Monday, June 18, 2018

Carrying ON

Sad news, my class ended - abruptly - sometimes life happens to YOU 
and you have to accept it DOES to others, as well!  
Anyway, I have learned so much and my learning curve 
has jumped by leaps and bounds!!

I have such confidence going forward - I feel like I can tackle anything portrait wise
and that was exactly what I was looking for.

Here are a few of further works developed in the past few weeks.
BTW, have been painting the outside of my house along with this.
It is looking great, waiting for some new exterior shutters for the front
and am going to attempt a little bit of landscaping to improve it's drab
existence up to this point in it's life.

Charcoal done from a source photo provided from

This is Jake - my cousin.
Done in charcoal, and Dr/ Martin's No Bleed white.

I loved doing all the beard and hair and one of the
joys of using photos of people with sunglasses, is painting them 
and trying to capture the abstract
light or objects of what is reflected in them.  What made
this most fun was capturing his character
and I think I nailed it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Daily Painting Results

More practice from my class.  We work from photos that are offered for use on UNSPLASH.  Sometimes they are zoomed in, sometimes they are flipped, whatever is needed for the lesson.  
On a roll, found some time to do a commission portrait of a doggy.  Also re-sided and painted our solar/chicken coop shed.  It was left with the wire grid on it for stuccoing, but we wanted to side it with T-111 like the house is.  It was an eyesore, but NOT ANY MORE!  My painting ARM and shoulder are working overtime.  Fighting to keep them healthy right now.

charcoal, pencil and acrylic paint



Derwent Inktense and acrylic paint
(love the nose ring!)

charcoal B & W

dog portrait process

 and here is the final, the color sure didn't read right on these previous photos from my iPhone. 
I had to Photoshop the color on the final to make it look like it really DOES.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Practice, Practice, Practice

loved this face - can't wait to have time to fully explore this one as a complete face..
eye in marker, acrylic washes, and pencil..

3/4 turns on the lips watercolor and pencil..

charcoal/conte pencil eye..

many eyes - charcoal with colored pastel, 
have this one along with all the others taped to the easel,
looking at me as if to say, "Get Busy!" 
(DH says it's spooky to walk in the studio now.)
Why am I doing this - when I already paint complete
pieces and commissions?  It's practice..
just like an athlete, to stay good at what you do,
one needs that practice and reviewing.  In this case,
it's right where I need to be, as I look to the future
to be doing more and better (to me) portraiture.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Distance Learning

Even as a teacher, one has to brush up on skills, technique and latest is no different in anything you do.  I am currently taking an online mentoring class with artist Tonja Sell, who's in Michigan.  I admire her work so much. I took a class from her last year, and my own 'crafting' ability leaped by miles.  This course is on Gesture Drawing and painting.  Here is what I have done so far - amongst the other daily 'have-tos' of owning a new place and fixing it up. After I painted the deck skirting outside yesterday, I got to paint and draw.  Here are yesterday's pursuits:

 Got out the old newsprint pad and charcoal just like the old days - feels good and I love learning and practicing!  AS you can see, we are practicing figures and face features - starting May 1:
showing action and movement

 not as easy as I thought, I feel really rusty on my gesture ability

this one was difficult as this woman is balancing in a handstand on two blocks, what strength!

Working on combining materials in ways I am not used to ~ is part of the learning too.

Here's looking at you!
I bet you can tell where all this practice will eventually lead 
with what my subject matter will be when I get back to 
finished pieces?
AS time allows, I have a few commissions to do as well.  
Will be fitting them in soon!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

In the Meantime..

Being in the studio, and fiddling with supplies, I just couldn't pass it up.   Started the stencil work and underpainting yesterday with the sketch in of the raven, then finished it today.  Lots of fun, more fun then organizing..snicker.

watercolor, pastel and Inktense
8 3/4" x 11 1/2"


Stay tuned, fought through this last few weeks with bronchitis
(just about every time I get a cold or virus, it turns into that one) -
in the meantime I've been getting the studio ready for a space to do some online learning.
I have enrolled in a daily gesture drawing/mentoring class with Tonja Sell and TWO sketchbook classes - one with Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene - Sketchbook Skool, one with Sketchbook Revival.
Whoo - lots to do, lots to practice and lots to learn!  My idea of FUN!
My sketching has gone by the wayside and I feel that in order to improve -
one must be in the mode of practice, thereby, seeing through sketching.
 I most always benefit from online exposure to techniques, other artists,
ideas and pacing learning on my own time and schedule.
How about you?

Friday, March 2, 2018

My 30 Paintings in 30 Days Collage for 2018

My theme for this year was 
"Wildlife Symbols That Define Us"

Day 30 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days

6" x 8"
pastel on pumiced and underpainted gatorboard

( I have to chuckle on this one, in the past - before this 30 in 30, I felt a lot of my animal 
portraits have come out 
more on the cartoonish side - too whimsical, too unrealistic,
this one went there.)

