Thursday, December 29, 2011

Green Bowl, Flowers and White Vase

A friend said she wanted to hear me complain about how hard it is to paint, to commiserate, so this post is for her . This painting nearly went into the trash more than once. Really. Initially the bowl came out beautifully, my greens were clean, colors were applied in one stroke and it looked like glass. Then I painted the red flower.  The more I worked on the flower the more I got red paint smudges on the bowl. After several days of redoing the red flower more than half the bowl was lost. Today I was able to paint the flower and touch up the bowl. The unmuddied green colors of the bowl are lost but I think the painting still works. I'm not going to throw it out because I basically like my painting, it's an expression of my view of things and I know nothing is perfect.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Persimmon on Cloth

I was inspired to paint this persimmon abstractly and it turned out to be much more fun then just rendering it. Since this is the first time I've painted a persimmon I did a few practice sketches. I worked on getting the colors right and then values. I positioned it on it's side and then as above on it's base. I eventually decided it would be a more interesting picture with lots of movement. The cloth  is a piece of folded canvas draped over a box. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Family Reunion

I thought I'd try something new again. I think that's important. It's like testing the waters. It's been a long time since I've tried painting figures (this time from a photo). I like it in the way that it looks like my sister-in-law and me. Maybe all this painting has helped improve my skill.  I'll try again at some point but I am still pretty sure that my first love remains still lives.

Friday, December 16, 2011

An Apple A Day

I'm in a different mindset lately. Instead of doing a daily painting to blog I decided to paint an apple a day and when my painting was done I'd blog it.  I'm happy I made that decision because it gave me a chance to work at a more leisurely pace. If you believe that then would you be interested in purchasing the Brooklyn Bridge. These green and red apples were a *!#:( to paint.  I'm happy with them now and so here they are.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


It's been 11 days since I posted my last blog.  That's not because I haven't been painting, I have, almost every day.  But, when a lot is going on in my life, my painting doesn't seem to work.  Maybe someone else looking at my paintings wouldn't realize it but I decided at the beginning that I'd try to post only those I was happy with.  A big change in my life right now is that I'll be moving out of my studio at the end of the month. The owner (who has provided wonderful artists' spaces) has decided to retire and she has put the building up for sale. I've come to terms with this but it has taken a few days. Of course, life itself is full of distractions but I'm going to try to concentrate on painting again and blog too.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Birthday Bubble Bath

My son gave me a bottle of lavender bubble bath from Sabon for my birthday. I can't wait for a cold evening to relax in a warm bath and think about what to paint next.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Quiet Mug of Tea

After a long but happy Thanksgiving I feel focused enough to start painting again.  If I don't paint for a while I feel like I don't remember what I'm aiming for, that is, getting it down in one stroke. Of course, there are parts of this little painting that took multiple tries but for the most part, it went well.  The Gamblin Radiant paints that I ordered came in the mail. I haven't figured out how to blend them so for now I'll just try to use them as a spot of color here and there.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pear Essentials

These three red pears were painted from a new vertical perspective and boy did that make them challenging.  If you look closely, my drawing can be seen below the paint. I don't usually draw first but after a failed first attempt and wipe-off I needed to change my strategy. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Blue Pitcher and Orange

Yesterday I was talking to another painter about radiant paints and bright colors. She uses Gamblin paints and explained the difference between the two. In my painting today I mixed titanium white with both phthalo blue and green and got two bright colors.  Other colors that brighten with the addition of white (not lighten and dull)  are indian yellow and quinacridone pigments.  Gamblin Radiants, which I haven't bought yet are more modern colors but they are also beautiful. This explanation is only as accuarate as my understanding of these colors. If there is anything missing in my explanation, feel free to leave a comment. I might have to retake another photo of my painting. It's overcast today and there was a lot of glare which made my painting look grainy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Carolyn's Cake

 We had a potluck luncheon at Beekman Artist Studios at the end of summer to celebrate the start of the fall season and just to get together.  This cake made by Carolyn, one of the artists there, adorned with fresh flowers, looked so beautiful that I had to whisk it away for  pictures before  it  could be eaten.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Oh My Darling Clementine

I am  inspired to paint as often as I can by two daily painters, Carol Marine, of course, and also Lisa Daria. I was just blown away by Carol's painting today of Farmers Market Tomatoes.  I have looked at my tomatoes in those little green cardboard containers so many times and wondered how could I paint them. It never gelled for me.  I don't think I'll be able to top that.  Also, having subscribed to Lisa Daria's blog, my phone alerts me every day at about 1PM to another of her postings.  I am so impressed with Lisa's dedication to painting and love her style too.  I hope that if I keep on painting I'll be half as accomplished as these two daily painters.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Red Onions

Yesterday was the last delivery of our CSA. We got pounds and pounds of root vegetables. Most a dull tan or brown. These red onions were the only colorful vegetable in the lot. Except for the beets, whose juices are a beautiful red, and the inside of the butternut squash, which is a nice orange.  

