Monday, December 31, 2012

Day 44

My Sailboat
Oil on Canvas
5 x 7
Plein Air
This isn't actually my sailboat. I just really, really,
really wish that it was.  Oh boy, do I wish that it was.
I painted this one summer morning in Coupeville.
Okay, wallowing in pleasant memories here.....
Oops! By the way, Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Day 43

Folded In
oil on canvas
5 x 7
After painting the Japanese Doll I became intrigued
with the idea of painting the patterns on scarves. Perhaps not
the best idea for a daily painting. What was supposed
to be a simple composition - wasn't. Visualize
moments of hair pulling here. I have to say
that I'm pretty fond of this one anyway.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Day 42

Family Kitchen
Oil on Canvas
5 x 7
Click to Bid

A big thank you to my sister-in-law Jen and my brother
Nathan for letting me paint this in the middle of their
kitchen. We were spending the night at their home 
in preparation for a day of sledding and cross country skiing at
Mt. Baker. And of course I had to get my "painting
a day" done! I'm very lucky to have such tolerant family members.
I used a limited palette on this painting consisting of white,
 ultramarine blue, Windsor red and Windsor yellow.
By the way, we had an excellent time! Thanks again you guys!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Day 40

Teton Sunrise
Oil on Canvas
5 x 7
The summer of 2011 I had a the great good fortune
to travel with my family to Jackson Hole, Wyoming
for a painting workshop. I spent five glorious days
painting with Jim Wilcox and about 15 other students.
I just don't have the words for how beautiful those
mountains are. This is painted from a photo I took there.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Day 39

Oh, Clementine
Oil on Canvas
5 x 7
A tribute to a perfectly wonderful little fruit.
Do you know which came first? The color orange
or the fruit orange? According to my daughter's
internet research, it was the fruit.
I find it hard to believe there was ever a time
when there wasn't a word for the color orange,
but there you have it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Day 38

Oil on Canvas
6 x 6
The down side to living in the Northwest - we rarely get
a white Christmas. The up side - the snow covered mountains
are only about an hour drive away. So we are off to
enjoy some snow. If I'm really, really, really lucky I might
get to paint a snow covered tree. Fingers crossed......
Think warm thoughts for me . :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Day 37

Oil on Canvas
6 x 6
If I remember right I said I would give up poinsettias
but I didn't say anything about red/green color schemes. :)
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I also
hope you get the chance to kick back the day after and
relax. That's what I'm going to do!
After I do a painting of course.

Day 36

Silver Sugar Bowl with Poinsettia Petals
Oil on Canvas Panel
5 x 7
At Christmas time I gorge on Christmas music
like a kid with a big box of sticky, gooey chocolates.
You name it, old, new, country, classical - I love it all.
This is much to my families dismay. I have to be a bit
careful because it's possible for me to hit the saturation point
too soon, making Christmas day a little uncomfortable. I
think I can handle a few more songs today.
Then a year long break is in order.
Here's hoping you're not saturated yet and you
have an absolutely wonderful

Monday, December 24, 2012

Day 35

Afternoon in a Very Old Church
Oil on Canvas 5 x 7
Plein Air
I took a trip to England this summer to see my sister Renee's
 wedding. Wonderful trip! While I was there I had an
opportunity to sit in a very, very, very old Norman church and
paint. When you live in a place where the oldest buildings
are about two hundred years old and you go to a place where
they are four or five times that much, it's pretty awe inspiring.
This ancient little church now sits in the middle of a sheep
pasture. I sat there all alone painting while the rain pattered against
the windows. It was very peaceful.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Day 34

