Welcome! This blog began as an assignment in a digital art class. That was in 2008. I decided to keep it going as my art journal. It is fascinating for me to see how a painting develops, so this is where I post my painting progressions and exciting new things I find on creative blogs and websites. I hope you will learn along with me about painting, drawing and all kinds of art.


Equine Challenge - 2

 So on top of the black gesso on the boards, went the lighter color, 
getting the shapes dialed in so it looked like a horse ...

Adding the color and figuring out what to do with the large blank back wall ... 
I decided that there was a window in the back of the stall. 
How to paint it so that it looks like a window and not a painting hanging there, 
was harder than it sounded.

This is what it looked like on my easel.

 This version totally seemed as if a painting was hanging on the wall behind the horse.

 This one is much better.

Confident    oil on wood,  15 x 21 inches

Ta da! 
First time I have ever painted a horse portrait! 
I have to admit it was fun, and I believe the horse looks happier than the photo.

Thanks for viewing my painting efforts.
I would love to read your comments and I will answer them too!


Equine Challenge

My sis commissioned me to create a painting of this photo she snapped of her friend's horse.

I do not, and she did not, know the horse's name.
I told her that I thought the horse looked a little concerned in this photo.
 She said it was - because the owners were not there yet 
and the horse did not know my sister and her husband.

My sister thought the painting would be/look cool on some barn-type wood, 
so we found a pallet and my husband broke it up, planed the pieces (5) and put together the support. 
It turned out to be approx 15" x 21" - about the size she envisioned.

This is the "canvas" (the pallet boards) which was first covered with Kilz and then black Gesso. 
I gridded it and used this photo to set the drawing.

I used ValueViewer to get an idea of the darkest, middle and lightest areas in the photo.

Next posts will show the progression.

Thanks for checking in!


Abstract Expressionism in Juneau, AK!?

Recently two fellow friends/artists and I held a summer art salon
We do that sporadically, when schedules (and artwork progress/availability) allow. 

We three have applied for an art exhibit and we have decided we might do some abstract work for it. Thus our interest in the following:

One of our small group found out about a show 
happening now at the Denver Art museum!

The groundbreaking exhibition Women of Abstract Expressionism will celebrate the often unknown female artists of this mid-twentieth-century art movement. More than 50 major paintings will be on view by [female] artists working on the East and West Coasts during the 1940s and '50s: 
Mary Abbott, Jay DeFeo, Perle Fine, Helen Frankenthaler, Sonia Gechtoff, 
Judith Godwin, Grace Hartigan, Elaine de Kooning, 
Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Deborah Remington, Ethel Schwabacher 
This will be the first presentation of works by these artists together at one time.

While I would love to go to Denver, 
we are investigating each artist and finding some pearl we love about them. 
one woman artist (who is in this Denver show) ... but no others
Bravo for the Denver museum!

is 94 now. Look her up! Which is your favorite Mary Abbott painting?
Here is mine:

painted on THE ROSE for 8 years and built up a literal TON of oil paint! 
Jay DeFeo, The Rose, 1958–66
Oil with wood and mica on canvas, 128 7/8 × 92 1/4 × 11 in. (327.3 × 234.3 × 27.9 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of the Estate of Jay DeFeo and purchase with funds from the Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Committee and the Judith Rothschild Foundation  

This is another DeFeo I just love.
Crescent Bridge II, 1970–72. 
Synthetic polymer and mixed media on plywood, 48 × 96 in. 
- at the Whitney

Ok, thanks so much for checking in to this blog! 
Oh! and I am very happy to announce that 
my sister likes the painting that she commissioned me! 
She is giving it to her friends sometime this summer.
I will show the progression of that painting in my next post.

Happy Summer and Happy Painting!


Goodbye my painting!

This painting now has a home! I am so excited that my friend/fellow artist
Jerry Smetzer is the new owner.
Jerry is a writer and artist who thinks deeply about the world and its inhabitants.
See a snippet from his website HERE. (This is his explanation and video slideshow of Walkabout.)

I encourage you to check out his website and his ongoing
 WALKABOUT project - it is fascinating!

Bright Winter (Missouri farmhouse)     oil on rough side of Masonite   15 x 15 inches
This painting was originally posted on this blog here on 1/24/2010.

Thank you for checking in ... yep, still working on my BODY body of work :)


Plunging in -

- to what feels like uncertain waters.
I guess that's the nature of artistic endeavors sometimes ...

I'm beginning work on a small commission; it will be a fun challenge!  

Also working on a small - for now - body of work about bodies!

Here is the progression for the first "body" painting from this photo 
(and grid) from a video screenshot:

Charcoal sketch

 I used a dark gray gesso for this one.

This shows completed charcoal sketch
 set with an alcohol wash.

Shoulder Press         8 x 8 inches     oil on canvas

The gal's wrist in the photo was not demonstrating good form,
so of course I had to correct that. I took a photo of my own hand holding a dumbbell.

