What an amazing spice! Noticing the huge assortment of bottled pepper sauces in a well know store led me to wondering how many I had. Assembled bottles, dry and fresh peppers, grinders... I saw the lively colors and decided to paint some (but not all) of them. The old movie title seemed right. "Some Like it Hot" is a 6"x 6" acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas. It is SOLD to a dear friend. I hope she enjoys it as much as I did painting it.
Hot latte, fresh cookies...ah...you can just 'see' the fragrant scents. Buoyed by holiday energy, I wanted to express the colors, the tastes, aromas and comforts of the season. The pleasures of painting are visual, kinetic and tactile. All the more fun to evoke the other wonderful senses of taste and smell. Christmas Latte' is a 6"x 6" acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas
The first snow of the season is always exciting; it came the week before Thanksgiving this year. Many leaves were still on the trees and the slow steady fall transformed my woodland garden into a wonderland. This little picture is the view from the warmth of my living room. 'Fresh Snow' is just 7" x 5" and done in acrylic.
The ferry was delayed on a fall day in Mukilteo, Washington, so I grabbed my camera and found that the late day sun added glory to an already interesting scene. The old rose bushes were full of hips exactly the color of the roofs, and of course the cream colors of the walls glowed golden. The ferry finally came and I rushed home to put my brush to work. This painting, Mukilteo Light, is done in acrylic on a small 6 x 6 gallery wrapped canvas. This painting was SOLD at Timbuktu Java in Freeland Washington to a Whidbey resident. Thanks, Lauren, for showing my work.
Once again, the beauty of the ordinary captured my attention. After placing a luscious eggplant into my shopping cart, followed by a bright tomato, my focus changed and I knew that dinner plans were supplanted by the need to use these beautiful veggies as models rather than ingredients in ratatouille. By adding a head of fragrant garlic, I completed a compostion that was great fun to paint. 'Ratatouille' is 3.5" x 5" in acrylic. Of course with a few more ingredients, they all did double duty at dinner.
This small work is available at the Whidbey Art Gallery, Langley, Washington.
The rich red color of barns is a natural complement to the beautiful greens and golds of the fields surrounding them. They are irresistable as subjects to paint. I found this one on a painting expedition near Winthrop, in eastern Washington. This small painting is only 7 x 5 and painted in acrylic. and SOLD at the Artists of South Whidbey Galleria show in Langley in December of 2010.
Rivers carry a mystique all their own. Add the colors of autumn and the moodiness of a misty day and you have a recipe for a visual delight. Driving along the Skykomish River in Western Washington during the first week of October, I spotted this moss covered rocky outcrop which led me to this charming scene. It is a 6" x 4" miniature painted in acrylic on canvas and called 'Autumn on the Skykomish' and is vailable at the Whidbey Art Gallery in Langley, Washington
Sunnier climes and simpler times... Inspired by a photograph snapped in Portugal, I painted this scene just because it made me feel good; I was charmed by the bright red clothespins and the reminder of the fragrance of sun-dried cotton! It is in acrylic and is 12 x 9. It is called 'Red Clothespins' and was SOLD at the Commons in Langley.
Omnipresent, trees are so often taken for granted; they suffer from over exposure. We see them just as background, and except for perhaps a few days in spring or autumn, fail to notice their individual beauty. Forests provide shade, water conservation, soil enrichment, wood products for our shelter and oxygen for us to breathe. And still we don't notice or appreciate them! Ok, there is Arbor Day, but how often have you celebrated that? Framed in a black beaded wood frame, this little (3.5 x 5 inches) painting, 'Alder Grove' is my quiet homage to the common 'weed tree' of the Northwest, the Red Alder. There is always beauty if we are willing to look for it. It is available at Whidbey Art Gallery in Langley, Washington
A hand-thrown vase I have loved and that was a special gift over 40 years ago is now recorded in fine art. Taking art from three dimensions and re-creating it to two only enhances the pleasure. As I was looking for a companion object I lighted on one of my own little miniatures displayed on an easel. Aha. Then came the thought of repeating the one I was doing! What fun. And what a challenge. This miniature acrylic is 3 1/2 x 5 inches and the miniature 'echoed' in the piece is less than 1 x 3/4 inches. The next echo is only 1/8th inch by 3/16th! 'Echo' was SOLD at the Artists of South Whidbey show in Langley, Washington.