The Last Poinsettia
Oil on Canvas
5 x 7
Yup, as the title suggests this is my last poinsettia painting -
for the moment. I can't promise those luscious reds won't draw
me in again, but I'm off to other things right now.
Every year I'm reminded of the poinsettias I saw in Mexico. After
I graduated from college I lived in Morelia, Mexico for three months
studying Spanish. I stayed with a wonderful family in
a very nice home. From my second story room I remember
my shock looking out the window to see poinsettias at eye level
with me in the neighbor's yard. Who knew those modest grocery store
plants could grow 13 to 15 feet tall? Gosh, they were spectacular.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Day 33

Poinsettia #3
Oil on canvas
7 x 5
Another poinsettia in the series.
I'm pretty happy with this one.
I'm also pretty tired tonight so with that
I say, "Adieu." I'm off to bed! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day 32

Ladies Night Out
5 x 7
Oil on canvas panel
I have the great good fortune to be a part of
a wonderful Mom's Group. The ten of us have been together for
fourteen years. We met in a "Living with Baby" class.
We continued our friendship with weekly playdates.
Now we get together once a month for dinner.
As a mom, I have found the support and
understanding in this group to be absolutely
invaluable. Last night we had a "spirits" exchange
and that beautiful bottle of wine was my prize.
Here's to you ladies!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Day 31

New Snow in the Neighborhood
Oil on panel
8 x 10
Plein Air
This painting goes back to last winter. Since we woke up to
snow on the ground this morning I thought it would be fun
to share this one today. Late morning the snow turned to
rain which means once again I wasn't able to get out and
take pics of new work. I'm really going to have to figure
out how to take pictures inside!
This painting has a few Ned Mueller strokes on it so I can't
claim it as a hundred percent mine. I'm very fond of it though.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Day 30

Oil on Canvas
5 x 7
Confession time: this is actually the first poinsettia I painted. With this one,
however, I used a silk flower. Whereas in the grouping I posted yesterday,
 I used real flowers. The real flowers have almost twice
as many petals (or I should say bracts) as the silk ones making it much
harder to simplify. Question for the day, when you first saw this
could you tell it was painted from a fake flower?
Side note, this simple looking teapot was a dickens to paint!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 29

1st try 4 x 6

2nd try
5 x 7

3rd try
6 x 6
The poinsettia saga continues.... I've posted my last three attempts. A fourth one is on my easel right now. I can't seem to get enough of this silly plant. I've found two things helpful so far. First, I applied thicker strokes of  paint. Second, I changed to an entirely different color of red and used it straight out of the tube for highlights. Napthol Red is the color if you're interested. You've also probably noticed I simplified the composition and changed background colors. I believe they are too complicated a subject to paint in one day with additional elements. So, I like the third one best.
I'm very curious though, which one do you like the best?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Day 28

Jane's Grandaughter
Oil on Canvas
6 x 6

Another relatively quick painting from the PAWA paint in. This
was our live model, a grandaughter of one of the members. She worked
hard holding this pose (with breaks) for about five hours.
Wow, now that I think about it. I spent about 40 minutes on this.

I'm still working on poinsettias. I've finally painted one I feel reasonably
good about. However, it rained pretty much all day to day. So
I didn't get a chance to get out and photograph recent work.
Hopefully it won't be quite so soggy tomorrow.
Ahhh, winter in the Northwest......

Day 27

Teeny Tiny Still Life
Oil on Canvas
3 3/8 x 5 1/8
I painted this little still life at the PAWA (Plein Air Washington Artists)
December Paint In. I whole heartedly wish I had gotten there
earlier. They had such great still lifes set up. I think I had about a half
hour to paint this one. I finished it at home. They have another
 Paint In in February. I wonder how early they'll let me in?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Day 26

Ornament Party
Oil on Canvas
5 x 7
Okay, okay, not the most original subject matter but how
can a person resist all those beautiful colors?
The silver piece is Melissa's of course.
I've been trying to paint a poinsettia. Talk about
beautiful color. No success yet I'm afraid.
Actually after four tries, I'm feeling a little cursed
in the poinsettia department. I never would've believed
they could be more difficult than a glass ornament.
Another Christmas song to check out  here

