two finishes

I think I'm done with the commissioned kitty. Waiting to hear from the buyer about whether the chair is ok. Since the evening was still young, I tracked down the reference photos I took when it was clear I couldn't finish up the one of the interior in the amount of time we had, and revisited Libby's nice living room perched high up over the Hill Country. The drive to Ingram and back today was nice. One of the staff asked if I might consider teaching a workshop out there this year. Nice facility! I'll try to put together a proposal for them and see what happens. I sold a small painting at River Art Gallery on Tuesday while I was working there. Very nice. Love those gals I work with.
Have a great New Year's eve!

Pastel self-portrait

Ok, I'm sleepy. Did this on between midnight and three am last night. Taking it out to the Self-Ish Show at Ingram in a few minutes. I just called and it's not a show with awards! Oh well, it got me playing in the pastels again. The reception for it is on the 14th, in case anyone wants to go out with me to see all the self portraits of artists. Patty came over at 10 pm last night and we took lots of photos, trying to come up with references for a portrait. There are a couple other photos which have potential, too.

Further development of the kitty painting

Well, I'm a little further along on this baby. I'm liking it better. Still more to go.

Nighty, Aphrodite.

Beginning of commissioned painting of cat

This is the underpainting of a commissioned oil I started tonight. Watched Project Runway on Bravo and painted this evening. The chair needs to be redrawn, otherwise it's a good start, I think. Will post others as I progress.

Night, All!

Home from Phoenix

So great to spend time with my folks these last few days. On the flight home I got lots of thinking done about the next few paintings and organizing my thoughts about the deadlines and competitions ahead. Even snapped a couple of photos of travelers waiting in the terminal, thinking there may be paintings there, too. I see that I need to cut back on anything that isn't painting for the next couple of months. A simple, sweet Christmas, a YaYa party, and a Goddess Salon brunch. All else will be art-related for the next few weeks. I'll post images as I go. eBay may not get many new works from me for a while, but I'll try to keep it going in a minimal way. Two auctions ended while I was gone yesterday. Shipping them out on Monday.
Time to settle in with flannel jammies and a glass of wine.
Good to be home.

Time Warp

My daughter and I are visiting my parents in Phoenix. My daughter's 24th birthday is today and I've been swirling between memories of her birth and my circumstances then vs. now, and between ideas of my current age and the age of my parents... 77. We went for a walk tonight and they outpace me easily. Their lives are full and busy as mine is now. My sister dropped us at the airport yesterday and we had a short conversation in the car about how big changes can happen easily in your life if you stay tuned to the flow. I'm mulling on that as it seems I'm on the edge of some significant transition. Art? Location? Career? She's heading to Africa in January to visit a man we knew as children there, all due to an amazing series of synchronic events. Magical things seem to happen if you state your desires clearly and then get out of the way and let the universe do its work to bring them to you. First order of business- stating desires clearly.
Feel free to comment.

New portrait start

This is the start of a portrait of Gene Watchful Hawk, a fellow who modeled for us at Coppini yesterday. We only got two hours with him, but I took some photos and hope to do justice to his beautiful spirit with the completion of the painting.

What was I thinking when I said I wanted to finish the novel this month? Cancel that. Put a nice black line through that item on my list, as it's not a-happenin'. I'm going to just try to get through this month sane and smiling. Quite enough of a challenge if you ask me.

Our Texas Ambassador of the Portrait Society of America sent out an email today with a link to my ebay auctions. For the first time in months I had no paintings listed! So I raced around and listed the one of Harry in Red. Whew! Of course, the auction now ends in the middle of the day, so who knows? It's not a great time for an auction to end. Folks are at work, usually. I'll add on a little landscape or two later tonight.

Wednesday I drove down to Corpus Christi to visit with an excellent painter, Kimberley Dow. She was extraordinarily generous with her time and helpful energy. I wonder at the fact that I stayed so solitary in my artistic efforts for so many years. I've gained so much by being in contact with other artists these last three years, and I hope I've offered as much support as I've received.

If you read this, please take a moment to leave a comment. It's disheartening to write these blog entries and not know if anyone cares that I did.

