Saturday, December 29, 2007

Three D'Anjou Pears

Three D’Anjou Pears – 6" x 8” Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

I have been watching the Teaching Company’s lecture series “Dutch Masters” by William Kloss, and have been inspired to work more on depicting fabric. With Dutch paintings in mind, I set about to work on a composition with a grouping of items that was essentially stable and somewhat formal while also having some additional visual interest. The simple placement of the pears was played off by the dynamic qualities of the fabric folds.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Manderin Orange with Leaves

Mandarin Orange with Leaves – 6” x 8” Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

Working on this piece was a race against time. I had purchased a few mandarin oranges a week or so earlier and decided to paint another still life of this subject (the previous painting was posted earlier in December). In my home the humidity level is low, so this mandarin was starting to dry out, and the leaves were curling and becoming brittle. I knew if I wanted to capture the bright green and orange colors in front of me, there was no delaying…

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Three Pumpkins Still Life

Three Pumpkins – 8” x 10” Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

I worked on this painting on and off for over 6 weeks. It was a fun and challenging piece, to capture the different colors, values, and textures of the three very different types of pumpkins. After I had worked on this painting for two sessions, I analyzed the composition and decided to manipulate the hierarchy of importance in the painting. I choose to make the large salmon colored pumpkin the prominent item even though it was the farthest back. I did this by minimizing the detail on the front bumpy pumpkin and enhancing the contrast between the three pumpkins, making the greatest value contrasts to be with the salmon pumpkin.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash – 8” x 10” Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

I enjoy this painting for its different bright and warm colors. The warmth of the yellow squash, the orange table cloth, and the red pillow all harmonize in an analogous manner, that is red, orange, yellow are contiguous on the color wheel and have in common one of the primary colors (in this case, the color red). Analogous harmonies can become monotonous, however in this composition, the cool green drape in the background provides just enough variation and diversity in color temperature to keep the painting interesting.

I love the play of analogous color schemes and how they can be brought to life with introductions of complementary accents.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Artists I find Inspiration From:

In recognition of inspiration, I have recently added links to artists I admire and enjoy viewing their work. The links are in the lower right margin of this blog. I would like to encourage you to click on a few of them and see the wonderful and very individual talent that is out there in the world...

Just to clarify, these links are not the only ones I like the most. I will add more links as time goes by. This is just my first crack at adding links to other websites from my blog.


Inspiration and the Spirit of Art

For several weeks I have been thinking about inspiration and the spirit of art. I mull over these two ideas as I go about my daily activities and wonder how they influence my life.

Firstly, I believe these ideas are symbiotic, and without the other, both my drive to create art and the feelings and emotions I strive to capture will flounder and fade. To me, living well, enjoying my surroundings, and finding the fun in discovery are what drive my inspiration. It is these thoughts and feelings that I want to share with the world. For I enjoy and like life. So I guess the spirit of art is the contextual environment I live in. It is my day to day existence, and when I paint, draw, or design I am discovering a means to share these feelings, emotions, and experiences.

As I have been thinking about this for some time, I am sure as I progress on my journey of life and becoming a more accomplished artist, I will have more to say about how the Spirit of Art and Inspiration are so important to me and how to better define how these two ideas impact my life and my outlook.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Mandarin Orange

Mandarin Orange – 6” x 8” Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

Today I was shopping again in the Asian food market I typically go to, and they had a large selection of Mandarin Oranges… It was fun to purchase fruit that still has some of the stem.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Beets from an Asian Market

Fresh Beets -- 9” x 12” Oil on Canvas SOLD

The other day I was in my favorite Asian food market when a saw this bunch of beets. They were so beautiful with the purple bulbs still covered in dirt and the electric green leaves with fuchsia stems. I was initially intimidated with attempting to paint them, as I really wanted to capture the extremes of the colors and textures. In the end, I am very pleased with the result and I look forward to finding something just as interesting the next time I shop at the Asian food market.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

More Figure Sketches

Here are a few more figure sketches I completed over the weekend. I especially love the one of the standing female. This was a 30 minute sketch that just came together, drawing the initial form and then the painting of light and shade.

I hope you enjoy them!

