Friday, February 29, 2008

Opening Night

Tonight is the Opening Reception for the show and the area is under a "Winter Weather Alert"... hm-m-m. Oh well, it is February in Michigan. I hope the roads are plowed and clear. I spent nearly five hours yesterday, along with Patrice Erickson, hanging the show. Patrice is experienced in hanging a show, I'm a novice. Therefore, Patrice suggested some options and we decided on color as being deciding factor for the hanging. It turned out quite well. There is a total of eight artists and 28 paintings, as I recall.

The top painting is the painting I was saving to post as my "show surprise" piece since I had already posted "Aberdeen Dreams" and " Sh-h-h..." This painting is called "Out of the Rain".

"Out of the Rain", 9" X 12", oil on canvas

Last summer (summer... remember that folks? sigh...), after a nice rain, I went into the garden and was taking photos of raindrops on my flowers, when I discovered a little caterpillar hiding inside a day-lily. The little caterpillar was my inspiration for the painting.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dream a Little Dream

Do you ever wake up and immediately have the "solution" to something that's been troubling you? Of course, you do, we all do! The mind is a busy place as we sleep. Well, my daily painting from yesterday was the first thing in my head as I was waking up. There it was - this wonderful little painting, the only thing remaining was the background color and the technique... but remember, I don't know exactly know how to do the technique! So, when I get back to this little painting I hope I can figure it out because the painting in my head was quite charming :)'s a thought. Since I "painted" in my sleep, can I count that as my daily painting? I don't know if I can get in the studio today. Too much to do, too little time.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Okay, so that didn't work out!  I did paint but, I didn't finish it... First, after setting up a simple still life, I decided I didn't like it, so I started altering the elements.  Then I started trying other items.  Nothin' was workin' for me.  I must have spent nearly two hours just trying to find something to paint! Mini vase and  strawberry... nope.   Two strawberries... nope.  Two small wooden figures... nope.  One wooden figure... nope.  A dog biscuit... nope.  A wrapped candy... nope.  Nope! Nope! Nope!  There were other things, but I don't want to bore you.  I finally went back to two strawberries.  I  bought HUGE strawberries this morning with the intention of using them in a painting.  They're bigger than golf balls.  I ended up painting with a palette knife because I couldn't get the brush strokes to look the way I wanted.  The trouble with doing that though, is that I've never painted with a palette knife before!!  I like the look so far, but the paint is too thick to continue considering I don't know what the heck I'm doing.  I'll keep at it, but it's going to take more than one day.

There were too many things stacked against me tonight.  Too distracted.  I wanted the darkness so I could create more dramatic lighting.  The problem with that is I'm not used to painting that way and was uncomfortable with the light on the palette.  The clock was ticking away and it was getting later and later, and time shorter and shorter. My eyes were getting tired, I wasn't happy with what was going on... blah, blah, blah. Not a happy camper tonight.  BUT, nonetheless, I did paint today!  And I learned that I'm not a night time painter unless I've already started painting during the day.  So I guess I accomplished something and learned a thing or two after all.

Better Late Than Never

"Indifferent", 6" X 6", oil on canvas

It took a while for me to be able to post my second venture into daily paintings. Just about the time I was going to post it yesterday, I discovered our phone service was down, thanks to the work AT & T had been doing on the lines behind the houses, on our section of the street. And of course, I didn't discover this lovely fact until the trucks had all left for the day!! AARGH!!! But now the phone has been restored and here's my daily painting from yesterday. I call it "Indifferent". Using vintage salt & pepper shakers again as my "models", these two seals, with their noses in the air have always given me the impression of them being quite indifferent to the presence of each other.

I haven't started my daily painting yest today for a couple reasons. The first being, I needed to make sure I had all my pieces in order for the exhibit that opens this Friday. The second being, I want to try a little more dramatic lighting so I need to wait until nightfall because my studio is quite sunny and I haven't had a chance to properly set up a staging area for still lifes.

Actually, come to think of it, I'm not sure I'll be able to do one tomorrow. I'm helping to hang the exhibit. I wonder if I can squeeze two in tonight... oh dear, and "Lost" is on, too!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Daily Duo

I'm still abuzz with the "daily paintings" venture... I've been checking out the bios of the artists that form the Daily Painters Guild and getting a better handle on how it all seems to work. It appears some do just a small painting a day, some paint everyday - not necessarily one small painting, some do both. I think my personal choice would be the latter. As much as I enjoyed my little "Secrets" painting, I was left with wanting to do more. So I guess that would be my solution. To start the day with the daily painting and then continue on to something else, perhaps larger, if the creative juices are still flowing.

The concept has opened up a world of painting for me - not the concept of painting daily, because isn't that something that as artists we all want or strive to do? But the daily paintings - that's the idea that's got me so excited. I just love these little gems! As for my take on daily painting, if you've read any of my other postings, I have a list -. And that list has sometimes perplexed me in terms of how to attack it. There are many "paintings" not even on "The List" because I didn't want to overwhelm myself with "obligations". I see by being able to combine daily paintings and painting daily, the daily duo, I may be able to tackle the list with a better focus. I guess coming from a muralist background where all my paintings were large, room size pieces, the idea of doing paintings like these little gems of daily paintings hadn't crept into my brain. Maybe it was the paint fumes from all those years...

