Thursday, April 30, 2009

Catherine Creek, WA

Today I joined the Hood River painters at Catherine Creek, WA. A whole batch of people showed up and fanned out all over hill and dale. Karen, Donna and I liked a view looking down the Gorge into the East. What a perfect day for painting outside! I love the Catherine Creek area! It just didn't hurt that it was a perfect sunny day...and no wind. Aren't we lucky we live so near the gorgeous Gorge??
Gorge view: oil sketch on 9 x 12 canvas panel
Pine tree: oil sketch on 6 x 12 canvas panel

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I'd like to thank the Academy.....

I am a recipient of the Lemonade Award! Mariano Zucchi was so kind to bestow this award upon me and I am most grateful. Mariano and I have had several great exchanges via our blogs about using baby oil to clean oil paint from brushes...Mariano has left me many thoughtful comments about my work and is a fine painter too. I really wanted to paint some lemons to accompany the award..and I still may do it. Lemons make a great still life! Thanks again for this kind recognition, Mariano. (I understand that the award has to do with having a good is awfully easy to have an good attitude about painting, isn't it!)
Here are the guidelines that award winners must follow:
#1 Link back to the person who gave you the award
#2 Place the award jpeg onto your blog
#3 Nominate 10 bloggers who are deserving of this award!
(if you have been tagged with the award previously and I give it to worries...carry on!)
My ten award winners:
Katherine van Schoonhoven
Michael Orwick
Brenda Boylan
Gretha Lindwood
Bill Sharp
Shawn Demarest
Kathleen Krucoff
Cyrus Smith
Kimberly Kent
Sandra Longmore

Three paintings from life painting session today

Our model today was one we've had before...a really pretty woman named Natanya. I always really like painting her because she has extremely dark curly hair and striking features. There was a big shadow on her face, cast from a big batch of curly hair. Soon these life painting sessions will come to an end for the summer. There is no meeting next week and then only May is left. After that it will be landscape, landscape, landscape. Figure painting is wonderful...I think it helps in every other painting pursuit.......even.....especially.....landscape!

Monday, April 27, 2009


I painted this from a photo reference today. It is oil on 8 x 10 canvas panel. I am paying attention to hills...making sure I am deliberately implying distance. Well, you know you're goofing up if you put any of the same colors in the foreground as you have 15 miles away. Yep...I have a bit of that problem going on...but I can fix it.

A non-art related thing...

This is the freakin post office. I went there today because my friend in Germany is having a birthday...I had to mail her package. So see that old bat with the gray hair (yeah yeah..I have gray hair too, I know). Well, about 30 minutes after this photo was taken and we were starting to see the the whites of the (two) postal clerk's eyes she let some total stranger have cuts into the line because the line breaker's child "has ADD and can't tolerate waiting too long". Wha...? If that wasn't annoying enough...exactly why is it like this? Is it Christmas and I don't know it?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Summer is on the horizon!

When I first started painting it was a real challenge to be able to see the warm and cool colors in the sky..I think I get it much better than I did four years ago. It was a perfect day today to paint, but I was feeling a little "under the weather".. so I did not leave my house ...I opted instead to paint from my reference photo, reminding myself about getting these temperatures down rapidly. Clouds move so fast and it can drive you a little nutty when you're trying to paint them from life.

The weather is starting to really I am beginning to make my list of where I want to paint this year and also what workshops I want to take. This year is amazing for workshops. So many A-Listers are offering 2 and 3 day workshops right here in our area. Time to get the calendar out and schedule!

6 x 12 oil on canvas panel

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Afternoon at the Bistro II SOLD at CAP Auction

I donated this painting to the CAP 20th Anniversary Art Evening and Auction. Unfortunately I couldn't attend the event (last night). As instructed, I called this morning to see if I had to retrieve my unsold painting ...and the answer was no! Hooray! I hope whoever bought it will visit my blog so I can thank them for their contribution to CAP and for buying my painting. I had a teacher who once advised artists to be very careful about donations, as it can lead to an overall feeling of "devaluing our work"..Artists should not give away their work willy nilly. However, he added that if you believe strongly in the cause you can certainly put that rule aside. Such was the case...and I am glad someone now owns this piece. Thanks so much to the person who bought my painting!
oil on 18 x 24 canvas panel

Saturday, April 18, 2009

two sketches from a visit to Maryhill Museum in WA

It was a really pretty day and I did two small sketches in oil. It is pretty overwhelming out there is hard to choose what to paint! I've painted this gorge view a couple of times now..and always at practically noon. It's a tall order. I remembered that one year Bonnie White painted some peacocks on the Maryhill grounds and today one stood still for me long enough for me to dash something out. It was a really perfect day for painting outdoors. I saw some of my painting friends out there and hope to be able to see some paintings that they did too.

