Saturday, January 30, 2010

Keizer Winter Solstice

("Winter Stream" -- SOLD!)

("New Snow"-- SOLD!)

Today I traveled to Keizer (about an hour drive) to have a look at the newly installed public art in the hallways of the Keizer Civic Center along with the Winter Solstice show, exhibited in a dedicated room. I couldn't stay for the unveiling of the permanent statue at 2:30pm, but I staged a peak under the drape...just for you, my blogging friends.
I understand that next year Keizer will repeat this event with another Call for Artists. The idea, if I understand it correctly, is that Keizer will purchase something for the building on an ongoing basis, in order to build a good collection for the public. Congratulations to my artist friend Mark Larsen, I believe one of his large pieces is being purchased and he was also recognized with an award. I am happy to report two of my snow scenes have new homes, sold from the Winter Solstice Show (which was only a two day event)! Sometimes things just turn out really nicely..this is one of those times! Thank you to all involved, especially Stephanie who delivered my work last week as a favor for me and to the Keizer Art Association.

Friday, January 29, 2010


A good portion of my day was spent putting together a donation for the Cascade AIDS Project. (The painting in this post is not what I am submitting). Artists actually get juried into the CAP event, so I don't want to put my donated piece in my blog yet..that might jinx me! Last year we delivered our donation submissions to a building, but this year I'll be delivering my piece to a parking lot downtown. That's how the instructions read. Sketchy! Kind of like espionage! Cool! By the way, if you'd like to donate, donations are being accepted both Saturday and Sunday. find out about it HERE.

(Oil study above = "Fields" oil on 5 x 7 canvas panel)

Thursday, January 28, 2010 O'Connor's

Our art group has been meeting on Tuesdays for several years at O'Connor's restaurant in Multnomah Village. "Mainstay" members (artists who show up most regularly) get to show work in monthly shows for 90 day increments. We've dubbed this offshoot group "Eight+" because it generally works out to be eight or nine artists. At the end of our stint another artist takes over the walls for 90 days and then we get the walls back again. To use a much overworked phrase, it's a "win-win" because we get to experiment with scale (check the height of those ceilings!) and also, the customers seem to really appreciate the rotating art. On top of all this good news, we've even sold work from here! We always look forward to art discussion and O'Connor's.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lotsa blue and white ....I am calling it good!

This started out as a value study. As I added detail I began to think it may work as a complete painting. Allowing the sky to be white is quite a departure for me...but the last few experiments seem to have pointed me in a "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" mode. It's only paint..!

oil on 5 x 7 gessoed board

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Just for fun

I very much admire painters who are brave enough to leave out a lot of detail. Less is more! This painting is done in the style of a British painter named Stephen Brown. I like to practice these types of things to see if I can really accept not painting a face. No face! Look...the dog has more of a face than the woman does. This was enjoyable to paint..and it is larger than you'd think..36x36.

Today I packaged up three paintings to send to the Keizer "Winter Solstice". My cat moofie decided to make himself cozy in my bubble wrap supply. Winter Solstice is part of the celebration of the new Keizer Civic Center. Come join in for the art sale on Friday Jan 29 4pm-8pm and the Mayor's Gala & Auction 6pm-10pm. On Saturday Jan 30 the art sale continues 10am-5pm with the Thomas Dove Statue Unveiling at 2:30pm. Food is served 3:30pm.
City of Keizer Civic Center, 930 Chemawa Road, NE Keizer, OR 97307

Sunday, January 24, 2010


My Mother would always say "the Devil is in his workshop" during a sunshower. (A sunshower is when rain is falling simultaneously while the sun is shining). Mom was Irish and the Irish seem to have an endless supply of colorful sayings and folklore. If the palm of your hand itches you will be coming into money! If your ear itches and it is red and hot, someone is talking about you... (I could go on and on!)

Oil on 5x7 gessoed board

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Closing in on the end of the month!

