Sunday, September 30, 2012


I spent several hours this morning cropping the picture I took of this boat. I finally decided on this composition. I am still not too sure about it.  I am still using a limited palette.   Anyway, here is "Docked".
"Docked" 8x10 Oil on Canvas Board with Brush
 BTW - I added a gray scale under my glass palette to help me with values.  I did that after I painted this and put it aside. I found it worked to get the values better. I just cut out the value scale that came with Gray Matter Palette Paper.

Planning Your Work

I worked on another painting yesterday from a photograph I took of the Brookings/Harbor Port in Oregon. I thought I had worked out all the issues ahead of time by moving the center of interest, a boat, away from the left edge.  I found I kept changing things and didn't keep to my plan.  I continued to struggle with subtle changes in the mid tones of several boats.  So I scraped the painting.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Trying To Stay In The Shade Else You Get Burned

I painted outside on the Sacramento River today with a fellow plein air painter. I wanted to paint the bridges in front of me and found I kept changing my values. Why? I started out in the shade and soon I was in the sun. Even when I put  up an umbrella, I couldn't get my value correct. I thought they were correct but the whole painting was too dark.  I decided to blocked everything in, go home and fix it.
"Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge" Sacramento River, 8x10 Oil with Brush and Palette Knife On Board

Lessons from painting today were  that practicing  subject with perspective improves the drawings and resolves drawing issues faster. Working with outdoors and the changing light requires working fast but it is still necessary to make smart decisions. Each brush stroke needs to be put down confidently. Compare those values and don't rush. Be sure you are in the shade stop when you are not.  Put sunscreen on the back of arms, too, else you get sunburned.   (Very important - especially around water - OUCH).

Thursday, September 27, 2012

"Little J" At The Brookings/Harbor Port

This is a painting I did today  of the boat, Little J, located at the Brookings/Harbor Port in Oregon.  I have spent a lot of time at the port painting the boats the last couple of years. It is all about seeing and practicing.  (Yes - practice, practice, practice).  The last two paintings I am trying to keep the background abstract, limiting the detail in the middle ground and detailing only my focal point. I am, again, using a limited palette to work on my values.
"Little J"  9x12 Oil on Board
If you want to visit the port, it is before the bridge to Brookings heading north on 101 and after the bridge heading south.   It a lovely port by the Chetco River and the Pacific ocean.  A wonderful place to site see and, of course, a wonderful place to paint.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lawn Ornament II

Lawn Ornament II 9x12 oil on board
I took a photo of this pickup truck on a lawn after I painted it on a Wednesday plein air get-together. The truck owner assured me that it would be there for a few months because he couldn't afford to fix it. A couple of weeks later, it was gone. I was glad I took a photo.
This was painted with a limited palette so I would focus on the values. I simplified the background. I tried not to get too detailed with the truck. I can see a slight perspective issue with the headlights. I will fix that later. 
Anyway, here is my 9x12 painting of Lawn Ornament II.

New Work At Winchuck Gardens and Nursery

I have new work at the Winchuck Gardens and Nursery located on 101 North of the California/ Oregon Border.  I finished another batch of plant markers (thank all of you gardeners who are buying them) and I am showing  more recent plein air artwork of the local rivers and landscapes along the Brookings/Harbor area. I included a cat and dog paintings, too.  (Again, thank all of you art collectors who have purchased my recent work. I appreciate it). There is a new pottery cat tail clock for sale to replace the last one sold. (Thank you, again).
I added something new for you cat lovers.  They are my pottery cat tail pins with the saying that all cat tails tell a tale.  They are on sale now so don't miss out. I am switching to porcelain so this is the last of this batch.
Plein air painting  at the Cherish The Chetco Event at the river.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ah - Plein Air

A group of us plein air painters were invited to paint at the Cherish the Chetco event in Brookings/Harbor, OR.  The activities were so much fun including looking at water bugs under a microscope and kayaking.  What a treat.  The weather was even nice... at first.
I set up my easel in the shade and before long, I was in full sun. I moved to another shady spot and started a new painting. Then the weather changed. Ah- plein air.
So I took home my paintings and added a few strokes to complete them as far as I am going to take them. I was happy with the outing and the opportunity to paint outdoors.
Oh and my plant markers are cleaned, low fired, stained and put in the kiln for their last firing.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

"Beach Babe"

My husband is a very giving man. This week he gave me his cold so I spent the entire day in bed today where I compared my aches and pains to his. I think mine are so much worse  or at least my whining. So I am posting an acrylic painting I did a few years back. I took the picture of this beach babe in Carmel, California when my teenage son was getting his diving certificate. That has been a few years. 
"Beach Babe" 8x10 Acrylic on Paper

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Drying Clay In Your Clothes Dryer

I found a tip last year on how to dry your clay pieces with your clothes dryer. Before you attempt this, you need to know your dryer can do this .  It will come with a drying rack for sweaters.  This is an important RTFM moment.  (Read The **censored** Manual.) Speaking from experience, you also need to put it on the correct setting else everything goes flying in the dryer. I was fortunate I did a test run and only had the sweater rack in it. Again, RTFM.
Here are my greenware plant markers in my dryer. Finished and ready to be sanded after 40 minutes.
I will put the clay bird houses and beads I made today in there later and post a picture.
As I posted before, I am getting ready for next spring. The weather here has been foggy and cold so I have not painted in a few days.  There is rumor that the sun will come out tomorrow afternoon. If not, I am heading inland so I can paint or at least set up a still life.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

OoH My Aching Back.

