Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Inspiration: home pleasures & the year in review...

Here we are again at the end of a busy and blessed year. I find this time of year to be the best time to stop and contemplate the pleasures that are found at home. Yes, I am a home-body and I enjoy simple activities such as sitting on the sofa in the evening with my love, or reading cook books and this is the best time of year to do these things...

However, as I am preparing to pause and spend some quality time with my family I also feel compelled to reflect on all that has occurred this year. It has been a year of gifts, activities, and new opportunities.

In 2011, I experienced the joy of finishing my first copy of a master's painting at the National Gallery of Art. And getting the opportunity to participate in several member exhibitions at the Salmagundi Club in New York and the reward of collectors choosing to purchase and live with those paintings.

This year was also a year where I grew as an artist and made some friends that led to the development of a new project that will debut in January 2012. I am so looking forward to sharing with you this new series, so please stay tuned for what is to come...

And by far the greatest addition this year was the birth of our daughter, Naomi, and all the new experiences that go along with being a new parent.

May your holidays be filled with laughter and enjoyment, and spiced up with love!

Thanks for making this year so wonderful, Liz

{Naomi is now five-months old!}

{some baby oriented presents under our tree}
{Slim next to a blooming amaryllis}

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Still Life with Alstroemerias and Bottle {a small floral painting}

Still Life with Alstroemerias and Bottle

{6" x 6" (15.2 x 15.2 cm) – oil on linen panel}
Framed painting: $225.00 + S&H


Here is another framed 6x6 inch painting. Sometimes it is important to see the paintings framed, so when I painted these still lifes I also had some frames assembled so I could see how they would look framed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Still Life with Lemon, Aster, and Bottle {a new small painting}

Still Life with Lemon, Aster, and Bottle

{6" x 6" (15.2 x 15.2 cm) – oil on linen panel}
Please email me to purchase, contact[at]
Framed painting: $300.00 + S&H if not local

Here is another framed 6" x 6" painting with a composition that has everything I love, reflections on glass, a floral element, and an ongoing challenge - the lemon. I find lemons to be particularly challenging because of the light value of the yellow, the rough texture of the peel, and the variations in color temperatures and the nuances of colors I see in the yellow rind, yellows tinted towards orange, green, blue, and purple... sometimes I go overboard when painting them and I lose the "gist" of the lemon.

With this painting I worked to simplify while also using the texture of the linen to emulate the rough surface of the rind.

Thanks for stopping by and reading,

PS, here is how it looks framed.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Still Life with Concord Grapes {a small painting}

Still Life with Concord Grapes and Alstroemerias

{6" x 6" (15.2 x 15.2 cm) – oil on linen panel}
Framed Painting: SOLD

Hi there,

This is a small format I have been experimenting with this fall, square and where I paint the composition edge to edge in anticipation of framing it in a custom-sized frame where the painting floats on a black background. I think it presents a clean look that emphasizes the painting.

I like how the framed painting looks so much that I am incorporating this method with a new project starting in 2012. I am pretty excited about it and will share more soon!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Inspiration: Books and Friends

{a pile of books - either gifts or borrowed from friends}

Last week I shared with you how friends are a great source for inspiration. For me, books are often paired with friends because of the sharing, giving, and receiving of books that occurs.

One of my favorite joys in life is getting to read. One never knows where inspiration will come from, and I believe through reading I am able to gain insight beyond my experience or knowledge.

Before Naomi came into my life I would wake up an hour earlier than required so I could have uninterrupted time to read, now I am not so lucky, especially as I am always on the edge of being sleep deprived, but when I do get to read, a warm glow pervades my existence and I feel like all is well in the world.

