Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tea Party 2 In Progress - What Mud Looks Like

First, I want to wish you well this New Year's Eve day as we come to the end of another year and to thank you for traveling along with me in my art journey.  You are a blessing - offering encouragement, sound advice, and friendship.  Thanks!

Now to the painting in progress.  This is the painting of one of the little girls at the tea party as it stands at this point.   The painting is 5 1/2" x 6" and the face is approximately 1 3/4".  I will be working on it more to put in the glass plate and tea cup then may finish it with acrylics. 

Now to my self-critique.  I first painted the shadows in her face by dropping in Cobalt Blue then immediately dropped in Quin. Burnt Orange.  That was the first mistake, using Quin. Burnt Orange.  Why?  Because it leans more to yellow-orange rather than a red-orange which burnt sienna does.  It was very, very dark so I waited until it dried then lifted most of it out.  I did go back in with more Quin. Burnt Orange and less blue. 

The paper now looks overworked, the nose is a bit too short and wide, the left eye is painted a bit too high and the neck looks like it hasn't been washed for weeks.  I lost the shapes of the facial elements and this may be where a pen or pencil would come in handy to re-establish the features.

I'm happy cataloging some of the things I see that bother me because for a long time I wouldn't have been able to actually say why the painting doesn't look right.  That's why stepping back and evaluating one's painting is important - it helps us to see.  Maybe we can't see all that is right or all that could be changed to make a better painting but each thing we see takes us one step further in the direction of improvement. 

What would your next step be?  Stop and do another painting or rework the current painting even though it may never be seen by anyone but yourself? 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Another Tea Party Sketch

Here is another sketch of the same little girl in yesterday's post, drawn this morning..  I like this one and may decide to paint it too.  I also did another line drawing of the little girl, correcting some of the proportions.  Her lip outlines are showing darker than they actually are and need to correct the eyes just a bit.  While sketching these, the memories of those little girls enjoying their day of dress-up, was so vivid and brought a smile. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Special Card

I received this special card from a special friend living in Spain, Teresa Palomar Lois.  The card is perfect as she didn't realize that the child that wishes upon a star is alive and well in me as this is something I frequently do.  After all, a child believes that good things do come from unexpected places. 

Teresa has amazing talent and creativity and I feel honored that she is a friend of mine.  Her blog, "Lost in Wonder", says it all about her amazing ability to find beauty in anything and to create it.  Thank you Teresa, for your friendship and your art. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tea Party Sketch

 This is the first sketch of another little girl from a tea party at the local flower shop.  The proportions are off and though it does bare a slight resemblance the little girl looks older because of the longer proportions of the face. 

Monday, December 26, 2011


These are a couple of quick sketches this morning of Mom quilting.  I actually can't see them very well because there is a scratch on my left eye and can't wear a contact so everything is blurry.  Still I wanted to do some sketches to get a general idea of a possible setting for a painting.  Notice that in the photo on our right, she is wearing a sun visor.  Glare from light is a problem for her because of macular degeneration.  She needs the light to at least be able to see lights and darks, hence the visor to shade her eyes. 

I do hope all of you enjoyed your Christmas Day and that today finds you full of ideas to create.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tis the Season

Tis the Season to take time to count our blessings and give thanks for all that is in our life.  Besides being blessed with a loving family and friends, there is each of you, taking the time to visit this blog, sharing your work and your words and bonding through our love of art.  My wish for you is that your joys be immeasurable, your troubles few, your strengths never ending and, that love and peace guide your footsteps. 

Acrylic Rose, YOP 9 Update

Finally got the paint area sorted out so that I can work.  Here is the update on the rose done for the YOP (year of painting). 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Due Jan. 20, 2012, YOP Challenge

This painting was painted in 2006 from a set up and it continues to be one of my favorite little paintings. 

For the next challenge at, it is one where each member chooses the subject based on a real life set up they compose. 

