Thursday, January 31, 2013

TA DA! 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge complete!

January 31

I am so amazed that I managed to keep up this commitment. I tend to start things with great enthusiasm but lose focus easily.  Since we were posting our images daily on it gave me a goal that was short term enough to work.  My intention for this challenge was to loosen up my painting style and step away from "total slavery to reality."  Don't worry if you don't get the concept.  I really admire the Impressionists and expressive artists that sling paint around with abandon.  In the past I tended to dab-dab-dab with my brush and use tiny piles of paint.  I enjoyed this foray into smaller works as well.  The largest image I painted was 11x4.  Most were 4x6 or 5x5.  Too small to be scary, right?

Today's image is a dog that lives with the dog I painted in "Gotta Love Me".  It's a household of fluffy caramel colored dogs.  The reference for this painting had "debil eyes" - when the flash catches dogs pupils and changes them to scary green. So I had to fudge it a bit.

1/31/13 "Liam", 5x5, oil on Gessoboard

I come away from this challenge with 30 pieces of new art. I have a strange appreciation for the oddness of dog noses & tongues.  I feel much more at ease with my art supplies and much more aware of the mind chatter that holds me back.

Years ago my painting motto was "People, places & pets".  Now I think it is "Pets, places & people".  Most of all it is "Paintings that touch your heart."  Thanks for being on the journey with me.

Many of my paintings are for sale.  Please email me with questions.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Got It!

January 30th

I am redoing this post because I discovered that the Ipad App for Blogger does not upload images that fit into my blog format.  This image ran over into the right column.  So I decided to redo it.  Sorry for the duplication to those of you who get updates via email.  There will be another post forthcoming...

Today's painting is of my friend Diann's insane black lab (rescue). Diann brings her to the studio when she comes to paint and she gums up Bubba's toys. Of course he steals whatever treats might be around when he can. You should see an 8lb. poodle trying to chew on a lab sized rawhide bone...

1/30/13 "GOT It!", 5x5, oil on Gessoboard

Painting a black dog is really challenging.  You can't just squirt out a tube of black because black is a pretty "dead" color.  I struggled with finding interesting colors to put underneath and also to combine to create the illusion of black.

here is the transparent underpainting 

working in some of the darks

adding the eyes always helps...

I wanted to throw in the towel in several spots but kept on painting.  Amazingly I ended up with a piece I was happy with.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ohio River Dawn

January 28

Another 4x6 today but NOT a dog face or sunset-by-the-sea.  Rather it is a painting of dawn over the Ohio River near Cincinnati, OH.  My friend Kay Hurley ( posted this view taken near her home in Hyde Park, a suburb of Cincinnati.  I am grateful for her inspiration.  Winter trees are always a challenge because their branches are so fine against the sky.

1/28/13 "Ohio River Dawn", 4x6, oil on canvas panel

Inspirational photo by Kay Hurley

Artists interpret what we see, rather than duplicate it. I had a teacher once who said, "God already got it right, all you can do is put your spin on what you see."

How very true.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Monday, January 28, 2013

Gotta Love Me!

Had a lot of fun with this image!  The eyes just seemed to be saying, "I'm so cute, you gotta love me..."  Hopefully the owner will think so as well.

1/27/13 "Gotta Love Me!", 5x5, oil on Gessoboard

I may make some adjustments in the future but the eyes are exactly right.

I continue to fight valiantly against this respiratory thing.  It is draining to not be able to sleep so I invested in some Niquil today.  I remember it tastes nasty.  Hopefully it will knock me out so I can sleep.  Next step is to dust off the lazyboy and bring it in from the garage.  I'm sure we can fit it into a corner of the bedroom.

I am heartily tired of this rehab project.  It seemed like such a good idea last year to add on a deck and a 3 season room in the back of our house.  And then we decided to switch from wood burning to a gas fireplace and rip out the carpet & put in hardwood...

It will be fabulous when finished.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Gulls over St. Somewhere

January 26

Made it back into the studio today.  Since I continue to feel a bit puny I decided to do another sunrise/sunset rather than go for a dog likeness.  Hopefully this cough will go away enough so that I feel up to the challenge soon.  I have a backlog of cute puppies to paint!

1/26/13  "Gulls over St. Somewhere", 6x4, oil on canvas panel

Rather than go all OCD over the dune fence I simply used my trusty "WIPEOUT" tool to scrape the fencing in.  That way it doesn't compete with the sunrise.

