Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

I painted this several years ago while studying at The Atelier (Lack) in Minnesota. On this beautiful snowy Christmas morning I would like to share this oil painting and wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 09, 2010


So I discovered after the fact that the Marion Street Gallery in Oak Park, IL is featuring my paintings with an opening December 1oth. If you're nearby, I hope you can pop by. In addition to the 4o paintings featured, I contributed 2 paintings for the silent auction. Proceeds all go to PADS. Merry Christmas to you and yours

Monday, November 29, 2010

Portrait study of Les

As the weather turns colder I find I'm painting my favorite subject more and more, people. Most of these paintings are quick oil studies done lately at my local malls and cafes. No one seems to mind that I'm creating these tiny figure studies or notices. Also, I've returned to the Palette and Chisel where there is always a model to paint as well as several truly amazing artists to observe. This portrait study was done at the P&C. I find after quickly figuring my size and placement through shadow, I zoom in on the nose and eyes.

Monday, November 15, 2010

just a thought to share

"Fall Walk" oil 8"x6" (sold)
Ran out in the afternoon to try to catch the sunshine because who knows how many sunny days we have left!

If it's not happening on my palette, it's definitely not happening on my painting. What I mean is that my palette has to be load with large blobs of paint squished out and lined-up in my prefer order. And then I need to mix up big puddles of my starting values and arrange it on my palette so that my lights stay on one side and darks stay on their side. Also, if my palette becomes disorganized or looks barely touched, nothing good is happening on the canvas. It's as if my palette is an inner-reflection of the paint process. So of course after struggling with a studio piece for days and having to scrape it away repeatedly, I happened to actually see what was going on my palette and saw that absolutely nothing was going on. I needed to squeeze out a lot more fresh paint as I barely had anything left and the puddles of value I had mixed were nearly non-existent. After correctly this problem my painting started to take shape and the idea in my head was becoming visually evident.

Friday, November 12, 2010

2 Values

As always, my primary concern is value and temperature. So last week I spent my time in Scottsdale, under the tutelage of Peggi Kroll Roberts, studying the figure, well actually - value and temperature. We had 5-15 minutes per pose to lay in the basic shapes and say it in two values. One value for the lights and one value for the shadows. I spent the bulk of my time mixing a puddle of paint for my light value and another puddle for my dark value. With the clock running out, I quickly painted the pose. Towards the end of the week I managed to add temperature changes while being careful not to alter my established two values. After the designated time there was often a costume change and always a pose change. Studying the figure in this manner for five days was a great learning experience and I feel I walked away better able to find and simplify the most important shapes, values, and temperature.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Minimal Palette w/ the Figured

The problem given was - select a blue, a yellow, and a red and then with each different study change your yellow. Minimizing my palette helped me organize my thoughts which were focused on value and temperature. I started with Yellow Ochre Pale, and then tried Cad. Yellow Medium, as well as Gamblin Transparent Earth Yellow.

Ultramarine Blue and Red Oxide 12"x16" value/temperature study from a cast of the Virgin Mary

I'm learning so much from experimenting with different minimal palettes. I can see my shortcoming in values and temperature much more readily so I think I'll continue doing more of these studies.

I'm leaving very chilly Chicago for the warm temps of the Southwest for a couple of weeks. Since it is my practise not to take a computer when off, I won't be blogging until later. Happy Art-making and viewing. Thank you for sharing your comments

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Painting Fall

The change of seasons makes it doubly fun to return to my favorite paint spots. All of a sudden it is something completely new to paint. These three pieces were painted one chilly morning last week. It was so cold I had to pull on my winter paint coat and gloves. The added challenge of this morning was that the sun tried to come out but mostly stayed darkly overcast.
Initially I thought I would do a value study using only Ultramarine Blue and Oxide Red but towards the end of each study and added Yellow Ochre Pale. And instead of using my favored palette knife I used a brush. I toned my canvas on location so that I could pull out my lights without adding white to my palette.
(6"x8" oil $99. each)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"Periwinkle Blues"

It's been a few weeks since I've updated my post because I've been in three different group shows in three different states. The intensity of preparing and participating in them has been a great learning experience, very very fun, and I'm happy to report a success on several levels. I've never been comfortable meeting and greeting people at openings but after these shows I feel quite at ease. Now I hope to get caught up on life and back to painting some of our fall colors before the first snow.
"Periwinkle Blues" is a series I started right in my garden. I realized something was eating my blue mystery flowers. So over a few early mornings, I sat with a warm mug of coffee and painted what I think are heather and ???. What attracted me to these scenes was the haziness of the dawn light.
12"x12" and 14"x11" (framed $340. each)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

