Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Reviewing Sketchbooks

 Winter is a good time to look through old notes and sketches for ideas that were put on hold. This composition is one I had been thinking about for awhile. It was fun to break from my usual canvas proportions and work on this tall narrow canvas. I also tried a palette knife as well as brushes for the background which made an interesting texture. When I was arranging the bag and oranges and working on the the painting, I was thinking about circles. Now I'm seeing lots of triangles in the composition.

"Bag of Oranges"
24" x 12", oil on linen panel  SOLD

Friday, December 4, 2020

The Yellow Pitcher... Again

There is something about this yellow pitcher that attracts me. I like its straight simple lines, the yellow color and most of all it's fun to paint. In this composition it plays an important role but the star is the the bowl of pears.

"Pears in Blue Bowl"
16" x 12", oil on linen panel  SOLD

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Back in the Studio

The seasons have changed and our activities have moved indoors. I took a break from painting this past summer and spent most of my time outdoors gardening, hiking, biking and enjoying nature. We were able to socially-distance with friends, too. I stored up a lot of good outdoor energy to get me through the northern winter. I feel refreshed and am back in the studio. Here are a few recent paintings. I continue to focus on shapes, values and composition. I want to try to convey my message with as few brush strokes as possible.

"Geraniums in Window"
14" x 11", oil on linen panel  SOLD

"September Nasturtiums"
12" x 9", oil on linen panel  SOLD

"Evening Roses"
8" x 8", oil on board

8" x 10", oil on linen panel SOLD

"Cherries in Goblet"
10" x 8", oil on board  SOLD

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Art Apart

Staying home in response to the pandemic has been interesting for Bruce and me. In some ways things are the same. We take walks in the woods, ride our bikes, I spend time in the studio and Bruce practices his bass. Of course, many other things are different. We really miss getting together with our family and friends.

My artist friends and I decided to keep our art dialogue going by sharing photos of the artwork we're making during this time of isolation. Bruce dubbed this "Art Apart". I have found it a little hard to focus on painting and there have been pieces that ended up in the trash. Here are some paintings that I think worked.

The first three paintings were done from life in my studio. The painting of pomegranates was done from a photo I took years ago in California. That was the first time I had seen pomegranates on a tree instead of in a bin at the supermarket. I love the way they hang and split open.

"Clementines & Mug"
14" x 11", oil on linen panel

"Pitcher of Tulips"
18" x 14", oil on linen panel, SOLD

"Pan of Onions"
12" x 16", oil on linen panel  SOLD

"California Pomegranates"
24" x 12", oil on linen panel, SOLD

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Good Year for Beets

Last summer we had a great crop of beets in our garden. They made an irresistible subject for painting. The grays of the newspaper set off the bright burgundy of the beets and their dark glossy leaves. I painted this in my studio, but added the grassy green background to give the effect of being outdoors.

"Beet Harvest"
12" x 9", oil on linen panel  SOLD

Friday, May 8, 2020

Lime Green

Every year our local art gallery, Art Beat of Hayward, organizes an exhibit celebrating a color. This year's color was lime green. Everyone is invited to submit a piece of art work. Folks get creative and the pieces range from paintings, pottery, wearable art and beyond. It's a big event every February.

I painted a couple of pieces and ended up submitting "Apple Peeler". I've cranked out lots of apple crisp using this little piece of Yankee ingenuity. I decided to pair it with some Granny Smiths in a still life. It's a complicated arrangement. I wanted lots of lime green apples to set off the red peeler. I kept the background values close to unify the apples and dish towel. There is strong contrast in the foreground with the peeler, apples and ribbons of peels.

"Green Glads" was painted from a photo I took years ago. I love the sculptural quality of the flowers.

"Apple Peeler"
12" x 16", oil on linen panel

"Green Glads"
8" x 8", oil on linen panel SOLD

Tuesday, May 5, 2020


I've always been interested in using patterned fabric in my still life arrangements. It's a challenge to combine and paint two-dimensional patterns with three-dimensional objects. I set up the peaches on a dish towel with a great 60's mod design. It was fun to paint the pattern reflected in the silver bowl. I've had the fabric printed with the samurai for years and finally used it in a still life. I like the way he's eyeing the mangoes.

"Mod Peaches"
12" x 9", oil on linen panel

"Samurai & Mangoes"
12" x 12", oil on linen panel

Monday, April 20, 2020

Plein-air Still Life Painting

Last June my friend Judy and I enrolled in a 2-day plein-air painting workshop at the Peninsula School of Art in Door County, Wisconsin. Our excellent instructor was Kyle Martin. We spent the first day painting a still life outdoors and the second day working on a landscape. Kyle is an accomplished and passionate plein-air painter with lots of great methods for organizing a composition. I left inspired to paint plein-air still lifes. Summer whizzed by and I didn't get as much done as I intended. Here are a couple of paintings. The first was started outside, but finished in the studio from photos. I set up the second still life outside, but painted it entirely in the studio.

I set this painting up outside and blocked it in, but finished it in my studio.
"Pitcher with Chives"
16" x 12", oil on linen panel 

This one was done entirely in the studio from photos.
"Garden Hose"
12" x 9", oil on linen panel  SOLD

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Gouache Paintings

During the past year I've experimented with acrylic gouache. It's a water-based opaque paint that dries to a matte finish. Unlike traditional gouache, this acrylic version doesn't water spot. I spray each painting with a couple coats of matte varnish for extra protection. I paint on multi-media board and then mount the painting on a cradled wooden panel. Because the paint dries almost instantaneously, I can't blend like I do with oils. It forces me to think about shapes and work more abstractly. I also like the bright colors. 

"Pink Sponge #1"
8" x 6", acrylic gouache on board

"Pink Sponge #2"
6" x 6", acrylic gouache on board, SOLD

"Green Apple & White Bowls"
6" x 6", acrylic gouache on board

"Green Apples & Obi"
8" x 6", acrylic gouache on board SOLD

"Avocados & Chopsticks"
8" x 6", acrylic gouache on board, SOLD

"Plate of Pomegranates"
6" x 8", acrylic gouache on board  SOLD

"Green Apples & Mug"
16" x 16", acrylic gouache on board  SOLD