Friday, January 31, 2014

The Results Are In

This is a quick post to share my collage from Leslie Saeta's challenge, 30 paintings in 30 days.  It was a wonderful and amazing experience in many ways.  Thank you all for your support, comments, purchases (!) and interest.  I hope to keep things going!

The Paintings
click here to see my gallery and auctions

Created collage with an on-line program called picmonkey. Just go to PicMonkey and select "create a collage".   It's free, fun and only takes a few minutes - try it out.



Thursday, January 30, 2014

Day 30 - Shoe Candy

Oh no, today is the last day of the Leslie Saeta 30in30!  I have to say this is THE most art inspiring thing I've participated in that really propels me forward, challenges my comfort zone, and at the end really let's you know "you did it."  

Afterwards, you can look back and say, "Hey if I did that, I can probably tackle the next super-duper-double-dare."    Leslie, thank you so very much - you are an inspiration of the best kind!  I will tell you all again, Leslie makes it seem so do-able that you fearlessly charge in and love how much you thrive - even if you don't hit all 30! 

I have no idea why this title makes sense to me . . . . I've painted this shoe before.  Picked it for my 30in30 January "swan song" because I just love it and wanted to see how she would look in a new "outfit."   Oh my, a switch from turquoise to pink is almost indescribable.  What was I thinking, until I fell in love and decided it reminded me of candy, valentine's day is approaching (okay so maybe that's what took over my other brain), childhood adventures to the fair with amazing pink cotton candy, and perhaps a throw-back to the term  "eye-candy" from my years. Whatever, I hope you like it. 

Shoe Candy

Shoe Candy
click here to bid

Check out Leslie's other artists here

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Day 29 - Orange-Rageous

What to talk about today?  Had a wonderful meet up with my art club last weekend - small group yet always so much fun and quite an adventure for me because they live about an hour away.  We all met in a class when I first started getting serious about painting and have been meeting up almost monthly and taking a few classes together along the way.  It's fantastic hanging out with art-peers who are supportive, informative and well heck - fun to be with.  Our bond is art -- the rest of our lives couldn't be more different, but we share equally in life's challenges and delights! 

With sadness in my heart, I hate to say that the place where we met is closing down - displacing many art students, several working artist studios, and a lively gallery.  For some reason there aren't many classes in this area (despite being just outside of DC), so that's why I traveled so far to get into a class after work.  It is truly unfortunate as it feels like family - along with it goes the Petite Perspectives show that I was so looking forward to with my fancy frames and all. 

I'm sure there will be another day - at least this gives me more time to work out what to paint for those frames. . . .  Meanwhile, I really wanted to finish the orange series, so here' what I have for you.   The background was giving me a fist-fight so I pulled out the artistic license card and did it my way!  Ha ha.  Happy with the way it turned out even if it is a bit different than "the plan."  Again, it's hard to pass up a wonderful photo like this.  


click here to bid
Enjoy, stay warm by looking at this hot tulip!

Check out Leslie's other artists here

Colors of Spring

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Work in Progress

What a slacker, am I!  It's the weekend when I'm supposed to be inspired and raring to go, but seem to be out of creative fuel.  Thought you might be interested in watching a Work In Progress (WIP).  I find it a bit oddly humorous that a WIP is one letter away from a WIPE (as in wipe off the crazy painting and start over).  Ha ha.    Forgive me for the bad and dark humor. 

Usually, I paint in one session, but last December I had a painting that just wasn't working out so ended up going back to it several times, changing things, and doing some glazing.  Well, let's just say I think it turned out to be my best of 2013.  So this WIP is about continuing that journey.

Some back-story, I have a few amazing gold frames that are just begging for art.   Thing is, my paintings are too bold for the elegant / regal / traditional frames so trying to find the middle ground.  Enter the Naked Pear.  By that I mean, here's stage one of the pear looking forward to having some layers applied to make it a star.  Would love feedback and help on glazing - a new venue for me.  Right off, I think it is too mid-tone and needs to be lighter to carry the glaze. . . .  maybe a great artist reading this blog will set up a workshop (even online) about glazing.  Hint, hint.  The plan is to tone down the red/purple, but thought those colors would work with the gold frame.  Comments please!

Naked Pear - help glaze me 

I'm hoping to post the progress on this WIP and look to you to help me figure it out!  Stay tuned.

As promised to my blog family, these are off to new homes, I will miss them. 

Three in a Row
Tucson, AZ
Sunflower in Winter
Austin, TX

Check out Leslie's other artists here

Friday, January 24, 2014


Okay, orange things I like, it is!  I thought this would be so easy - slashes of light, color, etc. but I struggled.  Spent two days and still not sure why it didn't really come together, but guess it will dawn on me some day.   I love the drama of the darks and light, but sometimes I think photos should be photos and paintings should be paintings.  Regardless, I've learned a lot about how to take a photo to a painting.    

