Thursday, December 31, 2015

Ho, Ho, Ho and It’s Off to 2016 We Go

Okay, I get it, perhaps not the best idea to kick off the January 2016 30-n-30 gala, but it’s what I got.  An overdue birthday request from early December…  I’m sure we can all sympathize with those born in December and the need to stop with the combo gifts!   

There is nothing better than making someone else’s life just a tad more delightful – whether painting their wish, making them laugh, helping them out, or just being in the moment.

So here’s to you - advocate, delighter of all things, and the most generous person I’ve ever known.   Today's 30-n-30 is dedicated to you!

A Wish For All Things Wonderful!

Enjoy, life is joy we make one moment at a time, 


2016 Let’s Get the Party Started

Today’s blog is to let you know I’ll be participating in Leslie Saeta’s 30 paintings in 30 days.  This year, I’m not very organized which is a bad thing for something this demanding and stressful. But heck, nothing like a new year to push you out of your comfort zone and challenge you to live life to the fullest!  Good thing, I managed to order 30+ panels and four new tubes of paint, so that’s a start. . . . Now what to paint – the hardest part of all.   

About the challenge:

The challenge is not about finishing 30 gallery quality "perfect" paintings. It's about trying new things. It's about painting more often. It's about having fun and developing new habits.  For me, it’s also about sharing what I love to do with others and getting great feedback from people who appreciate the art.  Of course it’s delightful when someone loves a piece enough to purchase it.  I don’t know of any “job” that has this type of gratification as a benefit!  How lucky we are as long as we’re able to “put ourselves out there.”  Ah, yet another challenge! 

Enough about me – prepare for a wonderful experience of new paintings each day from hundreds of artists.  Maybe you’ll find this a new hobby to add joy to your life.

Leslie has a cool map where you can zoom in and see the participating artist’s location. Click HERE for the map .  If you’re so inclined, sign up for my email updates (see submit box, top right) and you’ll get to see each day’s painting and comments. You can also sign up for Leslie’s blog to see the other artists, or just use this LINK to check in.

Thanks for reading my blog and making it this far – here’s the collage from the 30-n-30 I did last September 'cause there has to be a pretty picture in each blog.  Wish me luck!


Enjoy, life is joy we make one moment at a time. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Hour

Apparently I have the class painting order a bit out of whack - was mixing the summer class paintings with the fall ones.  I guess time is just getting ahead of me especially when I'm playing catchup to finish the paintings after the class is over!

The subject of the final painting was to paint glass - oddly this is easier than it looks, but seems quite difficult.  Viewers almost always remark, "Wow, that must be hard."  Even after doing it a few times, it's still terrifying for some reason!  So maybe it is hard. . . .   You certainly need to leave your engineer head in the other room to make it happen.  Fun painting.  Kinda looks like the gang has gathered for the last happy hour of the season, don't you think?

Happy Hour at Last
14" x 11" oil on canvas
click to view / purchase

Happy Holidays!  


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Fall Art Class Setup Take 4

Next in the series of class paintings - my favorite!  I'll admit that backing off the bright colors creates a painting that draws you further into the subject and allows you to linger a bit longer.  Not that I really know what I'm talking about, but it seems that way to me -- guess that's all about "the eye of the beholder."  This was a great setup and both fun and challenging to paint.  The Google told me the pot is actually camping gear for making coffee.  Was hoping for something much more exotic!  Makes it kind of hard to come up with a good title, so will just go with the literal.

Blue Graniteware with Cabbage and Onions
click to view / purchase

Now you're probably wondering where Take 1 and Take 2 have wandered off to -- planning to finish those next year.  Take 6 will be next and Take 5 needs just a few more tweaks.

Lastly, I'm trying to work up the energy to do another 30 paintings in 30 days for January. . . more on that later.

Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time,


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Fall Art Class Setup - Take 3

For the last few years, I have taken an eight week art class once or twice a year. The instructor, is naturally an amazing talent – but also an incredible teacher. She handles all sorts of students from the beginners to the professionals. What seems so unique is how she keeps everyone from being overwhelmed by the complex setups and builds on each person’s level. Somehow she manages to recreate the setup two (and sometimes three) weeks in a row.

The artist dubs her style "saturated realism" because of the use of saturated color. Hey, they don’t call me “Boldy” for nothin’ and nice to know and learn from others in love with bright colors!

September Setting
16" x 12"
click here to purchase 

Setting the mood for the change in seasons with the last of the summer flowers and first of the autumn pumpkins. This pumpkin was a light pinkish color enhanced by the yellow spotlight. What’s not challenging about this whole thing!

Stay tuned, will post a few more from the class.

Being able to produce realism is a major confidence builder and most people probably prefer this style.  My preference is more abstract, looser painting that challenges the viewer to fill in even more "gaps" in the subject.  Looking forward to continued twists and turns along this journey!

Enjoy, life is joy we make one moment at a time,

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Lisa Daria Workshop - Awesome

This two day workshop was perfect in several ways - great host, great venue, fabulous food, fun crowd of artists and Lisa who gets my rave review!  

Here's the recap with a little about each challenge.  Lots of drills and trials like mixing grays, other ways to mix darker colors and the like.  The most powerful lesson we learned was to mix paint so that you never use the same color mix more than three times. It doesn’t take long to realize that you have to get creative while mixing!   It also helps you to focus on what you are actually doing – say a little more blue on the shadow side for example. 

Lisa is very up-front. She tells you there are rules and it is okay to break the rules, but her favorites to hang on to are:

  • No drawing! 
  • Squint so much that detail is eradicated!
  • Three strokes per color max!
  • Paint on a panel that’s toned in bright red to leverage the color energy! 

These four items keep the painting fresh, vibrant and interesting. I forget her exact words, but this is the list of takeaway gems if you ask me. 

Day 1 - Get in the Groove

First panel – no drawing, squint, get used to the bright red backbround.  Oops, vase got chopped off the bottom. . . . er, maybe a little drawing would be okay.

Second panel – Only 30 strokes for the whole painting; increases the fluid-factor and makes you really plan what’s happening.  

Can you belive the shadow was one stroke! Talk about planning ahead!
Third panel - Paint subject again with only the paint left on your palette – egads I only had a small dab of white, so focus was on what colors could be used while mixing to keep it interesting.  ahhhh . . . .darkness.

Day 2 - Work it Out
Paint all unlit areas in black with big blocky sections!  Without drawing - this is hard, but sets up drama and a new way to observe.  Shadow side of the orange really lucked out on this exercise.   BTW the green blobs are grapes :-)

Finally - Paint what you want keeping the rules in play – no drawing, squint, 3 strokes max and don't forget the red panel.  This photo is bigger because I absolutely love how it turned out!

Of course there had to be to one last twist. Paint setup again – but with your non-dominant hand! Not too  bad. I really enjoyed re-painting the same setup, getting more and more abstract.

So what do you think – should I keep doing a few more this way?

Lisa is high-energy, delightful, knowledgeable, fun and funny – she makes it exciting to be learning.  A lot of workshops are what I would call “passive” - where the artist gives out a list of “rules,” does a demo and then walks around making comments.  Helpful, but not my preference.  You never really know what type you’ll end up with, but I personally like what I would call “active” – constant stretching, short bursts of trying concepts, information on why, challenges, etc.  Workshops are expensive, so you always hope you have a good time and come away with a few gems of wisdom.  I got a ton in return and found more JOY in painting! Priceless.  

Lisa's facebook page is here

Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time, 


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Catching Up

Been busy around here lately – or at least a few things going on. Basically, artist happy moments! 

