Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday Sale #s 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

So it's been fun to look back on these older paintings and talk about them, but I'm actually a little eager to get back to posting about what I'm working on now (because it helps me stay motivated - I feel accountable to the blog!) so I thought I'd do one last holiday sale post, with basically all the rest of the paintings I have that aren't spoken for. (Each is $9.95 shipping.)

Reflecting Impression
11 x 15 Watercolor on watercolor paper
Buy Unframed for $195

Time Ripples On
15 x 11 Watercolor on watercolor paper
Buy Unframed for $195

Of Ruins and Shadows
11 x 15 Watercolor on watercolor paper
Buy Unframed for $195

Tulip Illumination
18 x 23 Watercolor on watercolor paper
Buy Unframed for $250

Red Velvet
15 x 11 Watercolor on watercolor paper
Buy Unframed for $195

Fiery Petals
15 x 11 Watercolor on watercolor paper
Buy Unframed for $195

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday Sale #6: Morning Solitude in Warsaw

This is a smaller version of a commission I painted for a friend and customer. I wanted to get warmed up and figure out the perspective (which wasn't a ton of fun - so much precision!) so I did it small first and then went a bit larger for her. I love the colors. And the peaceful feeling. I would love to sit down at that outdoor cafe and watch the street come alive. Or to wake up in one of those upper rooms and throw the windows open and look down at the charming cobblestone road below. One can dream, right? Isn't it great that art helps us do so?
Morning Solitude in Warsaw is a 15 x 11 watercolor on watercolor paper.
Buy it Unframed for $215 + $9.95 Shipping
Buy it Framed for $250 (20 x 16 Black wooden frame with red accents, single white mat and UV protective glass) for $ + $9.95 Shipping

--Now only available at The Dalles Art Center (

Contact me with questions or leave a comment!

Holiday Sale #5: Italian Fruit Market

I've been excited to post about this one! I felt proud of the accomplishment of finishing this one honestly. There was just so much involved and it took quite awhile. Also, I felt like it turned out like I had thought it could when I stared and stared at the photo before finally jumping in. There was something about the photo that just kept making me pause. It was in a stack of photos of Italy, sandwiched in between these awesome buildings and Venetian reflections, which were more the things I was looking to paint. But this jumble of fruit just wanted to be painted too. It kinda proved to me that those magnificent scenes were beautiful, but so was this mismatch of produce. I love that beauty can be found everywhere, even in the ordinary! Thank goodness for that! Italian Fruit Market is a 15 x 20 watercolor on watercolor paper.
Purchase Unframed for $295 + $9.95 Shipping
Purchase Framed (Custom-made black metal frame, single white mat and UV protective glass) for $335 + $9.95 Shipping

--Now only available at The Dalles Art Center (

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Holiday Sale #4: The Soft Touch

So I missed a day while I enjoyed celebrating Thanksgiving with lots of family that I love and delicious food to eat! I'm grateful for both! What a wonderful, fantastic holiday. But back to "work." Like the last painting, this is one of my early florals in watercolor. I had finished my first red rose previously but I really wasn't happy with it, and just felt I had to revisit the subject. When I took the photo of this beauty in my mother-in-law's garden, I was excited by the sunlight's "soft touch" on the petals, which brought great contrast and additional color. I was much happier with the result this time. It turned out, in my opinion, lovely and cheery and interesting. Hope you agree!
Buy Unframed for $195 + $9.95 Shipping
Buy Framed (20 x 16 Dark wood frame with double white mat and UV protective glass) for $225 + $9.95 Shipping

--Now only available at The Dalles Art Center (

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holiday Sale #3: The Garden's Joy

This one was my favorite floral for a long time. I loved the colors. I loved the ruffly edges. Didn't I say that about yesterday's painting? Turns out I like imperfectly unique petals. They're so much more interesting! And this lily, like most of it's kind, just looked so wonderfully confident as it opened up towards the sun. The Garden's Joy is a 14 x 11 watercolor on watercolor paper.
Purchase Unframed for $195 + $9.95 Shipping
Framed (20 x 16 Dark wood frame with double white mat and UV protective glass) for $225 + $9.95 Shipping

--Now only available at The Dalles Art Center (

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holiday Sale #2: Sunlit Poppies

These poppies were out in front of my in-laws house, and when we pulled up to visit one day the sun was shining right through them and I was enchanted. Painting those gorgeous, light-as-air petals was a true joy. I loved that although they were a brilliant solid red, the sunshine made them appear to be a smooth spectrum of yellows, oranges, and reds. It was perfect for watercolor! Painting in the greenery was slightly less thrilling, but it actually went quicker than I expected because I was motivated by living up to the blossoms (my husband confessed he thought I never would finish them). I think I must've been more patient back then, because I can't imagine sitting down to do all those stems now! But I did and it worked (in my opinion at least). This is an original 9 x 12 watercolor and gouache on watercolor paper.
Buy it Unframed for $175 + $9.95 Shipping
Framed (Black 14 x 18 frame, white mat, and UV protective glass) for $215 + $9.95 Shipping

