Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Big Winner

We went on our family beach vacation last week and I took some watercolor painting supplies with me.During some down time I got a few paintings done. I did not have subject matter to look at but  just painted flowers from memory. I have painted flowers so many times that I have a pretty good mental catalogue of mental flowers. Especially those that are whimsical and fantasy based. We had 15 family members in a big rental house and had a good time despite the corona virus. We Ate all of our meals at the beach house, just venturing out a few times to pick up food.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Wake Up Call

This painting uses a limited palette of  the complementary colors red and green. There are variations of the two colors that make it seem that there are more colors in the painting.The backlighting gives the painting a little more drama to an ordinary subject. Geraniums are common but the composition of this one is a little dramatic.

Friday, May 29, 2020

For the Beauty

I don’t do landscapes as often as flowers. You will notice that I often sneak in flowers in my landscapes. I am hopeless! I totally left reality when choosing color for this painting; well not bright purple and orange. I want to feel a little excitement when looking at a painting. Otherwise why go to the trouble of painting it. When I first started painting I was just glad to get something down that looked like what I was seeing. I now want to push it farther.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Red Tree

It is always important to have a center of interest in a painting. An easy way to make that happen is to make that center of interest different from other areas of the painting. Since a summer or spring landscape has a lot of green in it; a pop of red is unexpected,
. This guarantees an immediate attention getter, a position that is not dead center in the composition is important too.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Life Instructions

In 1987 I went to Matisse Retrospective at the museum of Modern Art in NYC. It was a huge  show featuring many of his works that had been hidden away from the public due to the Nazis. It was an overwhelming experience. His works are primarily interesting to me because of his use of pattern;often mixing 2 or 3 in one painting. I had finished this painting earlier but it lacked something. It was good enough but a little boring. I added some pattern to it that gave it some life, taking a little instruction from Henri Matisse.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Remember Me

I tend to paint florals more than landscapes but the same principles apply in both subjects. My one objection to landscapes in summer is that there is so much green that they can tend to be boring. In this landscape I tweaked the colors to make the painting more interesting. You may not find these exact colors in nature but they make for a more pleasing painting.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Game On

In a 2 dimensional painting texture usually has to be implied. Some artists use oil paint thickly
which adds a texture of its own. I choose to try to create texture by the use of value and brush strokes. in this painting there is a variety of texture. Smooth texture is in the blue cloth in the foreground which contrasts with the rough nubby texture of the basket. The flower petals would feel smooth to the touch but the way they are tightly layered would give them a ruffly feel If touched.

Friday, May 8, 2020

White Emperor Tulips

This painting has gone through a few versions.Each one has sat on a shelf and stared at me for a few days. I did not really like those versions very much; not really a dislike just not very interesting. I realized it needed something more. It had a background that was a pretty shade of blue but was too close in value to the leaves. There was not enough contrast in the painting. So I decided the dark background would work better and it did. Drama always wins!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Midnight Fiesta

The title of a painting just comes to me often with no effort. When I finished this one I immediately was reminded of the colorful clothing of the members of a mariachi band. The painting is saved from being too colorful by the neutral textured vase and the dark background but still has enough color to be quite lvely.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

One Steo Ahead

There was a book written several years ago titled Love in the Time of Cholera. Well , painting now seems to be Art in the time of Corona. Some artists are  saying they are having a difficult time getting started painting right now. They feel unsettled and uneasy.I feel that too but I find that painting eases those feeling. Two hours of painting allows me to escape all the worries of the world for a time. Good Therapy!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Blues Club

I had done an earlier version of this painting. It was fine but something about it wasn’t quite right
to me.It took me a long time to figure it out. It was the background ; which I had painted a golden color. I realized what it needed was a little more drama so I gave it a dark background and it made all the difference. It spoke to me; I finally listened.

Make a Deal

There are many color schemes to choose from for a painting. For this one I started with a primary colr scheme and added onto that.Because of all the bright colors I felt that a soft neutral was important in the foreground. Another bright color would have really jangled the nerves of the viewer. The soft beige of the table is just right to make the bright colors pop.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

On The Horizon

When painting objects that are similar there are certain things that need to be done to make the painting more interesting.These zinnias are similar size and shape so one way to vary them is in change of color. Some are darker and lighter red and a few are white for contrast.
Another way to add interest is to make the bucket very different from the zinnias. The color and texture of the bucket contrasts with the flowers.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Higher Love

I think the thing that makes this painting work so well is the dark background. It gives the painting a certain drama that makes the flowers pop. The flowers would work as well with a light background but would have a totally different feel to it.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Don’t Stand so Close to Me

