Saturday, December 17, 2011

Grackle Urn

This is the second urn I finished this winter. I was looking for a design for the ashes of my male corgi, and these two male grackles have the macho I was looking for.

The images were inspired by some clay black birds I saw in Oaxaca this summer.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

funerary urn

this is the finished ceramics project I was working on this fall. It is in memory of my Mom. The female grizzly represents the fierce mother love she had for us.

I had a great time in the ceramics studio, and have another project in the kiln.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cardinal Self Portrait

This is the finished painting. I like the wistful look.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

New drawing

I am starting a new self-portrait. I'm getting tired of looking at myself.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Not good

Oh dear, this won't do. I look 85 years old!!!

I am going to have to go in and do some major repair.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Self Portrait with Hummer ghosts

I've got this one going with the images where I want them. I like the pose but look like I have dead tissue around the eyes. I do have those bags under my eyes, and am not sure what to do about that. Last self portrait, I gave myself a face lift, and I may have to do that again.

Interesting aside. The three bird are all the same flat grey value, but the one on the right looks lighter because of the contrast with the darker background.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

girl in Central Park

I think this is my finished piece. I like it and am ready to draw more.

Monday, October 10, 2011

New portrait

I am almost finished with this one. Needs to have the color on the face punched up, and some details in the dress.

I saw this little girl is Central Park last month. What caught me eye was the color of her skin... so I need to focus on that now.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Start of a new one

I have been stuck as to what to paint, so I decided to just pick a picture out of my photos and start. This has alot of darks and will take some work to get the little white specs covered up.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Purple Roses

This is the final piece. I like the light on the edges of the petals. This was fun to do.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

drawing for new painting

first block in.

This woman worked in our coffee bar in London. She served us breakfast. She is from Spain, brown hair and bright blue eyes.

background for Yearling

I punched up the blue in the background to compliment the orange in the deer. Not sure if it is too much...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Almost finished

I think I have the nose, eyes, and background the way I want. But now the picture will sit in my studio where I can see it. I'll look at it for awhile, several days, and check things out.

The background is still very complicated. Maybe too busy. I'll live with it for awhile and see what I think later.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

putting in the deer

I've got the basis markings for the deer. I'm leaving the eyes until the very last, so it looks alittle spooky.

Monday, August 15, 2011

background for Bambi

This is the next step in the background. I like the shadows and cast light. This is fun to do.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

drawing for new painting

I enjoyed putting in all the little areas of background after putting in the subject in blue. Each little area relates to another, like drawing something very complex so that the mind can't label it. It reminds me of a drawing on the right side of the brain exercise. I just took my time and played with each area.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Anitque Roses

This is another Pan Pastel. I enjoyed the center of the rose is the middle. The shadows and stamens were interesting.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Almost finished

I have a few touch ups to do and I think I am done with this one.

Next step

Working the background on this one is interesting. The reason I am doing this, is that it is so complex, I can loose myself in the painting and get that cross over from left to right brain painting. It is very calming and pleasurable.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


This is a new rose painting I am working on. I wanted to see it like this before going any further.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

June Roses

This is done with Pan Pastels. I am pleased with it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Yellow Rose

Pan Pastel on printmaking paper. I am trying to play with techniques for soft and hard edges. I have been looking at watercolors for ideas. I am happier with this one than the first one.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Titmouse Print

I have had alot of birds at my feeder this year. The Titmouse pairs are one of my favorite. I think the drought has made food scarce and I keep my feeder full for them.

This recent rain should get the bug population booming for the birds. Mosquitoes in particular!

I am interested in the images that show movement. I am working on one last print in flight and then it's time for more pastels.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yellow Rose

Pan Pastel exercise or summer

Cedar Waxwing finished

I wrote my letter yesterday and this is the finished version.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cedar Waxwing

This is the third stage of this print. Next I will write the letter.

Monday, June 20, 2011

New Cardinal

I have another cardinal print that I didn't like much, so I did another one with a circular design. I thought it was interesting. I have several pairs this year at my feeder and they are the most amazing red. I want to do another with the colors of the female.

In this letter I wrote Dad about a dream I had of him in his Navy uniform on a big ship with me beside him. It was the first time in a long time I didn't think about him on his death bed, but rather in his prime, standing proud.

I think this is turning point in my grief process. It feels so uplifting to have a wider perspective of his life in my thoughts.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Letter to Dad - Chickadee

I left this print in black and white. I have been experimenting with color but felt this one was simplified enough to leave it alone.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I couldn't decide whether to put some color on the birds or the flowers. So this is one version.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

House Finch Print

I am using a water based ink that dries permanent so that I can come in with watercolor and put in some color.

This is a three part printing process. First I print the flowers or branches. Then the bird, and finally the color. Then I sit down and write the letter.

