Thursday, August 17, 2017

Varnish day for A Fine Romance

Today was varnish day for "A Fine Romance," 18x18 inch oil painting on Fredrix Canvas mounted to archival foam core. I used Liquitex Soluvar Gloss and Matte mixed 50/50. Applied a generous coat with a brush that I reserve for varnish only and though the painting is dry to the touch and can go into a frame, it will cure totally over the next few months.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Gouache underpainting for pastel

This is the gouache underpainting on white Pastelmat. September Song 6x6 is a color study for an upcoming 18x18 inch oil painting.

September Song, pastel, 6x6 inches
And, here is the finished pastel, available for purchase on Daily Paintworks.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Please check this out

I just spent a couple hours organizing my thoughts and recent revelations on my Golden Years blog. Click the link below to read about Big Magic among my other thoughts. To receive the occasional post from this blog, please subscribe as I don't always put a link on this blog as I'm doing now.

Please check this out

Monday, August 7, 2017

Golden Gift Certificate Award

I received a nice surprise today when I learned that my pastel painting, "Rejoice" received the Golden Gift Certificate Award at the Women Painters of Washington exhibit currently showing at Childhood'd End Gallery, Olympia, Washington. Thank you Juror/Judge Melissa Weinman. Congratulations to all the artists in this show and also to all award winners.

I don't enter many competitions these days but this one was special partly because I am honored to be a Life Member of WPW but also because my previous long-time Olympia gallery sold recently and this was a chance to show my work again in that city.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

It's August and I'm back at the easel

"Infatuation"                  " A Fine Romance"
I have created a challenge for myself of four 18x18 inch still life oil paintings. There is a backstory to each of the paintings and I will blog more about that later.

When working in pastel, I work very quickly to create work that is loose, not labored but this new, larger oil work is the opposite process.

I will be working simultaneously on all four paintings to allow the paint to dry - some days I will glaze, some days I will be focused on opaque areas.  Coming into the studio each morning will give me a chance to look at them with fresh eyes. Instead of working intuitively, each day I contemplate the value balance and composition because in oil I can add an object or wipe one out effortlessly. I expect and even look forward to working on the same paintings for a month or more. I love working without a deadline but I also need to continue the work daily or I will lose interest.

This morning I painted for about 3 hours on the two paintings above. For me, that is the maximum number of hours at the easel before I need a break. I started "Infatuation" just last night so it still looks quite raw and lacking in nuance of color and form. The painting on the right in the photo above, "A Fine Romance," is nearing completion. I am taking step x step photos that I may post when my project is complete.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Get to know your oils

I have many tubes of oil paint that I never use. I don't remember why I bought them but mostly they just sit in my studio while I stick to a basic palette of primary colors in warm and cool plus a few other colors.

We're getting ready for two summer events here at the lake and I find it difficult to concentrate on painting while prepping for the next two weekends but it is a good time to FINALLY make color samples of all the oil paint I have. This was actually a lot of fun and I'm excited to get back to painting in August to use some of the beautiful colors I discovered.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Reworking old paintings is one of my favorite things. At least once a year I go through my inventory and wipe off or paint over old paintings. Today I unframed two from my oil Still Life series of 2014 and I found another Gessobord panel with the beginning of a barn. I cut and glued foam core to make a 3-up holder and visited the refrigerator for subjects.


I started with the barn and began laying out where two apples on a plate might go. After I got them placed, I decided I didn't like the composition so I scraped the lower apple off and painted grapes instead.

I spent a very fun few hours painting fruit. Each of these paintings is about 90% complete. I think I'll let them dry and continue on them next week.  

Did you know you can search my blog by label? Try searching for How to Pastel or How to Oil Paint.  Click on the label then select Show All then go to Older Posts.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Final Four

See the final four on my DailyPaintworks Gallery

This is a screen shot of the final four in my SUPER SUMMER SALE. Fourteen little oil studies over the past 6 weeks. They gave me the experience of Fredrix canvas sheets, working plein air, reacquainting myself with my oil bar collection, and have generally cheered me each day. Many thanks to collectors, previous and new, for giving my studies a loving home.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Wipe Out (Pansies again)

Yesterday, when I realized it was time to leave for my Friday painting group I wasn't prepared. It is easiest to paint in pastel at that location because my soft pastels are already inside my Soltek easel and my bag is pretty much packed. All I needed was a subject to paint and paper.

