Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Brutus, a German Shepherd Dog

This is Brutus, my step-son's dog. Painted from a picture of the dog taken by Breena O'Neill, his girlfriend.

A two hour portrait of Andre, size 16" x 20", completed from life.

Portrait of my neice

Here is a portrait I recently completed of my niece, Samantha. 11" x 14" oil on linen

Last few paintings of the year

I thoght I had better post a few of my recent works before the clock strikes 12 and it is 2009! I have been very lax about posting so I will make a resolution to post at least weekly in 2009. I usually paint 1-2 pieces a week now that I have had to return to work. Yes, sales are down 80% thanks to the economic downturn so I found a job that is fun and interesting and allows me to use my computer and graphic skills. Unfortunately it also limits my painting time so I am more choosy about my projects.
This is a Mandalay merchant I just finished. 11" x 14: oil on linen and "Mandalay Market", 16" x 12" oil on canvas.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Fall Landscapes

I love to paint in August and September when the ground turns warmer. I painted a picture at this stable where my friend works and the owner saw me painting and hired me to paint a house portrait for a Christmas gift for his friend. Sometimes all you need to do to sell work is go out there and show what you can do! Here are a couple larger 16x20 landscapes painted plein air in 2-1/2 hours.

New Watercolor Pieces

Small landscapes in watercolor that mimic my approach to oils- except of course that I can't get away with any of those fancy brushstrokes. :)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Art in Hard Times

From Robert Genn, the eternal "optimistic artist", comes this column of encouragement. Now if only we artists can get the investors to realize that investing in art is smart AND healthy for your pocketbook. I recently started looking for a job to supplement my income from art and print sales, which has dropped to almost nothing. I could start giving the art away, as one gentleman apparently thought I should be doing when yesterday he offered me $85 for a painting listed at $150 (and even then I was charging about half what most artists charge). It was hard to say "no", because that money could buy groceries for the week, but I think we need to value the work ourselves in order for others to value it too.
Art in hard times

October 7, 2008
Dear Nora,

During the past couple of weeks this inbox has been overflowing with emails from artists concerned about the economy. "Things have been bad for a while--now they are going to get worse," they say. "What can artists do?"

I'd like to thank those who put their trust in me to make a few recommendations. In actual practice most parts of the world have been through a relatively prolonged period of happy times. With loose money lying around, as there has been, irrational exuberance has prevailed and even sub-prime art has passed both critical and commercial muster.

Now with bank credit drying up, home values heading south and the stock market tanking, the decorative art market will suffer along with the general economy. On the other hand, it's been my experience that in times of recession, collector and investment art can continue to thrive.

Just as unpleasant regulations had to be brought into economies rife with greed and profligacy, artists, who have no creditable regulating body, must bring in more self-regulation. This may involve longer hours, better work habits, better processes and more attention to quality. This also ties in to fair dealing and realistic but progressive pricing to go with the better art. My guess is that many borderline galleries will go under during the next while--just as many inadequate or unprepared artists will look once more to other employment.

Many years ago I had a solo show on the evening after a significant stock market crash. Fearing the worst, I showed up late only to find that the show had sold out. Fact is, when times are good people throw money at art, but when times are bad they turn to art as a possible life-enhancing investment. Funnily, it was a bunch of stock brokers who took home most of the art from that show. Funnily, I thought, people must need art more than other stuff.

Recessions are blessings. Historically, recessions and depressions have been times when "important" work gets made. Realistically, our financial outlay for equipment and art materials (unless your medium is gold) is relatively minor. In hard times artists need to get themselves as debt free as possible and invest in the joy of their vision.

Best regards,


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fayette, Ohio

I had a booth at the Fayette Fall Fest this year and sold some coach prints. I painted this street scene while I sat there. it was a beautiful day- low 70's and sunny with a s light breeze. Everyone was buzzing about the economy and not too many people were spending money so I guess i was fortunate to sell anything. The mayor was going to buy this when she saw it in her early stages but then she backed out at the end of the day, admitting she probably needed to save some money for an upcoming wedding. I am pretty sure I can sell it for more than she was going to spend.
11" x 14" oil on linen

Princess the Wolf

My fourth attempt at painting a decent wolf and I have finally succeeded. This painting won the Judges Choice award in the professional division in a recent exhibit at the Fulton County Fair. She will be hard to part with but she is up for sale as they all are.

