Thursday, January 30, 2014

No. 379 My Mom and Don's Still Life

My Mom and Don's Still Life
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x 7"

Don placed a bunch of tomatoes in this bowl while cleaning up the kitchen the other day. It caught my eye as I walked by a few hours later. Ah ha! My next still life prop. I love it when that happens! The bowl was made by my mom, who passed away in August. So it is a dear little bowl to me.

I've finished the 365 painting project and today is the last day of Leslie Saeta's 30 in 30 challenge. Phew! I am going to take the next few days off and enjoy my 20th wedding anniversary with Don.

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog. Have a great weekend!

Don and I were married on a Windjammer sailing ship in the British Virgin Islands. Can't believe it's been twenty years!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

No. 378 The Allium Collection No. 4

The Allium Collection No.4
Oil on Linen Panel

Trying out a different type of composition. A beautiful thing about daily painting is one tends to be more willing to experiment and take chances. If today's painting doesn't work out there is always tomorrow. And boy that's a good thing because I've had some spectacular failures. :)

Starting a daily painting practice Step No. 9 Sell It
It is really, really nice to have someone tell you how much they like your work. Take it up four or five notches and that's how it feels to have someone buy your work. For someone to give you some of their hard earned money and find a place in there home for something you created, it's the ultimate compliment!

 I'm not a expert, unfortunately, but I can tell you where I sold my work last year. Aside from friends and family (whom I'm eternally grateful for) my sales have come from the website and a booth at the local farmers market. and Ebay are two other online places to sell. I'm thinking about trying both of those. Also, I'm going to take a stab at a couple of art fairs this summer. Oh yes, there are always galleries too. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

No. 377 Rwandan Basket with Onions

Rwandan Basket with Onions
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x  7"

The basket pictured here was hand woven by a woman in Rwanda. She is part of a company called All Across Africa which is dedicated to improving the lives of the poor and marginalized in Africa. They have a great website I would recommend visiting -  I only purchased the one basket but now I am wishing I had gotten at least one, two or possibly three more!

Monday, January 27, 2014

No. 376 The Japanese Doll with Amaryllis Flower and Scarf

Japaese Doll with Amaryllis Flower and Scarf
Oil on Linen Panel
7" x 5"

Still playing with dolls! :) I was hoping that backing up from the subject would give me more of the effect I was after. Hmmm, I'll keep working on it.

Steps to creating your own daily painting practice: Step #8 Pick yourself up when you fall
Lets face it, having a good strong goal is very important but the chances are very high there will be a day or two you will simply not able to get that painting done. Is that a good reason to quit? Absolutely not. Probably the hardest thing to do is regroup and continue. My original goal was to complete a painting every single day for 365 days and post that painting on my blog. In the end it didn't happen quite that way. So I didn't finish a painting every single day. However, since I started my project in November 2012, I have finished a little over 365 paintings and sold almost a hundred of them. I'm pretty happy with that result. :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

No. 375 Pear and Red Scarf

Pear and Red Scarf
Oil on Gessobord
6" x 6"

A newly acquired silk scarf (gotta love those thrift stores!) and a lovely blushing pear. When you are in a hurry or inspiration isn't striking, a pear is a terrific go-to still life prop. It's seemingly universal appeal never ceases to amaze me.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

No. 374 Still Life at Suzy's

Still Life at Suzy's
Oil on Canvas Board
In my quest to find new and interesting props to paint, I have had the help of many friends. A HUGE thank you to everyone who lent me new subjects and even let me invade their home in my search. You guys are the best!!!

Creating your own daily painting practice - Step #7
Okay, if you thought step #6 was scary just check out this one...
Make it Public
There's nothing like having someone watching to keep oneself accountable. So tell everyone you are doing this, friends, family and co-workers. It's actually a kick because most people are impressed that you are willing to attempt this. Another way to go public is to have a blog or post on Facebook. Of course, since you are reading my blog you know this. :)

Friday, January 24, 2014

No. 373 The Amaryllis Collection No. 5

The Amaryllis Collection No. 5
Oil on Gessobord
6" x 6"

Click here to view auction.

