Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Lilac Bouquet

Lilac Bouquet
8 x 6 in oil on canvas panel $150.
Purchase HERE

Artist Note.
When I was cleaning my studio 
I found this painting I had started, 
and never finished due to the
 lilacs wilting pretty fast.
I enjoyed finishing it using 
mostly the palette knife
and fracturing tool
I really like the colors.

Thanks for all the supportive 
and understanding replies
to my previous post.
Lots of great insights and sharing.
It is reassuring to find
that a messy studio
appears to be part of the 
job description for a lot 
of creative types.

Finally it is all clean 
and organized and
I am ready to start a marathon
painting binge 
to get paintings done for my
solo show in November. 
Classes resume in August 
so I have to really immerse
 into my own world
 for this month.

I am going to stay off all
blogging and social media 
after this post. 
I will be back 
visiting you all at the 
end of the month.
 I know 
I will go through withdrawals...
and miss visiting all your blogs.

Maybe I will not be able to 
stick to it,
but have to try.
Enjoy your July - be safe!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Tea Time

Tea Time
7x5 oil on canvas SOLD

Artist Note

This one is one I painted
way back in 2011.
I liked it then and I like it now.

Still cleaning up my
home studio
I have had such a lot
to do and so
have not painted.

I miss it.
And so yesterday
I started a new one,
but it is slow going
between making
like...if I should
save an item or let it go.

Brushes for example...
Now why 
did I hang on to them?

Anyone else a
studio clutter-er ?
Make me feel better 
if you would share.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Peony Arrangement

Peony Arrangement
6x8in oil on canvas panel $140 SOLD

Artist Note.
The last of the peonies
until next year.
I watched a gardening program
about the peony losing favor in
British gardens and how
one woman is determined to
restore it popularity.
I hope she is successful.
They are so beautiful.

It is summer break and
yesterday I started to clean 
my home studio.
No easy task. I am messy.

My first job was rounding
up all the failures
to destroy with
black roof tar.
Nope - I am not allowed 
to burn trash in the city.

My dear hubby patiently wiped
tar on nearly 150 paintings today!
Three plus years worth of rejects.
I keep them thinking I can tweak
them to make them right,
but nothing is successful that way.

Why tar?
Non-removable that's why.
I actually have had people take
my paintings from the trash.

Now I disguise the trash bags 
with garden clippings

because if you look carefully
you can see the shapes 
of the canvases. 
We have professional 
trash hunters come round on
big trash day when the grappler
is due. 
Once bitten -  twice shy!

Happy Fathers Day 
to all the wonderful
men who take on that 
responsibility with 
love and pride.
Birth, adoption, 
and step fathers alike.
Our daughter is coming in
to be with her "Daddy" 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Watermelon Time.

Watermelon Time
8x6" oil on canvas panel SOLD

Artist Note.
This is a painting from my 
Farmers Market series I 
did back in
I still like it and as we 
are eating lots
of watermelons at 
the moment
I thought 
it was appropriate.

I finished the workshop 
last week. It was great
because all the artists
already had plenty of miles 
on their brushes 
and were eager to 
dive into a new technique.
Some stunning paintings 
were accomplished
- they took risks
and stepped out of 
their talented
comfort zones.

I thank them all for 
the trust and FUN!
I really enjoyed myself.

Sunday, June 5, 2016


6x8 in oil on canvas panel SOLD

Artist Note.
It has been a while since I posted.
End of semester - took a quick trip,
and lots of cleaning up to do. 
Also preparing for my workshop
which starts Tuesday. Again, lots to do.

I find it fun to prepare for 
 the workshops 
I provide all the different supports 
(six of them)
for the first day 
and we work like crazy
exploring each surface with the 
fracturing technique.
It is a good group of 
talented artists...
 all from different places.

The peonies are from a trip
to see my daughter over 
Memorial Day - she gets a gold star 
because back when she moved 
into this house
 she planted peonies just for me.

This was started plein air and 
completed in the studio. I
 painted early morning, 
and the cool sky really
was noticeable.

I find the
peonies are difficult to paint 
because it is too easy
to make them look like
 a cabbage rose. 
The peonies also droop with 
the weight  of the flower
and when standing like 
I do to paint, you tend to 
look down on them.

Not too bad if you squat down 
like I had to, to take this pic
just before we left.
(thanks heavens for yoga!)

I will look forward to getting 
back on track and catching up 
after the workshop.

Happy painting days!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Transparents in the Landscape

New Mexico Light
8x6" oil on Linen Panel $140. SOLD

Artist Note.
I belong to a group of
painters who issue a
Challenge to paint from
a photo of New Mexico

This is Challenge #10 for 2016
So beautiful and typical of NM.

At the Guild this month
we are learning the joys of using
a transparent color foundation
so I thought I would demo this
image to one of the classes.

Transparent colors used:
Indian Yellow
Alizarin Perm.
Ultramarine Blue.

Starting with very thin
coat of  IY
all over and
lifting off cleanly with rag and Gamsol
where I will place the
blue of the mountain
(don't want it green!)
Add a touch of Aliz
to the IY for the
warm ground, etc.
Aliz and UB for the purple
Adding UB and IY with hint
the purple for the Green.
Simple shapes of value and color
at this stage.