Currently I have a stack of books that I have been looking through, Richard Schmidt's Alla Prima is the book I have been reading snippets from the most... it is borrowed, however I have decided to buy my own copy, and I am just waiting for it to arrive in the mail.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pansies {a new small painting}



{6" x 5" (15.2 x 12.7 cm) – oil on linen panel}
Unframed painting: $100.00 + S&H


Do you have issues with deer helping themselves to your garden? Well, up until now we never had issues with them. Twice this fall I have purchased several flats of pansies with the intention of planting them and painting them. Unfortunately a young buck has moved into my neighborhood and has actually been helping himself to the buffet I call my garden.

These two flowers were all I could find when I went out to get some flowers to paint.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Yellow Mums {a new small painting}

Yellow Mums

Yellow Mums

{4" x 6" (10.2 x 15.2 cm) – oil on linen panel}
Unframed painting: $100.00 + S&H

It was late in the afternoon when I began this painting, so the light was coming in at a low angle, catching the glass rim with brillant highlights and the rest of the jar coming across as being very dark.

The mums were also mainly in shadow, however the shadows were glowing gold with the light filtering through the yellow petals.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Still Life with Yellow Mum {a new daily painting}

Still Life with Yellow Mum & Green Bottle

Still Life with Yellow Mum and Green Bottle

7" x 5" (17.8 x 12.7 cm) – oil on linen panel}
Unframed painting: $100.00 + S&H


It was a nice weekend and so far a busy Monday. Naomi is keeping me on my toes, which makes it difficult for me to focus on what I want to share with you about this painting... but here goes.

The painting was completed on a gray overcast day, with only natural light. On overcast days I find the light quality is particularly cool and blue, which slants all the color temperatures in the highlights and the shadows end up being on the warm side, but still with hints of blues, greens, and purples. This was the first time I began to perceive and understand this while painting, I feel certain future investigations on how gray days affect color quality will be pursued. So let the gray days continue and luckily we are entering winter, so I expect many more gray days will occur.

Have a wonderful evening, and thanks for stopping by,

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Inspiration: Friends

{late afternoon at home}

Inspiration comes to me from many places, though the most influential source for me are my friends.

Spending time with friends always inspires me to explore and move forward on whatever project I may be contemplating. Spending time together, chatting, and sharing books always opens the mind and enables new concepts that were just bits and pieces to coalesce into something complete and whole.

Our dining room table is currently strewn with books from friends and loved ones. I know I need to pick them up and clear the table, but I must admit I like seeing them there... it like having my friends with me right now with me.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Red Chrysanthemums {a new small still-life painting}

Still Life with Red Mums, Bottle, and Urn
Still Life with Red Chrysanthemums, Bottle, and Urn
{5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – oil on linen panel}
Unframed painting: $100.00 starting bid + S&H

These flowers were from Thanksgiving, they came from a gigantic mixed flower bouquet from Whole Foods. For this still life I wanted to celebrate the colors of autumn - browns, reds, and greens - while also capturing the beautiful sparkle of sunlight on glass.

Thanks for stopping by,


PS. Here are a few photos of my two girls, I love it when they hang out together...

{Slim basking in a sunbeam near Naomi}

{Naomi enjoying some time on the floor}

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Yellow Mums and Apple {a new small painting}

Still Life with Mums and an Apple
Still Life with Mums and an Apple
{7" x 5" (17.8 x 12.7 cm) – oil on linen panel}
Unframed painting: $100.00 starting bid + S&H


Here is another still life with the yellow mums. When working on this still life I tried to blend my love of exactitude with the freshness of more impressionistic paint handling.

While painting I thought about how Fantin-Latour painted chrysanthemums and also a few examples by Claude Monet. They include enough detail that you can discern what type of flower is being painted but they also handle the paint so that their personality is revealed.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting,


Also I wanted to share a few photos of my beloved kitty, Slim.

She has been handling the new addition of Naomi like a real pro! She has never once been agressive towards our little girl, she exhibits more just a passing curiousity that is quickly supersceded by demands for some treat or food...