This week Eight+ (a group of 8+ artists who are regulars at O'Connor's) will be hanging some new work on the restaurant walls. It's a nice arrangement that we look forward to, because the walls are spacious and it gives us an opportunity to work large if we want. We put up work for 30 days at a time. I am working on a piece and I have to have it ready by Thursday. Will I make it? ....I suspect I will! I've gotten a lot of work done this month--with your help. When one of my oil sketches seem especially popular, then I know for sure that it is a good idea to take it further. Feedback is so valuable. We artists can sometimes like something of our own that no one else likes! I'm getting better at editing my work, but I sincerely value your input.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Big Poppy--Stage one

Floral painting is generally not my thing, but in keeping with my "red" painting plan..a poppy seemed a good subject. This painting will require another pass... it is not finished yet. I feel that it may be off to a good start you agree?

Oil on 12x24 stretched canvas

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Revisiting the Babushka painting

I've been watching a fantastic set of dvds about Russian Painting. I got it from the library. It's called A Sentimental trip home by Mikhalkov Nikita. It's subtitled and seems to have been produced for Russian television. Each episode is about a particular Russian painting and the story associated with it. The programs aren't instructional about how to's about the painter's lives and why they painted what they painted. I recommend it! It's clear that that Russians are never timid about lavishly applying paint..not to mention how they love color. I started this painting a couple of weeks ago. Tonight I sanded her down and tried to put the new paint on with смелость! (courage).

oil on 9 x 12 canvas panel

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Thinking about the year ahead

(Dancer-oil on 10x10 stretched canvas)
This painting is something I did a while back. I like a lot about this painting..mostly the skirt! I couldn't quite figure out what to do with the wall. Many of the paintings that I upload to my blog are studies only. (<---message to my Greek friend in California who emailed me that he wanted my last painting to have a blue sky!) haha! Everyone's a critic.

Today I spent some quality time with some like-minded people who want to make this year better than the last one! How to do that? The consensus is PLANNING and discretion about how to spend our time. I do pretty well in this department, but I know I can do much better. How do you do your planning? Do you map out the year or do you decide things on the fly?

I use a combination of a paper calendar and I like backpack (a free online system) for daily and weekly planning. backpack gives you 5 free pages. For my monthly/yearly calendar I prefer a "hardcopy" calendar to a digital one. I know that it is very important to have only ONE calendar! (I am always tempted to have more than one--that is a very bad idea).

Below is a backpack page sample for my simple to do list (You have to spend a little time learning how backpack works..but it is easy)! I combine my backpack lists with my hardcopy calendar. What about you? How do you plan so you won't miss deadlines?
(Click to enlarge):

Monday, January 18, 2010

Red tree

Oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Two fairly decent roses painted over a lousy forest

If I keep painting over failed paintings I might never have to buy another support again. I have a mountain of bad paintings. Someone told me once that many bad paintings is a very positive thing! Keep going despite bad painting and eventually, because of sheer tenacity and volume, more and more the bad paintings get replaced with better ones. The old painting was a plein air painting from last year where tried to capture the light filtering through a bunch of trees. Ugh! Didn't even come close to working! So, I placed the old painting upside down on my easel and I painted these two roses, with Richard Schmid in mind. Schmid is known for his crisp brushwork that is combined with washy looking strokes that serve as the background. I certainly did not accomplish what the master Schmid does....but it helped me to keep thinking about how he puts down paint cleanly and deliberately!

Oil on 5 x 7 gessoed board

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Traditional-ish Fruit

Anders Zorn was a Swedish painter, famous for using just four colors, White, Ivory black, Yellow Ochre, and Vermilion (or Cadmium Red Light or Medium).
Most great colorists used limited palettes. I've learned that the same limited palette that Zorn used was also used extensively by Sargent. Most of Sargent's watercolor work was accomplished with only four colors--ultramarine blue, yellow ochre, alizarin crimson, and burnt sienna.

Limited palettes are inexpensive, facilitate color harmony, and also allow for quick color-mixing when painting from life. Most observers of painting do not realize this, but experienced artists do! Many exceptional painters use limited palettes..(and don't consider it any kind of hardship).

I missed having blue on my palette...and this won't find it's way into a frame...but it was great practice and I love how uncomplicated and speedy it is to put out only FOUR colors! I'll do it again, for sure.

Oil on 9 x 12 canvas panel

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day's end

It rained cats and dogs here today. This study was painted using a previous plein air painting as a reference. I have miles of paintings to refer to from Sauvie island!

Today I went to the "Caught in the Moment" show. Whoa! I loved it. Only one more day left to see it. I did an interview with the curator.

