Personal Art Blog

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

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Twin Waterfalls

Twin Waterfalls
8"x 6" oil on Raymar board $150. SOLD

Artist Note
Inspired by sketches from a trip to 
Yellowstone National Park.

Personal Note
I have been going through a severe 
artist block.
I turned for help to Carol Marine's wonderful book
Daily Painting
where she has a whole section on it.
 Although I related 
and was inspired by those who shared
their own experiences, I find I am still in it.
It is a horrible place to be.
I do not have any hobbies
so I cannot turn to anything
else with the same focus 

I am still turning up daily at the studio.
I am faithful doing a journal.
I am experimenting with different media
-which is supposed to be fun.
I have paid a considerable amount
for an online course which
helps one evaluate their
individual purpose
in life and with their art-path

It was developed by an artist /psychiatrist
(which gives me some confidence.)
I will share if I find it is really helpful.

Hopefully I will be successful
and get back to doing what I love most.

Stay tuned...

Monday, May 13, 2019

Farmers Market Series - Yellow Hat.

Yellow Hat
6"x8" oil on canvas board $150.
Purchase HERE

Artist Note.
The yellow hat caught my eye.
yes...we allow dogs
 at our Farmers Market.

The market is getting full
of all kinds of goodies.
This week I bought
 lush red and yellow peppers
and other
wonderful veggies.

Passing on some info I was told
when I got the peppers.

Did you know that the female
pepper is sweeter than the male?
And... did you know that the female
pepper has three or four
distinct bumps
on its bottom where the male
 has two and is flatter?
You can see the top peppers
(which are upside down)
have clearly defined bumps
on their bottoms.

Okay friends, I had already published the
above about the male/female peppers
A nagging fact-finding vibe
kept coming into my mind
so I Googled it... is

 Yes, there are four bumps
and three flatter bump types
but it has nothing to do with gender.
Apparently there are no gender
differences and the
sweetness depends on the soil!!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

White Flowers And Porcelain

White Flowers And Porcelain
6"x6" oil on Raymar panel $120.
Purchase HERE

Artist Note
This was a demo for one of the 
Artist Guild classes.

It is the last month 
of the Guild sessions until August
and we are doing a refresher 
of everything which has 
been  reviewed this semester.

I started this painting with a 
 dark transparent paint
the board 
and then I lifted off
the lighter design with a rag.
This exposes the white 
of the canvas. 
To make the main flower shape
 whiter I used a brush 
dipped in Gamsol to totally
lift off the underpainting.

I find it pretty easy to gradually 
build up  the shapes with
layers of color making sure 
only one or two flowers 
are a tad realistic and the rest 
just abstract suggestions of color.

Maybe this is the easiest way of all
for floral still life paintings.
I bet most of you have tried it. 
What do you think?

Saturday, May 4, 2019


8"x 6" oil on Raymar panel $150. SOLD

This is part of an small adobe
house in the Upper valley area
of El Paso, Texas.
It is very old and once housed the
seasonal farm workers
for the large farm it is on.
It looks abandoned...
I guess machines
now do all the work .

Cats were everywhere!
They were very peaceful
and there was not a skinny one
to be seen.
There must be a treasure trove of
field mice around!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Light and Shade

Light and Shade
8"x6" oil on Raymar board  $150.
Purchase Sold

Artist Note.
another New Mexico Gate.
They somehow reach right into my heart 
and grab it. 
I truly get an emotional response 
of pleasure when I see one.

I like to paint beautiful things.
No room for angst in my painting world.
How about you - do you feel the same?
I am pretty sure the answer is yes
 from what I see you all do. 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Lilacs At The Nichols Ranch, New Mexico.

Lilacs At The Nichols Ranch, NM
8"x 6" oil on Raymar panel $150.
Purchase Sold

Artist Note.
I went painting...
An artist who belongs to the guild,
Sue Nichols,
lives on a beautiful ranch 
which has been in her husbands family
for well over a hundred years. 
It is one of the places 
where you can go 
and pick your own fruit if 
you want to.

I was invited to go and paint 
the fruit orchards in bloom.
 I wish you could
have been there to see the glorious
 orchards finishing or starting to bloom

At the end of a fun painting day 
I saw the late sun
catching the lilac bush.
All I can say it was magical
and totally 
impossible to capture its 
true beauty.
Loved doing this piece though.

Take a look at some of the 
many gorgeous views 
They have a big Cherry festival
coming up in June. Fun for the whole family.
I cannot wait!