This was a 30 minute pose on a 16" x 20" Canvas

This was a 20 minute pose on a 8" x 10" canvas panel

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Fast Figure Painting

This past weekend I attended a two day intensive figure painting workshop. What made it so very stimulating was that the longest pose was for 30 minutes! It was great fun, really getting into the paint and only focusing on the moment and what my senses could perceive. Here are a couple of the paint sketches I completed.

This was a 10 minute pose, and is completed on an 8 x 10 inch canvas panel:

This was a 15 minute pose, and is completed on an 8 x 10 inch canvas panel:

Here is a 30 minute pose, and this was completed on a 16 x 20 inch canvas:

Tomorrow, I will post a few more images to share with you.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Persimmons III

Persimmons III – 6” x 8” Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

Here is another persimmon still life. When I paint one still life, I tend to paint more because I want to continue to investigate and learn more about how to capture the item.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Teapot and French Breakfast Radishes

Teapot and French Breakfast Radishes – 12” x 14” Oil on Canvas SOLD

A fun painting made up of bright colors and having an air of the continent with its fresh flowers and radishes.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Another Persimmon Painting

Persimmons II – 6” x 8” Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

Here is another grouping of persimmons I have recently completed using all natural lighting.

Here is a detail photo:

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Two Persimmons

Persimmons I – 6” x 8” Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

This still life is setup in my dining room to capture the northern light that enters by the large windows of that room. I typically have my still life setups in my little “studio” however I have been curious to experience painting all from natural light, with no augmentation of electric light. It has been a fun and challenging exercise. The colors are cooler than usual and have a more diffuse element than when there is a directional light shining on the setup.

Thanks, Liz

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fourth Brown Egg Still Life

Egg Color Study IV – 6” x 8” Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

Here is the fourth brown egg study I have completed. It has been a real fun series. I like the repetition of the experience, and that each time I start a new still life, I am building from the experiences of the previous painting while also learning new subtleness of how to capture what I see.

Thanks, Liz

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

More Brown Eggs

Egg Color Study III – 6” x 8” Oil on Canvas Panel

Here is another painting from the series of brown egg still lifes I am working on. Eggs are so tricky with their soft rounded form. I enjoy the experience every time...

If you are interested in purchasing this painting, please email me.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Still Life w/ Brown Eggs

Egg Color Study II -- 6” x 8” Oil on Canvas Panel

Here is one of my new paintings now that I am back on my feet. It is a continuation of the color and form study I started with an earlier painting of brown eggs. I am fascinated with capturing the form of eggs and the variation of tones and colors brown eggs can come in. From the same dozen of eggs, one can find a wide variety of color and shape. In the dozen I recently purchased and have been painting from, there are dark red-brown eggs with freckles to light rosy hued eggs. Capturing these differences while also working on the way a shadow falls on the egg and the surrounding surface in a wonderful challenge to see if I can convincingly capture what I see. Through these exercises I feel I get a better understanding of the world and enjoyment of the simple things in life.

I hope you enjoy the painting. If you are interested in purchasing this painting, please email me.

Thanks, Liz

Monday, November 5, 2007

Behind on Painting

Hi all,

I just wanted to share with you my regret for not being able to post any new paintings. Life has been very hectic lately, and I live with a back injury that will sometimes throw me for a loop. Unfortunately the injury flaired up in late October, and is just now starting to get better. For the past three weeks I have been painting for short periods (resting often) and I have been working on several pieces. Three in particular I think are turning out well, the rest I am going to chalk up to experience... In the next few days I hope to get a few of them posted.

Please continue to check my blog, as I hope the month of November will bring about many more fun and rewarding painting sessions.

Thanks for your patience,


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bartlett Pears on Wooden Crate

Bartlett Pears 6” x 8” Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

This pear still life has a wooden crate in it. I found this crate on the side of the road and wanted to include it in a painting. My current focus on painting is to improve in my ability to depict materials and textures. The wood crate was a wonderful opportunity to paint wood grain and the signs of aging where the metal nails have started to rust and discolor the wood boards. Pears are also fun to paint; their color and form are interesting to me. And I have a very positive association with them.

I hope you enjoy the painting.