Enjoy your holiday preparations!
Only now beginning to catch the spirit,

Two starts at the Paint Out

The profile is 9x12 oil on canvas panel of my friend Kat. The blue background is not nearly so intense in real life. More of a pale, washed out blue. Don't know why my camera punches up the blues like that. The landscape is a 16 x 16 oil on side-wrapped stretched canvas from a photo of an online acquaintance's land in West Virginia. Still very much a work in progress. The barn may have to go, for one thing. I'll look at it again tomorrow. Such good conversations with the other artists there! Perfect weather to be outdoors, too. Now sleep is asking for me.

Painting at Coppini

As you can see, I didn't have time to get the hand painted, but I took photos and will try to finish up here at home. And, I do see that I've painted the light side of his neck too high in value, so much may need to be adjusted and tweaked as I go. Thought I'd show you all what I have so far. Harry was a great model today. Very relaxed, it seemed. If you're seeing this, Harry, THANK YOU!

Fast and Fun oil painting tonight

Well, this photo is of very wet paint in a room with fluorescent lights, so it's not showing up well, but had to show you how I spent my evening. Fast painting over a canvas I bought at a garage sale. Had the beginning of a seascape on it. I basically took a warm black and scrubbed in the background around the figure first until I had a reverse sillouette. Then I painted the figure in over the seascape underneath. This is of Harry, who's going to be the model at Coppini tomorrow, too.

Nighty night, All.

These three 12" x 9" canvas on rigid panel (Pintura) oil paintings were begun in Myra Knapp's landscape workshop early this month. It took me this long to get back to them and finish. The first two were from photos I'd brought with me, the last from one of Myra's photos. Another artist in the group chose that photo to work from, too, and had such a different look to hers from mine. Anyway, thought I'd show what I worked on last night. Hope to start something new this evening. One more patient, then I can start.

Back to painting!

So far I've just been finishing some starts I'd made, but it's good to get a brush wet again.
Thank you for the nice comments, folks! I still break out in happy dancing to think of getting those 50,000 words written in November (yes, you'd be embarrassed for me if you caught me at it!). I'm going to give the writing a rest for a few days then get back to it until it's done. Then Steven King says (in his book On Writing) to let it sit for 6 weeks or so before beginning the editing process. So, well, he's the King, so I say yessir. Six weeks it is.
I listed a couple of precious still life paintings on eBay today. They're scheduled to go on around 7:45 if I've figured correctly since you have to do it Pacific Standard Time. They're both ones I did after the photo session Becky and I did with her vintage pitchers and crockery and my fruit and sunflowers. Very tight and detailed. I love them. But eBay had a half price sale on the "Featured Plus" option which puts your painting in the first few pages vs. buried in the back 100. I figured this overly-frugal artist would use it as a sign to list them in auction.
Another thing I'm doing these days is putting my CDs on the computer so I can upload them to my way-too-much-fun new toy... my photo iPOD. Yes, I've become one of those people. Right now the music from the Garden State soundtrack i s playing and I've got happy ears.
There's a sale on a four day cruise to Cozumel out of Galveston January 16 for $219. in case some fun artist friend out there wants to go on a painting trip with me. It's a one-day sale, so speak up fast!

It's true. At 3:30 a.m. I uploaded my novel of 50,020 words to run it through the official word counter. I am a winner. I have the pdf file certificate printed here on my own printer to prove it. Sleep is mine again. I may not sit down for three days. But half the weekend is still ahead. Life is so good.
Time to get back to visual, 2D art now. We're talking paintings, friends. Haven't painted since last Thursday, and that's just plain wrong.

I need to sweep up some of this confetti and and make my way through the champagne corks and find my bed.
Night night.

Nice Thanksgiving

Hope you had a love-filled Thanksgiving, All.
Mine was sweet.

I was up late into the night getting the novel organized and back on track. I've got a long list of scenes to write now and a workable order for them to be placed, moving toward the conclusion. Such a interesting puzzle for my brain. At least my word count is on track. Not much ahead, but not behind.

French Vanilla coffee and an iPod full of music on Shuffle. Can a morning be any better?

Go make something, Ya'll.

37059... Eight more days of writing to go

My neck is better today. Still a bit limited, but not making me cry. I'll keep icing and will try not to spend too much time at the computer today.

