Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New York Scenes

This was fun to create and about all I could handle as I recover from my trip!
It was awesome. Ken Auster is a fabulous painter, we all knew that. But he is also a generous and enthusiastic. He shared so much information with us, managed the time well, and really inspired me.
The city itself is inspiring as well. I have to say that though it mizzled (drizzle and mist) most of the time, it was good to see Ken work under less than ideal conditions. It can be done!
I didn't include Ken's demo images because I didn't feel it was right to share his techniques without permission. You can see a video of his work in progress on his website though.

Music by Peekaboobebop.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Face Off

12x12 oil on panel

I like the feeling that the spotlight is on this painting and the rest of the room is dim, and the figure almost silhouetted before the painting.
This, of course, is Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon from the MOMA.

Sun Times - 30 Minute Study

Roughly 8x6 oil on paper - sold

This was based on a photo posted by Karin Jurick on "Different Strokes for Different Folks".
To be honest, I wanted this to be much looser and suggestive. I didn't mean to paint the backdrop so much. I guess I forgot.


I'm off to the Big Apple for a workshop in the streets with Ken Auster. I can't wait to watch him work and learn from him. We're also going to a reception at the Salmagundi Club and
Pleiades Gallery. Painting in the West Village again for the first day for sure... so if you are in the area, come by and see us. I've debated taking my laptop and posting, but I think I will not. Its a short trip and going to be jam-packed as it is. You will just have to wait until Monday to see what I've done. The above is a view from my hotel's rooftop.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

One Man Show

8x12 oil on panel

Ask Castle Gallery about this painting

A group of women chatting, women on the walls and one gentleman perusing the artwork. Is he waiting for his wife to finish her chat? Is he alone and truly cares about the art? Is he bored? Is he inspired? That is what I want my viewers to decide for themselves.

The more I think about what I wrote on Saturday, about the paintings having that fresh look, (unfinished) the more I realize that is what the public didn't like about the work at that time. They thought it was incomplete and haphazard. The Salon at that time always valued art that had been labored over and was very intense. Monet's sunrise "impression" was like a study and was decried for the most part.
Now many artists embrace that simplicity of stroke and spontaneity as they seek to loosen up and paint their impressions.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Museum Sketches

Today I went to the Austin Museum of Art to do some sketching. The current show is wonderful... at least the half that is hung with masterworks like Berthe Morisot, Eduord Vuillard, Bonnard, Matisse, Renior, Gaugain, etc.
Its not the typical art which hangs at the AMOA.

The museum is promoting the show and sketching during it until Nov. 2nd. I sketched both some of the works, and some of the people viewing the exhibit.

One thing that really caught my attention was how "incomplete" some of the paintings were. The brushwork is sketchy at best in some, and the support (cardboard, canvas) shows through, unprimed. It was interesting to see the work so fresh, so spontaneous. I tend to think I have to cover every square inch with paint! Perhaps they were being frugal... given that paint must have been very dear. But, I admire their style and their expression.

The other thing that amazed me about the show is that much of the work came from Austin collectors.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thank You

I am feeling particularly blessed this week to have such a wonderful, supportive audience for this blog and my artwork.
I can't express how much I appreciate all your thoughtful comments, your encouragement and helpful hints. I love the ideas that have been coming in regarding my need for inspiration. Some of you sent my some cool photos which triggered my imagination. Some had great ideas for new places to look for subject matter. Thanks to you all! And V - I still don't know what an Aggie is either. :-)
This whole genre of "art on the internet" and the communities I am part of now is really amazing. I've met some fantastic artists, made very generous and helpful friends... though I've actually had the pleasure of meeting them face to face rarely. I have a great resource in the Daily Painter's Gallery forums. And art collectors who might otherwise have bought prints at their nearby superstore, are now finding original, unique art for themselves and their friends.

Happy happy joy joy

Oil on Paper Studies

For those who might be wondering about my studies on paper; the paper I am using is called "Acrylic" by Stathmore. It says: "Heavyweight, linen finish is perfect for acrylic painting. Acid free."
I am not priming it in anyway. Just painting on it. It is a nice stiff paper too, almost like a museum board. The oils get absorbed quickly, and the paint doesn't move very much on it but that lends itself to my process for these studies. It is an exercise in putting a stroke down precisely and building on it, not dabbling and softening. I have a tendency to want to blend and soften with oils which I think is being noncommittal or unsure of where I am going. When I start dabbling, its time to stop painting and refocus.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cafe du Monde - 60 Minute Study

12x8 oil on paper

Click to purchase this study in my new Etsy shop.

This is all I've had time to paint today. I spent the bulk of my morning doing lots of business things. And laundry (someone has to.) I am really proud of having gotten so much done, even if it hasn't been all painting. It might really surprise people who don't know what else goes on in an artist's studio to know how much we have to be business-type people as well as creatives.

