Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wheely Willy and Dreama

6x6 oil on panel SOLD
I "found" this little fella in my Mom's basement, she tends to hoard a lot of stuff down there, it's an artists still life dream.  Wall to wall shelves of stuff like this.....mostly antiques.  She keeps saying she's going to sell it on Ebay when she retires next year, but I think she likes her wall of stuff.  Whenever I go home to visit, I I like to browse  in her basement.  Last time I was there she threatened to lock it, but I managed to smuggle a few things out.  Tee Hee. (Hope she doesn't follow my blog)   I painted this for this weeks DPW challenge, paint something with wheels.  Wheels are harder than I thought, if you don't get them just right it's easy to see.  He has a cloth scarf that is really a checkerboard pattern  but I wasn't about to tackle that challenge.  He also has a string to pull him and when you do, his little cloth legs go up and down.  The rest is shiny wood.  I wish I knew his name.  I'll call him Wheely Willy

as for Dreama....I can't believe I haven't shared the best news yet!  I just signed up for Dreama Tolle-Perry's Nashville Tennessee workshop in April.  (yes it's my birthday gift from my fiance....Carol Marine for Christmas, Dreama for birthday....perhaps when we get married it will be Saeta for anniversary?  one can only dream...)  Now the only thing that would make it better is if my new bff  Laurie Mueller from Carol's workshop got off the waiting list and got in....it will be a road trip to remember!!! (normally I would link her blog, but she hasn't set one up yet. hint hint)  hint. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sock Monkey with Still Life

6x6 oil on panel Click HERE to bid

I've been in a bit of a painting rut the past couple days. The limes have been difficult, the weekly challenge took me 2 days to paint, and yesterday was a wiper. I was having problems with "muddy" colors and I decided that I was going to make a concerted effort today to not dip my brush so far into the terp, and to really clean it well between strokes.  It took me a lot longer, as I have to fight the urge to mix one color than the next without even cleaning the brush.   I am happy with the clean look though now that it done, but this was a tough one!

On another note, it's always nice when a customer shows you how your art looks on their wall/or framed. This is actually an office of a gentleman that works for the Audobon Society in New Hampshire.  The eagle is an injured permanent resident there, he will never fly again, but he has a good home. These were from last year, and painted months apart, but they look great together I think! 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Morning News

6x6 oil on panel SOLD

I think I have figured out the problem with the glare and shine.  I've been trying to use more medium when I paint so I have a more consistant look when finished and there is no need for varnish or topcoat.  However, I'm not only having problems photographing, I'm having problems when I paint.  I'm thinking I will forego the medium while I'm still just getting comfortable with the paint and format I'm working with. 

Yesterday I had a lot to do getting ready for my first local monthly challenge group.   I thought by doing this weeks DPW challenge, and using the photo they provided would make it quick and simple.  Not so much.   Here it is nonetheless, I'm happily going back to limes today.  

Here is a new blog I started just for our new monthly challenge group.  Check it out! 7 artists participated, despite the ice storm, and we had a great time sharing! Time flew by!   I've linked blogs to the appropriate names if I knew it.   Daily Painters and Artists of Northwest Ohio

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lime Jenga

I'm still having difficulty with photographing these paintings of limes....I'll try again tomorrow.

When life gives you limes, paint them.

6x6 oil on panel $40 Click HERE to buy
A couple of days ago I asked my son to pick up a lime for me to make Tortilla soup.  He came home with a bag of 20 or so....ok, I thought, not what I needed but I'll figure something out.  It took me three days of seeing them sitting in the fridge to realize I should paint them.....(yes, a little slow, this artist )  This is yesterday's painting but I finished it too late for a decent photo so here she is, still not a great photo.  Perhaps it's not the photo that's the problem.  Oh well, it's my first lime painting.  I'm working on  another line one right now with a similar color scheme.  I'm thinking that is part of the problem too.  I can't seem to get the purple correct.   Anyway, tomorrow is the first meeting of a new group I started locally, Daily Painters of Northwest Ohio.  I opened it up to all media though and we will have a graphite artist and a glass artist among the rest of us painters.  I'm excited to do this even though it goes completely against my grain to organize something like this, not sure what got into me.   It's a good thing though, since I rarely leave the homestead in the winter except to go to the store or mailbox.   More good news today as I was just checking my email!  My painting of the sock monkey sold!  The paint isn't even dry yet!  This was a pleasant surprise because I really needed the extra cash this week! 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Refreshing Change

6x6 oil on panel $60 Click here to buy.

