Sunday, March 29, 2009

Daffodils and Pomegrante Still Life

Daffodils and Pomegranate – 12" x 9" – Oil on Canvas – SOLD

I started this painting on Friday, wanting to paint a bunch of daffodils in varying positions. The strong geometric form of these flowers ~ six petals where the points make a hexagon, the central cone also having ±6 facets where the points usually are centered on the petals ~ really fascinates me. Geometry and nature do coincide sometimes.

As a kid I was given a coloring book that was just different kinds of grids, where you could color in different sections to create your own patterns, it was kind of like this book. I loved how there were infinite pattern options available to color. When painting these daffodils I was reminded of these childhood experiences of coloring and finding pleasure in repetitive but varied patterns, using the brightest colors available to me in my box of 64 crayons.

Tomorrow I am leaving for a week to accompany my husband on a business trip. I am not sure if I will have an opportunity to post during the week. If not I will return Monday, April 6th.

Have a nice week. Liz

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Daffodil Daily Painting

Single Daffodil – 6" x 6" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

Today was planned to be focused on drawing and other items, instead the inspiration muse took over and inspired me to paint this instead. This flower is from a bunch picked up earlier this week and fearing that they would not last much longer I took advantage of a flexible schedule and painted away. While painting I typically listen to audio books, either from CDs we own or from the great resource Librivox. Today I was finishing the Ring trilogy “the Return of the King” and now need to think about the next book that will be a good one for background when painting. Typically I like fun, light works like the Harry Potter series or Huck Finn. Any suggestions?

Also I want to share with you the efforts of last weekend. I spent almost all of Sunday adding archived photos to Flickr. The goal was to create a set “Daily Painting Archive” that had all the daily paintings I have completed since beginning this blog in September of 2007. This was a great exercise, showing the progress of my painting skills and also a visual record of often repeated themes. I am still trying to figure out the best way to organize the rest of the photostream. I have had this accound for over 8 months and am only now starting to really upload and use it. If you have any experience on how best to organize your photos, I would be very interested. I am still not sure what the difference between collections and sets are...

Three Turnips Still Life & Etsy

Three Turnips – 6" x 12" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

With the encouragement of others to open an Etsy store this week and after spending 16+ hours reformatting my hard drive and getting my life back in order on the computer, I opened one ( It was something considered before when working fulltime in architecture, I had just been putting it off. I was afraid of being overwhelmed about whether I would be able to juggle the “almost-daily painting” auctions, my other responsibilities and a new store on a new selling platform. Now that I am dedicating all of my efforts to art and the selling of my creations it made sense to change things around a bit.

My new Etsy store will have all artwork created other than the “daily paintings” category (anything 6" x 8" and smaller). I will update this shop as more artwork is created. As I am new to this experience, if you see things I overlooked on Etsy please bring them to my attention. Thanks, Liz

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tomato and Garlic Still Life

Tomato and Garlic – 6" x 8" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

When purchasing this tomato I knew it would get painted before being eaten. However when setting out to paint it, it took three tries before I was satisfied with the composition. Now that I have more time to dedicate to painting the setting up and working out a “scene” for my still lifes is becoming more important to me. If I am not pleased with it, I do not feel like I am wasting time by scraping the start down.

Here are a few heirloom tomato Flickr finds that I thought were nice: Zeetz Jones, MatthewA, clayirving , and Lelonopo

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pomegranate on Cloth Still Life

Pomegranate on Cloth – 6" x 8" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

A brown neutral background was really calling me today. I wanted to paint this pomegranate again but in a neutral setting. This pomegranate is on its last legs, it is no longer spherical, but starting to dry out have some hollow areas.

