Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fall Farm Scene

Another small watercolor. I liked the mix of green and yellow in this picture. It is quite a bit looser than my usual style.

Strolling Under the Silk Floss Trees

This is a very small watercolor. I took the same general scene as depicted in "A Walk in the Woods", but changed it to a spring setting.

Lovely Lisa

This oil painting was commissioned as a gift. Much research went into the various types of orchids, to select one that would suit the recipient. Capturing the subtle colors of the orchid petals was a challenge, along with achieving the sense of the pot in space.

Chinese Lotus

This watercolor was taken from the lotus flowers blooming in the Chinese garden at the Huntington Library in Pasadena, California. I have a continuing series on lotus flowers. The photograph, shot by Tony, was in black and white.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Pacific Beach Sunset

This is a large oil painting, 24 x 30 inches. It is an interpretation from a photograph shot by Tony Chong on a trip up the Big Sur coastline. I painted this scene about 9 years ago, and it is interesting to see how my skill with oils has evolved. Tony and I would like to do an art show some time showing his photos and my paintings from them.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Paint the Parks Art Show

I also received a Certificate of Merit art award in the mail on Saturday, from the Paint the Parks national competition. So now I am an "award" winning artist! Here is the oil painting, "El Dorado":

A Walk in the Woods

This piece, "A Walk in the Woods", is the piece that sold over the weekend. It is very small, 5x7". There were only a few watercolors in the show, which actually made it stand out.

"Enduring Beauty"-Art Show- California Art Club

I have a piece entered in the art show "Enduring Beauty" at the Women's Club of Pasadena. This show is sponsored by the California Art Club. The show opened with a reception on Saturday, 7/12/08, 5-7 pm. The show runs until December 2008, and the hours are 10 am-4pm, Monday through Friday. The address is: 160 N. Oakland Ave, Pasadena, CA 91501.

Thanks to the folks who came out to the reception, your support is greatly appreciated.

It was exciting, as my piece was the first one to sell during the reception. The buyer was very excited to be buying original art, and to be able to meet the artist.

This was a great show, as they use professional hanging service, there is a hosted bar and hors d'oevres, and a dinner/show following the art reception. It was a very nice event!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sunset, Morro Bay

Love those colorful sunsets! I have entered this painting into the Oil Painters of America western regional show, along with the oil painting of the buffalo in the great plains. We'll see if anything comes of that. This was an interesting exercise, much harder to paint natural-looking water than I thought. The little tiny dots are birds flying home to roost on the rocks.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

El Dorado

We recently spent a wonderful week at Moab, Utah. This oil painting is of a rock formation in Arches National Park. The formation near the left of the picture is Balanced Rock. I named this painting El Dorado, as I imagined the conquistadors riding across the desert and seeing this formation shimmering in the sun like a lost fortress made of gold. I am entering this painting in the Paint the Parks 100 competition.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

In the Garden of Flowering Fragrance

And now for something completely different...This is the new Chinese garden at the Huntington Gardens, Pasadena, California. They brought Chinese master craftsmen over in shifts to construct the bones of the garden. I wanted to achieve a dreamy effect and just let the paint flow.

Delicate Arch

More red rock from Arches National park. This is a formation called Delicate Arch. It is said to look like a cowboy's chaps from this angle. This is on a height which gave a great vista off to the east toward the Rockies in the distance. The canyon was tinted a pale green with the spring shrubs which had not yet shriveled to brown. Rain passed through which make the sky more interesting to paint. This is an 8x10, done in a more realistic style. I plan to enter it into the Paint the Parks competition.

Speckled Iris

My watercolor teacher is vacationing in England. A couple of the students got together to paint, and this was the result. This is taken from a photo shot by Tony of the iris blooming in our front yard. The petals really are speckled as shown. It is always a challenge to get the deep tones for shadows.

Book Cliffs

Grand Junction Colorado is bordered by large, worn-down mesas. This is a portion of the Book Cliffs, which runs for miles on the north side of the valley. The colors are very delicate, this picture is a little brighter than the original. We stayed at the Gallery, a local bed and breakfast. I painted this the night we stayed, and showed it to the proprietors as a sample of my work in the morning. They have agreed to hang my work for sale!!

