Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Waiting on Love

Waiting on Love 6x6 oil on board

This model is always a pleasure to paint. Painting
is such a nice way of staying calm during a
hectic time of year.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Pears

Christmas Pears 6x6 oil on board

Pears have an interesting history: in Egypt they 
are sacred to Isis;
in China they represent justice and purity;
in Korea they stand for grace and nobility;
and in many parts of the world they symbolize the human heart.

But why are they called Christmas pears?
Probably because of the carol that starts out:
On the first day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree.

I called the painting Christmas Pears simply
because I used alot of red and green:)))


Friday, December 14, 2012

Orange Rose Tea

Orange Rose Tea  6x6  oil on board

These little still life paintings are really about
patterns of light and dark which I
never seem to get tired of.

Painting them is like putting a color puzzle
together.  I choose the colors
according to my mood.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Blessings  6x6  oil on board

I mentioned in my last post that Malta has ALOT
of churches.
I should also add that they each have a big
festival at different times complete
with feasting, festivities, fireworks,

Monday, December 10, 2012

For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom The Bell Tolls
6x9 oil on board
My mom gave me an old copy of this Hemingway
classic decades ago. The bell towers of
churches are continually ringing in  Malta.
With 359 churches plus 46 on nearby Gozo brings
the total to 405.  It would take over a year to
see them all, even if you visited a
different one every day of the year.
For a small island 16 miles long by 9 miles wide-
well, that's alot of bell ringing!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Le Champs

Le Champs  6 x 6 oil on board

This is another paint the rain challenge on Daily Paintworks.
I had so much fun with the first one, 
I decided to do another.

I think to make something look like there is moisture
in the air, it's all about muted colors
and the reflections.

to purchase for $100 click here

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dreaming of You

Dreaming of You  6 x 8.5  oil on board

There's nothing like painting from a live model.
A great model is hard to find,
and I don't know how she does such a 
good job holding those poses!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Rain in Paris

Rain in Paris 5x7 oil on board

This was done for a Daily Paintworks Challenge to 
paint rain.  I usually use
very vivid colors but I also love to use
grays and muted tones so this was a great chance 
to do that.
I used a very textured canvas which I think helped
to give a fuzzy atmospheric effect.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cups and Shadows

Cups and Shadows 6x6 oil on board
This painting was all about the shapes and shadows.
When I'm painting I try to forget what it is that I'm painting.
I try to not think about it as a tree, or a person,
or as a still life.  I feel I do a better
job if I simply look at the
shapes and values in front of me.
Somehow it turns out to be more interesting that way.
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25% off anything on my site!
collect your discount by emailing me
now through Dec. 5th only

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Blue Cream Rose

Blue Cream Rose  6x6  oil on board

I did this painting for the Daily Paintworks blue challenge.
The parameters were to make it predominately light,
high key, avoid any complementary colors and 
still make the blue focal point pop.
It was an interesting challenge.

I got my entry in just under the wire.  It's been a busy week
here in Malta.  I've got a 25% discount cyber sale on
my website for any painting of your choice.
All you have to do is email me at
so I can apply your discount.
Sale ends December 5th

to purchase for $100 click here or apply your discount for $75

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bare Minimum

Bare Minimum 6x6 oil on board

I was going for simplicity with this painting. I was
experimenting with as few colors and values as possible 
and still get the feeling of the posed figure.
This type of painting is more exciting
to me than something perfectly rendered with
all the details.
How do you feel about the power of suggestion?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Turning Inward

Turning Inward  6x6 Oil on Board
This pose has a feeling of turning inward, curling up and
retreating. It seemed to fit with the changes of
season here as the summer retreats and the
earth pulls back into herself
during the winter months.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie 6 x 6 oil on board

OK, so my diet is officially over, for this week anyway.
Obviously I have pie making on my brain.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie 16 x 16 Oil on Canvas

The alchemy of baking amazes me.  It's not really something
I'm good at because you really have to follow directions well.
I consider myself more of a 'creative' cook.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

French Table

French Table 20 x 20 Oil on Canvas Gallery Wrapped

This isn't my French kitchen, it belongs to a friend of mine who is 
quite a collector of table cloths. And everyone knows a
good French table isn't complete with a table cloth
and of course fresh flowers.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

After Vermeer's Girl with Hat

After Vermeer's Girl with Hat  10 x 7 oil on board

Vermeer has always been one of my favorite artists.  I did this
simplified three value study interpretation to help
me understand how he painted the light
so well.  I made it
more fun by painting with a few of my favorite colors:
cad yellow medium
quinacridone red
and carbazole violet.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tea Jubilee

Tea Jubilee 16 x 20 oil on canvas

In addition to the small daily studies I like to keep a larger
painting going as well.  It gives me more space to try to
apply the paint in different ways and
design the light/dark patterns.