Well, unbeknownst to me I created a Lucky Chinese New Year painting! While trying to find the name of these small white flowers I also came across this tidbit about red,
"At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children "lucky money" in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck." In 2014 the Chinese New Year falls on January 31st. What a great excuse to paint with more red!
The little white flowers are Chinese Sacred Lily and are a type of narcissus with an intense fragrance. I purchased the bulbs before Christmas to force in my kitchen windowsill. I'm totally sold on this whole forcing bulbs thing to help get through the gray days of January, February, March and April. :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

No. 372 The Allium Collection No. 3

The Allium Collection No. 3
Oil on Linen Panel
7" x 5"

Back to those gorgeous onions again. This is one of those set ups that I didn't design but just happened to notice. If I had put the onions right back in the kitchen when I finished the first two painting,s I wouldn't have seen this. (I love it when I can justify being a "casual housekeeper") 

Setting up your own daily painting practice: Step #6 Make a Commitment
This may sound scary but actually is quite magical. We're not talking about a life time commitment here, just for however long you have chosen to do this. Once you've decided that no matter what comes, you are going to do this project, the skies of your mind will clear. No more trying to decide if this is worth it, can I handle it, how will I handle it and on and on and on. Just agree with yourself that you will take one day at a time and do what it takes to get it done. Then you'll find your brain really kicking in to figure out how to make that happen.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

No. 371 The Japanese Doll #2

The Japanese Doll No. 2
Oil on Linen Panel

My second attempt at painting this lovely doll.

Starting your own daily painting practice Step 5 1/2 - Dip Your Toe In
Okay, they say there are those that prefer to jump in the pool and those that prefer to dip their toe in first. If you are the latter, by all means dip that toe in! Try daily painting for a week or so. Obstacles will probably arise. The key here is are they surmountable? Use that information to help you decide whether to take the next big step.........

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

No. 370 The Japanese Doll

The Japanese Doll
Oil on Linen Panel
7" x 5"

Such a lovely doll, such a difficult subject to paint. I'm going to put this in my "good for you for pushing yourself" category. Then I won't feel so bad for it not turning out the way I wanted it to. :)

Starting your own daily painting practice - Step 5 What to Paint
This is the fun part! As a fine artist, the world is your oyster. A good place to start is something you are passionately interested in outside of art. That may be animals, boating, flowers, construction equipment, cars, you name it. Then create a collection of those items in photos or real life (construction equipment might be best collected in photos). Pack a lunch and head out on a field trip with your camera or visit a thrift store or antique shop. Collecting painting reference is my favorite new hobby and an excellent excuse to go shopping! I used to turn my nose up at thrift stores. Now they are treasure troves . :)

If you have a day where nothing appeals to you, that's okay. Paint something anyway. There is still a lot of value to putting that brush to canvas, getting the mileage in and establishing a painting habit even if this particular subject isn't very exciting. Sometimes just starting is the hard part. Many times the longer I look at something the more interesting it becomes. What was once unappealing becomes appealing.

Hope this helps! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

No. 369 The Allium Collection No. 2

Tha Allium Collection No. 2
Oil on Linen Panel

Does this look familiar? Yep, it's the exact same still life set up. The only difference is the way it was lit. Yesterdays painting was lit with a combination of natural light from a window and, since it is so darn dark here in the northwest during the winter, some artificial light. This still life was lit exclusively with artificial light. I use a special bulb recommended to me by Elizabeth Kincaid. It brings out the most amazing colors. They are Lumiram Chromalux full spectrum bulbs. You can purchase them through Cheap Joe's or Jerry's Artarama.

Yesterday's painting to compare with today's:

Which effect do you like best?

Coming tomorrow: Step #4 In starting your own daily painting practice - What to Paint

Sunday, January 19, 2014

No. 368 The Allium Collection

The Allium Collection
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x 7"

Ooooooh, so that's why everyone likes to paint onions! I had a blast painting these. The luminosity of the green onions, the beautiful variation of color in the purple onion and shallot - all characteristics I love so much in flowers. Who knew?

