Sunday, December 3, 2017

Number 6 - Smile for the camera.

She looks like the girl next door maybe? Kind of pretty. I checked our her earlier shots and they were even nicer. In a way, that makes the painting a greater challenge. I'm going for an equal number of men and women although there are fewer women to choose from. I'm, so far, avoiding folks that are bleeding or look totally crazy, ala Charles Manson.

4 and 5

The most recent mugshots.  I thought this would be so fun, but it's kinda hard. I'm choosing subjects that are within a certain criteria. I want to practice faces of people that I might see in everyday life. The guy is kind of dangerous looking, but I think there's more... The woman looks a little stoned and a little defiant.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Number 3

I wanted to paint one that didn't look so sad, but he kind of does, and maybe scared too?  The photo made the color slightly warmer, and there is some glare. Happens with a dark background and artificial light. This is the third one. I am giving myself the goal of 30 - they won't be consecutive because there are some other paintings that need to be done, but I am loving this for the opportunity of painting so many sorts of people. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Deja Vu

Second painting in what is becoming the mugshot series. When you look at a face for a long time, it's story unfolds.  It's kind of like recusing a dog from a shelter. Over time, the dog will tell you it's story. You know what I mean, right? Anyway, this is fun and interesting and it could be a thing to return to off and on.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Crime Don't Pay

I've been talking about using mugshots to practice faces for a long time - since I discovered Karin Jurik, the master of mugshots.  Then, the other day I saw a posting by my new FB friend, Reed White.  A professor once said to me, "If you're thinking it, someone's doing it." Apparently.  Reed seems to be drawing from the local well, but I don't think I should do that, as a local educator, retired or not, so, my resource comes a community to the south. This was fun and I'm sure I'll do some more.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Wild Flowers

Today my husband stopped along side of the road and cut some flowers for me - WAY more than you're seeing here.  He told me he had to drive home with the windows down because there were so many bugs. It won't be long until all the bugs are frozen and the flowers are finished, so I intend to appreciate them until the end. I crammed a fraction of them into a jar and did my final painting. Every day I've at least leaned something about my materials. Today, fore instance, I had to start over after turning my first attempt into a mud pie. Thus my fantasy of wrapping this up early was smashed. Like a bug.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Friendly Flower

I'm not a gardener. Perhaps I will become one in the future because I'm always envious of the flower beds my friends have. I do have these growing though - I think they're called Cosmos. They look much better now that it's almost October than they did all summer long. Very optimistic and cheerful.  I have one more painting and I can tell you that if I have learned one thing this month, it's that if you are too tired to clean your brushes, you can put them in a newspaper bag and freeze them over night ;-)  I've actually leaned a few more things than that.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Water Woman

Today I took a welcome break from still lifes and painted out at a park. I got to meet up with the gals I spent last summer painting with and it was just great. The weather was pleasant and I was in good company.  And I knocked out a painting in a timely manner. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Stir Fry

I have been consistent at starting these late in the day.  I guess that means I'm a night owl by nature, but it doesn't leave much wiggle room. I have a time limit, then it's off to dreamland.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Pepper Pals

Three very robust peppers from Saturday's market.  Gotta celebrate this stuff while we have it. Five days left and then Octoberrr! (That also means only 5 more paintings :-)

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Keep a Close Watch

It may require patience to be married to an artist. Today Joe was thawing some shrimp for his special salad.  I said, "I'm going to paint these real quick and I'll be done before you need them, I promise." Nope... I was pretty close, but by that time, the shrimps had been out of the fridge for so long that we were both a little nervous about eating them.  There were some more in the freezer, so it wasn't the end of the world, and I had fun painting these weird little guys.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Anniversary Flowers

I ran to the farmer's market this morning because I wanted some gladiolus. There weren't any - maybe they're done? I didn't leave empty handed though. I found this pink and orange combo, snap dragons and something else.  I predict that it won't last very long, but it's dramatic right now. This is our 39th anniversary, by the way. That seems incredible and another good reason for flowers.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Tree Tops

The first day of autumn and it was really hot and windy.  I still wanted to paint outside, rather than set up a still life. I compromised and painted out a window. looking up at the tree tops across the street. Lesson learned - there are interesting things to paint right in front of me.  This was actually fun and it went pretty fast.  It's small, but I could see painting something similar on a large scale...

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Veg Out

I'm a big fan of okra.  I grew up with it, but it isn't grown around here a lot.  More bounty from the farmer's market. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Want Lemon with That?

