Thursday, April 16, 2015

Forced to Wait

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This is a scene from San Francisco, right near the big red bridge. These "creatures" were in line for hot dogs. I have a larger picture that I'd love to paint someday, but I haven't figured out the right crop for it yet.

I also wanted to show you a little painting I did the other day of our dog, Lucy (best dog in the world - painting NFS). I've been wanting to paint her for a while, but it's really hard to get a good photo of a fluffy white dog! Especially one who is very needy for attention. Any time I tried to photograph her she would stick her nose right in the camera. For this one she was sitting up on one of those porch swing things, and was afraid to jump off and get closer. She was looking straight at me though, so I snapped my fingers off to the side to get her attention away from me. Not so romantic now that you know the whole story, huh?! : )

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Shady Spot

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I painted this one twice. The first time the car turned out horribly disfigured - unfit for being driven. The second time it turned out a bit-lopsided still, but in a curiously cute way. I love it!

(Thank you all for your kind comments after yesterday's soul-bearing!)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tiny Garage

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This is another scene from around Eugene. I've been really trying, when I paint trees and bushes, to vary the size of the brush strokes. I've mentioned this before, but it really helps to hold my brush at the end when I'm doing foliage, as I just naturally get more random strokes (less control).

I've also been trying to take my failures less personally. My husband always says my mood is as good as my last painting - and it's been true. But since I got back from this last enforced break (aka vacation), I've been trying to focus on the journey rather than the result, and I'm happy to say that so far it's working! Because I've failed quite a bit - stuff I won't show here. And I'm trying to learn from each attempt and just try again, over and over. And just enjoy that process. Because otherwise my expectations are such that when things go poorly, I feel terrible. I mention this because perhaps a few of you can relate? At any rate, things are better for me lately. : )

Monday, April 13, 2015

Paint the House Yellow

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I'm back from Texas! So you know, I posted a few photos from the trip on Instagram (and continue to post art and other stuff there). My moniker is "carolmarine" in case you're interested in following me.

The house above is from a wandering in Eugene. I was really compelled by the variety of yellows and the shadows on the stairs.

A friend of mine sent me a link to this very cool PDF with advice from one of my favorite all-time painters - John Singer Sargent. Thought you guys might like it too. Anyone else use a plumb line when they're drawing the figure?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Little Red in the Hood

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I spotted this little cutie last year in New York City. I pulled out the one tiny little brush I have to make her eyes point towards mom.

I'll be travelling to Texas to visit family and friends for a little while, and won't be shipping anything until I get home on April 10th. That includes paintings and books. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Little Miss Sunshine

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Another alpaca, this one a bit silly.

Thank you all for the many recommendations about what to do with my piles of gray!! My favorite was to buy empty tubes from Dick Blick and store the paint there until I need it. I think I may keep them in the freezer too, just to be on the safe side. I'm also thinking of buying some little pill organizers and putting any paint that's on my palette in there (and then in the freezer) when I go on trips.

Last night I attended a local show that several of my friends were in. The paintings were all landscape and I got totally inspired by them! I came home and did an experimental landscape from a photo, and then painted all day outside with friends. I'll post those soon.

An Alpaca Afternoon

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I have 2 faces for you today. One is human and one isn't. You be the judge.

This guy to the right is from my silly face file, though he's got more silly hair than face. I used the same pre-mixing technique as before. I don't have a lot to say about it yet, but here's my current list of pre-mixing pro's and con's:

Pre-mixing pro's:

  • Easier to keep the whole color scheme cohesive
  • Easier to mix in-between colors - just mix a little bit from two piles together
  • Easier to compare tiny shifts in value (which you have a LOT of in a face)

Pre-mixing con's:

  • It can be hard to get the same amount of color variety as when you're mixing one color at a time (like I usually do)
  • I have big piles of paint leftover that I don't know what to do with! I mix it all together in a big pile of gray, which gets bigger and bigger. It sits on my palette and dries out. I hate wasting paint!!! I'm sure there's a solution?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Coy Cow

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of watching my friend Sarah demo a portrait painting (she teaches, by the way). She used a palette knife to pre-mix several piles of paint. Her method after that for applying the paint involved a different order of things than my usual way. It seemed to work very well for her, so I came home and tried it out right away, on some of the "funny face photos" you guys sent me like...3 years ago. Here's the first one. It wasn't a complete success, but there are some HUGE benefits of pre-mixing that I had never considered. There are also some cons. I'll do a little bit more testing and then I'll lay out my observations, with bullet points and all that snazzy stuff. : )

I won't post these for sale (because they are just practice), but if you recognize the face as something you sent me and like it enough to spring for shipping, it's yours!

The cow above is also pre-mixed. And using the same general method Sarah used. Not island to ocean - I'll tell you that much. More soon!

Ps. Thank you all so much for your kind words about my friend Bren. It means a lot to me.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Beautiful Life

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This morning I received the news that my good friend Bren passed away, after a long battle with cancer. Instead of going on and on about what a wonderful person she was, and all the reasons I loved her, I want to tell just one simple story.