This 30 paintings in 30 days challenge has shown me that YES, I CAN paint every day.  No matter the excuses. I can find something in this beautiful world to paint.  I have enough reference images on my Ipad to keep me busy for years to come.

I am feeling the urge to move back into larger paintings again.  Perhaps that will be the February challenge for me.  We will be posting our work each weekend at instead of daily.

I am humbled to be dealing with flu like symptoms myself.  I am a wellness coach. I market a wonderful supplement called ASEA that generally keeps me in tip top shape.  I can only imagine how sick I might be at the moment without it.  Rob brought something nasty back from his trip to England earlier in January.  It took me a week to manifest symptoms.  I am taking good care, drinking lots of liquids.  Unfortunately the LazyBoy recliner that I would usually choose to sleep in when having a cough is in the garage due to our construction project(s).  I think today I will work to get it into the bedroom for tonight.  Just can't seem to sleep flat without coughing. *sigh*

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Purple Sands

January 25

Back in the studio today working with oils.  Feeling a bit puny so I decided to do another sunset rather than a pet portrait.  Less concentration needed.  I am having fun working in this 6x4 format.  Makes finding frames oh so much easier!

1/25/13 "Purple Sands", 6x4, oil on canvas panel

I think I have created a series called "St. Somewhere".  Or as Jimmy Buffet would say "I wish that I wuz anywhere other than here..."

I received my "Cowboy photo studio" from amazon 

so now I can start getting good shots of my 30 in 30 paintings.  My Ipad does well enough but I want to do better.  I'd like to have the capacity to offer prints of my work & in order to do so I need good, non glare, color accurate shots.  I am tap dancing at the edge of my techno capabilities as it is...

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Friday, January 25, 2013

Pelicans @ Sunset

January 24, 2013

Today I got caught up in shopping since snow is predicted.  Had a dental appointment, went to the pool for exercise (this twice a week occurrence keeps my body flexible - very important at my age and part of my getting back into shape goals.) Lots of reasons to delay painting.

Also our contractor continued on his quest to locate all of the water damage.  To our chagrin once he removed a portion of our basement wall he discovered that YES there has been a leak for probably 30 years and YES the damage was about the worst he had ever seen with crumbling wall studs and particle board.  Luckily the mold impact is minimal.  Amazing what the former owners could hide under paint and drywall.  *sigh* unfortunately our home owners warrantee ran out last June.  The important thing is we found the damage & are fixing it, before our fireplace fell into the basement...

I didn't settle down to paint until around 8 pm.

1/24/13  "Pelicans @ Sunset", 5x5 watercolor on paper

My niece had uploaded this photo to Facebook recently:

It gave me the reference for the bird shapes.  Much better than making up "M" and "V" birds.  Another friend uploaded this photo:

I combined the two images to create my watercolor.  As an artist, you can get inspiration anywhere. Not to COPY photographs, but to catch the feeling of time & place in paint.  In this dark night, I was dreaming of the beach yet again...

And now it is snowing.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Grand Dog in a Boat

January 23

Today's painting is based on an image sent to me by a friend.  Love those cute fluffy dogs. I seem to have a theme of white dogs as well this time around.

1/23/13 "Grand-Dog in a Boat", 8x8 oil on gessoboard

Here's the underpainting

Only 8 more paintings to go!  Winter has locked in Cincinnati.  Just cold but snow is predicted for tomorrow. Nothing like what they are having in Colorado but still I am grumbling as I walk our dog.  We moved to a community with no fences so I am out walking at all hours.  Of course we also have hawks, owls & coyotes so I wouldn't let him out unattended anyway.  8 lbs of puppy looks too much like a snack to those predators.

AND I am grateful to have a lovely home, wonderful husband and family...

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sunset Beach

January 22

You may have noticed that I post a day late. That's because the image I upload to is from the day before.  I am working a day ahead. Tomorrow I post the painting I did today, so I can post it early in the day.  Unfortunately I am updating this blog after 8 pm, so it is 12 hrs behind Leslie's. Oh well.  We have been having extensive work done on our home & I was a bit more distracted today...

I was inspired by a sunset photo posted on FaceBook to paint this little 6x4 work:

1/22/13 "Sunset Beach", 6x4, oil on canvas panel

Just like "Winter Moon", this panel had an undercoat of dark Indian Red that was totally dry.  I think it peeps through nicely in the sunset.  I continue to dream of Florida & points south as we experience temperatures more "January-like" for Cincinnati (10 degrees today).