I still feel duty bound to use my lemons. I poured some tea in this glass because I thought it looked a little ambiguous. Maybe you think it's something more adult, huh? Very hard to get a photo without glare. It's not that bad in real life. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Lemon Bowl

For some reason, I have a tough time with lemons, more so than with peaches, oranges, grapes... So, I guess it's a good thing that I'm painting them. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Lemon and Water

I have a bunch of lemons, so I'll be making lemonade and/or paintings for a while.  We're past the halfway mark, so I'm feeling pretty good, at the moment.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Out of the Bag

This turned out to be a challenge with lots of abstract shapes. It was fun to paint, but I need to stop looking at it for a while.

Thursday, September 14, 2017


Nothing better than home grown tomatoes. I love a tomato sandwich, toasted with mayo and some lettuce.  Maybe some avocado, if I have one, or bell pepper.  I'm loving these hot days in September.  We'll be missing them before we know it. Our power was off for several hours today and it got a little warm in the house, but I don't care.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

And Then there was One

My bouquet is showing it's age but I found one elegant flower that wanted to be painted. Thank you flower. ( The colors in this photo are a little off.  The background is greener and the bud is not as yellow. Hmm.)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


A few days ago I painted the shell of a cicada. My super helpful husband found me an emerged version.  Trouble was, it was still alive and I wouldn't kill it.  Thankfully, it obliged and passed away on it's own.  I'm not sure what the cause was, but thank you Mr. Bug.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Flower Bomb

The flowers I bought at the farmer's market on Saturday just keeping getting bigger and bigger!  I think I can get a few more paintings from them, which solves my daily drama of what to paint. So fun to have a reason for this kind of color.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Go Ask Alice

Every time I take on one of these challenges, there is a daily drama called, "What am I doing to paint!?" My helpful husband saw this in the yard and it seemed like a good idea.  Really hard to avoid the glare in the photo though.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Flowers from the Farmer's Market

The farmer's market is at it's peek and today was a beautiful day. I spotted this very robust bouquet that I think will give me some good practice with flowers.  It was fun be use so much bright color.  I'll put them in the garage for the night and go at it again tomorrow. Sweet dreams.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Triple Chocolate with Almonds

A free cookie has been offered to me by Panera since my birthday in mid July. Can you believe I only now went in to get it and my motivation was something to paint!  Am I nuts? I'll ponder that while I nibble the cookie :-)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Just Add Pasta

I discovered today that my tomato plant has 1000 tomatoes. I had kind of lost interest in it, but now it will be a tomato with every meal. This is actually my second painting today. The first one was a disaster and got scraped.  Happens frequently.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

I'll have what she's having!

It's just a glass of water. Did my alter ego paint this? It was like working a puzzle and I wanted something other than water when I was done.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Just Peachy

I wish I was a morning person, but I'm just not.  I seem to need to wait until the world has quieted down before I can  paint.  Nevertheless, I'm fairly happy with this one, and now I get to eat the peach.

Sunday, September 3, 2017


This is Day 3 and it was a struggle.  I wanted to paint plein air, so painted some flowers in my backyard three times - scrapped each one off - and then did this.  I put the "paint" in paint today ;-)

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Cicada Shell

The sound of the cicadas always makes me feel a little melancholy. Yup, we know what it means. On the other hand, finding the abandoned husks is always a little fascinating.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Little Tree

I'm at it again. It's hard to commit to painting every day for 30 days and, historically, I haven't done well in September. (Can't believe it's September!) But, I will end up painting more than I would otherwise and that means I might figure some things out and get better.  I'm having a struggle with myself at the moment, so we'll see which side wins. This is a little tree across the street from where I live. I've always had empathy for it.  When it was a baby, I saw a little girl try to break it. That is why it's slanted to this day.  Trees are like people in so many ways.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Goodbye Winter

I went out in search of chocolate today. That was my plan. I wanted to paint something that could be Valentine-ish. Tomorrow is February and Valentines Day may be my favorite holiday. I did buy some chocolate, but I just couldn't say no to these flowers. This is the finale painting and I'm a little sad.  Painting every day is awesome, but I do have a few other things I need to do. I've made some new friends, interacted with people both online and off, and even sold a couple of paintings that I probably wouldn't have it I hadn't been posting so often.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Magic Elixor