Sue paints her environment
A coupled of painting she has done.
Of all the cow paintings out there'
this is from direct observation - the real deal!
Coming To Water.  oil. Sue Nichols.
Windmill And Sunset. oil Sue Nichols
and if that is not enough
Sue does beautiful Stained glass work.
Stained Glass Screen.  Sue Nichols

And here is this busy woman digging
holes for new cherry trees...
the old fashioned way.
She also bakes and makes the BEST pies ever!

Thanks for the great painting day, Sue.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

The Roses Are In Bloom

Roses In Bloom
8"x6" Oil on Raymar board  $150.
Purchase Sold

It is wonderful when the roses bloom
for the first time in a new year.
My home has an abundance 
of these beautiful roses growing
along a fence.

I have so many containers to choose from
so I decided on a color harmony first,
where the roses would be the secondary color
and pop out a bit more.

Here you can see I used a warm light bulb
but I changed it to a cool light
and liked it better. 
Maybe due to all the blues 
and greens I had. The blues 
in the warm light can take over.
It made the warm color of the roses way too hot
competing with the aqua glaze of the pot.
I had to remember 
the roses had the starring role.

Although I gave up teaching workshops
I still teach regular weekly art classes 
at the Artist Guild, here in Las Cruces.
This is a group hard at work.
I couldn't show all of them
from this angle but you can get the drift.
They love painting so much
that some drive
for over an hour, one way, to come
 Not only that, this group brings 
amazing munchies!

Every group has a different energy
I love teaching.
I am blessed.

After saying that...
I know they
they will look at this with
a critical eye regarding this month's focus.
So this is for them.
Every quarter is different
as are the outer edges.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Snow in Spring

Snow in Spring
8"x 6" oil on canvas panel $150. SOLD. 

Artist Note
This actually is a place in 
Northern New Mexico.
The trees were popping out in that 
lovely fresh green and about 7pm,
winter came back.
This is from a photo I took in the car.
No plein air painting for this 
smart lady!

Friday, March 29, 2019

white tulips

White Tulips
8x6 inches oil on Raymar board $150.
Purchase HERE

Artist Note.
I have been painting all the spring flowers
and loving every moment of it.
Anyone else doing it?

Friday, March 22, 2019

The Poets Daffodil

The Poets Daffodil-  Narcissus 

6x6 inches oil on canvas panel $120.
Purchase HERE

Artist Note.

A friend gave me these from her garden.
I was really captivated by the red rim
around the yellow center.
I started off by placing the vase
outside in a bunch of weeds -
just to see the color the white petals
turned with the blue sky 
casting its color down on them. 
I made a few color notes 
then I came back inside
and finished it off with a warm spotlight
imitating the sun.

Have you ever placed a piece of white paper
in the shadow area outside?
It has to be where the sky is directly overhead.
It is AMAZING how blue the paper becomes.
Better still, try placing it half in shadow 
and half in the sunshine...wowzer!

The name The Poets Daffodil - Narcissus
is very appealing. The legend and history
I found interesting. If you have time
see link below
more on Poets flower.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Santa fe Adobe

Santa Fe Adobe
8x6" oil on canvas panel $150.  SOLD

Artist Note
I started this plein air last year 
and finished it off in the
studio recently
when I discovered it at the bottom
of my plein air carrying box!

What more could I want...
an adobe home with a blue gate
- the subjects I love.

These people must get a lot of mail. 
This has a sturdy post and big box.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Tulip Pleasure

Tulip Pleasure
8x6in oil on canvas panel $150.SOLD

Artist Note.
I love to paint the flowers that are in season
and at the moment that
means Daffodils and Tulips.
I bought these tulips into the
studio for a fellow guild member
who loves tulips.
She has taught me
a lot of neat things about them
they move all the time...
and they can grow extra petals!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Market Day.

Market Day
6x6in oil on gallery wrap canvas  Gifted

Artist Note

I never seem to tire of doing the market paintings.

I am fortunate that the 
Las Cruces Farmers Market
happens twice a week...
 and it is right outside the building 
my studio is in.

In the cold weather - yes, we do get cold weather,
especially early in the mornings - I use a camera 
and then pick the elements I like to 
sketch a few compositions in my sketch book.
By the time I do that the painting is well and truly
in my head.

This is a gift for a friend.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Blue Gate

 Blue Gate
8x6in oil on panel SOLD

Artist Note
This certainly is a tried and true painting.
I wonder how many blue gates 
I have painted?