I need to start bringing the story threads together and weave them into a coherent ending soon. The advice in "No Plot? No Problem!" is to get all the major parts written by the end of the 30 days and do any leftover fleshing-out in the editing process. I think it would feel better to do that, too. To have brought your characters to a conclusion. I'm rather far from that, actually, so I need to let go of some details and 'write down the bones,' as Natalie Goldberg has put it.

One patient today (and ONLY one, with any luck) and then I'm all about cooking, writing and painting.

Life is good. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

All caught up on word count

Stayed up way too late last night and got my word count up to 33581. That's 241 words over. Trouble is, it's like doing the dishes. You get them all done and there are more to do in a few minutes. Now it's just 1667 per day, though. I'll try to work ahead to diminish the likelihood of sheer panic when life derails me, which it has a tendency to do. Just nine more days!
I'm liking my characters better now, thank goodness.

Woke up this morning with a neck that wouldn't bend without sending lightning bolts into my brain. Days like this, I know I'll be worse off than any of my patients, but it does have the effect of keeping me empathetic toward those in pain. That's a good thing, right? Right. Ouch.

Going to try to put the finishing touches on the little landscapes and get them listed, and maybe list the other one of the model, too. The painting of the Girl resting on her Schoolbooks went for way too little last night. That'll teach me to start auctions off on a starting bid that would hurt my feelings to sell the painting for. Sigh. But someone out there is going to love that painting and I've had my turn at loving it for two years now, so it's time for it to leave the nest now. Live and learn.

This week's paintings...

The painting (commissioned) of the couple was done from a black and white photo from 1974 for their 30th anniversary. 11x14.

The painting of the dog (also commissioned) was done from a jpg attachment to an email. 14x11

The two of the woman were done at Coppini on Thursday. Same model, but when I got the paintings home I played with the faces until they looked less the same. Both are 9x12 on panel.

I'm eager to paint something strictly of my own choosing now. Although I might go ahead and put the finishing touches on the three unframed landscapes from Myra's workshop first and list them.

Overslept this morning...up way too late. Going to a later Harry Potter showing.
The oranges from our tree are magnificent this year. Had FOUR before bedtime!
-Susan, Orange Glutton

Past 30,000!

30515, to be exact. Less of a deficit. 1168 behind. I'll make it up tomorrow and try to be ahead from here on out. The story is getting stronger, the characters more interesting. To me, that is. Who knows about to anyone else. Can't think about that at all.

Got to spend good time with Kim and Bob today. Listed a small painting. One ends tomorrow evening. Showing the eBay ropes. The few I know, anyway. Looking forward to more time with both of them. Good, good folk.

Harry Potter tomorrow. A deserved break to be simply spectator, absorber, enjoyer. Mmmm.

To sleep, perchance to dream.

Catching you up

Ok, so I'm just past the halfway mark of my 50,000 words goal. Trouble is, we're three days past the halfway mark of the month. Deficit. Where have we heard that word recently? The good news is my friend, Karen, had drawn some new connections and directions I hadn't imagined for my obedient characters. Bless you, Karen! Most of them are still being way too good, but at least some horrid things have happened to a couple of them.
I've painted a lot, as well. A double portait commission in oil. A miniature dachshound in oil. Today was a good day at Coppini- two small portraits. I listed on eBay a painting I did two years ago and loved so much I hadn't been willing to let it go... the girl resting on her schoolbooks.
I'm beginning to get some kind of grip after an unexpected reaction to Texas' vote regarding Proposition 2. It was a bit like going to Mexico without thinking to shield one's tender soul in preparation for the level of poverty. I woke up to the results of Proposition 2 and hadn't prepared myself for the quantification of the level of hate in this state. It hit me hard. There are people in my sphere who are going to have to go. Indiscriminate niceness on my part is a thing of the past. If you voted yes on Prop. 2, cut and run now. It isn't going to be pretty.

Four Small Landscapes

I've just completed three days of learning to love painting landscapes under the kind, discerning eye of Myra Knapp.
These aren't the best images.... taken under fluorescent light of wet paint... but I had promised to post them, so here they are. The framed one is 8"x6", and the others are 10"x8" all on panel.
I'm very pleased with what I learned and can't wait to put it to good use in the next landscape.
Sure enjoyed the good company of the other workshop participants this weekend.

