Saturday, January 31, 2015

Plump Peaches

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Recently Random House (the publisher of my book) asked me to write a (short) blog post for their "Books for Better Living" blog. It's called "Add a Daily Dose of Art to Your Life," which is my theme, I guess : ).

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Blue Bowl of Happiness

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I mentioned before that I've been listening to podcasts lately while I'm painting. What's funny is that now when I look back at them, I remember whatever I was hearing. For this one I heard a Moth podcast about a lady with cancer who was trying to decide between wearing a scarf or a wig. It was more interesting than that sounds. Anyway, what a thing to hear when I'm painting these bald little things.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hungry, Hungry ... Pigs

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I didn't have any hippos. Honestly that would have made the title perfect. But there you are. You can't have everything.

BTW, I'm feeling better! Thank you all for your kind wishes. : )

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Egg Island

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I've been suffering from a miserable cold the last couple of days. I hope as many of you as possible have managed to dodge it, though I hear it's going around. Ugh.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


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The eggs I usually buy are brown. Not that they aren't pretty, but I decided to buy myself a carton of white eggs just for painting. Here's the first one. My goal with this one was to see how few strokes I could paint the eggs with and still have them read as eggs. It was harder than it looks I think. You can expect more egg paintings.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Remembered Walk

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The last place we lived in Texas was in a forest. We loved to take walks in our neighborhood, which basically looked like this. The trees were mostly Blackjack Oak and Loblolly Pine. It was very unique for Texas, and despite it being very hot for half the year, we loved it. Unfortunately this is the very forest that burned down three years ago, along with our house. I am told there is only a small part of the forest left. It's very sad. I did this from a photo.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Colorful House

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Winter in Eugene means lots of overcast days and a fair amount of rain. I like it because I can hunker down in my studio, get cozy, and paint. I've been doing lots of that, but have recently been experiencing some cabin-fever for the first time in a while. So when the sun came out the other day, I headed out with my camera. One of the places I found was this quite colorful house. Honestly, I wouldn't have chosen these colors myself, but I love it in the painting!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tippy Top Garage

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Recently I was interviewed by Antrese Wood the Savvy Painter gal, here. If you haven't discovered her yet, she's got loads of other interesting interviews to listen to in case mine is boring. : ) No, really. Meanwhile, here's a simple car parked in part shadow on the top floor of a parking garage somewhere in San Francisco.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Escape Door

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One of the reasons I decided to take this year off from teaching, is so I can experiment with my work. I haven't posted everything I've done, because some of it has gone down in flames of ... bad. But one thing I've decided to do is paint from photos I've passed over before, but are in my files nonetheless. This is one of those, from an excursion to Santa Cruz, CA. A simple alley in town, complete with matching bike. It's subdued, but I like this one.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Stepping Out

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I used two lights again on this one. I also played around with the broad expanses of color - adding little bits of other colors to spice them up. This is something I used to do all the time and then forgot about.

Monday, January 19, 2015


Click Here to Bid (6x6in. - so you know, red paint always looks better in person!)

I completely stole the title for this from Humans of NY, which I see on Instagram (so cool, if you haven't seen it!). The shoes I found at the thrift store the other day. I've been keeping my eyes peeled for some just like this for a long, long time.

Oh, and I shone (shined?) two lights on the shoes - a warm one and a cool one. It made for some interesting shadows. I tried this once before but didn't like it. I'm glad I gave it another shot. I don't think I'll do it for every still life, but I will certainly try it in the future if I think it might work. FYI - I used a florescent for the cool, and halogen flood for the warm.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


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In answer to the question I posed in yesterday's post - it was the evenly exiting plate. Normally, if I'm cropping something like that, I shoot for uneven - so that each of the sides that are cropped are different lengths. But I got lots of emails/messages pointing out other broken rules that I hadn't even noticed! Which is humbling. And I could always use a bit of that. So, thank you! : )

For this painting (above) I used a softer light than normal. I'm in love with the colors.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Divided Attention

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I broke a rule with this one. Anyone who has taken my workshop will spot it immediately. And I will give the same excuse they give me in class - the plate changed as I was painting it! Can you spot it?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My Collection

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This one doesn't have any wild color ... well, any wild color that wasn't actually THERE anyway. But I'm really happy with it anyway. I find that it doesn't come naturally to me to change the colors. It's not an instinct. I have to TRY to change them, and often I get to the end of a painting, having fully intended to experiment, and everything is the same. I'm pondering the implications.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Convening on Blue

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Since yesterday's worked out so well, I thought I'd give it another go (uhh, before yesterday's got so popular). To be safe I stuck with the same relative composition and colors, and exaggerated some but a little less. I'll let you be the judge, but I will definitely be playing around with this concept more.

Meanwhile, I've become completely obsessed with figure drawing. I went to another session tonight - a smaller one with better light. Here are the last 2 poses - I think 20 and 25 minutes.

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Little Extra Color

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Before you say, "what the ... ?" let me explain the insanity of this painting. I was working on an ArtByte about white, and I wanted to show how exaggerating the colors TOO much wouldn't work. But it did! Or at least I think so. It was quite a surprise for me how much I liked this what-not-to-do painting, actually! I think the key was definitely being true to the values. So I tailored my ArtByte a little and life went on. Lesson learned. And a good one at that.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

In the Trees

Click Here to Buy (12x24in. - $900 - includes a free book, my 6th collection of 100 small paintings, from the year 2014!)

This is another one of my friend Pam. I just loved the glowing green of the trees outside this second floor bedroom. I have fiddled with the image for days. In the end I couldn't get it to look as good as it does in person. Alas.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Fashion Awaits You

Click Here to Buy (8x8in. - $350 - includes a free book, my 6th collection of 100 small paintings, from the year 2014!)

This is another one from NYC, and one of my favorites so far. It all just came together like magic. It's 8x8in., so a little bigger than normal.

I spent 3 hours this morning at a figure drawing session, with no pose longer than 25 minutes. It was heaven! The time flew by. I've been meaning to go forever, and I finally just told myself to do it. I hope to make it a regular thing.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Orange Invasion

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Here's a slightly bigger painting of small oranges invading the dishware. I always said those oranges were sneaky.

Just to let you know, I am working on some new ArtBytes. One of them has to do specifically with white! I'm also doing some demo videos of subjects that have been requested. I'll have them (& books!) ready in the next few weeks.