Monday, June 21, 2010

Teachers are Special People

Oceanography 101
11x14, oil on panel
$250, email for info
(doubleclick to see it bigger!)
I spied on these school kids for the better part of an hour. It was a pleasure to watch their teacher who had such a way with them. She was young but clearly respected; serious, playful, and very determined as she sheparded her flock of 20+ students through the lesson plan. I wondered how you would keep a group of adolescents on task at such a beautiful beach. What a classroom!
Speaking of talented teachers: I highly recommend master artist Scott Burdick's video "Painting a Figure." I rented it from Smartflix and have watched it a couple of times this week. It is the demo he did at a Weekend with the Masters workshop, is almost 2 hours long, and exceeds every expectation.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Not Exactly June Cleaver

First, I overslept. Then, very quickly, I was inspired. But more about that in a minute.

In my fancy-pants outdoor photography studio, the light is... shall we say... illusive. Translation: there's a skinny 15-minute window in the morning and 15 in the afternoon when conditions are right for the perfect photo. My intention this morning was to wake up, run out, snap a recent painting, quickly write something dazzling, get it up on the blog, clean the kitchen, bring in the paper, feed the dog, and make the coffee - all before Mr. Right (who is a brilliant father, BTW) rises on Father's Day. Hmmmm...

Instead, I overslept. Missed the light. Took some overly-glaring photos. But didn't know that until I sat down at the computer where I was immediately inspired to do something entirely different (again, more later). Blazed into the kitchen and roughly doubled the beans needed to brew the perfect pot. Now very awake, I started on the inspiration which took me back out to the garden. Moving furniture - did I mention I am still in my nightgown? - when Mr. Right peeked his head around a corner and said, "Hon, are you out here? What are you doing?" Not exactly the perfect-little-wife-on-Father's-Day-morning I imagined. Ah well...

Okay, the inspiration. For... ever... I have gift-wrapped my paintings when they sold, whether for delivery or shipping. The very least I can do for my cherished collectors. But I never thought to tell you that. Duh. So, bright and early, and conveniently having a few ready-to-go packages in the studio, I...well...see paragraph above. The cropped-and-posed photo is posted in the column on the left but the this-is-what-life-is-really-like photo is above. Carmen Gardenia, our garden muse, even snuck into this shot. I made her from a ten-dollar cookie jar... but that's another story.

Big thanks to Leslie Saeta and Dreama Tolle Perry who inspired me this morning, as they do many mornings. I promise to get a better photo of the painting and get it posted quickly - I like it alot. And Happy Father's Day to all.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Beach Paintings: My Perpetual, Virtual Vacation

And Then He Said...
11x14, oil on panel
Another image from Playa del Carmen. The light in that part of the world is captivating - like a subject all its own - and I had such fun trying to capture it. I drew the girls in my sketchbook a half dozen times before I picked up a brush and, no surprise, I think it really helped. I became aware of nuances - like the negative shapes - and worked to keep them interesting. Also, I tried to do more drawing than painting with the paint... does that make sense? I'm loving the cadmium orange ground; it warms the skin tones and really pops when it peeks through the sand and water.

Monday, June 14, 2010


8x8, oil on panel
$115, email for info
After my last post, though I really didn't mean to brag or gloat, I seem to have jinxed myself and forgotten everything I thought I ever knew about painting. Actually, drawing to be more specific. I've attempted to paint almost every day this week but couldn't draw a stick figure. Much less anything I'd dare show you. Jinxed.
I read somewhere that the great artist/teacher Quang Ho says, throughout all the classes and workshops he has taught, the number one problem plaguing art students is drawing. And the number two problem? Also drawing. So, it's back to the sketchbook I go, happily I must say. It's comforting.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Have I Mentioned That I Love to Paint?

The Groundskeeper
11x14, oil on panel
Hmm... how do I say this without sounding too... too? From the minute I saw this gentleman, high up in his palm tree, several weeks ago until this very moment, today, this painting has been pure pleasure for me. Mr. Right, the kiddos, and I made a quick trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico recently for the aforementioned family wedding. [Well, naturally, I just must add here that our niece was the most enchanting bride ever to marry on that beautiful stretch of beach and we had such fun at her wedding.]
Between festivities, I spied this gardener and was instantly inspired. That feeling -- you know the one I mean -- stayed with me across borders and through time and the colors simply flowed onto the canvas and the whole time I knew, this is exactly how I want to paint. He absolutely glows - no photo could do it justice - and I love his story now as much as I did when I first saw him. I promise I am not bragging - it may not look like much to you. But celebrate with me. Bliss following, indeed.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

We're Cookin' on the Front Burner Today, Kids

Trail Boss
8x8, oil on panel
$115, email for info
This is one of my favorite cowgirl images - but, instead of pokin' cattle, this liddel lady herded kindergarteners. She was such fun to be around - very creative, long on costumes, and not afraid to wear them. And, in Texas-speak, she sure'nuff was purdee as a speckled pup. I'm so honored to have been invited to join some very talented artists in a new painting group, Some Texas Artists Like to Paint. There will be a different theme each month.... sounds like fun!!