Starting your own Painting a Day Challenge: Step 3 Where?
Okay, you've found the time, decided your media and format, and now where will you paint? If you are fortunate enough to have your own studio this isn't an issue. For the rest of us, it takes a little thought and preparation and possibly some clever persuasion of family members. I started in my kitchen, moved to the shed in the backyard and am currently on the dining room table. If you can find a spot where you don't have to tear down everyday that is tremendously helpful. In the end it pays to be flexible. My little pochade box has kept me flexible. But I'll talk more about that in another post....

Saturday, January 18, 2014

No. 367 Amaryllis with Brass Pitcher

Amaryllis with Brass Pitcher
Oil on Linen Panel

Still having a good time with those Amaryllis flowers. 

Step 2 to create your own daily painting practice: Choose your format/medium.
Once you've decided how to carve out time to paint each day your ready for the next step. How much time did you find? An hour, two or more? If you have only an hour you will probably have to paint in a looser style. A lot depends on how fast you work. I have a photo realistic watercolor style I like to use but I simply didn't have the time to complete a painting a day with that method. So I went with a looser style of oil painting instead. Size makes a difference in how fast a painting is completed too. You will find most daily paintings are either 6" x 6" or 5" x 7".

Carol Marine, a very famous daily painter, has a tutorial on daily painting.  I finally believed this daily painting thing could work after reading about her process. If you would like to read it too, click here. Look for the artbyte titled Carol Marine: My Take on Daily Painting. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Daily Painting No. 366 Still Here

Still Here
Oil on Gessobord
6" x 6"
The nice long nap helped a little bit. Many people have been curious about my plans now that I have completed 365 daily paintings. To be honest, I'm still not sure. I am however still participating in Leslie Saeta's 30 in 30 challenge so the daily paintings will continue at least until the end of the month.
I must say from a personal and professional standpoint this project has been simply amazing.
I'm feeling pretty knowledgeable about the painting a day venture at the moment so I thought I would share how to go about starting your own challenge. It could be a year, a month or a week. It's up to you. Are you up for it? Okay, here go...
First step: Choose something to give up. Yep, in order to carve out time for this you're going to have to give up something. Most people I know have days that are full from one end to the other. What are you willing to give up for a week, month or year? Keep in mind the longer you do this the more efficient you will be come and you might be able to add back in a little of what you gave up. The first thing I gave up was reading for learning and pleasure. I knew in a year the books would still be there. What can you live without for a week, month or year?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

DAY 365!!!!! Mission Accomplished!

Mission Accomplished
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x 7"

Finally, my 365th posted painting. I had plans to say something profound about finishing a year long project but instead I think I'm going to go take an extra long nap......

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Day 364 Suzy's Nutcrackers No. 3

Suzy's Nutcrackers No. 3
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x 7"
The last in my little nutcracker series and Anika's favorite. My appreciation for the craftsmanship found in these nutcrackers is considerably heightened after spending many hours staring at them. They've given me an idea for a much larger piece using several nutcrackers in a group. So watch out Suzy, next fall I might be back knocking on your door.......  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Day 363 Suzy's Nutcrackers No. 2

Suzy's Nutcrackers No. 2
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x 7"
This is my favorite nutcracker out of the trio I've painted. I suspect it's because it
most closely resembles the nutcracker in Maurice Sendack's Nutcracker Suite. I've seen many a nutcracker suite and Maurice's sets and costumes are by far the best - in my humble opinion.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Day 362 Suzy's Nutcrackers #1

Suzy's Nutcrackers #1
Oil on Linen Panel
My friend Suzy has a passion for all things Christmas, including a large collection of nutcrackers. I visited her home last week just before she started taking her Christmas decorations down. It was a real treat to see her extensive collection of ornaments and decorations, while hearing how many of the pieces were family heirlooms.  Her regal nutcrackers especially caught my eye. She kindly let me take photos of several of them to paint later. Thank you again Suzy for a lovely afternoon!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Day 361 The Amaryllis Experiment #4

The Amaryllis Experiment #4
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x 7"
A change of background color and different arrangement of props from yesterday's painting. This particular arrangement wasn't planned. I'd pushed things aside trying to make room on the dining room table. Later that day as I walked by I thought, "Hey, I like that!". I love it when that happens as I don't have to wrack my brain for painting ideas that day.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Day 360 The Amaryllis Experiment #3