It is a genuine love affair...
They always sell but that is not 
why I paint them. I see them
 and there is a tug in my art-heart.

I have never been attracted to a 
brand new, 
smooth as can be, perfect blue gate.
I feel the pull of the slightly askew,
weathered ones with texture galore.

The sun out here is brutal on any
wood and  paint 
so lots of my type are around.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Watering The Glads, Vermeer and a series of changes

Watering The Glads
8"x6" oil on canvas panel

Artist Note
This is the second in the 
month-long focus of 
painting the figure
inspired by, but not copying,
 a famous painting

This one is inspired by
The Milkmaid
Johannes Vermeer.
The position is what I am after.
I saw this painting a long time ago
and the milk coming out of the jug
blew me away.

This was the start -
a demo for the class.
First, a sketchy start
 from an image in my mind
of my daughter watering her Gladiolus.
some interesting changes...
Someone asked what she would be like
if she had a fuller figure... like
Vermeer's woman.
I scraped it down leaving a ghost
and started to paint.
adding some weight on her,
I altered the hat, added
more paint everywhere
and developed the watering can.
Remember this is a demo.
Group opinions!
And then the next remark was
what would happen if I
had a white dress and darker background
Unfortunately, I did not photograph
that one so please pretend the one below
had a white dress first.
Verdict...much to stark
 even though I loved the
colors of her dress in shadow
I went back to the warm
 color harmony but the dark
background changed the light.
Sheesh - all under the scrutiny of
The guild members.
By this time I could have
thrown it out of the window...
except for no window in the studio!

So I scraped it off again and did a sketch
Me in my apron!
and that is what led to this painting
All inspired by Vermeer's Milkmaid.
Guess what...
I scraped this off!

Sorry I did it now, but for some reason
the receding hairline on the woman in
Vermeer's painting fascinated me 
and after class
 when everyone had left
I scraped it off and 
painted this on the same board.

 What did I learn from all these changes?
I did better when I posed myself
in front of the mirror and drew
a value sketch.
(More contemporary.)
Knowing the color harmony
ahead and sticking with it
would have helped and although
coping the idea of a pose from a
master painting
is a great learning experience,
it is not as easy as it sounds.
One thing remained constant
during all these changes...
and that was what blew me away
after seeing the original.
Did you notice it?

Sunday, January 27, 2019

The Knitter

The Knitter
8”x6”   Oil on canvas panel. $150.

Artist Note

The figure is the focus
this month at the Artist Guild.
We started off building
from the stick figure
for the first week, moving into
incorporating the figure
in a painting inspired
by another artist’s work.

The one below on the left
is by Norman Rockwell.
I know it is
totally different from how I paint
but that is one of the goals -
to look
for inspiration
and not an exact copy.

I liked the position of the woman
at her task and the chest behind.

I have memories of my
mother knitting most evenings
and that influenced
a lot of my version. 
Without showing them 
side by side
would you have ever have guessed
the source of
my inspiration?

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Ron's Aspen Trees

Aspen Trees
8"x 6" oil on canvas panel SOLD

Artist Note
This was done for a friend.
Painted from memory of a spot
I have painted many times
and in all weathers.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Another Long View.

Looking toward the Jemez, NM.  
6”x8” oil on canvas panel. SOLD

Artist Note
Like in the previous post, 
this is another “long view.” 
This time it is a high dessert
area between 
Santa Fe and Albuqerque. 

I love the drive. The views are amazing. 
and throughout the many years of traveling
I have never got tired of it. 

This was painted on a overcast day. 
The view was so vast I could see it raining
in several areas at the same time. 
Sometimes the rain never touched the ground.
Interesting ground shadows 
were cast from the clouds
Best of all... there were no trees to block 
the beautiful long view!!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Long View

The Long View
6"x 6" oil on canvas wrap 1 1/2 wide  $140 SOLD

see below

Artist Note
One of the joys of a high spot 
is the lovely long view you get.
This is Colorado.

I usually paint on panels
but had a couple of these gallery wraps
canvases and you can see, I
actually painted around the edges.

The advantage of these type 
of canvases is they do not 
have to be framed or hung 
but can stand on their own 
anywhere you want to put them

Back before I started fracturing 
I used to paint Calla Lilies 
in this format. I would paint the edge
or pop them in this floater frame.
The 6"x6" size you get 6 of them for 40 bucks
less than 10. a frame.
I would spray them a color to match 
the painting or even leave them natural.
They were very popular.