The Three Gossips

We visited Arches National Park during our family trip to Utah in 2008. The scenery is so amazing that you actually get jaded after a few days because everywhere you look is a great view. We hiked around the base of massive red rock outcroppings. I sketched this in the field and painted it later. Despite the strong colors, this is a watercolor miniature 3x5 inches. I may do this again as an oil painting.

The Windmill

I completed this painting during a recent vacation to Colorado and Utah. There is an agricultural area by Grand Junction, the "wine country of Colorado".

Friday, March 21, 2008

Christmas Cactus

This is a walk down memory lane. This was painted about 3 years ago, and was the first time I achieved the proper "watery" effect when painting. This was a class assignment. I spent 2 hours drawing the flowers. When I put the paint onto the pot, it started running all over and I shrieked out loud, "It's ruined!!!" My watercolor teacher told me to let it dry, and this wonderful glazed pot was the result. 11x14", original watercolor.

Squashy Buildings 2

My friend Karen challenged me to re-create the squashy buildings. This is another 8x10" original watercolor. It was surprisingly hard to achieve the rainy effect a second time. I think I like this painting even better than #1. It must be the purple flowers in the foreground! This is in the private collection of Karen Hilb.

Squashy Buildings1

An earlier impressionistic building, this 8x10 original watercolor is part of my "squashy buildings" series. It is in the collection of Vicki Hilb.

The Old Mill

This is an original watercolor, 11x14", not quite in my usual style. It is much more impressionistic that I normally paint. I really like the soft and hard edges. This was a challenging study in perspective, as there are 2 vanishing points, both of which are off the edge of the paper.

High Surf

Returning to the subject of water, here is another "wave" picture. I love the energy of this wave, with the foam blowing off the top. Would you believe, the rocks were done by crunching saran wrap into the wet paint? This is a watercolor original, 11 x 14".

A Walk in the Woods

I'm quite pleased by this 5x7" watercolor painting, which was a quick study to capture mood using a limited palette of colors. The people walking in the distance anchor the picture and lend a sense of scale. This was recently accepted in a juried show by the California Art Club.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Yellow Dog

Continuing my efforts to boost production, I am experimenting with painting oil paintings in 1 or 2 sessions. My first dog picture, I may do a series on this one.

Creating an Oil Painting - Zion's The Watchmen

This is the final image, after color correction. You will notice that the forested hillside on the left is now rocks and scrub, to match the hillside on the right. Further color correction modified the appearance of the rock formation. Final detail of the plants in the foreground and the colors in the shadows have been completed. I submitted this painting to the centennial Zion National Park art show. Sadly, it was not accepted. So I got my revenge and sold it...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Creating an Oil Painting - Zion's The Watchmen

Day 3: At the end of a long painting session, I had color on the entire painting. However, some bits are too pink and others an unnatural shade of green. I also realized the water was still tending to float above the ground, and there are no pine forests on the mountain side at Zion, which is a desert environment. A final color adjustment was required.

Creating an Oil Painting - Zion's The Watchmen

Day 3: Working on the natural color on the left side of the painting. You can see the colors are out of balance, with the grass near the waters edge looking too yellow, and the pine trees glowing blue-green instead of olive. I reviewed the instructions and discovered I had to paint recognizable plants that grow in Zion as part of the competition requirements. This required a greater level of accuracy and detail.

Creating an Oil Painting - Zion's The Watchmen

Day 2: The hill and foliage on the right side is detailed with an over painting in more naturalistic colors.

Creating an Oil Painting - Zion's The Watchmen

This is the underpainting, all tones of lavendar, blue and pink. The water is more completely painted. Notice it almost floats above the surface ofthe painting compared to the land...

Creating an Oil Painting - Zion's The Watchmen

I decided to paint an oil for a juried show celebrating 100 years of Zion as a National Park. Unfortunately, I had less than a week to complete the painting. I began on Sunday, laying the underpainting. Here is the sky, which is almost at its final state. The dabs below mark the reflections in what will soon be a creek. I had company, and every half hour or so they would wander through and see how the painting had changed. It is a pretty dynamic process in the early stages.