The Amaryllis Experiment #3
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x 7"
Stepping back a bit from the view in earlier amaryllis paintings. In previous prop hunting visits to thrift stores and antique shops I've been looking for vases, pitchers, cups and the like. I think I'm going to add flower pots to my list. How sad, another excuse to go shopping. :)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Day 359 The Amaryllis Experiment #2

The Amaryllis Experiment #2
Oil on Gessobord
6" x 6"
It was great fun watching this plant grow in my windowsill. Their stems and leaves
have the solid look of a succulent but they grow so quickly! As the buds grew and
began to open it was fascinating to think of how this process works, the DNA telling
all of the cells how to replicate and where to go. All this movement is in perfect harmony to
create a gorgeous flower. Wow.

I am learning a new video program. If you would like to check out my first
official Daily Painting video click here.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Day 358 The Amaryllis Experiment

The Amaryllis Experiment
Oil on Gessobord
6" x 6"
Paperwhites aren't the only bulb I've been growing in my kitchen window!
If you've never tried growing this amazing flower in your home it is well worth
 the effort. They usually can be purchased in a kit complete with pot and soil.
Large, spectacular flowers to keep you company in the dead of winter will be your reward.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Day 357 Lost in the Shuffle

Lost in the Shuffle
Oil on Canvas Panel
6" x 6"

I actually painted this one several weeks ago and somehow forgot to post it. Amazing as I really like this one. Just love the shape of that vase.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Day 356 Paperwhite Still Life

Paperwhite Still Life
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x 7"

A variation on an earlier still life with similar props. I prefer this one.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Day 355 More Coffee Please

More Coffee Please
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x 7"

Oh my, I knew I shouldn't have let my sleep schedule get so out if whack over the holidays. Curse my night owl ways. I hope you are getting along better than I am today......

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Day 354 Leslie's 30 in 30 Challenge

Winter Still Life
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x 7"

Leslie Saeta is an artist well known for her blog talk radio show "Artists Helping Artists". I've been enjoying her show for almost a year now. Last January she challenged her listeners to do 30 paintings in 30 days and to post those paintings on her blog. In September she did it again. I understand last January she had a hundred artists participate. This January there are over four hundred! I didn't participate in the first two and lived to regret it. So I'm not missing out this time. Today is day 4 of the challenge. You can check it out here.
The Red Apple
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x 7"
by Megan McManamen
Megan's last oil painting.......for now.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Day 353 Forcing Bulbs


Forcing Bulbs
Oil on Gessobord
6" x 6"


While at Mobacks checking out the poinsettias, I noticed a big basket of of paperwhite bulbs. It occurred to me that a pot of delicate, fragrant, bright white flowers would be a great way to brighten up a dark winter day. Even more important, it would give me a new fresh flower to paint. :)




The Lonely Banana
Oil on Linen Board
5" x 7"
by Megan MeManamen

Meg was on a roll....


Friday, January 3, 2014

Day 352 Megan Inspires Me


Megan Inspires Me
Oil on Gessobord
6" x 6"


My youngest daughter Megan has been showing some consistant interest in oil painting, much to my delight. So for Christmas we got her a pochade box and paints. The other day she grabbed on orange, sat it on the counter and started painting (see below). I thought it was such a fun composition I decided to try it too, with Megan's permission of course.

The Orange on the Stone
Oil on Linen Board
5" x 7"
by Megan McManamen

Not bad for an eleven year old! :)



Thursday, January 2, 2014

Day 351 One Last Version, Probably


One Last Version
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x 7"


Alright, just squeezing in one last poinsettia......most likely.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Day 350 Happy New Year!


New Years Day in Everson - Plein Air
Oil on Linen Panel
5" x 7"


Happy New Year!

I'd like to wish you and your family the very best in 2014. Also, I'd like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your interest in my art and taking the time to view these daily paintings. Your support is tremendously appreciated!


We spent the first day of 2014 visiting with my brother and his family in Everson. The visit included a bicycle ride next to the river near his home. I found a great spot to set up and paint. Then I discovered I'd left my white paint back at the house. :( Don very kindly went back to get it for me but I just decided to take lots of painters license with paint I already had.....