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.


Cold Wax Medium (part 2)

the birds (NFS)      4 x 9 inches      oil and cold wax medium on Arches Huile paper
We began each workshop day by doing quick 30 minute "quickie paintings" 
prepared by taping 2 pieces of 9 x 12 inch Arches Oil paper 
to the table and dividing them 
up into four painting surfaces.

"the birds" seen at the top of this post was one of those.
If you are calculating it, yes - that meant we had 20 small paintings
by the end of the week!
It was a way to learn about the medium
and to warm up for the day.

Beginning layers of paint drying (in the shade) outside the workshop venue.

My workstation and two wip paintings.
I think that small one at the bottom turned into Rainforest! (the painting at the top of my last post)

The Pacific NW Art School space.
Of the many techniques we learned, 
one of the most valuable for
me was learning how (and why) to layer.

I guess everyone has the tendency to stop or "save" a pretty area of their painting.
 We learned that you will never see how magical it can be if you don't keep going, 
- keep layering -
even if you do have a cool texture or shape or color or even line!
keep putting paint down! and then taking it off again!

One of Jerry's sayings that sticks for me is:

"It's just passing scenery" 
... it may be gorgeous but you are just motoring along, 
taking note and passing it by. 

True, it takes a bit of bravado, but if you think of that quote, it helps.


So ... how much oil paint and how much wax? 
You can find the answer to this 
(and much much more) 
in the Cold Wax Medium book,
but I can tell you that the wax:paint ratio ranges 
from 30:70 all the way to 50:50 ... and actually
it simply is a matter of choice! Experiment!

Some of the techniques for applying 
oil and cold wax medium are -
1 - a brayer
2 - a brush (not that easy, I found)
3 - a painting knife
4 - a squeegee
5 - your hands!

Another thing to be thinking about as you consider your blank slate:
Why are you desiring to use this wax and oil mixture?
What is your Intention?
(To be honest, for me, this question should be answered 
before ANY painting, of any kind, has begun.)

The last thing I will say for now is
that you should give it a try. 
Trying new things is good for your creative brain. 
Most of all,
have fun.

I did walk around a bit in Coupeville before and after each day,
 and noticed the mussel beds out in Penn Cove (they were delicious btw),
the beautiful Pacific Madrona trees, and
during the week, the smoke from the forest fires got pretty thick. 
Note the sun in the last photo.

As I finish the paintings I started here in this great workshop, 
and make new ones, of course ...
I will post and try to talk about them.

Thank you so much for checking in!

Happy Painting! ... and let me know if you try CWM
and what you think.


Cold Wax Medium (part 1)

Rainforest      oil and cold wax on prepared panel     10 x 8 inches     (tgr)

CWM = cold wax medium


I went to a painting workshop in August.

On Whidbey Island, in Washington state ...
there's a teensy little town
called Coupeville.

There is an art center there called the 
where art classes are held.

 I was so pleasantly surprised
that I worked and worked and worked 
along with my fellow workshoppers 
and the week went by
like nothing!

was our instructor.

Please click on that link and it will fill you in on how Jerry is turning from 
a Pediatric Critical Care Physician 
to artist, author and respected instructor/mentor in the art world.

First, you are maybe wondering what CWM is. Here is a link
for more a thorough definition ... and, directly from the
site is this definition:
"Cold wax medium is a medium composed mainly of beeswax 
with a small amount of solvent and other ingredients to aid in drying time, 
for use with oil paint. It has a soft, paste-like consistency."

Our first day was spent 
preparing boards for the week, which meant: 
1 - staining the white, blank space of the surface 
2 - thinking about layers for contrast
3 - using the tools

Some of my first layers looked like this:

These are on Multimedia Artboard 16 x 20 inches.

Next post will be photos of our workshop space 
and a little more about how you can use CWM.

Stay tuned ...

Oh! and in the meantime, please look up
Jerry and Rebecca Crowell's
book about Cold Wax Medium!

There is a wealth of information about CWM!

... and, as always - happy painting!


Salon challenge #5 - Happy Together

Barbara had Patrick's painting ...

Patrick's fauvist-style plein air painting below 
was Barbara's to work on along with the songs from Patrick's birth year.

She turned this painting upside-down. 

And she kindly sent me her progress shots:

Happy Together     12 x 12 inches     oil over acrylic on canvas

The song that hit the "right note" for the painting is:

by The Turtles

Barbara is a photographer with a good eye for great photos. She 
has spent many hours watching birds during migration and, well, all year long.
At one point during the summer she found this pair of Wood Duck (Aix sponsa).

... and she knows how to handle a paint brush as well

Here are some words from Barbara 
about her painting process for this challenge. 

 "I felt the emotion of knowing these two ducks... and it was the way they looked at me and carried their heads that was the most important to get right.   And saving a red spot for his eye, because I knew I would not have a source of bright red later... Alizarin would not do.  And deciding to paint them backlit because the palette could not produce their magnificence in light.  This was a benefit of the challenge (having a limited palette), because it is so tempting to paint their brilliance and it forced me to back off on that distraction.  I think it focuses more on them as individuals ... "

We all thought this painting turned out exceptionally well!

We decided this was a challenge that was not only right-brained (creative); 
we had to left-brain it (listen and think), too.

(I think this whole thing may be puzzling to some, 
and I have tried to explain simply the process we went through for this project. 
But let me know if you are confused about our challenge #5

On to Challenge #6! 
I will be away for a good 10 days 
to a painting workshop and visiting friends.

Keep painting! and thank you so much for checking in.