Oil on 5x5 gessoed board.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Red sky at night, sailors' delight

The saying, "Red sky at night, sailors' delight, red sky at morning, sailors take warning" has always fascinated me...because from my own experience it seems completely true! If the red is in the evening no problem.. if the sunrise is red, the good weather has passed and rain is more likely to move in!

Another very accurate weather thing is (at least where I grew up in the midwest) ...if there is a distinct ring around the moon there will be snow the next day. It happened every time! Do you have weather indicators that you can count on?

Oil on 9 x 18 canvas panel

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Having tea with thoughts of Debb/Shelsmom

So, you'll please indulge me for a moment...This is a photo of a friend I made over the internet. Without warning... she left us very unexpectedly. Her name was Debb and I liked her very much.
Debra Kay Winslett
May 12, 1950 - Jan. 7, 2010
Godspeed, "Shelsmom".

Oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Red Woman

I am participating in a "RED" show in February. It's fun to have a reason to paint red things. I won't be submitting this, but I also probably wouldn't have painted it like this....were I not thinking about red.

Oil sketch on 11x14 gessoed board

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Friday, January 8, 2010

Twenty minute challenge, interior: bath

My blogger friend Katharine Cartwright challenges all comers to create something in 20 minutes and send it to her as a jpg along with a description, the size and medium and your name and link to you. If you do all that she will post your results onto the Twenty Minute Challenge blog. You can see my entry (and enter yourself!) here: Set the timer and paint for only 20 minutes. You might be surprised how much fun it is to paint for such a short time.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Going for contemporary

I am happy to report that I cleaned up my studio tonight..enough to find my Golden "Open" Acrylics that I bought last summer. (How is it I can lose my supplies? My studio can be like a labyrinth of stuff). Anyway! Here was my thinking about painting over this painting (scroll down). The original painting was something I did in the style of my friend George Broderick. When I did it I meant for it to be an homage to him for a show called "Expressions." It's served it's purpose and it is a stylized thing..but not my style. Goodbye, weird painting.
Acrylics lend themselves to abstract paintings and even though the "Open" brand is supposed to handle more like oil, I had it in my mind to try my hand at a quasi-abstract. This is what is good about being me--! I love simple graphic painting as well as traditional representational painting. My intention with this paint-over was to "carve" out shapes... allowing some of the negative shapes to create positive shapes and visa versa. It is meant to look somewhat cut-out --that's what I am going for. I'm super happy with the end result...I think it has a contemporary feel. Best of all, I enjoy how it is not easy to tell which side of these people we are looking at. Suggestion is gives the viewer much more to do than when the artist provides every detail. What do you think?

Acrylic on 24x24 gallery wrap canvas

My new painting also makes me think of "global" type things. Watch this video..(I promise it will make you smile! if you are old enough, you can also take a certain pride that this song originated during "our time"--the message, however, is completely timeless).

Monday, January 4, 2010

Rules are meant to be broken

So, my last post was about composition and how we oil painters (in particular) DO love to go on about it. In our art discussion group there have been sessions where we almost came to fisticuffs* over composition (oh, I am joking... no, I'm not). The best thing about knowing what you are supposed to do is realizing that those rules can be damned! In the painting above I have broken composition rules and (traditonal/representational) color rules too. Kitty Wallis was the first teacher I had to applaud a green sky. Green skies are really great.
*Fistycuffs is an expression used usually by Englishmen, meaning a fight, (and usually incorporating a lots of whooping, and saying "what?!")

Oil on 6x6 gessoed board

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Steelyard composition

I've been thinking about paintings seem to come out best when I have a plan. This painting is based on the "Steelyard composition". The Steelyard uses distribution of forms based on size...a large size element and a smaller one placed far from the center in the opposite direction.
My favorite book on the subject of Composition is Edgar Payne's book, Composition of Outdoor Painting. Here is something out of Payne's book that I really enjoy considering.."what to avoid when composing"... I have made all these errors several times over... It's best to have a plan!
(click to enlarge)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Keeping my hand in

Here is a little painting that I painted from a previous plein air painting. Sometimes, the 2nd (copy) painting doesn't retain the original feel. In this case, I think it is better than the first one. I like how those green trees are bending toward the water.

Oil on 5 x 7 gallery wrap canvas