First, I received a request for an art swap that ended up with the Morning Fox heading off to Easton MD where I know he will be very happy assuming he doesn’t tangle with the resident pooch!  In return, he had my artist friend, Kathie Rogers (link to her website), send her beautiful Goldfinch and Hydrangea painting that I will always cherish.  Art is so wonderful, it’s hard to stop staring at it and it is such a great reminder of fun times together.
Morning Fox
8 x 10

Secondly, out of the blue one of my favorite paintings sold - Window in Paris – now located in Chicago, just in time to warm up the place before winter sets in.  I just love when someone goes through art on DailyPaintworks and picks ME!  Secretly, I wish I knew how they go about it. . . . 

Window in Paris
6 x 6

Lastly, I took a weekend workshop from an amazing artist -- Lisa Daria.  Will blog about it tomorrow.  Lots of practice paintings, drills and new ways to approach a painting. Considerably more abstract than my normal style – if I have a style????   I am also going to try and incorporate some of her “lessons to live by” to help make time to paint and keep motivated.  Her daily paintings are here

Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time,


Friday, October 16, 2015

Waterford Art Harvest — Where Art meets Agriculture

Just a quick note for those local to the DC area – the Waterford Fair is Saturday, October 17th & Sunday October 18th - 10 to 5.  It was rescheduled due to the hurricane threat earlier in October. . My unsold paintings from the winery show and a few from the 30 in 30 will be at the Art Mart in the Schooley Mill Barn – so you have a chance to see them in person.  Tons of other art at very reasonable prices.  Worth the visit if you’re looking for original art.  Usually tickets are expensive, but this year it is FREE – although I’m sure they will be looking for donations as this festival is their main source for funding.   

A few of my favorites

Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time,

Thursday, October 1, 2015

30 in 30 The End

Thanks to everyone for your support during this September 30 in 30 day challenge!  Each time, I forget how grueling it is and forget how much the positive feedback is truly essential to keeping me going.  There is hardly a day that goes by that doesn’t include a moment that makes me smile - whether a Dailypaintworks “pick,” a comment on my blog / gallery, kudos from the artists at PaintMyPhoto, or a sale and delivery of one of the pieces to a lover of art.  I get to wake up to each morning with one of these highlights in my inbox! 

Here’s the collage of all the paintings – delighted to say that almost half have found new homes! 

The Journey - September 2015

Things I’ve learned:
  1. Start painting two days ahead so the painting has a little time to dry before taking the photo
  2. Sync blog with both DPW and Leslie’s posting days
  3. Start auctions on same day as blog (insiders should have the edge, don’t you think?)
  4. Have the plan for ALL 30 days laid out.  Each time I’ve had a few weeks set up and think yay, I’ve got it, right up until I run out and then in scramble / stress mode.  This is when it all comes to a screeching halt.
  5. Painted from photos which helped a lot in planning, setup and time management
  6. Keep trying new things because most are a delightful surprise
  7. Practice learning to count to 30! 
Thank you again, sincerely appreciated!

Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time,

Sunday, September 27, 2015

30 in 30 Hop to It – Day 28

Art for the Waterford show delivered, sold paintings mailed, art class attended and painting something new, well just barely.

Another "something to try" -- had to do a lot of fixes to end up with something decent. . . .  I don’t know what it is but things that seem hard, turn out to be easy and easy things, quite difficult!  Maybe that’s the practice (or lack thereof) talking!

Hop to It
Reference photo from PaintMyPhoto, Elle, Lunch Break.

Off to new homes: Persian Hibiscus to Alabama and How Rad & Lemon Tines! to Austin TX.

Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time,

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

30 in 30 The Barn Door - Day 24

Apologies first, as I wasn’t able to paint yesterday so posting a painting that was in a show, didn’t sell, and is now on the way to a weekend festival in Waterford, VA.  If he still wants to come back home, he’ll go to Daily Paintworks.  Hopefully someone will fall in love and adopt him soon!  He’s adorable if you ask me. 

For the locals (Northern Virginia / DC area) – The historic village of Waterford welcomes fairgoers from around the world each October for three days of living history, food, heritage crafts, and just plain fun. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m each day. OCTOBER 2, 3 & 4. There is an extensive Art and Photography line up at the fair.

