Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Firing the Pottery

7 x 5 Oil on Gessobord

This is a painting from one of Robert Miller's wonderful photographs.  I chose it because of all those great hot, hot, hot colors, and he was kind enough to allow me to attempt it. I was in heaven splashing around all those cadmium reds, oranges, and yellows, and just brushing on strokes here and there to depict the scene.  Can you feel the heat???

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Cook's Paradise

6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord


For a small painting, I found this difficult.  It might have been caused by taking a little break from painting everyday to do lots of social Holiday things.  I struggled to get back into it, and started to get too picky.  That's when I knew I had to stop and call it finished.  I really like it, so I plan doing a larger version to capture more of this scene, which is the kitchen of my favorite restaurant.

Happy New Year One and All!  See you in 2015!  2015...YIKES!!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Snooze


6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord

This is "Brooklyn," who belongs to Tallulah's wonderful groomer/trainer/boarder.  She is a beautiful Golden who absolutely deserves to be painted.  This is what they refer to as a "Dog's Life."

Thank you all who have purchased my paintings this year.  It has been a wonderful year for me, and I really appreciate it.  I am so glad that my paintings have found good homes and hope they bring you all as much joy as I get when I'm painting them. 

 Have a safe and wonderful Holiday!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Snuggle


8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

These are the same Labs that I painted in "Patience."  The puppy was really playful in that one, but here there is a really touching closeness between the two.  That snuggle and the mother's look seems to define what we think of as a human kind of love, but I think it exists in the animal world, too.   

Friday, December 12, 2014

Tree Trunk in Snow


6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord

Shadows and snow...That's what this little painting is all about.  As I've said so many times before,  winter is a favorite with me.  I know many of you don't share that view.  Especially those of you who are up north right now.  I think the stark beauty of the sun on the snow and the deep dark shadows are really something to behold.  This painting is a new favorite of mine :-) 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Luigi and His Painting

Luigi's family sent this photo of the painting I did for them.  It is always so nice to get feedback after completing a painting, and I especially enjoyed doing this one.  I must say, Luigi looks mighty proud of his portrait :-) 

Monday, December 8, 2014



6 x 6 Oil on Gessobord

I'm pretty sure Sherman is smiling, but it's hard to tell with Frenchies.  His face called out for a portrait though; and that look...How can you resist?! 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Female Kingfisher


8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

This kingfisher sits on top of our sailboat mast everyday looking for her meal.  I watch her sit for what seems like hours waiting for her perfect gourmet feast.  She only seems to move when my husband or I get the camera ready to shoot, so I never get a good picture.  I've painted her here from very blurry, out of focus photos, but I think I've captured her essence.  She's not as pretty as the male, but I love her spiky, punky hairdo...Like a blue toned mullet.  She has that "Don't mess with me!" look.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Girl Studying

10 x 8  Oil on Gessobord

My request was to "Look natural. Don't look at me. Don't pose."  So much for requests, right?!  I do think I got that "happy to be alive" look, though.  I must say, I love this little painting.  I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving and are now ready for the Christmas craziness.  As always, if you are interested in purchasing this painting, just click on the Daily Paintworks box on the right or email me directly.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Close Call


8 x 10 Oil on Gessobord

This is the last of the Smith Mountain Lake Fall Regatta paintings for 2014.  Looking forward to the Spring season.  I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving.  It's hard to believe it's over, especially after all the hours of preparation.  My daughter prepared a really wonderful meal!  Next is Christmas, which will be here and over before we all know it as well.  As always, thank you for stopping by.  Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Beach Woman in Her Thanksgiving Bonnet


8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

Can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving.  Today, it's 70 degrees.  This weather has been crazy!  I wish you all a wonderful holiday and hope you get to spend it with the ones you love.  I'm so thankful for many things including all of you out there in bloggerland.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cold Fall Day Plein Air


8 x 10 Oil on Gessobord

It's Fall and it's freezing here at Smith Mountain Lake!  The day started out calm and beautiful and then the wind kicked up, clouds rolled in and everything changed.  It called out to be painted right then and there because everything changes minute by minute.  What is so fascinating is how the color of the water becomes so dark when the whitecaps begin to appear.  The sun was still off in the distance, but clouds overhead really changed the whole feeling of the day.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Subject and The Object

