Saturday, April 11, 2015

Sister Sunspot

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12 x 12 x 1.5”
Original & Prints Available

This is the follow-up version of “Sunspot”, the small painting in my last post.  I used a cradled cotton canvas, with a wider range of colors and brushstrokes. I worked slower to make adjustments for what I hoped would be a dramatic sunset reflecting on the water. Although the final image may appear as if the paint was randomly placed, the reality is that the top layers were gradually applied and evaluated over several days.

Whenever I am hesitant about a painting’s outcome, I consider doing a study first. Studies can help to determine the ground work and elements of a larger piece.  Each painting presents an opportunity for growth and observation!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Back to the Beach

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5x5 Oil on panel 
Available at

This painting is a study for a larger work. I had a lot of fun with the quick brushwork and placement of colors. I am surprised by how bright the sun and reflection appear from a distance.

Smaller originals like this one are listed in my Etsy shop, rather than main website. They are a great size for cubicles, wall groupings, and housewarming gifts!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Painting Cat Eyes

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11x14 Oil on linen

Her cat painting is now complete. Areas around the face were darkened and I have received approval from the client. Yeah!

Another artist kindly complimented the eyes, so here’s a close-up and a little explanation.
I consider the shapes and variety of colors within the eyes significant, dissecting them from the pupil to the outer boundaries. I look for the subtle changes in the lines and edges. There is black, gray, white, yellow and light to dark blue. The more you examine the individual parts of a subject, the higher your chance of resemblance, which is always my goal with portraits.
My secret formula is this unlimited palette, which goes against most of “The Rules”. Here is one example, finished and framed. (It's easy to get lost, so I don't recommend using this method )
Paletteus Maximus
16x20 Oil on glass
The most fulfilling part of commissions is when the recipient is delighted with their painting. I love to create art and cats your way!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

WIP Cat Painting

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I received a request for a commissioned cat painting, so the beach scenes will just have to wait. Besides, I enjoy shifting back and forth from one subject to another. There’s never a dull moment!
The canvas is an 11x14 fine woven linen, which is my favorite to use for portraits. The surface is smooth and it dries much quicker than cotton. The base coat is (oil) burnt sienna and the outline is burnt umber. A red background was selected.
She chose a close-up of the cat’s face - a nice choice for highlighting those beautiful blue eyes.
My process for building the fur along the neckline is painting streaks of lighter colors over the darker layers. The facial colors are mostly gray, black, and dark brown.  
We’re nearing the end of completion. The next step is to email the client, get feedback, and make adjustments as necessary.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Painting on a Small Scale

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5x5 Oil on panel
Original available at Etsy

Here's another small seascape inspired by a sunset I witnessed on Marco Island several years ago. The array of colors and bouncing light off the clouds was incredible. Moments like this truly take your breath away!

My painting process was similar to the last, starting with a pink base coat. I applied a variety of colors, as I do with larger works. The main difference was in the size of the brushes.

Whether art is your hobby or profession, there comes a point in most artists’ careers when storage space becomes an issue. Downsizing does not necessarily mean you need to sacrifice your palette or details. Accept it as a challenge and create the best work you can, every square inch of the way!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Longing for Summer

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Boysenberry Beach
5x5 Oil on Panel
Available soon at Etsy

Using a pink-toned Ampersand panel and one layer of thick oils, the bright colors offer a completely different view, as compared to the last painting. I am considering a larger version of this one, but feel eager to paint sunsets with radiant rays of light and a higher value contrast.

-Suppose you could say… I’m ready for the summer warmth and sunshine!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Beach Bound

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Caribbean Blues
12 x 12 x 1.5 Oil on Canvas
Original available at Etsy
This is another scene of Seven Mile Beach at Grand Cayman. When you see a location like this in person, it is hard to capture its awesome beauty in pictures or paintings. But the challenge exists and the only option is to keep trying :) .
I had a second 12x12 cradled cotton canvas on hand and chose a gray base coat, which has worked well for these types of seascapes in the past. However, if I paint another, I will use a bright pink or red foundation.  In my experience, the first layer greatly affects the outcome, especially when you have areas of it showing through.
I was hoping for something a little brighter and bolder. That said, you quickly learn it’s better just to finish the piece at hand and think about what to do differently the next time around.
And the best thing about painting without boundaries is you are free to recreate any image… as many times as you’d like!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Slices of Light

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12x12 Oil on Canvas
Available at Etsy
While working on my latest Egret paintings, I began to wonder what it would look like if I took a similar approach and made another painting, focusing on the sun.

sections of previous paintings
Sometimes I will do a study to gain momentum and experiment with color combinations, before selecting a larger canvas. In this case, the larger paintings inspired a smaller piece.

It is liberating when you can finish a painting in a few short intervals and have fun. The important thing is to keep creating, because one thing always leads to another! 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

On the Fly

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20x20 Oil on linen
Original Sold/ Prints Available
I enjoyed painting “Swamp Walker” so much that I decided to make a match. The key to keeping the colors fresh was to mix them first on the palette, rather than blending on the canvas. Much of the time, it was necessary to add two or more coats over a single brush stroke, to obtain the purest form of that pigment. Each layer was dry to touch, before adding the next.
Admittedly, the last four paintings began without much of a plan, except to have the Egrets appear realistic, be of similar size, and surrounded by a colorful abstract/impressionistic background. I wanted to create enough variation in the sets and loosely define elements of a tropical climate. Between imagined palm trees, water, sunshine, and vegetation, ideas evolved during the process… also known as winging it ;)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Swamp Style

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Swamp Walker
20x20 Oil on linen
Original Sold/ Prints are available

This painting was completed before my latest commissions and functioned as a model for their style. I used a linen canvas, applying oils with mostly flat brushes.  The variety of lines and forms in the background seem to draw attention to the main subject, while suggesting the environmental elements of water and vegetation through color.
Here in Florida, images of birds often line the walls of local banks and offices. There are entire stores dedicated to feeding and caring for wild and domestic birds. Bird watching and general appreciation for their prevalence all year long probably stems from the warm climate and time we spend outdoors. At any point, you could see a cardinal, hawk, owl, or eagle. The red headed woodpeckers that fly around in our yard are so handsome. And during the winter months, cranes flock together, filling the airspace and prairies.
“Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty if only we have the eyes to see them.”  --  John Ruskin (source