And when I am in the studio, Slim will often visit with me, typically taking up residence on my still life stand if it happens to be empty...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Yellow Mums in a Cobalt Glass Bottle {a new small painting}

Still Life with Mums, Blue Bottle, and Saucer
Still Life with Mums, Blue Bottle, and Saucer
{7" x 5" (17.8 x 12.7 cm) – oil on linen panel}
Unframed painting: $100.00 starting bid + S&H

A few weeks ago I purchased a 8" pot of yellow chrysanthemums, at first they just adorned my front stoop, then I realized there would be no harm done if I helped myself to some of the blooms and brought them inside. After that it was only a matter of hours before they were in my studio...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Persimmon {a new small painting}

{5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – oil on linen panel}
Unframed painting: $100.00 starting bid + S&H


Here is the second small painting available for sale this week.

This persimmon is from River Farm, the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society here in Alexandria. I love how the bright orange of this fruit looks against the dull grays of autumn weather. It has been particularly dark and gray today, I am hopeful that the weather turns sunny and bright on Thursday...

I am signing off for the rest of the week, so have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Still Life with Concord Grapes and Bottle {a new small painting}

Still Life with Concord Grapes & Brown Bottle

Still Life with Concord Grapes and Brown Bottle

{7" x 5" (17.8 x 12.7 cm) – oil on linen panel}
Unframed painting: $100.00 starting bid + S&H


Today is the first time I am offering a small still life for sale via an online auction using the DailyPaintWorks website. I have decided to go back to completing "almost" daily paintings, which means I plan to post 2-3 small still life or landscape paintings every week.

This decision to return to the smaller daily paintings is influenced by my new status as a mother to a beautiful infant. Time is limited and I have found in the past four months that working in a smaller format is more doable when sometimes I only get to paint for a few hours each day...

If you are interested in this painting please visit the link above.

Thanks for stopping by, Liz


{Naomi enjoying tummy time}

And on the baby front: Naomi is four months old today!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Still Life with Brown Bottles and Eggs {a recent painting}

20110906 brown bottles and eggs 18x24
Still Life with Brown Bottles and Eggs
{18" x 24" (45.7 x 61 cm) - Oil on Canvas}

This is the first painting I finished after Naomi was born, a composition I worked on over several months, well, really over a year in fits and starts. I shared progress on this painting here and here.

I got to work on it in September when my mom was visiting, she took care of Naomi while I got to paint! At the time, I was not sure if it was totally complete or if a few more areas needed to be tweaked, so it has been sitting out for me to decide. Last week I realized I am pretty happy with it as it is and now call it finished.

The flowers are dried alyssum, I love the small delicate pincushion shape of the flowers when they are still green and in the garden, but when they dry out they become filmy and lace-like, providing a nice contrasting texture to the smooth surfaces of the eggs and glass bottles. Now that the painting is finished I realize the setup is a study of surface texture, smooth and shiny (the bottles), smooth and dull (the eggs), delicate touches and rough areas on the table where paint is chipped off and worn.

Most times I know why I want to paint a scened, however sometimes I do not realize what draws me and inspires me to paint, I just want to. This was one of those paintings.

Thanks for stopping by,


Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Inspiration: Artists Helping Artists Podcasts

Alstroemerias on the wall
{a new framed 6x6 inch painting - reserved for someone special}


The weeks are flying by. Naomi has been keeping me busy, which means studio time has been precious. When I get a chance to be in the studio, I try to make the most of it and get as much completed as possible...

I have a few things in the works that I will share more about as the new year approaches.

When working on a painting I have been listening to some of the Artists Helping Artists podcasts and what I have been hearing has been helpful. If you are an artist you may also like listening to them, all of them provide helpful information.

The podcasts I have enjoyed the most to date are:

1. Carol Marine's first appearance on the show.

In this podcast the practice of daily painting is discussed and Carol Marine talks about how she got into it because she had a little toddler at home and found that painting small paintings during his naps were a way to keep her painting muscles limber.