This painting may be the first in a series of tropical flowers. This was a class subject. We had a guest in class that day, and she was startled when everyone started saying "oh, my painting is ruined" about halfway through the class. She timidly told her sister, "It doesn't sound like anyone is having fun..." Her sister smiled, and told her, "No, this is just the halfway stage when no one likes their painting. It frees us up to be experimental and some great paintings result!". I added highlights and dark tones after the class, and am much happier with the result.

Koi & Lilypads

This is a second monoprint, done in the same session as Lotus 2. This is in the collection of Lin & Joe Cochran.

Schuler House

I received a field watercolor painting kit for Christmas, and put it to immediate use. This is a picture for fellow artist Ellen Shipley and her husband Bill, who runs a computer software company called Schuyler House. The castle in the rear of the picture is the Schuyler House symbol. The sheep in the foreground are a reminder that Ellen began her art career as a fibre artist/weaver. Can you spot the poodle in sheeps clothing, a slight slip of the paint brush? This 5x7" watercolor is in the private collection of Ellen & Bill Shipley.

Lotus 2

At the suggestion of fellow artist Belinda Del Pesco (check out her website), I experimented with creating monoprints by drawing on plexiglass with water-soluble crayon, then putting a wet paper over and running it through a lithographic press. The resulting line drawing is then painted with transparent watercolor. Here is an example of the result.

Harvest Time

I liked the contrast of the soft, dusty-looking wine grapes with the brilliant fall foliage. This painting has a narrow depth of field, with the leaves in the foreground being more realistic, and the foliage around the edges fading to the abract. The hardest part of this painting was creating a sense of roundness on each grape...


The first of the 3 paintings done in one day. This is larger, 11x14. I was happy that I managed to preserve whites around the windows and railing and the buildings actually have some sense of roundness. I was not happy with the bland, solid light blue sky that was in the picture. One thing you learn as an artist is that it is sometimes necessary to enhance what you see, to make a better composition. My husband recommended that I add some clouds to improve the balance of the painting. I painted the sky and clouds as you see them, over the existing vanes of the windmill. As soon as I laid in the sky, the water reflections became apparent and the balance of the entire painting was apparent.

Little Newt

I had one really great day where I painted 3 complete paintings, a new high for me. I painted the Windmills. While that was drying, I painted the Lady in Red. While THAT was drying, I painted this picture of one of my cats, Little Newt. I'm pleased that it actually looks like a cat, and not a meatloaf. I'm happy with the use of negative space in this painting. For once I don't feel I overworked the subject.

Lavender Lady

Proportion is off a bit on the figure, but I was very pleased with the abstract multi-colored background on this one. The entire background was painted in about 2 minutes, AFTER the figure was painted.

Aspens - Autumn Light

Back to the subject of aspens again...this time in oil. This is a "plein air" style picture, practicing painting a whole picture in a single session. I was quite pleased with the result.

Zebra 1

This zebra painting originally came out very flat. Later I added the deeper black tones to enhance the countours. It was still dull, until I popped the image by adding pinks and blues for the reflected light. I'm pleased with it now! Sent this one off to the Transparent Watercolor Society show in spring 2008.

Fall in New England

Fall in New England is a watercolor. I liked the brilliance of the foliage, contrasted by the deep shadows of th trees. This is a break-through, as the building clearly has more than one side...(perspective being a continuing challenge...).

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mother and Child

In this picture, a mother holds her child who is dressed in an old, torn shirt. The mother's expression shows her joy in her child.

Lady in Red

Here is a picture of a performer for a festival, waiting her turn to perform. Heavy color saturation in this watercolor.

Bishop's Peak 1

This is countryside around San Luis Obispo. There are a series of volcanic peaks near the coast, which provide endless inspiration for painting. This is a view of Bishop's peak from the farm country just to the south.

Lavender, Los Olivos

During my summer trip to Cambria, I painted a watercolor per day. This is a painting of a lavender field, a favorite subject which I return to often.

During a summer trip to Cambria, California, a friend asked me if it was impossible to paint a "dark" watercolor, as all my pictures seemed very light and bright. I did this painting as an experiment. It also taught me that I should think more about contrast in my watercolor paintings to give them more "pop"!

Aspens 2

Here is the second pass on the same image, done in a looser, more painterly style. This image gets a better reaction than the more realistic painting.

Aspens 1

I did this transparent watercolor in an impressionistic style. Then I repeated it immediately in a much looser, painterly style.