Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Portrait

I just finished this portrait that I've been working on for the past couple of months. I really love doing portrait work despite the fact that it can be stressful. This is the first painting on canvas of three people together that I have done so I enjoyed that challenge. We spent some time taking family photos one chilly fall Saturday morning so I would have plenty to work from. And I only ended up having to blend two photos to use for the painting. I still kept a traditional pose but tried to add a lot of color and texture in the background.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

"The Cow"

This is a painting I just finished of a cow. I haven't painted a cow before but I did really enjoy it! It is large - 3' x 4' which I love to paint large but I forgot just how much paint that uses! It took me a while to find just the right cow - driving all over the county trying to find cows within sight of the road... in a county full of pasture land I saw goats, horses, miniature horses, some kind of flock of large birds but the cows were hiding. I found some that posed perfectly but after looking at the shots looked a little too young for this particular painting. Luckily I ended up finding some and had to hop a fence and slowly sneak up on them as that group of cows was pretty skittish. They were in the perfect place and when they saw me they promptly moved back around a barn and out of sight!

Tractor Painting

I saw this tractor at a Christmas tree farm for our family's annual Christmas tree trip... so of course I had to take lots of photos.... and my little niece just had to "drive" it, which was of course adorable. It is a little 8 x 10 painting on stretched canvas. I worked on this painting as warm up and breaks between painting a couple of large commission pieces. It's always good to have something to go to when you just have to put the other paintings aside for a moment.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


This is the portrait of my nephew I just finished. I had plenty of photos to choose from because a couple of weeks ago he was quite the model when we played a game of "ok take my picture now" and he would pose and then want to see the picture on the camera. He was so cute!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My New Favorite Painting

Wow.. It's been awhile since my last post. I don't know where the summer has gone. I did finish that car painting I was talking about. Definitely the most fun I've had in awhile painting and I loved the result! It's 60" wide which is the widest painting I've done on canvas. I really like painting cars and have plans for two more car paintings. Right now I'm working on a pencil portrait... we'll see how that turns out. I really want with my next paintings to try painting smaller. That is something difficult for me to do but I did get some really cool museum depth canvas which is really deep. I think they will look pretty cool hanging on the wall.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Another New Painting

I just finished this painting. It is more of a peaceful one in my current series of emotion/figurative subjects... or at least an implied peace whether it may be an illusion or not, the viewer can decide. It is a stark contrast to the one I'm also working on now titled "My reflection, no connection" Hopefully I will have that one complete soon as well and will share it with you. It will be the 7th one in this body of work and these paintings are surprisingly emotionally draining. I'm working on a large car painting that I'm sooooo very excited about and really enjoying. It's one I'm really taking my time on and practicing patience with but it has been a welcome break. Til next time : )

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


After lots and lots of busyness, which still isn't over, I've finally managed to complete a new painting. It is a small 8 x 10 - which is VERY hard for me to do. Small is not easy for me but I just bought some more small extra deep (3") canvases I fell in love with on my trip to the art store this past weekend, so that will give me a reason to keep up with some smaller paintings. I was not so in love with having to pay $20.79 for my 5oz tube of Quinocridone Crimson! Might I add to replace the one that the lid fell off on in the drawer and partially dried out... yes I was sick and even more so after having to buy a new one along with 5 other $15-20 tubes of paint!
This one I called Conflicted and it is on my same figurative body of work.

Monday, March 15, 2010

We All want Something Beautiful, Piano & Failed Angel Food Cake

I actually had a great weekend! It was a much needed relaxation and break from my extremely stressful week at work. I painted Friday night, went to the gym Saturday and ran for a record (for me) amount of time without stopping - although as I type this I am icing my foot -( it must be better for tomorrows workout! ) but it was worth it - if only i could take that awful president's physical fitness test now (bad elementary school memories). Anyway..I digress.....

I also got out the keyboard and played a little piano which I haven't done in I know over a year.. Don't get me wrong - I'm not any good.. I just like to get it out and stumble around every now and then to not forgot what little I do know and be awed how other people can play so well

I painted the rest of the day Saturday. Sunday I had my mom over for a birthday lunch. I wanted to make a homemade angel food cake... you know to be healthy as I could for dessert... but it was not to be. I knew it wasn't going to work before I baked it because I couldn't get "stiff peaks" to form but I figured I'd just see how it turned out. Pretty much it was what I imagine it would be like to tear a piece of my rubber mattress off and eat it... oh and it was sticky and heavy. You can see how pathetic it looked in the pictures above... However, I WAS successful in covering myself and my kitchen (both previously cleaned) in hundreds of sticky eggwhite dots and confectioners sugar. Needless to say, I sent my husband to the store after church for ingredients for dessert option #2...Chocolate Delight! Had a good visit with family the rest of the afternoon. Today was a busy Monday and am thankful for the past weekend.

Above is a snapshot of the painting I worked on... It is called "We all want something Beautiful". A little different from what I normally do but it was fun. I already have some ideas for my next painting though. Hopefully it won't be too long before I can start that. Happy week everyone!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


This past weekend was our local Meet the Artist reception for the local art guild. We had a decent turnout and I bought I beautiful little painting from another artist... I just need to find the perfect spot for it. I really, really wanted a vase by one of the potters but couldn't decided if I could spend that much and then it was sold by the end of the day so it wasn't meant to be.... but I showed this painting, Self Inflicted, for the first time. For this latest one, I kept in the figurative subject matter and had fun using the palette knife. However, I think I'm going to take a break from the more serious or thoughtful subject matter and just try to get back to have fun and doing random painting. It's easy to feel like you have to create some thought provoking master piece every time you paint, especially when you don't get to do it that often you want to make the time count.. It just gets stressful and causes pressure .. so off to just trying to enjoy painting for paintings sake! Hopefully I'll be painting a mural soon and I have a car painting in mind... and a sunset painting... we shall see.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Miniature Art Fundraiser for Arts Guild

Well yesterday I taught my 2nd art lesson after taking a break for several years. I've enjoyed getting back into that and trying some new lesson plan ideas. And this morning I finally hauled our Christmas tree off the back deck where it stayed all Christmas untouched so now I have a clear deck again, well after I brush the tree needles away and scrape up some "deposits" left by Mable and Gladys, our beloved chickens.