This was so much fun for me to paint just by picking the
colors that make my heart sing.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

After Vermeer

After Vermeer 6 x 6 oil on board

Vermeer has always been one of my favorite artists. He was famous
for his sensitivity to light and color.  I love painting light
and feel like we can learn so much from the masters.

I did this three value color study to explore 
massing and making interesting shapes.
Personally I think that's why Vermeer's painting work
so well.  He really held is light/dark masses together.

So much to learn, so little time.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Butter Cream

Butter Cream  6 x 6 oil on board

Maybe it's the cooler weather that has me thinking more about
cooking.  Food items seem to be showing up in my
paintings.  Go figure!

I started this painting as a demo to show some artists
I am working with how to transition from block studies to
actual still life.  The block of butter was the 
perfect thing to use.  I also started this 
piece with notes of pure color and it
progressively got more realistic.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Endless Summer

Endless Summer 6 x 6 oil on board

This was painted for the Hurricane Sandy fundraiser on
Daily Paintworks.
Even in November in Malta, on a beautiful day like
today I feel like it's an endless summer.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Passion for Pink

Passion for Pink 6 x 6 oil on board

Julie Ford Oliver gave me the tip that this painting was perfect for breast cancer awareness month.  I've decided to donate all proceeds of this piece to Breast Cancer research, or an associated charity of your choice. Even though it's the end of the month, it doesn't matter, the fight continues all year long.

I love pink and this is a bottle of my favorite French perfume Reminiscence.
Combine that with my fetish for make up and
nail polish and the result is a painting
that feels as yummy as a cup cake to me.
I could label this one 'dirty little secrets' or 'cheap thrills'.
We all have them.....what's yours?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Table For Two

Table For Two  6 x 6 oil on board
What is the allure of a French table?
Is it the unhurried approach with plenty of time to savor
unforgettable flavors? The crisp linens and attention
to detail? The amuse bouche or the sorbet between
When we Americans invented the 'lunch in 12
minutes or it's free', what were we thinking?
Is it worth it?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Purple Polka-dot Pot

Purple Polka-dot Pot  6 x 6 oil on board
I was searching for striped fabric when I ran across this
polka-dot piece that I had to have. I went
a little crazy with the stripes and dots but
enjoyed every minute of it. Since there
was a lot of action in the light areas I tried to keep all
the darks very simple.
This might sound silly but it reminds me of a heavy little
tug boat chugging up stream through a
sea of fabric.
I grew up on the water watching the tugboats work
and always thought they were amazing.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Calming Chamomile

Calming Chamomile 6 x 6 oil on board
This is a painting I did for the Daily Paintworks Challenge to
paint an emotion.
I chose the soft positive emotion of calm.  I find that
lots of my paintings have this feeling or theme,
maybe because that's how I feel when I paint.
I chose to use soft analogous color harmony to help convey
a soothing feeling, like Chamomile tea.
Life can be chaotic and hectic so I like to create a sense of
serenity when I come to the canvas.
Do you feel you emotions come through when you create?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bubble Gum Tea

Bubble Gum Tea  6 x 6 oil on board
I love the colors of this tea towel with my purple tea pot, but it was
a little tricky to paint.  The problem was that the towel
colors were very dark, even in the light so it was hard to
create a light/ dark pattern when everything was so
close to the same colors.
I just decided to have fun with the surface texture, the mark
making and the colors.
The colors reminded me of bubble gum flavors: grape,
cherry, cotton candy- is that a flavor?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Blooming Color Give Away

It's my birthday so I can do what I want to- isn't that
a song?  If not it should be.  I'm back from a great time
stateside in Austin, Texas visiting with friend and family just
in time to who I'm giving what to on my special day.

The winner of this fine art print- Blooming Color -is
Edward Mills!
Send me your mailing address Ed and I'll ship it out to you
framed and ready to hang in your home. 

This was so much fun I think I'll do it again soon.
To join in the give away game follow my blog, facebook page,
or sign up for my newsletter. You can do all of that
by clicking here and visiting my website.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Blue Tea Pot

Blue Tea Pot  6 x 6  oil on board
 to purchase for $100 click here
I just love playing around with these patterns!

This will be my last post before I get on the plane early tomorrow
morning.  I'll be kicking my heels up in Austin, Texas, for
my nephew's wedding and visiting family and friends.
 I'll be back by my birthday to announce the winner of a 
free framed print!

Are you interested in how to enter the drawing for a 
free framed print?
Look and my print gallery on my newly redesigned website.
Leave a comment here on my blog to tell me which one is
your favorite in case you win.
Don't forget to follow my blog so you'll see who wins when
I announce it on my birthday on September 29th!

