Friday, July 29, 2011

The Back Fence

Oil on canvas. 8"x10"

Sometimes I feel very frustrated because I'm not making better progress with my painting. I wish I could do a better job of capturing what I see.

This is a painting of our backyard. There is a Dublin Bay rose bush near the corner of the fence that has been blooming like crazy all summer. It's just so pretty.

I believe that painting is a combination of talent and skill. Talent may be something that is inherent, but I know skill comes from constant practice. I'll continue to practice in the hopes that I will improve. I do love to paint and I'll continue to paint regardless.

To see the work of someone who has both talent and skill, check out Carol Horzempa's blog, "South of North Studio." Carol is an artist who lives in southeast Wisconsin. I especially like the way she is able to capture personality in the animal paintings she's done. To see Carol's work, click on this link: South of North Studio

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Painting Break

I've taken a little break from painting - not by choice, of course. Having two new dogs is a bit like having a couple of monkeys in the house. Even though we've dog-proofed the joint, they still manage to get into a load of trouble. They are a handful.

In my spare moments, I've been reading blogs written by some really good artists. I located many of them through the Daily Paintworks site. There is a list of blog sites on the right side of this page.

I'm really enjoying the work of Mike Alonzo, an artist from North Carolina. He lived on the Central California coast for many years and produced some wonderful paintings of Morro Bay (one of our old stomping grounds). If you get the chance, it's well worth a visit to his blog site to see his work.

When I grow up, I want to paint like Mike.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Oil on canvas. 8"x10"

This is Butterscotch, aka Butternut, aka Strawberry Thief. Her proper name is Butterscotch, but Butternut is a better fit. She loves to pick flowers and strawberries. She doesn't eat the strawberries, she just brings them into the house and drops them on the floor. She also seems to like Feverfew and pulls them out by the roots. I don't know if this is puppy behavior, or if we have a real ding-dong on our hands. Good thing she's so darn cute!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Wild Strawberry

Oil on gessoboard. 6"x6"

I think this is a wild strawberry...I'm not sure. We have lots of them in our backyard. They seem to pop up everywhere. The fruit is about the size of a thumbnail.


Oil on canvas. 6"x6"
It's true, these don't look all that much like zinnias, but I kind of like them anyway. This was painted for the Daily Paintworks Challenge.

I love the color red.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Oil on canvas. 8"x10"

I reworked the background on this painting that was done a few weeks ago. I like it a little better.

We adopted two little dogs from the humane society last weekend. Butterscotch and Rocky are both a shi tzu mix. They're incredibly cute, and each seems to have boundless energy. There has been no time to paint this week - every minute has been devoted to these two characters. They seem to be settling in well and I think they're beginning to feel relaxed and secure in their new home. I hope I'll have more time for painting as they become adjusted to their new environment.

I love silly puppies.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sisters, Oregon

Oil on canvas, 8"x10"

Here is a painting one of the Three Sisters, viewed from Sisters, Oregon. On my drive home from Bend, I stopped to do some painting. The Three Sisters (Faith, Hope, and Charity) are three volcanic peaks of the Volcanic Arc and Cascade Range. Each of these mountains is over 10,000 ft in elevation. According to Wikipedia, there are 15 named glaciers among the Three Sisters.

The weather was perfect and it was heavenly to spend time painting such a spectacular view. This painting needs work, of course, and I'll probably work on it a bit more this evening.

I couldn't capture all Three Sisters in one photo - the area is too vast - but here's a photo of the Sister I was painting:

I love Sisters, Oregon.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bend, Oregon

I'm working in Bend today. I threw plein air stuff into the car before I left home this morning, but went out to dinner with coworkers this evening and didn't feel like shlepping all my painting  junk into the hotel room afterwards. It's probably just as well since I can make quite a mess while painting.

I'll be leaving Bend in the early afternoon tomorrow, so may have a bit of time to do some plein air painting somewhere along the way. Central Oregon is so beautiful that it would be a shame to leave without spending a little time painting.

I've never had much luck with plein air, but I'm always willing to give it a try.

I love the clean, sage smell of Central Oregon.

Rose Wine with Strawberries

Oil on gessoboard. 5"x7"
Strawberries and rose wine are summer staples around here. Light, fresh, sweet and tart. Perfect on a warm summer evening.

I love summer evenings.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wine Glass with Strawberries

Oil on canvas. 6"x6"

These strawberries were good for one more painting. After I finished the painting, we ate the strawberries! They are so much fun to paint (and so good to eat), that I may buy more on my way home from work this afternoon.

The strawberries in this painting came from a CSA (community-supported agriculture) farm. My daughter's family belongs to the CSA. Every week they receive beautiful, local fruits and veggies. I love the CSA concept. People are able to eat fresh, healthy food and support local farmers.

Just for my own amusement, I'm going to add one thing I love to every blog note. No order of importance - just whatever pops into my mind at the moment. Here's my first:

I love CSA farms.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Glass Bowl with Strawberries

Oil on gessoboard. 5"x7"

Sometimes it takes me awhile to catch on. Usually I look down at my subject matter. This time I placed it at eye level...duh! I also loaded the brush with paint. It seems to make a difference.

It's lovely to have strawberries to paint. They're a bit late this year due to the long wet season we've had.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Oil on RayMar panel. 5"x7"

Not happy with this painting...not happy with the composition, not happy with the colors, not happy with the brushstrokes. Not happy.

Any suggestions for breaking through a creative funk?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Larry, Moe & Curly

Oil on gessoboard. 5"x7"
 Here's a new painting style for me. I used gobs of paint on this, ala Raymond Logan (one of my favorite contemporary artists). I love how juicy his paintings appear. I think it's because he is so generous with the amount of paint he applies to the canvas.

I've been in a funk lately...stuck in a rut and unable to produce the kind of paintings I'd like. I'll give this a try for awhile and see how it goes. Regardless of how the painting turns out, it's a lot of fun to fling paint around!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Saturday at 4:00 p.m.

Oil on canvas. 8"x8"

Summertime. Late afternoon. Sitting on the deck. Glass of King Estate Pinot Gris. Life is good.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Oil on RayMar Panel. 5"x7"

This is Maddi, my grandson Ian's new dog, and the most recent addition to our family. She looks like a love...we're eager to meet her. I couldn't resist painting that sweet face!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Triple Chocolate Mousse

Oil on gessoboard. 5"x7"

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.
Charles M. Schulz


Oil on clayboard. 6"x6"

Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.
Marianne Williamson

Friday, July 1, 2011

Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries

Oil on gessoboard. 6"x6"

We can't plan life. All we can do is be available for it.
Lauryn Hill