Well, gotta go! Gotta paint!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Daily Paintings

"Secrets", 6" X 6", oil on canvas

I have become infatuated with the concept of Daily Paintings! I ran across Justin Clayton's name and the reference to daily paintings somewhere on the web the over the weekend, as I was surfing about. Intrigued, I checked out his blog and website. I was smitten! His paintings are beautiful little gems of everyday objects, for the most part, although there are some portraits and landscapes. His handling of the subjects is quite wonderful. My favorites are when he takes everyday objects and gives them a sense of importance, whether it's simply a light bulb resting on the table or a slice of lemon illuminated from behind or a sake cup with a blue interior.

I watched his videos and loved the immediacy of the process. It's rather like plein air painting, on one hand. I e-mailed him and he responded, answering questions I had. He also directed me to his FAQ's, which was extremely helpful and he was quite encouraging. Thank you, Justin :)

So intrigued by the process and as I explained to him, I'd really like to loosen up in my paintings, I decided to give it a try. I thought about it all night last night and wondered what I would use for my first daily painting subject. As I sat, reading the newspaper this morning, still wondering what to use, I saw the perfect thing. My funny little, vintage salt and pepper shakers that I bought years ago sitting in the china hutch telling each other "secrets" - or at least that's what they appeared to be doing.

My format is slightly larger than Justin's because I happen to have a box of small canvases that I've collected, liking the size and shape and waiting to find something to inspire me to use them. Which now I have! This piece is 6" X 6" and a gallery wrapped canvas. I certainly enjoyed this foray into the world of daily paintings and intend to keep it up. I love the challenge of it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Wow!  What else is there to say?
That's the first thing that came to mind when I saw this Rembrandt "Portrait of Aeltje Uylenburgh, aged 62".  It is absolutely stunning!  I just wanted to share it with you.  It's now on display at The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Mass.  It's from the collection of Rose-Mariend Eijk van Otterloo and considered to be "one of the finest Rembrandts in private hands". Wow...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

One, Two, Three... Fini!

I completed my last painting "Out of the Rain" for the upcoming show.  I literally spent the day painting raindrops!  Well, okay... maybe not the entire day, but most of the day!  Talk about tedious!  I can't say much more.  I would like to have a surprise piece left for the show.  I'll post the painting once the Opening Reception is over.  It's unlike anything I've done, but I must say having been well schooled in trompe l'oeil painting with my murals certainly helped depicting the raindrops.

The List

And, now that I've completed my "obligations" for the show, I can start on my list.  Yes, my list.  It's a very important list, one I started keeping a few years ago.  You see, when I was doing "my mural thing", I had no time left over for doing "my own thing" so, I started keeping a list of ideas for paintings that would pop into my head. My list has reached 25 items on it!   Some of those ideas are for series of paintings - multiples!!!  Of course, there are still the commissioned pieces that I have to do as well... but, at least I can get started on my list.  Hm-m-m... which one shall I start with?

(Oops! make that 26.  I know I'll think of more items that I forgot to put on the list.  I've actually had the list written down numerous times, in various places, but now I have what I guess I'll call "The Official List" on my computer desktop.  Trying to be more organized, know what I mean ?)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Aberdeen Dreams

"Aberdeen Dreams", 20" X 24", oil

Remember the post about the new painting I was working on? Well, here it is... Once again, Lizzy was the model. It's from a photo I took of Lizzy when we went to visit her last year, while she was on her Study Abroad Program through Kalamazoo College, in Scotland, at the University of Aberdeen. It was about 4PM on a late January afternoon, as the sun was getting low in the sky (yes, in Scotland the sun goes down even earlier than in Michigan in January!) The light was soft and grey, a typical Scottish day.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Come One, Come All, the Show's About to Begin

Our exhibit is coming soon!  Above, you'll find the list of participating artists. Patrice Erickson has been the driving force to get this exhibit "off the ground" and I imagine it's been no easy task for her when trying to corral so many artists into an organized manner.  To borrow a phrase from someone I knew long ago, it must be " like corralling kittens!"  I must say, she has been remarkable.  Thank you, Patrice.
Although I have mentioned this exhibit under my "Upcoming Events and Exhibits", I do wish to remind those of you who may be in the area to please join us for our Opening Reception. 
Details:  Opening Reception, Friday, February 29th, 6:30PM - 8:30PM
Waterford Cultural Council's de la Ferriere Gallery
2303 Crescent Lake Rd, Waterford , MI - off M-59, about a mile east of Oakland County Internat'l Airport. Phone # 248.618.7529

If you're unable to make the opening but would like to see the exhibit another day, the gallery hours are M-F, 8AM-5PM.  The exhibit will run through April 3, 2008
I'm sure the exhibit will have quite a variety of artwork to enjoy with so many artists participating.  And I can't think of a better way to brighten a winter's day than to be surrounded by art! 
Please, come and enjoy.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Smoke and Mirrors

I'm just curious... I've started a new painting and whenever I start a new painting (or drawing) at some point I look at it and think, "Ohmigawd, this is crap!"  But a little voice inside says, "just keep going..."  Invariably, it turns out fine, but there's always that beginning critique given by my inner self.  Does anyone else go through this?  And if so, why?  Why does this happen?  I'm just curious...  

I'd love to hear from others on this.