Friday, May 30, 2008


12 X 12" Oil on canvas Private Collection

This is one of my favorite pup portraits. It was done as a self-promotion piece and eventually donated. I was going through my files and thought I should post it, so here it is.

NZ's Completed

5 x 7" Oil on canvas

Well, this isn't quite finished, but I am. So many great colors and shapes and so little time. These clam shells are great to paint, but not in one day. This is my second day and I could spend one more on details. But, we must push on. I'm short one and have to work tomorrow.

This is the first day this felt like work! Sixteen paintings in and I think the honeymoon ended today. Now we'll see if I'm serious about this. Still, I've got 6 larger pieces going plus dailies, so I have nothing but praise for this process.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

NZ'S on PT

5 x 7" Oil on canvas

Since the purpose of daily painting is to work consistently and not rush through a piece just to get it done, I decided to take two days for this one. I seem to have developed a fancy for clam shells.

These are New Zealand Mussels on a paper towel. It will look better tomorrow. I hope.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


6 x 6" Oil on canvas

When my brother and I were kids, our mother was a seafood fanatic. The pleasure she experienced from eating raw clams (back in the day, when they were sewage free) was heard throughout the house. As a result, I love them as well. But, nowadays, when I'm brave enough to toss a few back, they're usually followed with a stiff shot or two of 80 proof germ killer, mixed with a whole lot of deep denial about what gets dumped into the ocean.

I digress. These clams are in honor of Mom. They're Cherrystones, her favorite, mine too. The colors I added were only hinted at in the sun, so I turned up the volume a bit. I really like this one, I think it works well in the space. I realized yesterday that I was rushing through, just to get a daily done. Not the point. So I took my time today and I'm very pleased.

And now, I'm off to the market for some clams and germ killer. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


5 X 7 Oil on canvas

I found my photo reference online, for free! I want to provide the option of smaller portrait sizes for the pet boutiques that carry my work and I need subject matter for daily paintings, so I've completed the second in what I hope will be a series.

I was happy with this one, until I took the photo that is. Now I don't like it at all. It looked much better in real life. Oh well, this is a learning experience— I've accepted that some will work out better than others and I'm cranky, so nothing is really making me all that happy right now. This too is my choice and shall soon pass.

I'm really having fun with the larger piece though. I cannot believe what doing a daily has done to my work output! Himself thinks someone put a pod under my bed and I'm not all that sure I disagree. Who is this person who is suddenly painting 5 to 7 hours a day? I'm not sure, but I'm likin' her...a lot!

Monday, May 26, 2008

In Progress

Just so I can keep myself honest, this is the larger gallery portfolio piece I blew off two dailies to work on. It doesn't look like much, but hopefully someday soon it will.

It's 40 x 30" on home stretched (the feel of it is amazing). I'm finding that very darkly toned canvasses work best for me. I hate this part but it can be fun if I concentrate. More to follow.

The Uglies

I was shocked and saddened when I found out from my hubs, who is an amazing chef, that there are certain tomatoes deemed too ugly to be sold to the public! And to add further insult, they are, in my opinion at least, much, much tastier. I'm not sure what movement made it possible for these less than attractive critters to make it to our local neighborhood grocery store, but thank you! We found these beauties and thought daily!

Obviously, this painting is of the dreaded uglies. Ok, so, they're not symmetrical, a few too many folds and gullies for sure, really spooky lookin' gnarly vine thingys completing the picture. Right out of a Tim Burton movie. I think they're cute. I wanted to really spend time on the vines but wet on wet wasn't optimal for detail work. I'll go back when they dry.

I missed my dailies even though I was working. Curious.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I Am Indeed Working

Although I had planned to do a daily yesterday, I decided instead to continue working on a larger gallery portfolio piece. I'm so pumped about this piece. I bought some decorative stones, from one of my favorite haunts for such things, and took some nice shots of the bag with sunshine streaming through. Amazing things happened to the stones! Such an array of colors!

