Friday, February 27, 2009

All to Ourselves

12x16 oil on panel

Ask Castle Gallery about this painting.

Loved the light of this setting. It looks like a fresh spring morning. Much like the one here now. Its actually rather hot in Texas at the moment! We're to have another record high today of 87. I believe spring has arrived. The birds are singing happily and the trees are all budding out. As usual though, after an extremely warm day, we can expect a cold front to move through tonight. Not too cold though. I am not ready for upper 80s frankly anyway!

Yesterday, I got to spend a very pleasant afternoon with Jody Hemphill Smith and Mark Smith of Castle Gallery. They are visiting Austin this week and came to my studio to see my lovely (ha!) workspace and picked a few pieces they wanted sent to their gallery - like the one above. I also got to introduce them to my friend V Vaughan when we visited her studio. Its always fun to see the working environment of other artists. I'm envious of those large well lit spaces some have, but comforted to know that most of us labor in cramped, untidy, unused rooms. I think if I had more space, I'd just fill it with more clutter.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fan of Fiction

6x6 oil on panel
$100 + $12 s/h
I love bookstores. And I love used bookstores especially. I am a big fan of regency "romance". Three or four years ago I would never admit that, lest I be chastised for reading romances. Well, they are a fun escape. My favorites, and the reason I frequent used book stores, are the ones written in the 70s and 80s. Before the "bodice rippers" which fill the shelves today. After one has read all the Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer's written, one must find something.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Laissez le bon temps rouler!

oil on cardboard

This was actually done as a project for a friend. She is a chocolatier (Expressions Fine Chocolates) and makes the most wonderful European, hand rolled truffles and divine florentines...mmmm

...Sorry, I got distracted. Anyway, she is based in New Orleans now and wanted a unique look for some boxes and so I came up with a couple of ideas for her. This was never completed obviously, but I thought it would be fun to share it with you and wish you all fun on this Mardis Gras day and for those who are going to be good for Lent, bonne chance!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Club Room

16x16 oil on linen

This is a scene from the Salmagundi Club in NYC. The day I painted it was rainy and cool. It was just so in New York the day I was visiting there and I enjoyed recalling the comfortable warmth of the basement bar room and its one patron awaiting his drink.

Friday, February 20, 2009

City Beat X

8x8 oil on panel
$175 + $12 s/h
Another in my ongoing series of overhead views of people downtown. I really do like this point of view and painting just the simple figure and shadow pattern is a real relief sometimes from other work.

Most of my day was spent varnishing, framing, packing and shipping paintings going to Tidewater Gallery. And then celebrating my hubbie's birthday.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Merry Souls

12x18 oil on linen

Ask Tidewater Gallery about this painting.

I'm pleased to announce that I have new representation with
Tidewater Gallery in historic Swansboro, NC. I am shipping several paintings there this week and had to share this newest piece before its even dry!

This is a scene from the amazing St. Regis hotel bar, featuring Maxfield Parrish's wonderful mural of King Cole which dominates the room. In painting it, I mostly copied the other artist's work, which actually got a little boring for me. I like to include other art in my paintings, obviously, but when its almost exclusively the subject, its not quite as exciting for me. But its beautiful to look at and I like the silhouettes playing against the mural.

There are some funny spots on the image here because this is on loose linen and it wasn't laying flat for the photo. I will let it dry and then, using bookbinders glue, I will mount it to gatorboard.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ballet Triptych

I had to share the beautiful frame made by Mountains Edge again. The overall dimensions are 35 1/2" x 24". Its quite commanding!
Once again, its hand made and hand finished. They do beautiful work!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Monthly Challenge Group

Below are paintings from a new challenge group, organized by Diana Moses Botkin. One of the group chose a subject and we were all to paint our interpretation. We did not share our results until this weekend. Today we are unveiling our first project. Its so fun to see what everyone created based on one of the most loved children's toys!

Anna at Play
6x6 oil on panel, Robin Cheers

Le'go my Sake
12x6 oil on panel,
(c)2009 Vicki Ross

Snow! Why'd it Have to be Snow?!
3.5x 5 oil (c)2009 Diana Moses Botkin

With apologies to Indiana, I thought the little guy's smirk was perfect for this snow job.

The Line Up
Michael Naples

Toy Knight Turns Artist
5 x 9 watercolor on cold pressed paper
(c)2009 Dianne Mize

"With this little knight's whole-hearted permission, we traded in his sword for a paintbrush."