If you have problems leaving a comment you can just email me @


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pot Check

Pot Check 6 x 6 oil on board
I really enjoy doing these small still life paintings with
 patterns.  I found a checked tea towel in my
drawer, loved the colors and thought- why not?
The checks are just as fun as the stripes but a
little bit more complicated to paint.
The trick is to try to separate the darks and
lights without worrying too much about
'what' it is.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fresh Tomatoes

Fresh Tomatoes  28" x 24" oil on canvas
Small paintings are fun to work on but so are larger pieces.
Sometimes I feel like I need more s p a c e .
This little old man eyeing the tomato carton caught
my attention in this Italian Market.
I'm drawn to the people that have the most
expat twist:
I was going to post this yesterday but we had our
first rain here since spring.  It always brings alot of
dangerous flooding, lightening and of course
electrical black outs.
Hence no Internet to post.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Musical Ipad

Musical Ipad 6 x 9 digital
This is another piece from Friday evening while
listening to jazz under a beautiful full moon.
I'd play around with it a bit and then pass
it to my friend Jeni Caurana and she
would work on it for a few minutes.
Our own version of
Musical Ipad.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Blue Moon Music

Blue Moon Music  6" x 9" Ipad
You're surprised right? Since this blog is about my creative
process I thought I'd share this.
Last night was a blue moon which is rare and I went
with some of my friends to the Bridge Bar in Malta to
listen to jazz.  It couldn't have been a more
beautiful night.
I'm glad I brought along my Ipad and we
had lots of fun playing with it.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fresh Veggies

Fresh Veggies  18 x 22 oil on canvas
Living in Europe allows me to shop at the local markets often.
That's where I always find the freshest and most
delicious produce.
I'm not going to even mention the homemade macaroons...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Golden Bay Beach

Golden Bay Beach   6"x 6"  oil on board

Malta is has a rocky coast but there are a few nice beaches. My
favorite is Golden Bay where I spent the day recently. I went with
my son, my camera, and my IPAD.  I have an app called
free draw and it's fun to pass the time
doing color studies to bring back to the studio.
I've done this a few times and I have to
tell you, set up and clean up are a piece of cake!

BTW- the movie scenes of Gladiator in the Colosseum were
filmed on this beach.  Interesting right?  All the rest
of the Colosseum was digitally enhanced.- WOW


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Color Play

  Color Play  8" x 8"  oil on board

This painting started out as a very high key painting
but it just wasn't working out.  I decided it needed more
so that's what I gave it. I played around with more
saturated fauvist color and really have a

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mothers Day Out

Mothers Day Out  8 x 10 oil on canvas

There are lots of benches in Malta where people can relax
and enjoy the breeze and view of the sea.
I love it when I can catch people in candid poses
like this father and son spending time together,
giving mom some time off.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Nikki Beach Brunch

Nikki Beach Brunch   8.5" x 10"  oil on board

I've visited Koh Samui, Thailand several times.  The weather
there during December is lovely.  One of the things I like
to do there is go for brunch at the beach club and spend time
just relaxing.

The painting size is 8.5 x 10 but it also has a nice
professional frame in silver which makes it a little bigger.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cherry On Top

Cherry On Top  6 x 6  oil on board

Still having fun with this theme and the endless variations.
I made another step by step tutorial so you can
follow along from start to finish!

I've created a short video you can view here or scroll down to look at he the photos below.

Here's the process:


Monday, August 6, 2012

Blooming Color

Blooming Color 6" x 6" oil on board

This was done for the Daily Paintworks paint a rose challenge.

I was a bit of a late bloomer in getting it in on Saturday just before a
new challenge was started.  My first rose went into the compost pile
but I decided to give it another try. 

I find everyday ordinary things that no one really thinks of
as beautiful much less intimidating to paint than something as
exquisite as a rose, a flower that has
inspired poetry and love songs since man has been creating them.

To get over my hang up about it I decided to just have
fun with it and play with the
color and the brushstrokes.
I'm glad I didn't give up!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bearded Ladies

Bearded Ladies 6 x 6 oil on board

I didn't actually melt yesterday when I when out plein air
painting with my friend Jeni Caurana- we just felt like it!
Malta is really sizzling right now.

I didn't realize that there are over 2000 different kinds
of palm trees.  These are the filifera that like to grow in
desert climates.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cup for Two

Cup for Two  6" x 6" oil on board

I really enjoy playing with the light and dark patterns of
these small daily paintings.
I'm posting another step by step shown below.


Set up the still life with patterns and colors I like:

Make a drawing of the light dark patterns and how the canvas board will be divided.
Decide what the dominant value will be:

Start with the cherries inside the cup and then begin to paint the
cup inside the pattern cloth.

Add the dark patterns on the cloth:

Put in the background, all the lights and the stems are the final touch: