Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It's about Time

Or ... It Takes a Long Time to Paint this Fast

Graceful, 30 x 30, Gallery Wrap
2 hour timed study (with a few touch ups)

Later this week I am teaching a workshop -- so, it's time to get ready.  Since I often ask participants to do a series of timed studies, I asked myself to do three the other day.  Well, it was a fun, if exhausting day!  Above is one of the results from my garden cuttings -- 2 hours, plus about 15 minutes.  I like the gesture here and the "pose" of the azaleas, ready to droop any minute.

Meanwhile, the viewer may ask:  What?  Only 2 hours to paint that canvas?? But as I heard the late Ted Goerschner answer that very question: "Well, it took 4 hours and 40 years."  His reply sums it up nicely.  If we commit to painting, truly painting a lot, sometimes an inspired, fresh result flies from the brush: then it's time to celebrate! 

"Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.” - Andre Gide 

12 x 12, 45 minutes

16 x 8, 1 hour

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


"What we think determines what happens to us, so if we want to change our lives, 
we need to stretch our minds," Wayne Dyer

My Serenade, 16 x 12

Something About It, 12 x 16

Oh Winter -- Go Away!  Now, here in Atlanta, spring should be all around; instead, it's windy and quite cold, at a usual time of warmth and sweet shiny sun.  
The sun, however, IS shining in my studio, no matter the weather, as I am painting more --
I have three times my old space; three easels are set up.  
Stretching my limbs literally in the morning can lead to a stretch of my painting self ... well, why not?  
The above oil sketches were done with an eggbert brush (new tool for me); the top one was done from a model photo and the bottom from a life set up of David Austin roses.  This long-handled and lean eggbert brush helps me to doodle with paint in a fine and random fashion; now that is some FUN!
Of course, my most-loved, go-to brush is a Rosemary Ivory flat, but adding the delightfully loose eggbert to the mix is a stretch...just what the doctor ordered!

"I'm going to Australia, but first I've got to put my swimsuit on and stretch," Jarod Kintz

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Interpretation - Let's Dance!

Sing to Me, 40 x 30

Photo of Set Up

We may be painting from LIFE, whether in the studio, with a model, or in the field, but it is the translation that makes magic.  I want to use what is before me: what is real and true and actually there!  BUT ...  more importantly, what can I leave out -- it's the "leaving out" that creates freshness, lets the viewer participate, and that keeps it painterly!  Oh, it's a fine dance, non?

I've been busy this month: I taught a workshop at Quinlan Art Center in Gainesville, GA and then 2 days last week in St. Simons Island, GA; both were truly a great cure for the winter blahs.  
These painters were just what the doctor ordered -- they lifted me UP with their willingness to try new things and their inspired paintings.
After hibernating during January and much of February (with unusually cold and snowy times in Atlanta), I found these gatherings to be wonderful! 

 Wonder, 12 x 12

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Intuition - Painting with Joy

Afternoon Impressions, 12 x 16

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” 
― Rumi

I have been liking two recent Oil Painters of America blogs on "Dancing with the Angels," or being in the zone (http://blog.oilpaintersofamerica.com).  Feeling distinctly out of that intuitive place lately, I have been giving thought to finding the way - if not to the "zone," at least to ease and joy :-)


Back to the Drawing Board (literally) --  I've been doing gesture drawings or studies, of everything -- photos of kids, Michael's hand, drooping roses, the bushes in my snowy Atlanta yard.

Making Lists of All Things Positive -- I've been lying in bed each morning appreciating everything.

Getting Up Earlier and Doing New Workouts -- which makes me feel strong and on top of it.

Remembering This:  the most important goal is to be joyful in LIFE, then all else will flow.

Little Bits 

Sketch, 12 x 9

Pink Purse, demo, 12 x 9

Blue Bowl, 8 x 6

 Lenten Roses,  demo, 12 x 12

 Sarah, demo, 12 x 9

 Sarah and Eli, gesture sketch, 12 x 9

Living mindfully, I shall reach for joy by meditating, drawing, playing, interacting, walking, thinking, looking at fine work, trying new things, and just by letting myself stumble so I can get up and fly higher.
And most importantly, I shall keep looking out the windshield, not the rear-view mirror!

Sunday, December 29, 2013


"I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else," 
Pablo Picasso

 Soft Morning (detail), 12 x 12,
which is a re-do of

this one

  Another switcheroo...

Party of Three, 16 x 12, 
which is a crop and re-touch of 

this one

Yet more changes ....

During December, I have moved my home studio from the main level to the lower level - and wow, I should have done this years ago!  Light is streaming in - so much that I need to "manage" it, and I can easily do several paintings at once.  There's even room for small "intensives," i.e. little workshops -- chez moi.  

 Shiny New Space

Empty former studio, which was about 11 x 10; I truly
do not know how all of my stuff was in there, but it was --
for about 12 years!


The painting over fireplace is yet another re-do: it used to be 48 x 48; 
now it's cropped, re-stretched, with background adjusted.

Far off is a gift box on the set-up table - at least I can't see too many details :-) 
Also I could move my easel.

Meanwhile, a new year approaches, life changes, and I'm hoping to be flexible and to welcome things not yet known.  Painting offers a unique opportunity to rip it up and fly -- after all, it's just paint!

A tentative drawing...

can become a more confident painting

Fresh roses, bathed in light

 often become lovely when dry and drooping a bit ...

"Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish," Michelangelo

Monday, November 25, 2013

Same Song, Different Verse

 Charlie, 12 x 9

Just One More, 12 x 9

La Petite, 12 x 9

From My Heart, 12 x 12

Les Roses Parisiennes, 40 x 40

I guess it's time to admit that I have a fondness for certain subjects... duh!   Though I really want to paint interiors, landscapes, all kinds of things -- when I'm in my favorite studio spot, many times I honor my desire to explore subjects often visited.  Lately as well, a fondness for the pale pale pale aesthetic is infusing my work, and I am running with it!  

"A thimbleful of red is redder than a bucketful," Henri Matisse

"The greatest painting has always been made from a real love of the subject," John Minton

Sunday, October 27, 2013

What It's All About

Little girl spotted near the carousel in Avignon

30 minute workshop demo (10/19/13) of la petite fille, 12 x 12

It's a bit new to be painting again... after traveling lots during the month of September, October has flown past with another trip, a great workshop, and getting (re) acclimated to my studio.  Wish I could just buzz in there and create good paintings, but I'm not sure right now that I know what that might be! My eye/taste/expectations are always shifting, which is good, but keeping up with painting commitments can be a challenge when I'm trying to keep up with myself.

As many know, all is put into perspective after reading Robert Genn's recent post on his illness (http://clicks.robertgenn.com/the-bomb.php); I have been thinking often of his wonderful articulation of the painter's life, his consistency with the twice-weekly letters, and of the humble truth that he speaks.
I am re-committed to painting from my heart, rather than to deadlines...only those inspired pieces ever speak to me or to the viewer anyway!

I celebrate and so appreciate this journey.