Monday, May 2, 2016

It's been way too long.....

Hellooo OUT THERE....

Not sure if you've given up on me;  I've behaved very badly - not having posted since last fall.
Following the advice of  "those in the know" (?) I started posting on Instagram and have an art Facebook page.  Found out fast how much time it takes to keep all these postings going.

So here's a little 'year in review' for 2016; it's been a good art period all in all....

  • Taught two really fun workshops at the College of Marin.  I'll post a couple photos down below.
  • In two weekends (May 14 & 15)  I'll join 270+ Marin Artists in Open Studios.  I've been working a bit frantically to get some new work done in time.
  • Began a new serious - Body Language .... raising the question of how correct are our assumptions when as we interpret people's body language?  Are we right in judging their mood or frame of mind without the benefit of verbal communication?  Here are a couple pieces:

This first one is a work in progress - hope to finish this week:  (click on image to see larger)


48x32 acrylic on canvas

48x32 acrylic on canvas

18x18  acrylic on canvas

18x24    acrylic on canvas

And, as promised - a couple shots from a group of very enthusiastic and adventurous totally novice painters!  Pictures of the rest of the group didn't come out because of the bright light from the windows. Sorry folks!

Thursday, October 15, 2015


My painting pal Linda Yoder wrote today with this surprising bit of news "You knw, for years I hit 'reply' and commented on your work.never, of course, knowing that you weren't getting my comments."  ??!!

I immediately went roaming around Blogspot and on the Design page, lo and behold, the comments are bountiful - how sad that I never saw them.  They don't show up below my posts nor do they come to me via email.  Oye!  I'll try and figure it why this is. 

So very belatedly - thanks for all your comments and support over the years!!

          4x8"      Homage a Qiang Huang    oil

This is a trolley I did awhile ago.  The original was painted by the very talented Qiang Huang.   I found it such a delightful piece I decided to paint it as a learning experience and a 'homage'.  I made minor changes but Qiang had done all the work -- creating the composition, working out the values etc.  My goals was to work on new brush strokes, figure out how to loosen edges, paint some perspective. I thought I'd post it just to keep with the vehicle theme I've had going this week.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The one that got (thrown) away...

     6x6"                                 Rusty               acrylic on canvas

The other day I tried to paint the truck below. I sanded and restarted that board three times... aaarrh.   I just couldn't get the scale/angle right; finally threw it away.  I'm pretty sure the board was jinxed :-)
Today I painted this fun rusty old green pick-up (above) that shows up here and there around San Rafael. While originally it was the old truck that I was drawn to,  the van on the right ended up being the most exciting to paint.  It was a new challenge figuring out how to create the reflections. The painting is actually a little sharper than this photo. I need to reshoot it.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Petaluma Red - '49 Ford

      6x6"                    '49 Ford                 acrylic on board

Took a little break from my working on the "Body Language" series today since there are several shows coming up for the holidays calling for small work submissions.  Often the max is 6x6"  to 10x10"..  I've got a couple small motorcycles ....thought I'd try to paint a couple paintings.   Found an old photo I took it in Petaluma while visiting my pal Judi earlier this year of this.  From research on Google images it looks like a '49 Ford.  I should go back and add the FORD name on the back; I missed that.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Body Language.... #2

Today I finished a second abstract figure working from a photo taken last year.  My subject didn't realize he was in the shot.  I was taking a picture of someone else in the foreground; he happened to be sitting farther back in the room.  As I looked at the photo before painting it, he seemed to be relaxed, lost in his own thoughts.  When we read body language - do we get it right ....or are we projecting our own feelings onto another?

           acrylic on canvas                            Untitled #2                          18x24                          

This was the first-  posted last month, They look the same here, but this was is much larger

acrylic on canvas                             Untitled #1                                     36x48

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Hit the Road....

acrylic on board          Red Vespa                                            

Last summer, when we were temporarily renting an apartment near Larkspur Landing, I painted a neighbor's motorcycle - a Royal Enfield. (see below).   I've thought about painting a couple more cycles for awhile...finally did one this week.  The little Red Vespa (above) had so many tiny chrome parts to it; the key was to simplify.  I abstracted the background building and like the effect. While painting both these bikes was a lot of fun, the thought of a ride on one sounded even more so!

  acrylic on board              Royal Enfield                                     

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Summer Treats finds a new home....

