Friday, September 17, 2010


8x8 oil on canvas board

Dave is one of my plein air painting buddies and a man of many talents, not only can he catch his own fish, he can cook them up, too! This is another one of my little 1 hour painting studies and was so much fun to paint. This month's painting challenge for Some Texas Artists Like to Paint is fish, take a look here for more paintings on this subject. Thanks for the photo reference, Dave!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

HENRY...for Vern Schwarz

8x10 oil on sketchbook paper nfs

This painting is for Vern Schwarz for The Flying Moleskins. Actually this painting is incorrectly titled, it should read: Henry, My Nemesis! I met Henry while painting plein air a while ago. He walked up to me wearing a blue on blue polka dot choker collar, he had a sleek short hair cut, and the wildest pompadour, complete with a topknot. His owners graciously allowed me to photograph him; Henry was obviously comfortable in front of the camera as every shot of him was perfect, all ready for a painting.

Now, for the nemesis part. Henry has been the most difficult dog I have ever painted, I should know, this is my 4th painting of him. My other 3 Henry paintings...ready for a bonfire come winter...include his full body. Something about that wild hair-do with the sleek body did not make a lovely painting, too much of a textural weird contrast or at least that's how I've justified those 3 bonfire failures. My husband (thanks, honey) has assured me "not all dogs are supposed to be painted and this one is just ugly".

I still don't know why I selected Henry for Vern's book, I just felt compelled to paint this dog and succeed for once. Cropping that wild pompadour with the topknot and focusing on Henry's face was a huge help, I am pleased with my 4th and I guess final painting of Henry.

Monday, September 6, 2010


6x9 oil on canvas

Taking Flight is a companion to Tolerance. On my summer break I tried a little exercise of limiting my painting time on smaller canvases. This is one of those paintings where I layed down the brushes when I reached 45 minutes to an hour, a very difficult thing to do for someone who likes to fuss over details. I think the color seen here, at least on my monitor, is closer to the true painting than what is seen in Tolerance.

I've tried a variety of palettes and my favorite is the grey disposable palette, I like that I can write directly on the paper with a sharpie. For a while I saved those palettes because there were important notes I liked to reference. Well, that soon became a pile of papers that was difficult to flip through and I eventually trashed it all, including my notes. I just happened to have an extra moleskine and realized that would be the most perfect place to include color studies and my notes. So two fruitful things this summer, limiting individual painting time and recording my color studies and notes in a more organized manner. What did you learn this summer while painting?

Thursday, September 2, 2010


6x12 oil on canvas board nfs

A while back I posted my first painting of Great Aunt Tee (seen here). Some important things you should know about Aunt Tee, she loves the Lord, loves to fish, rides a little grown up tricycle and a scooter with a license plate that reads "Here Comes Trouble", and has been known to take a shot or 2 or Crown Royal! Oh my, did I really just share that?

The original Great Aunt Tee painting brought a very pleasant surprise to my family. A very long time ago my father and his siblings lost touch with a cousin that they had not seen in 60+ years. That cousin and his wife were each on a computer one night working on different search engines searching for any relatives they could find. They had very few names to work from, but the one name Michael could remember was Sister Charlita Wills - Aunt Tee. He typed in her name and my blog came up referencing my painting. Michael took one look at the painting and knew immediately that that was his Aunt from his childhood! They contacted me through my website, I put them in touch with my Dad, and I believe there is a plan to get together next summer. You just never know what happens when you post a painting!

Thanks to my brother I have hundreds of photos of Aunt Tee doing what she loves most. Here is a short little article and a wonderful picture of Aunt Tee on her tricycle, which just happens to be fully loaded for the unexpected fishing excursion! I do hope you read the article, it's a quick little read and she's oh so cute!