I moved the peak of the mountain
slightly to the side to avoid
having it directly
over the featured bush. 
All transparent colors for block in.

Starting to add opaques on sky, 
mountain and top area of ground

It could be considered finished
at this point but
 nearly all the
transparent areas 
have been covered and 
it is looking too heavy.
for my taste.

Not sure I liked seeing so much of the 
warmer colors behind the featured bush
so below you can see changes 
I made to that area area

 Choice to be made
I decide on this one.

Now to tackle the other
 I have some major issues 
with the front bushes 
competing with the focal area. 
Also all the transparent glow 
has been lost,
I decided to test what it 
would look like if I removed 
 the front bushes. 
I placed a piece of glass 
over and painted on it first.
Yep - I can see it opened it up.

Then I restored all the 
golden transparent color with 
IY and Aliz. making the foreground
rich and glowing...once again.
Not shown on the one above.

Next - 
I lowered the big bush at its base
and add another bush to balance 
it over on the left. I added a strip 
of light behind the 
large bush area to 
set back the mountain even more
and bring the bush forward.
I placed a strip of fence in 
front of the left bush
to add to the feeling of distance.

Finally getting to where I feel
I have made the painting my own.

I admire the way each artist 
in Lets Paint New Mexico
has a different viewpoint 
from the same image.
Scroll though the link 
and look at all the great paintings. 
Some fun challenges are on there.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Impression of Roses

Impression of Roses
6x8in oil on canvas panel $140. SOLD

Artist Note
This is another painting 
following the Transparent
underpainting demo I 
showed on my previous post.

This demo was to see how 
far opaques could be used 
and still keep the glow.

Only the dark areas
are truly transparent with 
tiny areas of a thin layer
 of Indian Yellow 
peeking here and there
though everywhere else.

This one is more decorative
in style. More of an illusion.
The flowers are interesting
because only one has the 
actual shape of a flower, 
the rest are simple shapes 
of color with no detail.

In class today 
we started on the 
landscape -  using the 
transparent colors.
I will show the steps for
that demo in my next post.

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Important Transparents - demo steps

Mixed Bouquet.
6"x 6" oil on canvas  $110.  SOLD

This was a demo to show the importance
of having a transparent underpainting.

Artist Note.

I am a big believer in leaving
some of the darker areas in
 a painting, transparent. 
There is a certain glow which 
doesn't happen with opaque
dark areas  - in fact I find
they can look, pretty "chalky."

My transparent colors 
used for the demo were:
 Transparent Oxide Yellow TYO
Alizarin (permanent)
Ultramarine Blue.

 After a wash of TOY 
I did a mass shape using  Viridian.
Next I lifted out the lighter areas
using a rag.

I followed this with more lifting
with a small amount of Gamsol
on my rag and a scrubby brush.
This was to hit my lightest areas. 

I added Viridian and Ultra 
with touch of Aliz to make darker
greens in jar and leaves.

I added more TOY to back and front.
and shadowed the area 
behind the jar
 linking into the dark leaves

Bringing in color but making
sure to keep it all transparent.

Then the fun part - I fractured it!
(See FREE tutorial on tools and what
I use for fracturing  HERE )

I enjoyed bringing it back 
into form by
 taking advantage 
of the broken areas to add 

Now into the opaque colors.
I added 
Permanent Yellow and 
Permanent Red light to my palette

I started using a knife and a brush
at this point. 
I left the flowers 
very abstract on purpose. 
That was the easiest part -
 because they were all imaginary.

There are transparent areas
peeking through the opaque 
marks, and to me it makes 
for an exciting surface.
Thick - thin,
transparent - opaque,
warm - cool.

If you are not already using the
transparent colors - or have not 
used them for a while then
please let me know if you are 
inspired to try them.

Happy Painting
Enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Watercolor Fun!

Pears And van Gogh's Irises
6"x8"watercolor on Yupo  $100.
Purchase HERE

Artist Note
This one was pure fun.
Anything on Yupo is fun.
Don't like something?
 Easy - off it goes 
with a quick
If you don't like the 
whole painting...
no problem
just hold it under the tap!

This is my third painting
using the tablecloth
which has
 Vincent van Gogh's Irises 
printed on it. 
I made it more abstract
and let the watercolor 
have the little runs
and unpredictable 
 patterns which make 
working on Yupo so
appealing to me.

Loving this tablecloth!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Other Yellow Roses

Yellow Roses #2
8x6" oil on canvas  $140 SOLD

Artist Note.
This is the second painting 
I did from the gift of
yellow roses
I received last month.
The first one was a
square close-up
and on this one
I made  an angle
to divide the
flowers and leaves.
The bud breaks it up
so it isn't too abrupt.

Hope all mothers
 enjoyed their special day.
I enjoyed calls
from my kids and as
my own beloved mother
has been gone for
quite a while,
 I wore a blouse
and a locket of  hers
that I treasure,
and remembered
happy times.
It was lovely!