I tried something new today. After 21 days straight of still life paintings in my 30 paintings in 30 days competition with Ruth Ann, I needed to try something else. I took this picture of my back driveway a couple of weeks ago and wanted to paint it, but wasn't quite ready for landscapes yet, but today I just didn't feel like trying to set up a creative still life. I used a palette knife, something I like to do once in awhile just for a change.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Still Life with Sock Monkey

6x6 oil on panel SOLD

I got this sock monkey for Christmas and have been wanting to paint it, so here he is in a pewter tumbler that I find incredibly difficult to paint.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lunch With Friends

6x6 oil on panel NQF (not quite finished)

Well, it's a Friday night, Day 20 of my "30 paintings in 30 day challenge" with Ruth Ann, and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but today was a tough one to get out there and focus on painting....Another artist friend said he was watching to see who would blink first. "not a chance" I said, "I'm former Navy, we were trained not to blink"....

I was supposed to go to calling hours for my friend Jason, but weather restricted the travel....6 inches of snow and a 2 hour drive at rush hour just don't mix....So instead, my other artist friend Scott, who was supposed to go with me, and Kelly, my glass artist friend who's every bit as crazy as me (no offense kelly, i mean it in a good way) decided to have lunch together at a local irish pub....we had a delicious lunch and much needed time out of our respective and reclusive studios. It was like therapy, only with food! I'm so glad to have a friend like Scott who is actually willing to leave his warm comfortable nest and drive an hour to come see me because as most people that have known me forever know that from the months of January to March, I don't leave the house or answer the phone.....(I was probably a bear in a former life, or some other hibernating animal.) I painted our delicious dessert that we all shared, creme brulee with a raspberry jam L for Logan's Irish Pub....delish....It's not quite done, quite a bit of fussing left to do, but it was 9 o'clock and I needed to get a glass of wine......

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tulip Tango

6x6 oil on panel SOLD

I'm having a bit of fun with the Pantone color of the year "Tangerine Tango" It works well with lime green and white. The tulip was a bit of a bear though...took me all day. Perhaps something simpler tomorrow......

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Three amigos

6x6 oil on panel click here to buy $60

Trying to master the apple and white tulip. Someething tells me you will see more tulips until they are wilted. Interesting thing I noticed about tulips: when I bought them they were tightly closed, I got them into the studio and put them in water. As they warmed up, they opened a little, but the one I put in the still life under the light opened up literally as I watched, like a time lapse video.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Scouting Ahead....

6x6 oil on panel NFS

Jason Bishop (husband of my college roommate) passed away this morning after a courageous battle with colon cancer. He was 40 years old. I painted his portrait two days ago (see blog post "Coming Home" ) from a photo his wife had on her facebook page. There is another part of the photo I didn't paint that day, because I wanted the focus to be on Jason. Today, I painted the other part of the picture, his two beautiful young sons, Jacob and Joel. They too are looking up, perhaps thinking about the wonders ahead for their beloved father. Now, the focus should be on them, and Michaele, as they grieve. A friend posted on Jason's portrait, he said death should not be feared, and in Jasons case, perhaps he is just scouting ahead for his boys. I like that thought.

Tangerine Tango part Two!

6x6 oil on panel click here to bid

Here is my second attempt at using the Pantone color of the year Tangerine Tango. I actually kind of like it.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tangerine Tango and MOO cards!!!

6x6 oil on panel click here to bid


Moo Cards!

This is a painting for the DPW weekly challenge. The Color of the Year, according to Pantone is Tangerine Tango. I tried to paint a rose at first, but after 2 hours of struggle and angst, I wiped it. I decided to just go with a simple value study using Cad red medium and a smidge of Cad yellow medium....much easier.