This is such a fantastic, compelling photo I just had to give it a go. 

Three Callas
click here to bid

Photo credits go to Viacheslav, Callas3 on Paint My Photo.  

callas3 photo for painting

Check out Leslie's other artists here.

Looking forward to the weekend, catching up on the 30/30, meeting up with my fab art club, painting and just relaxing.  I hope you do too!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Frilly Lily

Not sure what to call this next series as they seem to start with an idea and then evolve into "oh so clever" and consistent.  Only this time, I fell in love with this seemingly simple lily, just had to go for it, and now wondering what to call the series.  Maybe orange things I like?  Ha ha.  Hopefully tomorrow I'll find clarity on this new adventurous path.

There's just something happy and fun about this one and I absolutely loved painting it.  For some reason the Blogger photo has a bit of glare - a symptom of black paint and not allowing it dry enough to photo.  My DPW gallery picture is more true-to-life.  

Frilly Lily
Click here for purchase info

Check out Leslie's other artists here.

Photo credits go to Carrie Layne Mashon, Lily,  So glad they allow some artistic license!  Loved the buds but didn't think i could "render" them well enough.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Last Sunflower

. . . back to reality - sister in town over the holiday and frankly, painting every day is exhausting.  Loved having a little break with this guilt-releasing excuse . . .  

Massive snow in the DC area, so trapped in the studio!  What to do???

The Last Sunflower had more than a few challenges which I won't bore you with, but it has finally been released from the art-ICU.   I think the recovery has gone fairly well!  Quite curious that the third sunflower painting is actually called the last sunflower.  Even naming paintings has been easier with the Paint My Photo support system. 

Last Sunflower
Click here for purchase info 

Photo credits go to Janina Suuronen, Last Sunflower This Year 

Last sunflower this year

Happy day - a few more paintings are off to a great home.  Bittersweet though since my "trophy" painting honored by Daily Paintworks (on the left) is one of them, but I know it will be in a terrific place.   I am seriously addicted to eating cantaloupe right now, so the painting probably feels much safer being far away from my sharp knives.  I know the red pepper agrees. . . . Ha, ha. life is fun!

Luscious Cantaloupe
New York, NY
Red Pepper
New York, NY

Thanks again for reading my blog and all the wonderful comments.  The comments are really helping to keep me motivated.  

Check out Leslie's other artists here.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Hot, Wild, and Bold!

What fun doing the first sunflower which led me to another PaintMyPhoto that I just could not pass up. What's interesting about this "experiment" is the background.  I love painting on a brightly toned canvas and letting some of the color come through the painting.  

It started with my favorite Persian Rose (Williamsburg Paints).  I was debating whether to paint the background black or maybe a brilliant blue when my husband walked in - he liked the bright rose, so I repainted the background and love the way it turned out.  Hot, Wild, and Bold!  Happy space.  I may have to keep this one for my personal gallery.  We'll see.

Hot, Wild and Bold!
see my gallery here - who knows maybe I'll put a price on it!

Thanks again for reading my blog and for checking out Leslie's other artists here 

Photo credits go to Trish Acres Sunflower 


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Summer in Winter?

How interesting that there's an event on DPW called the "Summer in Winter Challenge" - the idea is to paint a bright sunny "something" and make us forget the winter for a moment or two.  I must have been thinking along those lines when I started the next 30in30 mini-series: Sunflowers. The DPW challenge is here to see lots of happy, warm paintings.  Know someone who needs a pick-me-up?  These little paintings make great, special gifts.

I realize the mid-Atlantic is in deep winter, but I kinda think of this as the teaser-season.  One day you feel like you've moved to the North Pole (but without decent snow removal!) and the next, you're looking to see if the daffodils are about to bloom!  BTW, This season lasts for weeks. . . 

Maybe we all just need to see something, bright, warm and happy.  I hope you do too.

Sunflower in Winter
click here to bid - starts Friday 1/17

This is a painting I've done before because I love the photo so much - it just makes you want to dive right into the heart of the sunflower and create your own story about how and why you are there.  What a great journey.

Photo credits go to Paint My Photo  Rosalind Amorin, Sunflower 2

Sunflower 2

Before I forget - sold painting traveling tomorrow, naturally to a place that's always summer - even in the winter!  Congrats on winning the auction.  