After posting this I am going to start reformatting my hard drive, so if everything goes well I will be back online tomorrow. If not, I will have to call the 1-800-GEEKs for computer help and may be out of pocket for a day or two. Wish me luck!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pear on Tea Towel Still Life

Pear on Tea Towel – 8" x 6" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

I have always admired the classical still life paintings that have a dark burnt umber background. So today playing with a variant of a dark background I used burnt umber instead of a black background. Work by Francisco de Zurbarán and Pieter Claesz come to mind as being particularly inspiring when thinking of still lifes with dark backgrounds.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Inspiration & Palette

This week has been a visually stimulating week. A record was made, I painted four days in a row. I am feeling happy and exhausted now that it is Friday evening. The painting I worked on yesterday and most of today still needs a few more finishing touches so I will post it early next week when it is complete. In place of a painting photo, here is one of my paint palette.
The palette a piece of masonite that has been spray painted a medium gray to provide a uniform neutral background to mix paint. I typically paint with a straight pigment and white for most colors, mixing some on the palette but majority of time I mix on the painting itself. The colors are (clockwise from the lower left hand corner): Cobalt Violet, Raw Umber, Dio. Purple, French Ultra Marine, Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Turquoise, Cobalt Green, Windsor Green, Viridian, Cad. Green Lt., Cad. Lemon, Cad. Yellow Lt., Cad Yellow, Naples Yellow, Old Holland Brilliant Yellow Lt., Indian Yellow, Jaune Brilliant, Cad. Scarlet, Cad. Red, Cad. Red Deep, Perylene Red, Quinaqridone Red, Permanent Rose, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Brilliant Yellow-Reddish, Cremnitz White, Tit. White, Zinc Buff, and Ivory Black.

During the week I follow several blogs, they are my way of connecting with fascinationg pop culture. Here are a few posts that captured my thoughts this week:

~ Artslice’s post on Natelie Goldberg ~ I have added these books to my ever growing reading list.
~ Bliss’s polaroids
~ An Aesthete’s Lament ~ “Well said Phillip Borsinney” and “Well Written John Galsworth” ~ I read the Forsythe Sage this January, it was an interesting survey of Victorian England.
~ Interesting Quote

Corrected Links

Shirley shared with me this morning that the links to each painting this week were not working. That instead of linking to the individual painting's auction page, it would go to the eBay home page. This has been fixed, each post has the correct link and just for convenience here are the links again.

Daffodil – 8" x 6" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

Daffodils in Jar – 6" x 6" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

Mango #4 – 6" x 8" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Another Black Background - Mango #4

Mango #4 – 6" x 8" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

Since Tuesday I have been using the black background for still life objects. The effect is so beautiful, that it just seems natural to try another and another. Hmmmm, I wonder what this would look like? The reason this captives my attention so much is because as the objects roll back in space the edges just softly become black. I love the sense of deep quite space. The way the object sits in front of the background and all the soft edges that disappear.

So today is my third day working as an artist. I found that there was not enough time in the day to complete all that I had set out to do. Maybe after awhile I will get better at estimating time required for various tasks, but for now I feel super excited and wanting to tackle everything with gusto. So I am really tired tonight and am looking forward to going to bed early. Have a great one and see you tomorrow.

UPDATE: Reader Shirley tipped me off that my links were not working. I have now corrected the links.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Daffodils in a Jar Still Life

Daffodils in Jar – 6" x 6" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

Today while painting I realized that THIS IS WHAT I AM SUPPOSED TO DO! Before on weekends or holidays from work when I would paint, there was always a nagging thought that I needed to be focusing on something else – like laundry, or other chores. It felt so good to be painting, to be enjoying the experience, and knowing that there was nothing else in my life that required my attention at that moment. I was able to be 100% present with the experience.

I hope you had a wonderful and happy day.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

First Completed Painting as a Fulltime Artist!

Daffodil – 8" x 6" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

This is my first painting completed as a fulltime artist! My last day at the architecture firm arrived four days earlier than planned and I was elated. Making the most of my time to dedicate to art I used most of my day painting and organizing various projects around the house and my new studio space.

Tomorrow I will go and buy some paint and start transforming the dinning room into a functioning studio space with desk and storage areas. I am going to work at this space over the next two weeks, slowly so I will have time to draw and paint everyday.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

More Watercolors

More from the Awakening series. VII, VIII, & IX

These three paintings were exercises in analogous color palettes with a complementary color laid in as an opposing color mass or highlight.

