The Workshop

Last weekend I was teaching a workshop in Cleveland.  I don’t teach very often, too many “mommy” responsibilities at home, but I do enjoy  a weekend out…. The main thing that always strikes me about a workshop is how so many artists can paint the exact same model and...

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“Friends of the Studio Part” 6 – Dusty Children

My children get dirty.  And I like to leave them that way….  no, no, not my actual children,  my pastel sticks….. I don’t worry about keeping my pastel sticks clean-  who cares?  Yes, they look pretty in the box, so shiny and bright, but then there is the stress of...

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“Friends of the Studio” Part 5 – A Box of Many Colors

I am a big believer in picking out a color harmony for a painting.  Planned color can unify a piece and beyond that, colors that "sing” together nicely can create a specific mood. Enter my color chip box…. Finding a way to begin to pick out colors for a painting can...

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“Friends of the Studio” Part 4 – Gloves in a Bottle

Pastel has a way of getting everywhere and it can be very drying to the skin…. Pastels can actually draw out the oils from the skin and in the winter I have been known to have very cracked and bleeding hands.   Some pastel artists are so good at using gloves, but I...

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“Friends of the Studio” Part 3 – Reflections

A good portrait has something stirring alive beneath the surface.  Know what it is?  The artist. Every portrait is not only a reflection of the model, but also of the creator. The danger is getting caught up in working on a portrait so much that I can’t see the...

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“Friends of The Studio” Part 1 – Bridges

Over the years I have gathered many comforting items in my studio.  I thought I would take the next few weeks and talk about my many “friends of the studio” If you have been following my blogs, you already know of my love for my good friend, aluminum foil. Read "An...

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Links

I was digging through my storage room this past weekend looking for a painting that I could rape for its frame….. Looking through old work is like an adventure into the past.  Sometimes it is rather melancholy and yet sometimes it is like meeting an old friend.  I...

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Cardboard Confidence

I was trying  to put together a “cool” artsy blog for this week and I was having trouble. Too many things on my mind…

The forefront of which was the latest high school shooting here in the States.  I remember being in high school and I think even the idea of being scared or losing my life at my high school would have been impossible to comprehend.  It would never have even crossed my mind.

I do know that when I was in art class I was happy.  Even if I didn’t learn anything that day, it was a refuge. Other kids knew I was good at drawing and it was my “thing”.  Art made me realize that no matter how “uncool” I was or what was going on in the microcosm of high school, that I had that –  art – and the simple joy it brought to me.  Other kids had band, or football or writing, or cheerleading.  Something that they liked and made them feel accomplished.  I don’t have any answers to these shootings, but I think kids these days need that – just simple joys.  A sense of being good at something and appreciated for it.

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YO!

As long as I am talking about color, I have found a friend in a color that has gone underestimated on the color wheel.  Yellow Ochre….. For some reason, (and I have been very guilty of this) artists try to build portraits in oranges, pinks and boring browns.  I see...

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Color of the Year 2018

Hello and Happy New Year!  Forgive me for being gone for a while,  I was working on this new website along with making the blog posts better and easier to access.   I learned a few very important things in the process… #1. A working website is worth its weight in...

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End Chapter. The Commission. First Impressions

Years ago I heard an artist talking about the lesson he learned while delivering a portrait….. He drove to the client’s house with a finished painting and had even framed it nicely under glass. He met the client at the door and the client then went with him to...

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Part 5. The Commission. Getting Dusty

It is time to get my hands dirty. As I work I keep beside me my “minders”- all the things that I have worked on up until this point to keep the paintings on track- sketches, intention statements, color studies, selected color harmony and notes from the photo session....

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Part 4. The Commission. Poster Studies

So after the best photos are picked out with the client, I ruthlessly go through them at home and always ask myself as I go along…"Is this them?”… “Is this the child I met?”... And also, “ Is this how they would want to be remembered 20 years from now?" “Will family...

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Part 2. The Commission. Cookies and Contracts

There was a story going around for years of a woman who was dining at a department store restaurant and at the end of eating one of the store's "famous recipe" cookies, she asked for the recipe….. She got a copy of the recipe, but when she got her bill she saw that...

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Part 1. The Commission.

Most artists have a love/hate relationship with commissions, because they create a threesome- the artist, the artwork and now the client. If you know my work only from facebook, exhibitions or magazines, you may not realize that I have done a lot of commissions. I...

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Fingerprints

There is a gremlin in my house. It leaves fingerprints all over the place. Especially on door jambs, light switches and on handles…... I think in most homes, the mom would scold the kids of the house, but I know better. It is just me. I am afraid I am the guilty...

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“He’s Dead, Jim”

Sometimes you just know the death of a painting is imminent. You try and try to pretend that he is a main character in your work, that he has a phaser for a reason, but no… he is the extra that was meant to die so that the others can learn from his death….. I have...

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The Art Police

My daughter was home from college this weekend ( hooray!) and she had some friends over for a study-fest Saturday night. While making curry, the girls got to talking about the awful teachers they had when they were young….. Kind of half-listening, I heard about how in...

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