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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Aurora

"To everything (turn, turn, turn) There is a season (turn, turn, turn) And a time to every purpose, under heaven….." The words to this song (from the Byrds, Pete Seeger, and the book Ecclesiastes) has been stuck in my head for the past few weeks. It started when we...

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Pancakes

I am not a weepy person. I think the years have coated me a bit in a tough, cynical shell, but sometimes I come across a painting that breaks through my armor, reminds me of why I became an artist and makes me want to run to my easel. My ideas suddenly bigger than I...

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The Shape of Things

Composing simple shapes in a painting is one of the most important things you can do compositionally. And the hardest…… Having variety in shapes leads to a more interesting painting and to a more sophisticated-looking design. Here is a painting I did a while ago…...

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A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there was a thought. She was small and wispy, just a ghost of a form. She was born in the kitchen among a scribble of words. She grew into a hope. Scrawny with scarred knees, running into consciousness whenever she could. A reminder of what could be....

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No Easy Button

Ok. Time for a vent about a pet peeve. I was recently online and ordering an art book and found myself amazed at how many books have “Made Easy” in the title. “Watercolor Made Easy”, “Pastels Made Easy”, “Abstracts Made Easy”, “Pencil Shavings Made Easy.........

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“Let it go…”

I have often heard over the years…."How do you do it all? You have 3 kids, 2 cats, a beast of a house, a husband that runs a company, family health issues and yet you still paint…" Well, in the words of a famous Disney song, I have learned to "let it go". There is...

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Red Tape

Pastel can’t be mixed like regular paint. We pastellists typically have to hunt and peck for the correct hue, value, temperature, tint and chroma in our available sticks. This can lead to the never-ending curse of trying to find the “perfect” stick and a sense that we...

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Companions

My 16-year old daughter in all her wisdom has recommended to me that my blogs can’t all be about technical stuff, so in that vein, I am talking this week about my companions in the studio. So if you don't like photos of cute kids and cats, you may want to skip this...

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Gliders, Burners, Builders and Blenders. Part 4

Blenders Ah... Blenders. I use Blenders like the RED sprinkles among the other sprinkles on the frosting. Yep, very sparingly. This works for me and takes some planning, since I can get carried away with them. Who wouldn’t? Brightest colors, softest feel- what we...

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Gliders, Burners, Builders and Blenders. Part 3

Gliders are the sprinkles on my cupcake. Pastels that are “gliders" are kind of special. They have this uncanny way of gliding over the top of other pastels making them great for deliberate mark-making…. Most gliders are machined (not hand-made) and that makes them...

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