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Friday, August 31, 2007

Summer's Last Hurrah

Summer Okra 5 x 5" Oil on Canvas


This is the last day of August and my last painting for this month.... fittingly, it also acknowledges summer's last few days. You don't get to grow up in rural Texas and not have an appreciation for fried okra in the summer time. I do remember my grandfather in the midwest calling it gumbo, however! I don't think he ever fried it though, and I know I've never heard of fried gumbo.... that's just silly!

These were especially fine examples of this summer vegetable and went first to my studio before ending up in the kitchen! I chose the colors help to give a warm summer atmosphere to the painting. This was one of those paintings that seemed to come together without too much deliberation. I was pleased with the results.

Click here for information on availability


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Odd Fellows



Oddfellows 5x7" Oil on canvas

Hard to believe... but true! Walking through our weekly "French Market" here in town, this eggplant caught my eye. Yes, it looks as if it has grown a nose ... a rather cartoonish one at that! It was so unique, I had to bring it home to paint. So, here it is for all to see! Humor can be found everywhere! Even in a vegetable patch!
(Oh, we took a digital photo of it too ~ but are struggling with technical issues between my camera and computer! Maybe I'll be able to post it soon.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Yesterday was busy!



Geranium 1, Oil on canvas

I had hoped to post one of my new daily paintings, but alas... the paint is too wet to scan. Also, my time was extremely limited yesterday, so I didn't have time to do technological work on images at all. Some days are just like that... I hope today isn't! With school back underway, it is a much greater challenge to continue the daily painting routines! But, I do have several new ones to post here this week! And, I am finding it is a calming part of the frantic day to come home and pick up the paint brush and begin to stroke buttery paint across the surface!

This painting for today is a magnified and interior view of a geranium. It is an older painting and is part of a private collection. What captured my attention was the way the light played on the small petals and also the surprise of the very miniscule white interior... something I didn't guess was there!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Language of Visual Art

Worship I, mixed media (oil pastel, acrylic, and added texture)

This piece was done several years ago. In an effort to use visual art as a pure expression of worship, this was the first piece from a series. I wanted to create something that was not contrived or planned - and simply use my materials and the moment to express my heart. And yet - in so doing - I wanted to make a meaningful piece artistically.... let's see if I can explain what I mean.... I wanted to use the elements of art (line, shape, value, color, texture) to work together correctly so that the final outcome, though quite abstract, still held together in a unified whole. Thus, using the visual language with meaning.

To me, this is one of the most difficult things about making abstract art. Very challenging to do well. I hope I have. It was very enjoyable to create this piece ~ and to use this language as an expressive act of worship.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Stargazer 2


Stargazer lily, 5 x 5" Oil on canvas (Click here for information on availability)

I've always loved Georgia O'Keeffe. She has been an inspiration to me artistically - her ability to see things differently, to abstract her images and in so doing give them even more interest and beauty. I admire her work ethic and what attracted her in subject matter... so much about her was, well, just interesting! What I've found by painting magnified flowers as she did is that there is so much of interest going on inside the flower. Too often, I look at it as - just a flower, but to see the intricacies is often surprising and interesting and even thought provoking. Its that way about a lot of things... often the things hidden just below the surface contain the most beauty.

I really want to see this truth and be aware of it around me - particularly in nature. Often, God has "wrapped up" small surprises for me to uncover - if I take the time to be aware, to find his gifts, to be romanced. Finding those small treasures requires a bit of intention on my part though...

(For purchase information, I've placed a convenient paypal cart on my gallery site or on my website.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Purple Kohlrabi again!

Purple Kohlrabi, alone 5x7" oil on canvas.
(Click here for information on availability)

This was the last painting of the kohlrabi before it got eaten! Such an odd vegetable, but quite a lot of fun to paint! This one (as opposed to the previous kohlrabi painting last week) was done mostly with a brush and building up thinner layers of color. As you can tell by comparison, the overall tone is a bit different as well, a bit more subdued. I think one of the most intriguing parts of it are the red stems tracing through the green leaves, but of course the shape of the whole thing is quite intriguing as well!

I think it would be an interesting (and colorful) addition to a kitchen or dining room!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Perfect time of year ~

Blueberries on a stem 4.75 x 5" watercolor enhanced with acrylic
Click here for information on availability

to pick blueberries! Brings back summer memories. Associated with those memories are also thoughts of being hot and sticky, of mosquitoes buzzing and biting, and seemingly bottomless buckets that never would quite fill. Also blue lips!

I'm not sure about the color here - it shows too blue, not enough purple. The actual shows a darker blue/purple color.

Monday, August 20, 2007

First Day Back to School...

Crepe Myrtle in Amber 5x7" Watercolor, enhanced with Acrylic used as watercolor.
Click here for information on availability


Well, summer is (for all intents and purposes) over - and I thought it appropriate to post this watercolor I made a few weeks ago while on vacation in Texas. Today, I was back at my job in school, preparing for a new crop of about 130 high school students who I will be teaching this semester (Jewelry, Drawing, and Design). Even though it will be busy, and crazy, and overwhelming at times, I am intent on continuing my own artistic growth and work and posting it here! You, who come to look and read everyday, will help me be accountable and consistent. Knowing you're there, will help ~ and your comments let me know you've been by!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunday's thoughts...

