Tuesday, December 23, 2008


10x8 oil on paper

This is another gift. My niece. I hope her parents like it. Its a quick study and about all I've had time to do or think about. I have not finished Christmas shopping and baking yet. We have company now too and so all my thoughts are for celebrating and enjoying my parents and family. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and all have the warmth and comfort of friends and family surrounding you.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Beagle Love

6x8 oil on panel

Another gift for a friend whose family friend will not be sharing Christmas this year. Maybe this little painting will bring a smile.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Helen and Mary Kate

6x8 oil on panel

Two paintings for a friend. Years ago I had painted a small beach scene with my friend's daughter, then her only one! And for the last few years, her younger daughters have wanted to be immortalized too. My work has improved, is all I can say. And here are her two youngest (finally) just in time for Christmas. If she reads this blog, I am undone!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bull Creek Study

8x8 oil on panel

This is a painting I did last week at Bull Creek when I did the one below. This was a very quick study as I decided I'd try to just block in the big shapes and worry about details later. Something Kevin Macpherson demonstrates in his first book.
The sky was a truly beautiful solid cerulean blue which is pretty typical of Texas. Big, blue, cloudless skies that stretch from horizon to horizon practically. We have "scrub" here and I've gotten so used to it that I feel rather claustrophobic in heavily wooded areas with big trees.

I was supposed to paint out today with Plein Air Austin again, but the weather (32 NOW!) and my daughter(sick again) kept me home.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

December Morning

8x10 oil on panel - sold

Another plein air piece. It was COLD this morning too! I wiped off several starts and then finally decided on trying to stay in the same color family and block in large shapes and not muck about with color changes between bare trees, cedars and fall colors. I've sort of forgotten all my plein air painting techniques. I used to paint landscapes on site a lot, but its been many years and its not like riding a bike. I have to start from square one again.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dancer - 30 Minute Study

12x6 oil on paper - sold

This is a study I did before painting the triptych shown on Friday's post. As you can see, I actually reversed her for the larger painting.
I love these little quick studies done in oils. And in the coming days, it might be all I can do with the holidays ramping up! Yesterday, I went and bought some good sketching materials to do some more pencil sketches and washes.
I love the simplicity of such work. I am an admirer of "brevity." The artwork that I admire the most leaves a lot to the imagination. A bold gesture, no details, and broken line - the "less is more" approach.

Monday, December 08, 2008


8x10 oil on panel - sold

This was done on site. And boy did I struggle. I have not painted outdoors, or landscapes, in a very long time. I moved several times and wiped off a couple of starts and was eventually inspired to do the cedars by Qiang Huang who was also out with the Plein Air Austin group on Saturday morning. These trees are quintessential Hill Country. And soon will be producing the pollen that cause most of Austin to have Cedar Fever.

Its rather an abstract little painting, but not as bad as I expected it to be when I got home. If you are interested in purchasing, send me an email.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Rehearsal - Triptych

16 x 28 oil on three panels

I am so excited about this painting. I've wanted to do a multi panel painting for a long time, but didn't know what subject. The dancers just seemed so right. The only trouble I see now is that the woman's hand on the left panel lines up with the window frame in the center panel. That might be acceptable once its framed and less noticeable. It might even be good. The framing is the tricky part.

I am talking with Deborah Paris at Mountains Edge Frames about framing it. They have some beautiful mouldings and hopefully they can build me something.

As a note to those in Fort Wayne, Indiana area, Castle Gallery is hosting its Holiday Show with a reception featuring several of the galleries artists. I regret I could not be there, because they have really nice parties and its such a lovely gallery. Go and check it out tonight from 5-10 pm.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Harmony In Green

12x12 oil on panel

After a couple of warm up paint sketches, I did this pair of dancers, the Snow King and Queen at rehearsal. I'm really pleased with the color harmony, but the photo does not do justice to the brushwork, especially the gesture of her hands. (I'll try to get a better shot later.)

As you know, I have been setting my timer and doing many 30 min
ute studies. I can't tell you how invaluable this practice is. I am able to turn off my left brain entirely and just let the paint flow. I don't stop and check details or all will be lost. The first thing I do is make some marks with my brush indicating the forms, measure quickly and then I am off. I mass things in, start varying color for light/shadow changes and let the brush do its own thing. There is harmony on the palette too painting this way because I frequently just pick up and blend what is there so I am not fussing with color. I refer to my source material but don't focus on contour or outlines, just shapes of color. There is always time to fix the mistakes later, once I have the foundation down.

Frequently I stop when my digital kitchen timer goes off. Today, I started my painting this way, and when the timer went off, I stepped back and was able to return to finish with those details and background I skipped. There wasn't much to do because I had painted so passionately from the start and I wanted to retain that spontaneity. I lost track of time then, but it was delicious work.

This is the painting at the 30 minute break.

This panel has a coat of gray acrylic house paint on it ala Ken Auster and Miro Sinovic. Both like this surface a lot and I see why. The paint lays on it nicely. Its very smooth and doesn't absorb the paint at all, like gesso tends to. I believe I will use it some more.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Dancer Waiting - Sketch

pencil and paper

Ok - another of these. I can't tell you how tired I am today. I have been dragging. Could be the interrupted nights with my daughter coughing so much. My cold is lingering too and to be honest, my foot is hurting more now than post surgery. The dr. says it will be another month before I am 100%, with the pain actually increasing these next two weeks. And so - I didn't accomplish anything today. Hopefully tomorrow will be better and I will feel better. I can't face the holiday season in this frame!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Dancer Sketch

pencil on paper

My daughter's cold was worse today - her asthma is always irritated by colds - so she stayed home with me. I got some business things done, but no painting. All I have to show you is another
dancer sketch. BUT....

I will also promote the first ever Daily Painter's Gallery book Colour, Obsession, Joy and Torment. It looks like such a nice volume, featuring 146 artists whose work is found on the Daily Painter's Gallery. This group began sometime around the time I started blogging and has grown so successfully. I owe most of my blog's success to that site. There are some wonderful artists who exhibit their work online and are included in the group gallery. The book also has several well-written essays on the inspiration for the title (a quote from Monet) and on the subject of the technological art age which we're now embracing. I think I now believe that this is an official art movement. Artists are so much more accessible than in the past and in a time when reproductions and cheap pictures can be found at any store, I applaud any effort that artists make to educate people about original art and to make it more available to patrons. I can't wait to get my hands on this book. Stay tuned for ordering information.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Snow Queen - 30 Minute Study

12x9 oil on paper
$50 + s/h - sold

Getting back into the groove of things today. The dancer here is one of the two snow queens the Austin ballet has performing in their Nutcracker. This was a great way to warm up after a break from painting. Setting a timer makes me see the big picture and not get caught in details. I literally paint for 30 minutes and then its brushes down. I wish I could describe why this exercise works so well for me. I am suffering a little disconnect though between doing and talking about. I will try again tomorrow!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...