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Monday, February 28, 2011

Dish of Smelt

I took a brief hiatus because I suddenly forgot how to paint anything at all, but now I am back in the saddle. I set up an all grey still life to see what I could do with it, a stretch for me as I am a pink and orange over the top color enthusiast.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Well...... a commission.
It was quite fun doing the sky. At first I put in a serene robin's egg blue sky and it was all wrong, wrong, wrong, so I turned my back on it. Then I thought, well, the sky could have a lot of chop to it, like the fur. So I scraped it down and got out the bristle brush and mixed up a wad of dirty blue paint and smacked it on. Bingo. So sad, but it cannot be seen in this photo. I was happy enough with it altogether under the circumstances.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Two Peaches

Today there was a lot of wiping, but still I was happy to be painting. This is my 4ooth post, it snuck up on me. What if I hadn't done this blog thing? I would have missed so much.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cyclamen on White

I have been looking at whites and searching for the best background for these cyclamen. Bright color, soft, no color, dark, what will make them float off....
Thanks everybody for the hilarious eclair Haiku, I had SUCH a good laugh!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Belligerent Eclaire

This was the strangest eclair I have ever seen (grocery store). It had a slab of extruded chocolate icing about 1/2 inch thick at the center of it, laid on top of the lid and weird yellow custard inside it. It was so horribly compelling, I have written a Haiku of sorts to honor it:

Belligerent Eclaire

Belligerent Eclaire
No longer shouting my name -
Fated: Painted. Eaten.

If anyone should comment on this, doesn't it seem right it should be in Haiku?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cyclamen with Rose Background

I used to buy these flowers when I lived in Boston, in the dead of dreary winter of course, and they were so intensely colored, like a flame, except for the white ones which were altogether pure. And they are in sort of frozen motion with their petals flung out every which way, not like a flower at all, but more an idea of a flower. I always managed to kill them fast, but here in Texas I have figured out their living requirements: a sill in strong light and a saucer underneath to put water in, instead of watering from the top. And water every day. I have managed to keep them happy for a couple of months now, and I have another pale pink one, that I rescued and have in rehab hoping to have a go at it soon.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cupcake and Cheese box

This orange is sitting on an empty Brie container that I gessoed so it would be white. I'm trying to stack and combine things so there will be more of something. Or less.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cupcake (Three Forms)

Chocolate peanut butter cupcake and 2 other simple forms....looking for ways to make the relationships interesting, necessarily trial and error.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Cupcake and Pitcher of Marshmallows

A friend send out vouchers for cupcakes from a heavenly local bakery, the Galaxy Coffee Shop (and cupcake emporium) as a Valentine's gift! Isn't that the best idea?! Thank you Nick. So the cupcakes will be starring in my next few paintings. This one is chocolate peanut butter with a section of a Reese's Peanut Butter cup on the top. Very very difficult not to eat it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pitcher of Marshmallows

Marshmallows are the best things to paint! Everybody should run right out and buy a bag of them. It's so easy to see the gradation of whites and the form makes itself right before your eyes. And they're so funny and light hearted.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Pink Knife

A good painting day today....much to think about from Lorraine Shirkus, who commented on the Sunday, Feb 13th post, 4 posts back from this one. I tried to push this every way I could, more confident handling of paint, quicker painting, bigger brush, broader areas of color, less obsessing if something didn't go down right. And more paint! It was really exciting.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cipoline Onions

I dropped this one face down in the flower bed while photographing but the scratches don't show much. Working with those bristle brushes is amazing. It leaves big ridges in the paint stroke, and you can pile on the paint and it stays on top of the stroke below (mostly) without messing up the underneath paint.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Baby Eggplant and Onions

OMG, horrible painting day today, wiped everything and at the end couldn't face another ellipse, so tossed everything on the table top and made a run to finish something before I ran out of steam. I'm totally brain dead.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Baby Eggplant

I already wiped this one down, but I'm posting it to prove I did something with the painting day. I liked the composition when it was in drawing stage, but of course once color was down that huge slab of white, and it really WAS that white, and I wanted that white in it for the contrast with the eggplants, and anyway, blah blah, it just doesn't work. It's funny, those little round eggplants are sort of - unpleasantly round and sort of unfriendly, so I don't know what is best to do with them, how to present them at their most alluring. Maybe by morning, I will have an intelligent thought. Most alluring might be in ratatouille.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Croissant and Napkin

This is sort of lightly done, which is a good thing. What I really mean is, it has taken a lot of slogging for this to look like it fell off the brush.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Croissant on Red Stripes

A variety of brushes, small and large bristle and a large flat. The bristle brushes leave distinct ridges in the brushstrokes - maybe it is because I am working on panel. I am getting used to and might prefer that larger bristle brush, but I notice if I am tackling something particularly beyond myself I go for the flat because I can control it better. This equals tightness, I think.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Winter Primrose

OK, Ok, I've had some fish complaints. Here is another go at the grocery store primroses. The leaves were a luxurious tropical jungle, nice counterpoint to the big freeze we have here. My other news is that I did paint the underside of my glass palette a neutral grey and it is so wonderful -- much better than white. It is easier to gauge color against the neutral background - much, much easier. Oh yes, also, this painting is my contribution to the challenge for this month (flowers) on the web site To see everyone's entries, clickhere.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fish Portrait

I have been shut in my house too long without outside contact. Help.
I tried to figure a way to fit this fresh sardine, which is quite large - about 9 inches, onto a 6 inch square panel, and have it work. And.....instead of a painting of a fish, general and universal, I have a portrait of a specific fish. A banker executive fish who likes a high thread count in his sheets. It's very very cold here again, I'm going back to my electric throw.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Candy Wrapper, Old Orange

More of the trash items, big flat brush, black gesso. I was aiming for strong color with grey, just to see how it works, maybe. Or doesn't work.

Monday, February 7, 2011


This is stuff from the trash, except for the half of a candy bar left in the wrapper, which went into the trash as soon as I ate it, so I figured that was ok.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Smelt on a Striped Cloth

Big bristle brush for some of it, little bristle filbert (1/4 inch) for some of it, I 'm gradually learning when to use which brush. Also, I got some grey gesso and will paint my glass palette on the underside so I have a neutral mixing ground rather than white. I see several folks around who have that grey palette, maybe it is a good thing or even a great thing for judging color. I did paint a piece of paper grey and slipped it under the glass to see what it felt like to work on grey and it was surprisingly helpful.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Smelts in a Mexican Dish

These shining smelts are so full of color - tomorrow a plainer dish for them. ( I am underlined today for some mysterious reason.)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Two Sardines

Sardines a bit warmer here, water in the studio again, all is well.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Three Sardines

Again, big brush, lots of paint. I am a little alarmed at how fast the paint goes, but what to do...
These fish come to me here not so fresh and quickly decline further. Fortunately it is FREEZING in my studio now with this arctic front on us, which is good for fish longevity I guess. I have no water out there today, the pipes are frozen. I'm hoping for a gentle, merciful thaw to avoid bursting....aaaugh!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Still Life with Watermelon (study)

Big bristle brush, lots of paint. I want to do some studies for a few days now and stop before the finish. Mostly though I want to concentrate on the placement and relationships of objects to each other and the picture plane.