I keep forgetting to add a new exciting tip! Last week I ordered Mini business cards from Moo.com Here's what I like about them...EVERYTHING! First, you can upload all of your art and if you order, say, 100 cards, you can get an assortment, you don't have to get 100 of the same photo!!! This is perfect for daily painters who have lots and lots of paintings and it's hard to choose just one....The other think I like is the size....It's the length of a business card but half the width....something you don't see very often eh!? They also carry key chains that hold about 15 of the mini cards and that is just perfect for me because i don't carry a purse, but I always have my keys! Also, I could order stickers using all my different paintings....I use them when I ship orders or letters! They're great! Finally, as an added bonus, they reward you if you refer a friend....so if you mention that I referred you, or use my link, I get a credit, and you will too when you start referring friends!!! Here's the link:

A Good Egg.

6x6 oil on panel NFS

Ever wonder what people mean when they say, "He's a good egg?" I think I do. Here is the last painting of the eggs and spoons....for now ;) I actually painted it yesterday, but in honor of Jason and his family, I wanted to leave "Coming Home" as my main post yesterday. Jason is resting peacefully with his family, and from what I understand is enjoying visitors of family and friends, and joking and laughing....What a strong brave man. The idea of joking when you are at the end of your final earthly days leads one to contemplate just how much this man loves his family to set them at ease before he makes his journey home..... I'll be sending the painting to Michaele and the boys tomorrow if it is dry enough, there's another part of the photo that I used as a reference for "Coming Home" that I have yet to paint, but couldn't bear it today. You will see it soon, I promise. Here's an egg instead, and remember, whatever you are, be a good one.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Coming Home

6x6 oil on panel NFS

Jason went home under the care of hospice today. While I've never met him, his wife Michaele was my college roommate 20 something years ago. She was the mother hen of our little group, always making sure we were doing our homework and not partying too hard. She took me home for Thanksgiving once, as I didn't have the plane fare to go home. She has a heart of gold, and from what I understand, Jason is her perfect complement. They have two little boys, Joel and Jacob. Please keep them in your prayers that Jason makes his transition to a better place in the best way possible for his family. I saw this photo of him on Michaele's facebook page, I'm not sure if it was taken before he got sick, but it's as if he knows where he's going, and he looks at peace with it.

(side note: added at 10:07 pm 1/14/2012) I wrote the aformentioned post rather stoicly because I had a hard time seeing through the tears....I've watched the "online" journey of the Bishop family over the course of the year and it has moved me tremendously. When I read Michaele's post yesterday as I woke up and did my morning routine of checking my iphone for current updates, I was at a loss for what to do. I haven't seen Michaele in 20 years, yet her impact on my my life back in college meant a lot, but I never told her so. Why or what could she possibly need from a fair-weather friend like me? After struggling for more than 24 hours with "what can I do", I did what I know best, and that is paint, for her and the boys....This one's for you Michaele & Jason!

Friday, January 13, 2012


Well, I tried to paint a Still Life of Still Life with Still Life.....but my head just wasn't in painting today....I'll post my results, just to show what happens when life's events distract you....but I decided to leave it as is and start something new tomorrow........(I found out this morning that my other friend -not Scott-my artist buddy, who I blogged about the other day, this is a different friend, who was diagnosed with colon cancer a year ago also, is now in the end stages and is home with hospice. It seemed like it happened so fast, and I mourn for his wife and 2 young boys who probably are not even aware of the grieving to come, as they've spent so much of the last year just being strong).

I did finish my 10 minute board today (the one I divided up on Jan 1st and do my 10 minute studies on).....it looks kind of cool all filled in!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Still Life with Still Life

6x6 oil on panel, click here to bid

I went out to the studio today with every intention of setting up more eggs and spoons, but I had put my finished apple from yesterday in the still life set up to get better light for a photo, then left it there. When I came in this morning, it was just calling out to me to paint the painting. So here it is!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

An Apple a Day..well, you know the rest.