The first time I went to stay with Bren in Maine, for a couple of days, right after a workshop I taught in the area, we decided to have dinner at a restaurant in Belfast (an hour away). We piled into her car, and got about 20 minutes down the road, chatting non-stop. Suddenly she turned beet red and stopped talking. I said, "What is it?" She said, "I'm so embarrassed. You're never going to believe this, but I forgot my shoes!"

We laughed so, so hard! I told her I was so glad someone else did stupid things and it wasn't just me. We turned around and headed back to her house, assuming the restaurant wouldn't let us in without shoes. When we got back, her daughter came out of the house with Bren's purse in hand. Apparently she'd forgotten that too!

After that we always joked with each other - "Did you remember your shoes today?," texting pictures of our feet back and forth from Maine to Oregon. And that is just one of the memories of her that I will cherish for the rest of my days. I love you Bren.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Familiarity Breeds...

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Here's another attempt at the daffodils. I really enjoy trying to pose them, though they don't always cooperate. But now I know (thanks to you guys!) that they'll stay closed up if I keep them cool. I'll definitely try that next time.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Daffy Dils

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When I found these guys at the store, they were all closed up. I thought the colors were so cool - I intended to paint them that way. But I didn't make it in time because I painted the alien flowers (from yesterday) first. I wonder if there's a trick to keeping them closed like they were at the store? Not that I don't like them open too.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Alien Flowers

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I stopped by our local market yesterday with the idea of getting some produce to paint. Outside, in rows, were tons of little plants like this. At first I thought, "no, I'm here to get apples." But wait, why couldn't I paint this if I'm excited about it?! Duh. So I spent about 20 minutes picking through the palettes to find the best ones. I took a few inside to pay and the guy at the checkout asked, "Are you going to put these in some nice pots?" I said, "Actually, I'm going to paint them." He just looked at me and said, "Ohhhhh." I'm used to it.

Anyway, I really like this one. A lot. My paint-cation totally paid off.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Goose Pit Stop

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This one is also from the Finley Wildlife Refuge here in Oregon (same as yesterday). I was feeling like maybe the colors were a bit drab, but a few minutes ago my stepdaughter passed behind me, saw the painting on my computer and said, "Great colors!" (Thanks, Maddie!) They were definitely what I saw. My buddies that I painted with said they were "very...accurate." I'm often torn with if and how much I should exaggerate when I'm outside. It's something I experiment with, and will continue to do so. For now, here's an accurate, overcast, Oregon marsh.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Oregon Marsh, Early Spring

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My paint-cation turned into a (damn) cold. Ack! But right before that happened, I did manage to get out for my first plein air-ing of the year. I went out with a couple of buddies to the Finley Wildlife Refuge here in Oregon, on a fairly overcast day. When we drove in, a hundred or so geese went flying right overhead. It was a marvelous sight!

Friday, March 13, 2015


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The reason you haven't heard from me is because I've been taking a paint-cation! This is a special time when you can do anything EXCEPT paint. And it's one thing to try when you get blocked to the point where you have no ideas and no enthusiasm. Which is where I was. But I can feel things percolating! Today I broke my "fast" and went out plein air painting with some friends. I'll post those soon. Meanwhile, here is the last painting I did before the break - slices of grapefruit.

One of the things I've been doing besides painting is filling orders for books. You should have seen the mountain the first day. Thank you all!

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Have Any to Spare?

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My husband has been working his tail off for months, programming a shopping cart for me so I can sell my books myself. It took a while because he is integrating it into Daily Paintworks so that all our members can sell books too. And/or other stuff. Today we are releasing just my store, and once we're sure it works, we'll release it to the rest of DPW.

So, if you're interested in buying one of my books, including my new 100 Small Paintings - vol.6, visit my new store! And tell me what you think. : )

Friday, March 06, 2015

Grapefruit Diet

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I've never actually been on a grapefruit diet myself. But they looked delicious at the store the other day. The color inside is almost unbelievable. So grape-fruity!

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Something Old and Blue

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This is another scene from around my town (Eugene). The big tree and background trees were quite a challenge, but I'm quite happy with the way it turned out. For the background I basically just squinted and painted what I saw as simply as possible. But then I guess that's sort of how I paint in general. : )

And speaking of Eugene, I'm giving a talk at the local art supply store next Thursday. If you're in the area, and you have $5, come see me! Here's all the deets.

Monday, March 02, 2015

A Touch of Light

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This is a scene from our Willamette Street here in Eugene, Oregon. Even though it looks like a theater of some kind, I believe this is a coffee shop. Needless to say, I haven't been inside this particular one, otherwise I guess I would know. What really grabbed me was the slash of sunlight on the upper windows, and the bits of reflected sky.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Cozy Kitchen

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I took the picture for this in my friend Bren's house in Maine, last time I was there. I have very fond memories of this house and my friend in it. She sat in the nearest chair last spring and let me henna her whole head. This is when the henna was still basically mud. ->