Salon Challenge #5 - Medley

So, Patrick had Timi's portrait,
"Crazy Aunt Lorraine"
which is a marvelous portrait already.

While revealing his version of the painting,
he played us a medley of the top ten songs 
from Timi's birth year.

The one that ... *ZAP* ... struck him as the
song of inspiration for what he was to do,

by The Youngbloods 

Title to be determined      12 x 12   oil on canvas

... with the lyrics:

🎶Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now 🎶

Patrick is continuing to work on this painting 
and I will update this post when he finishes.

This was a very meaningful "reverberation/regeneration" 
of an already intriguing painting! 
I understand why he essentially added to the painting, 
rather than paint over a very
striking image.  It works so well with this song.

Next post will be the last of our challenge #5 paintings. 
We are already on to thinking about our Salon Challenge #6.
(Remember you have to say salon, like the Google Translate lady says it.)

Thank you for following along

Happy Painting!


Salon Challenge #5 - Reverb

As I mentioned last post, our salon group decided to do a limited palette again. 
We each brought two colors and picked these 4 out of a hat (l to r):

Yellow Ochre
Viridian (green)
Alizarin Crimson
Cerulean (blue)

This pic is our colors mixed with white. Lovely!

I was excited to do this challenge, 
but at the same time, it was pretty terrifying to have Barbara's painting
to mess up, or something ...

Here is her nice painting. Pretty colors too!
The list of songs from her year of birth (I liked 6 of the top ten):
#1 Little Things Mean a Lot - Kitty Kalen
2 Wanted - Perry Como
3 Hey There - Rosemary Clooney
4 Shaboom - Crew Cuts
5 Make Love to Me - Jo Stafford
 6 Oh! My Papa! - Eddie Fisher
7 I Get So Lonely - Four Knights
8 Three Coins in a Fountain - 4 Aces
Secret Love - Doris Day
10  Hernando's Hideaway - Archie Bleyer

And I played them and played them, while I gazed at this painting. 
None of the songs made me think of anything particular, 
but I finally decided ...

To paint a landscape! 
I turned him face down ...

... and began to paint - sort of imagining a waterway 
going between mountains.

As we painted on our friend's painting, 
we were invited to 
"let some parts of the original painting remain" and 
"renovate, recuperate, regenerate, retaliate, or reverberate" the other painting!

This is where the name for our challenge was born - Reverb

As I began putting the water in,

... it hit me.

I turned the painting again and 
made a kind of Ophelia! That link tells you a bit 
about the famous painting by Millais,
based on Ophelia from Hamlet. 

Note this from Wikipedia: 
"The scene is described in Act IV, Scene VII of Hamlet in a speech by Queen Gertrude.[1]"

All it needed were some flowers, 
turn him into a girl, 
water around face just before she sinks ... and woe ... drowns
and - voilà!

Secret Love - (tentative title)     oil on Masonite  12 x 15 inches

I did sign it, but I still might add something else I have been thinking about, and I will update this blog post if I do it.

Next post will explain Patrick's painting. He has a portrait of Timi's Aunt Lorraine.

Thank you so much for checking in - Happy Painting!


Salon Challenge #5 - Secret Love

Our #5 salon challenge was so ... shall we say, 

Our parameters were:

1. Give up a painting that you considered finished,
and that you liked well-enough, 
not too small,
and was not varnished yet. 

(We drew names for the person whose painting we got.)

2. We were given a list of the top 10 songs for the year that person was born
for inspiration while painting on our cohort's work of art. 
For instance, I was born in 1953 (gak) 
and the top song of that year was 
from the movie Moulin Rouge by Percy Faith
- hope you can listen on that link (Spotify) -

3. Our limited palette was:
Cerulean Blue
Yellow Ochre
Alizarin Crimson

In no particular order - 

Timi had my painting, titled - The Standout,
began posting about this painting. (that is the link to way-back-when)

I called it Crawford Notch or something back then.

I stretched the canvas over 24" x 24" stretcher bars ages ago. 
Timi thought I may need a drink to see what she did to this painting, but

 ... I was totally fine! 

I love it!

She is not finished with this painting and will finish one of these days. It IS Moulin Rouge and Toulouse-Lautrec! She was inspired by the music and the rock cliff in the original, which became can-can dancer fluffy frocks. So cool!

Tomorrow ... or next post, I will continue revealing our challenge paintings, 
and discuss the evolution of the (teaser shown in B&W) painting at the top of this post.

Love to hear your comments!

Happy painting!


Alder, a quadriptych!

Each year our little Juneau/Douglas City Museum
holds a fundraiser ... I have prob blogged about it before,
but anyway - the theme this year, 2018, was


and here are the photos for the process of developing my painting,
Alder (a quadriptych or polyptych):

I know ... this is a maple leaf. My first idea.

 But maple are not endemic to southeast AK and Alder (Alnus) is!

Husband cut and cradled 6x6 inch panels

I prepared the panels,
then he cradled & attached them
into a 12x12 square that we can take apart, until the end.  

Here is the sketch for what I eventually painted.

My beginning (I really liked it this way - scratched through the paint!)

I painted with the small squares pressed together 
and then took the squares apart to paint the edges.

Almost there

Alder - through the seasons       oil on wood panels       12 x 12 inches

As I am finishing typing my blogpost on this rainy Sunday morning,
a nice big black bear (Ursus americanus)
walked past my window through our back 40 and over
to the neighbors, who have chickens!!!
But, not interested in a chicken dinner, 
he/she strolled on up thru
their back 40 and on through the neighborhood.
I hope it stays safe.

Thanks so much for viewing my art!