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Day 25

Melissa's Teapot
Oil on Ampersand
6 x 6
My neighbor Melissa was so kind as to lend me some
of her Christmas decorations for a still life.  I love this
silver teapot. Yes, you've got it, friends, neighbors and family. It's
only a matter of time before I come knocking on your door
looking for inspiration. A huge thank you to Melissa for
letting me run off with her silver.
For a beautiful piece of Christmas music click here

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Day 24

Red and Green Still Life #2
Oil on Ampersand Board
6 x 6
It has come to my attention that people, who are signed up
to receive email updates from my blog, are replying to
the email with comments and I'm not getting the replies.
I love to read comments, most especially the positive ones.
I don't won't to miss a one. So if you are recieving this
through email (the best way to follow a blog in my opinion)
and you want to comment, click on the title. The title is usually blue
and is something like Day 10 or Day 25. It will take you straight
to my blog. Scroll down and you should see a comment box.
Any questions, email me at
Did mention I love to read comments?
That all being said, I REALLY like this still life.
For my painting music :)  click here

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Day 23

Red and Green Still Life
oil on Ampersand board
6 x 6
This is the first of three (possibly four if I can fix it) in
a series. I'd say it leans toward the holidays without
being blatant (am I kidding myself?)
I enjoyed working on the Ampersand board.
Paint really flows on this surface. I look forward
to using it much more often. 
I hope everyone's holiday preparations are going well!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 22

Megan's Choice
Oil on Canvas
6 x 6
My ten year old daughter asked if she could choose the items
for my still life a few days ago. I hesitated, thinking about all the art rules I try
to follow when I choose my subjects. Then I thought, "What the hey!"
I didn't want to see her disappointed and it was kind of cool that
she was taking an interest. So I said, "Go for it." She then proceeded to
choose the three most difficult-to-paint items on my shelf. I'll admit
there was some teeth knashing at certain points (who knew brass could be
so hard to paint?) but overall I think it turned out pretty well.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Day 21

Three Fingers Mountain
Oil on Canvas
6 x 6
Plein Air
I had hoped to start posting more recent paintings again. I've had the best
results photographing my pieces outside. It rained ALL day long today.
So, that means we are back to looking at work done a couple of months ago.
I'm hoping for a break in the weather tomorrow.
In the meantime, this is a view across the valley not far from my home.
I believe the yellow flowers are buttercups. I couldn't get down there
close enough to make sure. The farmers probably aren't happy about the
buttercup invasion but it does make for a pretty view.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Day 20

Camping in Concrete
Oil on Canvas 5 x 7
plein air
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! I can't believe I almost forgot to post today!
I guess that's what two Christmas parties in one day will do to
a person. The first shin dig was with the ever wonderful PAWA group
(Plein Air Washington Artists). They had a live model and not
one but four different still lifes to choose from. Oh my!
And of course lots of great food.
The second party was an annual event with some dear friends of ours
in quaint downtown Snohomish. The sight of Christmas lights on
the big beautiful Victorian homes there always gets me in the holiday
mood. Oh yes, there was more great food. I'm not going anywhere
near that bathroom scale tomorrow.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Day 19

Sunflowers at the U-Pick
Oil on canvas 5 x 7
Plein Air
This is another indian summer piece painted at a U-pick farm
in Snohomish. I returned a couple of weeks later to find
the flowers had gone to seed. They were absolutely covered
with very happy birds. I took lots of photos to paint someday.
In case you're wondering, I continue to do a painting every day.
I've decided to let them dry a bit before I post. That way I can
put them up for sale immediately just in case they catch someones fancy.
I've been having a lot of fun with the Ampersand boards and
Chistmas color schemes. It's been kind of hard not to share them
with you right away.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Day 18