St. Louis Show

I'm in the middle of trying to pack my compact car with +30 paintings. I've come to the realization that I just can't take some of my favorites because they're TO BIG!!! I love to paint large and use a huge bakers spatula because I feel like I've physically stepped into the creating process. This series of 11"x14" will be the bulk of my newest for this St. Louis show and with luck I'll be able to tuck some 40"x30" along.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Enter at Will

"Enter At Will" 6"x8" oil
I've started investigating a new series of plein air paintings which revolves around small openings into ??? I guess it's rather voyeuristic. One of my primary problems has been how to compose these close-up passages. I hope my shadows on the foreground help create the illusion of a flat plan/ground, leading to the door.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Recipe for plein air painting

A great recipe for plein air painting; hot sunny weather & legs dangling near a cool waterfall. (forgot to snap a photo of my paintings)
"Sand Dunes" (5x7, oil) was painted right at noon with the sun directly overhead. With such a bright light the value and temperature were greatly compressed to one end of the gray scale.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

art opening-Marian Street Gallery

This Friday night the Marion Street Gallery will hosting their tri-yearly art opening for their gallery artists. I will be displaying several new landscape paintings. This gallery features art made from oil paints, acrylic paints, ceramic, photography, and fine jewelry. If you're nearby I hope you can stop by, say hello, and let me show you the fabulous display of art.
Fine Art, Fine Music, Fine Art
Friday 9/10/2010 opening
115 N Marion St
Oak Park, IL 60301

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Avalon-value and temperature

"Avalon Splash" 5"x7" oil
"Distant Storm" 5"x7" oil
Normally I find the light changes more quickly at dawn than early evening but with a storm on the horizon I had time to crank out two studies of value and temperature. This morning the values were less compressed than the previous posting when I had to deal with haze and fog.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Foggy Haze

"Foggy Morning"
"Haze Abstraction"
I define vacation as painting near an ocean beach minus cell phones and computers which is why I haven't posted anything in a while. My favorite time is early in the morning. I love sharing with just the fewest beachcombers and the gulls. Having just returned from the Jersey shore I am reluctantly getting back into daily life but the memories of those early morning paint sessions has me already planning for my next escape.
The haze, fog, & light presented a great opportunity for more value and temperature studies. All my paintings for this trip were 5"x7" oil on linen mounted on archival museum board. I recommend this surface when traveling. It's extremely light and compact, allowing me to carry what I need in a tiny bag.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

value and temperature

"Private Interiors" 6"x8" oil ($138.)
This is a plein air study. I focused on using value for creating a strong and simple composition and the edges. Hopefully the overall affect is a feeling of just starting to enter a wooded area.

"Sunlit Interiors" 24"x30" oil ($1800.)
This is my latest studio painting. My source was a few little plein air pieces previously posted and my imagination. The studies are greenish in color and equally cooler in temperature. So my experiment was to keep the same value but amplify the temperature. Using those concepts I applied my own chose of color and went from the cooler greens to the warmer sun colors. My idea was to try to capture the warmth of a late afternoon day.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Renaissance Fair Plein Aire Event

The procession to the art auction
the art auction,proceeds went to Variety, a children's charity

Bristol Renaissance Fair

I'd like to share a few photos from this past weekend plein air event which took place at the Bristol Renaissance Fair. As a participating artist, I have to say it was one of my most pleasurable plein air experience. Everyone connected with the Bristol Renaissance Fair including the visitors, were happy to be part of the fair experience. Their enthusiasm was infectious. It made painting in the heat and huge crowds easy and very very fun. It isn't everyday that an artist converses with medieval gentle persons about her paintings.
The event concluded with an art auctions. Proceeds went to Variety, a children's charity for physically disabled. The renaissance actors carried all the paintings in a procession through the fair grounds to the large theatre were they continued, in character, to auction "the queens art." Unsold paintings will remain on display until September 6, 2010.
"Banners Way" "Dress Up" "Sweet Meats" oil 6"x8" plus frames (sold)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

"Laughter in the Sun" 24"x24" oil

Poppies have become my new favorite investigation since they bloomed in Riverside this past spring. I first started by quick little 5"x7" oil sketches created on the the sidewalks in front of my neighbors front gardens. Now I've been recreating them in various invented compositions in my studio. This is the latest. I wanted the "look at me" impression poppies give to really sing in this piece so I pushed a vista view. Since working larger and larger in my studio, I find I'm going through huge quantities of paint. In the middle of this piece I ran out of Cadmium Reds but mixing Cad. Orange and Alizarin gave me the various reds I needed for the poppies. Once again, created with a palette knife, my best friend. ($1148.)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mountains in Chicago?