I've had a lot to think about this week. It has been the last week of summer break before school starts (thus much less time for painting), I've been touched by the tragedy of my cousin's sudden death, and I've been romanced by the beauty of God's lovely creation. Life just happens and comes toward us like a freight train much of the time... but... there is much beauty. Hidden within that beauty is the reminder of our Creator; there is softness, there is variety, there is color, there is subtlety, there is even humor and outrageousness of shape or appendages (the kohlrabi comes to mind)! But also, there is dependability and faithfulness as the sun sheds its light every morning and the rains fall. There is also great strength in the fierceness of an unexpected thunderstorm. To me, the very surroundings of nature speak clearly. And it is a message of good gifts. A never ending arena of exploration with my paint brush!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Purple Kohlrabi Twins

8 x 8" Oil on canvas. (Click here for information on availability)

This is the exotic kohlrabi I saw at the grocery store and had to buy to paint. (I had never seen it in purple before - Thanks Whole Foods!) It also tasted pretty good! This painting, in an effort to work more loosely, was done almost entirely with a palette knife... just a few spots touched up with a brush. It was a lot of fun to do - and the results were also what I'd hoped to achieve. Oh, because of using a palette knife, the painting is heavily textured, which gives it a very tactile appeal.

Gallery of Available Works:

Visit this link to see the small Daily Works in gallery format!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A new (to me) surface



This is a new surface that I've never worked on before. First, I usually have made all my own canvases, though for the small daily paintings I am buying them. This painting is on a gessoed board - very smooth - no texture. I really questioned how it would take the paint. It was different than I'm used to, but it seemed to be OK. It also started out with a very white surface, which I toned slightly.

I think I prefer canvas. I just like the texture and how canvas takes paint. But, I think this is one of those "no right way" things - rather a matter of personal preference.

Bottle and Shell, 5 x 7" Oil on board.

If interested in purchase, email me at:
studio_upstairs@hotmail.com

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

results....



My first auction is finished. This painting will be living in California! And Oklahoma Diabetes Solutions will receive a small donation. It has been a learning experience and I hope to learn more about auctions and how to run them, attract interest, etc.

Feedback - experience - ideas are welcome!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Remembering.....



my cousin, Leighton, who I learned yesterday evening has passed away unexpectedly. He was a wonderful person and a gifted artist. He will be missed by a family - extended around the country - who loved him.

Stargazer Lily - watercolor study, enhanced with acrylic used as watercolor.

Monday, August 13, 2007

2 Sea Shells





5x5" Oil on canvas. (Click here for information on availability)
The colors scheme is natural sand, but with hints of rose and aqua.

My daily painting continues. This one is being offered for auction via the link above. I'm still working with technological issues relating to accurate images. I tried scanning this directly and then working with it from there. Time consuming... but probably because I don't know what I'm doing! The colors seem fairly accurate though, at least on my screen. Although, the image is always a little less than the actual, it seems.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Ceiling white....

on my kitchen ceiling. So far, that is the extent of my painting today. Maybe yet this evening, I can sit down in the studio to work. But - the chaos of everything pulled out of the kitchen has gotten to be too much! Organization of my environment is actually a component of being able to work artistically!

Friday, August 10, 2007



Here's the last watercolor study I did while away in TX. Crepe Myrtle... it grows everywhere and is very beautiful. Large bushes in colors of pink, white, fuchsia, & lavender. The flowers are very delicate, but are in such profusion the delicacy is not immediately noticed. This one is shown looking directly down on a sprig of it in an amber glass. I am not really happy with the back shadow of lavender... and think I'll try to lighten that or maybe take it out completely.

As to oil painting - I completed a canvas yesterday - purple kohlrabi... very exotic! I'll post it soon! (And I'm sorry about the size of the last 2 pictures. Technological issues with camera, computer, and having to upload photos to the computer in an alternate way. Figures - Murphy's law seems to really kick in when there is some sort of urgency to a project. I hope to have it resolved soon.)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Conch Shell



Click here to bid on this painting now!

8x8" Conch Shell, oil on canvas, unframed.

The profits from this auction will be donated to the Oklahoma Diabetes Solutions. My daughter has attended diabetes camp at their Camp Endres for the past 4 years, this most recent year as a camp counselor. They have generously provided financial help to us and others. This is my opportunity to "give back"! It is a wonderful organization that is making a great difference to many children and families.

Small Studies and Such....



This is a composite of the small studies I did while on my recent trip to TX. At the top left, is actually a colored pencil drawing on black paper - which is a prototype for a project I will teach to some of my students this fall. The middle top is the beginning of a drawing (colored pencil again) of a lily. The top right, is a water color, enhanced by liquid acrylic, of a lily in a vase. (Fun to play with the reflections, water, vase, etc.) On the bottom, left, tomatoes in progress (not complete yet), water color on some strange paper that soaked it up like a sponge. Bottom middle is a water color study of blueberries, done from a photo - not yet finalized. Finally, bottom right, is a water color study of a magnolia tree - after the bloom - also not yet finalized. I did one other one, not included here, because I forgot! Well, it'll be included sometime in the future. It is a watercolor study of Crepe Myrtle, which grows rampantly in Texas, and in many colors.

Watercolor is a great traveling medium, but I always feel I need to play with it more with some liquid acrylics used as a water media in order to heighten the drama of color. I usually use 200 lb. or more paper for my watercolors, without stretching it. The drawings are both done with Prisma Color (my favorite colored pencil for its buttery softness and mixability) on black Canson paper.

All of the water color studies were fun to do... I plan to use them to do further studio work with oils.

Sunday, August 5, 2007



Just back from Texas. This is another older painting of the Texas ranchland where I grew up... and sadly this land is now becoming developed and hardly recognizable. So, I post this as almost a memory. But on a more upbeat note, I was able to maintain my effort to paint nearly every day. I'll be posting those paintings in the next few days. Its good to be home, but was good to be there too.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Wednesday evening - I'm glad to say I've been painting...even though I've been spending a lot of time with family. The discipline is hard to maintain when not on a typical schedule, but I'm managing to carve out the time! Being in a different part of the country is visually interesting. Lots to observe! Early next week I'll be able to start posting photos.
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