Going back to painting small "daily paintings" is something I am considering now that I have a little baby. When I first started this blog in 2007 I was working full time and painting 2-4 small daily paintings a week was something I could do in my free time. The small scale gave me an opportunity to try out many ideas and the smaller pieces tend to be completed with greater speed, so I also had a sense of accomplishment of finishing paintings on the weekend before returning to work on Monday morning.

2. How To Set Your Goals For The Year

This podcast has been inspirational in getting me focused on planning for 2012. Life has changed in a BIG way this year, however I do not want that to hold my art career back, so I am working on some ideas that will start in 2012. This podcast has been helpful in kick starting the process and helping me see that big ideas are possible to be turned into workable plans.

3. A Conversation with Kevin Macpherson

In this podcast Kevin Macpherson is just so down to earth and clear about why he is an artist. I love the friendly conversation.

Here is an update on how things are going with Naomi, she is now 3-1/2 months old and beginning to become mobile. Right now she is just wiggling and trying to roll over but I think any day now she will not be satisfied with the limits of her blanket and want to be into everything!

{Naomi loves her little doll and grabs for most anything now}

{tummy time is now fun!}

Have a great weekend,
and thanks for visiting!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Blurb Books...

{Autumn has arrived}


I have been under the weather these past few days, while not feeling like doing much I did spend some time looking at a variety of books on Blurb. Are you familiar with this website? It is a self-publishing company and a lot of the books are available for preview. Here are a few that I came across that allow you to see the entire book...

Sand, Rock, Water, Time

@ Home on the Hill

Jahrbuch 2011

Streaks of Light

My New England Coast

Hopefully the stars will align later this week and I will get to spend some time in the studio or maybe even go outside to do a bit of painting...

Until then, thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Potomac River Series at Great Falls National Park

20111015 Potomac River Series 27
Potomac River Series XXIV
{approx. 8" x 12" (20.3 x 30.4 cm) – oil on gessoed paper}

On Saturday I met up with two friends to do a little painting at Great Falls National Park, the day was crisp and sunny and perfect for painting.

Like most other painting excursions I brought Naomi with me and she seemed to enjoy observing all the visitors that came to the park.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Inspiration: Theodore Rousseau

{Les Chenes d'Apremont by Theodore Rousseau}

"Theodore Rousseau was able, in the painting of a single tree, to impress us with the greatness of nature -- with her very soul, if one my use the expression. In looking at his tree we are not disturbed by wondering whether it is an Oak or an Ash or botanically correct. We are content to look at it and come away, feeling that we have seen something grand and without a wish to analyse it" Rex Vicat Cole from "The Artistic Anatomy of Trees" pg. 29

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Plein Air Painting: Potomac River Series at River Farm

20111006 Potomac River Series 26
Potomac River Series XXVI - River Farm
{approx. 5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – oil on gessoed paper}

Today was a beautiful day! Which meant that Ann, Naomi, and I went out to do a bit of painting, this time we met at River Farm along the Potomac River.

I am having to become a "quick draw" artist because even though I was out there for almost two hours I really only got about 45 minutes total to dedicate towards painting, my "little helper" kept needing attention.

{our setup}

For this painting I blocked in the drawing using perm. alizerin crimson, which is a great foil for all the greens that will end up being in the painting. To create a sense of atmospheric depth I laid in a deep red/purple underpainting for the background trees.

{Naomi all cozy}

{all packed up to head home}

Naomi's stroller also doubles as a pack horse, where I sling some of my plein air supplies on it, so I do not have to physically lug much around, which works out well...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Paint Annapolis Dueling Brushes Paint Out

{Naomi and me standing in front of my entry}

On Saturday (October 1st) I participated in the MAPAPA Paint Annapolis Dueling Brushes paint out. It was the first time I participated in a timed quick-draw plein air event, and all participants had 2-1/2 hours to complete their painting en plein air and then bring their work to the city dock for judging.

