Tuesday, August 14, 2018

"Strawberry Delight" (oil on linen; 4" x 5") sold


Somedays I feel like painting these little pastry things. I guess they cheer me up without increasing my waistline! This pastry stuffed with clotted cream and a strawberry is French. Oh la la!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

"Watercolor from Start to Finish": I Am Teaching Watercolor at The Art League School!

Week 1: Introduction and Painting Donuts!
"Donut Bliss" (watercolor, 7" x 10")
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My dear friend Alice Kale, who teaches watercolor, has been pestering me to do the same for some time, and I finally surrendered to her persuasion. I took over another teacher's slot at The Art League School in Alexandria, VA. It is a six-week-long intensive introduction to watercolor, called "Watercolor from Start to Finish". An enthusiastic class of 18 has been meeting every Saturday from 9:30 to 12:30 for watercolor fun. At this point, we have just one more class to go. And what fun has it been!. This is indeed the beginning of a new chapter in my art career, as I will continue to teach as a regular staff at The Art League School from now on!

The first week I brought donuts to the class, since I thought their simple shapes and fun associations would encourage the beginners (minus two who are experienced watercolorists) to dive into watercolor without fear. And I was right. Some students ate donuts first and painted them from photos!

Week 2: Fruits and Vegetables
"Carrot Bunch" (watercolor, 9" x 12")
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Drawing and painting from life is an invaluable training whether the subject is humble everyday things, or a figure. So carrying on the theme of still life of donuts of the first week, the students were asked to bring some fruits and vegetables of their choice for the second class. Several brought a bagful of produce; I love this class! Shapes got a little more complicated, but we are not so worried about drawing for now. (To those who want to improve their drawing skills, I recommend Bert Dodson's Keys to Drawing.) Instead we are focusing on the importance of values, edges and color temperatures in a painting.

Week 3: Landscapes
"Bixby Creek Bridge, Big Sur" (9" x 12")
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Week 4: More Landscapes
"Yaquina Head Lighthouse Sunset" (watercolor and gouache, 9" x 12")
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For the next two weeks, we painted landscapes. I did a demo of gradated/varigated washes and the students were let loose to work with the photos they brought, while getting accustomed to the watercolor terms such as washes, glazes, wet on wet/wet on dry, dry brush, etc. Landscape painting can get overwhelming with so many elements to deal with, so I emphasized that the class should look out for big shapes first. If one breaks down a picture into big shapes, there are usually only three to five. That's not so hard, is it? But landscapes often involve leaf/grass textures; boy, many went astray with them. It's been 23 years since I started painting watercolors and the memories of the excitement and frustrations are all coming back!

Week 5: Animals
"Emperor Penguin Love" (watercolor, 8" x 6")
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Changing gears, we painted animals this week. What fun it was! Several painted their dogs; many others painted colorful birds. It all comes down to this: paint what you know well and hold dear. And it showed. I am definitely keeping the subject of animals as part of my curriculum.

Week 6: Flowers
"Red, White and Blue" (watercolor, 7.5" x 10.5")
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One more week to go. Next week we will be painting flowers. We actually took a vote on this; between flowers, portraits, buildings, flowers won. But I let the class know they can paint whatever they choose for the final week. It's going to be fun and challenging no matter which!

Week 6: My awesome class intently painting flowers

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

"Lincoln Memorial Reflections" (oil on linen; 9" x 12") sold


The Lincoln Memorial glows against the violet twilight sky, casting jewel-like reflections in the reflecting pond. I have painted this same view several times and don't seem to get tired of its ethereal beauty.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

"Provence White Roses" (oil on linen; 10" x 10") sold


Linger in the corner of a Provencal farmhouse where fragrant white roses climb onto the ocher stone walls. Beyond the open wrought-iron gate, the sun-drenched courtyard beckons. Ah, I love Provence!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

"Lavender Girl" (oil on stretched canvas; 10" x 8") sold


A little girl in a white shift dress and hat is walking in the lavender field, with a straw basket in hand. The golden late afternoon rakes across the purple clouds of lavender. The online workshop I took with Dreama Perry last fall got me into lavender fields, so I have painted several paintings of the theme. As they get sold, I am posting my work. Negligent, am I not?

Friday, May 11, 2018

"Henry and Lucy" (oil on streched linen; 8" x 10") sold


"Henry and Lucy" is for Natalie who commissioned the double portrait for her husband. They are two adorable dogs with different personalities. I hope the portrait brings the family years of joy!

Henry is seven years old and is a Maltese. He is such a sweet gentle old soul. He is very mellow and loves to sleep on the couch and sit in the sun. He is good with their four children. If given a treat, he will wag his tail and give you lots of kisses.

Lucy, three years of age, is also a Maltese. She is very energetic; she thinks she is a child and always getting into trouble. She loves to be hugged all the time. She is loving and will jump on you and put her face in your neck and give you tons of kisses. She loves to run around, bark and play with all of her toys. She will get her dog kibble and throw it in the air.