My 30 Paintings in 30 Days, January 2017

January 1-30, 2017
This month really opened my eyes. Here's to the future!

Day Thirty- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- John

10x20 oil on canvas

John is our neighbor and a super sweet guy. I really relished getting time to know him a bit better. 

Okay. John's portrait is my thirtieth painting this month. Whew.  It's been VERY good for me to participate in this challenge.

Thank you for sending positive energy while I painted my way through January!  It took a bit of stamina to make myself paint the 2-6 hours each day. Yesterday, it was actually 9 hours, maybe more.  But I've come out on the other end a lot stronger and more confident and with a renewed notion that I AM a painter, and that I do love to paint and I want to develop my skills and add to them. I think I was beginning to think all that was in the past for me.

So, I will commit to actively searching out worthy subject matter and making painting a regular part of my life again. I'm grateful to have other painters and friends with whom to share the journey.  Thank you!

Day Twenty-Nine -30 Paintings in 30 Days - Sam

10x20 oil on canvas

Sam is a neighbor, fine artist, graphic designer, improv troupe member, wonderful conversationalist and who knows what else? I'm just getting to know her, but it was a pleasure to paint her today.

Day Twenty-Eight - 30 Paintings in 30 Days - Mo

11x14 oil on canvas
My daughter offered to pose for a photo so my 28th day's painting could be of her. I really enjoyed this one. It was painted in three spurts: Before and after she and I went to see Tom Hanks in Inferno, and after we went to see an Improv show nearby.  
Thanks always to the small core of artists who come by to be good company as I paint online!

Day Twenty-Seven -30 Paintings in 30 Days - Good Novel

Good Novel
12x16 oil on canvas
I love images of people reading, can you tell? Even out in public, if I see someone with a book I'm shameless in trying to figure out what they're reading. If I can't see the title, I often just ask. I wonder what this fellow is lost in?   I'm guessing it's a novel.  Adventure? Spy?  Mystery? Well, it's a mystery to me.

Day Twenty-Six- 30 Paintings in 30 Days - Idalina

12x14 oil on canvas panel
Ok, the REAL Idalina is ever so much lovelier than my poor painting. But this is what I managed to slap down in about two and a half hours.  Heavens! This 30 painting marathon is taking a toll on my painter's pride.  It's so hard to let an evening's work suffice for the task at hand.  It's accomplishing the overall objective... to oil up my rusty painting muscles and rusty painting brain... but it's wearing on my need to turn out something worthy. 

Day Twenty-Five- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- Surveying Her Queendom

Surveying Her Queendom
Before... almost.
16x20 oil on canvas panel
The Before was a painting I did in a workshop nine years ago, when I was just new at oil painting. I forgot to take a picture of it until I'd already sketched in a cowgirl hat, so you'll have to mentally remove that to see the Before.  I remember the great Judith Carducci looking at my efforts and speculating that I might have cataracts.  It really threw me.  As it turns out, I've had that confirmed, now these years later.  I don't know why I kept the painting. It had been of the model in the workshop and I couldn't see any use for the thing, but kept not tossing it.  Today when I was rooting around for a panel to paint on, I came across this "Before," and thought maybe I'd paint over it.  But then I thought of her as a Cowgirl... and two hours later she was a rancher out "Surveying Her Queendom." A much better ending for that old start, I think. It's more cleavage than most ranchers might show, I suppose, but maybe she just got up and threw her jacket over her nightgown...?  Hey, it could happen!

Day Twenty-Four - 30 Pantings in 30 Days- Profile

8x10 oil on canvas
I just used burnt sienna, white and black.  Most of the light areas were created by removing paint down to the canvas with mineral spirits.
Tonight I tried just painting by myself. Not online. But I watched/listened to PBS news and then the Rachel Carson biography. After all these years of hearing about Silent Spring, it made me want to read it, and it really made me appreciate what a difference she made in our lives.

Day Twenty-Three - 30 Paintings in 30 Days- Absorbed

12x16 oil on canvas
Don't you miss reading? I remember huge chunks of my life being absorbed in reading. Weighty books, frivolous ones. Fiction and how-to. Biography and political, humor and spirituality. Nowadays I read for the book group we joined, and I've been grateful for the "assignment" that makes me read. This month we're reading Edith Warton's The House of Mirth.  It just arrived in the mail today, so I'm going to go get absorbed in what life was like for the fictional Lily Bart in turn-of-last-century New York.   Mmmmm.