Our local art guild is having a miniature art fundraiser this year again in conjunction with our annual Meet the Artist show at the end of February. Artists have donated small pieces of artwork to help raise money for our guild to continue to provide activities for the community. I haven't done this before because of course, small is not my thing but I did finally manage to get a small drawing of an old, restored car done. It will be in a mat and frame, but it highlights the front end and wheel. Hopefully everyone locally will stop by on the evening of February 26 or during the day on Saturday the 27 to view the artwork.
Tomorrow I will have to tell you about the expensive shipping lesson I learned the hard way today.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Painting a Ceiling

So glad it is Friday! What a long week.. How can I work all the time but never get anything done! I guess that is just how it goes.

I did manage to paint my bathroom ceiling last week. I'm glad it was small although working in a small bathroom that contains an already installed and immovable vanity and toilet isn't easy. I really only had enough space for the width of my ladder and to reach the far side I had to lift the ladder over the commode and it barely fit in the space left. It involved a lot of dangerously precarious reaching over to complete.
I was using one of those telescoping ladders that you can use in all these different ways. They are supposed to be convenient but it REALLY annoys me. It is very heavy and hard to operate and I always get frustrated. I'm going to buy myself a regular old fashioned ladder one of these days.

But back to the painting, it wasn't too hard but certainly not easy on the neck. Despite that I did have fun because I just love to paint! I put a strie pattern in the border first and then went back over it and applied the design, then went back and applied some more details and highlights freehand. Then after all of that dried I put a thin streaky coat of a metallic glaze. I used Golden's Interference Blue mixed with glaze and silver paint which was the first time I really had the chance to try it out. I had a tube for a while I never knew quite where I would use it. I see its cool possibilities in decorative painting. I did notice if you mix it with any other opaque color it seems to really dull down the reflective qualities so I would recommend using it by itself or with metallics if you really want to see shimmery and reflective effects. Even then I would mix it into a gel medium or glaze for thin application. Golden has several Interference colors to try. I just chose the blue first because like most of the population.. I'm drawn to the color blue!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Learning the Art of Troweling

A couple of weeks ago I took a class to learn how to use American Clay. I was looking for something to expand my mural and decorative painting offerings and started researching plasters. Initially I wanted to use Italian Plasters but then I found a place to learn American Clay close by and signed up. I really enjoyed the class although I must say troweling is NOT easy. I hope to try to use it on a couple of walls in my bedroom and will hopefully hone my skills further with that project. I took the class at Tuscan Impressions. Eve is the owner and a very talented artisan. She was out of town for my class but her husband taught the class and I learned a lot from him, one of the other studio artisans and a professional Italian plasterer also taking the class.

I've since met Eve and she is very friendly and she creates absolutely beautiful Italian plaster finishes and American Clay walls. She can definitely create a creative and beautiful plaster finish in a variety of looks and design styles.

The American Clay is very forgiving and can be easily repaired, even if it gets marked on with crayons or pencils, you can fairly easily remove the marks unlike with paint. Even better it is a natural product that is environmentally friendly and non toxic. Using American Clay in the construction of your home or business can earn you LEED credits as well!

Below are some of my sample boards I created and one I used some decorative techniques on. I look forward to using it on my walls, the only downside as it takes a lot of equipment and tools I don't yet have : ( Oh well.. I don't think my husband will object to me buying more tools!
This is the Loma finish:
Here is the Porcelina. After starting out practicing troweling on the wall I was quickly developing a sinking feeling because it was so hard to catch on. But then I jumped into a bicolor application on smooth Porcelina and it turned out well much to my relief. I think I will stick to Loma and Porcelina finishes for now.

And then the Maritimmo which was actually quite difficult due to the type of finish it results and the necessity to NOT overwork it. I admit I had a good bit of help with this board ; )

And finally what I really want to use this for is the decorative applications. Here are a couple of things I played around with.

Shipping a Painting

Well, today I sent my painting, Emotions in Magenta, off to Florida, hope it makes it there safely. It is headed to Punta Gorda for the Visual Arts Center's 2010 Biennial National Art Exhibit. I fretted over it's packing but luckily I know some great boxing guys that helped me out : ) Now UPS better take care of it! I was super excited to be accepted into this juried show. Here is the link to the arts center:

I started painting my bathroom ceiling last night. This is one time I can say luckily I have a very small bathroom - and this is the half bath at that! But I wanted to do a ceiling and that one is the only flat ceiling we have (the rest covered in the dreaded popcorn!) and hopefully I'll finish it up tomorrow.

Went to see my grandmother in the nursing home tonight, although she is there for rehab only... what a terrible place, so about making you think about life. I need to bring her some stuff to brighten her room...


Thursday, January 21, 2010


This is a portrait of 3 siblings that was commissioned as a Christmas present. I used 3 separate photos which is always a challenge to incorporate into one, but after much work I think it was accomplished alright. This one is mainly pencil and does not have as much of a paint wash as the portrait titled Amelia I posted before. And on this one I used watercolor instead of acrylic.

Glad that the holidays are over, (and yes my Christmas tree is still on the back deck where it stayed untouched all season) I hope to get back into the studio painting regularly soon. I've been so busy with graphic design/marketing lately. I did get into a major juried show in Florida which I'm super excited about. I'll give more info on that soon.