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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

From Austin - I've been busy while here in Austin. I have not had the few minutes to devote to painting in the day I've been here - yet. Today, though I am making it a priority to do a few brush strokes! More tomorrow. :-)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Saturday - I worked on a small painting this morning. I'm working in water colors while away on this trip. I brought along a variety of papers from 140 lb. to 300 lb cold pressed ... mostly smallish scraps that have been laying around. Today I don't know what I was working on (terrible not to know) but it really handled the paint differently, and not a good differently! But, not to be dissuaded, I forged on!! It will be interesting to see what I can do with this as I continue to work. It's a good reminder that our materials make a huge difference in outcomes! Tomorrow, I'm off to Austin for a few days.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Still in Dallas. Still painting, too. Today worked on a complex study of crepe myrtle, in water color. It has possibilities - but is still "becoming". I'll update soon.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

From Texas

Today, I'm posting from Dallas, Tx. Though not even close to my regular routines of life while on a trip, I am still managing to create some art each day. (I think this is the acid test of discipline ... at least for me, it is! Of course there are still about 11 or 12 days of this trip to continue to be disciplined!) I am mostly working in water color during these weeks away, and hope to be able to create some interesting and fun pieces, hopefully, creative and unusual pieces while I'm here. Unfortunately, photographing will have to come in a few weeks... :-(

If anyone has "tricks of the trade" that you use to maintain structure to your work while away from your studio, please post them on the comments! I may need practical help as time goes on!

Monday, July 23, 2007



While I'm gone - I'll be at work! I'll try to post from where I'll be, but probably text only. This means, I'll have a lot to post when I return!!

The above painting is a classic still life. Daisies in Cobalt. Oil on canvas. These were from my garden ... and always a favorite!

Sunday, July 22, 2007



Sunday... my last day at home for a few weeks. I'll be going to Dallas and then Austin, TX for the next 2 weeks, which for me is going home, to my home state. (I'm taking an umbrella!) It will be more difficult to work there because I won't have the surroundings of supplies that I do here, but - I do intend to do a series of postcard-sized works, probably using acrylic as watermedia.

Using this method, I usually start with watercolor - yet - feel that I don't get the intensity I'm after w/just watercolor. So, I then go back with acrylic to heighten the drama. But, I've learned to be careful to keep the acrylic watery ... it easily becomes thick and very flat, and then I lose the qualities that make it an interesting media on paper. (Acrylic on canvas, I feel, is another whole arena where thickness is desirable!)

This picture, today, is another abstracted work - also done at the Field Museum in Chicago a few years ago. Tangled together with its shadow from several angles, is a Bird of Paradise. I think this painting - as I observed my subject - was one of the first times that I really began to notice the sense of humor that our Creator has infused into creation! This particular flower has such "Dr. Suess-like" humor to it... That just says something to me about 1 aspect of our Creator! Perhaps not the typical view of God. :-)

Saturday, July 21, 2007



Here is another older painting. This one a total experiment with the scientific ideas of fractals applied to a floral. It is done in acrylic, used as water media on paper. I had fun with the experimentation, and was happy with the results as well. Another example of the world of art converging with science and scientific process... and the need to experiment as a means of the creative experience.

Friday, July 20, 2007



Posting another painting that isn't right off the easle! This one was done (easle, paint, and all) at the Field Museum in Chicago. It is oil on masonite. It is an abstraction (simplification, really) of a seed pod in a particular type of pine tree. As I was painting it, it seemed to take on a life of its own, in a way, and speak to me about where I should go with it. I have a real attraction to magnifing objects, which leads to an abstraction of them... where the innate beauty can be seen a bit differently. The interest in abstracting has definitely been an adult interest. While in college, I really didn't appreciate the concept of simplification and abstraction. Truthfully, in many ways, I find it more challenging than working realistically... although I do both and enjoy both!

I am continuing to paint everyday! I'm very pleased about that - and hope the discipline I'm creating becomes a steadfast habit!

Thursday, July 19, 2007



Drawing or Painting?? I never know exactly what to call a colored pencil drawing. This is part of a private collection, but is colored pencil on paper (Prisma colors on white paper). The tree is a drawing of one of the oldest trees - an Elm, I think, in our Northern IL county. It happens to reside on the grounds of my daughter's high school.

Anyway - some artists refer to colored pencil as a painting - and that seems reasonable since colors are mixed and layered and applied much like paint ... some may refer to it as a drawing - which also seems reasonable. So who knows. This piece is older, and if I were to do it again, I would try it on black paper, which in my opinion works even better than white with prisma colors!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007



Here is another old - very old - painting, started years ago and only completed in the last few months. The rest of the story on my work with the gessoed board (yesterday's post): I finished the painting - and think I'd rather work with a little texture on the surface. I have one more of these little boards on hand and plan to try acrylic on it. I'll see what I think about that! Still no camera, so I'll post these things in a few weeks.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007



This is an older painting - started years ago, but finished a few months ago ... don't know why the long delay, it just happened that way. It is a view of the houses along the alley of my first home. Very mid-western feel.