Awakenings VII – 2-1/2” x 2-1/2 – watercolor
Yellow-Green-Blue were the analogous colors and the deep red is a direct compliment of green

Awakenings VIII – 2-1/2” x 2-1/2 – watercolor
Red-Orange-Yellow were the analogous colors here, with a very large field of blue as the complimentary color to orange.

Awakenings IX – 2-1/2” x 2-1/2 – watercolor

Red-Voilet (Purple)-Blue were the analogous colors with yellow being the compliment to purple.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Figure Drawing - charcoal and white chalk

Ellen – 25” x 19” – Canson Mi-Teintes Drawing Paper

This is the last drawing from my winter term drawing class, taught by Robert Liberace. This drawing was completed over three classes, and each time I learned new nuances of drawing and rendering the human form.

Below is the conclusion of the first class. I used the gray paper as my light-midtone and really just laid in the form. Starting to add some highlights helped me discern values.

This is where I ended up at the end of the second class. I knew there were areas to work on and some areas still needed some figuring out. Ellen's head really was a challenge, I drew and erased it at least eight times. Though all that drawing and erasing paid off because eventually I was able to get it sort of right...

This is a detail of the drawing at the end of the third class. As soon as I set up in the last class, I erased the facial features again, because I realized they were not correct. I worked to really define the shapes of the eye sockets, the nose, and mouth. I also continued to refine the shadow shapes and highlights of the form.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Awakenings VI – 2-1/2” x 2-1/2 – watercolor

When working in watercolors the bolder the color the better. I re-worked this one after it sat on my desk for a week. I realized that I wanted the color to be brighter, more vibrant and to contrast with the white of the paper.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Art Goals and Career Direction

Awakenings V – 2-1/2” x 2-1/2 – watercolor

This past week I was working on the words for a thoughtful post about what direction I will take once I am able to focus on art fulltime. I was obsessing about the wording and how to prioritize my goals, because it feels so important to me.

However after a fun weekend of being with friends at an ATM workshop, eating good food (thanks Craig and Yvonne), and knitting some, I realize that maybe it is not so important to plan, but to just do it. Instead of me presenting my treatise on my goals and steps of how I am going to dedicate myself to the arts and personal growth, my focus will be more on actions.

How have you gone about focusing and building your career?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Awakenings IV – 2-1/2” x 2-1/2 – watercolor

Wow it is Saturday already, I am not really sure where the week went. During the week I was really busy with finalizing some items at my current job, transistioning the departure. It probably was a good thing I gave 4 weeks notice, as it would have been impossible with only two weeks.

This week I have been more in a cacoon. Thinking about what I am going to do the first week I am off and how to organize my studio to maximize time and space. This Awakening watercolor are soft curved shapes was inspired by thoughts of how the hand has a natural tendancy to shape and create items. The soft belly shape of clay pots and vases, and kneading bread dough.

Yesterday I had class with Robert Liberace, and will take photos of the drawing to share this afternoon. I have not really had any time to paint with oils this week, and my weekend is pretty packed. Maybe I will find some time to paint with watercolor, if I do I will post them for you to see.

I hope you are having nice weather like we are in DC. I already went on a long walk this morning along the Potomac. It was beautiful.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pear on Wooden Crate Still Life Painting

Pear on Wooden Crate – 8” x 8” – Oil on Canvas Panel

Last weekend I decided to start experimenting more with oil mediums. This painting was painted almost entirely with the aid of Liquin. Most of the time when I paint, it is with the paint straight from the tube. I like the thickness of the paint and the quality of brushstrokes you achieve with using paint this way. However I am trying to branch out and try different methods. So using medium seemed like the correct next step.

I choose to use liquin because supposedly it makes oil paint dry faster; I am still not sure about that. Getting paint to dry faster has been an issue since I have been using titanium white more often and it takes forever to dry and setup versus cremnitz white, which is my white of choice.

Yesterday I spent most of my time fine tuning and working on the wood grain of the crate. All an exercise in patience and observation.

Surprise from Great Britain

This weekend I was the lucky recipient of a package of goodies from the generous lady of the Lobster and Swan blog. She also has a lovely shop on Etsy...

It has been awhile since I did any mixed media collage that included more than just paper. With this little package of goodness, I may decide to dabble some. Thank you Lobster and Swan!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.