Maryhill Museum

both sketches oil on 5 x 7 canvas panel

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Life painting session ...two oil sketches

It was great to paint today...I haven't painted in a week mostly because I have been under the weather. I'm feeling better.
I got two studies done in 3 hours time today. She was a pretty person...a little "blink-y" (she moved her eyes quite a lot) but I certainly felt she did a good job of modeling anyway. I loved the long red dress and I felt I established some good values.

(click to enlarge)
(top) oil on 9 x 12 canvas panel
(bottom) oil on 11 x 14 canvas panel

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Paintings from life session today

A redheaded modeled for us today. My three paintings ARE of the same person, despite the fact that the results all look like different people. I obviously had some difficulty with resemblance again today. Well, I was talking to one of my art friends this afternoon and she and I both experience thoughts during painting along the lines of "that's good"...and "that's not so good"..."good...not good" I've heard that painting can be described as series of corrections... and that is indeed what we do. Some days the corrections seem easier than others. My contact lenses were bothering me today. I should spring for a pair of bifocal eyeglasses (but I have lost two pair of them and have since called a moratorium on buying any until I "learn some responsibility") ..haha.

oil on canvas panels (top to bottom: 12x12, 11x14 and 9X12)

baby oil brush cleaning...explained!

I got this email from Karen E. Lewis..who took the time to explain the baby oil brush cleaning system to me. (Thanks, Karen!)

I have gotten a couple of other emails about using baby oil so I thought I would post Karen's description.
I am definitely going to try it (and it makes more sense the way Karen told me she does it. I may have not have listened properly to Elio).

(email from Karen):

I have used baby oil (actually mineral oil) since I started oil painting.

I keep a dipper full at the table when I am painting. I dip my brush
in it, then smush it on my palette to get the oil mixed in, and wipe
the brush really well to get the oil out. I don't smush the brushes
in the oil dipper. I change brushes if I change temperature or go to
yellow or white. I wipe the brushes REALLY WELL after cleaning during

At the end of the paint day, I wash them with dish detergent and hot
water and all the oil comes out. Well, most of it. They are really
clean. I lay them flat to dry, then store them upright bristles up,
or flat.

If I can't get them washed, I just soak them in baby oil and lay them
flat on a towel, and they won't dry or get hard. If they are in my
plein air kit, sometimes they don't get soaked in oil or washed for
weeks, and they are fine, and plenty clean enough to paint with.

They are less brittle than my friend's brushes who uses solvent.

They also aren't as fussy about being absolutely clean during painting
because there isn't solvent picking up pigment and depositing it in my


(Thanks again Karen)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

My still life "station"

I haven't been able to paint at all since the end of Elio Camacho's still life workshop. Finally today I set up my station and got a flood light, but it isn't the one Elio recommended (I couldn't find the Eiko brand). I wanted to keep it simple so I painted apples. I was in the dark with the flood light bouncing off my white table. In wonder I felt kind of blinded. Well..AND I missed some opportunities there in values and edges. I'll do better next time! I also tried to clean my brushes the way Elio suggested ..with baby oil only. That was weird. He swears it works really well. I don't know..the baby oil got really ucky right away and I had to replace it several times before the brushes seemed clean. I think he told us that they don't have to be cleaned with soap and water after cleaning with baby oil. Are they really clean this way? I don't know! Guess I will find out next time I go to use them. He said you should dry your brushes thoroughly because baby oil is a "non-drier". Does anyone out there use baby oil to clean their brushes?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Today's Reception for Eric Bowman & Gene Gill

There was a good turnout for "The Distance Traveled", the two man show at Broderick Gallery. It was especially great to see Gene Gill who recently had heart surgery. Every time I see Gene I remind him that I worked with him in the 1980's when he had an office in the Galleria. Sometimes I had to pick up an illustration from him for something my agency was working on. Just like in those days, Gene Gill adheres to a rigorous work ethic and his paintings just get better year after year. I am also lucky to know Eric Bowman too, having met him about four years ago when he won first place in the Hood River Columbia Arts Plein Air competition. Seeing all of his new work up on the walls was fantastic..every painting is gorgeous! One of Eric's prettiest pieces (a boat in dry dock) was sold while I was visiting the Gallery. And get this....George Broderick called me later today to tell me that someone bought MY painting (the rabbit!). The buyers had seen it earlier during the Fire & Ice show and came in to look at it again today. George had put it aside in his office..just in case they came in! That, my friends, is the type of old school salesmanship you won't find at "Etsy"! All in all...a really great Saturday afternoon. Don't miss seeing the Bowman/Gill is up until April 30. (I think Saturday afternoon is a pleasant time for an artist's reception..I really enjoyed seeing the art in the natural light).
Broderick Gallery
Photos top to bottom
Photo 1: Me & Eric
Photo 2: The gallery
Photo 3: Katherine van Schoonhoven & me
Photo 4: Eric & Gene in front of Gene's painting
Photo 5: L to R, George Broderick, Gene Gill & Eric Bowman