Tuesday, August 4, 2015



14x22"  oil on linen

Some paintings just seem to "paint themselves". THIS was not one of them!! lol  I struggled and almost gave up on it at several points.  I just really wanted to work it out.  Finally very slowly, it started to pull together.  Sometimes it is worth the effort.

Thanks for viewing my art blog!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Annabelle Hydrangea

Annabelle Hydrangea 16x23"  oil on linen

I had fun pushing the textures on this one.  More abstract shapes than usual. I love to sculpt with the paint, using thickness and texture as well as chroma and value to lead the viewer through the painting..oh yes, and don't forget those beautiful lost edges! :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Frame Makeover

 Refinish those old frames!!

"Cheap" looking metal leaf frame

refinished warm antique black with soft handrubbed patina

As artists we all seem to accumulate those frames that we just don't know what to do with.  They may have gotten damaged shipping to a gallery or banged around transporting to a show.  Maybe they were "ok" frames but the finish just wasn't up to gallery standards or the color just won't work with the art.  
There are many ways to bring new life back to those old frames so they can come out of the closet and hang proudly on your best art!

I have been a fine art restorer for over 35 years and have learned many tricks about refurbishing damaged frames that I would like to share.  Most artists have the ability to refurbish their own frames but they lack the know-how. Being able to modify your own frames can not only save $1000's of dollars, but it can even open a whole new opportunity to the artist to individualize and modify their frames to be one of a kind pieces that will enhance their art. 

I am going to give a step-by-step for you on creating this lovely soft, handrubbed black finish, however, these same steps can be used to modify an existing finish or work with other base colors than just black.....have fun, get creative!
A friend and wonderful artist, Connie Kuhnle, has used some beautiful soft, greyed colors for her charming plein air landscapes.  One of my favorites is her antiqued mustard/yellow on a white and yellow farmhouse...it is perfect!!
I often use antiquing and waxing to add some interest to a newly purchased frame that just doesn't quite have the richness I am looking for.  It is a fairly quick and simple step that can make a remarkable difference.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Astilbe My Heart

Astilbe My Heart   18x24  oil on linen

I always choose a strong flower shape, (like a lilac or peony or iris), to put some mass in my composition that automatically tends to draw the viewer's eye.  Today's setup I did not do that.  All the flowers I chose are smaller blossoms or very light airy clusters.  Instead I used the glassware to add the more solid masses.  It is just a little different twist. 
 I used all shades of green in the glassware just for the challenge of getting variety in those subtle differences.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wildflower Bouquet

Wildflower Bouquet  16x20"  oil on linen

I was disappointed this week when my painting day was getting near and I had no substantial flowers in bloom in my gardens.  A few of this, a few of that, but nothing that really seemed like much of a painting.  Finally I decided to just start picking what I could find, threw in a few wildflowers from my walk with my dogs and came up with this wonderful, playful, happy bouquet!  So glad I painted them!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Rhode Show

The Rhode Show

20x20"  oil on linen

I've been eyeing my neighbor's rhododendron for several days...wanting to paint it so badly!  Finally was able to get some clippings today!  
I wanted to keep it light and airy, so I worked at staying high key.  I found that the "blocky" shapes in the flowers themselves lent themselves to a little different technique.  I kept the brushstrokes sharp and treated the whole painting as angles and shapes.

Thanks for visiting my artwork blog! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Aurora Geranium

Aurora Geranium 17x24"  oil on linen

I've been keeping my geranium from last season in my house over the winter.  I put it in a north window and didn't expect it to really do much more than survive, instead it thrived!  It was loaded with big healthy blooms but I needed to dramatically cut it back before setting it outside for the summer.  I put all those blooms in a vase and they looked so beautiful (especially to this flower starved gardener!).  I had to paint them.  They last such a long time as a cut flower I'm surprised you don't see them more often in arrangements.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Lemon in the Grape Parade

A Lemon in the Grape Parade       12x19      oil on linen

A still life with no flowers!  Just wanted to try some textures with more solid shapes.  I really had fun with this one....Just a bit of a change of pace.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Orange Star

Orange Star     16x20  oil on linen

Native to South Africa, this flower really is an "orange star".  It is such a wonderful spark of color in the long enduring winter.  
I worked a combination of brushwork and palette knife for this painting.  I'm having fun pushing the textures ever further.  I love the feeling of dimension you get when you build up the paint.
I'm learning more all the time about creating dimension also with shadows.  Probably the single most valuable lesson I took from the workshop with Laura Robb.  She told me to always be looking for those areas where you can push the value of shadows to give the sense of one thing in front of or on top of another to create that depth.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

DeliStar Mums

Deli Star Mums   15x16  oil on linen

I tried a little different technique on this painting.  Instead of my usual alla prima style, (working wet into wet often mixing color right on the canvas), I worked a bit from glazes and layering.  The mood is a bit more somber than my looser alla prima paintings.  
It is always fun and challenging to change things up and try something new.  
It took a couple days work because I had to let the first layer dry before working over top with the glazes.  
Just a different approach.  I found it easier to control colors but harder to get the transparent colors to be as effective.  It's worth some more studying.