Mice, the burrowing animal - who is ONE with Mother Earth.
We have all had that 'mouse experience' a time or two.
I have to say, I always say "awwww...poor thing.." even
when I empty a mouse trap.

We had them in Kansas in the country, we have them in Colorado,
in the high country, IN the kitchen, IN the RV, IN the garage and studio, 
UNDER the house, IN the heat ducts - if left unattended
the spaces quickly gather the mice.
We fight and fight them, but I heed this quote from a mouse  -
"You're overlooking some important details, so pay close attention to what’s going on."
That is the symbol of mouse according to a little bit of searching..
and I believe it.

And being my 30th blog post in 30 days,
here it is the end of the 6th season of ME - painting - 30 - in - 30.
 I am glad to be at this point and trying not to go forward in a status of 'let down'.
After being on a treadmill, one doesn't do well just jerking to a halt
(not healthy anyway).

continues to remind me (and hopefully YOU the viewer) of how precious and important it is
to pay attention to the policies and legislature that is being crafted to protect or destroy
these animals - each of who have their own abilities and special place in our world.
We all need to be good stewards of our planet Earth.

Although there is sooo much to do around here and I need to get the rest of the house situated 
after moving 3 months ago (guest season will be back in swing soon) - I will still MAKE TIME to paint - I profess to be an artist - right? If not every day, maybe every other day or certain days of the week or time of the day.  It is important that I keep the momentum going or lose some valuable mojo that I have gathered.  I think ONE whole day off is in the works - time to regroup.  

If you have been visiting and watching, thanks for coming by.
For those of you who purchased a piece during this time,
T H A N K S !! 
Will I do another '30 in 30'?  We'll have to see
when that time comes around again.

Posting my '30 in 30 Collage' in the next post.
Most 30 in 30 participants will post one.

And I have to ask, though I wonder how many would comment,
Which painting is YOUR favorite?
Mine is the squirrel, I like the color and how free
it felt when I painted it.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Day 29 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

5" x 7"
pastel and watercolor
on plein air board

Zebra - NUMBER 29 - OOOO so exciting! 
He is the Master of Balance and a symbol for INDIVIDUALITY!

If you really look at zebras, they are all individual - their stripes can be so different!

ONE more painting - and then back to real life. Whew!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Day 28 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days


7 1/4" x 5 1/2" (small)
pastel on plein air board

Rhinoceros is a symbol of gentleness and peace.
They are powerful, steady and agile.

This rhino was an interesting study in those creases and folds.
Didn't want to do ALL of em. I am into suggesting
these details lately, and I think it works.
Everyone knows that a rhino is wrinkly - right?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Day 27 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

(on hold)
8" x 12"
pastel and watercolor on Colourfix Plein Air Painting
Board (Multimedia) by Art Spectrum

I found a new surface, that I didn't even know was so wonderful.
Just before I took a big break from doing art, I ordered 
these boards as I was taking a class
and was tired of gluing the paper
to a foamcore board.

These are so wonderful!!  They accept the watercolor so well, and then putting 
pastel on TOP, is like painting on butter (or at least a 
really super pastel surface as far as I am 
concerned).  I love how this one turned out.
The photo does not show the color of the background like it
really is, must be the time of day I took the photo.

Raven - genus Corvus
(and there is no consistent distinction between a crow
and a raven, although I read somewhere about the tail feathers
being of different lengths)
brings messages from the divine to the mortal world.
In the order of Bards and Druids, raven is symbolic
of a Black Hole in Space which draws
energy toward itself and releases it in 
new forms. (I like that explanation!)

This is another one of my favorite animals.
So mystical and mesmerizing to watch.

  AR - Pixabay

Monday, February 26, 2018

Day 26 of Painting 30 Paintings in 3 Days

8" x 7"
pastel and pastel pencil on Canson Mi Tientes paper

Today, I revisited my OLD way of doing pastels of animals.
I used to silhouette the animal, vignetting it in a sort of way,
without background objects or color of the space around it.
I let the colored paper do that work.
(As I look at this photo, I see something I need to do, oh well,
that is for tomorrow.)

Canson used to ALWAYS be my 'go to' substrate.
So today was a very cushy time at the drawing table.
That had to be - because prior to that I was tackling 
a pastel that wasn't working at all.

The photo reference for this is used with permission
by photographer Riaan Human.

Here is the pastel with an 11" x 14" matboard around it.