Speaking of business, I have set up shop with Etsy so that I can offer these sketches on paper as well as other works which are in need of good homes. Please check it out.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


12x12 oil on panel

Ask Castle Gallery about this painting

This is based on a small work I did a few months ago. Again, I used a Hopper exhibit as the setting. Again, I stayed loose and gestural capturing the setting in an impressionistic, almost expressive way, rather than getting tight and detailed. Such details as the hard edges of the frames and walls often cause me to tighten up and paint objects... when I keep seeing just shapes of color and move my brush around a lot, like a conductor, I can ignore the boundaries.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Casual Observer

7x5 oil on panel

This was painted yesterday after my "loosening up" exercises. I like it. I feel like I got the brushwork loose and gestural and got enough color notes to make it interesting, though its rather a tonal painting.

Monday, September 15, 2008


6x18 oil on three panels
Contact me to purchase the triptych

Today, I really wanted to loosen up. This was a great
exercise because it was something so different. I just painted the large shapes and pushed the color. I didn't see the shapes as "birds" and get tied up in "what it is." I then worked into another painting with a human form to try to carry on this looseness. I will show you that tomorrow.

Now. My subject. Grackles are not terribly popular in Austin, though they are interesting birds. They are usually found in urban areas, but they've invaded my backyard recently. They are scaring my song birds away from the feeder. They are aggressive, loud, congregate in large groups, and can destroy your car if you park under their

Friday, September 12, 2008

Challenge Me

I need some help from my audience.

I am having a real block when it comes to the small works I offer on here. I think that the limited size of the panel feels confining and I have trouble thinking of what to put on so small a scale.

So my challenge to you, is to come up with some thing to get me motivated. Send me your photos, suggest I paint insects, animals, only in blue, something!

Leave your comments here so we can all have fun with this challenge and lets see if we can get me motivated!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sunny Seating

14x11 oil on panel

on hold

This sunny spot is a scene from the River oaks Country Club in Houston where I did my recent live event painting. I have wanted to do more interior scenes, but have not found many good subjects unfortunately. I will be scouting for such in NY at the end of the month.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hot Mama

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

Ya'll - I'm struggling. I know, I know... you say its my own fault for not being consistent. You're right.
I worked on several things today and didn't really like anything I did. Then in the last hour, I set my timer, and painted this. Just a half hour!

I've realized one important thing. When doing a small painting, the subject needs to be simple. I can't squeeze three or four figures, or a crowded city street scene, into a format this small. I get too tight with the brushwork and feel compelled to put in details, which are too small to paint (given my style). So lesson learned today.

The scene is from Siesta Key in Florida.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Farm House - 30 Minute Study

6x8 oil on paper canvas

This little white house sits on a rise on a corner not far from where my husband grew up.
He painted this house when he was in high school. The walls, that is. This was late evening after a rain when we happened by and the sun was just going down behind the hill.

I had a small painting today also - one to sell - but two of my lights are burned out in my studio and I can't get a good photo. I will post it tomorrow.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Jack - 30 Minute Study

12x9 oil on paper

This is Karin Jurick's Jack. I painted it to participate in her new painter's challenge Different Strokes from Different Folks. I love this concept. She posts a photo and anyone can work from it and it will be posted to the blog. Its fun to see all the varied interpretations and I look forward to doing more. Its so good for artists to do exercises and I am always looking for new ideas.

This was my jump start back to painting. What a long break I've taken. Remember when I said I was going to do something daily no matter what? I'm still laughing at that. Never put things in writing. ;-)

It was very hard going back to work, so that is another reason I am grateful to Karin for starting this. It at least gave me something to do. Otherwise, I'd be floundering with too many possibilities and feeling overwhelmed.

Friday, September 05, 2008

River Oaks Wedding Video

Well I can't believe I figured this out! I must give a nod to Qiang Huang who told me he uses Windows Movie Maker. Once I downloaded that, and ditched the other Sony software, this was a breeze. Thanks Qiang!

So, let me explain the video. I set my camcorder up behind my easel and out of the way. Once it got knocked and you can see the view change for a few frames. I set it to capture every 10 minutes I think and it was too long a time lapse, but you can see the work develop - though it kind of goes in spurts.
I left the audio as it was too so you can share the whole feeling of the event. In the beginning, the lights are up and the band is warming up. Then the people begin to arrive and the noise level increases, voices almost drown out the music. You hear snatches of songs, see guests stop and visit with me, and see me tapping along with the music until the voices fade, the music stops and the lights come up.

These events are so fun for me. Its so special too to share these amazing events with the families and friends.
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