Painting every day is helping me fight off my winter blahs.  Not as well as a pina colada in Belize would, but ya do what you can do, right?

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


January 21, 2013

Every Monday I meet with several lovely ladies at my studio for "open painting studio" sessions.  I provide the space for people to bring their art stuff & reference materials to paint & offer coaching as needed.  We have a lovely time together discussing the problems of the world & what happened on Downton Abbey Sunday night...

As I was approaching the door I noticed several canvases next to the dumpster as well as a small one near the door.  Someone had obviously moved out of the building over the weekend.  I picked up the small canvas and proceeded to use it for today's painting!

Because there was already something on it, I chose to get out the palette knife and plaster the paint on thickly (impasto).  It was fun.  I also used a photo a friend had taken in Normandy, France, and sent to me on FaceBook.

1/21/13, "Poppies", 7x5 oil on canvas

Another friend commented that my painting was very "Monet-esque".  I can live with that!  There is something hypnotic about great masses of poppies & chicory scattered across a field.  Probably hearkens back to childhood memories of the Wizard of Oz...


Hard to believe that only 9 days remain of the 30 in 30 challenge.  More amazing is the fact that so far I have painted more paintings in January than I did in 2012!  I really intend for this to continue, but at a 3-5 paintings per week rate of speed.  Maybe I will then expand to larger works again and count my daily progress as a daily painting experience.

I have solicited "cute pet" images from my friends on FaceBook.  Its fun to paint images that people already like.  Certainly makes selling easier.  One of my goals is to figure out how to put a "Buy NOW" button on this blog.  Most of my images are for sale.  You can email me at for information.  (I can process credit cards via Square or PayPal.)

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Monday, January 21, 2013

Winter Moon

January 20

Great day in the studio today. One of the advantages of a sick husband is he doesn't notice if I'm not around!  He came back from England with "flu-like symptoms" so is taking extra ASEA ( and drinking lots of fluids.  I am keeping the fridge stocked & tossing food at him from a safe distance...

Today's painting is a simple 4x6 abstracted winter landscape on canvas panel.  The under painting is a coat of Indian Red, which is visible in places.  Sort of a play on warm & cool colors.  I think I got the reference shot from a post by "The Lodges of Olympic National Park" on Facebook.  Facebook is proving to be an excellent source of reference images.  By the time I paint them they barely resemble the original image but it is inspirational in any case.  Just don't have Hurricane Ridge, WA, outside my door here in Ohio!

1/20/13 "Winter Moon", 4x6, oil on canvas panel

Original photo reference

Since I am an artist not a camera, I feel just fine changing the image with paint.  The downside to commissioned portrait work is the client wants an exact rendering.  I am not a photo realist. I like brush strokes & marks to show in the finished piece.  Its all good! 

Morning Pages are going well.  I keep feeling nudged to teach The Artists Way again. Maybe its time. That book contains some of the most empowering material I have ever found.  When I taught groups of folks (1997 - 2008) I saw miracles occur. One woman cleaned out a closet in week 3 & was moved to a new house by week 12! Took my breath away...

I have a studio and a life as a working artist thanks to Julia Cameron's book as well.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Yawn

January 19

I'm updating a bit late today.  Actually I paint and upload and get a bit confused as to which day is which!  I am keeping up (barely!)

1/19/13 "The Yawn", 8x8,oil on gessoboard

Ivy is another Havanese.  I sure do love painting fluffy dogs! I find it a challenge to see how many colors I can use to portray a white dog.  Here's the first (dark, transparent) layer of this painting:

I am really enjoying this method of painting.  I am also enjoying smooshing around with oils again after taking a watercolor & pastel break.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Purple Rain

January 18

Once again I almost wimped out on my daily painting. I got to the studio for a meeting, roughed in a pencil sketch for a painting then felt I needed to leave to lock up our house after the workers left.  So my panel is sitting on the easel, waiting for paint.  Luckily I have my trusty stash of supplies at home and got out a piece of Kitty Wallis sanded pastel paper to play around with.  I chose a photo reference of a storm out to sea, probably taken around Tybee Island, Georgia.  I was using my limited kit of pastels so had to be creative with my color choices.  Funny thing about painting - if your values (light to dark) are right, it really doesn't matter what colors you choose!

1/18/13  "Purple Rain" 10x8, pastel on paper

I was looking at ready made frames the other day and noticed that a verticle rectangle is called 8x10 and an horizontal rectangle is called 10x8. Seems kind of strange to me...

