Wednesday, July 27, 2016


I've spent the last couple of weekends tweaking some older paintings and completely redoing one. I rarely do this(read never) so something has shifted in my brain. I do believe I've learned a few things (finally!!)so I actually had solutions to problems these paintings presented at the time of their completion(?). I redid the trilliums but truthfully I may like the first version better. I did think the first painting looked a bit sloppy but now it's looking more painterly. Anyhoo, one painting I was extremely happy to rescue was the Great Dane. Loved the dog, hated the background. At the time I was totally stumped as how to handle it so the outcome was pretty bad. This past weekend the solution was obvious. Another painting just needed more warmth. Yet another needed deeper shadows. I'm on a roll.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Trilliums 2 ~ complete

Here is my finished painting. Like I mentioned in my previous post, this is a new style for me but I thoroughly enjoyed working this way and will definitely pursue this same style in the future. Looking at the painting now I wish I had spent more time on the white petals. White flowers provide a great opportunity to exercise our ability to observe and see color where our minds say there should be none. White is really a very colorful color!
two tulips I rescued from the lawn mower

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Trilliums Again

A portion of the transfer
Portion #2

This is the final sketch.

Storyboarding...this is a method I employ using individual drawings on tracing paper and arranging them to create a pleasing composition. It works great and I'm too cheap to buy another version of Adobe Elements.

This time I'm putting a new spin on things. This style is new to me and I'm not sure how it will turn out but why let that stop me, huh? I've put down a coat of acrylic gesso on matboard to add an element of texture, let that dry and then painted the surface with black acrylic paint. I transferred my drawing with white transfer paper and things are now ready for color. I plan to use a palette of soft greens and blues but that may change depending on how it's looking in process. Wish me luck!

Friday, July 01, 2016

Morels 2 ~ complete

And here is the finished painting all float mounted and framed and ready for a buyer. If you like what you see let me know. If not this will probably go to the gallery. In the meantime I've started work on the next work of art. This time I think I'll be painting trilliums and I've got an interesting palette chosen. Actually it's a entirely new approach, new to me that is.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Morels WIP 2

A quick update on this project. I chose a palette of DS Quin. Burnt Orange, DS Quin. Sienna, olive green, DS Undersea green, warm sepia, Phthalo blue and Perm yellow. I wanted more saturated color for this morel painting. After the painting was complete I added copper metallic paste here and there for a more exciting effect. I used my finger to apply. This stuff is new in my tool kit and I love it. I used the paste primarily to highlight all the yummy textures. I just finished giving the painting a light coat of Krylon spray varnish and when it's dry I will add the 'feet' to the back of my substrate as I plan to float mount this in my frame.

In this image you can see my collection of metallic pastes.

I tried spring green on for 'size' but quickly nixed that idea. Love the remaining colors.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Morels and Bookmarks

I've got two 11" x 14" shadow boxes that I've wanted to use for paintings so I chose to use morel mushrooms for my subject, at least in one of the boxes. I'm taking a similar approach to a painting I created back in 2011. I've coated a piece of matboard with Liquitex gesso and added bits of leaves and twigs to replicate a forest floor. I also coated some oak leaves I saved from last Fall. Oak leaves are the best leaves I've found for this application because they are sturdy and pliable, even when dried. I will attach those with gel medium. I also tried out a new medium...string gel. I used it to form the mushrooms and give them a 3D appearance. The string gel was surprisingly easy to work with and I can imagine all sorts of projects I could use it for.

I found myself with lots of scrap Yupo and I hate wasting art materials so I made about a dozen bookmarks with the bits and pieces. I think they turned out rather well!

Saturday, June 18, 2016


This is Maggie, a beloved pet who belonged to my friend Mike. I had been telling Mike I'd paint her portrait for him but his only photo of her wasn't the best reference. I finally decided there was enough info in the photo to give it a go and after asking Mike a few questions about her to fill in the blanks here is my result.

I have been admiring Vickie Nelson's animal portraits on Facebook lately so I wanted to apply a similar treatment to the background in Maggie's portrait. Vickie isn't shy when it comes to backgrounds often going so far as to surround her critters in vibrant, colorful abstraction. It shouldn't work but it does. The subject doesn't seem to get lost but becomes a part of the whole composition. Rather than a BG that gets slapped on at the last moment to keep the main subject from looking so lonely on the paper it becomes a stage for that particular pet's favorite toys, a favorite blanket or just a bunch of colorful shapes, patterns and/or textures. Anyhoo, I love the look so I tried it on Maggie. Mike told me she loved to ride in the car so I gave her a '57' Chevy-ish car all her own. I think it suits her.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Trilliums in Bloom

Love the neat texture. It adds so much interest.
With the plastic wrap in place. I saved my whites with liquid fisket.

The woods around these parts are currently carpeted in wild trilliums and it's a glorious sight.  I wanted to pay tribute to this flower that blooms for such a short time, often alongside wild forget-me-nots, with a small painting.

I pulled out a trick I haven't tried in years...saran wrap aka plastic wrap. It's a cool way to add some interesting effects/texture.  Simply cut pieces of the wrap and place on your wet paint. Make sure the paint is really wet or nothing will happen. You can then manipulate the wrap any way you wish. Also don't remove the wrap until the paint is thoroughly dry or all your lovely textures could be lost. By adding the forget-me-nots I was able to try out my new tube of watercolor, Periwinkle by American Journey.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Back to the Drawing Board

Sorry for the lapse in updates. My flamingos fell by the wayside when my COPD flared again this Spring. Seems it's become an annual event. While recovering I needed to avoid the alcohol ink fumes so I completed a commission for a long time friend, a watercolor painting of a lady slipper I've been promising her for yeeears, and also a few pencil sketches for myself. I forget to simply draw something for my own pleasure. I enjoy it and don't know why I don't do it more often. I need to remedy that.
This gal is strickly from my imagination.

The receptionist at my doctor's office.
Lovely girl.
She has a perfectly oval face.