--Now only available at The Dalles Art Center (

Monday, November 21, 2011

Holiday Sale: Rose I

After picking up some pieces from the Lawrence gallery in an effort to rotate inventory a bit, I looked at some of my older paintings and decided to do a little holiday sale! I just don't have room to keep them all in my little house, even if some of them, like the one below, hold a little sentimental place in my painting heart, so I'd love for them to find a nice home for the holidays! So every day I'll post a different one for sale at a reduced price - be sure to come back and take a look. This is my Rose I and was one of, if not the first flower I ever painted in watercolor. I was so happy with it as it came along, which is a little unusual since I usually like my paintings at the beginning and end and feel like they go through a number of stages of ugly in the middle. But this one was exciting to paint in all stages as the colors seemed to explode out of the middle on their own. I also loved the ruffly, wrinkly, interesting edges of the petals. The painting is watercolor on watercolor paper, and is 11 x 14.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

On to Attempt #2

So I am hesitant to even post tonight because I am just not confident about this yet, but that is kinda missing the point of why I started this blog. I wanted to show the process of painting and learning and figuring things out but it certainly feels a little like being naked in a public place. Or at least what I imagine that would feel like, because I never have been, except perhaps in the occasional nightmare. Anyway, so here's me not hiding with what I was working on tonight:
The one above is what I started on after being very unsatisfied with what I had going below. I think the proportions of her body and arm are much better. It also feels softer. A little more like perfect baby skin that is so soft and smells so good. A slightly concerning thing is that the two don't look like the same baby at all, despite being painted from the same photo. Granted, getting to the darker hair and finishing the lips and all will probably help, but I just really hope it looks like her. You just can't always tell from a photo. Like this one time, I painted this temple that my roommate was getting married in as her present, and when I met her there to give it to her, realized that the roof was slate gray, not brown like it had looked in the photo and thus, like I had painted it. Whoops. A face is so much easier to mess up, and if I can do that to a whole building ... but enough of that defeatist attitude. I think it's going better and am rather loathe to put down my brush and go to bed while it's working, but alas, moms don't get to sleep in so I better sleep now!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Too much emotion to paint

So I've been avoiding painting the last few days. I was way excited to finish the bridge painting, but then was way, way too intimidated by the emotion involved with my next painting to get started. Feeling totally heartbroken for our friends that lost their baby a few weeks ago, I volunteered to paint her portrait for them. She took me up on it, wanting to give it to her husband (so if you happen to know who I'm talking about, please don't tell). She sent me a bunch of photos and I've been looking at them daily, feeling a tremendous amount of self-inflicted pressure to do an amazing job. The biggest problem being I start crying every time I look at the photos of this little angel. Other problem being, I have very little experience painting portraits, and a baby seems especially challenging to me, particularly with pretty muted lighting. Anyway, I finally got myself to try a sketch as a first attempt the other night:
And then tonight I got started on a painting. So here's a start. I really want to do a good job here for them. I've always felt it's important to use our talents to bless other people's lives and this is the first time I feel like it really could. To any of you fabulous portraitists, any advice? Please.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Naming Game

Aside from a few, very minor touch-ups, it is finished! Sure, it took a little extra time thanks to my stupidity, but I was able to get myself out of the way in the end and to even paint a few straight lines (and a few not-so-straight ones) with my shaky hand. Just looking for a title now. Something about going through the tunnel ahead, but much cooler sounding. Something about the man-made beauty amidst the God-made beauty. Or something about it being a one-way road. Maybe Going My Way. The Narrow and Straight. Passing Through. Suspension. Any ideas? What does it make you think or feel like? As soon as I've got this whole title thing figured out, I'll send it in to this month's Virtual Paintout challenge(And how cool is this, the month's not even half over yet?!), centered in Arles, France.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Frustrating reflections

So it was rather slow going tonight. In fact, there's so little progress that I wasn't going to post at all. But then I thought I might end up just repeating my mistake unless I wrote it down. So here goes. To my future self: If I am going to be painting a reflection of lots of different shades and tints of green, paint the reflection at the same time. You know, when you still know how you made the color! Or even better, when you still have that exact color on your palette. Because as hard as mirroring shapes is, duplicating all those exact colors is much, much worse. Wouldn't it have been nice if I had thought ahead and saved myself the unnecessary stress? It's like how I always start painting in the bottom right and then have nowhere to rest my hand without messing it up. Honestly, sometimes I think I'm not smart enough to paint.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