Here is a shot of "Mr. Myoghi" framed and ready for delivery to its new owner:

Framing is something I really love to do, although I know enough to be dangerous but not professional.  I know it is important to use the best materials you can find, but not necessary to pay the "custom" frame prices, even with a coupon the fee is too high. (IMHO) My motto is "make the mat a standard size.  Paint an oil a standard size. Standard size saves $$$ and there is always another frame sale somewhere!"  I am terrified to cut glass though.

If I should ever find myself in a gallery, I may change this thinking. Right now it works for me.  The beauty of working small is that "photo" frames work out just fine! I also find terrific frames at our local "Snooty Fox Furniture Den" resale shop.  I just toss the designer print out and use the lovely frame for my work.

"El Patron" is back from his business trip to England.  Of course the airlines had to squeeze the life force out of him by delaying the flight out of London just long enough for him to miss his connection from Dulles to Cincinnati.  United routed him on a Useless Air flight out of Regan airport, arriving here at midnight (5 am England time). Heavens knows when the luggage will catch up.  It's good to have him home in any case.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Friday, January 18, 2013

Farm Fresh

January 17

Funny how I "make deals" with myself and waffle on commitments. I wasn't able to stay at the studio today long enough to paint a new painting so I edited "Rosie" and was going to call it my painting of the day (again).  It wasn't really cheating, I did use a brush for a bit...  (right)

At 10 pm I buckled down and got out the watercolors.  Using an old photo I took at Grailville, a retreat center in Loveland, OH, I painted this farm scene.  It could be in Wisconsin or any other farming community...

1/17/13  "Across the Field"  7x5 watercolor on paper

I am very happy with the editing I did on Rosie's painting.  Here is the new version:

Rosie, stage 2 (SOLD!)
I detailed the eyes & adjusted the values.  
Compare this to the old version below:

Rosie, stage 1

So here's the secret about painting.  A painting is never done.  It just stops in some interesting places.  As an artist I am fully capable of working something "to death".  One of my goals is to develope a looser, more spontaneous way of painting.  These small dog portraits reflect this in a way that makes me quite happy.  

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Making Lemonade

July 16

I was stuck at home due to ongoing rehab stuff so rather than being frustrated and worried about getting to the studio I got out the watercolors.  This Japanese Chin has the most interesting misalignment of his muzzle.  Must be a breed thing...

1/16/13  "Mr. Myogi", 5x7, watercolor on paper

Funny how painting is much easier than "thinking about painting"! I had a situation where I wanted to be somewhere else (lemons) and simply painted where I was (lemonaide).  How often do we waste our lives wishing we were elsewhere?

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Really Rosie!

January 15th

Well it turns out that the dog I thought was Rosie was actually my friends daughter's dog, Moses.  Kathy emailed me several images of the family pets and I mistook one fluffy llasa for a fluffy Havaneese.  Silly me!  So here is Rosie:

1/15/13  "Really Rosie", 5x5 oil on panel

I will probably tweak the values a bit but the most important part is that Kathy recognizes her Rosie & is happy with it.  Personally I LOVE painting fluffy dogs because the brushwork is way more forgiving than smooth coated dogs. 

I am finding keeping to my low glycemic eating plan is getting to be more of a challenge each day.  I did get in a green smoothie and did get to the pool for some exercise so all is not lost...

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Florida Dreaming

January 14
It seems like I am surrounded by people heading or IN Florida at the moment. Part of me really HATES them!  Not really, just jealous.  In an ideal world I would flee the Midwest by January 5 & return in early March.  We have been confused this year by 70 degree weather in January but that isn't much compensation. My daffodils are frozen again, foolish things...

So my friends have been posting wonderful photos of their vacation on Facebook.  I decided to use one of them for inspiration for this pastel:

1/14/13 "Florida Dreaming"  14x11, pastel on paper

This image is a bit dark.  I'm going to have to re-shoot most of my 30 in 30 images with good lighting & a better camera.  I've been taking these images with my Ipad.  Not a bad camera, but awkward to use at times.  I may add some birds to this before framing it.  It's not a beach scene without birds. Don't you love pelicans?  They remind me of pterodactyls as they cruise silently over the water...

Morning Pages are going well.  Amazing what you can create when you clear the crap out of your head each morning.  I am really getting addicted to having a green smoothie each afternoon.  Its a great way to get a ton of veggies and helps me not disappear into a nap around 4 pm.  Love my VitaMix!

Thanks for the kind comments on my previous posts.  Feel free to subscribe & explore the other tabs of this blog.  

