Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pink Roses { a small floral painting} SOLD

Pink Roses

{7" x 5" (17.8 x 12.7 cm) – oil on linen panel}
Unframed painting

One of the benefits of Valentines Day is that for the weeks after the holiday, grocery stores still have lots of flowers, especially roses. Those flowers that did not bloom in time for the big day are still beautiful, inspiring and available.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pear on Wooden Box {a new daily painting} SOLD

Pear on Wood Box

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

This little painting was completed over a few days. The first day was late on a bright and sunny afternoon, but I had to stop working on it because of other responsibilities {namely my little one}, then the next time I had a chance to get back to it, the day was dark and cloudy. So dark that it was hard to see, but I tried to finish it anyways because opportunities do not always afford time to paint....

Well the next day was a bright and sunny day, and I realized that I had botched a lot because of how dark the previous day had been. However, this turned out to be a gift in disguise, because I was able to add more layers of paint, some places were painted wet into wet, and other areas had paint scumbled across the top of previous layers of paint. So all these days working on this little painting afforded the time to effectively capture the weathered appearance of the old Phillips Digestive Cocoa wooden box that the pear was sitting on.

This painting would not be what it is, if it had been smooth sailing from start to finish…


And here is a photo of miss N. in a new hat. Thank you Marie and Lily for the beautiful gift!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Yellow Roses {Bountiful Observations No. 9} SOLD

Yellow Roses in a Silver Cup

{8" x 8" (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel}
Framed painting

Good Morning,

I am at a loss of what to share about this painting. It just came together on a cloudy and gray afternoon, I like the calm colors - yellows, greens, and blue-grays - and the muted background. The only bright color note in the composition is a streak of red in the silver cup that reflects the red sweater I was wearing.

Sometimes I find it hard to articulate what it is that drew me in, and at these times I hope the saying "a picture is worth a 1,000 words" comes into play.

Thanks for stopping by and reading,

{14" x 14" (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}


This is a painting from my Bountiful Observations series, with 25% of the net proceeds of each sale being donated to the American Horticultural Society.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Inspiration: Thomas Hart Benton

Are you a fan of Thomas Hart Benton?

I am.

{People of Chilmark - 1920}

It started when my family moved to Columbia, Mo. I was going into the 6th grade. While living in Missouri, I visited the state capitol in Jefferson City and first encountered the art of Thomas Hart Benton(THB). At the time I did not understand it, but I was drawn in and riveted by his use of colors - a rainbow of colors, figures, and features…

Yesterday while framing some work for an upcoming show, I had the fantastic documentaryabout his life and work playing in the background. I wanted to share a bit of it with you…

For more than seventy years he painted
its cities and small towns, its farms and backwoods.

He painted its people, too: faith healers and lovers,
politicians and soda jerks, farmers and movie stars

Watch Earl Bennent on Benton's work on PBS. See more from Ken Burns.

He was trained at the Art Institute of Chicago, then went to Paris to study, spending hours in the Louvre and cutting the classes he was there for. Then he returned to New York City.  While in NYC, he tried just about every painting style and school, dabbled in politics, and overall stirred things up.

THB said he spent 15 years exploring ...
"...rocked by every wave that came along,
I floundered without a compass in every direction..."

{Self- Portrait with Rita - 1922}

He often said that the artis's life was the best kind of life, if you could get through the first forty years...

My favorite quote of his is:

"The only way an artist can personally fail, is to quit"

So my friends, NEVER quit, always keep at it, think about the grand design, and dedicate your life blood to the craft of art.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hellebore {a new small floral painting}


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

Painted at the end of the day, just before sunset, this hellebore seemed to glow in the last lights of the day.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Green Apple {a new small painting}

Green Apple with Slice

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

I keep an idea/visual journal, where I jot down lists of ideas, develop themes, and just muse about art. Sometimes I focus on what was learned or thought about during the previous day or sketch out painting compositions.

I have written about this before, and found this kind of journaling to be very helpful for keeping on track when I was working as an architect. I fell away from the practice once I was able to paint full time, probably because all my waking hours were free to focus on art. Now that I am a mother of a precocious infant daughter I am finding that keeping an idea journal again is helpful.

Lately, I use it to sketch out thumbnails of still life compositions, to gather thoughts and ideas for the Friday Inspiration blog posts, and just keep safe ideas for the future. The thumbnails have become particularly helpful because when I get a free moment {like when Naomi is napping} and I can paint, if I do not have an idea to start immediately, I just go to my thumbnail sketches and choose one, set it up and begin painting. This way minimal time is lost before I can start to paint.

