Monday, December 31, 2012

big-deal news

I have big-deal news to end 2012 and to start 2013.

To my amazement, I just learned that my painting, "Heartbreak Morning" received enough votes on Katherine Tyrrell's Making a Mark blog to be declared Best Portrayal of a Place 2012!

But wait...there's more. By SEVEN, votes I also received the award titled Best Picture on an Art Blog in 2012! I can't begin to explain all that went into the process of these awards. To learn more, please take a moment to visit Making a Mark by clicking the link in the previous paragraph.

Thank you Katherine Tyrrell for nominating my painting.  I also want to thank all who voted for me - especially those special SEVEN!

Being an artist is a solitary occupation, especially now that I no longer teach. Sometimes I just need to connect with others and I do that primarily through this Art Journal blog and Facebook. Thanks to all who read my blog and take a moment to send me a word of support or a 'like'  or comment on Facebook. Hearing from you helps make my day. Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

happy new year

As we end 2012, I am honored that my painting, "Heartbreak Morning," has been nominated for The Making a Mark Prize for Best Portrayal of a Place 2012. Click on the link to see art in all categories. I wish you a peaceful and happy 2013!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

my top 10 of 2012

Casey Klahn selected his top 12 paintings of 2012 and recommended other artists do the same with their year of work. I tried it... I highlighted my favorite 10 pieces listed in my 2012 pastel folder on my computer. Images are posted below.

Heartbreak Morning



Edge of Winter

Golden Gardens Pond





Sweet Creek

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Preparations for Christmas have kept me from painting for almost a week. I needed some studio-time to keep my sanity and finally managed to paint for a while today. "Sweet Creek" is a scene from a road-trip to California a couple years ago and will be my last painting (and probably my last post) until after Christmas Day. This painting is a rework. To see all recent reworks as they are now and how they appeared before the rework, click on the Reworked Paintings link at the top right of this page. Wishing each of you Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

wc paper experiment

When I unframed an old painting for rework I was surprised to find that I had painted on 140 lb Arches hot press watercolor paper. I'm not sure what I was thinking in choosing to work on that surface so I decided to try watercolor paper again. This time I used 140 lb Fabriano Classico cold press just because that is the first sheet of wc paper I came to in my flat file. The scene is from my Hometown Marshland photo shoot last weekend.

It was a challenge to paint with such minimal paper tooth. I left some areas lightly colored so the texture of the paper would show (see the enlarged section below). I'm not sure this painting will leave my studio but it was an interesting experiment.

Monday, December 10, 2012

stuck in the middle

I've been working on a pastel project since August that I'll be able to tell you about soon. At the same time, I was painting in pastel for several upcoming shows, preparing images for my web designer and I just started posting small work on Daily Paintworks again. I was feeling productive... until last week. It was then that I started again on two oil paintings that have been in the works for months because I just can't seem to pull them together. I am stuck in the middle on them.

When I get stuck, I'm sure every other artist I know is just painting away, knocking out gorgeous work with ease. This would be especially true when I think of Marla Baggetta but it is because of her post today that I am talking about my own painting difficulties. See Marla's post HERE.

Yesterday I went back to my hometown and shot 90 reference photos of a marshy area for another round of 'Hometown Marshland' paintings - this may become an annual theme. Nothing motivates me like new reference photos. I started three small oils and I am hopeful that I'm coming out of my 'stuckness', at least for the three new paintings. As far as the two others, I may just paint them black and start over!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

a not so bright idea

At this time of year, I begin to think about the future direction my work. I had this bright idea: what about creating still life images from my many years of colored pencil still life work but this time in pastel?

It sounded interesting and here is my first experiment - Cherries, pastel, 8.5x13 inches. This composition was originally painted as a commission in 1998 and titled "For Every Thing There is a Season."

I don't believe this idea is going to work because somewhere within me is the memory of painting these cherries before - in precise colored pencil - and when painting them this time, I had difficulty finding my pastel-voice. I think the answer is to work from new still life set-ups and reference photos. But, it was good to once again make marks to form the fruit I already know so well. You can see some of my colored pencil cherry examples HERE.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

color study for Where the Heart Is

The painting I posted several days ago, "Where the Heart Is," 11x8.5 inch pastel, received a warm welcome. It will be going to Attic Gallery, Portland, Oregon for a show early next year.

This post is the 7x5 inch color study for that painting. I have also posted three steps of the process. This color study is available at the Daily Paintworks auction. (sold)