Himself said I should post progress shots of the piece and I think I agree with him. I decided to forgo yet another daily in favor of the larger piece today. Back to dailies tomorrow and I've committed to doing five this coming week. I've managed to stick to somewhat of a schedule with my favorite distraction being home on vacation this week. Seems when I blow work off now, I sulk. That's never happened before.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Mother and Child Reunion

6 x 6" Oil on canvas

I had paperwork to catch up on yesterday and time just got away from me—which means work on Saturday. Oh well.

I bought these critters because I thought they would make great subjects. I really enjoyed painting them. But, the background didn't work out so well, or perhaps it did. I had planned a deep burgundy with some dark shadowed edges, but I broke one of my rules and tried to use some magenta mixed with other colors for full coverage. Not! Tried wiping it off, thought of replacing it with black, then thought the texture of the canvas showing through the nasty paint looked a tad interesting so I added "true love" symbols. Bold step for me. I think I'm finally getting away from rendering and getting closer to creating. That is a very good thing!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


6 X 6" PEACHES Oil on canvas

I'm learning something new every day! In the reference photo I took, these peaches were perched upon the most unattractive piece of black slate. I eliminated it and replaced it with a table and lots of dark shadows and it works! I'm very pleased with myself. Done with my daily and it's only 12:15! Off to work on commissions.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


4 X 4" Oil on canvas

4 x 4" Oil on canvas

The third and final onion! These are really time savers. I've gone from thinking one day was not nearly enough time to complete a painting to finishing today's daily in two hours! Of course the canvas is 4 x 4" and the subject is a single onion, but it is a painting and it is done. And I now have time to devote to my larger pieces.

I've got so many things I want to work on right now. I've never been this excited about painting or more intent upon concentrating on what I'm painting. I just love painless life lessons, don't you? I'm working on two larger pieces for my gallery portfolio that are really fun. A little canvas stretching party a few weeks ago resulted in some fine, large surfaces to work on.

Now I just have to honor my commitment to work while my best bud is home on vacation!

Monday, May 19, 2008


4 x4" Oil on canvas

This week, I face my most difficult challenge to date—with regard to keeping my daily painting commitment that is. My husband is home on vay-cay, for the next ten days. This is generally not a great time of creativity and production for either of us. Since vacation equals a time of joy, complete irresponsibility and lots 'o fun, I needed a plan.

Not wanting to relinquish this incredible feeling of connection with the art gods, I decided I would wake early and get my daily in. And, I would keep my subject matter simple and easy. Hence, Onion #2! Plus, we have some real life stuff to take care of, so we'll see. If I absolutely cannot post a daily, I'll post a completed piece.

In the reference photo the onions are touching. I thought it might be nice to center each and see how that works out. It's amazing how much difference a daily commitment has made to my process. It used to take me anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours to actually sit down and pick up a brush. Not any more!

Friday, May 16, 2008


Today is a multi-tasking day. Hate that phrase, but it is what it is. Himself tells me painting always comes first, until there's no clean skivvies for work that is. Fair enough. My commute takes less than a minute and I can take my dog to work— so I guess it's time to slap on the latex and start scrubbing.

I came up with a solution for a daily however. I took a photo long ago of 3 rather attractive red onions. I'll paint one on a 4 x 4" canvas when I'm pressed for time and can't spend the day on a daily piece. I've already done this as a whole, but breaking it up into 3 separate pieces might be cool and it took me less than 2 hours. Not great paint coverage, but it's ok.

I skipped yesterday to work on a commission and didn't want to blow off two days in a row. A momentum gathers and before you know it a month has gone by with no production.

Off to be June Cleaver. Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I cannot tell a lie. This is an old painting. I'm working on a commission today and am unable to do a daily, but the point is to work, right, which I was, so I thought I'd post a finished piece that I had a shot of.

I had done a series of paintings of melons and had them on the wall in our living room. I did them when I still worked in the world (arrrghh) for fun. Unexpectedly, they were sold when I put them on my website. Who knew?