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tumbling Turnips

I cut off the tops of these turnips and tossed them onto two sheets of colored paper. Wherever they landed I painted them. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Totally Radicchio

I scanned this painting instead of taking a photo of it.  I adjusted the resolution to 300 dpi and I'm pleasantly surprised that it came out so good.  This vegetable was fun to paint. I got caught up in all the veins and shadow colors.  But afterwards, for dinner, I sautéed it with garlic and olive oil then splashed on some sesame oil and wow.  It wasn't pretty but it was delicious.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pretty in Pink

I first want to say that the color of this image is inaccurate. The shoes are okay but a little too red and the background color appears a blue violet and in fact is a more pinkish color. The painting is very pink and pretty. Anyway, these shoes are special to me. I bought them because I fell in love with them and they would be perfect for walking outdoors on a lawn because of the chunky heel. I know I'm doing this backwards and I may not be successful, but I'm going to try and find a dress that matches. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Blue Bottles and Ribbons

I took this photo while my painting was still wet. I don't usually do that but the forecast is for rain the next few days. I usually take digital images of my paintings outdoors in the shade. Last winter I took pictures of my paintings indoors but I had trouble with the lighting.  Does anyone have a good method of taking pictures of their work indoors?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Blue Scissors and Small Plums

I have mixed feelings about this painting.  I was happy with it until my husband suggested I reduce the size of one of the scissor handles. He was right of course, he has a wonderful eye for things, so I changed my painting.  It makes more sense but I liked the little quirky look it had.  Kind of like one of those crabs with one big claw. I want to be able to draw things correctly and then have the option to tweak it. I know painters who've spent the summer just working on their drawing skills and I think that's a great idea.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Yellow Mug and Small Plums

I like the Steven Jobs quote, printed posthumously in Friday's NY Times, "Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition." His belief was to not waste life by living someone else's choices. Here's to you, Mr. Jobs. R.I.P.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Blue Jar and Pink Tulips

Every once in a while I feel like painting something feminine. These pink tulips and pale blue jar made me feel good. I live in a house full of males including my dog Alex.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bananas on White Plate

Back to the basics, bananas. They are a subject I like to paint because of their sculptural quality.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Still Life with Toast and Plum

I've finished my still life and am pleased with how it came out. There were a couple of days that I couldn't work on it for all sorts of reasons, mostly for lack of vision and confidence.  But, I took someone's advice and put it all in perspective. This happens to me every once in a while; it must be part of the creative process.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Still life with Plum and Toast

I haven't done a larger painting in a long while. I started this painting last weekend and only worked on what you see. It was going well, I felt like I had a lot of confidence and was pleased with how it was coming out. That was my problem! Yesterday, suddenly I lost my way. I said to myself "You are going to screw this up." Luckily an appointment took me away from it and while I sat in the doctor's office (just a check-up) I figured out what was going on. I realized I wanted to rush through the background. So I came home and wiped off what I had done. A quote from Richard Schmid's book Alla Prima ," Imagine that you are a mountain climber making your way up the face of a sheer cliff, and you must think and measure before each step-or else. Does being careful like that make climbing less exciting?" I'll start back today and take my time. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Flowers, Vase and Plum

Sometimes I change course in my painting and it isn't intentional. These objects, as with my last post, are thickly painted and darker in values.  I like them and they were fun to paint. But what is funny is that all the while I've been thinking about painting a larger still-life in pale blues and naples yellow.

Three Plums on Checkered Cloth

These plums were very reflective and I had to make decisions as to what reflections I included on their surface.  I'm not sure of all my decisions but I tried different options and ultimately decided to paint what I saw.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Things We Carry

This montage of daily paintings is based on the book The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. In the book Mr. O'Brien writes about the Vietnam War, it's aftermath, and what the soldiers actually carried in their backpacks and the emotions they carried both during and after the war. After reading the book, I was intrigued by what women carry in their pocketbooks both actual and emotional. I'm pleased that this painting was awarded 1st place at the 60th annual Stockade Villager's Art Show in Schenectady this past Saturday.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Blue Glass Goblet and Tulips

I'm painting all my glass objects.  I painted this blue glass yesterday and today a yellow one. I think that's it for colored glasses. I still have a blue pitcher and some bowls if I feel like continuing the trend. The Stockade Village's Art Show (my favorite) is on Sat. but the Mohawk river has flooded its banks and I'm not sure it will run.  I'm thinking positive thoughts........