When in doubt paint food-- junk food

I have been so bad about keeping this blog up to date. The weather has been beautiful and I have spent lots of time outdoors enjoying it. School is back in session and I seem to have a bit more time to paint. Here is today's effort. The last Krispy Kreme donut in the box. My husband and my child both wanted it but I said NO!!! It was going to be a painting. I painted this after dark so I used a warm spotlight. When I was finished I ate the darn thing.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Lakeside Pavilion at Lakeside, Ohio

This is an 11" x 14" oil painting of the west side of the Pavilion at Lakeside, Ohio where we are spending a week. It was painted en plein air -- outside with the bugs and wind in one sitting. I painted this while I stood in the park shaded by tall trees and cooled by the lake breeze. The pavilion is framed by Lake Erie and the evening sun gave a rich glow to the poplars.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Hotel Lakeside

Another painting from the Chautauqua community at Lakeside, Ohio. This one is 16" x 12", and I painted it while I stood on the pavilion after a strong storm had passed through. The weather took a turn for the better and cleared up eventually. When you paint plein air it seems to be easier to paint on a consistently gray day than it is to paint when the sky is changing constantly (partly cloudy). All the paintings shown here will be available on my website or in my eBay store beginning next week. No painting will list for more than $300 and all of them are nicely framed and ready to hang! I am taking lots of pictures here and hope to complete many more before the week is over.

Painting on vacation

We are on vacation this week and I have been painting outside because the weather has been perfect. Last weekend I joined over 40 other artists for a paintout at Lakeside, Ohio. This was a three day plein air painting excursion, although I could only attend two days. It was lots of fun and the quaint cottages and old-fashioned shops are wonderful inspirations for painting. So this week I have only landscapes to post for a change. They tend to sell more quickly than my still life paintings so maybe that's a good thing. Below is North on Second Street, 16" x 20", framed in a whitewash solid wooden frame.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Copper Kettle II

A pineapple, a copper kettle and a pepper. It was a rainy day and I felt like painting something.

The Old Thresher

A painting I did at Sue's house. She has a nice place in the country and an old thresher sitting in the middle of her yard as a decoration so I decided to paint it. Sue was in a few of my painting classes and she loves to paint rocks so I thought I would add the rock wall. There is a cat in there too because the thing wouldn't leave me alone while I was painting.

Karen's Pond

This is a painting of my friend Karen's pond and pasture. I am not totally satisfied with it but I think I'll let it go because I am not sure what could help it. Sometimes it is better to give up.


Another name for a Mexican cowboy is "Charro". I painted this guy like he was at a rodeo, getting ready to take his turn. The simple limited palette really complimented this painting and I kept the background loose and impressionistic. It sold very quickly.

Paiute Basket Weaver

I painted this portrait of a Native American Paiute woman weaving a basket from an old black and white photograph. I re-interpreted the image and made it my own by reversing the figure, changing her features a little, and adding a Southwestern background with mountains just visible int he distance. Paintings with people "doing" something seem to sell pretty quickly and this one sold the day after I put it in my eBay store.

Two Patriotic Bear Paintings

It is getting harder and harder for me to paint something just one time. I find myself wanting to improve it or rearrange the elements and explore it in a different way, like my whole series of gloves, baseballs and ball caps. I changed the palette when I painted the second one of these and traded the hat for a book, moved the flag and positioned the bear differently and it is amazing (at least to me) how the piece takes on an entirely different flavor. I am pretty sure if I paint another in this series it will have a completely different message than either of these.

A Busy Summer In Progress

Can it really be July already? Weddings, parties and graduations all packed into a period of 30 days give or take. Still-- I managed to find time for art. I am happy to report that my painting of Buffy arrived in New South Wales in one piece. Patricia and I were worried about it. I have never lost one yet and I was so pleased when it showed up in a post office in Detroit minus its mailing information. But luckily I had paperwork inside and it was returned to me and re-mailed. Patricia has taken a very cool picture of the painting with its inspiration. You can see that here on her blog. And here is the post: Buffy and his painting
I will be painting live at Indigo, 309 Clinton St., in Defiance, Ohio next week with Jesse Rivera, Casey Spitnale, Josh Zipful, Holly Treetop and Dee Morales. Jesse has planned and organized the event which he calls Past Our City Limits. It will include live music, food and fun. I am showing 9 paintings, including my favorite: Rush Hour.
This is Aida, a woman who posed for our portrait painting group this morning. I finished the painting from a photograph at home but 90% of the work was done while she posed from life. The finishing involved cleaning up edges and defining details that were not readily apparent while I was painting.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Communion I and Communion II

I like to do a few paintings in a series if I am very interested in exploring the subjects. Here the subject is Communion and the wine glass and the earthenware pot are featured along with the bread, in each painting, I varied the angle and the cloth background and the paintings are totally different, yet still related.
Notice how I switched to a yellower green in the second version.
Both of these paintings sold to the same collector.
I plan to paint larger versions of these pieces for a show I am participating in at Indigo in Defiance Ohio in July.

