Friday, November 21, 2014

The Last of the Crabapples  8x6  oil
click to buy

Our internet has been out for a few days and now we're back on. Sorry for not posting.  India diagnosed a broken modem from India and turned the new one on from India. We're so 21st century. 

Painting glass again.  Starting in January I'll be teaching a class on Thursday evenings called "Painting the Light".  We'll be doing some glass and reflective surfaces. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Snow Bound Slate  oil   10x8

In honor of winter coming I'm going to post some winter paintings.  Painted this one in Crested Butte standing on the bridge across the Slate River, looking up into the mountains. Reflections, shadows and snow, it was gorgeous. Particularly attracted to the complementary colors of the weeds and the blues of the snow and ice.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Me and My Shadows  oil  8x6

Trying to keep it loose, and  not describe in detail.  What do I see with squinted eyes? How big a brush can I use? The starting bid is $50.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Angle of Repose oil 8x8

I have to post another garlic-they've gotten under my skin.  It's surprising in some ways that these little white and grey shapes can be so compelling. My latest thought is to hang them like xmas ornaments and have them dangling is space. My mother always told me not to play with my food. I also see a glass of milk being an obsession for a bit. What whites do you use? And why?  The starting bid is $60.

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Mothership and the Lunar Modules  oil   8x8

Still working on seeing the various color in the whites and the greys. I am loving painting these, but maybe tomorrow I'll post something with a bit more chroma. Bidding starts at $60.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Study in Grey 3

Still working on my grays. Is it cool, is it warm?  Is it lighter, is it darker?  These garlics are beautiful little sculptural pieces.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Red, White and Blue   oil  8x6

I have to say that I'm really most intrigued by shadow shapes.  The thingness of whatever I'm painting doesn't  affect me as much as the reflections and the cast shadows.  Unless, of course, it's a portrait.  Perhaps I'll just do a series of shadow shapes, with a hint of the object.  Here's part of the above painting cropped.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Study in Grey 1  oil  8x8

My students wanted to paint garlic this week and I thought it would be a good subject to work on for greys and whites. I visited the Chicago Art Institute yesterday and the American wing has a few Sargents.  His whites are gorgeous. And Sorolla's also- all those colors in the shadows- an inspiration.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Three Against One   oil  5.75x4.5
 Click to buy or bid

Another jelly beans and a slice.  Painted this one in class with my students. I think this theme needs to be painted large, so that I can really explore all the value and color richness in the beans and the shadows.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

In a Sea of Beans oil  8x6

Jelly beans and a slice.  The lesson of this one is that the slice of apple is perpendicular to the light source and so is the highest value in the painting.  It's actually pretty hard to see that because the paper is white and if something is white our brains automatically see it as the lightest value. I think making the slice the highest value gives the painting it's sense of light

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Attack of the Jelly Beans  oil  5.75x4.5
 click to buy

I started this little series yesterday- apple slices and jelly beans.  I did these as demos for my students for a lesson on edges.  The shadows of the fruit and the jelly beans provide an opportunity for lots of soft edges. And because the beans are translucent it's a chance to see a lot of color in the shadows.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sprouts   oil   5.75x4.5
 click to buy

We had a bumper crop of sprouts from the organic farm.

Trying and trying to keep it loose. Let the brushstrokes stand, to be gestural and not so descriptive.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Pear on Wednesday  oil 5.75x4.5
 click to buy

I painted this one for my class last Wednesday. I usually let all the students find their own subject matter and lighting.  This last Wednesday I thought I'd make the suggestion that the new students try this set up.  I created it to demonstrate a light against middle value, a dark against middle value and two dark values against each other with the corresponding lost edges.  All the students decided to do this pear against a blue background.  A very successful class with the students leaving with a better understanding of values and edges.  They would like to do it again-maybe this Wednesday we will do apples with cut edges.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Against the Wind  6x8  oil
 click to buy

I find pears to be the most human of the fruit. No shapes are parallel, the curves are better expressed with straight (ish) lines, and they are bigger on the bottom than on the top.  I also love the negative shapes that form betwixt and between.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cut Up   oil   8x6
 click to buy

I've been trying to paint down my stash of oils so I can switch to water miscible oils. I came across some alkyds and have been using the white.  Wow, it dries so fast, paint it in the morning and by evening it's pretty dry.  Don't really like it.  I'm finding my edges are too tight.  At least I'd like to blame on the materials.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

One Pear   oil   5.75x4.5
 click to buy

I haven't posted for a week.  I've been doing 3 days of teaching this fall and have many figure drawings done but less painting.  I need to figure out how to better maximize my time in the studio when I have so many classes to teach.  And I forgot to sign it.

