Sunday, November 28, 2010

A long project . . .

Two weeks ago I took a 22 year old project out of a lower drawer in my studio flat file. The folder contained assorted sketches and notes for a short children's story.

Years ago I liked some of the sketches so much, I had even painted them. I liked the first half of the story, too. However, somewhere about two-thirds of the way through, the flow became rather bumpy — the reason the project kept returning to the drawer.

I had edited this story so many times, but now there was a reason to have a fresh look. I had just attend the first of four two-hour writing classes given by a fantastic teacher, and was truly inspired! Perhaps I could now smooth out the story's ending.

After tweaking the story for three days, it turned into something that was pleasing to me. I added the text changes to the illustrations and words already in my computer. Then reworked the layout a bit, so the everything would still fit.

Next I printed the 4.25 x 11 inch double page spread sections, and put them together like an accordion book. Back in the folder along with notes and early sketches, it went out the door to my second class. The little book was a hit, so I do call the writing finished!

I have begun reformatting everything into a shape more compatible for commercial printing. This means that some of the illustrations will need to be redesigned. I am having fun and will post an announcement when the little book is available.

. . . The fantastic teacher, Margaret Bendet, lives just north of Seattle on Whidbey Island, which borders the northern end of Puget Sound . . .

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Coming Exhibition in Kirkland WA

I just delivered Adventures with Harry II and In the Wings for Howard/Mandville Gallery's 20th Annual Invitational Small Works Show.

In the Wings
12 x 9
oil on gessoed museum board

I will be at the Reception on the 13th and would love to see you.
Preview Days - Saturday, Nov. 6th-13th.
Reception & sale of Paintings - Saturday, Nov. 13th from 5:30 - 8 pm
Howard/Mandville Gallery
120 Park Lane, Suite D Kirkland WA 98033

"Painting in the Open Air"

10 x 8
oil on panel

I shipped this painting to NYC last week. It will be in the National Association of Women Aartists New Member Exhibition.
Nov 11 - 30, 2010
Reception: Nov. 16th from 5 - 7 pm
NAWA Gallery, 80 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1405, NY NY

Today I delivered two paintings to Howard/Mandville Gallery in Kirkland WA for their 20th Annual Invitational Small Works Show. I will post them soon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A painting in process . . .

I think it is fun to see what happens before a painting is finished. With that in mind, I sometimes set up the studio camera after the initial sketch. This is what happened today. I will post again when it becomes a painting. . . . I do enjoy the process.
Click image to enlarge.

"Adventures with Harry II"

oil on panel 9 x 9 inches

Another adventurer traveling to unknown lands with Harry Potter. She was so focused in the story. I watched her a while and knew I would be painting her.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Painting on Vashon Island

I just spent a day with a group of artists painting in and around this wonderful garden on Vashon Island. Overcast early in the morning was followed by bright sunlight and strong shadows. A soft breeze came off the water, making the 80˚afternoon very pleasant for painting.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Grape and Cherries . . .

Yesterday we painted together again. Sophia painted a grape and I painted some cherries. Another great day!

6 x 8 inches
oil on panel

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A great adventure . . . painting with friends

When Sophia arrived the first day, I was gessoing panels . . . so she had a hand at it as well. Then we went outside to paint cherries. Great fun! Believe it or not, I forgot to photograph the paintings.

This was the next day. We painted two oranges. This time Sophia's sisters and a brother came as well. Their plan was to just drop her off and come back later to pick her up. I invited them to stay . . . so . . .

Giuliana sketched on large paper.

Antonio experimented with waterproof ink, using a real quill and several pens. Liked watercolor and acrylic much better . . .

Break-time, always a good idea. The orange hat is over Gala, their driver (mom). The sketcher is under the white hat and the fan is over Annalisa.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"Adventures with Harry"

oil on panel
9 x 12 inches

This is one of those paintings that had moments of great joy mixed with wondering how to turn it into something I actually like. I was wanting to simplify, keep loose brush strokes, not get too fussy and still tell the story in a pleasing way. My last posting shows how far I got before I decided to give it a rest. It sat off to the side of my easel for almost a month. I added more paint today and have decided it is now finished. I do enjoy the way the process ended.

