Wednesday, July 19, 2017


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I've been doing some exercises lately to do with edges, and getting looser. And they led me to do this little piece, of my favorite subject. My goal was to make it all loose except one little area, to sort of focus the eye. I'm thrilled with it.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

French Kitty

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Camping always serves to recharge my batteries. I am home now and rarin' to paint again!

This one is from a photo I took in France. There were lots of these street cats roaming around. This one was particularly friendly, and maybe a bit less colorful than I painted her. You can see the photo here, a potential reference for a Daily Paintworks Challenge. Or check out the current challenge that I guarantee will make you looser!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Lit Lemon

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The family and I are headed off for some camping in the mountains. Not sure how long we'll be out. I hope you're having a wonderful summer!!

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Coveting the Square Bowl

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Yesterday I posted about using Photoshop layers to experiment with changes I might want to make to a photo reference before I paint from it. One of my loyal fans, John, wrote in to tell me about a free alternative to Photoshop that has the same layers feature. It's called "Brushes Redux," it's an app, and he uses it on his ipad. John says it's far more user-friendly than Photoshop, and you can't beat free!

This painting above though, I painted from life, as I do all my still lifers. I had quite a few leftover apples from my last workshop. The great thing about apples (I haven't mentioned this for a while) is, they last forever.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

The Patient Husband

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For this scene from France, I wanted to change some things. So before I started I opened the photo in Photoshop and created a layer on top. Imagine a clear sheet of plastic over a photo - this is a layer. Then I used the "paintbrush tool" and colored in new stuff where I wanted it. You can see the before and after below. Mostly I lightened and simplified the background. I also simplified the store items in the foreground. You can see I also changed some things in the final version - artistic liberty. I'll definitely do this again!

Friday, July 07, 2017

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Scattered Cups

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You might be able to tell that I'm digging on cups lately. I got this little red one when I was in France in May - one of two things I brought back, in addition to tons of photos and memories!!

Monday, July 03, 2017

Third Cousins

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Shiny cups are great to paint because of all the reflections. In fact, let me amend that to ... shiny THINGS are great to paint. Love it.

Sunday, July 02, 2017


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I am all done with my second 2017 workshop. For this we used the classroom space at Vistra Framing & Gallery here in Eugene, OR. Not only was the space ideal, and the hosts lovely, my students were awesome! Here you can see them working hard, but also having fun. : )

During the week, the framers gave us a short presentation about their online frame business,, and then made up some custom frames for us based on our feedback (some lovely floater frames for panels, since that's what we were using - below, right), at incredibly fair prices. They are a family business, and just the best kind of people.

On the last day of the workshop we had a group critique. You can see them setting up their work for this above, left. Below is my whole group (minus 2 who had to leave early). You gals were fabulous!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Four More

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Tomorrow is the beginning of my next workshop, so I'm not sure when I'll post. But I'm very much looking forward to meeting this new set of kids!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Red Around

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I'm teaching a still life workshop next week, my first of the year, so I figured I should probably bone up on my still life.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Dapple Makers

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This is another Eugene scene. I love tree trunks, but have always felt baffled by how to paint them. But then recently I overheard someone saying that if they saw another person paint a "brown" trunk they would throw up. And when I looked again I realized that they may contain brown, but they are lots of colors! Duh. It's another case of what your brain is telling you vs. what you really see. I think this is one of the biggest hurdles we face as artists, and believe me, it never ends.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

I Want This

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While in France, we visited a town with the most beautifully colored buildings. Apparently they got their colors from the surrounding hills, which were red and orange. I called it the Ocher Town, but I'm sure it had a proper name. At any rate, these folks were walking through and, well ... can you see me passing up the opportunity to paint this?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Purple Accents

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This is another random Eugene scene from a recent wander. I'm a sucker for shadows, and this has some great ones. It was a real challenge making all the greens not only different, but often just subtly different, and still work in light vs. shadow, and close vs. distant. Whew. And on such a tiny panel, no less!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

An Oldie but a Goodie

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I spotted this a while ago, a few neighborhoods over from mine. I didn't have time then to stop and photograph it, so I've been trying to find it again ever since. Well, I finally did! But it was just perfectly in the shadow, which made it look funny from the front and side. So, rather than come back later, I found another angle that would work, and I kinda love it.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Getaway Car

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I found this little beauty parked right outside the walls of the Van Gogh place we visited in France last month. Do you suppose Vincent would have painted it if it had been around during his time? I wonder.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

French Bench

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This was a little scene at our chateau in France that I passed by daily. I never had time to stand and paint it, so I took a picture and painted it at home. I realized the other day that I never showed a group picture of my kids in France, so I'll do that now. Almost everyone is in this one... (click image to see larger) What a fabulous group!!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Double Red Parked

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I've been trying out some different brushes other than the (mostly) synthetic flats/brights I normally use. I've also been experimenting with different methods. For this one I scrubbed in some colors with a bristle brush to begin with, which left some textured strokes, then put in my regular stuff on top. After a few "failures," I feel like I'm finally getting somewhere.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Shady Avenue

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On my recent wander through Eugene I tried to keep my eyes peeled for ... well, just about anything at all that made a cool design. Hence - these shadows. And by the way, that's MY new car sitting there at the end of the line. Can you tell what kind it is? ; )