1. Set up a still life of an area in your home or do an outside plein air -

2. Take photos of your set up or plein air landscape or still life - post the photo when you post your YOP.

3. Challenge yourself to explain why you chose that particular set up?

  • values
  • color
  • line
  • harmony
  • balance
  • texture
  • patterns
  • movement/rythym
  • is your set up based on a triangular set up and "S" movement?
  • Other things that may have appealed to you that made you want to paint this subject and set it up the way you did
4. This is your painting from beginning to end - so it is now up to you to challenge yourself - painting what you love most.

November YOP - A Rose Study

The YOP (year of painting) due 11-20-11 was a rose, using a reference photo by madmum posted at  

I began this study over a week ago but because of work going on in the studio I haven't had time to work on the painting.  This is a first pass of acrylics, more or less establishing the shapes of the rose.  My plan was to do the study then to do a larger painting. Believe when I say this study looks nothing like what I have envisioned nor does it look like the beautiful reference photo. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011


No, we don't have snow but since it is the Christmas season, thought this would be a good photo to share of our back yard and pasture.  Now imagine lit trees, snowmen, and elfs magically working away to help us spread joy and peace.  That is my prayer and wish for all of you, joy and peace, within and without.

I'm still working on replacing the tile in my studio which means moving furniture and all the stuff that has found its way in to the studio.  Who knew one coul collect so much in a year.  I am finally setting up an area so I can work on acrylics, oils and watercolors at the same time.  Right now though the room looks like a cyclone has hit it.  I hope to be back to painting this next week. 

I'm not sure how many of you do this but while watching tv, I notice the colors in the scenes and how they play against each other.  Tv is a wonderful way to notice design elements and color schemes. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Freckles, Looking For A Home

This is Freckles, named by my BIL, who is now residing with my other two dogs, Scooby and Juliet.  Freckles was found by my brother, hungry and alone.  He put him in his garage and provided food and water.  The problem was all the traffic in town when Freckles decided to romp outside so we brought him here where he can romp and play without too much of a problem.   We think he is about 7-8 weeks old, loves to chew (which puppies do) and is curious about everything.  Now we are searching for a permanent home for Freckles.  We don't know what type of dog he is other than a mixture but he is a cutie and is beginning to recognize his name.   So if anyone in the 918 area code is looking for a doggy best friend, e-mail me. 

I haven't been painting as I am laying linoleum tile in my studio, having to shift furniture and supplies around to complete areas - time consuming but a perfect opportunity to clean and sort through all the clutter and supplies that collect. 

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Christmas Swan

This is a small card painted for our Christmas Card Exchange at, sent to England.  I know it doesn't look very much like Christmas but in some ways with all the grays and cold looking water, it reminded me of the Christmas season.  The reference photo used was posted by Philco in the Wet Canvas Reference Image Library. 

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Today's Red Rose Practice

This little study is about 4" x 5 1/2".  One of the things I did differently was to paint on dry paper with thicker paint.  Also, did not paint a background as my goal was to study the rose.  Not too happy with the top of the rose.  I do like some of the softer edges on top but feel its needs a bit more form in differentiating between the back petals. I may scrap in some highlighted areas along the petal edges.  Paints used were Quin. Coral, Perm. Red, Deep Scarlett, New Gamboge, Cobalt Blue, Sap Green. 

Are you wondering why all the rose practice?  Our YOP, due Dec. 20th, is of a gorgeous white rose so decided I had better get in some practice by studying the shapes, etc.  Hopefully it will be somewhat easier to get the values on a white rose. 

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Overworked Rose

Another practice study of a rose - I was trying to accomplish several things with this little study - find the shapes within the rose - use values to create form - keep some whites - and, try to make it look like it is not pasted over the background with so many hard edges.  As you can see - I didn't accomplish all those goals.  So I tried again.  The painting below has been scrubbed out and repainted so many times.  Still I like it better than the first one even though more dark values are needed within the rose to help create better form and transitions from dark to light.