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Monday, January 14, 2013

Another cute puppy!

Monday, January 14

Yesterday I got into the studio for several hours. Since my husband is in England on business this week there was no need to rush home.  Just me & my dog hanging out painting.  It was a dark, dreary day so being at the studio was lovely.

I have updated my printshop.  You can order prints of some of my paintings at - if the original is a small painting, ordering a petite print would be best.  It's hard to enlarge a 5x5 to 20x20, even if it is listed as an option.

1/13/13  "Rosie" 5x5 oil on panel

This little girl is owned by a dear friend of min in Cincinnati.  I have solicited a few folks for cute puppy pictures since I have 18 more paintings to go in this challenge.  I have discovered that I really like scraping lines into the wet paint. It adds a certain excitement to the image.  This was painted with a combination of palette knife, brush and "wipe out" tool.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Flowers for Vincent

1/11/13  "For Vincent", 5x7 oil on panel

Saturday I got into the studio and worked on a textured canvas covered panel (as compared to the smooth gesso panels I have been using.  It is actually recycled from an earlier painting.  I had covered the surface with a dark Indian red several months ago.  You can see it peeping out around the flowers.

I love sunflowers!  They just make me happy.  I had a great deal of fun "carving" into the surface of the wet paint.  It's fun to loosen up and toss the paint around.  Sunflowers also remind me of Vincent Van Gogh.

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Doodles are good for the soul!

January 11
1/11/13  "Doodle Love"  5x5 oil on panel

I was in a crappy mood as I entered the studio due to all sorts of "reasons". It would have been easy to simply blow this commitment off.  Heck, I have decided not to eat sugar so there really weren't the usual ways open to me for calming down.  I looked through my reference photos and found a goofy doodle picture I had saved from a friends FaceBook account.  What a goofy grin on a dog!  I found that my mood quickly lifted...

It began with a transparent underpainting:

 Then I added the opaque colors...

I felt SO much better leaving the studio than I felt entering it.  Guess that art therapy stuff works, eh? (says the person who got a Masters Degree in Art Therapy in 1981!)  Funny how we know things for years before practicing them.

My morning pages are going well.  Food is a challenge and I am coping.  Baby steps...

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Friday, January 11, 2013

Whew! 10 out of 10!

So far,so good. I've been posting my paintings to Facebook & here. Yesterday I managed to get into the studio for a couple of hours & got out the oils again for this 5x5 panel of a goofy pug I saw on Facebook.  Have no idea who posted the photo originally though. One of the hazards of clipping photo reference from there, I guess.  I figure by the time I paint it the resemblance to the original is questionable.

Here's the photo reference:
Silly little guy, eh?
Here's my painting:
1/10/13   "For Jan", 5x5 oil on panel

Wednesday, January 09, was very busy and I put off painting until 8:30 pm.  I went back to basic black pastel, with some white added for contrast.  In Cincinnati each winter the crows from far and wide flock at sunset, heading in to down town to roost. Woe be it if your car is parked underneath the selected site because the ground is slick with crow poop in the morning!  It looks very Hitchcock as the stream towards downtown...

1/09/13  "Winter Crows", 5x7 pastel on paper

The previous post is quite long, 3 days worth of painting so check it out if you missed it!

My eating plan is plugging along. Yesterday was a bit rough but I am back on board this morning.  It's a marathon, not a sprint...

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Still managing to keep up!

I am having fun with the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge!  It's really interesting to discover that I can paint at home.  What I have learned is that you just paint, you don't waste time thinking about painting!  The step I have fallen down on is documenting the journey here.  So here goes.

Tuesday, January 8  (Working at home)

"Three for the Road"
8x10, pastel on Wallis paper

I used my sketching set of hard pastels for this piece. What this means is that I left my 300+ piece pastel set at the studio and brought a much smaller selection home to work with. That way I made sure to put everything away when I was done, out of the cat's curiosity path. It is refreshing to me to discover that I can, indeed, paint at home even if the light is not perfect or my husband is home. Imagine what I could have done if I had only realized this! ;-)

Monday, January 7  (At the studio)

Every Monday morning I host an "open studio" session where I am joined by women who want to paint but not at home (sounds like me!)  We meet from 9:30 - noon and help each other improve.  It's a lovely structure that gets me into my studio at least once a week.  With this challenge I hope to be there more, otherwise its just an expensive storage unit!