I'm starting a pear series-the recipes to follow. I find the composition on this one a little uncomfortable. The pear feels a little crowded in the upper left corner.  I'll do another one with a different layout. The scarf is from my friend Martha who passed away last week.  Wish she were here to see it.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Swinging on a Star  oil  8.5x8

Part of the beet bondage series.  Painted this one three times. Played with the placement of the tops of the onions and the values of the bulbs.  Decided on a swingier line for the middle bulb tops and darker value for all three bulbs, especially the far left. I also started the painting as a 10x8 but decided that it needed to be cropped in.  Mitch Albala in his landscape book talks about a flexible picture window.  Basically you paint on a larger canvas that you think you will need and have the ability to crop in and out as the composition demands.  And it's often quite demanding.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Window Box  oil  8x6
 click to buy

The nasturtiums were in full bloom. Maybe I need a few nasturtium recipes for the cookbook.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Side by Side  6x6  oil

Summer light at midday with all things two by two-flowers, windows and chairs.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Patty's Gate  oil 6x6

In the green thumb neighbor's backyard.  I wanted this little painting to not be about flowers but shapes of color.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Farmer's Market Saturday Morning   oil   6x6
 click to buy

Saturday morning with the Oak Park Art League. The gladiolus were beautiful and the cast shadows caught my eye.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sweeping Upwards   oil   16x8
click to buy 

Part of the beet bondage series.  I'll be posting more tied and strung onions. There's something vaguely compelling about them.  This one has a faintly Japanese air.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Uncle Don  oil  12x11

This was a commissioned portrait.  Very fun to do- one of those paintings that fell off the brush. I love the light and the cast shadow of the cigar.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Tools of the Trade   8x6   oil
 click to buy

Painted this one with my students.  A good example of "really, anything can make a fun subject".

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Present and Accounted For  oil   8x8.5
 click to buy

Daffodils, jonquils, narcissus- they all refer to this beautiful flower floating in the nameless blue reaching for the light.  Very fun to paint-always a struggle painting the light white in the shadow. I'd like to paint this again but loosen up my edges.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Flotsam  oil  5.75x4.5
 click to buy

Egg painting number 13 of 12.

The Japanese wabi sabi philosophy states in part: nothing is perfect, nothing is finished, nothing lasts. So true.

I'm getting into the swing of painting and posting every day.  It requires me to be willing to let go and send the image out into the world. (I'm of course reserving the right to repaint and repost later, but haven't so far).

I think yesterday's post, Foiled and Boiled needs a little glaze on the reflection to darken it just a hair. And I might play with the bits of egg flotsam, the flow needs some adjustment.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Foiled and Boiled  oil   5.75x4.5
 click to buy

Egg painting number 12 of 12, but I don't think I'm done yet so there will be more. 

I painted this one with the little cups perched on aluminum foil. Reflections are right up there with glass, it not about the thing. it's about just seeing what's in front of you.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Incoming Tide   oil  5.75x4.5

Egg painting number 11 of 12.

As I wrote last month- I'm writing a cookbook and plan to do a series of food paintings that are vaguely related to the recipes-just enough to give some structure to painting subject matter. I've been collecting recipes for a few years from a dear friend and fabulous cook- she is really gifted. The cookbook is called "A Year of Food Sex with Sam".

Here's the first egg recipe and a quote from Sam:
"Eggs are delicate, we treat them harshly.  They're the most delicious food and a pleasing shape."

How to boil an egg: 
Put the eggs in a pot with cold water.  Bring the water to a gentle boil and turn it off.  Do not cover the pot. Let them sit for 7 minutes and plunge the eggs into ice water. Voila, the perfect boiled egg.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fiery Glee  oil  8x8

Time for a break from eggs. I cut up a wan orange and dropped it into three little glasses with a patterned background.  I love painting glass.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Castaways  oil  5.75x4.5
 click to buy

Egg painting number 10 of 12.  Eggs moving in and out and across the canvas.  How many ways are there to slice an egg? A surprisingly large number.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Crowded Harbor   oil   5.75x4.5
 click to buy

Egg painting number 9 of 12. In the shadows I pushed the yellow both orange and green.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Afloat   oil   5.75 x 4.5
click to buy 

Egg painting number 8 of 12.  I've kept the same color scheme as "follow the crowd" and played with the arrangement of shapes. I'm able to be a bit looser with each painting. A boiled egg is a surprisingly fragile thing.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Cheney Mansion  oil  8x10
 click to buy

