Vincent finished

This really was a fun project. Makes me want to cook up more like this for myself!

Dad's 81st Birthday

Dad and Mom were just going to keep me company as I drove out to see the school where I might be doing a mural. When we got close by, I left them to walk the aisles of a new Lowe's while I went on to the school. After my meeting, we had lunch and then headed toward home. I remembered mentioning that the Witte Museum's current exhibit was about the human genome and that Dad had been interested in seeing it, so we detoured to the Museum. It was a fascinating, interactive exhibit and we pulled every lever, watched every video and turned every crank. We moved on to the permanent exhibit at the Witte and then went outside to see the log cabin exhibit, then over to the Science Treehouse. We raised ourselves up by pulleys, suspended a ball on a stream of air, saw ourselves on a "green screen", Dad sent himself a postcard from an email kiosk, and played with every science plaything they had. Mom and I played soccer indoors with a beach ball. Then we noticed a boy outside riding on a "sky cycle" -a bicycle held to a cable with only a counterweight. I nudged Dad to go ride and he did! I was proud. Then we went for fish and chips and drove through Brackenridge Park til we found a picnic table near the river. After our picnic we noticed the train station was just over the bridge so we bought tickets and popcorn and had a fun ride.

Mom will turn 81 next month. You wonder what this has to do with art? Maybe nothing. But it has a lot to do with this artist. I'm so grateful they live nearby now where we can look after each other and celebrate the passing years, even as they clip by at a dizzying rate.
I'll be painting online tomorrow (Wednesday evening). Hope you'll drop by!


The owner of this dog wanted to commission a painting of his now departed companion, a golden retriever, and told me the dog's name was Vincent Van Gogh. So I boldly suggested that perhaps he might like me to paint Vincent as Vincent Van Gogh might have painted it. I was surprised and delighted when he said yes! This is as far as I've gotten today. I like a lot about it. I'm going to see how I feel about it tomorrow, but thought I'd post my progress tonight to see what you think....

Adorable Girl finished

This painting will always be associated with meeting two great people, Graham and Leisa, who wandered into the gallery just before a heavy rain set in yesterday afternoon. They sat and kept me the most delightful company as I worked. Thank you!!
I've sent photos of the the finished painting to the little girl's parents and they wrote back that they're 'over the moon' happy with it. They're moving back to Australia soon, so had contacted me to see if I could paint her portrait in time to take it with them. I really pulled a marathon with this painting and like how it turned out very much. But then, how could you miss with such a cute little face as Isabella's?

A bit more progress...

I worked a bit more on this portrait before closing today. There are a few problems, but it's coming along...

Start on a 12"x16" oil portrait of adorable girl

Sketch with thinned burnt umber.

Beginning to block in color.

Interior of subject mostly blocked in. My reference photo:

I will likely continue work on this portrait online, in between sessions on the larger portrait of Ailee. It's been nice working on this one here at the gallery today. Lots of nice people to talk with. There's a Soul Food Festival in the plaza outside my door, so the aromas are teasing and enticing. Mmmmm.

Start of 40" x 30" commissioned portrait

This is what I managed to do in two hours last night during the broadcast. I had one wipe-off early on when I was working out the drawing. I see that I have the ledge way too high on the viewer's right side of the figure. For composition purposes, I'm thinking of what might lie on the ledge next to her on her left, viewer's right.
Ailee, the subject of the painting, joined us during the broadcast and was sweetly enthusiastic.

Progress on painting bound for Ireland

I continued painting this portrait online last night in the company of good friends. We had an interesting discussion about pricing portrait commissions as prompted by Mary Segrev who lives in Israel. The photograph above came out a bit dark, but it'll show the progress, anyway. I'm hoping perhaps to finish this later tonight.

Video of Mom when we were little, and Art Mothers

Please indulge my detour from the topic of painting today....
My mom will be 81 next month, and my dad will be 81 in nine days. They live near me now and I'm enjoying them more than I can tell. My brother put this video together a while back. I thought I'd post it in Mom's honor. My folks had four children- the first three only a year apart, then my little brother 3 and a half years later. I'm the first girl, second child. If you watch the video, I'm the brown-haired ham in almost every shot. I really lucked out being Mom's daughter. She has been the most constant source of love in my life. The experience of painting anything has always involved showing Mom - and Dad- when I'm done. They always respond positively and would hang them all on the refrigerator if they had one that large. I love you, Mom. Happy Mother's Day.

I had to come back and add to this post. I am so grateful for those women artists in my life who "mother" me in regard to my painting. They advise on technique and supplies, they remind me of competitions I might enter, they celebrate with me my triumphs and sympathize with my troubles. They share their experience and wisdom and encourage me always. Where some artists fall into the "sibling" category by being, well, you know... like siblings, there are those few who have taken me under their wing and figuratively packed me a lunch, nudged me out the door and reminded me to play nice with the other children as I ventured out to learn some more.

I actually know one local artist who made it clear to her daughters that they were not to be artists themselves, because it would be competing with her. So having an actual mother is no guarantee that one will be encouraged in one's art.

Let's look around and thank our "Art Mothers" today, too.

Some of mine are Diane Manousos, Barbara Muir, Jo Castillo and Libby Peters. Thank you!!!

Tiny improvements to Winny and Auggie

It always happens. I sleep, I wake, I look at the painting/s I finished the night before, and I see several things to change. Can you see what I changed? (Other than color differences... that's just my camera's doing.)

Auggie and Winny... close to finished

Last night I had the company of Karen Zigler, who commissioned these two 8x10 oil paintings, as well as a terrific group of artists as I painted online. I signed both paintings, but I see a few little things I want to change/improve before setting them aside to dry. I made Gary nervous every time I drew a whisker on by scratching through the paint with an ice pick, but I think the whiskers really turned out well. Karen commissioned these portraits for her daughter who has the bulldog, and her son who has the kitten. Karen located me again after the 27 years since I had painted her and her husband (in pastel) on their honeymoon on Cape Cod. Cool.

Progress on three paintings tonight

This one above, 20 x 16, may actually be done now. I did sign it, but we'll see how I feel about it in the daylight.

I was really looking forward to some painting time tonight and started off a little earlier than the scheduled broadcast by moving the above painting, 20 x 16, along a bit. Not the best photo, but I'll be sure to get better photos when it's closer to done.

I was still in the mood to paint, so started this little commission below...

I'll probably work on it again tomorrow.

Again, I had great company while I painted tonight. I have to be one of the luckiest painters around. Thank you, everyone!

The blog workshop last Sunday went really well. I'm going to give the 7 artists a few days' head start, then post their blog addresses and ask you to support them. They are each very good artists who individually and collectively worked their fannies off setting up their blogs in spite of a wireless connection that kept blinking on and off. I'm delighted to have helped them get their blogs up and flying.

Invisible progress

Any artist will tell you that you don't have to actually paint each day to have spent the day on your art. One's art can be moved forward by conversation or silence or by answering emails or by packing a painting or by making a bank deposit or by taking a walk or by leafing through a magazine or noticing an unusual color combination or by extending encouragement to another artist or by trying a new frame or by stocking up on supplies or by looking at 42 artists' blogs and commenting on the 43rd.
I made invisible progress today, so there isn't a photo to post. I'm guessing you made progress, too.