20 x 20              Summer Treats          oil on canvas

Good news in today's mail.  A note from Studio Gallery to say that "Summer Treats" found a new home.  This is a particular favorite of mine; it was hanging in my house until the show. I hope it looks spiffy in its new digs.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

My Muse

I've wanted to do a big abstract figure for a long time.  Last week I finally decided to tackle it. As I was looking for a reference photo I came across this of my granddaughter Elena.  Her pose called to me  ...comfy and totally absorbed.  I can't recall why she was wearing her cheongsam... sometimes you just don't need a reason to put on your special souvenir.

As you can see this painting was not about replicating the features or the outfit or the setting.  The photo was strictly a reference for post and posture....and the feeling I got from it.

I used three tools:  a big stubby round (see below--great for covering large areas, blending edges, getting circular texture)....a 3" good quality house painting brush.....and a palette knife.

There are a zillion layers on this canvas.  If you click on it you may be able to see some of the texture.  I purposely started with an old painting I'd never finished. Also, I chose acrylic rather than oil because it allows me to get a lot of layering done in a much shorter time.  I used gel medium to help extend the paint for big areas of negative space.
Finally - our empty wall will have something on it!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Yours Truly...

At the reception - Studio Gallery, SF.  You'll find me in the top row - unless the photos rotate; then  you'll have to play "Where's Waldo?"

And More.....

Jennifer & Rab Terry - owners of Studio Gallery, are generous, crazy-fun art lovers.  Rab is a venetian plaster artist.. the first I've ever met. You can see his work here

I'm working on a new big piece. An abstracted figure. Hope to post soon.  Have a safe and fun Labor Day weekend.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Studio Gallery Reception

Summer Sweet, my painting, upper far right, spot light hitting it.

Phil and I took a ride into SF Sunday for the exhibit reception at Studio Gallery. He hadn't seen the new exhibit space yet and loved it.  It's big and roomy as you'll see in the photo below.  And we were lucky - found parking about half block away....and, no charge on the meters on Sunday.. YAY
Some very cool mosaic pieces, ceramics etc.  The show runs through Sept 14th.  Check it out!
Say Hi to Jennifer & Rab - the sweetest gallery owners ever.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Delicious! - an invitation

(First - I DID go back in and tweak the male dancer in yesterday's blog.  I think it's a lot better.  His arm isn't as stringy! )

Now - for today....Have you visited Studio Gallery since they moved to a bigger, brighter space on Pacific Street?  If not, swing by during their upcoming exhibit   "Delicious!"  

Even if you've been before -- you'll have a blast at this HUGE exciting show.... you'll be amazed at many of the wild and wide interpretations of the theme.  

Reception....Sunday Aug 30, 1:00 - 6:00 p.m.  Free. 
Exhibit runs August 27 - Sept 14th. 
STUDIO GALLERY 1641 Pacific Avenue, half block east of Van Ness.
Check site days and times.

Oh, and...just in case it isn't obvious, one of my paintings will be on display ;-)

                  SUMMER SWEETS    oil on canvas

Friday, August 14, 2015

Dancing Figures - male, female

There's something about figure painting that feels different than other painting.  Maybe painter and viewers identify with it on some level: it reminds us of someone,  sparks an emotion related to the subject or pose, or we're just curious about how this person differs from ourself.  They're fun but challenging to paint.

I found some dance reference photos to experiment with.  I wasn't concerned about making the features realistically but didn't want proportions too loose or they'd distracting to the viewer.

And, something new... I used a palette knife!  I rarely do.  Yes, I did use a brush for the negative space (background), to sketch in the figure and do some initial value work.  But then, when I got to the skin surface, I began using the palette knife.  It really creates a neat texture on the skin-- a multi-color abstract surface rather than smooth flat skin tones.  This textured multicolor layering works well since our skin is made of so many tones.  (click image to enlarge and see texture - THOUGH my photos are a bit blurry; I need to reshoot)

I pushed it even further with the male dancer... allowing the blue underpainting that was already on the canvas to come through.  Not my plan initially but as the painting developed I liked the effect of this blue poking through.