Thanks, Liz

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Still Life w/ Sunflowers

Sunflowers 6” x 8” Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

I enjoy painting sunflowers; they are so cheerful and bright. For this composition I was drawn to it because of its brightness and the addition of the Osage Orange. I liked the varieties of green in this still life, the yellow green to dark blue-green of the sunflower leaves depending on how shaded they were. Where the Osage Orange was a more uniform cool green, except where yellow was reflected from the petals of the sunflower.

This painting is available for sale, please send me an email if you are interested in it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Still Life w/ Eggs

Eggs – Color Study I 6” x 8” Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

With this composition I was working with the idea of form and color. My goal was to play off the repetitive ovoid forms against the formal and rectilinear background while emphasizing the complementary color palette of the brown eggs with the blue drapes.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Celebrating Life

From Garth’s Garden 16” x 20” Oil on Canvas

The sunflowers and tomato were gifts from my friend’s backyard garden. I really enjoyed painting these items, I just felt in sync with the image in my mind and what I was able to produce on the canvas. I love the colors of the flowers and the informal composition.

I hope you enjoy viewing this painting. Friendship and the fruit of one’s labor makes life so very wonderful…

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Still Life w/ Apples

Gala Apples 6” x 8” Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

In the fall I enjoy all the apples that are available in the stores. A few weeks ago as I was entering my favorite international food market, there in the entrance was a large container of petite gala apples, I bought several, but only had the opportunity to paint these two apples. Needless to say they were very tasty.

When fruit looks bright and beautiful, they will also be flavorful. In this painting I used the cool, crisp backcloth to embody the crunch and tartness of the apples, while the color and form of the apples are inviting and fun.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

In the October Art League Show!

Spanish Colonnade 18” x 24” Oil on Canvas SOLD

I wanted to share that this painting was selected for The Art League’s October All-Media Membership Show, the juror was Marlene Rothacker. Ms. Rothacker serves as Senior Exhibitions and Marketing Manager for International Arts and Artists, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing cross-cultural understanding and exposure to the arts.

The Opening Reception will be held in the gallery at the Torpedo Factory, Sunday, October 7th from 2:00 to 4:00 pm, and here is a link if you are curious about the Art League that is located in the Torpedo Factory Arts Center in Old Town Alexandria,

I worked on this painting on and off since the end of May, there was a period this summer where all devoted painting time was dedicated to this piece. I am very happy with its outcome and to date this is the largest and most developed painting I have completed. I used the typical wet-in-wet techniques that I like so much, and I also played with glazing to deepen the shaded areas of the scene. This image is adapted from a 1999 photograph I took in Carmona, Spain as I was completing research for my Master’s of Architecture thesis.
This painting has been sold.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Pear on a Plate

UPDATE April 2009: Since 2007 Forelle Pears have often been my painting subjects. Here are some more recent Forelle Pear paintings: Forelle Pear #1, Forelle Pear #2, Forelle Pear #3, and Forelle Pear #4. Thanks for visiting, Liz

Pear on a Plate 6” x 8” Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

The Forelle Pear is my favorite fruit. It has a very crisp and sweet flavor, and they always are beautifully formed. Forelle pears initially are yellow and green at the grocers, but as they ripen they begin to develop a rosy tint, that eventually turns into a deep crimson color. This is the best time to eat them. I also believe that this is the most interesting time to paint them...

Thanks for dropping by, please sign up for email updates,

Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Simple Pear

Bartlett Pear 6” x 8” Oil on Canvas Panel Sold

I enjoy painting pears because of their seemingly simple shape, however once light is shining on one and I start to draw/paint a pear, it a whole other experience. My objective is to convincingly depict the pear in an interesting manner, while also effectively capturing the form.

It is with this type of painting that I also play with color. For this still life, I used a predominately complementary color palette, with the yellow tones of the pear playing off the purple shades of the background.

I hope you enjoy the painting.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Still Life of Heirloom Tomato

Heirloom Tomato 6” x 8” Oil on Canvas Panel

This is a simple image of a summertime pleasure, fresh garden tomatoes… Growing fresh tomatoes provides wonderful culinary opportunities. I love homemade salsa, or sun-warmed tomatoes freshly picked from the garden…

I hope you enjoy this painting and the fun and bright memories that can arise from having a summer garden and vegetable patch.