Once again I decided to use the painting techniqes I learned with Dreama Tolle Perry.  I chose a 5x7 gesso board and laid in a transparent, dark underpainting.  I then worked with lighter opaque colors.  The reference photo was quite challenging since my cat is in an odd foreshortened position and the fake lambswool bed is really hard to paint.  All in all I was happy with the results though.

"Hanging Out"
5x7, oil on board

Sunday, January  6  (at home)

"Bend in the River"
5x7, pastel on paper

Last summer I took a pastel class with Kay Hurley ( and had great fun exploring new ways to handle one of my favorite painting materials.  Kay showed us a method of doing black & white painting with a black pastel and an eraser to manipulate the grays.  My reference photo was a foggy twilight scene of the Ohio river with a very well known church steeple as landmark.  Folks on the east side of Cincinnati will recognize it.

Saturday, January 5  (at home)
"For Leslie"
7x5, watercolor on paper

I was inspired by a photo Leslie Saeta ( posted on Facebook of her new puppy, Sport.  Since she inspired me to do this 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge, I thought I would paint her new baby. The challenge here was to differentiate the yellow dog from the kaki sofa...

So now I'm caught up in this saga! I am also grateful to report that I have released 10 lbs & 8 inches from my body since January 1.  I chose to weigh & measure the morning after an outrageous New Years Eve dinner, so I know that a lot of this was water weight. And I am grateful that it has gone "poof" (making me less "poofy"!)  Eliminating refined carbs and most sugars has been helpful, as has using my Vitamix to create green smoothies each day.  You can consume a lot of veggies if you blend them into a drink.  I prefer this to juicing because I consume the fiber instead of tossing it away.  I got my Vitamix on ebay.  I hear the Ninja blender sold at Costco is also excellent. 

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. My motto for 2013 remains 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can

Friday, January 04, 2013

4 Paintings in 4 Days!

So far, so good! I have managed to continue writing Morning Pages, eliminate sugar from my diet and paint daily.  Strangely I am doing more watercolors due to limited time in my studio.  Having fun creating 5x7 paintings...

I have been listening to archived sessions of the Artists Helping Artists podcasts on - it gives me a chance to hear Leslie Saeta with Dreama Tolle Perry as co host on the early 2012 episodes. It's great to hear Drema smile.

So my painting on January 3rd was of one of our cats, affectionately called "Moo" because he is a big as a cow at 20 lbs.  This is watercolor over a pencil sketch

January 4th I painted angel wing begonias, also from photo reference. This a pencil sketch, enhanced by fine marker, then watercolors. Really fun to schmoosh around with the paints.

so far, so good on the New Years intentions.  These shots were taken with my iphone with simple lighting.  I intend to take better shots in daylight next week.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

30 Paintings in 30 Days?

I have decided to join Leslie Saeta ( in her January challenge of 30 Paintings in 30 Days.  About 250 artists are playing & posting their images on her blog.  How fun!  So far I am 2 for 2.

Yesterday, January first, I got up early and did 3 pages of freehand writing (aka "Morning Pages") to start my year off right.  I also resolved to avoid sugar and carbs, adding low glycemic back into my life.  I weighed and measured myself to get a baseline and got on with my life. *sigh* It's amazing how quickly weight can come back on when you start eating in old sugary patterns...

As part of my resolutions I decided to add a little fun to the structure and get out the watercolors.  I can paint with watercolors at home because they are (mostly) non toxic.  Easier to keep cats out of them than oils or pastels.  So I set up a still life with a clementine, pomegranate & an apple and got to work.  Much to my surprise I have a better, more relaxed way of handling color now.  I guess all the crazy workshops have become part of my methods now. What a nice surprise.

Here is the still life "set up", using window light

Here is my final image

Today I went to the studio to work in oils.  I selected a photo reference of  my dog, Bubba, taken when he was sporting a Mohawk. Notice the cool panel holder I am using to paint the small 5x7 panel.  It makes it much easier to handle small format panels.  You can also see a larger painting behind it that I have been working on.  This painting was supposed to be a Christmas gift to my brother in law but since he has no clue I'm working on it there's no deadline.

Now you can see the underpainting of dark, transparent colors. 
This really helps the white dog become more interesting.

Now I start laying in the opaque colors.

I liked it well enough to sign it, but continued to play.

I think its done now. I softened some of the brush strokes and adjusted the darks. It's really fun to work quickly with wet paints / colors instead of taking days, months or years to finish a painting! So this is my day 2 painting for the challenge.

I also managed another day of Morning Pages eating veggies...
Stay tuned!