Now I need to catch up with my word count quota on the novel., in case you want to jump in and write like crazy, getting 50,000 words down by the end of November.
I've met someone locally, Terrie, who has well over 38,000 words already! Blows my mind.

Go make something, ya'll.

Up to speed on the novel

Ok, so I was asleep, right? First time in days that I was going to get anywhere near eight hours. And in my sleep I remembered I needed to add to my word count on my novel. So, 45 minutes later, I'm now 68 words past my quota for 7 days worth. I really need one of my characters to do something naughty soon. They're all so dang GOOD.

I'd been piling up plastic containers on the kitchen counter to wash (Heloise? Can I put Glad storage containers in the dishwasher?) and hadn't made any real food in a few days due to my schedule lately. Tonight I washed everything and made a big batch of super tuna salad to live on another day until this workshop is over. I'm going back to bed and hope my brain doesn't discover anything else I forgot to do.

Night night.

Painting landscapes... a new love.

I did keep trying. I have to seriously give myself credit for that. And today it happened. I got it. I got why it's exciting. I got why it can be as challenging as a portrait. AS A PORTRAIT. A place, a simple representation of a place, can evoke strong emotion. The rhythm of the elements and the color harmony or disharmony can stir a person. Wow. I was a portrait chauvanist, I'm ashamed to admit. I see the light. Literally. The light washing across a field, being interrupted by a copse of trees and continuing just beyond can be breathtaking. I've painted three small landscapes in the last two days and have gotten the pounding heart and rapid breath which let me know I was completely involved. Old dog. New trick!

I'll post those and perhaps another tomorrow. The girl's cookin'! Can't wait to show you.

Go make something.

Walk right in to the Write-In!

Tonight was a laugh fest. Kathy came, and I got to meet Terrie, another participant in NaNoWriMo, and those two had me whirling and grinning trying to keep up with their quick wit. Robert with the beautiful smile joined us at our booth and we got to meet several other relatively mature participants, too. The majority of participants are under 22, it seems. Terrie had brought along an extra laptop for me to use so there was a moment there when we all were writing companionably in silence. Didn't last long. Someone would say something silly and off we'd go. I think i only added 500 words or so to my word count there. Added a little more when I got home.

Packed up the "Beautiful Man" portrait tonight as I found I'd received payment for it while I was gone. Also listed the painting of Morgan the model today. Today, too, I got a commission to do a small oil of an adorable miniture dachshound. Should be a fun project.

Oil landscape painting for the next three days. I'll post pix as I go along.

Got the Halloween decorations put away today. I get them out and hate to put them away so fast. Same with Christmas, too, come to think about it. Lots went right gas for $2.07 a gallon, returned a chair without the receipt (where could it have gone?)... amazing. Made a new friend. Wonderful.

Go have fun, now. Y'hear?

Paint Out in Dripping Springs, Novel progress

Terrific day today. Drove up to our Austin Pastel Society president's house high on a hill north of Dripping Springs and played in the pastel today alongside some of the nicest folks around. Good conversations, much mutual encouragement and a great lunch, besides. I worked indoors on an interior scene which included a view out her hilltop window. My friend Becky rode up with me and barely survived my driving. Nervous little Nellie that she is! (Uh... Hi Becky!)

Have been tapping away on the novel, too. May attend a "Write-In" tomorrow with some of the other San Antonio would-be novelists. Paint Outs and Write-Ins.... pretty much sums up the weekend!

Hope everyone out there is busy creating the life they envision.

"Beautiful Man" sold on eBay for the highest yet!

Big excitement. The painting of Harry looking down, a 16x20 oil painting on rigid canvas panel, sold on eBay for $258. last night. I listed it at a starting bid of $95. and in the last two minutes there was a little bidding war which zoomed it up to $258. That's the most any painting of mine has sold for yet on eBay. I'm delighted and encouraged.

Worked more on painting. Think it's done.

I did SO paint today!

Who needs to run marathons when you paint from live models? My heart races, my breathing quickens, my endorphins are flowing... it's exciting!

This is about 2 and a half hours of painting like a house afire... Three hour session with model breaks and a set up period.

Good thing I took photos so I could finish it at home. Great model. Same name as my daughter's.

Back to noveling...
then back to painting....

Novel Progress

6360 words, my friends. This I've learned: Writing a novel leads to flat-butt. Serious flat-butt. I'm going shopping for a cushy chair tomorrow.