To the flat file for paper and the first thing I saw was the 5x7 apple painting done a couple years ago on ochre toned Wallis. Took it into the laundry room and washed the painting off. A quick dry with the hairdryer, taped it onto a Gatorbord and headed to the car. Gong to paint those orange pansies again, this time in pastel.

Pansies Again, pastel, 7x5

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Summer Lilies in the studio


Our summer lilies are in bloom. The four big pots of lilies by the garage are abundant and glorious but soon they will be faded and shattered. Thought I better paint them while I can.The angle changed as I stepped to the easel (not so much of the silver pitcher showing) but I am pleased with my impression of them.

Summer Lilies, oil, 7x5 inches
Now offering Private Art Lessons.
July and August are full but I have one day left in September.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Gouache as Inspiration

Recently, I've been hearing the word gouache a lot. I remember the name from art school (more than 50 years ago) but I didn't really remember anything about the media. So when one of my private session students applied gouache as a foundation for her pastel pastel, it peaked my interest and I ordered a very limited set of M. Graham gouache colors to try.

Here we go...trying gouache.
In every medium I seem to end up using the subtractive approach at some point. In colored pencil I lifted color away with resuseable adhesive and it became a trade mark technique for me. In watercolor I loved the look of lifting color. With pastel I went further and simply wiped off (or hosed off) entire paintings. Foundation work in oil often includes wiping away lights with a cotton cloth. It is a practice that works for me; in fact, it may be necessary to my creative process.

This is a detail shot of the gouache painting. LOVE the soft look it gives.
With gouache I began the painting by glazing layers of thinned color and then wiping some away back to the bare Gessobord. I love the fragile, dusty look when gouache dries but I Googled gouache and learned that the beautiful dusty look is not good. It means I have added so much water that the medium is no longer stable. The other thing I learned is that paintings in this medium need to be protected by glass. When I read that, I thought I was at a dead-end because I'm trying to get away from framing with glass. It wasn't until the next day that it occurred to me that I could glaze oil paint over the gouache foundation and perhaps retain the delicate look of the gouache.

And so, I began. First I glazed with transparent oils and a linseed/alkyd mix but then I got carried away and used whatever oil paint it took to get the look I was after. In the end, the primary role of the gouache was the inspiration it provided me.

Rose, Take Two, oil, 7x5 inches
Now offering Private Art Sessions.
July and August are full but I have two days available in September.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

A couple announcements

A beautiful summer Sunday and a couple announcements. It's official, I'm teaching private lessons. If you're interested, click on the PAINT WITH ME Workshops link in the Sidebar at right for more information.

And, I'm finally getting back to auctions on eBay and posted three small pastels at special summer prices. To see them, click on the My Paintings on eBay link also in the Sidebar.

Happy Summer to you!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Hard to paint...

...and hard to photograph. Buttery fragile roses given to me by Renee yesterday at our Friday painting group. She painted them yesterday and I painted them today. Thanks, Renee.

Renee's Roses, pastel, 7x5 inches sold
It is difficult to photograph the nuances of very light colors. When the blues looked good, the light colors didn't. Not good when it takes longer to photograph a painting than to paint it.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Oil Bar finger painting

I'm finishing up the last of the Summer Sale on DailyPaintworks with oil bar and my fingers. Fun!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Summer Sale coming to an end

My SUPER SUMMER SALE has been a fun project for early summer. It motivated me to paint often, especially plein air. I have several more florals started and when they're complete, I will post them on DailyPaintworks as the final additions to the sale. Sale prices start at $25 with free shipping.

Thanks to all who have given these little studies loving homes.
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy summer.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

How to keep oil paint soft

I've been painting plein air a lot this summer using my Open Box M mounted on a tripod. Every evening I close the lid but it isn't air-tight and the paint dries a little before morning. One of the artists who comes to my Studio for our Plein Air Painters of Washington Critique group gave me a tip (thank you, Bill): I now put my Open Box M in the freezer after each painting session. The next day it's ready to use - no thawing necessary.

Some days I prefer painting in the Studio. I've have been using a French Mistress as a palette/color mixing but if I paint plein air several days in a row the studio paint on my French Mistress forms a skin or turns into hard, dry blobs.

