Thursday, October 30, 2008


7x5 oil on panel
$100 + $12 s/h
Purchase this painting

We just got back from D.C. a few days ago and I began to go through my photos today. This one of a young lady looking at the Hope diamond in the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum really struck me. I love the drama of the lighting and the way her head is almost against the glass as she gazes at this gorgeous piece of jewelry.

The title too has meaning beyond wishes for fine jewels. I voted yesterday in early voting. You should too. Unless you are for the other guy. ;-)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Caring For Your Original Artwork

I thought I would share some basic tips for caring for original art - specifically oil paintings.

First thing to consider, especially owing to the frequent sales of freshly completed paintings from artists participating in the "daily painting" movement, is that oil paint will dry to the touch within a week or two, but may take up to a year or more to fully cure. During that time, the paint will be softer and susceptible to dents and scratches. Paintings with obvious brushmarks and lots of texture can be smudged or flattened.

Cleaning: Use a dry, "micro-fiber" cloth to wipe the surface. Do not use too much pressure, and check the surface for flaking or damaged areas. If there is a heavy buildup of dirt, take the painting to be professionally cleaned. Dust buildup and pollutants can allow molds to grow.

Lighting: Very high light levels can cause the darkening or fading of an oil painting. Conversely, storing a painting in the dark will cause the oil painting to become darker over time.

To avoid damage caused by light, don't expose paintings to direct sunlight. Lighting shouldn't be positioned too close; avoid using lights that are mounted to the frame. Try to use diffused lights that are positioned at least ten feet from the painting to avoid damage from heat.

Temperature: Extreme heat, cold or humidity can cause the stretchers and canvas to expand and contract, leading to cracking of the paint surface or causing the canvas to sag.

Hanging: Don't hang the painting in high traffic areas where it is likely to be bumped or scraped. If you are moving the painting, be careful not to lean the canvas against anything, as it can stretch or be punctured. Carry it by the sides, and protect the surfaces with stiff board and heavy fabric.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Salmagundi Stairwell

7x5 oil on panel
$100 + $12 s/h - sold

The beautiful stairwell in the historic brownstone. Above is an ornate skylight letting light filter down three or four floors.

We are off for a visit to DC this weekend. I can't wait to take my little girl through the Smithsonian museums and see the mint and the Monument. The weather will be a fun change for us too I suspect. Though none of us particularly like the cold! We're getting together with some of my college girlfriends too, so I am really looking forward to this visit.

Don't forget to check the auctions at the Texas Louvre for some rock bottom prices on terrific original art. Its a good cause too - helping some college seniors put their business skills to the test in the real world.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Salmagundi Parlor - 30 Minute Study

10x8 oil on paper
$50 + s/h
Purchase this study

This is the front parlor of the historic Salmagundi Art Club in NYC. I wanted to capture that cool light coming in from the front windows which would be on the right. The building is really wonderful both in architecture and art. The walls are hung with the art of early club members. We were very lucky to have had the space available for our workshop.

For some reason I am in the mood for those rainy days we had in the city. I think I will go paint another scene from the club.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cafe du Monde - 30 Minute Study

10x8 Oil on paper
$50 + s/h - sold

This is another sketch of the famous New Orleans bakery. The waiter is at his ease for the time being.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Texas Louvre

Chalk Artist
10x8 oil on panel - sold

Here is your chance to purchase some wonderful art, at a really good price, and help some Mary Hardin-Baylor students - The Texas Louvre.

V Vaughan is a very good friend and an amazingly talented artist and when she asked if I'd like to help her son with his class project I was very willing. Years ago, I painted Tanner on the beach.. now he's a college senior! Anyway...Here is a bit from V's email.
My oldest son, Tanner, in his last semester at Mary Hardin-Baylor, with a degree in Marketing, has a class project where the prof gave each group $20 and the objective is to earn as much as possible in 3 weeks with this seed money. His group has put up a web site of daily paintings, called "Texas Louvre"! With his "connections" he found three of the best daily painters who have a few unclaimed gems, and he created a web site to auction these 15 or so AMAZING PRICES!!!

THANKS TO ROBIN CHEERS and TOM BROWN! What a couple of gamers, agreeing to put in a few GREAT paintings to help out! YOU JUST GOTTA SEE their wonderful small works, which they are sharing with "Texas Louvre".

Be sure to check out the gallery part to preview upcoming auctions which you can "buy now" (before others see the auction.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Now I've learned that my blog can send an email to my google group when I post so I am testing that. Thank you to Takeyce for the help. This community is so wonderful.

News from Austin: Weather is great. Kid is sick. Dog is bumping around the house. Aquarium is cloudy. I'm exhausted but looking forward to a visit to DC later in the week.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tending the Bar

6x6 oil on panel
$100 + $12 s/h - sold

A lot of my New York trip seems to center around food. Hmmm... so does my life really. Its one of my pleasures. I am not that great a cook, however. I'm good at down home, comfort foods, but have a gourmet taste too that can only be satisfied by chef-prepared meals. This is a little neighborhood bar we stopped in for dessert and an apertif. It was late and the restaurant was nearly empty. The bartender spent most of his time chatting with a customer at the end of the bar unknowingly giving me lots of inspiration.