Warm colors in winter are especially welcome and are enhanced by their rareness and subtlety. Sunsets come early and cannot warm the day, but never lose their beauty; their glowing golden light contrasting with the cold, grey bleakness makes them a special treat. This painting is in acrylic and is a miniature only 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches. 'Winter Sunset' is charming in a simple and classic gold frame and has been SOLD.
Today has been one of those glorious northwest spring days: sunshine, flowers, more flowers and balmy breezes. So fitting that this daffodil farm was the subject of my latest miniature. I love the shades of yellow; what joy Mother Nature gives our lives. In acrylic and framed in a proportional gold frame, it is just 3.5 x 5 inches and was SOLD at the Artists of South Whidbey show in Langley, Washington.
The Pacific Northwest is known for fog shrouded trees, rain veiled views and dream-tinted skies. But in a simple farm field of calendulas destined for market, it was not softness but the majesty of tall trees and the strength of bold rows on a bright August afternoon that needed to be painted. This 4 x 6 inch painting is another miniature. It was painted with some artistic license from a photo taken by artist and friend Karen. I call it simply 'Calendulas'. (March 21 Update: It won 'Best in Show and SOLD at the miniature show and competion at the Gallery North in Edmonds, Washington.)
Puget Sound residents both love and hate the rain. We love the glowing greens, the freshness, the smell that rain bestows on the soil; we love the droplets sparkling in the sun after a shower, the drama and variety of rain-laden clouds and endless more eye-enriching sights. Then the flip side ... the inconvenience ...oh, well ...
While the mist still lingered in this small view of my own driveway, I tried to capture the first weak ray of brightness following a late winter shower; 3 1/2 x 5 inches is all I needed. I entered 'Winter Rays' in the Miniatures show at the Gallery North. (March 31 update: it SOLD at the show!)
Objects in paintings are generally smaller than in real life, but here we go one step further and make paintings smaller than the norm, properly called miniatures or small works depending on just how small they are. This one is 4/1/4 by 3 1/2 inches, or just about the size you are likely viewing it on screen, and so is a miniature. The subject is a barn on Heggenes Road, which winds through rural south Whidbey Island. This work, called 'Whidbey Barn' is the first of several miniatures that I plan to paint and enter in a local Miniatures Show, so I cannot commit them for sale just now. These little guys are just plain fun to do, so my next few entries will be small. this work has been SOLD at the Edmonds Art Festival show in June, 2010 .
Visit the grocery and fill your senses with color! Rich reds, dusky purples, tans and all the shades in between. Glorious!! How marvelous that we can enjoy the vivid colors of nature in our everyday lives. I started this painting of "Just Some Onions and Plums" at a workshop with artist Michelle Usibelli and finished it at home. It was a total joy to do and to view. Now framed in a traditional gold frame, it is simply a pleasure. It is 8 x 10" and has SOLD to a young couple from Anchorage.
Daffodils do more to capture the fresh new sunshine "After a Spring Rain" than anything I can imagine. (Please note that the dark smudge in the middle sky is a function of my scanner and not in the painting). Sky, sunshine and reflected light, this scene in nearby Mt. Vernon, Washington, known for its bulb growing industry, just begged to be painted. It is in acrylic on canvas board, 11 x 14 and available framed for $175.
Miniaturization is big in technology to carry information, but for the same reason, miniature portraits were used for centuries. The idea has always fascinated me. Referencing a 16 x 12" plant portrait (see my January 12 blog post) I did last spring I have painted a miniature in only 4 x 5 inches. It is available for $55 framed. These small paintings look great set on tiny easels on a desktop or end table.
Copper smelting, according to historians, dates back as far a 5000 B. C.; the beauty of this versatile metal is as pleasing to our eyes as it was to early man (and woman). Flattened and polished, ladies in Egypt even used it to reflect their own images as we do mirrors today. In my painting "Copper Cannister" the vibrant colors of the fruit are doubled, enhancing the beauty of all the objects. 11 x 14" with a walnut frame. It is currently available for $250.