Call Me Plastic Figure One More Time
(c)2009 Silvina Day

Soldier Boy, Please Don't Go!
8x10 oil on canvasboard
(c)2009 Marie Fox

(c)2009 Mike Beeman

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Corner of the National Gallery

14x11 oil on panel

You might remember that I did a scene like this on cardboard a week or so ago. This time I painted on regular gessoboard but I wanted to keep that "warm" undertone that the cardboard created so I toned it with raw sienna. I also changed the players here a little - I liked this woman's long red coat and how it complemented the tones in Toulouse's painting, "A Corner of the Moulin de la Galette."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Page from my Sketchbook

I went downtown this morning to paint with Plein Air Austin again. Rather than painting, I opted to sketch. I had a great view south on Congress and got much of the street going when a thoughtful model came and filled the perfect seat there to give my drawing some life... and a focal point. Dead center.... but it works for this. There was a friend with him who will perfectly balance out the left corner when I make this an oil painting.
I have only recently begun to take this sketching seriously. I have always loved to draw, but now am using it more and more to prepare for finished paintings. While I focus on a scene from life, I am developing the oil painting in my head. This scene is not nearly so interesting in a photo, but because I studied the light, the shadows, the sihouettes against the light, and the drawing, the painting will be so much more interesting. I've solved a lot of problems already. And a sketch like this will only help me retain that gestural quality I like to get in my finished paintings. Something that is a real challenge with buildings! Stay tuned to see how I do!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Low Conversation II

16x16 oil on linen panel - sold

This painting went to Castle Gallery last week for their Valentine Show. The reception is Saturday night from 5-10 pm. Always a good party - so those nearby should try to go. This scene is from Mario Batali's restaurant Del Posto in New York City.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Flockers Framed

3 - 6x6 panels, 11 1/2 x 25 framed dimensions

I wanted to share this painting all framed and ready to go to its new home. The frame was custom made by Mountains Edge Frames and its beautiful. Click on the image for a good close up of the lovely gold rubbed finish and excellent corners. I am expecting two more triptych frames and I can hardly wait to see them. The paintings framed together like this make such a stunning impact. I am really pleased and excited to do more!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A Page from my Sketchbook

pen & watercolor wash

I sat in a coffee shop window downtown yesterday and sketched the opposite corner. This intersection reminds me of San Francisco with the hill and the low buildings with some nice architectural features. None of which I accurately captured. I really got excited about the people at the bus stop but the buses kept pulling up and blocking my view. I want to go back and do more studies of the people waiting. Their gestures were all so interesting. I love to observe people.

Food for Thought

This is an excerpt from an article about selling art in tough economic times by art consultant Alan Bamberger. To read the full article and see more of his great information for artists and collectors alike, visit

...You as an artist have to dedicate yourself to creating the absolute best art you can possibly create. You've got to look beyond yourself, think seriously about what you want to communicate and about how you intend to effectively get those points across, however arcane or concrete they may be. Work hard, work daily, be productive, embrace quality, and commit yourself to prevailing as an artist regardless of the adversity of the circumstances. By approaching your discipline with consummate dedication and seriousness, you maximize your chances for success. It's that simple and no more complicated.

Art will always have value and it will always express the most elevated and progressive aesthetics, tendencies, and ideals to which human beings can aspire. Art is timeless; it represents the future -- it always has and it always will. It represents talent, brilliance, genius, vision, and the materialization of hope, faith, and the courage of conviction. It represents solace and beauty -- an oasis where people can escape from the stresses and pressures of daily life. No matter what happens out there, great art has the power to reenergize, to reinvigorate, and even to heal. Ultimately and above all, it offers the promise that at some point in the not-to-distant future, everything will be well once again and that with the passage of time, we will unquestionably recover what we only temporarily have misplaced.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

City Beat VIIII

8x8 oil on panel
$175 + $12 s/h
This is a little larger than the usual blog pieces. But its still a deal. After expressing my frustration yesterday I have been humbled by all the support and reminders that art is supposed to be a bonus. And it is. And I did manage to get things accomplished yesterday. And I'm relaxed again. Thank you for talking me down!
Now I am going downtown for inspiration and a late lunch.

Monday, February 02, 2009

City Beat VIII

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

Its a good thing I did several of these last week. My daughter is home sick again. This time its pink eye. I'm pretty frustrated lately to be honest. I'm missing deadlines (show entries, ad placements, etc.) and just unable to get into the regular routine of painting. When that gets off, then so does everything else because then I am trying to squeeze the art work into the rest of my day and evening. Its very hard to balance it all and this morning I am feeling particularly overwhelmed. It was a rough weekend. BUT... this is temporary and one thing I meant to do this year was not feel pressure about the art. Let go and Let God, right?
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