The Barn Door

The Barn Door – little puppy waiting by the barn door for whatever is to happen next.  My goal was to depict a blank page for a life of wonderful memories to come. The red door is to emphasize adventure.  Looks like he wants to follow you home!

Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time,

30 in 30 Bath Time! – 23

Double dare day.  I’ve always wanted to paint a sink, bathtub, faucet or something quite different from a traditional still life.  Definitely a challenge to capture chrome, porcelain and in this case, soft plastic that squeaks!  Hmmmm. . . . triple-dare?  Really glad I gave it a try – gives the word “bling” a whole new meaning. 

Bath Time!

Reference photo from PaintMyPhoto, Colin Ming, Bath Time!  I’ve never seen a blue rubber ducky, so went back to the traditional for that part.  BTW, polka dots are harder to paint than you’d think. 

Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time,

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

30 in 30 Rainier Cherries Day – 22

Finally rained today so I guess it’s appropriate to have Rainier cherries on the table for painting.  Too bad it was a photo and not the real thing!  Probably needed a little reminder of early summer as this season closes, the clouds begin to gather, and fall looms ahead.  

Ranier Cherries

Reference photo from PaintMyPhoto, Lee Pierce, Still Life 3 Delicious Cherries Vanished 

You all may remember a show I participated in at a winery in Waterford – one of the paintings just sold off the Facebook event page and is on its way to New York City!  A super-favorite of mine, but know it’s going to a great dog-and-art-loving home.  Blog story is HERE

Shotgun Sailor

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog.

Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time,

Sunday, September 20, 2015

30 in 30 Stuck in More Ways than One – Day 21

Having fun with the fork and finding it’s now my “go to object” when I can’t find anything else to paint!  
  •      Stuck #1 seriously running out of ideas,
  •      Stuck #2 most things are either too large or too small for a fork, and
  •      Stuck #3 perhaps you are thinking – would she please just move on! 
To me, the hardest part about this challenge, and painting in general, is WHAT to paint.  The joy comes when it’s all set up and ready to go – then you get to have fun turning it into art. 

Never even considered painting a cucumber until this idea popped into my head.  It worked, nice slice of an English cuke didn’t topple over the fork.  Decided to move it off center to accentuate the lovely shadow. Love the cool, crisp veggie on the hot yellow background.

Stuck in More Ways than One
Click here to purchase - Daily Paintworks

Hard to believe there are nine more days to go – oh no, what to do?

Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time,

Saturday, September 19, 2015

30 in 30 Something Fishy – Day 20

How about a sea of fish (no pun intended) to brighten your day?   My crazy, colorful fish seem to be popular so thought I should include at least one in this challenge.  No shadows, no dimension, just flat, VERY colorful, cheery, bright-eyed fish.

Something Fishy
Click here to purchase - Daily Paintworks

Since I’ve wanted to do a color chart for some time, decided to try it with this painting. Well sort of. Took paint right out of the tube then mixed it with white to see both ends of the value (light to dark) scale.  Turned out better than expected, plus I’ve learned a lot about color behavior. The fish are still not sure about it at all J

For the inquiring minds – the colors are:
Top row:
Cerulean Blue
Sap Green
Cobalt Teal
Second row:
Ivory Black
Dioxazine Purple
Permanent Rose
Cobalt Blue
Third row:
Cad Orange
Phthalo Blue
Cad Green Pale
Fourth row:
Radiant Magenta
Phthalo Green
Cad Yellow
Paynes Grey

Fun rediscovering some of these colors.  A real color chart would have mixed other colors vs. white, but still interesting.   

Reference photograph is from Abner T. Ibarra, Fan Fins Fishes. PaintMyPhoto.

Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time,

Friday, September 18, 2015

30 in 30 "Persian" Hibiscus – Day 19

Okay, there’s no such thing in real life, but time for a little creative license – love this hibiscus photo and painted it before, but wanted to try out my new Radiant Magenta (Gamblin) and tried-and-true Persian Rose (Williamsburg). Well before I knew it, all my favorite reds, purples and pinks were piling on.  Just love the way the pinks and blues play together. 