Today I may have discovered a better way. Instead of using the French Mistress, I now squeeze oil paint from the tubes into my Open Box M and then use it as my palette on the table in front of the easel in my Studio. I mix color on a 17 x 28 inch piece of glass. When I'm done for the day I clean the glass and the Open Box M goes back into the freezer and is ready the next morning for plein air OR for studio work. Because I’m using this “frozen” oil palette for both plein air and studio work, the paint gets totally replaced every couple days. 

By the way, when I post a photo with something in the background unrelated to what I'm talking about, someone emails me and asks about it. So I'll tell you more about this photo now:

The painting of the flower is another for my SUPER SUMMER SALE on DailyPaintworks.

The painting in neutrals on the big easel is the first of a series of interior scenes, 18 x 18 inches. Eventually I'll have a new body of work to deliver to one of my galleries.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Plein Air Delphinium Study

I'm painting plein air a lot these days - mostly flowers in the studio garden.

Delphinium Study, oil 7x5 inches

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

When Life Gives You Lemons...

What started out as a SUPER LEMON day yesterday has turned into lemonade for me.

5:30 AM Family medical emergency sets the emotional tone for the day.

9:00 AM Local students for our plein air painting day together DO NOT arrive as expected.

9:15 AM Last minute addition arrives - an artist from FL who is visiting in the area - and we begin a delightful four hour private session of plein air painting together.

Morning Walk, pastel, 7x5 inches sold
The artist I was working with is adept in a variety of mediums. Pastel is her most recent addition and she has identified her challenges with it so that is the medium we focused on. We started out on the back patio facing the studio garden. I use a scene before me as inspiration and let a painting evolve from there. This artist works in that manner also so she understood when my completed painting had elements of the scene before us (overcast but bright sky, Washington State fir trees, a winding path, lots of green foliage) but was not a literal representation.

Melissa painting the lake
An overcast morning turned into a sunny afternoon and we moved to the lake side. Our session together ended with a lovely painting by Melissa and the medical emergency resolved.

In retrospect, what began as a most unusual day has contributed to my decision that private mentoring is the way I will structure my teaching for the rest of this year. So, to those who have contacted me wanting to attend a group plein air session like the one I offered yesterday - instead, please consider one-on-one painting or consulting sessions with me. Email me for more info.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Begonia Study with acrylic underpainting

This week I am inviting a few artists for a 4-hour Paint Plein Air with Me session. Artists asked if I would be teaching more Studio workshops this year - this event evolved out those requests. If you are interested in painting with me this summer on a weekday, 9am - 1pm at my home studio in Black Diamond, let me know by email or comment here and I'll schedule more days and invite you. Tell me which day of the week works best for you.

The artists who requested this first session work in a variety of mediums and at least one will have an introduction to oil paint. To speed things up, I will suggest an acrylic underpainting so I took myself through the steps. I used liquid acrylics blue, orange and yellow.

The white you see in the painting is where I have lift acrylic back off of the white Fredrix canvas sheet. This was a really fun process and one that I plan to use again. Next, I brought the image up on my computer screen and sat beside it and painted in oil.

Begonia Study, oil, 7x5 inches. 
DailyPaintworks SUMMER SALE sold

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Peony and Interior #1

Peony Study, oil, 6x6 inches
Thanks to all who have purchased, bid and are following their favorites on my Daily Paintworks SUPER SUMMER SALE. Your interest is what keeps me painting these.

Even as I contemplate what to paint next for the sale and how I can include other work, I am thinking of Fall and my work for galleries. For years I have taken interior shots but only recently have I begun to get a clear vision of what I want my interior work to look like. It will be oil and quite unlike any work I have to date. Tonight I started interior #1. It is the workshop space of Arts Alive! in Enumclaw, Washington. Here is a detail shot (the actual painting is 18 inches square) of step 1.

Interior #1, oil, 18x18 Step 1

Monday, June 12, 2017

Trying something new

I recently painted from my 6s iPhone. Today I painted from my old 27 inch iMac. Quite a different experience. I'll do this again.
Boat House, oil, 6x6 inches
In the past two years, I have taken many photos of the old boat house across the lake from us but it wasn't until today that I got around to painting it and the lily pads that surround it. I'm probably the only lake resident who loves it.