My characters are charming me. They glance toward me every so often and wink. I think they may have something wicked in mind, actually. I suppose I'll find out in Chapter 7.

Painting tomorrow.
No, really.

I'll show you what I painted tomorrow evening.

Novel Writing Progress Note

This is a copy of a comment I left tonight in the San Antonio forum on "Well, it's a good thing I don't work for someone else. I'd have been fired today. I've logged many hours in this chair today. This writing thang is very seductive. These people I've created are starting to do things on their own. I had a little taste of this experience when I used to do "Sim City" back when it came on floppy disks. Most of you can't remember back that far, I realize. I would build this town and the Sims would move in. Then I wouldn't be able to leave the computer because I worried about them. I was responsible for them. Sure, they would slam me, their faithful Mayor, in the polls. My popularity would wane for unfair reasons like fires and crime rates that they were causing, not me. But I worried about them, my little Sims. I eventually had to wipe them out and erase the program from my computer in order to be free. Hey, if this writing thing is going to be anything like THAT, what the heck am i doing? Need sleep first. Will think about that tomorrow."
Actually, I'm absolutely absorbed. So far, so good.
Nighty Night.

Fussed with this one, too.

Small crisis set right. I varnished this last week with a brush which must've had remnants of blue paint in it. Omigolly. Gave him a little bruise over his left eye. So I fussed and fiddled with this one, too, this morning and like it better than ever. Whew!

Happy Halloween!


Spent part of my morning fussing with this pretty face. Moving on now.... Happy Halloween, Ya'll!

Two new little canvasses

Tonight was fun. Faces have more appeal for me than vases of flowers and a line of trees. They're fun, too, but faces..... they're the best. Both of these are 8"x10" oil on stretched canvas.

Women Friends as Goddesses

I've just finished cleaning up after my time to host our monthly potluck. I've been meeting with this group of women for over 10 years now and we've seen each other through many changes. We studied the various goddesses over the first years and tried to see the metaphors and the value they held for the people who worshiped them. And over that time I've begun seeing these women as goddesses of a sort themselves. There's the fiery fast physical one who makes decisions in a flash (too much alliteration?), the quiet thoughtful wise one who with a word can soothe and set back on track a sister who's careening around a bend, the relaxed wounded one who's made her peace with the war she survived, the bright bubbly outgoing one who retreats to a secluded kitty-filled, deer-surrounded home between forays into the world of movie making, the young political dynamo, the careful easily-bruised wickedly brilliant one with a lightning wit and a loyal heart, and me. There are others in our group, too. Each with the characteristics of a beautiful goddess with lessons for those who attend her. On top of all that we eat extraordinarily well.
Tomorrow I paint!

Kick Off Party for National Novel Writing Month

Tonight it was surprisingly helpful to meet some of the other folks attempting to write 50,000 words in the course of a month. Most are much younger than I. But I saw some other mature faces there. I came home with a small yellow lapel button which declares, "I Write Books". How about that? Plural, for heaven's sake! Let me get through one first.

Here it is again....

Austin Pastel Society meeting

Back from the drive up to Austin and back. This time I got to be the passenger. Very nice. Getting to talk things over with other artists helps so much. Becky and Sherrie made for great company on the drive.
Came back to find a nice comment on my last blog from Sharon whose blog helped me decide to try this site out. She's an antique seller on eBay, an artist herself, and in Nebraska when she'd rather be in Texas. Check her place out....

All three paintings got in to the SAT Airport show!

Just had a message on my machine saying all three of the paintings I submitted got into the airport show with Regional Artist Consortium. Way Cool!

Had a very inspiring day today being with two other artists- Kim Roberti from Marble Falls, TX and Donna Bland, who just moved to San Antonio from Round Rock, TX. Kim had invited me to come join them at Mission Espada, a beautiful mission on the south of San Antonio which I'd never seen. I decided not to take my paints, but just my camera so I could focus on our conversation and maybe gather some reference photos for future paintings. I'm so glad! We three just took off. We've got a group show in the works and a trip to San Miguel for next year. All three of us aspire to having a painting accepted into the Salon International Show which the Greenhouse Gallery hosts each year.