8 x 10 Oil on Gessobord

This was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  What intrigued me was who was studying whom (Is that grammatically correct?  If not, I will certainly hear from my Literature Professor daughter :-).  Who was the subject and who was the object?  Thought provoking for me, at least.  Painting this was a challenge at best due to all the angles, but I really enjoy the effort that goes into something a little different and am pleased with the outcome.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Meal Time Hint


8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

I should start out by saying that Tallulah is not one of these well behaved dogs :-)  She is well behaved, but not on this level.  If she is hungry, she gets her ball and goes over to her food dish.  She believes that it is important to play soccer as she eats.  She eats a little, kicks the ball, goes and gets it, and then eats more.  Seriously!  We are not sure why, but she is happy so we don't question.  Quirky comes to mind.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Contemplation of Dali's "Crucifixion" at the MET

10 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

This man was totally consumed with Salvador Dali's painting "Crucifixion...Corpus Hypercubus" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  I watched him study the painting for about 10 minutes and was interested to see his face as he walked away, but he just kept standing there so I eventually moved on.  I was surprised that this was a Dali painting because it is so unlike any other I've seen.  His depiction added many elements of surrealism but was so unexpected considering the subject matter.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord


Here's Luigi.  He was apparently used to being the king of the household.  Lo and behold, a beautiful baby girl named Lucy appeared and now she gets most of the attention.  If this isn't a sad look, I don't know what is :-)  I'm hoping that expression got him lots of presents...

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Storm Front On Its Way

8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord


Another rural scene of Bedford, VA.  This one at Poplar Forest.  The day started out with lots of bright sun but deteriorated really fast with the sky changing from a light blue to a deep color over the mountains in the distance.  Before the light totally changed, I was able to capture some of that sunny Fall green and a few light rays here and there.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Distant Silos

8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

For me, this painting was all about the sky and super clear day.  I also am lately attracted to curved roads...Go Figure :-)  This is another view of one of Virginia's beautiful farms.  There are still a number of them.  Let's hope the next time I pass by there isn't a subdivision or shopping mall!  Those deforestation trucks are all over now.  I always want to shout out "Put those trees back where they belong and have been for centuries." 

Saturday, November 1, 2014


6 x 8 Oil on Gessobord


Another name would be "They Don't Pay Me Enough For this Babysitting Job!"  My cousin breeds Labs, so I'm always lucky to get wonderful images of these beautiful dogs.  These two (mother and her pup) definitely needed to be painted and the composition was right on!  I can feel her patient annoyance :-)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bedford Farmland

8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord


This is a quick study for a larger painting.  It was fast and furious and my brush never stopped moving.  I tried to convey the scene with a minimal amount of strokes.  Again, I worked from a very limited palette. I feel like I'm in the middle of a growth spurt, and I wonder where it will lead me.... 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Landscape Through the Glass

8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord


OK...This was a really big challenge, but a complete joy to paint.  Glass is difficult, but I handled it abstractly and again with a very limited palette.  The joy for me is the day to day learning and experimenting.  I'm always fascinated with how or if things turn out and even if the painting doesn't, there is the possibility of another one to follow.  Right now, this is one of my favorites...Until tomorrow, hopefully :-)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

End of the Day Light Show

8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord


After spending fortunes on all different tubes of oil paint, I have recently narrowed down my paintings to the three primaries and white as an experiment.  I'm not saying that I will never use all those luscious colors sitting next to my easel, but I am really enjoying the process of mixing and blending.  As I've said before, going from pastels to oils is a big transition.  I was totally used to just scanning my options and picking the color I wanted.  I now have to really consider and experiment, and besides learning so much about color, I'm also totally enjoying the process.  I never thought I'd say that :-)  Thank you Josh and Brent for allowing me to use your wonderful scenes of the farm.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bedford Fall

8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord


Can you smell those leaves?  How can anyone resist the Fall season?!  This is a road less traveled on the way to Bedford, VA.  The photo colors came out a little vivid and purple for some reason.  I still don't have the process for taking pictures of my artwork down.  Some days the colors match the painting perfectly, other days they don't...as here, and it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the sun or shade.  It appears to happen with landscapes most of the time.  My painting is a lot more subtle.  But it is Fall..and vivid colors are a good thing.  Just picture this a little more hazy and not as pink :-)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Look What's in the New Dick Blick Catalog

If you happen to get the new Dick Blick catalog and look at pages 80 and 81, you will see seven of my paintings displayed in Blick's frames.  How exciting for my artwork to be chosen to appear in their Christmas catalog!  I'm really blown away by the honor :-)  Thank you, Dick Blick!!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Game

8 x 10 Oil on Gessobord

My niece, Holly, is a wonderful photographer and she kindly let me paint her son's football game.  It's Fall, after all...RAH!