Veggie Portrait

Palm Bay, FL

Thanks again for reading my blog and for checking out Leslie's other artists here.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Affirmation and Humbleness

I wasn't planning to blog today, but the most delightful thing happened yesterday.  The DailyPaintworks site that hosts my gallery and auctions has an "event" where they select a few paintings and call them out as "You're one of our DPW Facebook picks of the day!" I thought about making it an art-wish this year, but said to myself "let's keep things lofty, but do-able."  Have big ideas, but feet on the ground art girl.  Click here to see the fb page. You'll have to scroll down a bit but you'll get to enjoy a few of the best. . . .  The painting selected was this one from yesterday.

Luscious Cantaloupe
click here to bid

What I'm realizing about this challenge is you have to work really hard, grapple with all sorts of feelings, lean on your lover/support system, color outside the lines, stretch more than you imagined, and when an affirmation rolls in -- it is a very heady experience.  Not only in being recognized, but last night while painting, one of my auctions was bidding up to the last minute.  I guess as artists, we thrive on outside motivation and to me -- this is IT!  Then we get to do it again the next day :-)

So for the picture part, posting the paintings that have sold recently and landed in great places.  I am so amazed that so many people of all walks of life come together through art.  A truly humbling and delightful experience. Wish these well on their journey!

Little Beauty
Hurst, Texas
Tranquility Beckons
Peru, Indianna

Junco - Black Tie Affair
Herndon, VA

Oh yeah, new painting series underway with one in the "dryer."

Thanks again for reading my blog and for checking out Leslie's other artists here 

Monday, January 13, 2014

On the Ground Take 2

What a surprise -- cantaloupes also qualify for "edible ground fruit." 

Something I knew about yesterday, but switched it out for the Honeydew because I attempted to "paint from life" and WOW, I'm really out of practice!  Took forever to set up this simple thing, get the light right, etc.  I also put a piece of glass under it for the reflection.  I am still not happy with it and yes I know this is about practice vs. perfect, but . . . .

So I went hunting for a Paint My Photo inspiration and found this luscious one -- decision made - two ground fruit and one miss counts as a series!   Know what I mean?  BTW, I LOVE eating cantaloupe, honeydews - well not so much.

On The Ground, Take 2.

Luscious Cantaloupe
click here to bid

Thanks again for reading my blog and for checking out Leslie's other artists here 

Unfortunately I didn't get to paint yesterday and not too sure my work week ahead, is behind me (a wink and a smile)!  Decided posting and setting up the next series was more important in keeping me rolling forward with the challenge.   Maybe painting under stress is a good thing - I'll have to try that soon!

Photo credits go to Lillian Bell, Slice of Cantaloupe 
Slice of Cantaloupe

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Day 13 - On the Ground

For the next mini-series ended up with "edible ground fruit." I realize that sounds rather dull, awful AND awkward, but did you know there's still much discussion about whether or not a melon is a fruit or a vegetable?  Maybe you remember the "ketchup is a vegetable" war from the 1980's. . .  

My, I-don't-have-the-attention-span for all the details, is going with -- if it's sweet, it's a fruit; if not, it's a veggie.  So that brings us to the awesome Ground Fruit Series.  All I wanted to do was paint a couple of hopefully luscious looking melons without a lot of debate.  Apparently, watermelons are so controversial it cannot be decided what they are!  I guess they are just not sweet enough, besides if you're like me, gotta have a pinch of salt. 

BTW, I don't think there are three ground fruit on the planet.  Let me know if you think of something.   

Geez, art girl, stay calm, and take it one day - one painting at a time!

On the Ground, Take One.

click here to bid

I LOVE, love, love this painting - the reference photo was so realistic and that's what drew me in (not to mention the opportunity for an extreme 30in30 challenge).  As I painted, decided it would be fun to make it really loose and almost abstract. The photo may look a little glarey 'cause it's still pretty wet and lots of medium to make it really juicy!   What an adventure mixing colors . . . 

Thanks again for reading my blog and for checking out Leslie's other artists here 

Reference photo credits go to Lillian Bell, Honeydew.   

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Day 11 - Leap Frog

Painted last night, into the night.  Love this one 'cause it's on a reflective surface which adds a new challenge and unique dimension.  It's a red pepper, but OMG so much of it was warm pink/orange which was so much fun to paint.  An artist I met last year turned me on to Williamsburg - Persian Rose.  Yummy, awesome, warm pink!  Love it.  Mixes up/down very well.  Go ahead, steal the secret.   Looking for an excuse to buy more colors, if you have suggestions.

Red Pepper
click here to bid

Focusing on getting back on track - weekend priority #1 is paint, get ahead and get through the whole 30!  Last time I got half and I didn't have a day job so gotta do better this time despite the obstacles!