In 1980 The Police came out with a son that had a lyric tha said “Don't stand so close to me”. In these days of social isolation it is relevant. When I see a tv show where people are shaking hands or standing in crowds it causes me to cringe. I don’t think we will go back to hand shaking! These flowers are certainly close together in a crowd; although maybe they are in the same family so it may be perfectly acceptable.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Mark My Words

This painting started from a look at a photograph and a germ of an idea in my head. The end result ended up looking nothing like either one, but that is okay. If it was so easy I would be bored instead of being tortured every time I am working on a painting. I go back and forth between love and hate; pride and self doubt every time I paint. Eventually I get to a place where I am pretty satisfied with the result. That is what happens when art is still made by a human and not a machine!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Fortune’s Garden

This is a garden  scene that is relatively close up. It is not a panorama that shows distant mountains and fields so there is not a lot of depth. When I first painted it, there was something a little off. I looked at it for a week and then realized it just looked like a wall of flowers. I then added some darker areas toward the back to show som parts that pushed  back some of the foliage and it worked.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Garden Club

This painting started as a demo for a local garden club a few weeks ago. It was before the current situation of the coronavirus and seems like a different world away. I chose colors that were harmonious to each other in shades of red and coral..I started with a background that was painted  red and I used transparent oil paints as a first layer. The next layer consisted of opaque colors  blended with the transparent colors.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Fortune’s Garden

I think garden scenes are my favorite scenes to paint. There is always something new to see every time you look at a garden view; whether it is a new flower that just bloomed or a newly sprouted vine. This garden is part meadow, part garden and just on the edge of being wild. It is as if it might have been on the verge of totally returning to nature.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Your Song

I love red  as the the main color in a floral arrangement , especially with a white background. I didn't draw the flowers first, I started with a red underpainting and just added different shapes of flowers, ending with leaf shapes until the composition was balanced. The white background was added last as a negative space.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

In The Vicinity

Color could be the most important thing about a painting.It is usually the first thing one notices about a painting; more so than the actual drawing of the painting. The colors chosen for this painting are analagous or neighboring colors. That means colors that are close to each other on the color wheel- they are more harmonious .

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Believe The Story

I did a painting demo for a local garden club yesterday. I painted  something similar to this painting
for the demo. I explained the style as a kind of abstract impressionism learned from the many different workshops I have attended. This painting was started without a drawing; just shapes  of color that developed from a composition that I had sketched out on a piece of paper. I really love this type of loose painting style  because I never know exactly where it is going.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Be The Light

Painting the background of a painting is often the hardest thing to do.One solution I have found is to make the subject matter fill up as much space as possible. This makes less space in the background to worry about! In this painting I just repeated a lot of the colors of the flowers along with a neutral to make the painting pop.
I love to paint this kind of bright splashy colorful painting. It reminds me of a box of candy with all of the reds and pinks; a kid’s version of heaven. Even though the colors are quite similar I had to show some contrast by changing the values of the reds and also by cooling the temperatures.It was a delicious exercise!

Friday, January 31, 2020

Geranium Table

I love geraniums because of the beautiful red or pink color and the sturdy leaves. This painting is for a commission for the client’s kitchen. Repetition is involved here; it is kept from being boring by varying the color and size of the leaves and shadows. Since the red is so bright the gray neutral color serves as a relief for the eyes and allows the flowers to be the star.

Saturday, January 25, 2020


I love the metal lid on this mason jar used for a vase. I have a tube of paint named Pewter. I used  it as a pure color on the lid but I also use it as a color to mix with other colors to make them more neutral. I added the pewter to the green in the leaves of this bouquet. The grayed green makes a good cool color against the bright pinks and reds of the flowers.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Tipping Point

I fell in love with the colors of this bouquet. It reminded me of opening a new school watercolor paint set with the oval color pans set out in a row. I always couldn’t wait to use the brush to get those colors wet and start painting. I now know the paints in the tube are better to paint with but for a 10 year old the colors were heaven. I love the orange , red and purple together.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Here To Stay

This is another of my acrylic paintings done with my new Golden brand paints. It is true that you get what you pay for. The more expensive paints have more pigment so the colors are just more vivid and brilliant. I am enjoying working with these paints. Years ago when I first started painting I never thought I would be painting glass. Now I look forward to it because I love all of the shapes and colors I see in the glass.

Day in the Sun

I have been painting mostly with oils for quite a while. I recently signed up for an acrylic workshop in May so I bought some new acrylic paints to use in the workshop. This painting is the first painting using the new paints.One thing that helped is using the addition of a retarder to stop the paints from drying too quickly.That was the main problem I had experienced with acrylics in the past. I still love using oils but it is nice to have a painting ready to hang in a matter of hours.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Heavenly Whites

I love color and most of my paintings have a lot of it. But sometimes I try to keep them as neutral as possible while still having a lot of color barely visible. This painting is an example of that. There are a lot of blues, greens, reds and purples if you really look carefully.