Usually in hot, sun-drenched colors, the desert is revealed here in a narrow color range of gentle hues: soft greys, gentle darks, muted greens and sandy tones. It is what attracted me to the photo, taken by a friend, that was the inspiration and reference for this painting. The wide walnut frame echos the deeper tones of this 9 x 12" work. "Old Desert Barn" $150
Some flowers evoke romance, some sadness, but some are for the kids. Seeds big enough for little fingers, substantial planting holes, then two leaves that grow bigger and bigger and more and more. Then the flowers! All summer long! As an adult, I have never lost the magic; you can't have too many "Nasturtiums". This memory is 11 x 14" framed in a handsome walnut frame and available for $250.
Common, ordinary, everyday, the things we use without noticing their charm. Andrew Wyeth said "It's what you carry to an object that counts". On a rainy day, looking for a still life idea...just stuff from my kitchen. Beauty is where you find it...even in "The Yellow Pitcher", 10 x 8" custom framed in walnut $150. February 6: This little painting, one of my favorites, SOLD at my show at Island Angel Chocolates. I hope it brings only joy to new owners, Janice and Dan.
These vivid orange petals glowing with sunlight in my greenhouse caught my attention (how could they not!). Even more delightful - there were mature seed pods and even a spray of buds. I snapped photos for reference but still tried to finish the painting while I could revisit the living blossoms. This 16 x 12" work shows this robust Clivia at close to life size. While detailed and botanically correct, it is warm and dramatic. "Clivia", is SOLD to a friend for her new bedroom in Minnesota, Thanks, Gloria!
Whether we reap the harvest for our use, or leave it to birds, small creatures and it's natural course, we can enjoy the beauty of the ripeness of the season. I took this photo at a stormy day's end late in the autumn. I found pleasure in painting it last winter and calling it "Late Harvest" to embrace all these thoughts. 10x 8" in a custom black frame. It is now SOLD to a dear friend who finds it reminds him of surviving a storm in his personal life.
New at blogging and websites, I discovered I needed an 'Avatar' - meaning an image - to be posted with my profile. I chose Tessa; actually her name is 'The Contessa', but we use her nickname to help reduce her overwhelming sense of entitlement. She is a purebred Egyptian Mau and a lively companion. And yes, her eye color is a surprisingly bright lime/chartreuse green. This is a small piece, only 5 x 5 and not surprisingly NOT FOR SALE.
Just outside of Coupeville, Washington, I came across this upturned boat on a misty fall morning. It spoke of past ventures and warmer times but so captured the moody beauty of our damp days, I had to put it on canvas. I call it "End of the Season". 8 x 10" SOLD
Ready to cut up the apple, I was distracted, then turning back I noticed the reflection in the blade of my old paring knife. Delightful surprise! Taking these moments to savor the small pleasures adds to the joy in our lives. Taking the minutes to capture that moment in paint means it will always be there. How lucky we are that as human beings, we have this capacity. Called 'Granny with a Knife', it is 5 x 7" and
Sold to friend and fellow artist, Barbara.
I have always liked this little egg cup, then the obvious, an egg shell and what else? hmm.... Of course!! I intend no deep meaning here, no political comment, no artistic breakthroughs, just doodling for fun. I have not yet found a title for it. 6 x 4" $40 unframed. February 5, 2010: So pleased that 'Little Peep" has found a home. He is going all the way to Texas to brighten my cousin Pat's breakfast room.
Why choose to paint an "Abandoned Barn" east of the Cascades? Bold shapes, the simple color scheme and a wealth of details made it fun and a pleasure to paint. I hope you enjoy it too. It is 8 x 10", in a rustic wood frame and SOLD on 5/30/10.
Homemade plum jam, made by friend Margaret, was the inspiration for 'Margaret's Jam' a 7 X 5" 'portrait' of this ordinary but beautiful treasure. Finding the visually pleasing in everyday objects is always a joy. Someone else thought so too. It is SOLD.
Daisy, peeking out from under the blanket and Tessa, featured in my profile photo are my painting buddies and more involved in my painting than is helpful. They are my Muses. I would love to say that the small (5 x 7") painting of Daisy was posed, but the reality is a ball of yarn 'stood in' to get the blanket right and her face...well...a ridiculous amount of fuss, but lots of fun. "Daisy" has found a good home with friends Mary and Bruce; it is all I could ask.
Although rare is too strong a word for snow on Whidbey Island, repeated snows that stay more than a day or two are not the norm. "Snow on Newman Road" is a celebration of the beauty of winter. It is a small 4 x 8" painting and my first attempt at painting snow. It was fun to do, and is now SOLD but it keeps alive the simple beauty of the season.