Day Twenty-Two- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- Hug To Last Awhile

Hug to Last Awhile
11x14 oil on canvas
Ok, it was too ambitious for an evening's portrait, I KNOW. It's got LOTS of work yet to go, but it's my 22nd out of the 30 I promised myself to do. So there.  I love these two women.

Day Twenty-One- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- Little Brown Jug

Little Brown Jug
8x10 oil on canvas panel
An impromptu set-up while I was broadcasting.  Imagine what it's like having folks watching over your shoulder as you shift your props around in a cardboard box. But they had good suggestions and then hung out with me to cheer me on as I painted it.  I love those artists!

Day Twenty- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- Teapot

8x10 on canvas panel
Simple, yes? Groan.... all those ellipses and all that subtle shadow. Sigh.  But's it's such a cute lil' teapot, you can't stay mad long, can you?

Day Eighteen- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- Solo Pear

Solo Pear
12x12 oil on canvas
Unlikely companions, these. But they all leaned in when I asked them to, so they are now officially friends, having shared the experience of posing for me this evening.  The cup and the pot seemed to be hitting off especially. The pear, I fear, will be the third wheel at their reunions.

Day 19:
Girl As Horse
12x12 oil on canvas
Someone knitted this little girl a way to be a horse.  Maybe a dream realized.  I don't think she's practicing "fake it til you make it."  She just gets to be one.  My daughter demanded that I turn her into a bird once. Actually more than once, and vehemently with fists clenched and feet stomping. So determined to make me do that miracle for her.  I thought of myself as fairly witchy in those days and yet knew myself to be sorely lacking in the ability to make her dream come true.  Maybe if I'd known how to knit?

Day Seventeen- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- Arvis

Aimee and Arvis
18x24 oil on canvas
Arvis' lovely Aimee agreed to sit for me in December, and today Arvis agreed to sit for a portrait, too! I made an effort to match scale and style to some extent so that they might be hung side by side. I SO enjoyed my conversations with them, one at a time. Thank you both!!!

Day Sixteen- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- Cuties

12x12 oil on canvas
Ok, now I see I lost an opportunity to indulge my love of the combination of orange and blue. Not sure what I would have done if I'd thought of it... probably gone around the house searching for a blue object that would be happy next to some oranges.  Paint the inside of the box with blue paint?  Neither seems likely, truly.  So this is a rather monochromatic painting. Funny how it took all the colors on my palette to make it monochromatic!

Day 15- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- Protection

12x16 oil on canvas
Nora and baby Nick were at the brunch we were invited to today. Nora allowed me to take a few photos of her with Nick and I do wish I had the many hours to do this painting justice. But this gets the sweet idea across.  Nick's in loving, protective hands.

Day Fourteen- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- Waiting

12x16 oil on canvas
This fellow was sitting on some steps next to the sidewalk we were walking along in Istanbul, and I saw the light hitting the back of his head and traveling through his ears and was struck with that "I've got to paint that!" thought.  So I positioned my partner near him in order to take "her" photo, and get his, as well.  So he was a very small detail in the shot, but it was enough information to finally, five years later (!!!!), paint him. A struggle, but an exciting one.  Woo Hoo!!!!

Day Thirteen- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- Lauren

11x14 oil on canvas
Lauren is our neighbor and even though we are in a book discussion group together and chatted here and there as we happened to run into each other, and even shared a game night with her and her husband, Chris, I really enjoyed getting the chance to sit down with her and get to know her better while I painted.  Such a cool woman! Thanks, Lauren!

Day Twelve- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- Poet

10x20 oil on canvas
We got to spend some time with Jen and Sam today before they left for the wintery east. At one point Jen was answering a question about her poetry and looked up to remember. I quickly asked if I might take a photo of her like that. There's much to change in this painting... once my 30 day marathon is over... but this painting seems like it has some potential. 
As always, I'm grateful to those who kept me company as I painted online. Thank you!

Day Eleven- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- John Douglas

John Douglas
12x16 oil on stretched canvas
What a wonderful evening! I enjoyed my conversation with John Douglas so very much. There are many aspects of this painting which need a nudge and correction and fussing with... but it is a record of the two and a half hours we talked knee to knee.  Good stuff.