Friday, September 2, 2011

Squash and Green Goblet

This green glass goblet was bought over a year ago and never painted. To be honest, I never had the courage to paint it. But, painting regularly has given me the confidence to try new things.  This squash is another matter. It's part of my CSA pickup along with an eggplant the size of a football.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rose of Sharon

I am so glad we have made it through tropical storm Irene. My thoughts go out to those who didn't fair as well and to those who are still without power. I hope my painting will bring some cheer.  

Friday, August 26, 2011

Black-eyed Susans

This spring I bought this plant for my garden so I'd be able to paint it when it flowered.  I'm glad I got the chance to paint the flowers. They are pretty in these colored jars. I have one more flower yet to paint from my garden and that's the Rose of Sharon.  My Rose of Sharon bush is almost out of blooms so I'll have to work quickly. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Toast to the Happy Couple

I've had this green glass goblet for a while. It's been sitting on my shelf waiting for me to paint it.  I think the title of the painting goes with the anniversary theme I've been working on. This will be the last cantaloupe painting I'll do for the couple who commissioned these "can't elope" paintings.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cantaloupe Reflection

This is another painting of cantaloupes for my commissioned work Can't Elope. These two slices could be viewed as blocked from eloping or their reflection could be holding them back.  Up for interpretation I guess. Anyway, my desktop died last Friday and today I have a new laptop, a MacBook Pro. Oh how I love it.  Now I can post again.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Red Apricots and Cherries

These red apricots were a new fruit to paint.  I'm not sure if they look like apricots but I don't think that really matters if the painting works. I think it does. I can always find things to redo but as a daily painter I feel the need to go on to the next painting.  Right now besides painting, I'm reading Richard Schmid's book Alla Prima. It's the first time I've read it and the chapter I'm on is about edges. This book is great! There's so much to think about and learn. I highly recommend it to those people who haven't read it before, like me.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mill Road 3


Here's a little painting in the series of landscapes done from a photo. I'm so lucky to have access to these beautiful locations.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


This painting was inspired by my receiving a commission. Actually, my first commission. I was asked for a painting to celebrate a couple's anniversary depicting the theme of their wedding. Yes, you got it, Can't-Elope. I'm attempting to paint several different versions on this theme to offer them a choice.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

How I Frame My Pictures

I've added a section to my blog (probably to the right of this post) about how I frame my paintings. It's an alternative to purchasing expensive frames or having them professionally done. I use floating frames and buy them on sale, in bulk, from the usual online catalogs.  It took me a while to learn how to do them, but if you need to frame your paintings for a show and need to do several then this is a cost-effective method.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Congress Park

I had previously mentioned that I would be  posting a landscape painting done outdoors. I had to take new digital images of it. This one came out much better, more in focus and with better color reproduction. On my blog I added a gadget/pdf. file on how I frame my paintings. For artists who paint on gesso board this may be a good and inexpensive option.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

CSA Beets

My husband picked up our vegetables this week When I saw these beets I knew just how I wanted to paint them, with lots of movement and color.

Mill Road 2

I'm really having a good time painting landscapes.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mill Road

The landscape workshop with Ann Larsen is over and I've been inspired to continue to paint  outdoors. This however was painted from a photo, but I've tried to remember the colors and atmosphere of that day. I've cooled down the green color of the trees in the distance to get a sense of space. Next post will be of a painting I did outdoors.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

CSA Onions

                                                                    click here to bid

I haven't painted onions before, well at least not successfully. My aim was to capture the translucent quality of them and I think I got it. The two colored papers beneath them make for  fun colored shadows.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Purple Coneflower and Blue Ribbon


This was a quick painting in which I tried to minimize the number of  my brushstrokes. I think it turned out bold and cheery like the little coneflower.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Woodsy Driveway

This painting was done from a photograph of a friend's driveway. I liked the bright spot at the end of the road. I'm branching out, no pun intended, and I'm trying to do landscapes.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Jalapeno Peppers Reflected

This painting was going great while I was working on the peppers. I found the bowl challenging and it took me several tries and days to get it so it works. I'm happy with it now. They say that nothing worthwhile is easy!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Three Cherries and Teal Glass Jar

It's great when you can visualize a painting even before you have the objects in front of you. It doesn't happen often but with this painting it almost did. I thought about the color combination and went out and bought the cherries. It only confirms what I hoped would happen when I started painting daily; painting often helps you become familiar with your material and it opens you up to seeing things in a different way.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Stacked White Cups

This is an earlier painting that was on my website before I had a blog.  I wanted to paint white objects and try my hand at grays.