6x6 oil on panel, SOLD

In the case of my friend who came to paint with me today, I hope the tale about apples a day is true! I feel so spoiled, two days in a row with people who want to paint with me! Today's visitor was Scott Lightfoot. We've been friends since we both worked at Toledo School for the Arts 5 years ago. My classroom was next to his office and he always had hot coffee and a shoulder to cry on when I had a rotten day. (Those of you that have followed my blog for awhile know that he has been fighting colon cancer for a year now....he recently had surgery to attempt to remove tumors that had spread to his liver and lung, but they were more involved than initially hoped, so it's back the the chemo for him. The prognosis is not great, 30 percent chance of living 5 years, but Scott has the best attitude I've ever seen for someone faced with the news he has, and best of all, he's decided to fight it by creating art everyday. He started a blog about his daily quest to survive and how he hopes art will help him with his healing process....Stop on over to visit his blog if you wish, you won't be sorry! If you know someone dealing with cancer, please share, he is very open and honest about his experiences)

Today, I pretty much repeated what I did with Erika, but instead of a pear, we painted apples....you know, to keep the doctor away. He did great! I hope to get back to my spoons and eggs tomorrow, but for now, the pears and apples were a much needed break!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Painterly Pear

6x6 oil on panel click here to bid

I gave myself a little break today on the tough compositions, I may try one later on but I had a visiter in the studio today! Erika is a new daily painter, she started at the first of this year and came over to paint with me today. I showed her some of the little tricks I've learned at workshops or on my own since I've been painting everyday. I'll post one at the end of my daily rant. Actually this post is going to be chock full of little tidbits so buckle up and enjoy the ride!

So Erika mentioned that she wants to try to not blend as much and wasn't sure how to do it, so I showed her the exercise that helped break me of the habit, it's also one of the dpw weekly challenges, the one color per stroke challenge. . It's an exercise I go back to alot when I feel like I've been noodling around too much with my paintings. I'm going to try it with the spoon and eggs and see if it helps. (and no I don't own stock in dpw, nor am I trying to suck up to the Marine's, I have just learned a lot from doing the weekly challenges. for real.)

First tip, I had a blogger ask me if I lined up my paintings so I could see my progress, so I thought I'd post a pic of my wall of fame :) It's full, no room for new ones so I better get on the ball selling them. I actually put these shelves up myself ladies! no man required, he was busy watching football. I bought moulding at Menards, the kind that has ridges so it holds the little dears very nicely and if I have to put one in front of the other, they stay separate and don't stick. I screwed the l brackets to the boards first, then screwed them to the wall. I left lots of space thinking I might paint larger someday, who was I kidding? (word of warning: If you use your signifigant other's cordless screwdriver and forget to return it to it's proper spot, you MIGHT be in a bit of trouble when he goes to use it and it's not there)

Second tip, here is a pic of my easel and jury rigged still life setup. I had been sitting for the past week but it was really hurting my back, so I decided to stand. I had to get my still life up higher, note the tote with cardboard on top. I am still in search of an adjustable height table that is affordable but for now, this works just fine. I bought the white display thingy at Hobby Lobby for $5, the light at Menards for a couple bucks (actually I might have stolen it from my fiance's garage, but that's neither here nor there, he hasn't noticed yet) I have lovely North light compliments of the prior owners who built their barn like all barns are built so the west to east wind blows through to keep the animals cool. Also, not shown in the pic, but also available at menards is the "fatigue" mat? not sure if that's the name but it's a thick rubber mat to keep your legs from getting tired while standing. (you might also find them in your husband's garage, but again, just don't get caught)

Ok, enough about me, here is a pic of Erika with her pear. Feel free to visit her blog,(remember when you all just started your blog and how excited you were everytime you saw a new follower?( Ok, I'll be straight with you, I still get excited ;) But she's new, so give her a hand up......

FINAL USEFUL TIP One of the tips I learned from Carol at the workshop and I forgot to share with all my blog followers so Ill share it now, but it's only useful if you have an iphone (although there are similar apps for other smartphones.) There's an app called Value Viewer. It's $5, but it's invaluable! Basically, you take a picture of what you're painting with your phone and it breaks it down into three values so you can make sure your compostion "works" in terms of balancing value. Usually you should have a large amount of one value, a small amount of another, and just a smidge of the third. I use the app on almost every composition and I have a feeling it will be especially good for plein air and landscapes where it's a bit harder to judge value. Here's a pic on my phone of it in use. This is the pear I painted today.