Thanks again for reading my blog and for checking out Leslie's other artists here

Super glad tonight because two paintings sold - see below.  Lots of action on the other auctions too! click here to see what's up.

Red Breasted Nuthatch
Austin, TX
Baby It's Cold Outside (BICO)
Austin, TX

Thanks again for reading my blog and for checking out Leslie's other artists here

Reference photo credits go to Lillian Bell, Red Pepper PaintMyPhoto 
Red pepper

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Day 9 - Pooped!

I guess the phrase is too pooped to scoot!  Dog-tired or whatever you prefer.  Although I live on the east coast, those mid-western phrases really convey true feelings. . . .   I am loving this challenge because even though you come home from a long day at work, your brain is all about how am I going to post to Leslie's site, get the blog done, etc.  Okay, I know, exhausting just thinking about it.  On the flip side, I work with a lot of parents who are juggling jobs, parenting, just getting dinner on the table, and creating some sort of future strategy to make life better -- Humbling, compared to my goal to paint every day.  IMHO, quality of life is based on working really, really hard and having a positive attitude no matter what life dishes up.  

I'm going to post the painting (now that it is drier and it was a wonderful, sunny day), but that awesome photographer, well he comes with an amazing eye and points out "the" spots.  He's so right, no need for a nit in a fine painting! So tonight I made a few tweaks to it -- and will post an updated photo to my gallery / auction.  

Yellow Pepper Preview

Updates coming to my current gallery/auctions here.

The weekend is near, so hoping tonight's rest renews me, physically, mentally and artistically.  I really want to paint and loving that there seems to be more interest in my work --- have to keep that going no matter what!  Thank you Leslie Saeta for renewing interest and lighting a fire under my easel! 

Thanks again for reading my blog and for checking out Leslie's other artists here

Yellow Pepper from PaintMyPhoto Lillian Bell 

Yellow pepper

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Day 8 - Watching Paint Dry

Isn't there some sort of joke about it doesn't get more boring than watching paint dry?   Welcome to my world!  Ha, ha.  In my madness to catch up, I have a painting but alas it's too wet and too late to photo.  Insider secret . . .  you have to have everything done a day or two ahead just to be on time!  At least one day to let the paint dry for the photo (including hoping for a great sunny day) and time to get a humbly, yet creative, blog together. Oh my. 

Rather happy with Veggie #2 'cause it's bold, loose, minimal strokes (one of my other experimentation challenges) and from a great PaintMyPhoto.  Guess it's a day late, will have to figure out how to leap ahead.  More holidays, please.

Meanwhile here's an iPhone pic of my palette on this one. Ahhhh, I can hear the crowd roaring in delight!  sorry - kinda fuzzy  

Have a great day. 

Click here to see all the artists participating in Leslie's 30 in 30.  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Day 7 - Veggie Portrait

Exhaustion has arrived with back-to-work/post-holiday-drama along with not getting a chance to paint last Sunday or Monday - good thing I painted one day ahead.  Hopefully I will catch up quickly.    Pressure is on.

Veggie Portrait
click here to bid 

This time the photo credentials go to my husband.  Great composition, colors, lighting, light/darks, you name it.  He has this mysterious and delightful brain, camera, artistic-sense, amazing sense of humor, and approach that is just downright mesmerizing.  Sometimes I "don't get it", but other times I just cannot ignore it.  Photographers and painters have different "eyes", if you ask me.   I absolutely love how the darks intersect with all the veggies which I guess is what makes me think of an elegant, regal portrait.  Plus, I'm always happiest when my inner color boldness takes over.

p.s. I wonder if he did an extra special job of photographing this painting. . . . hmmmmm.  Smart and clever!

Click here to see all the artists participating in Leslie's 30 in 30.  

Thanks for stopping by. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Day 6 - Three in a Row

For the finale of the water lily series, I just couldn't pass up this photo.  How interesting that it has three lily pads --- hmmmm. . .  they seem close enough together to hop from one to the next.  You can practically imagine using them as stepping stones into the new year.  Painting fish is another artistic challenge.  I've painted a few Koi and somehow they seem to paint themselves, so I hope you like this one as much as I do.  I'm very happy with the looseness and painterly feel of this one.  

It's back to work for me AND a new mini-series needs to be launched!  I sure hope I can keep up the pace this week and the rest of January.  Bring it on!

Three in a Row
click here to bid (starts 1/6/14)

Click here to see all the artists participating in Leslie's 30 in 30.  The link will be live early on day 6.  I have to say that I'm thrilled that my paintings are getting attention and several have bids and/or sold.  Really helps in the motivation department!  Thank you so much.