Steelwood Wedding Reception

I forgot to mention that last weekend, I had a live painting event in Alabama. Flew in Saturday under mostly cloudy skies to paint outdoors at this lovely venue. As you can see, this is not final. I painted until dark and was not in a position to set up a light so did not complete my foreground. I will add a few more people and the grass and plants and be done.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Tea For One

6x6 oil on panel
$100 + $12 s/h - sold

My friend and I had French high tea at Payard Patisserie the afternoon of our arrival. What a lovely respite from our long walks and power shopping. I didn't have a lot of time to shop, so I had to do as much as I could in one afternoon. The gentleman above looked so comfortable as he sipped his tea nearby.

The tea and pastries were so satisfying that we managed the long trek back to 51st (shopping more along the way, mind you) and finished our day with dinner at a French place next to our hotel.
C'était délicieux.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Minding His Business

6x6 oil on panel
$100 + $12 s/h - sold

A busy Thursday evening in Manhattan.

Macy Update: My little doggie was diagnosed with "SARD" - sudden acute retinal degeneration. Meaning her retina has degraded and no longer functions. I am actually relieved - relieved to know what happened to her and to know that its not some brain tumor or stroke or such that could be life threatening. She is getting around the house fine - I just can't ever rearrange the furniture. Thanks for all your kind thoughts!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Ticket Please

10x12 oil on panel

Truth be told, I am not sure I like this. I think I lost energy. My husband liked it a lot and that is usually a good gauge for me. But sometimes, I know I can do better and its just a matter of my hand catching up with my brain. Given my daily drama, its no wonder I tired easily.

This is from Grand Central Station.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Good Conversation

I've really enjoyed the comments and suggested reading material, etc. on this topic. I thought more about Ken's work and I think I always assumed his "red" side of the street in his paintings was the sunny side, not the shadow side. I painted a city scene on Friday following his examples, but it looks like cheap knock off. And I do not want to copy his style at all. But I really admire it. I also tried to get a lot of paint on the panel... I wanted to try that luscious brushwork. But what a mess I made! I think I am still on the side of "light changes given time, place, source".
This is a good example of why I don't teach, for those who have asked. I still have too many questions myself and paint best when I don't do too much questioning. And I can't really verbalize what I am doing.

No art yet again today because spiritually I am in the dumps. I am still dealing with dog health issues. Macy has had two surgeries in the last month and this weekend appeared to be going blind. We saw the vet this morning and he sees nothing physically wrong. So I'm waiting to hear on test results and then see if we need to see a neurologist. She is bumping into things and clearly can't see me.

This is a painting I did of her earlier in the year as she kept me company in my studio.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Color of Light

As an addendum of sorts to my question in the post below on the color of light... is it constant? is it cool/blue? is it warm/yellow? does it vary from morning to afternoon? Is it dependent on the subject being lit?... I looked out my window and saw this white blanket I had out drying in the sun. I thought I'd isolate the colors in Photoshop to see where they fell on the spectrum.

The far right is pure white. The lightest light from my blanket is the second on the right. So its falling in a blue/gray or blue lavender I'd say. Now we can argue that the camera messed up or something like that.
But I'd say the brightest light on the blanket is fairly cool even with the direct, extremely hot Texas sun still shining on it.
(Its still summer here and I'm tired of it, can you tell?)

New York Trip

Today I am sharing my work from the damp streets of NYC. I tried Ken's approach, which is an interesting one. If you look at his website, you can see a video demo of his work in progress (under workshops). You can see he starts with a black paint sketch and then builds up his color blocks. Now what really sort of threw me and the rest of the class was that he see light (sun) as "cool". Granted, when you lighten with white paint, it will cool it because white tends towards blue. And when you have cool light, you get warm shadows. That makes sense to me, but the idea that its always that... when I looked at the buildings before me and saw warm grays and ochres, etc. was very strange. He had convincing arguments, and its not my place here or anywhere to speak for him or represent him. But I am curious what other's thoughts are on "light". Does it change temperature? Is it always towards the blue or cool because of the sky? And if you see this way and paint it as such... do all your paintings look alike? Mine did! See below:

On Sunday, I decided to paint what he painted. Literally, I copied his painting. He thought it a good exercise.

This is our scene:

This is Ken's marvelous painting:

Here is my copy:

Here is a close up of his:

We used a limited palette and he used a LOT of paint. Definitely click on the image above to see it in detail. I want to try this myself. If only I could find the time to "play" this week. So far, everything at home is falling apart. Again, Ken is a fabulous teacher. I highly recommend him if you are interested in loosening up, painting lush cityscapes and creating art and not just copying a scene. And if you think it looks easy or unfinished, let me tell you, he worked very hard to create it.
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