"Private Interiors"
"Along the Grove"
"Mountains in Chicago"
6"x8" oil on linen mounted on archival board
This was one of those lovely mornings when all you had to do was turn slightly to see something new to paint. My intention when I set myself in these Savana Oaks forest preserve was to focus on how to paint dense greenery. But it quickly became evident that at what seems to be green leaves and grass is so much more. The dark shadows were very warm and rather orangish. The bright morning light filtering through and back lighting, created rather coolish lime-y appearances.

On the last painting,
I planned on painting over one of my pieces from our winter plein air trip to Sedona when we were either painting in a hail storm or heavy rains. As I started I thought maybe I could leave the mountains and work a meadow into the foreground. I think I should have been more sensitive to the foreground. I may go back and tweak that area so that it looks more meadow-like.
($99. each)

Monday, July 05, 2010

Reeds and Rocks

We're still having spring storms although I guess I should call them summer storms. Although the flooding is a pain the results make interesting subjects to paint. Once again I returned to our rivers edge as my muse but it is the abstract concepts of capturing the dazzling light on moving water, rocks, and weeds that fascinate me and make this painting a very fun challenge. Basically I feel light is relatively cool and shadows are warm (relative to my painting)so why the yellowish highlights on the rocks? They looked yellow although a cool yellow. It's been interesting reading different blogs on this concept of warm shadows and cool lights.
($95. 6"x8" oil w/ palette knife)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"Buttercups" oil 6"x8"

Frederick Olmsted, landscape architect, designed our village in the forest way back when. "Buttercups" was painted in an area he left so that when the Des Plaines River overflows, our little village would be safe. After our recent flooding, buttercups rapidly sprouted up making a beautiful sea of bright yellows.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Old Town cathedral

Karen Phipps and I teased we should call the paintings we did this day "Stinky" because we had to stand next to full trash cans and in the alley (the alley was Karen's idea) with "watch out for rats" signs. Needless to say we did lots of mouth breathing and fast painting. We gave ourselves one hour to paint this church because we knew the light would change fast and limiting our time helps us get down to the business of what's necessary.
I thought mine was going to be about the steeple but the painting quickly told me it was about the geometry. I really don't like to think about perspective and all it's rules. Gives me a pain between the brows. Normally I don't care if the perspective isn't perfect. But for this piece I wanted the geometry and perspective to highlight the expressiveness of the design.
(8"x6" oil $149.)

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Forgotten Homestead" 40"x30" oil

"Forgotten Homestead" is a painting about a place that could probably tell a thousand stories if only it could speak. Hopefully my painting is strong enough to fill in some of the gaps. This old farm looked so beautiful half buried in the prairie grass and wild flowers.
Painted with my favorite tools, a palette knife and a #20 round.

For those of you who made the Marion Street Gallery opening, Thank You!!! so much for braving the horrid weather. I hope you enjoyed the live music and variety of art as much as I did. And if you didn't get to the gallery yet, please stop by soon. I will be hanging new paintings to replace the gaps from the opening week sales!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fields A Blooming

Since everything is in the light and there is very little shadow, I used the bits of darks as my anchors for the lights. I pushed this to my very edge before the piece would dissolve into a total mess. Hopefully I didn't go over and get carried away with all that wet paint into wet paint.
8"x8" palette knife painting in oil ($275.)

Friday, June 11, 2010

"Off the Path"

One of my students asked me if I ever worked from my imagination and I said "no." Never say never because that is exactly what I started doing after that particular conversation last spring. Thank you Afshin. "Off the Path" is a painting I created in my studio although my muse are numerous memories of living and revisiting the northwoods area. Also I have a couple of little 4x6 oil sketches created over the past eight years so it's not 100% invention. But working this way is a leap for me since I've always preferred painting on location and not re-working the painting later in the studio.
"Off the Path" is a 36"x24" palette knife painting. I was really thinking about Leffel's definition of background and spent a lot of time developing my "background" prior to hitting the lights.
This painting will be shown at the Marion Street Gallery, Oak Park, Il.