Monday, September 1, 2014

Kisses - International School of Bangkok Reunion 2014

ISB 30 in 30 Series
10 x 10


For years my brother, Vince, has been encouraging me to attend an International School of Bangkok, Thailand (ISB) all class reunion.  We attended ISB during our high school years and they have a reunion every other year for anyone who has ever attended.  Vince has been going for a long time...I hesitate every year for unknown reasons.  This year I decided I would join in the fun and attend.  It was held in San Jose and we had great fun.  Thanks to all the people who make the magic happen every other year!  

AS YOU CAN SEE...Vince has his reasons for attending!  

This painting is the first of my 30 in 30 for the Leslie Saeta Challenge.  I am going to paint scenes from the ISB reunion and thanks to many talented photographers who have generously offered to let me paint their photos I have lots of pictures to choose from! 

These paintings will all be for sale for $150 each regardless of the size.  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I Love a Parade

Watching the Parade
11 x 14
Oil On Raymar Panel

One of my dear friends shared this adorable photo of her granddaughter with me.  I just could not resist painting it!  The little one was watching a parade but I think was most impressed with the red lollipop in her hand.  It was fun to capture her pensive expression.  

I always tell myself to paint something patriotic around the 4th of July...then I get interested in something else and never quite get my patriotic paintings completed on time.  This week, while in the midst of deadlines and paintings that HAVE to get done...I decided this adorable little girl would be a nice respite from my "work"

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Little Pianist

The Little Pianist
16 x 20
Oil on Raymar Panel


I have a dear friend on Facebook who posts pictures of her adorable grandchild and I just cannot resist painting some of them.  It is not only good practice for makes me happy.  I love this little songbird.  When I started sketching this scene I loved it right away.  That doesn't always happen...but when it does I feel like a million bucks!  

scroll down to see the progression.

This is the first sketch.  I approach different paintings in different ways.  Most of the time I block in colors and shapes and then keep refining until I get the look I want.  This time I actually drew the piano.  I wanted to make sure the lines were correct.  I really like the look of the block in.  So now I begin putting in more of the color.

I have the piano sketched in and I am pleased with the look.  I love the little red panties.  

My final task was to put in the light from the window.  I mixed some white and a bit of lemon yellow and a touch of yellow ochre for a bright mixture then scraped it across the piano with my palette knife.  I also scraped some on the piano bench.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

Plein Air Painting

8 x 10
Oil on panel

8 x 10
Oil on Panel

I went on my first plein air painting excursion last week.  A dear friend lives 3 1/2 hours south of me so I decided to venture to her house and we trekked out to find our plein air mojo!  Sue Churchgrant is an accomplished watercolorist and oil painter who was kind enough to let me stay in her home and accompanied me on this adventure.  

We first visited a park that had a little of everything.  Waterfalls, streams, rocks, hills, fishermen, paths through the woods, picnic tables and even a cemetery!  My first couple of paintings were tough.  It was hard to focus and hard to contain my vision.  I had a "finder" window but kept losing my place.  On the second day I decided to paint the small gravesite you see above.  The landscaping timbers kept me focused on that scene.  As I stood and painted I noticed that small grave marker beside me and the light hit it so perfectly I took a small respite from my current painting and did a quick sketch of the tombstone.  Then back to finish up my scene.

The experience was challenging but positive.  It was fun to have Sue there...she remembered the bug spray and a couple other items I neglected to pack...besides moral support...It was nice to have someone to bounce ideas off offer assistance.  

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Red Kimono

30 x 30
Oil on Canvas

Cherry Blossom time in Washington DC is always a wonderful time of year with celebrations and the enjoyment of warm weather.  The museums and galleries associated with the Smithsonian always offer many Asian items in their gift shops.  I was fortunate to get there early and found this gorgeous red kimono and black brocade obi.  I just love it.  Once I got it home I realized I would have to tie the obi...not an easy task.  I researched how to put on a kimono and tie an obi checking out videos and lots of source material.  It is an involved task and there are quite a few ways to tie it.  You cannot see my handiwork in this painting...but it was done correctly I believe!  One of the most amusing little tidbits I learned is that the kimono is wrapped around left over right.  A particular video did a little skit involving "leftover rice"...ending with the lesson that the closure is to be made left over right....leftover rice.  I just loved that.  

This painting is the result of my kimono purchase, the trial and errors getting it situated on my model and the cooperation of my beautiful model Kim.  

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Autumn by Winslow Homer at the National Gallery of Art

I had a productive day at the National Gallery of Art copying Winslow Homer's "Autumn". 

Whenever I paint at the National Gallery I set an agenda for the day.  My agenda for my last visit was to complete the top right corner of bright fall leaves.  I loved painting them but they were a challenge.  Arriving today I decided to continue on down the painting and work on the bottom right corner.  I began and almost immediately got distracted by the woman's face which was not quite right.  I broadened it a bit and deepened the colors and then traveled down to the skirt.  The rest of the day was spent manipulating the paint to create folds in the fabric.  So, in spite of my plan I was consumed with the skirt.  My plan for the this coming Wednesday is to work on the skirt some more and the bottom right corner.  If I don't get distracted!

Visitors to the gallery come from all over the world.  I try to recognize languages and having lived in both Europe and Asia I can pick out quite a few.  I am amazed at how many vacation photos I am in.  I always wonder what people do with the photo when they get home.  I thought I would turn the tables on the tourists by asking these three young ladies from China to pose next to my easel for me!  They were thrilled and gladly got into position.  

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Ray of Light
12 x 12
Oil on Raymar Panel


I love paintings that tell a story.  This story is about daydreaming.  Wouldn't you just love to sit in a field and feel the warmth of the sun as you dream your favorite dreams?  That is what this painting is all about...the sun and daydreaming.  The key to daydreaming is to dream big...reach high...the sky is the limit.