This is the last day for Leslie Saeta's 30 in 30 challenge, but I have one more painting to go for my chance to win a Strada easel.  OK, I never win anything and I really don't think I'll win the easel, but, on the other hand, all of us who painted from life for  every day of this month have to have benefited.  I know I did. And it was fun too, most of the time.  I feel really grateful for my good friends that took the time to look everyday and give me a pat on the back.  I'm not sure why, but that really helped.  I'm so looking forward to doing some larger paintings that don't have a deadline.  And catching up on all the things I've shoved to the back burner.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Cherry Danish

We went to Panera for lunch today and the cashier said, "Would you like a bakery item for 99 cents?" That was a no-brainer since I have the perfect excuse, at least for a few more days. It's so rewarding to finally dig in when I'm done!  A few seconds in the microwave and - heaven!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Day Old Bagel

Kitchen Sink bagels are the best! It's possible I'll loss a few teeth with this one, but it's  a risk I'm willing to take for the little hits of garlic and the pieces of sea salt hiding in that mess ;-) I bought it yesterday, thinking I would paint it last night. (I painted a glass of beer instead.) Painting this was a good lesson in not getting hung up on details, i.e. poppy seeds.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Drinking Buddy

My dad used to travel to foreign countries for his job and he always tried to bring home some souvenirs. This little brass llama is from Peru, I think. I want to start fitting some of my mementos from his travels into paintings in the future.  By the way, I'm not a beer drinker, but I won't let this one go to waste. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Comfort Food

The grilled cheese sandwiches of my childhood were made on white bread with Velveta "cheese". Probably the bread was buttered with margarine.  And they were divine.  Nowadays one could use a whole grain bread and a sophisticated cheese.  Maybe add a slice of tomato? I made this one just for the purpose of painting, but it smelled so good, I almost ate it. It's cold and hard now, but I could mike it and bring it back to life.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Small Crowd

I'm having so much fun with my little still lifes. The items in my compositions take on human characteristics and tell me stories. (Yes, I'm nuts :-) I really starting to look forward to working larger and painting something with figures in it soon.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Back to Basics

There are certain paint colors that I just love, like Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Yellow Medium. And then there's Ultramarine Blue. It seems like that color is sort of my work horse.  It ends up in everything I do.  Some people paint with a very limited palette - just the primaries, plus white. I think it's a smart practice and I do that... sometimes.

Monday, January 23, 2017


One of my reoccurring issues is time management. I never believe it's a late as it is. Or I push my painting time to the back burner because I think I should be doing other things first.  I don't think I'm alone with this. Also,  I need to replace the battery in my watch, but I probably won't get to it until next week.  In the meantime, I'll keep looking at my arm every now and then.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Weekend Flowers

We made a quick trip to Minneapolis today for brunch with our daughter, which provided a good excuse to swing by Trader Joe's for a fresh bouquet.  I can't find beautiful flowers here for such great price.  And the fragrance!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Cutting Out the Devil's Tongue

Hmm. This seems rather dark for me, don't you think?  This all started yesterday, when I stopped on my way home from having coffee with my buddies. I thought I'd grab some flowers or apples, but these peppers caught my eye.  Last night I tried painting them, but wiped them it off. Today, I approached them in a different way.  In the meantime, I have looked at recipes for pepper soup.  I have even more of them and they are truly 10" long! They are sweet, not hot.  Suggestions are welcome.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Left Out

One day last year this fragile little antique tea cup mysteriously appeared in my mail box at work.  I never was sure who put it there, but I have my suspicions.  I do enjoy a cup of tea most days, but I don't suspend my pinkie when drinking. I drink from a ceramic mug and favorite flavor is Earl Grey.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Butter Me Up

I still have most of the baguette I baked yesterday and the butter is nice and soft - due to sitting out for hours while I painted this!  The drawing component of this one turned out to be a challenge. I think I deserve a reward ;-)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Simple Pleasures

I am not a wine connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination. I just know what I like, and I like a very dark red, like a malbec.  Under $12, if I'm honest. To sip that while gnawing on some crusty bread is quite lovely.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Uninvited Guest

I wasn't expecting to find big fat blackberries for a good price at the grocery store today.  I couldn't resist!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Three's Company

January is such a cold, cloudy month. Lots of icky weather, lots of people staying home. Oranges are definitely a bright spot. They seem to be in season now and they're delicious. Imagine a glass of fresh squeezed juice. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Stinky Bouquet

Years ago we ate at a wonderful restaurant in San Francisco called The Stinky Rose. I wonder if it's still there? Almost everything on the menu included some form of garlic and it was heavenly. This was a great chance to borrow a little cleverness.