Oil on Canvas
5 x 7
A plein air painting of the view from one of our summer camping spots.
Oh yes, we were right on the water. I love it when that happens!
I taught an art docent lesson in my daughter's 5th grade class
this afternoon. Somewhere I got the bright idea of using  the
book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain". A great book I
remember one of my college teachers using.  The first
exercise was to copy an upside down drawing. I have to say
I was really surprised how many kids REALLY didn't want to do
that. They'd sneak a peak of the drawing right side up. I guess I was
assuming a young person wouldn't be so resistant to the idea.
I guess I was wrong!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day 17

Oil on canvas
5 x 7
This is from an October plein air painting session not too
far from my home. I have to heave a big sigh when I look at this.
The weather was goregous that day - sunny, warm and mellow.
Oh how I miss our wonderful Indian summer. In contrast, I just read
that we have already had twice our normal rainfall for December. It's only the 5th.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 16

Oil on  Raw Canvas 4 x4

Oil on Ampersand Gessobord 6 x 6
Same scene - different painting surface. The top painting I accidently
painted on raw canvas (oops, the gesso was on the other side). Okay it
was late at night and I was wondering why the canvas seemed to be
reaching out and sucking the paint off my bush, very frustrating.
The next day I tried to paint it again on a surface so nonporous you could
almost scupt the paint. It's interesting how different they look.
Anyone have a preference?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 15

Oil on Canvas
5 x 7
My little studio nook reached critical mass yesterday. So I
spent most of the day reorganizing. This included hanging some
special shelves my wonderful hubby built for me to allow wet
paintings to dry. Already it is filling up with my thrift store still
life purchases instead. Ah, well. A huge thanks to my husband Don
for building and hanging the shelves. I couldn't do any of this
without him.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day 14

Sylivia O'Stayformore
2003 Out magazine "Hottest Drag Queen in America"
Oil on Canvas 4 x 6

Polly Wood
Oil on Canvas 4 x 5

Nikita Breznikov
as a Russian General
Oil on Canvas
4 x 5

Inception Dance Company
Oil on Cavas 4 x 6

I spent an amazing day Saturday at the Gage Academy of Art Drawing Jam.
Wow, from 9 in the morning until 9 at night you can draw from
live models, do some print making, collect freebies from local
art stores and watch amazing artists in action.
I had an absolute blast, it's as simple as that.
Normally I wouldn't even think about trying to paint a person in 20 minutes.
However, I HAD to get my painting a day in.
So I gave it a shot. These four tiny paintings are the result.
The models at this event were fabulous. 
I can't wait until next year!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Day 13

Lovely Pomegranates
Oil on Canvas
6 x 6
I can't believe I've spent most of my life not knowing
how wonderful pomegranates are. The shape, the color, not to
mention the yummy seeds inside - Wow! I bought a flat of them
a couple days ago, much to my daughter's delight. They were
absolutely begging to be painted - honestly.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 12

Japanese Doll
Oil on Canvas
5 x 7
I painted this in Ned's class on Wednesday. Ned Mueller is a world
traveler as well as an excellent artist. He has a lot of very interesting items
perched, hung and hidden around his studio from his travels. This doll
is one of them. I wonder what I'll get to paint the next time I
visit his class..... or maybe even borrow. Hmmmmm

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day 11

Oil on canvas
5 x 7
Click to bid
I painted this piece on Monday. It dried for a few days
before I took it outside to be photographed. This method seems to
work pretty well for avoiding shine. The biggest difficulty now is in
dodging raindrops while I'm out there. Good thing it's not a watercolor!
The piece I painted today is a total bomb. Holy cow. If I can't figure
out how to fix it, you my friend, are never going to see it.
I've have a little pride you know.....