Since I started dailies, I haven't heard from my resident voice. You know the one, in your head that sometimes takes the form of a parent or perhaps that life class instructor who told you she once thought you were sensitive, but now, watching you work she sees that your just a coward. That voice. I guess I've just been to busy to listen. Maybe that's the point.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


6 X 6" oil on canvas $125

I thought this would go much quicker than it did. It needs some more bright work obviously.I'm loving the commitment of having to do this every day. I cannot believe I'm actually doing a painting a day! I remember reading about people who did it and thought it would be impossible, especially for me. "Short attention span theater" is an understatement and I find I'm easily distracted by shiny objects. I would recommend this exercise for any creative who finds their mind wandering during schedule work time.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Pups

5 x 7" oil on canvas $100

Well, I blew off Monday. Minimum 4 per week right? The good news is that when I decided not to paint and play hooky instead with the hubs, I was vexed and distracted. Apparently, I should work when work is scheduled.

These amazing little furry friends are Gracie and Roscoe. They belong to our friends. We go over to their place to jam about once a month. I've been trying to spirit them away in my guitar case, but to no avail. I thought this would be the next best thing.

I loved the experience of painting pets small! Having done commissioned pets on much larger canvasses, I was astounded when I finished this is less than 4 hours! I miss getting the reflection and highlights in the eyes but I think they read well. I am definitely going to include more pets in my dailies.

So glad to be back to work.

Friday, May 9, 2008


It's raining out. Dark, damp, depressing, the perfect afternoon for Miles, red wine and a daily painting. The shot I took of it isn't that good, but it gets the point across. I took a gazillion photographs about 10 years ago, hoping to use them for enormous, dramatic still lifes. The shots were a disappointment so I didn't use them. In digging through my stash, I found that they're perfect for smaller canvasses. Who knew?

The wash I used to tone my canvasses is a mix of water soluble oil and water. My husband loved the apples I did yesterday and wondered what was different. The wet canvas was different. I'll have to try that again. Perhaps the wet, toned canvas provides the perfect situation for a happy accident?

I thought this would be a nightmare but it went very well. I'm thinking of trying a small pet portrait next. Gracie and Roscoe and the most amazing Boston Terriers I've ever met. We'll see. It's the weekend, I have two days off. I want to keep painting so I'll work on some larger pieces and a pet commission to keep my hand in. Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


This was quite an experience. I realized that I hadn't toned a fresh supply of small canvasses last night, so I toned some and set one out in front of a fan so it would be ready for work this morning. It wasn't. I spent most of the day pushing paint around a wet canvas. Not good. I use my fingers occasionally to blend and when I tried it this time the paint disappeared! Also, I thought I could get away with buying quality pre-stretched smaller canvas. The quality of these does not rock. In fact I've been pushing paint around the canvas with my brushes hoping the blends will work—the paint just sort of sits on the surface. I think next week I'll stretch my own and see how that works.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Shoes

I just finished my fourth daily painting and I'm very satisfied with myself. In a way, the daily deadline makes it seem like a "real" job, like when I worked for corporate under adult supervision. I'm great when I have to please an authority figure, but when it's for me, well, I tend to hedge a bit. I should be even more conscientious when it's mine. I am after all the CEO of the company.

I attended the reception for my friend Jeff's show last night (which is why there was no daily yesterday). He has an amazing mind! He takes photographs, old and new, real and from magazines and cuts them up and forms kalidoscope collage arrangements. They are simply stunning. He also allowed me at bring some of my cards and a print of an unfinished painting I'm doing of him. He was most gracious and very generous. I made some very good contacts which might lead to a few commissions and possibly my own exhibit! I guess there is something to getting out of the house and my pj's every now and then.

This painting is of a pair of shoes I bought years ago that didn't fit. (Huge feet.) I thought they were so cool I wore them anyway. As a result, both of my big toes won't bend, but that's another story. I photographed these shoes, boots, whatever, because I loved them. And now, they are immortalized on a 4x4" canvas. My first 4x4" in fact. This again, did not present the problems I had expected. I'm beginning to think I should always work small. I love the satisfaction of completing a piece in one day. I love the satisfaction of honoring myself by working, it feels wonderful.

Thank you Jeff. You are an amazing artist and I love you.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Soap in the Sun

I'm hoping this daily painting thing allows or weekends off. I've decided that at least my daily painting thing allows for weekends off.

Painting today was particularly hard because my husband has 3-day weekends, and I usually don't get back into the studio until Tuesday. I'm determined to see this through for at least one year. If nothing else, I'll have a lot of experience under my belt and a complete collection of really small paintings!

I bought some liquid soap in colors that I love and photographed them in the planter window. I want to do a huge study of these because I love what the sunlight does to the shapes and colors.

I'm satisfied that I painted today, happy with this but not thrilled. My husband and I were talking this weekend about what happens when we look at our work and think it's not good. This happens to both of us in the course of working constantly. I vacillate between thinking it's coming out really well to wanting to throw it through the nearest open window. I'm hoping daily painting will help this silliness as well. It's a complete waste of time and it interrupts my concentration. Perhaps that's the plan.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Number Two

Oh my! I did it—two days in a row! I am really amazed. Of course, like starting a diet or exercise program, the honeymoon is short lived, but there I go projecting defeat again. The time to prove my resolve is when the honeymoon really IS over and I've calmed down from my newly found "daily painting" buzz.

This one was done in 4 hours but for obvious reasons~lots of black. Yes, I sort of cheated in the sense that I have painted these pears before, but this is from a different view and the photo looked just the sort that would lend itself to a daily attempt. I suffer from blank canvas tremors. Thinking about painting, planning to paint is great fun. My problem comes when it's time to sit down and start. Once I'm well into it, I'm as happy as a clam (how do they know how happy a clam gets.) Anyway, this daily thing will hopefully cure that. Each time I sit down, I think I will fail. Is that good or is that bad? If it makes me concentrate and look at what I'm painting it's good. If it's just another attempt to get me to phone it in, it's not.

I hope this experience will teach me to be a little easier on myself and stop taking me and my work so seriously. I tell my husband, also an artist, to stop being so critical of his work, and then I do the same to myself. Perhaps it's all part of the creative process. Who knows? Who cares. Just paint.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I'm astonished! I actually did it! I did my very first daily painting...well...daily! Actually, I did one yesterday, but abandoned it mid-stream because I realized it was far too complicated for one day's work. My husband said I should post it anyway because that would be honest. Ha. He wouldn't if it was his! Anyway, before "finished painting dismorphic syndrome" kicks in and I look at it and think it's not worthy, I'm uploading and calling today a success. Actually, any day I'm not looking out the window heavy sighing because I can't figure out what to paint is a good day.

This process keeps me focused, doesn't give me time to agonize over which photo to choose from, makes me paint in big chunks, only adding detail later. The one think I must keep up with is brushes. I find the Lowe-Cornell comfort brushes to be perfect for me. Don't laugh! They're craft brushes with short handles. I get three or four paintings per batch and then just replace them. I love them and the way I handle brushes this is just my speed.

As far as the painting goes, I like it. I need really good small brushes though, it was a nightmare trying to get a thin line with a whisk broom. I want to take some more time and work on crisping the lines and adding more highlights. I really think the size isn't going to be the problem I first suspected. Unless I'm working on a commission with a deadline looming, I just don't finish larger paintings, so this is definitely a good exercise for me.

I have to do this all over again tomorrow don't I?

Here We Go!

Well, I started with a great attitude. I found the perfect shot of two pears that I took 4 years ago. Saved myself the trip to the grocery store and a photo set up. I'm determined to finish my first daily painting today. Of course, I cropped the shot, set up the printer with special photo paper, hit the send button and my computer just shut off. Never mind that it was on all day yesterday and all night. I have a Mac and it's got "turn off whenever I feel like it" disease. I could get if fixed, but why eliminate all that drama and suffering. I'll get 'er goin' again soon and keep on. I will not be defeated by my very own version of "turn off whenever I feel like it" disease. I will upload a painting tonight. I have until 6 pm. Arrrrrghhhhh!