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.