Very busy yesterday .... :-( Not enough time to paint, post, etc.
But I am trying something kinda new - painting (oil) on a new surface. Its a gessoed masonite board - very smooth. Handles the paint very differently. The jury is still out on whether I like it or not. In the meantime, I'm posting another older painting since I'm still camera challenged! (the camera is in Oklahoma, I'm in Illinois right now.)

Monday, July 16, 2007




Well, I found a picture (in progress) of the shell I just finished. No finished picture till later. I'm posting it in progress, it has changed considerably - the shadows are more defined - cast shadow as well as shadows within the shell. The values are also more defined in the finished picture. It has been difficult capturing the shadows I wanted - changing light.... Also - finding the lyrical color I was looking for in all aspects. This one is 8x8". Oil on canvas.

Sunday, July 15, 2007



I'm posting some older work for awhile - since I have no camera to use while my daughter is away. This landscape, Woods on Winter Morning, is oil on paper. 2004

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Today has been filled with lots of stuff... like mowing the yard, grocery shopping, other errands, trying to sell my daughter's old Jeep... just life, I guess. But I did manage to paint for an hour or so. The shell (mentioned yesterday) is almost finished, though it has been evolving into a different thing with very different color schemes than I originally thought. I'd love to take a photo and post - but - alas... my daughter has taken the digital camera (alright... it is actually her camera, that I have borrowed!) on a trip. I will be photographically challenged for awhile - unless I buy one before she returns.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The critic within is alway busily at work! I have found myself analyzing what I like or not about the works I have done this week. And feel that I have a mixed bag! Some elements I like, some I do not. With the 3 apple paintings, I have used an unusual color (for me!) in the red napkin underneath. Also - and this is strange, I'd love some feedback on it - I am trying a new brand of oils... and they simply work differently. The colors act and mix differently ... Has anyone else dealt with that? I guess its expected in dramatic color changes, but the whole new brand just seems SO different from what I've previously used! My upcoming work - which is coming slowly - is a conch shell... and I see my need to develop a looser technique ... so many areas I'd like to grow and become better at what I do!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wednesday... Life's obligations took over for most of the day today... but I finally got to my latest painting late in the day for a few hours. No new photos posted yet... photography issues! Hopefully tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I've been busy in my studio, completing another painting of apples. A little larger canvas this time. I will post in the next day or so. In the meantime, I'm finding myself critically looking at what I've just completed and wanting to work with composition and values more closely. The Daily Painting plan seems to be working!

Sunday, July 8, 2007


Green Apple 1, 5x7" oil on canvas, $100.


Green Apple 2, 5x7" oil on canvas, $100

Both paintings are painted around the sides. No need to frame.
A word about the etc.... in Brushstrokes, etc.

For the past 6 months or so, I have been wondering, questioning, thinking about, and trying to redefine the whole idea of creativity. I understand the concept, but think that we miss the depth of it. I have become very interested in uncovering what the somewhat illusive creative process is all about, especially within the context of learning to become all that I (as a uniquely created individual) was created to be. So, I'll be posting about my musings and discoveries here from time to time.

Meanwhile, Green Apple 2 (my next small painting), is also completed. (Still drying) I am finding it very helpful to be disciplined and be painting daily - even if it is not completing a painting every day - when there is a goal in place, a idea that is intriguing, a direction already planned, and I can just continue to move forward with it. I know it will be much more challenging once school gets started, especially this fall as I teach a whole new course - completely uncharted ... which is why I cannot commit to finishing a painting every day. But, I think the goal to paint daily in a small format will allow me to complete 3 or more paintings a week. (I reserve the right to ammend that number, if it becomes necessary!)

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Yesterday, I finished my painting, Green Apple I, and began the next in my subject series. I will photograph it and post soon (still very wet - difficult to position for photographing). Today - amist all of life's other demands... more painting! My personal goal is to paint every day. I realize I may not finish a painting everyday, although that would be great, but I intend to actively apply brushstokes everyday to a painting in progress.

Because I teach art (various media), many people assume that I create art every day. That's pretty far from the truth... the environment of a classroom is really not very conducive to making art - other than making examples for the students. Much time is taken up with explanations, discipline (otherwise known as subduing the 'madding crowds'), grading, faculty meetings, making photocopies, & trying to provide a differentiated learning experience for all the various age and skill levels I teach in a typical high school class. It has been an uphill exertion to maintain the kind of personal discipline necessary to paint for myself on a regular basis. I want to improve on that and increase my creative output. Plus, there is the component of frequency begetting fluency that must apply here! Can we ever be too fluent in our media? Isn't there always something new to explore and to learn and to apply? I will be quite pleased to work some everyday on a project in progress... and produce several of these per week.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Examples of my "pre-blog" work



Today...

is Friday. Yesterday I began the first small painting I'll be posting here within a few days.
I'm beginning this venture with the idea of "Postcards from Home". And I plan to create about 3 small (postcard sized) paintings a week. Each week I'll explore a different subject matter - unless of course I find that it will take two weeks! (Some subjects are like that!)
Each subject matter will be common objects, hopefully presented in an unusual or interesting way.
Coming up:
Green Apples. Keep watching!
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