Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Corner Table

16 in. x 12 in. o/c
I thought I would revisit a truly awful painting, throw caution to the wind (insofar as I am able), mostly ignore the reference, and paint more out of my head--a confusing place. To me it seems at least no worse, possibly an improvement. The original effort below.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

6 in x 6 in. oil on panel
This feels like a rough start at getting back to work. Does painting in a way that is not always successful--instead of doing what you know and being bored--constitute progress?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Poppies & Ponies

18 x 24 in. oil on canvas

My next-to-last effort before the Art Studio Trek open studio this weekend. This is a composite of shots taken in Rocklin.

Saturday, April 9, 2016


24x18" o/c
I went back into this and made some minor changes, so will re-post again shortly.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Joy & Sorrow

20x20" o/c
Decided to re-work this unsuccessful painting I did about a year ago. I was struggling to get back to more regular painting after a period of being mostly unable to work. I have done 36 (mostly small) paintings since then--more than I thought, but fewer than I "should" have. Hub's comment: "The drips look weird." I happen to like them.

Monday, March 14, 2016


8 in x 8 in. oil on panel

Time for shooting reference has been limited lately.  Thank you, Morguefile.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Sand Harbor Sunset

11 in. x 14 in. o/c
This is the first of several Tahoe paintings I've planned to do since our trip last October. Thought I'd start small before diving into a much larger one. However, my next project is something else entirely. More on that in a few days. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Wild, again

8x8" oil on cradled hardwood panel - SOLD
This is my second entry for the Oregon Society of Artists 8x8 show.  With the panels provided and only one shot each at doing something decent, I am uptight. Hence another version of an earlier painting I thought was OK, though one that is not as loose.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sunny Eucalyptus

20x18"oil on canvas

If I have any theme at all, I guess it's trees. I love their structure and, of course, the play of light on and below them. This beauty is in Land Park, not far from the Sacramento Zoo. An poorer image I posted a couple of days ago was taken with my camera. Since then, I gave it a warm glaze and scanned it instead. Lesson learned.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Foothill Sentinel

8x8 oil on wood panel - SOLD
I entered an "8x8" competition that provides cradled painting panels and ordered two. What I didn't consider is that by painting on them directly, I have only one shot each to produce something decent. So that feels totally constricting. Here's my first, and I have lost all objectivity about it. I painted the sides really well, though.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

I Hate Painting

Three of five works in progress, various sizes
Most people assume making art is enjoyable, but for me it has always been "work"--i.e., struggle, staying focused, etc. To paraphrase the great Dorothy Parker, I hate painting, I love having painted. (I feel a little better knowing she felt the same way about writing.)

Over the past couple of years, I have been addicted to showing small paintings on my blog and Facebook and selling them on DPW. I even perfected the art of scanning wet paint pieces, so I could show them minute they were finished. This addiction forced me to paint alla prima and (when I painted at all) to finish relatively quickly. Selling a fair number and feeling obligated to regularly post more is motivating. However, I've realized that if everything is auctioned online (and for bargain basement prices) I won't have enough inventory for my scheduled 2016 shows and open studio.

Working on several large and small pieces simultaneously has slowed the process a bit, and it occurs to me this may have some advantages, too. It allows  better reassessment after focusing on a different painting for awhile, and working on drier paint makes changes and layering somewhat easier.

But I get impatient with the process still prefer "having painted."

Saturday, January 2, 2016


10 in x 10 in. oil on panel-mounted canvas

Love this little vase I recently found at my favorite high-end thrift shop.
Looking at my Christmas present to me--Dan McCaw's book--definitely inspired a looser paint application and motivates me to keep it going.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Shoreline Showoff

12 in. x 12 in. oil on canvas inauspicious return to the easel, following another period of death and disaster. I had started several drawings on  larger canvasses before throwing in the towel altogether for several weeks. So I finally will be painting those. My Christmas present to me was Dan McCaw's seminal, long out-of-print, book, A Proven Strategy for Creating Great Art (2002). It has provided even more color insights and helped cement my resolve to avoid rendering.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Daffodil Cheer

14 in x 18 in. oil on canvas
For my entry in Ironstone Vineyards' Spring Obsession theme division, I indulged in a little slide back into a tighter realism. Past entries in my more painterly style have gone nowhere, so this year I decided to try a more illustrative approach, as the winning entry is used on a poster for the vineyard's latest release of  their "Obsession Symphony" wine. The label features a daffodil, in honor of Ironstone's massive plantings of bulbs and annual Daffodil Days celebration.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Hidden Gems

8x8" oil on panel

Unlike riding a bicycle, painting is not something you never forget. When not used daily, creative "muscles" do atrophy. It feels much longer than three-and-a-half weeks since I last painted, and getting back to work is a real struggle. When not painting, ideas and inspiration dissipate, and the mere act of starting feels overwhelming. Part of it is not knowing exactly where I'm going and the irrational fear of failling, wasting time and supplies. To help overcome this, I fell back on another version of a previously successful subject I enjoyed and ended up happier with it than I anticipated.

It's not as if I've been watching TV and eating bon-bons. Among other things, since September 1, I have: moved a kid from home to a college apartment (love building that IKEA furniture), cleaned and re-organized his vacated room, painted and re-built a 15-ft closet in which all of the 25-yr-old shelving unexpectedly collapsed, spent two weekends helping clean out my MIL's vacated apartment, done three week's worth of the visiting kid's laundry, reorganized and singlehandedly moved a lot of furniture in my two main rooms, and, though barely computer literate, made a website (still under construction) for my spring studio tour group. I now realize it's time to spruce up my own blog/site...eventually.

I'm sure the struggle to build and maintain momentum will continue, as it seems there is always "something" vying for my attention these days. I'm ending the starting-below-half-price auctions for now, in order to build up enough inventory for the open studio only six months away.