Thank you so much for viewing my art.
Happy June 1st!


Updates about paintings and such ...


It was about this time of year in 2014 when I painted this on the beach over on the mainland.

Beach @ Thane   (SOLD)     10 x 8 inches    oil on prepared panel
But ... apparently I had forgotten to post this final Beach@Thane Juneau, AK plein air painting 
(which was the January 2015 Plein Rein Calendar pick)!

This I discovered when looking back at the blog, 
trying to keep track of paintings in my Tapforms thingy.

 Also -
Gruening Cabin Beach + Fisherwoman   (SOLD)   oil on linen panel    8 x 10 inches
 - this painting is currently the May image for the Plein Rein calendar for this year! Just thought I'd update you on this one, while I was at it.

I will post again soon ... lots going on - 


We have a new kitty!

Her name is Artemisia.

Thank you for checking in.
Stay tuned ...


Still Life with Hopper

Hi - I had taken a break from the little still life I was working on because of my Nancy Tankersley workshop and family visits. On March 3rd I had just set the charcoal drawing with the alcohol wash. Time to continue and reveal what came next.

 For some reason I needed to begin with the vase.

 Then flowers and books (art books, of course).

The card on the shelf is one of my birthday cards with an Edward Hopper image (love).

Still Life With Hopper    14 x 11 inches   oil on canvas
 During our recent art salon, suggestions were made (because I asked for them) for things I could do to improve this funny little painting. One of them was to change the card frame to something darker and I think it worked to pop the image.

... and here is the set-up. 
The poor old bouquet, the Hopper card - and my tea.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Nancy T Workshop - Final Day

How did the days go by so fast? 

After our third full day of painting, 
we all went to a place called The Oasis on Lake Travis 
on the outskirts of Austin for some social time. 
We may or may not have had a margarita ...

A very exciting aspect for me on this trip, besides visiting our daughter and taking Nancy's workshop
was that I got to meet Qiang Huang!! (Click that link for his website!) 
He is one of my very favorite contemporary painters and I follow his blog. 
I have not been able to take his workshop, but would love love love to - one day.

Qiang and his lovely wife, Yuehong Song hosted Nancy Tankersley's workshop at the Anderson Mill Garden Center. 
Song was our organizing force for the workshop 
and I am sure she did much more work behind the scene. She was efficient and so sweet.

Yuehong Song and Qiang Huang

Nancy's demo today - Day 4 - focused on indoor photos where the light source is not the sun. 
She called it a tonal painting; the real color of the subject not affected by light and shadow.

Nancy's painting early on
At last I got the photo after she signed it. Really luscious, juicy paintstrokes.
My final day's notes:

18. When the day has no strong light (as often it is here in SE AK) or indoors, patterns are the goal
19. In a tonal painting colors will often be richer because you need to look for more color pattern
20. Repeat shapes
21. No symmetry
22. Darks are not as dark as outdoors
23. Values are closer together
24. Transitions are not too abrupt (it would make it feel like sunlight)
25. Look at your balance (your signature might do it!)
26. "Little rewards" = your big shapes attract from across the room, then a little detail can show up when you get up close!

But I didn't work on a tonal painting. What I worked on this last day was a portrait. 
The only thing I can post is this notan, from my photo in my ValueViewer app because I haven't even told my friend, who I painted, that I did it!
She might even recognize it anyway.

(I will post the finished painting after I ask my friend for permission. 
Or I might save the painting for a show we are applying for. 
So maybe she won't see it for a bit ...)

Reminder to check out the following for beautiful artworks - 

Thank you so much Nancy Tankersley - for a very fun, very educational painting workshop! 
Thank you Qiang and Song for all the work getting us all together, and hosting.
Thank you to my husband for driving in that crazy Austin traffic!

AND - thanks to all who are checking in to hear about the workshop.
I hope some of Nancy's tips will help you too. 
If you ever have the chance to take a workshop from Nancy, do it!


Nancy T Workshop - Day 3

We were well underway painting already at 9:00 am!

Painting away at the Anderson Mill Garden Center

I appreciated Nancy's quick evaluation of what each of us was doing right, or showing us what we may have missed. So spot on!

  Day 3 - Nancy Tankersley's demo was a portrait. 
She had taken photos of some Civil War re-inactors 
and for the demo, she chose one fellow who was particularly intriguing.

Using her iPad, she sketched out the shapes and blocked-out (mapped) the features.

Wonderful likeness of this bearded gent.

This is my painting after I added some color. 
Really fun! (but hard)
I learned so much about value in this workshop.

Continued notes:
  9. Reminder of my goal to document our time/era  (petit genre paintings)
10. Connect the lights and the darks !
11. If a shape is in the shadow, the paint value will stay in the shadow ...
12.  ... and vice versa for light
13. Think about the planes of the body
14. Do your notan (that link has a good explanation of notan)
15. Simplify - shapes, values, colors
16. Suggest - no detail!
17. Asymmetry
Thanks for following along. One more day to document.