Monday, July 30, 2012

Playing in the Garden

Playing in the Garden  7" x 9"  watercolor

Yesterday I declared an official play date with my muse.
It was what I like to call a "thank me" day.
I ofter get busy with my "to do" list and forget to
take time for creative play and celebrate
the fact that I am perfectly imperfect!

I never take time to play with my watercolors because I'm
always so busy working on my oils. Whether it turned out
well or not isn't the point, it was all about creative play and
chasing my muse around all day long.

Ex-Pat Twist

I also created this video you can see below.

People ask me what it's like to live in Malta.  Since I'm a visual
person I made a short video of Malta's Blue Lagoon.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Two on the Side

Two on the Side 6" x 6" oil on canvas

This painting was done as a primary palette challenge on 
Daily Paintworks.
I thought I would take photos of each step in the
painting so I can share how these striped 
paintings progress.

I figure out the set up:

Then I stain the board, usually with a transparent color and 
wipe it down with a paper towel.
Then I divide up the painting and decide where everything will go
and mark it with small strokes of another color and wipe down:

Next I decide on the light dark pattern making sure that
it is either mostly light or mostly dark. This one
is dominant light:

I continue to refine the drawing and add the pattern of the stripes.
To help remind me of what is the lightest light ( highlights and white stripes).
I will take some orderless turp and paint over the white stripe and wipe off the color with a paper towel.

Next I will usually lay in the darks first and try to keep the values close together:

Then I continue to define the cherries in the cup and then the cup inside the stripes:

Now I can just play around with the stripes.  I'll put in all the light
stripes of one color, in this case the blue stripes.

Now I'll add the other color stripes and play with the transition colors between
the light and dark of each color and the brushwork between the light areas
and the dark areas:

Finally I added the bottom cloth, the stems, and the highlights:
 Easy Peasy!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather  6 x 6 oil on board

I spotted this lady eating and feeding the pigeons while I was waiting
for my visa to be officially stamped and recorded by the Maltese Immigration
Department. I whipped out my I pad to gather some color references and
snapped a quick photo to bring back to my studio to paint from.

Ex-Pat Slant:

I'm stamped and cleared to stay in Malta another year. It's best to arrive at the Immigration Department early since they quit at noon and have more people than they can process in the four days a week they are open.

I'm happy to say “mission accomplished” in spite of:

waiting in the wrong line for two hours only to be redirected to another line to wait;

the zillion people vying for position to be in front of the one fan;

the most unusual filing system that literally looks like something out of a Harry Potter novel- stacks of paper in disarray everywhere, from floor to ceiling, covering desks, I half expected an ancient old man in spectacles and smelling of moth balls, writing with a quill tipped pen, to peer down at me from the tippy top of the stacks;

phones ringing constantly and never answered; 

and to top it off- a huge fight in the waiting area involving eight screaming men and lots of cursing and finger pointing.

All and all a truly entertaining experience, I only wish I'd taken photos.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Proper Setting

Proper Setting  16" x 16" oil on canvas

Changing sizes keep me on my painting toes!  It's fun to
have a little more breathing space and room for mark making.
There is a difference from painting the daily 6 x 6 and
then switching to another size, I think they both have
pros and cons.
What do you think?


Thursday, July 5, 2012


Persuasion  16" x 20 " oil on canvas

This is part of my ongoing series of women reading.
I love to read and I love to paint figures so this is how the 
series began, combining two of my favorite things.
I do alot of the small studies but I usually
have a larger piece going on
at the same time.
Personally I like to vary my size and genre and to
switch it around often.  It keeps me from feeling locked into
only working one way.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Green Striped Apples

Green Striped Apples 6"x 6" oil on board

This striped painting put me in a happy mood.
I usually don't use an analogous color scheme
(colors that are next to each other on the color wheel)
but I like the harmony it creates.
Maybe I'll experiment with it more often.