That's all for today, hope I haven't bored you to tears, I would have saved some tips for tomorrow but I would have forgotten by then.

Monday, January 9, 2012

I hate spoons and eggs.

Day 9 of the 30 day challenge......I'm at a standstill but I press on, lest I lose a painting. I really wanted to just stay in the house and do the laundry and housework today, I even entertained an offer to join the Navy Reserves when I dropped off a medical form for my 18 year old son.....and to be quite honest, it's an offer I'm taking seriously. (I'm former Navy so I can "re-up" as long as it's in the next year or so.....).......But I persist in my 30 day quest. I will not let Ruth Ann down, nor will I let her win. Here is my effort for the day, my best I could do. More eggs. Ugg.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Breakfast of Champions

I had a heckuva time with the spoon on this, so it's not quite finished, but I had to walk away or I was going to ruin it. This is for the Breakfast challenge. I wanted to paint eggs since I saw the demo at the workshop, now I have a reason! I'll post the finished version tomorrow, my back couldn't take anymore!

Saturday, January 7, 2012


6x6 Oil on Panel

This was a tough one! If I wasn't in a bet to get 30 paintings in 30 days done, I would have walked away and tried something new tomorrow, but I got halfway into it and didn't have time to start over. This was a tough composition for a 6x6 (at least for me!) so, not to be outdone by Ruth Ann's blog post about her viewfinder invention, I added a little help to my viewfinder too. I like to divide my canvas into thirds before I draw, but it's sometimes hard to view my still life set up that way. So I took a piece of plastic and taped it to my viewfinder and drew lines with sharpie on it. Voila! I find it so much easier to draw this way. This painting is for one of the older DPW challenges that I hadn't done yet, "Paint what you paint with"....

Friday, January 6, 2012


6x6 oil on panel click here to bid.

The last of the oranges for this week (I think! I'm kind of in a nice little comfort zone now, I hate the idea of starting something new :) This little orange is trapped under a square glass, it was very difficult to paint it so it looked like it was inside....

Thursday, January 5, 2012


ok, so I have a bet going with a new friend I met at the workshop. We agreed that we would start out the new year by painting a painting every day for 30 days straight, and to hold each other accountable, the deal is that if either of us forget a day, we owe the other one a painting. Well, it definately is working to make me get out there and paint, but it doesn't mean I'm painting a good one everytime that's for sure....This one's a "wiper" but since I have to "prove" that I painted, here it is, in all it's nasty glory! Feel free to visit Ruth Ann Sturgill's progress, and let me know if she misses a day....I've got my eye on a few of her paintings that she will owe me if she "slips up" Here's her blog

Orange Sugegasa

6x6 oil on panel

I finished this yesterday but didn't blog it so here it is today...I'll post my other painting from today later, I bet you can't guess the subject ;) The orange on the bottle reminds me of the hats people wear in Japan. I bet they are useful when painting outside. I need to look into that.

Interesting fact: In Japan, the hat is called "sugegasa"

Helpful Hint: I purchased a really useful book at the suggestion of carol during the workshop (she didn't know it, but as soon as she mentioned it in class, I took out my trusty little iphone, found it on ebay, bought it and it was waiting for me when I got home from the workshop. I love technology) I just now got around to reading it though, and it is a GREAT book on composition.....I've only read the first few chapters, but what the author is saying keeps popping up in my head like a stern teacher. The name of the book is The Simple Secret to Better Painting by Greg Albert. I paid $15 plus shipping on ebay. well worth it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Back in the Swing

6x6 oil on panel click here to bid

It's nice to be back in the swing of things, I stressed the whole time over holidays that I was "missing" something in the studio and I'd lose everything I learned at the workshop. As I'm sure is the case for lots of folks that take workshops, you'll start to see an eery similiarity to style and composition to that of the workshop artist.....(I'm not naming names because I know you all know!!!) I am actually ok with this, because I would like to try the things she taught me until I've "mastered" them. Once I do that, I will continue to explore and tweak my own style and path.....