Friday, October 10, 2014

2015 Art Calendar

It's Here!  My 2015 Sights and Scenes of Smith Mountain Lake calendar.  Get them fast because they have sold out quickly in previous years.  You can order from me directly by emailing me at shelleykoop@gmail.com or buy one at Goose Creek Studio in Bedford, VA, The General Store at Smith Mountain Lake, or Gifts Ahoy at Bridgewater Plaza, Smith Mountain Lake. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Three Cute Butts

8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord


I suppose this is the fourth in my butt series.  They are sporadic which is probably a good thing.  Otherwise, this might be an obsession :-)  Our friends brought their dog, Molly, over to swim.  We thought it would be a good way to get our Sproodle, Lula, into the water.  Well, it didn't work.  Lula stayed away from the edge and Molly refused to jump in.  She would swim, but only from the shore.  Lula wouldn't even do that.  So, here is our friend, Dick, trying to coax Molly in.  As you see, Molly turned her back on him and I do believe Lula was thinking about pushing him in.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

These are people heading out of Grand Central in NYC.  I've been thinking about painting this for a long time (since my trip last year), but the scope of it always frightened me a little.  So, I decided to paint shapes instead of actual "things."  I painted it upside down, sideways, right side up....every which way.  Very impressionistic and very free.  About the subject matter, I'm not a big fan of revolving doors.  I use them, of course, when there is no alternative but I never know whether to join in with someone in front of me or to hold everyone up behind me and wait until the next opening passes by.  Some of them have really wide openings.  Is this for multiple people?  Also, if you do go with someone else, there is always that problem of stepping on their heels...Life can be very complicated :-)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Explore Park Fall Plein Air

                                                          6 x 8 Oil on Gessobord


Yesterday a group of artist friends and I went to paint at Explore Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 115 in Roanoke, VA.  I really enjoyed being with the others and taking in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and the expansive countryside.  I only had time to complete this painting, however, because the weather changed from a cool, sunny morning to a cold, gray, windy afternoon.  I wore my husband's windbreaker jacket and came home with more paint on it than on my Gessobord.  I seemed to rest my entire arm in the Titanium White on my easel and then (due to the cold) wrap on arms around my body...I had paint all over it.  So...Really, I completed two paintings.  One on the Gessobord and a white abstract on a navy background.     

Monday, September 22, 2014

Beach in Fall

8 x 10 Oil on Gessobord

While I was painting this, I kept thinking about the Eagles song "Boys of Summer."  "...Nobody on the beach..."  In my opinion, after the boys of summer have gone is the best time to be at the shore.  Just you, the gulls, and the mighty ocean.  A quick study that I like a lot :-)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Winter Morning View

8 x 10 Oil on Gessobord

The same view as the previous post, but from last year on a cold morning after some overnight snow.  I'm extremely excited that summer is over and my favorite season is beginning.  I can feel the change early in the morning.  There is a chill in the air, and everything takes on a different smell...if that makes any sense.  Today is the Fall Regatta here at Smith Mountain Lake.  My husband is getting ready to head out...sun block lotion in hand.  I hope to get some good paintings out of it.  The weather is just perfect.  Hope you all have a good day as well, and thanks again for checking in on my blog. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Smith Mountain Lake Fall Morning Haze

8 x 10 Oil on Gessobord


This is a different angle from my studio window of Smith Mountain Lake.  Most early mornings the lake gets a wonderful haze, and this particular morning there was a yellow cast to everything.  This seems to happen each Fall, and this year in particular it appeared earlier than usual.  The weeds and grasses down by the water turn all different colors as they begin to die.  I must admit I did push the palette a little, but what are all those different paint tubes for ?!

