I posted an oil sketch of Matthew (a man who was putting in our new tile) a while ago, and finally got around to doing his portrait. He has such an interesting face and was kind enough to allow me to paint him, beard and all. He told me his wife was making him shave it off….
Meet Gonzo, a Golden Doodle, who has been trained impeccably by Lesleigh Cook. Sometimes you meet a dog, and they look at you and you fall in love instantly. That's how I feel about Gonzo. He has a look that is hard to describe. I tried to capture it here. Very serious, ready for action, yet playful as well. He is a therapy dog and whatever family was fortunate enough to get him should feel very blessed.
What a better way to say "Happy Easter" than to paint an adorable child in a very large hat?! When I paint a portrait, after sketching in the shape of the face I work on the eyes. If I can nail that part of the face, I feel like the painting has become alive. This is beautiful Ellery Ann. HAPPY EASTER/PASSOVER EVERYONE!
From my Saturday painting session at the Old Jail Hill Art Space at Goose Creek Studio, here is a quick study of Matthew. I rarely do oil sketches, but I loved the process…and I didn't have to lug all my tubes of paint. Only black and white. A revelation!
Lots of rain recently and some beautiful clouds to try to capture. I was able to catch this scene just as the sun was beginning to come through those clouds. Painted plain air and really fast to try to nail down what I was seeing before it disappeared, which it did in an instant!
Just look at that attentive face! Ready for anything. Dogs definitely do have personalities, and even from a photograph, you can usually see their "inner self" shining through. At least I can when I'm painting them. Lucy was such fun to do. A beautiful dog. Someone once asked me how I got dogs to sit for a painting session….I still smile when I think of that!!
First visit to the aquarium, and total fascination. The lighting was a challenge as well as the skin tones under those lights. I love to take on these issues to see if I can pull them off and give them life. I'm pretty satisfied here.
A quick little painting from a photo by artist extraordinaire Pat Dougherty of her adorable Mo and Mo's daycare buddies at rest time. We used to have rest time at a camp I went to, but we didn't get cushy beds…
When I go to paint with my Saturday artist friends at Goose Creek Studio and Custom Framing, I try to think of fun projects so that when visitors come to see us they have something a little different to see. Tallulah makes this easy! Here's one I worked on this past Saturday. I got the benefit of input for that weird underside of her tongue from the fabulous artists who join me in the studio. One would think a tongue wouldn't be difficult. Well…This one was, and here it is in all it's glory :-)
This painting was a study in what goes where. Which ear belongs to which dog…Which paw belongs to which dog…and so on. It took a while, but was worth it for me in the long run. Two beautiful Long Haired Dachshunds painted at Goose Creek Studio and Custom Framing with my painting buds….Come by on Saturdays, if you are in the Bedford, VA area and see us.
This is another commission from Christmas. A very happy dog with a great smile! I'm smiling, too, because we are experiencing Spring in late February. In the 70's again today and all the trees and flowers are blooming. Sneeze, Sneeze….
A little bee to sweeten your day :-) Painted with my artsy friends at Goose Creek Studio last Saturday. Come by each Saturday and browse the fabulous artwork that Goose Creek has to offer and stop upstairs at Old Jail Hill Art Space to say hello and see us painting.
Here is Brooklyn who totally enjoys life under all circumstances, whether it be dry or wet. That's how I intend to live my life…minus the tennis ball. She is a dog you fall in love with as soon as you see her.
"Waste Not..Want Not," a saying my mother used to use. Well, I guess it's finally caught up with me. Using up the paint on my palette from another painting and keeping it simple, this is the result. I wanted to get the large black cow coming out at the viewer. Just a quick, sketchy, fun one! Now back to the commissions….
Slowly but surely I'm getting the Christmas commissions loaded on for you to see along with my new paintings. It has sure been busy around here, and I'm certainly not complaining. One of the best things about being an artist is the great community of support and the opportunity to meet so many terrific like-minded people. Here's Sherbert! Such a kind, lovable face.
