Red Headscarf- palette knife start

This start was a mixture of exhilaration and frustration. I decided to have the pleasure of painting a non-commissioned painting between the commissioned ones, so during the Wednesday broadcast last night I toned this 16x20 canvas panel and waded in with a palette knife. I tend not to plan very far ahead when I paint, and I can see where toning well ahead of time would be a benefit. I struggled with his mouth throughout the three hours I painted. Also, I think my strokes became quite fussy quite soon. I'm going to stare this fellow down for a day or so and then see if I can sort him out a bit better.
As always, I'm grateful to the friendly, encouraging artists who kept me company as I painted last night. Group hug!

I'm only adding this PayPal Button to illustrate its use to the artists attending the blog workshop. The painting has not been completed. Of course, if you really want it....

Red Headscarf
16" x 20" (40.7cm x 50.8cm)
Oil on Canvas Panel
$600 with FREE shipping and handling in the US
E-mail me for International shipping rates or other inquiries.

Perhaps a finish of the Cute Couple from Houston

I've had the best company as I painted this portrait online. Thank you to all who jollied and cheered me along! I'll look at this portrait tomorrow to be sure, but I believe it's finished now.

Skype Portrait / Coffee Cup

Barbara Muir is a powerful force for good, a generator of happiness, and a fearless, expressive artist. I'm delighted to be in her orbit. I hadn't visited her blog in a few days, so sat down with my coffee this morning and peeked in on her world. I found that, along with a wonderful painting by Theresa Rankin, she'd posted the portrait that I painted of her via our Skype conversation a few weeks ago. Thanks, Barbara! If you'd like to see the video of the broadcast, go HERE.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw this painting on Barbara's blog and proposed a trade- her Skype portrait for the coffee cup painting. She agreed, so now this is hanging on my dining room wall. Yea!
Tonight I'll be painting online again... at 6 p.m. Texas (Central) time. Hope you'll wander over and chat a while!

Daniel Greene's Critique of Renaissance

The judge for the 2009 Salon International was Daniel Greene. He holds a special place in my artist's heart because I bought his book, Pastel, in 1975 when I was turning 20. I completely devoured that book. That was really the only instruction I had, so it was very important to me. I've carried the book with me since and have shown it to students along the way. Yesterday he autographed it for me! (In the video you can see me clutching it as he critiqued my painting.)

Several of the exhibiting artists paid a small sum to receive his personal, but not private, critique. I thought it about it long and hard before signing up. I wasn't sure I was quite that brave. As it happened, there were perhaps 20 or more people watching and listening. Gulp. I was especially braced when it was my turn, since I was second-to-last of those receiving critiques, and he had not pulled any punches on those who had come before. He had pointed out positives, yes, and had been quite blunt about the problems. The first 40 seconds of the critique he was silent as he studied the painting. Excruciating, but I respect the thought he put into each critique he gave yesterday morning just after the Greenhouse Gallery's doors opened.

In the video, you'll see that at one point he obscured the painting. He pointed to the little girl's sleeve, and compared that lightness of value to that on the light side of her cap.

I'm still absorbing his comments- many unexpected positives and some helpful suggestions- and I know that they will help me as I paint in the future.

The Awards Banquet was held Friday, the night before the opening.
Carol Marine with her painting, Apple Soup, at the Awards Banquet. Attending the event with Carol made it especially wonderful.
Happy Susan.
This year the banquet was actually in the Greenhouse Gallery. Everything was beautiful.

Daniel Greene presenting his awards.

Saturday, the day of the opening and after the critiques, I spent the day at my gallery talking with happy vacationers, then returned to the Greenhouse Gallery with my friend, Karen, for the champagne reception. I got to meet the gentleman who had bought my painting, Strength, on Wednesday. What a pleasure! About an hour after I arrived, I was told that Renaissance had just been sold. The best part was that one of the other exhibiting artists bought it for her husband who had fallen in love with it. I got to meet them, and liked them both so much. I'm not sure he's been told yet. I believe she said it was a gift for their anniversary.

This was taken right after the critique, before the painting was placed back on the wall. I was still in a fog. Probably shows.

Mark Smith and Jim Janes are the brilliant ones who own Greenhouse Gallery. Here they are standing with Daniel Greene's choice for Best In Show. During the banquet, they each spoke about the important work that artists do- how vital we are and how we touch others with our work. I'm really thinking about that.
Today it felt good to spend much of the day in the kitchen cooking for Easter dinner. I feel a bit more grounded after a day home with family. I hope your day was full of sweetness and renewal.


The Salon International 2009 show is online as of today, and my heart is pounding right out of my chest. I just visited the page with my painting and got to see it in three different sizes as well as framed. When I clicked "View High Resolution Image" I think my heart stopped for several seconds before it remembered to beat again.

A little progress on the cute couple from Houston...

There's so much to tell you and so frustratingly little time to do that right now. I can feel the dials and knobs twisting in my head, changing my direction and focus in small but significant ways. I apologize to the friends who've left comments lately- I'm sorry I haven't replied personally to each I as was trying to do before. I appreciate you so much and I'll be more present in a week or so, I'm sure. I love your comments!
The Salon International banquet is tomorrow night and the opening is Saturday... I hope to have some photos to share from all the festivities.
Strength was purchased yesterday at the SAAL Museum. I've had a nice conversation with the buyer on the phone and hope to meet him Saturday during the Salon reception.
Does anyone remember the Happy Cowgirl painting I did in acrylic last year? (I cursed all the way through and had to replace my voice with music on the video) It was purchased today while I was out of the gallery to a woman who loves paintings of people in hats. I completely understand. I'm forever accosting people who are wearing hats to pose for photos. Yesterday I took several photographs of a fellow from New Mexico who came into the gallery wearing a cowboy hat. I just know he'll be in a painting sometime soon....

A very nice award for my painting, Strength.

Strength, oil, 20 x 16.
Today was so special. My parents and my daughter were all with me for the reception of the 2009 San Antonio Art League Museum Exhibition where I won a Contributors Award. I'll have to go back to the Museum later and really take my time looking at all the wonderful paintings and sculptures in the show. The reception was so well attended it was hard to see the artwork!
We went to Mom and Dad's afterward and made dinner, then got to play a hand of dominoes before heading home. We rounded out the evening by watching Beverly Hills Chihuahua on DVD. I admit I laughed out loud.... several times, actually. Go figure. It's been a very, very nice day.

Finish of two 8x10 portraits, progress on 16x20

I worked on the portrait of this wonderful couple for about four hours this afternoon and I like the corrections I've made and the direction it's going.
Below are the finished small portraits of the sweet looking children I've been working on. You'll have to imagine them varnished - the darks will "come back" then. Have I mentioned how much I love to varnish paintings? It's like magic watching paintings return to the rich color and proper values of when they were first painted.

Yesterday I received a photo of the pastel portrait I did for a couple 27 years ago on their honeymoon in Provincetown, MA, when I was one of 7 portrait artists in a studio there:
I even think I remember painting them... and that's saying something, considering how wacko my memory has been lately.
I see how much I've learned since then. I'm also acutely aware of how much I still have to learn.
Here's to the journey ahead for all of us!

Progress on 8x10 girl

I fully intended to participate in Nablopomo's blogroll this month and publish a post every day of April. Here it is April 3rd. Only 15 minutes into the day, but still I've missed two days already.

I want to at least post the progress on this painting of the little girl from the broadcast on Tuesday... I have more still to do on this one and on the one of her brother, but I like what I've done so far.