If you are interested in purchasing this painting, please email me.

Thanks for visiting, Liz

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Another Portrait

Girl in Fuchsia 16” x 20” Oil on Canvas

I tend to focus most of my painting time on landscapes and still life, as I find them to be a distinct and fun challenge; however I do spend some of my precious painting time working from models and improving my ability to capture the human form in a beautiful and convincing manner. I enjoy working from life and painting the model in front of me, I feel as the hours go by I learn to understand and know the person as an individual.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Yellow Irises

Yellow Irises 6” x 8” Oil on Canvas Panel

This painting was completed at the National Horiticultural Society Headquarters on the Potomac River south of Washington, DC. The NHS site is a plein air painter’s paradise. With each season the gardens have beautiful plantings in bloom and there is always something new to be seen. I painted this painting in April when the irises were in bloom, in reality there was a brick path behind the irises, however I choose to push the background more towards violet/purple to bring out the vibrancy of the yellow in the flower petals.

I hope you enjoy this image of nature and the beauty of a delicate flower as much as I do.

This painting is for sale $85.00, if you are interested please send me an email.

Thanks for visiting, Liz

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bright Summer Produce Still Life

Summer Produce 8” x 10” Oil on Canvas Panel

The bright colors of summer vegetables are always a treat to paint. I had a lot of fun working on this painting, playing off the deep gray background with the vibrant colors of the yellow squash and cool green bell peppers. While the reds and oranges emphasized the warmth of the season.

This painting is for sale, if you are interested in purchasing it please email me with inquiries.

Thank you, Liz

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Still Life with Orange

A Single Orange 9” x 12” Oil on Canvas

Sometimes I believe it is the everyday items that make art so pleasurable. By taking the time to focus on how light hits and is reflected on a specific item, like this orange, one is able to slow down just a little and grow in understanding. I liked painting this orange because it helped me better appreciate what an orange is, how the different parts of the orange combine to make it a single piece of fruit. When given an opportunity to paint the parts – the tough opaque rind, the soft doughy white of the pith, and the vibrant color and translucency of the fruit – a greater appreciation of the fruit becomes a new part of my life.

I believe this is what art and painting are for me, by increasing my observation of one thing, I have effectively expanded my life and the experiences I am likely to have in the future.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Mackintosh Apple Still Life

Mackintosh Apple 6” x 8” Oil on Canvas

Painting apples is a wonderful experience, especially Mackintosh apples as they have complementary hues of red and green. When I painted this apple I was practicing my wet-in-wet paint handling, so all areas that are red and all that are green were initially painted with the opposite color on the color wheel. I then worked to apply the oil paint so that I could achieve the actual color without turning the painting into a gray mess. (This can occur when you mix complement colors into each other too much).

Drapery is also another area of focus I am working on. I have been practicing different setups that include folds and creases in my still lifes. This painting is full of dynamic movement that can occur with drapery.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

French Bread Still Life

French Bread 6" x 8" Oil on Canvas

I enjoy painting still life subjects. Still lifes have been a particular interest of mine for several months, I try to paint whatever is in front of me in the most thoughtful manner. I enjoy painting the everyday items.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Plein Air

Asian Pine 8” x 10” Oil on Canvas Panel

I sometimes will go outside and paint in nature, this is painting en plein air. I so enjoy it, the challenge of capturing the changing quality of light on the canvas in front of me, the affect of the breeze on my brow, and even the buzz of insects is not discordant to my ear. I am an architect by profession, thus have a desk job that tends to keep me indoors a lot of the time. Plein air painting gives me an opportunity to do what I love (painting) and to enjoy the outdoors.