Carnival or Fair Paintings

I love to paint these colorful pieces form pictures I have taken at the Fulton County Fair over the past ten years. The one on the left is 11" x 14" and the other is 8" x 10". It is amazing to me how changing two colors on your palette can alter the color harmony and feel of a painting.

The Final Day of the Portraiture Workshop

Our group ended up painting a fire chief in full dress uniform. He was a personable guy named Jerry and I sold him his portrait cheap too because he told me his goal when he retired was to do mission work in a South American country. This one is a large painting in pastel on colorfix-primed watercolor paper.

Day Four

Bill joked almost the entire time he posed. He was great fun though.

Third Day of the Carducci Workshop

Our model was a woman named Pat, who had a charming smile. I was lucky to sell this to one of her friends who was taking the workshop. She was going to gift it to her so I gave her a good price.

Day Two of the Portrait Workshop

Our model dressed up in a hat and sat in a contemplative pose. What a great model. I called this Country Woman and sold it on eBay the very first time I listed it.
oil on canvas 18" x 24"

Judith Carducci Workshop

I took a workshop with master pastellist and portrait artist Judith Carducci in May at the Toledo Artists Club. Judy is a colorist, like me! She loves color and she knows a lot about it. I painted in oil days one through four and in pastel on day five. The first painting was this one, Roger, a fireman. I made the background quite warm because he is a fireman after all.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Orphan Works Act of 2008 - License to Steal?

RE: ORPHAN WORKS ACT legislation pending

Please vote against this bill. It gives large corporation and printers the right to grab any image they find and use it without worrying about who the copyright holder is. I am an independent artist and like thousands and thousands of other artists and photographers, I produce 100s of original images each year. As it stands now these images are protected just by the very fact that I created them and they are mine. The copyright is in place – as it should be- from the moment I produce the painting or drawing.

All the artists I know are extremely upset- and so are many photographers. One put it best by saying this bill makes it legal to find a picture of a person (and it could be you or your mother!!) on line and place it on the cover of a Klu Klutz Clan brochure. How is "reasonable effort" to find the copyright holder defined? Printers can also just randomly lift your image from your website, erase the copyright notice with photo-editing software and put it on T-shirts, cups etc. It costs time and money to sue these printers and corporations. Even if small business owners like myself had the time and money to pursue the case, by then the damage is done. Our “original” images are mass-marketed and any profits we might have made from the sale of the rights are gone. This bill could be fixed very easily to protect "newer" work, work that has been created in the past 50 years. The way it is worded now is a license to steal. Call or write your congressmen immediately!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Watercolor painting

Her Favorite Pig
Years ago farm animals were treasured and treated with respect.

Large oil painting of boy on a donkey

I am almost finished with this piece. Larger paintings take me much longer to complete. I think it is because I am working in a small studio and it is hard to see the "big picture" If I move some furniture out and make some "walk room" I might be able to overcome this.

Three's a Crowd

12" x 16" oil painting of three little pigs I call Larry, Moe and Curly.

Monkey Business

This is a painting of my daughter's favorite monkey and some bananas. He is pretty ragged looking and I even made the nose up because my dog chewed the original off a few years ago.

Abstract Thinking pieces- not random Abstracts

Cosmic Nude no. 3
An abstract painting I painted in two days using a drawing I did in 30 minutes at a life drawing session. I painted it to enter in an abstract show at the Toledo Artists Club, and it was accepted, along with two others. (Below)
Aztech Dreams of Judith and Black Gold

Expressive oil painting 11x14

Nude - oil on canvas

Here is a painting I currently have listed on eBay. I was very happy with the low key values and the limited palette.

The Tomato Seller

This is the Tomato Seller, another painting in mu Solitude series. The poor man looks disconsolate; even his dogs ignores him.

The Ferris Wheel Ride oil on canvas 8 x 10

I think this is an adorable painting because it tells a little story. The little girl, my daughter, is pouting because her her nephew is rocking the car. He, of course, is blameless, as he proves to the carnival worker by raising his hands off the bar to show he is not even touching the thing. I'm sure the guy running the ride has seen and heard it all before.