Each letter is different and is spontaneous. I got the reference photo for this Finch in my parents ornamental pear tree when it was in bloom. One of those perfect moments.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Finished Memorial Print

This is the finished Chickadee print I did for a friend. The red berries were added with watercolor. There are tiny touches of green on the berries too.

I like the finished product and the poem that is written by my friend's mother is wonderful.

I am really happy with this one.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


This is a commission I am doing for a friend in memory of her mother. Her mom left her little notes and this poem that I put in the background. The two chickadees are turned toward each other representing the mother and daughter. I hope she likes it!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Final "Bug" portrait with Pan Pastels

This is the finished painting/drawing of "Lady Bug". She was a loving companion to one of my best friends.

I sharpened up edges around the ears and right side of her fur with a sharpened hard pastel. Lights in her eyes were also added with the same.

I used warm colors on the right side where the light shone, and cooler hues of the same values on the left. This can't be seen on the photo, but put in by the artist to show volume and contrast.

Notice the background is most intense on the upper right side to help pull the eye to the point of interest, her eyes. And it adds to the tilt of the head.

Blessings to "Bug" in doggie heaven!!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Demo of Lady Bug part 1

This my preliminary drawing of "Bug". I was doing a demo of Pan Pastels for the Austin Pastel Society this last week-end. This is a far as I got.

I put the background in with cotton balls and used Q-tips to apply the color for the fur. The lighting in the building was a huge challenge for me and I had a hard time evaluating how much color I was putting down. When I got home I could see I had more work to do.

I will past the finished work tomorrow.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Crow Letter

This is another block print I just finished. The letter is written in a finer ink pen and I think I like the obscured letter better although it doesn't present as much value contrast.

I may try one with color. I have an ink that dries permanently and can allow watercolor over it when dry. I like the carving on this one.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Letter to Dad - Chickadee

I seem to be stuck in my painting so I have dropped back into something that is pleasing to do and meaningful. Block printing.

I started writing letters to my Dad, who passed away a year ago, as a way of processing his death. It was very helpful and relaxing, so I carve a block of a bird (symbol of transformation) when I don't seem able to do much else.

I painted some of them, but this one seemed right in black and white, because Chickadees are basically those values. This is a square format which I like.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Germany Challenge 2

This is a small pastel of a photo from the Carol Marine challenge.

I am not thrilled with it, and have alot of trouble with landscapes. I will have to continue to practice.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

German Challenge

This is the challenge this week. I landscape. I used some of the things I learned from Liz Haywood-Sullivan workshop

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Double Pear

Well, I like the pears, but the whole composition is too heavy on the right.

I might do this again and see if I could get maybe a third element in the empty space. Maybe just space the plate differently.

I need to keep working on the set-up.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Austin Pastel Society Annual Show

I was so excited to receive the "Best of Show" prize for my bobcat.

As you can see from the grin on my face I was very happy and surprised.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Second white pitcher

I reworked the background on the right side of the pitcher.

I learned that gray in pastel needs to be a mixture of colors, not black with a lot of white in it. If you look at the previous blog, and compare it to this one, you might see the difference.

The area is under the spout and to the right.

I want to do something else and work with the grays.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

White pitcher

This is a study of a white object on a colored background. It got a little messy, but it was fun to do.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

white paper with under wash challenge

This is Uart paper 600 grit with an under wash of warm colors.

The shadow forms from the large trees bugs me. I would do some things differently, but had to stop before my head exploded.

This is very different from how I paint, so it was indeed a challenge.

One of the things I enjoyed about this workshop and challenge was to watch accomplished landscape artists in our group stretch too, and have a hard time getting a good painting out of a workshop exercise.

I always think I am the only one who can't paint a good painting all the time. It encouraged me to do more exercises.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Black paper challenge

I attended the Liz Haywood-Sullivan workshop this past week-end. She had us do a painting on Black Canson paper, and then the second day we did the same reference landscape on white sanded paper with an under wash.

This is the result of the first day. Very quick work and rather unfinished looking, but you can see the drama of the dark paper showing thru.

I will show the next one tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Green Eyes Cousins

I have my two kitties with me in this painting.

I finished this self portrait in pastel before the workshop painting in oil.

I am hoping to transfer some of the techniques to my pastel painting.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

red grapes

My final painting for the workshop was this little sprig of grapes. I spent about 30 minutes working with different objects to get a composition I liked.

It was good to know that others have to take a long time to get set-up too.

If I don't feel inspired by the set-up, the fun goes out of the painting process. And that is what I have found to be the point of painting...not the product, but the experience of painting.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Oranges and Plumb

This painting was a four color challenge with three colors close on the color wheel, blue, turquoise, and purple, with the compliment, orange.

It turned out better that I thought it would. I was very leery of the background blue being so intense, but then I watched Carol go even more saturated with her demo. Very exciting.