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.


As summer wanes ...

... I've been working on a fun colorful painting from a bouquet that I put together 
with Peruvian Lilies (Astroemeria) and Sunflowers!

A stretcher frame - of sorts - that I found ages ago 
surfaced in my (newly cleaned!) studio. I really liked the size.

  I had my woodworker husband shape the inside edges
so the canvas could be stretched neatly over the bars, 
so they wouldn't show thru the canvas. 

Don't have a photo of that, dang. 

I stretched the canvas over that wooden frame 
and prepared the canvas with a dark gray gesso.

 Here is what the back of the painting looks like. 

Here are the Alstroemeria. (On their last legs ... the sunflowers didn't last very long.)

The painting went from a pencil sketch to 
this watercolor (pencil) sketch -

- to this -

- and this is the finished painting!
Sunflowers + Alstroemeria    oil on canvas    21 x 14 x 1.25 inches

Thanks so much for dropping by to see what I've been up to. It has been quite a nice summer here in SE AK. I even grew some edible plants outside that the slugs didn't get!


Very Personal Commission - Fini

Of course each commission we do is personal. 
This one is more so. 
Because of the relationship, the requests, the colors, the feeling ... the ease.

This is the painting at last post. The white-ish foreground too bright.

With the bright and green tones scaled down
and seen through a light grayish tint ... 
 the original background still resonates.

Why wasn't there a shadow by the nectarine painting? 

Ok, much better.

For Karen    oil on panel   12 x 8 inches

What does it mean, say the words, that the earth is so beautiful? 
And what shall I do about it? 
What is the gift that I should bring to the world? What is the life that I should live? 
 - Mary Oliver

(Thank you Karen!)


VPC - 3

The surprising thing (for me)
 was that the painting needed to have one of the books be a tall one. 
Different than my own painting that I was "copying" 
- this one:

The composition is a little different. So, the last book is taller, poppies now have some color:

A couple of petals fell.

This is how it looked on the easel. Notes everywhere. 

At this point I showed my patron the painting and she thought - and rightly so, 
that there was too much green in the back and foreground. So I began messing with it.
(But she loved the books!)

The photo below shows a piece of acetate film clipped to the panel -
 I tried a new color by painting over it, finding it was much too light in the foreground ...

... even when trying a shadow.

So, I tried a different color over the top 
and it seemed to work so I went for it. 
Next post will be the last, and I will have the frame finished as well.
 Thank you very much for hanging with me!



VPC - 2

Day 2 of my painting commission (VPC = very personal commission) -

This photo is where I sketched into a layer of beige-y paint. 
I liked the lines in the paint.

Adding color to those ghostly shapes. Oh and I must mention 
that one of the things the painting had to include, was the image 
(a kind of trompe l'oeil) of a painting 
already hanging on her kitchen wall -
- the nectarines from day 18 in my project

Click the link to go to that blog date ... or, here they are:

Can't believe I remembered to take progress shots. 
A surprising thing happened in the next stage.
Stay tuned!
and thank you for checking in!



I just finished a VPC - Very Personal Commission -
personal for my patron, and for me!

(the following several posts will be sharing my thoughts
 and photos of the painting progression)
It was such an honor to paint such a painting. I thought long and hard about it ... 
mostly after this initial sketch:

My patron 
(I am delighted to title her this because she has three! of my original oil paintings in her home!) wanted to round out 
a little gallery wall of paintings in her kitchen with this small painting.

We decided on 12 x 8 inches with a small, Matt Robus-handmade frame. 
She mentioned she did like this painting -

Still Life with Hopper   14 x 11  oil on canvas
(posted HERE on April 28)
because of the blue vase, and the books and the slightly trompe l'oeil card in front of the books. 
(I had set this up in my studio and mainly because I love Edward Hopper, I "needed" to paint it.)

More about this commission next post.
Thanks for viewing!!



Bright Winter - in situ

I just wanted to show you the spot in his home where my friend,
Jerry Smetzer put his new painting.

Bright Winter (Missouri House) 
 in situ

Jerry told me, 
"The three photo images around your painting are shots of Afghanistan,
taken from a calendar, where I served in the Peace Corps.
Your painting is very evocative of my growing up on a farm in Northern Ohio. 
 These three images of Afghanistan are also evocative of a very important period 
in my growing up years after college."
I am thankful and honored that he chose my painting to display 
with other images so sentimental to him.

Thank you sir!

... and thank you, followers, for checking in.

Next post will be progression photos of a commission I am nearly finished with.



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!