Painted this with my plein air students in June.  A gorgeous day, we spent the previous day indoors  working from photos because of rain.  What I noticed was- when the students got outside the next day, because of the emphasis on abstracting the photo the day before they were less intimidated, felt more in charge and were less overwhelmed.  One of my students called it "blobism"- not painting individual things but seeing the scene as areas of value and color.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Different Directions  oil  13 x 11
 click to buy

I've been working on a series I call beet bondage.  Here's a preview- tied up, tied down, stretched, wound around itself- it's been fun.  I've barely scratched the surface. I'll post more in the coming months.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Touched with Fire  oil  9.5x7
click to buy 

Trying to get the interior glow of an orange- always a challenge. It was fun playing with the shape of the shadow.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Perfectly Simple  oil  10x8
 click to buy

Another house from Crested Butte. I'm interested in entrances, front steps and windows, what the front of the house has to say for itself. I hope to do a show next year called Front Steps and Stories.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

House at the Corner  oil  10x8
 click to buy

This house is in Crested Butte.  An old mining town in the mountains of Colorado. Every year this house catches my eye. It's deserted and the red trim has faded to pink. The windows are dark but reflect the sky and trees around it. I  particularly enjoy playing with the colors. I'm attracted to the trim in the light and shadow, the way the roof and trees cast shadows on the white wood, the yellow dandelions in the bright yard and in the shadow of the trees. I've been working on my evergreens, I find them challenging to paint. As always, less seems to be a bit more-less contrast and fewer strokes.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Curls of Light  oil  6x9

This spring the ranunculus were gorgeous-so round, so full. The contrast of the black centers of the flowers make a good graphic focus. I particularly like the vase on this one-so abstract. I often like the way my vases are painted- I think it's because I'm not painting a thing, I'm painting reflections and transparency.  I wish I could bring the same non attachment to all parts of my paintings.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sweet Treat  oil  9x6
 click to buy

I taught a week of summer camp to 8 year olds this year.  It was called Cakes and Carrots.  We baked, we decorated, we drew, painted and played with color.  I painted this for the kids, as an example of how to transform your cupcake into a painting.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Goldfinch Heaven  oil  12x9
 click to buy

Here's the rest of Bob's garden from a plein air perspective.  The goldfinches love the sunflowers and everything was glinting with gold, the flowers and the birds. I went twice to catch it all.  Apparently all the sunflowers are volunteers.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Bob's 'Barrow   oil  8x10
 click to buy

Bob has an amazing garden, with rows and rows of sunflowers (that painting is still on the easel).  He also has these old wheelbarrows planted with red and pink and magenta.  Late in the day the sun was coming straight at me creating dark shapes against the lights of the grass.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cherries Squared Two  oil  4.5 x 5.75
 click to buy

Another painting of cherries and cherries.This is a small one, but I'd like to do one that's 8x16, so the cherries are thrown like dice across the fabric. Maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Into the Clear Air  oil  7x5
 click to buy

A friend's yard.  I was trying to capture the effect of the flowers against the dark foliage in the light, with the foreground in shadow. And there were light flowers in the foreground too, adding to the challenge.  It's the idea that the dark t-shirt in the light areas will be darker than the light colored newspaper in the dark.  Clear as mud?

Next spring and summer I'd like to do a series of "Other People's Gardens".  Did a few this summer and found it very satisfying. It's kind of a collaboration- their garden artistry and your painting.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Follow the Crowd  oil  5.75 x 4.5
 click to buy

Egg painting number 7.  This one's boiled and cut up. It was fun to play with the shapes and shadows, creating movement with pieces of cut up egg.

There's a reason for the weird size.  I lived in China and had cradled wooden boxes made at one of the local art stores. We were working in the metric system. When I lived overseas I realized standard paper size is not 8.5 x 11.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cherries Squared   oil   8x6

It's the bounty of summertime.  Saw both of these in their separate bowls on the counter this morning and had to commingle.  I messed with three different background colors- first black, then yellow/ green then this high chroma green. I thought about going back to the yellow green and decided to let it go.  Another painting of more cherries and cherries I think. Some paintings just fall off the brush, others-not so much.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Equal Balance oil  8x6
 click to buy

The 6th egg painting.  I think of this one as the third in a series with the other two 'egg in a glass' paintings with the dotty pink background. I like working with the shifting view point. This one has upstage theatrical lighting.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Translucence   oil and gold leaf  8.5x8

I have another raw egg painting on the easel but it's just not quite ready for the public. So here's another little raw painting but of a different ilk. The translucence captivated me. I'd love to do these paintings really big.  The gold leaf in the corner is a chinese chop that says "pomegranite". The gold leaf is from a Buddhist temple in Burma.