Day Ten- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- Julie

12x16 oil on stretched canvas
Julie was one of our AirBnB guests recently and while showing her my growing lot of 30 in 30 paintings it struck me that I'd like to paint HER.  She agreed to let me take a few snapshots before she headed off to the airport.  Tonight I gave a start on this while listening to the President's Farewell address.  Now that I've backed up and looked more objectively at it, I think I'd like to develop it further than a quick study. So I plan to come back to it later and see about giving it all I've got.
Thank you again to the sweet folks who kept me company online as I painted. I was a terrible host tonight but I do appreciate you very much!

Day Nine- 30 Paintings In 30 Days- Blondie


Day Eight- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- Chairies

12x12 oil on stretched canvas
Okay, I gave it a shot.  It was a long shot.  I enjoyed this but it didn't feel familiar at all.  Out on a limb of a tree I've never climbed.  Cute, though, no?

Day Seven- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- Boy As Donkey

Boy As Donkey
12x16 oil on stretched canvas
I enjoyed painting this little fellow so much.  It came about due to the generosity of a lovely woman in England. She has a vlog on YouTube called I Sew A Lot.  And she does!  Her latest post was over-the-top adorable and she ended it with a couple of still shots of her son wearing the donkey costume she'd made for his part in a nativity play. I fell deeply in love with the image and did something I never do... I commented on a video on YouTube.  To BEG.  I pleaded as nicely as I could for her permission to use her image as a reference for a painting. And today, I saw that she'd answered me!
She granted her permission and wanted to see it when I was done. So now I need to figure out how to get it to her. Maybe a link here?  Anyway, how nice!  Thank you for your generosity. Painting this made me happy.
And I had the company of some very kind artists while I painted.  Thank you!!!
The recordings are here:

Day Six- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- Patrick

12x16 oil on stretched canvas
Patrick is a dance instructor. Funny, kind, patient and very smooth. We loved taking his classes... over two years ago. I've forgotten everything since then, so we're starting up again in a week or so. I thought I could take him this painting for a bit of apple polishing.  Not sure what that'll get me... maybe he'll assign me10 laps of "Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow" as punishment.
Thank you to the sweet folks who chatted with me as I painted tonight. MmmmWah!!!

Day Five- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- Reading

12x12 oil on stretched canvas
I painted this online tonight... about 2 and a half hours, I think.  Each one of these 30 in 30 could be developed further, but I'm going to try to be content with what I get in a shorter amount of time... one that leaves some evening for reading!  I'm a member of a great neighborhood book group and my partner and I are actually hosting this next one... on Monday. Have I read my book? Er, nope. So I've got some speed reading to do! 
Thank you again for everyone who kept me company on tonight! 

Day Four- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- Teresa

16x20 oil on stretched canvas. 
Teresa is hugely important and beloved in our family. She loves my daughter and takes care of her when we give a workshop or go out of town or even when they just cook up an excuse for a good time together.  Teresa is generous in spirit and gorgeous in person, so there's no way I could portray her accurately enough, but I enjoyed the evening talking with her as I painted as fast as I could! This is from a two hour painting flinging session tonight. Wish I had many more hours to tinker and adjust this view of her, but, of course, I'm doing 30 paintings in 30 days, so this is where it's frozen in time. Ah, me. I hope you can get a glimpse of the magnificent Teresa in this wild sketch.

Day Three- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- Baby

10"x10" oil on stretched canvas.  This was fun! Sure, I fought my way through, but it was a pleasurable fight.  It's nice to stop at this place in a painting- a bit raw and loose. Mmmm.
Again I had the nicest company online as I painted. Thank you!

Day Two- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- Vases

12x16 oil on stretched canvas.  I've painted other sections of these shelves with still life props before and loved them, so figured I'd enjoy this section, too. I did, but I enjoyed MORE the company of the other artists and friends who signed onto my broadcast while I painted.  They were so generous with me to just be a witness to the struggle.  That's a huge gift.  Thank you!!!

Day One- 30 Paintings in 30 Days- Tangerine


I painted this 10"x10" painting while I did a livestream broadcast, kept company by some very nice artists and well-wishers. Such a lovely way to spend the evening!  Thank you, All!

This is my first of thirty paintings in thirty days.  
If you want to see other artists' paintings, too, visit: