Friday, December 19, 2008


Started this as a value study using raw umber but quickly turned into full color as I got into the reflected surfaces.
Oil on Linen

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I painted this rather quickly before the snow fell. When I arrived the sun was bright and there were beautiful cool dramatic shadows. Although I set up my easel fast, a thick blanket of dark clouds rolled in and changed the lighting completely to warm shadows (which I keyed up) and compressed values. If I'm not too lazy, I'll walk back to this same spot and paint it again as I'm sure it's now under a heavy layer of snow.
Oil on Linen ($75.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

oil study-Turnip

I want my paintings to say much much more. Fortunately I live in a place where there are several excellent artists willing to share what they know and critique my art. Last night I worked with Michael Van Zeyl, (check out his still life paintings on his website). It would get too wordy to list all the things I learned about my paintings but I will take the time to list the five essential elements for a good painting.
*Value Relationships
*Color Harmony
*Paint Application
happy art-making and art viewing!
9"x12" Oil on Linen

Monday, December 15, 2008

"Old Slices" (sold)

I set this up ten days ago but then never felt inspired to paint it. I guess the challenge of painting outside in freezing temperatures was too great. Today I woke to minus 10 so I didn't even think about going outside to paint. Instead I painted these lemons which are starting to
dry out giving slightly different values and colors.
Oil on Linen

Friday, December 12, 2008

"Raw" - value study

Painted, or rather tried to paint, in minus 5 degree windchill. That's why today's value study is a bit "raw." I actually learned more about how to paint in the cold so next time I won't feeze quite as badly. This was a corner in Chicago in the area called Bucktown .
Oil on Linen (mounted on museum board)
On a different note---
I put a still life on ebay, listed on my blog Dec. 4, 08. Part of the sale goes directly to the Breast Cancer society.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Value Study (Claudia)

Once again I painted from life at the Palette and Chisel during their open studio session. This model held a very difficult pose. She crossed and bent her legs and arms. The awkward diagonal thing is part of her arm with her hand tucked under her hair. I think I did better with the values today but I'm not happy with the semi-stiff dough figure. Guess I'll just have to keep going back. It's a journey...
Oil on Linen

Saturday, December 06, 2008

portrait study-"John (the Baptist)

(the whitish flecks on the surface of this painting are shards of glass. A lamp broke next to my painting. Once the painting dries, and if it's something I want to save vs. scrape away, the flecks of glass should wipe away clean. A tip for plein air painters in case you should ever have wind blow gravel etc. onto your finished painting.)
This young man posed for a group of us this morning. I need more time, as usual, to finish this portrait study particularly in the highlights.

Oil on Linen

Thursday, December 04, 2008

still life/Value study

Painting for myself is so different than painting for a show. And now that my show obligations for 2008 and the beginning of 2009 have been fulfilled I'm enjoying digging into improving my ability to see values accurately. I thought the execution of painting the inside of the orange peel would be difficult but the real challenge was the value relationships of the tabletop to the backdrop. I spent quite a long time scraping away the wrong paint and reapply the correct value. Once that was done the piece came together much better.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

City-scapes/Value Studies

It's a luxury to be able to paint for myself. So once again I'm concentrating on value because I feel if the values are off, the painting is weak and spoiled. This is the same intersection, painted an hour apart during the morning rush. I used only black and white oil paints.
Oil on Linen

Monday, December 01, 2008

"Northland Woods"

I spent Thanksgiving week in the very north of Wisconsin. This area holds special childhood memories. This past weekend the serenity of painting in total isolation of these gorgeous woods was curtailed for me because it was opening deer hunting season. I had my gear on for the cold but didn't think about wearing a bright orange vest and hat to avoid being shot. Since I was worried about poachers, I painted very small quick studies. I concentrated on understanding the values. Today I'll try to paint something larger in my studio from these oil paintings.
Oil On Linen