Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Face - SOLD

Yikes! It's been over a week since I posted a painting. Santa Barbara was wonderful as always, but I came back with a little cold or bug or flu or something, so that's why no posts for the last few days since my return. But I'm finally back today and am posting a Halloween surprise. When I was visiting with my friends we spent one evening carving little pumpkins. It's been years since I did that, and I had forgotten how much fun it is. I was mocked for making a too nice pumpkin face last week, so, M & M, here is one who is a bit more ferocious. Happy Halloween everyone.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Santa Barbara Mission

After a couple of days under the weather, I'm off to beautiful Santa Barbara to visit old friends, do some catching up and some resting up. I won't be posting anything until next Tuesday or Wednesday; I'm taking my paints up with me, though I'm not sure what kind of visit it's going to be. I may or may not come back with a painting or two. Just to tide you over, here is a photo of the Queen of the Missions that I tweaked a bit with a new widget I have on my phone that lets me play around with photos. This one makes a scene look like a miniature. Cute, huh? Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 19, 2009


About  a month ago my husband and I began horseback riding lessons, and this painting is a portrait of Lacey, the horse who, along with her mistress, is teaching me to ride. Lacey is gentle, intuitive, and patient with her clumsy pupil. She is also pregnant, due in March, so I may not be able to finish all my lessons before she must stop and take it easy. The portrait itself is my first venture in trying to draw, let alone paint a horse. I have deliberately avoided it for years, being intimidated by the idea of trying to make it look like a horse and not like a dog. But, she does look like a horse, so I am pleased.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Gourd with Lemons

Another gourd, paired with the lemons. I can't get enough of the lemons I guess.
Here is a stripey, crookneck sort of one. I wish I new the names of them.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Self Portrait - NFS

Well, here is the first of what I look forward to being a series of self portraits. I have over the years done dozens of self portrait drawings in many different media. I've done only one other one in oils though, so this is pretty much my first one. I do apologize for the overly poignant, bordering on insipid expression on my face however. Self portraits are notoriously grumpy appearing, owing to the artist being required to look into a mirror with the same expression over and over as the painting progresses, and so the portraits inevitably appear wooden, frozen, or downright scowling. I tried to use a mirror, but couldn't co-ordinate the lighting for my face with the lighting I need for my palette and for the painting. So, I used a photo. I did sort of have that expression on my face, but somehow in the painting I ended up exaggerating it rather too much. But for a first one I'm ok with it. I hope it doesn't scare you or make you wonder why I appear to be weeping. Or begging for food.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Three Heirloom Tomatoes

Here are three Heirloom tomatoes, which means they have wonderful anomalous shapes and colors and are a real challenge to paint.  I wonder if they will taste as good as they look.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

White China Egg Cup

Here is a little egg cup I have had for over 30 years, and it was old when I got it! I often used to eat soft boiled eggs in an egg cup, but not so much the last couple of decades, so it seemed appropriate for me to put it to some sort of use.  I started out with a small size panel just to get used to painting it, but I think I'd like to do it again with a spoon maybe, and another egg on the side. Anyway, here is the first attempt at my favorite old china egg cup from Germany.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Two Lemons and a Squash

I ended up working on this for a couple of days, with a day in between for drying. I'm just starting to get the hang of the napkin I think, and with one of my favorite subjects to paint, lemons, I'm very happy with how this turned out.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Green Gourd

Here is another gourd. It's the green one in the background from yesterday, and I thought it needed to have a post all of it's own. I love how bumpy and variegated the skin is. The little pumpkins I bought to paint are just too perfect, all the same color of orange, no flaws, almost artificial looking. But this green one looks like it actually grew somewhere once.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

3 Gourds

The season for gourds, and squash, and decorative corn, and all manner of dried and desiccated plant life is upon us. How I wish that the objects I'll be painting this October and November were gathered in my garden or in the wild and lovingly dried and prepared in the shed out back, rather than having been purchased at my local Trader Joe's and Ralph's markets.
So, now that I've ruined the mood, I will try to recapture it with this arrangement of gourds.
Picture them on a dark shelf, out in the shed, with just a shaft of sunlight coming down on them from a crack in the roof.
I do like this time of year, even love it, but here in southern California, we are left mostly to pretend when it comes to adorning our homes with nature's treasures.  Ditto re: Winter. I will be hunting up my own dried out Sycamore leaves though, of which we will have an abundance in the next few weeks. So, now that the weather has finally cooled off I will wish you all a Happy Autumn with real enthusiasm, only 2 weeks late.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Aubergine with Lemon - SOLD

I know, I know, Aubergine sounds pretentious. But admit it, it's a much more elegant, even mysterious name compared to the word we use: Eggplant. I suppose you could say that eggplant is mysterious as well, since seriously, what egg? Turns out eggplants used to be, (some still are) white. So that explains that association a bit. Still, I prefer Aubergine so that's what it's going to be. With a lemon, and a quite nice white napkin, if I do say so myself.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Two Red Pears

Well, here are a couple of red pears. I'm pretty pleased with the painting of the pears, but I'm about ready to tear my hair out about the photo of the pears. Dark paintings are very hard to photograph in anything but a super controlled studio setting. So, shooting a photo of this painting in open shade on my patio in the afternoon right after I paint it in order to be able to post it today (Monday), for viewing first thing tomorrow (Tuesday), which for you reading this would probably be today, (Tuesday), can be be exasperating to say the least. So, that is my mea culpa for posting such a contrasty and very much less than good or even accurate photo of a painting that I think deserves more.
That being said, here they are, Two Red Pears.

p.s. I may reshoot them and post a new photo later.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Irvine Park Pond

For our painting group's Friday paint-out we went to Irvine Park. The heat wave, or should I say, this particular heat wave, appears to be over. The weather was perfect. Warm and with a gentle breeze. The leaves of the sycamores are golden, and yellow; the sunlight behind them radiating colors as intense as stained glass in a cathedral. Here is one of my favorite views. Just a simple pond and tree reflected in the water, but always a challenge, and always a little different whenever I visit.