Fearless at this point, so went out on a limb and tried a new multi-media thing – I guess that’s what it is called.  I have a tool that’s called an eraser – basically a rubber tipped “brush” that lets you remove paint.  In this case it came in real handy to carve out the tip of the stamens (yellow round things), creating a more pronounced 3-D effect. The panel was toned in hot yellow so the carving brings it to the surface.  Since that was so fun, I “hacked” up the background to give it more interest. Use the DPW zoom function to see how fun that part turned out!

Saying goodbye to Stick a Fork in It and Lucky Ladybug who are traveling together to Texas.

Photo reference from PMP, Marsha Woods, Hibiscus

Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time,

Thursday, September 17, 2015

30 in 30 How Rad – Day 18

Okay one more fork with about the most perfect looking radish I’ve ever found.  Love painting rads ‘cause the color is so intense, the round shape so challenging, the quirky leaves and “rat tail” or whatever the root is called.  Strange and even stranger shadows on the tail, but I liked the way it's "pointing" off into space.

How Rad
Click here to purchase - Daily Paintworks
Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time,

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

30 in 30 Lemon Tines – Day 17

Ridiculous, I know, but had to do a play on the fork part by emphasizing the tines!  You can talk about stabbing things for only so long, you know. 

This was particularly fun because the lavender background with the yellow lemon and lighting caused the fork to reflect blue.  I also like how the shadow of the tines is more noticeable than the last one. Marvelous looking at it now, but gave me a lot of trouble during the process.  Happy ending.

Lemon Tines

A fellow artist stopped by today so I brought out the two forks - the comment was - gee the blog doesn't really show how great these are -- she's right, the web defuses and flattens photos (no matter what).  So I encourage a visit to the Daily Paintworks link for a better view and zoom feature.  Still, she says, the painting is even better than that!  Hmmmm . . . I rather like that the buyers will be pleasantly surprised!

Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time,

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

30 in 30 Stuck on a Fork – Day 16

After receiving a few great comments on Stick a Fork in It – decided to do another one (or two perhaps). This challenge encourages artists to have a theme, but I haven’t been able to be very consistent on that point.  You might notice I do mini-themes for a couple days: yellow flowers, water lilies, windows, hanging fruit, and a few wild things thrown in – basically, I can’t even hold a theme together for more than two or three days! 

We love baby Bok Choy and while preparing it for a stir-fry realized how darling the center is and – uh oh – just about the same size as a fork!   Quick photo op and a star was born.  Did you know that Bok Choy is one of the healthiest foods? Exceptionally high for nutrient density even on the “powerhouse" fruits and vegetables list.   

Stuck on a Fork
Click here to purchase - Daily Paintworks

Delighted to report that Stick a Fork in It is leaving tomorrow for Austin, Texas.

Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time,

30 in 30 This and That – Day 15

Halfway mark and need a pass.  Exhausting fitting a whole new “job” into your daily routine!  Love painting every day and the good-stress involved.  Finding something to paint, getting used to the color mixes, faster setup, quicker start, etc., but it takes a toll.  So today I’m posting a painting that I did in a class last summer.  On Daily Paintworks I have a separate tab called “This and That” where I’m listing other art events like shows and classes.  So the link will take you to that page. Who knows what will appear there in the future.

Turkish Delight (click here)
14 x 18"
This and That  (click here)
When someone you know buys your art – you are delighted because they know you, are supportive of your art journey, and love your art!  When someone who doesn’t know you buys, you know it is the art that calls them.  Not sure exactly what it is, but it is very special – I guess because it is an independent perspective that embraces your heartfelt goal to pursue art.  Feelings which are hard to put into words! 

Tangerine Tango is headed to Sacramento California and On the Edge is off to Peru, Indiana.

Thank you all for supporting this journey.  Breaks over, now back to "work."

Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time,