Did you read about the fab trip Carol Marine's going on?  In the Sierras...a camping/painting adventure with mules packing in food and tents, artists packing in their painting equipt.  Makes me want to be a plein air painter. You can read about it here.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

paintings all over the place

When you're out and about doing your errands or getting a cup o' joe, keep an eye out for my paintings.     About twelve modern still life pieces are up at West America Bank in Novato.  They'll be up for three months.  7333 Redwood Blvd.  Darn...I was so busy getting them hung that I forgot to take any photos-- -duh.

At the Bon Air Shopping Center, Greenbrae, you'll see mostly figure paintings and a couple large abstract florals at Frame Crafters (between CVS and Susie Cakes).  Owner Krista S. graciously hosts many local artists' work on her walls throughout the year.

I did remember to take a few photos at Bon Air, although the outdoor shots are not great because of the glare on the windows.  You'll just have to stop by and see for yourself :-)  It's a pretty charming area - with the outdoor tables, coffee shops...and those cupcakes at Susie's.

Looking towards front window.

Dancer (front) and Field of Red (on wall)

a grouping of figure pieces

Take Five i and ii


In other news, I moved my studio -   yes...again!
I'm renting a garage from a neighbor right next door .  It has windows and a back door, so good light and fresh air.  How convenient is that?!    After two home and two studio moves this year, I hope not to have to pack and unpack again for a long long while!

Saturday, June 20, 2015


Summertime... YAY! I recently found a photo taken a couple of years ago of my granddaughter Elena and her buddy "B" (for Isabel).  Decided to paint it again the other day.  They were having such a good time - very enthralled with the treasure in their bucket (probably something squirmy and slimy!)

Hard to believe that little 9 year old is now 11!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Painting - Llamas - Redwoods

It's been so long since I've posted. My creativity has been a trickle rather than a stream. First my excuse was we were in the throws of our second move in five months. Then it was the holidays.  But when the holidays passed and much of the packing was done (enough of it to not feel guilty if I went to paint) I still wasn't in my studio. Not much anyway. Not sure what's going on.  Well, that's not entirely true - it's really that I just can't decide what to paint.  I can wander in directionless and just paint from something sitting around --or from a photo.  But I've been wanted to do a series for a long while ...unfortunately the 'big idea' hasn't jumped out at me yet.  

My painting pal Linda and I talked about starting one at the same time. Committing at the same time. Like when girlfriends decide they'll each lose 5 lbs. You really have to do it on your own but it helps to know someone else is miserable too! :-)   Painting is never miserable though - I always enjoy just moving paint around.  But sometimes it needs to be something more. Something with a purpose.  So I need to get planning.  I feel like when you have to train before you run a marathon.

Today I felt like I needed to 'practice my scales'. Limber up. So I painted something I've painted before.  I tried to make it brighter with more clarity. Push contrast and values a bit. The first attempt was more muted.  When I was done I felt more like I could push forward with something new.  Like anything else, you get rusty when you don't stay with it.

 6/15 Version                  Paddle Boys                         oil

I'm not a complete drop-out thought!  I've been doing some weekly hiking. Three blocks or so from our house are several trailheads that open up to some wonderful paths.  And what a surprise I got!  As I was climbing a fairly steep grade I turned towards an open meadow and looking at me is...a llama and about two dozen goats!  

They've been 'hired' to clear the non-native growth.  How cool is that?  Half of them must have been on a break - laying around. Full to the brim.  Sorry the photos are so poor.  They were far away; it was hard to hold the camera still in zoom mode.

The full loop takes about two hours.  Half is in the sunshine, the other in the Redwoods.  

Too bad I'm not much of a landscape painter.  This mountain is a great resource.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Products Demo at Riley Street Art Supply

In class I've mentioned the occasional demos at Riley's in San Rafael where a rep from Golden covers the various additives  (gels, mediums, etc. ) for use when painting with acrylics.   One is coming up in March - just wanted to alert you.   Saturday March 7 from 11:00 - 1:00 downtown San Rafael on 4th Street.   Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Beagle Boy

 This serious little beagle was a pleasure to paint though initially I hesitated because he seems to have a bit of a scowl.  Before I declared "finished" I tried to make him a bit happier but then it didn't look like him anymore.  He reminds me a lot of Mollie, our cat.  She looks stern but it's all a big act.  Pets are fun to paint. I may get into this a bit more.

Also, what do you think about a 'pop art' version of Beagle Boy -with some out-of-the-box colors?  If I do I'll show it to you

Below is the photo I worked from.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Your Invitation: Two Holiday Shows - Too Fun!