Cheetahs are fighters and have strong survival instincts, although it's interesting
to note, most don't reach adulthood. Why? You ask?  
According to studies (in one article I read of one in captivity), 
female cheetahs are terrible mothers.  But upon 
connecting with the photographer in Africa
he wrote, 
"Do not agree with the studies that Cheetahs are bad mothers.
Have followed them in the wild many times and believe them to be wonderful mothers.
Unfortunately they have to compete with and contend with lions, leopards
and other carnivores who does not think twice about killing a cub if they get a chance."

They are a symbol of:

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Day 25 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

"Sea Turtle"
12" x 12"
acrylic on wrapped canvas

Sea turtles have a long life span.
Because of this, they symbolize

Not that I would have, I remember the locals WARNING you
not to bother them on the beach, several years ago 
at Kona Beach Resort in Hawaii.

They were a sight to see and watch.
Went snorkeling from the beach
and it was a treat to see them
underwater, as well as the beach!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Day 24 of 30 Paintings in 3 Days

Purchase info
9" x 5.25"
graphite/water on Yupo paper

(If you know me, you have probably been wondering, well, when is she going
to paint a WOLF?)

Wolf is my very, very favorite wild animal.
I built a grade 1-2 thematic unit on "Wolves" when I taught
at the elementary level.
I wanted to increase awareness and empathy for wild animals -
along with teaching about family/clan/pecking order and protection of 
wild animal groups.  Kids ALWAYS really enjoyed it! (Me too!)

Wolf is the ultimate positive symbol of guardianship, ritual, loyalty
and firm emotional attachments.  They trust their own intuition
and instincts.

They represent:

This piece IS a painting.  I used graphite aquarelle which are
graphite pencils that are water soluble.

I was searching for a substrate today, was going to paint in acrylic,
but needed a canvas and they are still in the moving trailer.
It is soooo windy here, I didn't even want to open the big back door
so found my Yupo, which I have never had much success with. Many people
use alcohol inks on it - not me.  It also mentioned pencil, acrylic, watercolor etc. etc. 
I thought I could paint on it with something other than inks. 
The aquarelle graphite worked - voila!
It is 100% polypropylene and my pad is heavyweight pages of 144 lb. weight.

The other art tool I used is a Molotow One4All acrylic pen in white 
(for the eye sparkle - gotta have that eye sparkle - otherwise, dead eyes!)

During my entire time in the studio there are two others who live there,
that really enjoy my company.  We have lots of brushing, petting, and play time.

Meeka - who is so big and round and fluffy and loves her new window view.
And Pyewacket who is also quite round..and is a Hemingway kitty, 6 toes.
She loves to sit on her cat tower and look over my shoulder as I work.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Day 23 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

6" x 6"
pastel on pumiced and underpainted gatorboard

Their armor alone, should tell us lots about them..
defense, protection and a guarded disposition.

7 more to go!

For some amazing art to see go to Leslie Saeta's 30 in 30 blog.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Day 22 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days

10" x 10"
oil paint on canvasboard

This one turned out really well, I think, I found this great brush in my
stash of art brushes that 
'flick fuzzy feathers fairly fast'!
How's that for alliteration?  I have been enjoying finding the more obscure
creatures that have meaning to us humans in this challenge.
Vulture was so fun to paint.
Dilemma on this one, where to sign my name, there are
such good feathers at the bottom, and I am not sure signing
on the top of the painting is going to look right.

AS a symbol, to the Mayan mind the vulture was observed as a death eater. As a consumer of death, the Mayan felt the vulture could also convert death to life. So, the vulture was considered a symbol of cleansing , renewal and transformation. It's also associated with water and the vulture controls the rain. (got that from googling 'vulture as a symbol')

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Day 21 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days

8" x 10"
oil on wrapped canvas

Tiger is a powerful reminder of overcoming fears and obstacles by reclaiming your place of power.
Tiger imagery represents the ability to manage strong emotions more effectively (says Google).

Painting went much better today.  I like the way this one turned out.  As a daily painting it is OK by me.

Here are photo I thought to take as I worked today:
I started with a canvas that had been tinted Azo yellow gold acrylic.
I sketched the tiger with a raw sienna and smallish brush.

Usually I paint darks first, but sometimes I get anxious to see how bright I will
be able to get the lightest lights so darks and lights happening simultaneously.

I am pushing myself to see other colors in the animals that
I am painting this month.  Some underpainting needs to happen 
to have this be successful. Had to get the background going, running
it into the figure helps to make continuity to the line and brushwork.

At this point, I walked.  I needed to go to town to food shop
and go to the post office. It was definitely time to think.  The painting
is almost all cool color.

Good that I went for a Jeep ride and played
my LOUD house music.  I processed this painting
 on my journey to town, what I needed. 
Came back and worked on mixing some color to warm it up a bit.
I painted those white areas, many, many times to get it to read right and 
those whiskers were fun!