Friday, September 12, 2014


6 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

I have painted this man before in pastel, but I thought it would be fun to paint him again in oil.  I think he is one of my favorite subjects to paint.  I'm not sure why, but I think it might be the intensity he had at the buffet table.  He obviously takes his food seriously.  I caught him at one of my art show opening receptions and have seen him a few times since.  The odd thing is that he is usually wearing similar clothing and is usually at the buffet table when I see him.  I've grown attached to this man, stranger though he may be :-)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Quality Time

8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

Sometimes things just work out, and this painting just happened to "appear."  I think it had something to do with a passion for painting it.  There are days where I go into the studio to paint, but don't have a real desire to paint what I had planned.   Instead of forgoing the subject on hand, I forge ahead.  These paintings usually don't excite me when I'm done.  Not always, though.  Sometimes I get a wonderful surprise.  I really like this painting!! 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sale at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Art Show


I was so very pleased to find out that my painting, "Stuck Up," was sold at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine recently.  The painting will hang until the end of the exhibit so if you get a chance and are in the area, stop by and see all of the artwork on display.

Smith Mountain Lake Sailing


6 x 8 Oil On Gessobord

I'm in the middle of a painting that is driving me crazy and I needed to get away from it for a little while.  I walked away and looked out my studio window just as these two sailboats were going by.  The shadows and really bright sun made me grab a gessobord and paint the scene plein air (or "studio air" since I was inside :-)  A fast and furious little painting because I had to catch the boats before they passed out of view, but I think it shows the brilliance of the day, and that was what I going for.  Normally, I would go back and refine certain things, but I am going to leave it as it is...A moment on a Thursday....

Monday, September 1, 2014

Rocks, Clouds, and Sea


6 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

Every year at this time we are on our way to meet up with other artists on Monhegan, so even though I'm sitting at my computer right now here at Smith Mountain Lake, my mind is checking into the seaside hotel and preparing to get the ferry over to the Island.  This is the view from Fish Beach, although I've moved a few things...It's nice to have such power :-)  Hope you all have a great Labor Day.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rainy Day on Monhegan Island

10 x 8  Oil on Gessobord

This was a cold and rainy day in September on Monhegan Island, Maine.  The wind and rain were coming sideways hitting you in the face, causing puddles and muddy streams, but I wouldn't have changed it for the world!  The sound of the waves crashing on the rocks and the smell of island dampness is heaven.  I painted in the dining room of the inn I was staying at with other varied artists I did not know.  There was a wonderful camaraderie.  No stress, no worries...just being in the moment. Then, out in the elements for coffee at the only place that sold espresso.  Crowded, but worth the wait :-)  I'm not going back this year, but I'm there in my mind...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

End of the Summer

8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

Children find things to do even if it's a little too cold to go into the water.  This little girl's colorful outfit and pigtails reminded me of my daughter when she was little.  I think she probably reminds a lot of us of summers long ago.  Then, school starts...... :-(

Monday, August 18, 2014

Tallulah's 3rd Birthday Portrait

6 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

Tallulah (Lula, as she is known when she is good) commissioned me to paint her official portrait for her third birthday on September 1st.  She posed in her favorite position in her favorite spot, and she gave me her English Monarch look.  She did not want to be seen as frivolous or flighty...No, she wanted to be taken seriously...No messing around!  She said she was pleased with the portrait, but recommended I take another photo of it because the colors did not quite match the original.  If the government wanted to make stamps, she was a little worried that her public might disapprove.  When I get a chance, I will take another photo so we don't have to hear her whining :-)

Friday, August 15, 2014

An Ahhh Moment

8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

He's sitting and taking it all in.  This must be a "Life is all good" moment for him.  Just looking at him made me stop and take a deep breath.  This is a quick study which might become a larger painting at some point.  I say that a lot and never seem to get to it.  There are always new and exciting things to paint so I never to go back and re-do; but it's always an option. 

On another note, I recently watched "Tim's Vermeer."  If you haven't seen it and are interested in Vermeer, it's a must.  Totally fascinating theory of how Vermeer painted.