This painting came from one of those sketches, with the idea already thought through, it made the completion of the painting so much easier.


Here is my little one…
{Naomi using my tripod to get to standing}

…she is already crawling and is now pulling herself up to standing, but she falls down constantly when trying to get down and already has a few bumps and scratches on her head because of her crash landings. If only she could get down as easily as she can get up, life would be less nerve racking!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tulips and Lemons {Bountiful Observations no. 8} SOLD

Still Life with Tulips and Lemons

{8" x 8" (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel}
Framed painting: $300.00 starting bid + S&H

With this series each painting is both a completed thought and a bridge between what has come before and what will come later.

This composition is such, in that I wanted to emphasize the complementary colors of the pink – almost purple – tulips to the yellow lemons. They dialog between themselves in this piece while they also are a manifestation of the multiple times I have painted tulips and lemons. Never before together as now, in this painting each has their own place while also supporting each other.

I am hopeful that what was learned and gained from completing this painting will be applied to future paintings, while it would have been impossible to complete this one without all the previous times of being in front of the easel and working on different compositions.

From a technical standpoint I also am particularly pleased with this painting and if you will bear with me I will go on to describe some the nuances of what worked out…

1. I have been experimenting for the past several months on how to lay in a simple background that still has visual depth, like the still lifes by Travis Schlaht or Duane Keiser. I am not there yet, but this painting has for the first time some of the visual atmosphere I am aiming at.

The gradation from light to dark, opaque to transparent, with touches of the burnt sienna underpainting peaking through in places, all have some of the qualities that provide a depth that is more visually pleasing than just a solid background.

2. With the tulips I experimented with using thin transparent tones for the shadow areas and thick opaque passages for the light areas. Tulip petals are thin and light does filter through them, making the shadow areas seem like they are warm and glowing.

3. And lastly, I am pleased with how the lemons turned out. The edges are soft and textured, emulating the rough rind found on lemons. The yellows are rich and deep in value with touches of orange, pink, and green often found in the lemons, while the highlights are textured.

There are a few more things I could write about with this painting, however these three items are the main points that turned out.

{14" x 14" (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}


This is a painting from my Bountiful Observations series, with 25% of the net proceeds of each sale being donated to the American Horticultural Society.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Inspiration: signs of Spring

The smell of winter loitered there,
And the Year’s heart felt still.
Yet not so far away
Seemed the mad Spring,
But that, as lovers will,
I let my laughing heart go play

~ William Ernest Henley

This morning I woke up to the sun glistening through mist and just a hint that Spring is around the corner. Still in my pjs, I stole outside to capture the fleeting moment.

The street was quite, the air heavy and damp, and the temperature crisp.


Hope you enjoy your Friday and find inspiration during the day,


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pomegranate {a new daily painting}


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

I have had several pomegranates floating around the studio for awhile, as I love to paint them. Their round shape with the prickly crown makes them an interesting form to paint.

Another great thing about pomegranates are is that they keep FOREVER. At first they are perfectly round with a smooth surface and bright red to pink in color, then they age as the time wears on, turning dark red to magenta with areas of brown, their skin starts to wrinkle and get leathery, and they no longer are perfectly round, but in my opinion that just makes them more interesting.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Rose from my Love

{5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – oil on linen panel}
NFS - Collection of the Artist

If I know what love is,
it is because of you
~ Hermann Hesse

Happy Valentines Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lovely Grays and Hellebore {Bountiful Observations no. 7} SOLD

Gray Symphony - Quiet Moment

{8" x 8" (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel}
Framed painting
Before moving to the mid-Atlantic region I had never lived anywhere with four distinct seasons. For the first few years I lived here each season was a period of discovery and wonder before I began to associate the sprouting and blooming of specific plants with specific seasons.

It was about four years ago when walking through Georgetown {a neighborhood in DC} in early February that I noticed the hellebore blooming in several yards. The next year I began to realize that these may be the first flowers to bloom in the DC region, maybe even before the snowdrops and crocus. And now I always look upon the blooming of these lovely and delicate flowers as the harbinger of spring.

The hellebore in this painting were given to me by a dear friend and as the flowers opened and continued to bloom I was struck by the soft colors of the petals, the dynamic pattern of the leaves, and how the muted tones were complemented with the reflective surfaces of the small silver bowl and pewter pitcher. Sometimes to bring out the vibrancy in a delicate color it is best to surround it with subtle gray tones.