The third in what seems to have become a small series of cow paintings. Who knew cows could be so friendly?! What this cow was really interested in was not my scintillating conversation, but the bread that was being fed to them. I was told that the bread is "cow cocaine"….What a great day this was!!
Mooooving along on this Sunday, a beautiful Scottish Highlander cow with the sun hitting that gorgeous auburn fur. (Do cows have "fur"? …Not sure, being a City girl). Loved painting this one. If interested in purchasing, just email me :-)
I was lucky enough to get to photograph a friend's Scottish Highlander cows recently. This particular cow turned towards me and scowled, and I instantly saw something familiar :-) Beady eyes, that scowl, the comb over, a mouth full of hay, orange color…Well, you get the idea! I don't usually put anything political out there, but this was too good to pass up…and very timely :-(
Here's another Christmas commission to post. I must say, I was really lucky to have so many adorable dogs, cats, and horses to paint this year. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to get to know, through paint, these animals.
A good friend brought these beautiful red tulips to me for Christmas. I am not really comfortable painting flowers, but they were so lovely I had to try. I'm not sure why flowers intimidate me, but I approached this subject as I've been doing lately with everything.. as just shapes. The name of certain objects seems to get in the way of just expressing what I see and feel. This still life was done at my kitchen table using my little Gorilla box…on a cold, gray, snowy day.
The word "Artist" has many connotations. We are all artists in one way or another, I think. The definition of "Artist" is "..a person who practices any of the various creative arts...A person skilled at a particular task or occupation." So here's to the colorful, air-filled art of balloons! A quick study on a snowy, icy, single digit day to use up paint on my palette :-)
Another Christmas commission, and one that I loved painting. The beautiful colors and expressive eyes got to me with every brush stroke. It was commissioned with love for the client's daughter. I hope this portrait will bring wonderful memories to its owner.
Last year, one of our neighbors hired this horse and carriage to take their grandchildren for a ride right before Christmas. It was a sight to see when they came down our street, and most of the neighbors came out to gawk. Naturally it was a photo op for me, and I decided to paint it this year for my Christmas card adding a few things...Like snow...and runners on the sleigh.
I wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR! One can only hope and pray that this coming year will bring peace to us, all over this precious planet of ours. I want to thank you for looking at my artwork throughout the year. I definitely feel blessed!
On my many trips to Bedford, I pass such beautiful countryside. This is one of the farms I drove by recently and decided to stop and take some pictures, taking my life in my hands as traffic whizzed by. I wish there was a place to park and do some plein air painting. I could probably drive up and ask permission, but I'm not that brave....yet :-)
A scene from Winter Park, Florida right after Thanksgiving. A very musical sidewalk "Santa".
I hope you are all finished shopping and decorating, and have now moved on to cleaning and preparing your Christmas menus. Whew! Busy time. I'm finally finished with all the wonderful commissions I was asked to do and am in the process of mailing and delivering :-)
Music and art combined to make a very special summer day not too long ago. Artists Pat Dougherty and Megan Davies displayed their African paintings at the Africa House in Lynchburg. On a beautiful Sunday a group of singers performed and I snapped photos like crazy. I finally got around to painting one during a break from the Christmas commissions I am furiously completing. The joy of the music was so evident in their faces, and that was what I was trying to convey in this study.
Bella is the second commission that I am able to post because she went home with her family already. How can anyone resist this old, wise face and her red and white Christmas collar?! A big thank you to Bella's family for the opportunity to paint her.
An adorable commission...One with very large ears and a mask like a bandit. Blossom is the first commission I'm able to post because she was given at Thanksgiving with a companion painting. I have one more I'm able to post and for the rest I have to wait until after Christmas.
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Now on to Christmas!!
I've been busily doing Holiday commissions and haven't been able to post any of them until after Christmas gift giving, so meanwhile here's an older painting that I have always loved. Our Fall has been less than spectacular this year, but is still always my favorite season.