All thanks to a pop-up card

So here is the new painting as it stood last night. It is an entry for this month's Virtual Paintout. I had a hard time finding anything I liked because it was winter when the google car went there, so it was pretty devoid of all the lovely greenery I am drawn to. Then, as I was giving up, I stumbled on this image and I was, as they say, back in the game. The drawing was a bit tortuous because of the perspective and the painting of it made me wish I'd given up. I tried to liven it up with some fun stonework, but that only made it look like a cheap carnival. Honestly, it reminded me of this painting I'd tried to do a few years ago of my daughter and her friends playing ring-around-the-rosies:
I had tried something totally different, way out of my comfort zone but really fun. The idea was there, and I totally enjoyed doing it but in the end it just didn't work and I didn't have a clue what to do about it. So it has sat in my portfolio ever since. I pull it out occasionally and look at it, then put it back in with a sigh. And this one was looking like it was destined to join it. Apparently I can't do fun. But this morning was a new day, and I started by regaining a bit of confidence when I helped my daughter create a pop-up birthday card and she thought I was a genius. I love how easy it is to amaze them at this age (Please don't grow up and realize I'm not cool after all)! But anyway, on a bit of a high, I snatched a few minutes to paint and it started to look like we could be friends again, the painting and I. And I think it kept going well tonight. I really like the trees and bushes on the right. The sky, the trees, the road and stone might actually fit and belong in the same painting. What do you think? Any suggestions?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hidden Gems

So yesterday we ventured out into the fog, (which sadly kept me from getting the photos I wanted of all the brilliant colors!!) and went to the Maryhill Museum. If you ever happen to be here in the Columbia Gorge, I totally recommend it! What an amazing little hidden gem. It's basically in the middle of nowhere, and yet it's this fantastic museum with gorgeous grounds, and some serious expansion about to get underway. Queen Marie of Romania apparently dedicated it (fascinating history about and displayed in this place), and there was this really great Rodin exhibit downstairs of miniature studies and sketches he did in preparation along with one big piece and an educational display that showed the steps of bronze casting. Surprisingly, as I explained this to my eldest, she was really interested. I love it! I know it's kinda odd that I bring my very young children to galleries and art museums any chance I get, and I always worry that they're too loud but they just don't get it in school anymore. It's awful!
 I wasn't the biggest fan of art history as I got my degree (ok so I slept through most of it and crammed for the tests), but ever since my husband and I dressed up as Van Gogh and his Starry Night painting-in-progress respectively, for Halloween a few years ago and were shocked and appalled that the majority of adults couldn't identify us (come on people!!), I've tried to introduce art history to my kids and their classes whenever I volunteer in the schools any chance I get. And this time, apart from some squawking protests from our little man, who wanted to touch everything he saw and couldn't, the kids ate it up.
My girls actually brought legal pads of paper and plopped down in the middle of each room to write about their favorite artworks! All on their own! And then there was this kids room where they got to make Rodin-inspired sculptures out of tin foil and draw portraits that they could tape up on the wall for all to see. It was awesome. They loved it. Basically they thought I was a great mom for bringing them, which means I win.
 To finish it off, we went to the gigantic Stonehenge World War I memorial down the road and ran out any leftover pent-up energy among the largest set of stacked rocks we'd ever seen. Again, in the middle of nowhere. Isn't it great to find little hidden gems nearby? The day was only slightly tarnished by discovering a LIVE MOUSE in my kitchen later that night. Seriously. You read that right. Naturally I then worked my tail off cleaning the house from top to bottom into the wee hours of the morning instead of painting. Stupid mouse.

*I have actually started a new painting but don't feel it's presentable yet, meaning I hate it. Should be looking better and ready to post tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Reaching for the Sun

So a little over a week ago, on the last day of my class I challenged them to next paint a lily on a larger piece of paper than they'd been using. The large petals of the lily, especially on a larger paper, call for very different strokes than say the small petals of a zinnia. They kind of force you to loosen up as you make strokes with a bigger brush by bending and extending you arm at the elbow instead of at the wrist or just the fingertips. It's fun! So here's my quick explanation as promised: I tend to fill in the petals working wet on dry, with my brush loaded up with paint and water. Doing it wet on dry as opposed to wet on wet (the way I start my flowers usually) keeps some of the lines from the brush strokes there instead of smoothing them out, which I feel works better for lilies. Just my preference really. Then I use lots of color (no surprises there), and take care to not let shadows on yellow areas turn muddy. Have them glow instead if possible, which isn't really happening in this painting yet but it's not done and the composition is fun and I think it's off to an interesting start. Here's a couple of images you could choose from if you don't have any photos of lilies (click on them to make them bigger, or if you'd like, ask me to email them to you as an attachment):
I didn't include the one I'm painting from because it has terrible coloring and is all washed out. I'm just kind of making it more colorful like it should've been if it'd actually been a good photo. Have fun!