Update Note: April 2012: This painting really did not finish until September, 2011. I made some of the colors brighter. Gradually the expression on the face changed as well. The painting is now on loan to the US Department of State's Art in Embassies Program and has been installed in the US Embassy residence in Tel Aviv, Israel. See April 13, 2012

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Beginning sketch . . .

oil on panel
9 x 12 inches

The beginning sketch changing as the painting heads toward finish.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

William F. Reese

Bill's pochade box, brushes and painting
- this photo by Darrell Anderson -

Earlier this week many of us gathered to pay our respects to a dear friend, William F. Reese. I think perhaps Darrell Anderson said it best.
"A fierce wind must have howled in off the plains the day Bill left us, trying in vain to fill the huge artistic vacuum he left behind. Oil painter, watercolorist, pastelist, etcher, sculptor........outstanding in all, Bill approached his craft with an intense dedication."

Last year Bill was to be the inspirational speaker at the Alpha-1 Association national education conference in San Francisco. Due to illness he was unable to attend. This link will take you to his presentation, which was put together by Bill on his home computer and delivered via DVD. It shows some of his works as he tells how having Alpha-1 inspired him to "live life to the fullest."

Bill and his wife Fran remain two of the finest people I have ever known.

Monday, May 31, 2010

"In Preparation"

oil on panel
7.75 x 8 inches

The monks are getting ready for the opening ceremonies for the weeklong making of a sand mandala.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Painting in process . . .

Tibetan monks preparing for the opening ceremony, which begins the five day process of making a sand mandala. I will post the painting again when it is finished.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Creating A Sacred Sand Mandala

The colored sand to be used.

Early the first day, laying out the design.

Laying in the center of the mandala with colored sand.

This week a group of Tibetan monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery in India came to Bastyr University, where they spent five days creating and, ultimately, destroying a sacred sand mandala. The tradition honors impermanence of life.

Since this is near my home, I was able to stop by for a while on three days. My visits included the traditional opening and closing ceremonies, where the monks chanted and played instruments filling the air with rich sounds.

For five days the monks painstakingly laid millions of grains of sand into place in geometric shapes, containing a multitude of ancient spiritual symbols. Shortly after completion, the mandala was destroyed in a sacred ceremony as all the sand was swept into the center. Half went into an urn, and the remainder was distributed to the audience.

Then chanting, monks left the hall. They carried the urn to the lake. Once at the water's edge, the chanting began again and the sand was offered to the water in a ceremony with prayers for peace and healing the earth.

N.A.W.A. 121st Annual Exhibition

All Dressed Up is on its way to the National Arts Club in NYC, where it will hang in the National Associan of Women Artists 121st Annual Exhibition. The exhibition opens June 9th and runs through the 27th. Please stop by if you are in the area.
National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, NYC. Phone 212 475-3424

Monday, May 3, 2010

"April Flowers"

Most of the petals have now fallen and I decided the painting is finished. I did managed to capture some of the rich and subtle color changes I wanted.

This is one of those paintings where I really needed more time. Perhaps a better way to say that is that I would like to be able to get it right the first time. Then I am sure the flowers would last long enough.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Flowers, a work in progress

This is the beginning of a new painting. The flowers are from a friend's garden. She came with three armloads of them! After they all went into warm water in the sink for several hours, they became three large bouquets. This is the first. I hope to finish the painting before the petals start to fall.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I am delighted to announce I have just become a juried member of the prestigious National Association of Women Artists. Founded in 1889 and based in New York City, N.A.W.A. is the oldest professional women's fine art organization in the United States.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


oil on canvas
24 x 12 inches

Every now and then I set a painting aside. Months or years later, I pull it out, have a fresh look and decide if I will add it to the burn pile or paint a little more.

Dreaming is from several 2003 sketches. I liked the idea and started the painting several years later. The model was long gone, same for the costume and set (Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan's Gondoliers).

This week I pulled the painting out and set it where I could easily see for several days. Then I began painting again.

While it is much better than it was, it can't compare with working from life, where one can observe contrasts and ask: warmer/cooler, lighter/darker, stronger or more subtle? When working from life, all the information needed is in front of you just waiting to be captured in paint.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

"Grandma's Rocking Chair"

10 x 8 oil on panel

This is a small studio painting. She sat so still and was a joy to paint! And, yes, her hair is brilliant. The subtle color changes are lost here. The painting has many shades of soft rose, lavender, and brown and is much richer than shown.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"Slow Ride"

12 x 16 inches
oil on panel

Reflections on the surface of water always catch my attention. When a kayak comes down the waterway, I pause. Time stops. Everything changes before my eyes. The experience is always magical. This was just one of those days along our favorite walking trail.