{some photos taken at the city dock}

Friday, September 30, 2011

Inspiration Friday: Quotes about Beauty

{Rembrandt van Rijn, 'Old Man with a Walking Stick; Head of a Young Woman,' c. 1633-34, brown ink on cream antique laid paper.}

. No thing is beautiful. But all things await the sensitive and imaginative mind that may be aroused to pleasurable emotion at sight of them. This is beauty.
Robert Henri

. Art is not the application of a canon of beauty but what the instinct and the brain can conceive beyond any canon. When we love a woman we don't start measuring her limbs.
Pablo Picasso

. Artist are sometimes asked, "Why do you paint ugly and not beautiful things?" The questioner rarely hesitates in his judgement of what is beautiful and what is ugly. This with him is a foregone conclusion. Beauty he thinks is a settled fact. His conception also is that beauty rests in teh subject, not in the expression. He should, therefore, pay high for Rembrandt's portrait of a gentleman, and turn with disgust from a beggar by Rembrandt. Fortunately Rembrandt is old enough not to have this happen, and the two, the gentleman and the beggar, flank each other on the walls in fine places. but the lesson has not been learned. The idea still remains, that beauty rests in the subject.
Robert Henri

{Rembrandt van Rijn, 'Four Studies of Male Heads', c. 1635, brown ink and brown wash on cream antique laid paper}

{Rembrandt van Rijn, Beggar Woman Leaning on a Stick, c. 1628/1630, brush and brown wash on laid paper}

. That which is not slightly distorted lacks sensible appeal; from which it follows that irregularity – that is to say, the unexpected, surprise and astonishment, are a essential part and characteristic of beauty.
Charles Baudelaire

Thursday, September 29, 2011

First Plein Air Expedition...

{my painting setup and Naomi in the background}

Today was our first plein air painting trip, that is Naomi was in attendance. We met up with a friend for an afternoon by the Potomac River.

The weather turned out great, nice temperature and breeze, and no bugs!

20110929 Potomac River Series 25
{Potomac River Series XXV - approx. 7" x 5" (17.8 x 12.7 cm) - Oil on Gessoed Paper}

And while out I did manage to grab an opportunity to paint! Initially it did not seem like it would work out, I had set up my easel and paint, when Naomi decided she was awake and wanted attention. She eventually settled down and I was able to make the most of what time we had left before needing to leave to beat the rush hour traffic.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Inspiration: Mary Cassatt

Baby Charles Looking Over His Mother's Shoulder
{Baby Charles Looking Over His Mother's Shoulder}


Today I want to share with you some images of artwork by Mary Cassatt.

Finishing the still life with a portion of a Mary Cassatt pastel this week got me thinking about her work and how she depicted the special bond between mother and child. Yet as special and evocative as her images are, what is also remarkable about her work is the way she utilized color to create form.

Mary Cassatt - Young Mother Sewing [1900]
{Young Mother Sewing}

She was a master of laying layers of color on top of each other to create complex and compelling passages in her work. She utilized the impressionist practice of producing color vibrations between complementary colors, laying pure color notes on top of one another without mixing the two colors together, but instead having the eye of the viewer do the "mixing".

Cassatt, Breakfast In Bed
{Breakfast in Bed}

Cassatt, Breakfast In Bed, detail with feet
{detail of feet}

Cassatt, Breakfast In Bed, detail with faces
{detail of faces}

CassattwTeaCassatt, Breakfast In Bed, detail with tea
{detail of tea cup}

Mother and Child by Mary Cassatt
{Mother and Child}


Children Playing with a Cat
{Children Playing with a Cat}

Paris, Musée d'Orsay, Mutter und Kind von Mary Cassatt
{Mother and Child}

Here is a website dedicated to Mary Cassatt

****All images are from photostreams from Flickr, please click on the image to visit flickr and the specific photostream *****************************