Follow the Leader - at Art Works Downtown

What a crazy time. We expected to move in October but the date's been changed four times.  It felt like a cloud had settled overhead and wasn't going to budge. Ahh..but then things began to brighten up: first I got the good news that the  two little warblers were selected for Studio Gallery's tiny show (last post) and now.. "Follow the Leader" has been accepted for the "Small Works" at Art Works
Downtown in San Rafael.  Yay!.... the cloud is finally moving along.

So - Save the Dates.   Drop by one or both receptions and enjoy yummy treats, likely some music and lots of fun art.   If you can't make the receptions, you can always visit these shows anytime during their run.  The website links below will give you more of an idea

tiny -  Studio Gallery 1641 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco
Reception:              Nov 16, Saturday 1-6 p.m.
Exhibition Dates:     Nov. 14 - Dec. 22
Check website for dates and times Gallery is open, especially around holidays.
slideshow with some of the selected pieces

Small Works - Artworks Downtown, 1337 Fourth Street, San Rafael
Reception:            December 12, Friday  5-8 p.m.
Exhibition Dates:  Nov. 21 - January 2
Parking lots are located on B or C St. between 3rd and 4th streets, the corners of 5th and C St., 5th and D St. 
Check website for dates and times Gallery is open, especially around holidays.

Wilson's Warbler and Blue Winged Warbler at Studio Gallery in San Francisco


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Not the greatest photo but...

My birds have new 'houses'!

Click to Enlarge
Finally my 'chickadees' are framed** - just in time for the tiny show at Studio Gallery. All pieces will be no larger than 7" in any dimension.  Once the gallery owners have put the slide-show up on their website, I'll send an update with the link.

In the meantime - the basics:
Exhibit Dates:  Nov 14 - Dec 22.
Reception:       Nov. 16th  1- 6 p.m.
Second Reception /Gallery's 11th Anniversary!  Dec 6th - 1-6 p.m.

....Each of the birds are available as cards or prints  here.

*framing by A.C. Graphics, san rafael.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

a Royal Enfield

6x8"   acrylic on boar
I spied this cool motorcycle recently--a Royal Enfield. Thought it was really old but when I looked it up, found out it's brand new although fashioned after it's predecessor - a 1940s war bike.  Enjoyed playing with the sunlight and bike shadow, the cars parked in the distance. Would really like to get a ride on this cool machine!

Monday, October 27, 2014

set up an art studio - any time, any place

Of course, it's great to have a room dedicated as your art studio --no worries about spilled paint etc. But  even if you don't have one, you shouldn't let that stop you from painting.  In class Saturday, more than one student mentioned the lack of having a studio/garage/dedicated room to paint in.  I want to encourage you not to let that keep you from painting.

Though I do have a studio, once in awhile I want to work on something at home.  We've been living in a temporary apartment for a couple of months and have lots in storage. While I have very little here here- it only took minutes to convert a space for a couple of hours painting.

I use the kitchen counter or table top (even couple tv trays would work), some grocery ads fliers that come in the mail, a small table-top easel,  brushes, paint, rags or paper towels, and water or mineral spirits for cleaning up depending on if I'm painting with oil or acrylic paint.  Here's what it looked like today.

(click for larger image)

Granted, didn't get very far on this piece. I don't have the original items anymore so just used it as a practice to get the metal of the bowl to glow.  I'll probably wipe off the board and begin a new painting.  

This is the same set-up I use occasionally when we're traveling.  So excuses.  Get painting!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Unique Women making Unique Art

The class is Artistically Yours!   And the point is, for at least this one day, to make art that comes from deep inside - where you determine what and how you paint.  There are many wonderful classes on technique - and they are really important. But, at least once in awhile, you should put on some music, throw caution to the wind --and JUST PAINT.  Play. Experiment.  

If Picasso and Pollock had continued to paint portraits and landscapes, would we have known them? But they followed their vision - didn't listen to critiques - and their fearlessness made them universally known.

Some snaps of today's students on their personal journey.  It sounds easy but it is NOT!  You have to dig deep and be unafraid to follow a path that is not lit in front of you. I'm very proud of these unique women...and their unique art.
(sorry gals, not everyone got a great photo --the big windows blocked out a few of the photos)...