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.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Cold Catalpa

The sun is shinning! I decided to take a break from still lifes and look out the window. Catalpa trees look downright tropical when they are blooming and have dangling seedpods. It's hard to believe such a tree could grow here, or would want to. The sun is making everything sparkle, but is is still only 16 degrees.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


I used to hate beets, thanks to being forced to eat them as a child. Now I love everything about them. Nothing goes to waste. The leaves will be steamed and I'll roast the tubers with some other tubers. And the color is so beeutiful!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Love Mug

I have so many mugs, I can barely close my cabinet and most of them have a story.  A hot beverage is that much better in a mug with a little soul, especially on a snowy January day.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Don't Spoil your Dinner

Never one to let a prop go to waste, I used this cake again, but I'm pretty sure it won't be available tomorrow. Joe was rushing me on this and I don't blame him. I wouldn't let him have it yesterday, but now it's all his.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Birthday Party

Today would have been my mama's birthday, so I painted a piece of cake in her honor. I'm sure she would have enjoyed chocolate. Who wouldn't? I placed the cake on a clear glass plate with little ridges and it turned into a labyrinth - a good reminder to me not to get to caught up in details. And now my prize awaits!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Over Indulged

I would say sake is an acquired taste. I happen to like it and, as I staged this little story, it occurred that some hot sake would be pretty nice on a cold January night. Hmmm.  Alas, this bottle happens to be empty.  Oh well.  I got a little more out of my bouquet and I think I have yet another idea for tomorrow. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Well Read

Those little packets of white powder that come with flowers really work!  I've shortened the stems and ditched a few, but this bouquet has lasted almost a week! Up past my bedtime again with this. Too many play dates during the day.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Starring Role

I'm just squeaking by with this one.  I didn't get to start painting until 8:00, due to "life".  Anyway, some of the previous flowers departed, so now a supporting actor gets a starring role in tonight's drama. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Flowers, Second Act

So nice to spend the days with flowers when its bitter cold and windy and my driveway is coated with ice.  I wanted yellow today.  I think I can get one more painting out of this bouquet before we get tired of each other.  A few of the flowers are beginning to complain so I sent them to the back.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Attention Seeker

There is a bit of glare in the photo. It's from the medium combined with dark paint in bright light.  I use my iPhone for almost everything, but maybe an SLR camera could do better. Or the lighting could be different... Full disclosure:  I struggled with this painting and I just wanted to be done painting it, take a picture, and post it. But - there will be more florals to come.  The flowers are still fresh. A few days ago, we were in Minneapolis and we stopped at Trader Joe's on the way out of town. I bought a bouquet because they were so beautiful and inexpensive. Trader Joe's is such a treat! There are so many snack items and the wine store next door.  Anyway, I will take full advantage of the opportunity and improve my flower power. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Cheers Darling!

Back at it! This is the first day of Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge and I'm going to try it again.  Not only that, but I'm planning to double-dip.  The makers of Strada Easel are hosting a similar  challenge.  The Strada challenge asks that participants paint 31 paintings in January and post each one on Facebook. All of the paintings must be from life, not from photos. Those that succeed in painting all 31 will be entered in a drawing for a Strada easel. Strada easels are awesome! I have one, but I would love to add another to my collection;-) I actually do prefer to paint from life anyway, but I was planning to paint a few things from some photo resources.  Guess that's out until February. Anyway, all of us who give this a shot will be winners for painting more!  I felt really rusty when I painted this little guy and it took way longer than it should have.  I think I always start out that way, so maybe tomorrow will be easier.