In the DC area there are so many different types of trees, I love to look at them and draw them. The variety of pine trees and the shapes they take are delightful and picturesque. I am looking forward to autumn arriving so I may attempt to capture the trees as they change color and announce the advent of the colder months.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Still Life with Eggs

Still Live with Eggs 9” x 12” Oil on Canvas

Eggs are a classic still life item. I like the simplicity of their form and the challenge of making them feel like they take up space.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Still Life

Three Peaches 6” x 8” Oil on Canvas Panel

Still life subjects are a special challenge. I enjoy the opportunity to record what I see while also imparting a sense of emotion or thought I may have for the scene set up before me. This painting was inspired by my reading about Cezanne and thinking of his wonderful fruit still-lifes that have voluminous tablecloths and varied fruit.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Another Figure Painting

Pensive Afternoon 8" x 10" Oil on Canvas Panel

When I completed this portrait I felt the model was in a very thoughtful and pensive mood. There was a sense of feeling that she was present in body, but her thoughts were miles away… this is what I like about figure/portrait work, capturing the feelings and emotions of the individual I am painting. I feel as if I am getting to know the person a little more, and in effect learning more about myself and how I interact with others and move through life.

This painting was also technical breakthrough for me. My instructor had recently shared the insight of using the thickness of the paint applied to the toned canvas as a means of controlling the saturation and color of the paint when it is brushed onto the canvas. I like to apply the paint thickly, so learning to vary the paint application has given me a broader and more expressive painting technique.

Friday, September 7, 2007

About Me

Welcome to the place where I share my artistic journey. All pursuits related to building my skills, areas of interest, and the paintings that result are here, along with the occasional posting of what else is going on in my life.

{paintings above my desk in the studio}

:: a bit about me ::
I feel very lucky to be able to pursue my dream of being a full-time artist. As an artist, I focus primarily on still life and landscape paintings, working in oils, painting from life in a representational manner. When working on new projects I feel it is through these two genres that I am able to be most expressive and convey the joy and wonder I feel when inspired to create a work of art.

This blog was begun in September 2007 as a way to map the progress of my painting skills {my first time painting in oils was in 2006}, sell some small paintings on eBay, and to hold myself accountable towards my ultimate goal at that time – to be a full-time artist. In March 2009 I accomplished the goal of leaving my previous profession {architecture} to jump into the deep end and begin swimming with the pros.

During the three years, 2009 to 2011, I shifted my focus some to pursue as much instruction and skill development as I could absorb. During this time, I studied with many different instructors {Danni Dawson, Robert Liberace, and Susan Abbott to name a few}, explored the three main genres of art {still life, landscape, and figurative}, and over all worked to master painting and drawing techniques. I believe it is essential to have a strong proficiency over the mechanics of drawing and painting in order to maximize the ability to express the sense of beauty and wonder I find in the world.

Beginning this year, 2012, I feel I am entering a new period of my art career, where my focus will be on developing a new series {Bountiful Observations}, selling small paintings online again, and learning to balance the wonder of being a mother with my career.

{Naomi and I taking a break during one of my "painting days"}

I hope you will join me in this new phase, as I plan 2012 to be one of the most productive and rewarding years yet.

Throughout the year I plan to post regularly. Every Monday a new Bountiful Observations painting will be posted and available for sale via an online auction. Once the weather gets warmer, Naomi and I will be heading out to paint en plein air, hopefully on a weekly schedule and I plan to share these excursions with you here on this blog. Also, I plan to post small still-life paintings available for purchase once or twice a week, and each week will end with a Friday Inspiration post.

And, of course I will share any other news and paintings as they occur.

Thanks for visiting and if you like what you see, please subscribe to receive email updates for each new blog post.


P.S. I love hearing from you, so please feel free to comment or send me an email, contact[at]

Thursday, September 6, 2007

First Blog Post

JayJay 18 x 24 in. Oil on Canvas

I am new to the world of blogging, and decided to jump in. Here is a photo of a painting I did in a figure painting class one Sunday afternoon. I believe I captured the vitality of the model, as he stood in front of our class. He is a very strong and dynamic man.

I have been oil painting for almost a year now. Prior to experimenting with the wonderfully rewarding medium of oil paint, I spent most of my artistic efforts on drawing and watercolor. I enjoy painting portraits, still life, and getting outside to do a little en plein air.

In upcoming posts I will be sharing my work no matter the content and the medium.

I hope you enjoy the posts and please feel free to add comments.