Koi Hawaiian Hilton Village
original - PaintMyPhoto - Koi Hawaiian Hilton Village from photographer Pauline
thanks for stopping by - have a great week!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Day 5 - Little Beauty

Here's water lily number two, such a little beauty don't you think?  I loved the composition of this photo and the shadow underneath the petal on the left. Oh, and I just realized that you can't see the reference photos unless you register at Paint My Photo (free).  So I'll include a small pic if you're interested.  I don't usually paint from photos, but I am having a surprisingly good time.  Mental note to not stray too far too long . . .   Having to compose a still life (even if it's only one object) takes me more time than it should so I think I'm getting rather spoiled.  

Little Beauty
click here to bid (starts 1/5/14)

Thanks again for reading my blog and for the wonderful comments.  

Click here to see all the artists participating in Leslie's 30 in 30.  The link will be live early on 1/5/14.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Day 4 - Tranquility Beckons

On to the next mini-series.

The basic idea was "how about doing a series of flowers."  I kind of OD'd on flowers and haven't thought about them in a while, but I fell in love with water lilies again as I was searching around for 30in30 ideas. Well I guess one water lily leads to the next so decided on another triple play.  Originally, was thinking different types of flowers, so maybe the other lovelies will take root in a future series (wink, wink).   This whole challenge is about practice, so doing sets of threes should really get the brain / paint brush muscle memory started.  There is so much green in a water lily painting, I guess it is fun having that challenge too.  Oh my. . .

I wanted to focus on the interplay between warm and cool colors and taking special care to mix warm-warm vs. cool-cool and put them next to each other to cause a dramatic commotion (this is my way of saying "pop").  With green, there are a ton of opportunities because green leans both ways - warm and cool.  I'll let you know when I figure out how to tell them apart!  Still pretty much of a mystery to me.  I loved the shadow on this one, especially since it's a top-down view.

Water lily
click here to bid (starting on 1/5)

Seriously, what does your next lily pad look like?  Will your 2014 resolutions take you somewhere new and exciting? Always gotta keep an eye out for where you want to be!  I'd forgotten how important it is to have a goal - it's your choice whether or not you pursue it and how hard you go after it.  Just make a goal already, you are the only one keeping score. . .   that's what I love about Leslie's challenge - try but don't expect to be perfect, life just isn't that way.

Click here to see all the artists participating in Leslie's 30 in 30.  The link will be live early on 1/4/14.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Black Tie Affair, Birdman Style

Thought it would be fun to paint a few mini-series for the 30in30 so this is the last bird for now (get it, 3in3).  Have received enough complements that I'm sure I'll do more in 2014.  Thank you all.  

This bird photo was found on  Wet Canvas.  This site has an amazing amount of information and forums from oil painting to fiber arts (for my artistic friends who knit, sew, etc.) and all media in between.  Check it out.  It's free and once registered can view the reference library.

This little guy (I hope it's a guy) is called a Dark-Eyed Junco.  I love how he seems to be wearing a tuxedo and tails ready for a Black Tie affair to suddenly erupt on the deck near the goldfinch feeder.  Despite being pretty plain, they definitely have a stately attitude.  Google tells me they hang out in the western mountains until winter and then they spread out all across the USA, even all the way here to the east coast.  I guess they figure it's time to find a party somewhere!  Pretty smart too as they prefer to eat seeds off the deck rather than precariously perch on a freezing cold feeder. The goldfinches throw half the seeds on the deck anyway.  A ha, a built-in smart bird buffet!

Junco Black Tie Affair
click here to bid

Enjoy, I'm off to start the next mini-series. . . . thanks so much for reading my blog and leaving suggestions and comments.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Day 2 - Baby It's Cold Outside

Thanks to everyone for the comments - delightful seeing each and every one.

Forgot how much blogging and posting goes along with each piece. Most of the day was spent writing the blog, posting on Leslie's site, posting on Paint My Photo to give creds to the photographer, posting to facebook (both personal and public pages), pinning it on Pinterest just for fun, and let's not forget setting up the auction on Daily Paintworks!  Whew!!!  Just in time to get the next painting going.  Good thing it was a holiday.  Back to work will surely add to this challenge.

Here's a Paint My Photo from Lisa J Johnson.  Looks to me like another teenage bird, hunkered down and muttering the tune, "Baby, It's COLD Outside."  I love how puffy it is and the warm red against the very cold background. Had some fun carving in a few of the smaller branches since I started with a black panel.  That's part of the adventure doing the 30 in 30 - experiment, learn stuff, and go with the flow.  

I really can't stay. . .  Enjoy!

Baby, It's COLD Outside
click here to bid