Sometimes I get restless.
“I just throw dignity at the wall and think only of the game”
– Suzanne Lenglen- the world’s first female professional tennis player
I found myself recently staring back at an old friend.
“The trouble is, my dear doctor, is that you see, but you do not observe…”
– Sherlock Holmes to Watson
Last Friday I did a zoom lecture.
All light sources have an inherent color.
“Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers.”
– Josef Albers
Let’s talk color.
Poor little potato.
No, I’m not talking about the AC/DC song.
But sometimes work gets put on hold…
So now it is time to get to work…
“… and we never failed to fail, it was the easiest thing to do.”
– Crosby, Stills and Nash
This is the only thing I have that belonged to my grandfather.
The biggest weapon an artist has is observation.
I recently got a splinter.
How things change…
Survival is its own creative act.
I love authentic people.
Last week I was talking about a space feeling “right.” This week is about a painting feeling “right.”
I have a confession to make… I like making my bed.
Happy New Year! I’m back!
Please tell me 2020 is almost over…
Time to chat about composition with Patrick Lee.
A focal point in an image is key.
So the textures in Patrick Lee’s paintings are unsurpassed. Yet it is the composition that makes you look twice…
I love butterflies. How weird and wonderful that they taste flowers with their feet.
Someone asked me recently what was the most difficult commission I have ever done. And without hesitation I thought of one of the very first ones I ever did.
My daughter was struck by lightning.
So apparently my cat walked into wet oil paint and walked across my taboret and floor…
“So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key.”
-Eagles song, “Already Gone”
Just as in this tumultuous political climate, in art, there is no such thing as neutral.
In the past few weeks I have moved on to painting other things. And sometimes things get knocked around.
A hardbound book is given to the client at the end of a commission.
You know the saying “To make an omelette, you have to break a few eggs?” Well, to make a pastel painting you have to break a few sticks.
So I always get annoyed with taking photos of my finished work…
Portraits are a treasure hunt… searching… searching…
Once the client is satisfied with the overall design and I know what their goals are in the commission, it is time to get to work.
I have worked with artists creating commissions thoroughout the years and one of the biggest pieces of advice I can give to them is to do your homework.
I have a new commission…
A painting is theater.
So I am not an expert on abstract paintings. In fact, when I go to a museum or show, they don’t tend to capture my attention. The only clear exception for me has been Frances Kline.
I see portraits all the time with teeth… oh man, just don’t do it.
A brush is an artist’s friend, so we need to take care of our pals…
“It’s hard to dance with a devil on your back so shake him off…” – Florence and the Machine
The weather has been nice where I am lately so I recently found myself out on the grass looking up at white, fluffy clouds moving quickly past the trees.
I am a bionic woman.
Pastel Is a tactile medium.
I am crabby. Crabby, crabby, crabby…
And just like an an awkward teenage girl, when a line grows up it can get curvy.
A line is the most powerful tool in art.
There is something inherently powerful about welding a brush…
You know you are an artist when…
So while in quarantine I have been doing critiques for artists…
Sometimes a light shines in the darkness… or at least into your living room.
I am busier then ever… so why do I feel that I am not getting much done?
Hi! this week I am taking you to a wonderful blog spot called How to Pastel.
In the very beginning of designing this painting I asked myself- “What is most important?”
Hang in there everyone! Glad you could join me again this week from containment. I sincerely hope that talking about painting will keep your mind off any worries for a few minutes and we can chat about beauty and art…
“What color should I use for skin?” I get asked this question all of the time.
“Pink” is just a name for a broad category of colors.
I often see artists getting ready to paint something like this flower above and I watch them getting out all their pretty, pink pastel sticks or start to mix up pink paint… uh… nope.
I got new glasses.... And in getting new glasses I discovered a few things. I am not that young anymore. Yes, I finally had to break down and get Progressives. Or those pesky "bifocals" as we used to call them. Ok, I am almost 52 years old, so I guess I did pretty...
More on those panels!
This week I will take you through the stages that the paintings went through for the restaurant project that was discussed last week.
I recently found myself painting in oils for a new Restaurant…
Over the holidays I was lucky enough to spend a few weeks in the Caribbean with my daughters’s boyfriend's family who live in Antigua so I got to be surrounded by all three of my kids in 80 degree weather. On New Year's Day we heard about a meteor shower that would be...
My easel broke…
Lately I have noticed a weird phenomenon…
Tomorrow in the United States is Thanksgiving.
One of my favorite books of all time is The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I know there is a movie coming out soon based on the the book, but I don't think I can go see the film. The entire reason that I love the book so much is in the writing. It is the one book that...
All light sources have an inherent color. Photos tend to throw things off so we see things as “white light” yet did you ever paint something, say, a sunset, and when you added white to the sky it just looked plain “off” or even felt not very lit? Why do some paintings glow with light and some just seem chalky?
While you are reading this I am in day 4 of Jury Duty. Yup, this week I am a servant of the State.
If you paint portraits from photos, you instantly have a battle on your hands because those pesky photo references tell lies. Here’s why.
Controlling color is one of the most important things you can do as an artist… as well as the most difficult.
My students often complain about painting a nose. I hear ya, they are tough… so let’s look at a few things to make painting the schnoz a little bit easier.
Nope you didn’t miss anything … I have skipped a few blog posts. But a wise artist once told me that we have to bend “when life gets in the way” so here is what has been keeping me so busy.
I recently posted a little oil painting that I was working on last week and was pleasantly surprised when it received a lot of attention on Facebook. SO cool! So I thought I would show how this little image came to be.
I am always amazed when people tell me, “Oh! you are so talented!!” as though my work stems magically from fairies and pixie dust. Nope. Good art is created out of dedicated time and knowledge.
In September I am teaching two weekly classes…
As of this morning I have two girls in college…
Sometimes losses come all at once. And when it rains it pours…
So last week was my first “Power of Pastel” Workshop at Sweetwater Center for the Arts…
Plein-air and me? Oh man… I thought I would share some pics and struggles from the last week.
Recently someone asked me if I had a plan for my career now going forward. Goals for awards, shows etc… in other words, what does success look like to me now?
Chocolate is my friend. Well, maybe we are a bit too close when I see photos of myself.
Last week I was in Iowa City. I took my daughter to college orientation for the University of Iowa. My days with her home all the time are numbered, and soon it will just be my son and I. On the flight this is what he packed…
“Painting a landscape is illusionary… like trying to catch rainbows…”
– Phil Salvato
Last week I had the honor of inviting and studying with Alexander Soukas from Denver, Colorado as part of the Master Series of Workshops I am setting up here in Sewickley at Sweetwater Center for the Arts.
Sometimes a painting just keeps tapping me on the shoulder until I confront it, design it and then try to execute it. Sometimes this conversation with an image takes years.
I am always impressed by those artists that try so hard to keep their pastels squeaky clean.
A quick tip for those working in pastels this week…
Do you hate the painting you are working on? Frustrated with it and just wanna get it “over with?” I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but anyone looking at the painting will know…
“It’s all in how you arrange the thing… the careful balance of the design is the motion.”
– Andrew Wyeth
Yup… composition is king.
“I don’t think that there is anything that is really magical unless it has a terrifying quality.”
“The way I feel about things is so much better than the way I’ve been able to paint them. The image I had in my head before I started is not quite – never quite – completely conveyed in paint.”
– Andrew Wyeth
One of the most prized possessions I have in my studio space is an old book I bought for $6.99 from a second-hand book store.
So when is a color not a color???
Some artists are challenging me about the concept of grey not being a color.
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