{14" x 14" (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}


This is a painting from my Bountiful Observations series, with 25% of the net proceeds of each sale being donated to the American Horticultural Society.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Inspiration: Mark Lijftogt

Plate with olives
15.75" x 17.72" (40 x 45 cm)

A contemporary dutch still-life artist I have recently come across is Mark Lijftogt, I am not really certain how I stumbled across his work, but boy am I glad I did!

I absolutely love the reflections in the green bottle above, how the white plate is distorted in the reflection and how you see just a slight hint of his easel.

The way he captures the quite mood of simple objects is something that just speaks to me, I like how all the colors in his paintings are muted, like you know the weather was a bit overcast outside when he was at his easel.

Well, here are a few more images to enjoy and I encourage you to visit his website to see more of his work.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Bread basket with red apples + nectarine
15.75" x 17.72" (40 x 45 cm)

Still-life with, pears and cream-coloured jar
19.7" x 23.6" (50 x 60 cm)

Cabinet with lemons + bottle
11.8" x 13.6" (30 x 34.5 cm)

Photo credit: Courtesy Mark Lijftogt

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Sunny Spot {& some good news...}

 A Sunny Spot ~ Alstroemerias

{6" x 6" (15.2 x 15.2 cm) – oil on masonite panel}
In a Private Collection

Here is a small painting completed in the fall and destined for a special person, so I was hesitant to blog specifically about this painting before now...

A friend of mine has a beautiful delft vase, and I have always admired how she has fresh flowers in her home, one day when visiting her home I saw some beautiful pink flowers in the vase {I cannot remember what type of flower} and the color combination always stuck in my mind. So when working on a new setup with these pink alstroemerias I wanted to recreate the same color combination of pink with blue and white.

With painting, I have found some ideas just sit and percolate for years before they ever come to fruition.


Also, I want to share some good news from this weekend. For the first time this year I submitted an entry to the Salon International exhibition to be held this April at the Greenhouse Gallery in San Antonio, Texas, and my painting Still Life with Sunflowers and Apples was accepted!

Still Life with Sunflowers and Apples

{24" x 18" (61 x 45.7 cm) – oil on linen}

I am excited to be part of this show and I am planning on attending the opening in April. It will be nice getting back to Texas, visiting with family, catching up with all those that are special to me, introducing Naomi, and maybe getting to meet some blogging friends that live in the area.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mums in a Blue Pitcher {Bountiful Observations no. 6}

Mums in a Blue Pitcher

{8" x 8" (20.3 x 20.3 cm) – oil on canvas panel}
Framed painting: $300.00 + S&H

I began this series as a way to celebrate life and to further explore and capture the wonderful and heartfelt.

With this painting I wanted to experiment with a bird's eye view to maximize the visual diversity found in the two types of mums. It also allowed me to incorporate the embroidered detail of a linen handkerchief that had recently been given to me by a dear friend.

An added benefit of this painting is that it now also celebrates the wonders of friendship.

{14" x 14" (35.6 x 35.6 cm) with frame}


This is a painting from my Bountiful Observations series, with 25% of the net proceeds of each sale being donated to the American Horticultural Society.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Inspiration: Still Life Quick Heart

Margaret Preston
The Fish Bowl

Good Morning,

I thought I would share one of my favorite blogs

- Still Life Quick Heart -

Often I will visit this blog to get a little visual stimulation. I love how there is a wide variety of styles, subjects, and materials used. Another great aspect of this blog, is how it is organized, each image identifies the artist, title of piece with a link, and the timeframe of when it was created.

Several images are posted each day, so there is always something of interest to be found...
John Singer Sargent
Still Life with Daffodils

Arturo Michelena

Dennis Mogelgaard

Ernest Quost
Flower Garden

Clifford Harrison
Trompe l’oeil of Six Delft Plates

Piet Mondrian

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tete-e-Tete Daffodils {a small floral painting}

Tete-e-Tete Daffodils

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

These diminuative daffodils are the early season flowers that keep giving. Brightening the home while also being wonderful still-life subjects.


Naomi is continuing to grow and become the master of her fate. My blue ink pens are a favorite "toy" of hers and up until last week I could let her play with them because she had not yet learned how to remove the cap, well now she has... and I now know better then to leave her to her own means when occupied with one. I am just happy she did not get ahold of a sharpie!

{my little artist in the making...}