Well, thank you for stopping by.  Hope to see you again soon :-)

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Pastry Chef

8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

Some paintings seem to flow off the brush and others are real work.  This one just seemed to appear the way I had envisioned.   Creativity comes in many forms, and baking is certainly an art form.  Many do it, but not everyone creates a mouthwatering masterpiece.  Whatever this turned out to be, I'm sure the attention he gave it made it wonderful :-)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

It's All About the Sky

9 x 12 Oil on Gessobord

September dusk in Maine.  Colors that were almost too beautiful.  There were lots of people with binoculars and cameras ready to capture the show which repeated itself the next night.  We get spectacular sunsets here, but there is something about a still harbor at sundown that can't be beat.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Taking Five

8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

It's hard to remember what it was like to be away from all distractions and to be disconnected from everything that is going on in the world...Just to "be."  Apparently, this young man had enough of the scenery and needed that connection.  The professor teaching the course on mindfulness and meditation says that a number of his students find it impossible to disconnect from all devices for 24 hours.  I can understand that.  The first thing I do when I come home is check my email, but I do think I could avoid doing that if I had to.  I wouldn't like it, though.  Younger people would have a harder time since they grew up "plugged in."  They definitely need to be connected in all ways at all times. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Work on Display

For the month of August, I am the Featured Artist at the Electric Company Artists Co-op in Bedford, Virginia.  The opening of the display is on Second Friday, August 8th from 5:00 - 8:00 PM.  If you are in the area, please drop by and say "Hi" and see my work as well as the work of some very talented artists that display there.

July and August have been extremely busy here at Smith Mountain Lake.  We've had lots of company this summer and it has been really enjoyable.  I'm thankful that everyone will travel far and wide to see us. Now that things have quieted down, I've got to organize.  I've got to stop and think about what paintings are where and what paintings I need for upcoming shows.  I used to think that being an artist meant simply painting, but I'm finding that it is so much more than that.  There are a lot of things to consider and plan out, and some of those things are almost more important than the actual act of painting.   As the Grateful Dead said though, "What a wonderful trip this has been"...and still is :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Acceptance into the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine's Upcoming Fall Art Show

I am so very pleased that three of my paintings were accepted into Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine's upcoming exhibition entitled "Life is Beautiful:  Unexpected Moments Captured in Art."  The show will open with a public reception on August 21st from 5:30 to 7:30 PM and will close Oct/Nov, 2014.  There will be a range of mediums, from paintings and photography to three-dimensional art and drawings.  It should be a wonderful exhibit, so if you are in the area and have a chance, try to see it.  The painting above, "One Lane Bridge" is one of mine that will be displayed.  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Blue Float


8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

No catchy title on this one :-)  All of these water paintings are for an upcoming exhibit I'm going to be in.  I'll post the info soon.  I have to say, this is one of my favorites...so far...I got a lot of mileage out of my friends' family being here to spend a summer day.  Lots of pictures and memories to paint.  I'm finding that I'm not relying on the photos but using them as a starting point, and I think the paintings I've been doing have much more movement than they did when I first started.  Progression is a good thing.  After all, that's what it's all about.  No going back; only forward...Right?!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wedding Commission

8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord


This is a commission I was asked to do to be given as a gift for the wedding couple.  I explained that it would not be a portrait, and I would try to get the essence of the event rather than an exact replication.  I actually worked on this after I took this photo, and fixed a few things that bothered me.    I was instructed to put a boat in the background because they came and left by water, and I had to work with a number of different photos and combine them.  This whole experience was a little scary, since I do not know and have never seen this couple. I felt so good when the client picked it up and told me I captured them and the day perfectly. WHEW!  Now back to my comfort zone.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sun Spot

12 x 24 Oil on Gessobord

I find real comfort when painting water scenes. I'm sure it's from a youth spent at the beach.  With all that's going on in the world right now, anything that's comforting is a good thing.  I just started a course in mindfulness and meditation.  I'm curious to see how or if my paintings change in any way.  Ommmmm.....

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Monhegan Sunrise


8 x 8 Oil on Gessobord

The colors at sunrise on Monhegan Island, Maine are quite spectacular.  Actually, incredibly spectacular.  Manana Island (the barrier island across from Monhegan) glows a crimson orange reminiscent of hot embers and is so beautiful it is surreal.  It is difficult to capture in paint.