the beach so our outing for beach and waves was thwarted.  It may be another year before I venture out again!  

Palm Near the Tracks 6 x 6 Oil on Panel Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Forward!

Although it was difficult to wake up in the darkness this morning (sunrise at 7 am) it will be nice to have daylight this evening. I painted this white daisy to celebrate spring!  I am looking forward to flowers, blue skies and sunshine.

I tried to paint this loosely, not worrying about the details and studying how to paint white flowers without using pure white!  I was happy I stayed loose in the background without covering the ground completely like a "wall painter".  The set up had a direct light to one side which helped keep the shadows consistent.
Spring Forward   6" x 6" Oil on Panel
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Friday, March 11, 2011

B.B. King ... Kinda!

This quick study of B.B. King was challenging since I decided to use some color instead of the tonal studies of blues singers that I have done in the last weeks. Without using a small brush I am not satisfied with the "likeness". Portraits are such a difficult thing! I think it must take a very long time to be really good at it. I may have started too late!

B.B. King ... Kinda! 6" x 6" Oil on Panel
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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ray Charles

One more blues singer for my series.  I know ... Ray Charles was more famous for R&B, Soul and even Country ... but he did sing the blues.   The reason I choose this photo reference was his expression of pure joy.  After getting well into it I realized that it is easier to avoid painting teeth!   What a challenge a big toothy grin is!

Ray Charles  8' x 8' Oil on Panel

Friday, March 4, 2011

Blue Reflections

This still life was set up on a piece of glass on a blue tablecloth with a blue background.   It was interesting observing how the surrounding background and cloth affected the relections in the glass - changing the gray pottery into "Shades of Blues".  

As in life, where we go, when we choose to pause, and who we choose to stand next to becomes what we reflect.

Blue Reflections  6' x 6'  Oil on Panel