I have been busy running around trying to get as much done as I can this week. I sold almost all of my plant markers from my last kiln firing. This means I spent a few hours in my studio making a couple hundred so I don't run out next year. I also included a few bird beads and I will make hanging bird houses.  Why all this work? I need to get ready for next spring early. Can you believe it is almost October? Where did the time go?
I cleaned my raised vegetable beds, harvested potatoes, herbs and green tomatoes. Which meant I spent the last couple of days drying herbs and canning Chow Chow. (It is a wonderful relish made with green tomatoes, onions, peppers, vinegar, mustard and celery seeds and sugar).
I also raked my lawn and seeded. Next, I need to plant my garlic and a few more beets. Oh and those gutters need cleaned, as well as ,the windows. That means power washing time.
Needless to say my back is killing me... but the results are worth it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What To Do With Old Studies And Cleaning Your Palette

"Tri-oomph"  8x8 Oil on Gallery Wrap
I really hate wasting my oil paint when I clean my palette. I usually scrape the warm and cools into two different piles to mix greys. The problem is it dries or I don't use it. I saw a blog where an artist puts the unused piles onto a canvas.  I love using the paint to create another art form.  I think that is a perfect solution. So here is my  re-purposed palette painting. It is - of course- abstract.  The paint is so thick you can create texture.  It was fun.

Love Takes Time

I got up this morning to take another look at yesterday's study. I am liking it more today now that I had a good night's rest. Why?  I love the textured effect and how it pick up the wash and light.   I worked on my shadows and a few highlights and started to see how wonderful this lesson was. So today I am pretty jazzed about the progress. Thank you, again, Randy Blasquez  for your patience and instruction.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Going Bigger

I am trying to  learn a new oil painting technique that includes a wash. This has been going on for awhile and I accept that it will take me time to learn.
Last week, I decided I need to go bigger. So I purchased some inexpensive 16X20 canvas and textured them. I like the texture. Some how going bigger made me want to draw everything bigger than necessary.  (I need to make a mental note not get carried away with size). 
I pushed myself  out of my comfort zone and went for it which was good. I  loosened up at the beginning but as  I struggled with this study, I lost the values and color.  I didn't verify my drawing. Basically, when I am unsure of what do to do, I  go back to old bad habits.   I overwork and end up with a mediocre painting.
The patient and kind instructor rendered the flower and helped with the vase to get me back on track.
I am going to continue with this size as much as I can with this process.
Not a great painting but a great learning lesson. Sometimes that is the better goal.

Monday, September 10, 2012

"Tea Time"

I started and finished this study today. This "not so simple" still life was a great lesson. To create the focal paint, just a few grapes were rendered to three values. The rest were kept at  two values. To paint the teapot it was necessary to see the color relationships of the grapes, the light and the tablecloth and still keep the values. Great lesson.
"Tea Time"   8x10 Oil with palette knife on canvas board

Sunday, September 9, 2012

River Paintings Hanging At the Chetco Community Public Library

Here are two of my Chetco River paintings hanging at the Chetco Community Public Community Library in Brookings, OR.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Texturing Canvas

I bought 14 inexpensive larger canvas today to texture. Why? Randy Blasquez did a beautiful painting demonstration and talked to us about how she textured her linen canvas. Now I want to experiment with texture,  too. So I brought out my big bucket of gesso to cover the inexpensive canvas.  I want to be sure the Golden Acrylic Gel I want to use will stick properly. I read where if you used cheap canvas that isn't properly primed it might flake. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

"A Little Worn"

This is a painting of an older marmalade cat. He is a little worn but you can see there is still a lot of life left in those eyes. I have love older cats.  Kittens are naturally cute but there is something special when you look into an older cat's eyes. They know things.
The original photo was taken with this gorgeous guy  was back lit. I think next time I will break up the light a bit more.
"A Little Worn" 6x8 Oil on  gallery wrap canvas

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cherish the Chetco

I have two paintings of the Chetco River hanging at the Chetco Community Public Library in Brookings, OR this month along with other wonderful artists such as Kathy Huxley, Verna Pooler,  her daughter- Jennifer Thompson, and Audi Stanton.   The show includes the local rivers but the theme is the Chetco River.   "Cherish The Chetco" is a new event being held September 21-22, 2012.  For more information, go to

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day. Here is my painting of an empty chair. I realized that I needed to paint the shadow using perspective and a vanishing point to make it lay down after analyzing it for a bit. Good lesson.