This has been a wonderful commission season so far this year, and I am so thankful! I've got 9 paintings drying and one on the easel. If you'd like me to paint a commission of your animals, landscapes, etc., please get them to me by Thanksgiving.
Our house faces the west so usually we get wonderful sunsets over lake and don't see much of the sunrise colors. One morning last week though, we had a spectacular, colorful early sky. As soon as I raised the blinds, I rushed to get my little compact easel and tried to capture it in paint. The colors are so fleeting that I was thrilled I was able to get it so quickly. It was gone in an instant...
This is what happens when a certain master photographer isn't able to come and sit for us during our painting session! Having nothing else to paint and being programmed to paint his portrait, I was happy to have his Facebook photo to use as reference. Thank you, Jean, for allowing me to use it. He might be there next time, so I will hopefully have another chance.
Sometimes when I go into my studio to paint and don't have a definite idea of what I'm going to start, I look through my photos and see what appeals to me at that particular time. I think I've said it before, but if I don't have a real interest in the subject, the outcome is not as good as I'd like it to be. This little painting is an example. I like it now a lot, but it took me a while to get into the process. I wasn't sure where I was going with it, kept changing it, and finally decided to leave it as is and look at it again later. When I did, I was happy with it. I've discovered over the years that, for me, I have to have a real passion for the subject and can see the painting even before I put the first stroke on the canvas.
This certainly is a departure for me! My Daughter-In-Law was here and brought this photo of her family's farm. As soon as I saw it, I wanted to try painting it. It is much more involved with lots more people, machines, and structures so I broke it down. My plan is to do it in sections, but this was my first attempt at it. Now that it's done, I'm going to tackle the rest. I don't do machines and have no idea what I'm painting, so I just painted shapes. I actually did that with the people as well. It was extremely hard to see their faces. I just wanted to get their "essence".
My son and Daughter-in-Law are visiting from Singapore this week, so I didn't have much time to paint. A very good reason to take a break! This was a very quick one I did while they were out. A really limited palette. This woman was reading on her float right off her dock. She had it tied on a long rope so the wake from the passing boats didn't send her out into the middle of the lake. When I snapped her photo I told her she was going to become a painting. She said "Oh No!" but did smile. I read that as permission to proceed :-)
Usually it's the person in the back that gets away with not paddling :-) She could blame it on her paddle, I guess. The longer paddle is for our kayak. I'm not sure why we got the shorter paddle. This is what happens when your dock house is a mess and the girls are anxious to get out on the water. Trying to find anything is impossible! It's Fall. Now's the time to start cleaning it out in preparation for next summer.
I generally paint from my photographs, but every now and then my relatives or friends take a picture they think I would be interested in painting. Even using photos, I have to feel that I can give the subject some life...some movement, or I feel my painting has failed. That goes for landscapes as well as figurative work, at least for me. This Italian woman caught my cousin's eye and she thought of me. How lucky I feel to have people on the look out for quirky characters and places for me :-)
Continuing on with my "In Your Face" series, this is the second. This was a challenge due to the bright light hitting the woman's face and the shadows. I painted and wiped it off a few times before I was satisfied with the outcome. My favorite part...Her chin. Everyone keeps reminding me that a few years ago I insisted that I would never do a face because of the difficulty. I pretty much only painted people from the back....
Finally finished, and a good experience. "Getting Your Feet Wet" has two meanings here. My first really big oil painting, and since I've completed this I'm ready for another...and then there's the obvious meaning. Meanwhile I'm working on my series "In Your Face." The most wonderful thing about this thing called painting and creating is what's next. That moment when your mind starts working on the next project. I'm so very thankful :-)
I enjoyed doing this so much, I think I'm going to do a series. I've painted this man before a few times and just keep getting drawn back to his wise and worn face. Is it sadness?...maybe...or just the passage of time. Whatever it is, I keep wanting to get closer. So...Number 1 of my series "In Your Face".