Something I've started doing before I start a painting: I choose what I see as either the most challenging part of my compostion or the focal point and do one quick 10 minute study of it. It helps me get the colors right and also if I hate it, I don't have to waste time on an entire composition of it. The other "page" i've torn from the "carol marine book of art" is to do more than one variation of the subject...I am finding that each one gets a bit easier and better.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, new paint, and thanks to those that helped me along the way.

6x6 oil on panel, click here to buy

Well, it's hard to believe it's been one full year since I began my quest to paint everyday....as I look back at the past year and how far I have grown as a person and artist, I'd like to acknowledge those that have either inspired me, encouraged me, or helped me along the way. I will try to link their blog or website if applicable.

A bit of history on how I got my start last year: I had just finished another hectic year of trying to make a living making and selling my fused glass creations....I was exhausted by the constant routine of art shows, making and selling art glass that I wasn't inpired at all to make (for example sports teams, and snowmen!) I decided I needed a break, and as my family and I wrote out our annual "bucket list"-everything we would like to accomplish in the coming year- on New Year's eve 2010, I looked back at the past 4 years of lists we had done together, and I noticed one constant: finish a painting.

I hadn't picked up a brush in years, yet it was what I remember loving most about art. I spent hours that night scouring the internet, looking for painting tutorials to get started. I was hooked, but I had no materials to speak of, it was New Years! Nothing was open and I only had $10 anyway. I went to Walmart, bought a pack of 3 canvases and a set of acrylics....I didn't have enough money for brushes. I took them into the studio and proceeded to paint my first daily painting, with my fingers. (side note: I tried to sell it in the first few months of painting, but after a time, I took it off the market.....It now hangs in my studio as an example of my humble beginnings and how far I have come in just one short year.)

One of the daily painters I found and was inspired by was Roisin O'Farrell, an artist from Ireland, who graciously added me as her friend and continues to inspire me with her growth as an artist. Because of her, I have made lots of new Irish friends and, in a way, feel as if I am part of their little circle even though we've never met.

Ever curious, I continued my online hunt for inspiration and it wasn't long before I found Carol Marine and the Daily Paintworks site and challenges....as soon as I found these challenges I found a kind of structure for myself.....If ever I was stuck, I would go to DPW and do a challenge, sometimes more than once...once, I got so involved I did 5 of the same challenge! I used to sit at my computer on Saturday mornings waiting for the new challenge to be posted and run out to the studio to get it done....Now, I'm a bit behind on the challenges, but at least I have somewhere to go if I ever get "stuck" . Now DPW has become a site for auctions for artists, and I even had the pleasure of attending Carol's workshop.

After a few months of painting and blogging, I actually began being noticed locally. I was asked to show my work in several venues in surrounding towns and thanks to Tamera Rooney of Red Tornado Gallery, I met many local artists and sold several paintings to local collectors. As much as I tend to be a hermit and recluse, it's nice to have friends and fans nearby! Thanks to Tamera's friendship, I met an artist named Margie Shoop, who purchased a painting of a little bunny she fell in love with...she traded the painting for a few horseback riding lessons for my 13 year old daughter. This was life changing for Alexa, as she now has her own horse and has learned the value of hard working working at the barn with her horse and 7 others. Margie is an Equestiian photographer, and shows a side of horsemanship that takes a horselover to understand; it's as if you see the heart and spirit of the horse through her work.

I have been incredibally blessed to have the support of my fiance Jim who trusts that someday he can retire and I will support him with my art ;) Whether this happens or not is not important but the fact that he believes it to be so means the world to me. My dear friend Scott Lightfoot has also been my biggest cheerleader, and as he continues his fight againt cancer, I pray that this year he finds success in his own quest for artistic success.

I'm posting my first 2 paintings of the year, and since I've been out of practice after taking the last two weeks off, these are a bit rough, but alas, we all begin somewhere.....good luck to all this year, and if you ever need help or encouragement along the way, please don't hesitate to ask.