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 10

Ruby Beach
Oil on Canvas 6x6
This is another painting from our Lake Quinault trip. The rock
formations on Ruby Beach are pretty spectacular.
The whole Olympic Peninsula is pretty spectacular!
The weather was wet, cold and a little windy but it didn't stop
the hearty souls in the plein air group. What's a little bad weather
when you have such a wonderful subject to paint?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Day 9

Oil on Canvas
5 x 7
Click to bid
This 365 day project has changed my life - as far as thrift stores go.
I've never been terribly excited about going to them until I needed to find
inexpensive subjects for still lifes. Now they have become treasure troves!
The hunt to find that exquisitely shaped vase or creamer for
a mere dollar or two -  I get antsy just thinking about it!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 8

Thanksgiving Leftovers
Oil on canvas

Wow! I've finished my first week. Only 51 to go!
On the one hand I'm thinking, "My that went fast" on the other
I'm thinking, "What the blankety, blank was I thinking?"
I dearly hope I will learn to paint and post faster and more efficiently.
Otherwise, this is going to be a bumpy ride!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Day 7

Oil on canvas
5 x 7

  This little piece is back out at Lake Quinault. It was painted the first day of our PAWA get-together from the side yard of Jan's cabin. The fall yellows really stood out on this grey overcast day. Although the weather wasn't terrific, what else can one expect in a rain forest? The average rainfall here is around 135 inches a year!

Day 6

Oil on Canvas
5 x 7

  I was in Coupeville on Whidbey Island this weekend. We've had a long stretch of grey, wet weather but this weekend the glorious sun returned - at least it did in Coupeville. So I was back outside painting, which is my favorite place to be. The two pieces I painted this weekend still need a bit of touch up before posting. So instead I've posted a painting from a glorious summer morning at a city park just east of downtown Coupeville.
     The red building in the painting is the Coupeville Wharf on Penn Cove. Built over a hundred years ago it is a main attraction in the town (and very picturesque too).

Friday, November 23, 2012

Day 5

oil on canvas 6x6

While I did do a painting today, this isn't it. :) I've decided to let the paintings dry a few days before I photograph them. I'm hoping this well help with the shine issue. I also stopped using my favorite Daniel Smith medium. We'll see if this helps. So in the meantime I thought I would share some of my more recent paintings.
I painted this in October with Plein Air Washington Artists (or PAWA) during a really wonderful get-together at Lake Quinault. One of the members owns an absolutely amazing cabin there and was very generous in hosting us. I hope she invites us back again someday!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Day 4

Oil on canvas
7 x 5

Few! Got this one in under the wire. Still having difficulties getting a good photograph. My brother, who is a photographer, gave me some good tips. So I guess I'll have to play with it some more. Or I might just have to let these dry for a bit first.

All that aside, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It's time for me to go and clean up all the special Thanksgiving cookware and pack it away until next year....

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Day 3

Oil on canvas 5x7

Alright, perhaps it wasn't the best idea to start this project just before Thanksgiving. Between cleaning, shopping, cooking, trying to finish a painting and the worst part of all - trying to take a decent picture of it it - I'm feeling a bit frazzled.
I painted this yesterday. The funky little red shapes are dogwood leaves. In person the shapes of the leaves a wonderfully varied. Getting them to read properly in a painting, is another matter. Live and learn they say!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 2

  Still Life #1
Oil on Canvas
5 x 7

 I painted this little scene last night using items I had purchased for Thanksgiving dinner. The sanity part of this equation has already been tested as I battled to photograph the painting today. I either got nicely saturated colors or no shine. Saturated color, of course, won out. Looks like I might have to purchase a polarizer for my wonderful husband's camera.
We are having some crazy weather here. Yesterday we had 2.15 inches of rain. We had a break this morning but it looks like the wind and rain are back. Just in time for my daughter to walk home from the bus stop.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Day 1

Here we are! First day, figuring it all out. Today is a good day to paint as it is pouring down buckets outside. I thought posting a self portrait might be a good way to break the blog in.  I started this project six months ago with great hesitation. Really, the last thing I wanted to stare at for hours on end was my own aging face. I told myself that this would be a good first step to doing something I am exited about - painting portraits of my daughters.