Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A Rose and a Prayer

8x10 inch on linen panel
Purchase Info

Subject matter: I liked pairing the single rose with the religious symbols, especially since we often send flowers and pray for those we love. I recently purchased this little vase in an antique store for a few dollars and then found out that its taller cousin came with it, so now I have two. If any one has followed my blog from the beginning (Hello, are you out there?), you know that I have struggled with roses. I feel I'm improving, so feel free to let me know what you think. (And while you're at it, sign up to follow my blog--down on the right hand side of the page. I don't know what happens when you do this, but I'm pretty sure you won't get a visit from the FBI.)

Surface: I love linen panels! Right now I'm experimenting with all different ones. This one is a C13 from New Traditions Art Panels. The "C" stands for Claessens, a company somewhere in Belgium that is famous for their linen. New Traditions uses different substrates but my favorite is Gatorfoam. It is archival yet incredibly lightweight. Of course, linen is much more expensive than canvas and other surfaces, especially if it is oil or lead primed. But I've decided that fighting against a bad surface ruins the fun of oil painting! Of course, there are many good canvas surfaces too; but I simply won't paint on the cheap ones any more. The quality of the canvas and the priming make a huge difference. When I began my journey in oil painting, I didn't know any of this. It's interesting that beginners usually start out using sub-standard materials, such as student grade paints and cheap canvases. I wonder if beginners would progress faster if they began with better materials?

Exciting new additions: I recently purchased a beautiful Matisse French wood taboret from Jerry's Artarama. Here's a photo of it in my tiny studio area. It's perfect and keeps me from bending over so much to reach my palette. Now if I could just make the room a few feet wider...

Monday, July 23, 2018

Noel

10x8" oil on linen panel
NFS

Subject: Noel is a commissioned painting for a friend. The reference photo provided to me was backlit and originally I didn't want to use this. However, because I don't live near enough to take my own photo I decided to try it. In the end I used this photo and a second one to get a better idea of Noel's color. Since I have a long-hair tabby very similar to this one, I tried to get my own cat to pose--but he laughed and trotted away with his tail in the air. Cats!

The Furry Truth: Painting fur is a challenge. With each animal portrait I think I've got it down and then the next one comes along and it's a new challenge. But one thing has become clearer: the secret is the blending brush.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Red Apple in Cut Glass

6x8 inch oil on linen panel
Purchase Info

Subject: Painting cut glass is a challenge and this one was even more so because of the diamond pattern on the bowl. The bowl is actually the bottom of a candy dish that has a very nice top. Still working on loosening up but not having great success. Maybe I should drink more wine! Or Bloody Marys with Ketel One vodka.

Side note: I heard about Kettle One vodka after reading several books by Marcia Clark--yes, the one and only Marcia Clark from the OJ trial. Rachel Knight, the main character in her series is a DA who always unwinds after work with this, so I had to buy some and see why. It's good stuff. In fact, so good, I'm sure drinking more than one would definitely turn me into an abstract artist--and not a good one--though to me the words "good" and "abstract art" should not be used in the same sentence. Please don't write negative comments if you love abstract art. My relatives and friends who love it will take care of this for you.

Surface: This is an original, unframed oil painting on a lovely 1/8 inch Belgian linen panel by Raymar Art.


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Just Grapes

6x6" oil on linen

This painting speaks for itself. It is a simple painting of purple grapes--that I tried not to eat while painting. It is painted on a 3/4 inch stretched linen surface.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Apple in Brass Bird Dish

6x8" oil on canvas panel

I can't remember where I found this odd little brass soap dish but it came alive after I polished it. This painting is on a very nice archival cotton panel by Raymar. Though I'm still a novice when it comes to painting, I have decided that life is too short to paint on inferior quality surfaces. (Use the good china too!)

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Apple on Blue Striped Towel

6x6" on Gessobord panel
This simple still life was painted using a vintage kitchen towel. I can't seem to find this kind of towel any more. They are all cotton and incredibly soft. And best of all, they don't turn into a mess of wrinkles when they are washed and dried. This little painting is on a 1/8 inch archival Gessobord panel. It can be framed any way you want though floater frames will show the entire small painting.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Still Life with Bottle and Fruit

12x9" Oil on canvas panel

Subject matter: This is a simple still life inspired by the beauty of this red pear. I really don't care to eat pears much but I love painting them, especially the red ones. And, of course, I never get tired of painting lemons. I could paint lemons daily and never get tired of doing so. We should not call bad products "lemons" because this is disparaging to the beauty of lemons. The bottle is an olive oil bottle that grabbed my attention because of the product name, Middle Earth Olive Oil. 

Technique: Lettering is extremely difficult for me but I may be making a bit of progress. Tips on this, anyone? Has anyone else found a technique for lettering that works? Feel free to comment on this.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Portrait of Marielle

20x16" Oil on Senso linen panel

This painting earned a Merit Award at the Dunedin Fine Art Center 2018 SMF Awards. Look below to see me standing proudly next to it. There were many wonderful entries so I was very happy to take home an award. It's on display and for sale at the Dunedin Fine Art Center in Dunedin, Florida.





Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Radish Study-#1

6x8" Oil on linen panel

This is a simple radish study painted on a Raymar Art Linen Panel. I enjoyed this so much that I decided to paint a series of these. However, the leaves wilted quickly so I will need to buy many more radish bunches. Also, my youngest cat Sophie tried to eat the leaves and managed to break a few off. Such is the life of a cat owner artist! So now I have two favorite edible still life objects: lemons and radishes.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Sophie

8x6" Oil on linen panel


Subject: Sophie is our newest addition, rescued from our yard after she spent several days crying out to us that she was hungry, tired, and sick. We didn't want another cat (we already have three!), but she stole our hearts--and our wallets. She was sick and had to be kept away from the other cats after we rescued her. It was difficult but she's well now and spends her days alternately chasing and being chased by the other cats.  She's still a young cat and gets into things constantly. Tonight she played with the radishes I was painting for a still life! 

Her eyes are incredibly blue--and when she looks straight at you, she is cross-eyed. This is part of her Siamese heritage. But her most endearing trait is her affectionate nature. She loves to be near her humans and is so happy to have a home that she won't even set foot on the screened porch with the other cats! See another photo of Sophie enjoying the good life with her roomies below.

Materials & Process: I used a beautiful Raymar Art Belgian linen panel for this painting and the paint went on so nicely! Painting whiskers is tough but I found that the best brush for me is a flat with a nice edge to it. And a steady hand, thanks to the mahlstick that my husband made for me! 



Sophie with Sammy, Jimbo and Binkie


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Autumn Still Life with Apples & Lemons

20x16" Oil on canvas
NFS

The concept: 

This still life began from a class studio set-up and completed mostly at home. I have decided to keep this one in my personal collection because I loved doing it and feel it is one of the best I've done.

Just a note about class paintings:

Paintings created from a classroom set-up cannot be viewed as original. I have done only a few of these and posted them in the past. It is legal to sell this type of art, but the buyer needs to know if it was created even partly in a class.

Recently I read another artist's blog that said you cannot even ask someone to critique your work and afterwards enter it into a competition--even if it's your own in every way! Wow! I guess my husband is out of work, not to mention my other family members and neighbors who comment on my work before I'm finished. You can see that in the world of art, competitions that give out money are getting a bit crazy.

Nevertheless, there are good reasons for most of these rules--though I do wonder if any of the old masters would have been able to enter theirs in today's competitions since they used apprentices to complete some of their works.

Here is a photo of the work framed.