Tonight is the Austin Pastel Society meeting and I get to share the evening with more artist friends. Life is so good.

New painting..Likely for competition

Yesterday I had a photo session with the same fellow who was the subject for my last painting. We must've taken 50-60 photos with three different backdrops and lighting changes. There are perhaps 10 which could be decent reference photos for paintings. What a pleasure to work with him! Has a great eye and made some terrific suggestions.
Will post the start when I have something begun.

Names for the novel's characters

My daughter and I went to a sneak preview for "Prime" tonight, and as any of you who've been to sneak previews know... you go early and wait long. So we were camping out on the gaudy commercial carpeting which you only really see in theaters and Las Vegas casinos, eating our popcorn and Reese's Pieces, and I asked if she'd help name my characters for this novel I'm about to write. I had my notes with me and still had folks labeled with numbers and "types" (sporty couple, caretaker, artist, tattooed-and-pierced one, etc.) In a few moments she'd found all the right names for my characters. Just like that! Suddenly they were actual people to me. Suddenly I could see connections between them that their "types" wouldn't allow. Bless that girl!

Go on, now. Sign up! National Novel Writing Month starts in six days.

Let's encourage each other and wig out on caffeine and let our housechores slide. It's just for a month. Got anything better planned? 1667 words a day. 3-4 pages of type. We can do this.

Good day at the Gallery

I'm a lucky gal. The artists I share my day-a-month with at the River Art Gallery are just the best. Today we were missing one of us who was hosting her mother's visit from out of state. It's so good to be with positive artistic people who know how to encourage and expect good things from each other. That's pure oxygen to me.

Listed that portrait on eBay tonight

I finished fussing with that portrait and decided to list in in auction on eBay as my other paintings were ending tonight. Tomorrow is my day at River Art Gallery downtown and I'm taking three small paintings to hang there. All still life. Feels great to be back to doing faces, though.

Hey, it's easy to leave comments on this blog site. Leave evidence of your visit!

Getting close on this one

Got to play with this about 4 hours today. Still some fiddling I could do, but I'm liking it quite a lot.

New Portrait start

This is a start I made on a 16" x 20" oil on canvas panel..Pannelli Telati.. on Saturday afternoon. My friend Sherrie came to paint with me in the studio. Wonderful breeze coming through the finally-cool-enough-to-open window. New CDs on the stereo- Bonnie Raitt's new one, Michael McDonald's Greatest and k.d.lang singing with Tony Bennett. I've got two patients in a few minutes, then I'll get back at this painting. This is a young man I begged to take a photo of in the library branch down the road. He's agreed to model for another painting I have in mind for competition. This one is just to play with. I'm watching DVDs of Scott Burdick and Dan Gerhartz paint portraits and getting all juiced up to go at it myself. Why did I let fear stop me for so long!?

This is one of three I've submitted to RAC

This painting, "Sisters Of The Shore" plus "Porch Colors Flying" of the front porch with swing and flag, plus "Maverick Plaza Fountain" of the fountain in LaVillita are the three I submitted to Regional Artist Consortium last Tuesday for hanging at the San Antonio airport. Haven't heard back yet, so maybe they got in. I'll let you know.

Posting pictures to this blog.. trying it out.

Ah... I think I've found a way to upload pictures to this new blog. It's different than MSN does it and I think I downloaded an unnecessary program in the process. Let's check this out.

Trying out a new blog site.

Hi all,
I've had my blog on MSN's Spaces for several months, but haven't liked the fact that folks had to sign in with their hotmail address to leave a comment. So I'm going to try this out and for a while blog simultaneously with that one to evaluate which one to continue with. Please let me know your preference if you have one! is the other site.

This is the text from the other site's entry today:
One more week, folks! Ok, well, ten days to be exact. On November first it's time to start tapping your fingertips against a keyboard and getting that raw material down for your first novel. It'll be your third? Wow! Write me and tell me how to go about it, will ya? In the meantime, I'm reading, "No Plot? No Problem!" by the fellow who started NaNoWriMo. He's about got me convinced I can actually do this thing.

This is all about quantity, not necessarily quality. That's for the editing/fussing/fixing experience which will surely follow NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth. November is all about getting 50,000 words down. That's about 3-4 pages a day of a large size 14 font. You can do this! is where to sign up. Let me know if you're in.