Wednesday, January 25, 2017

842 Miranda, Sweet Sixteen

As mentioned in a previous post, I am taking a Flower Portrait painting class online.  The instructor primarily paints multi petaled flowers such as garden roses and peonies, which are not readily available this time of year to the average person in Milwaukee.  A dear friend's daughter is a flower artist who composes uniquely gorgeous arrangements for weddings and special occasions (see so I asked if she had any leftover flowers I could purchase.  I was invited to visit and in my wildest dreams I could never have expected to be offered such a large bucket of the most beautiful pink roses called Miranda.  Apparently, her supplier sent the wrong color for the wedding she was working on, and couldn't use them.  They only had a day or two left in them, so I had to work fast.  I am sure I did not do them justice with so many lovely ins and outs of the petals, but I hope I captured the essence of these beauties.

"842 Miranda, Sweet Sixteen"
oil - 14x11 in

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

840 Feisty and Sweet

Another painting as part of my Innocent's Project...

This adorable little girl is a student at one of the 165 preschools that ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid) has rebuilt/refurbished in the West Bank and Gaza.  ANERA has introduced new creative ways for 600 teachers to teach 30,000 children who attend schools in Palestine.  The new framework developed by ANERA, the Ministry of Education and others nationally and internationally concerned about education involves a creative approach to learning, just as we would see in most American preschools.  Instead of passively playing music in the background, children and teachers play a variety of instruments, incorporating dance, drama and art.  Play time is very important part of development for children in this age group, and so many social skills revolve around playtime.  At first the children didn't know what to do with the various games that were provided to them, therefore they mixed up all the playing pieces.  With time and effort, they learned to keep the games together and how to enjoy them.  We take things like this for granted.  These children live in horrific living conditions, but I am grateful to ANERA for providing them with education in a happy setting.

"ANERA’s ECD program is built on a comprehensive and holistic vision to provide the best learning environment for children in safe and colorful settings with child-appropriate learning materials and furnishings, sanitary facilities and playgrounds."  

You can read more about the wonderful work that ANERA does for refugees in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan here:   They also have Facebook and Instagram pages.

"840 Feisty and Sweet"
acrylic - 12x12 in

Thursday, January 12, 2017

840 The Law of Atrtaction

I am enjoying my online Flower Portrait class and here is my first full painting.  There may be some tweaking to do, but I enjoyed the very slow process of it.  The artist who is teaching the course strongly believes in The Law of Attraction and he applies the concept to our painting.   It makes all the sense in the world to me.

"840 The Law of Atrtaction"
oil - 12x16 in

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

839 Practice

With the new online course I am taking, I am making several adjustments--medium (from acrylic to oil), a new palette of paint colors, and a new technique.  There is always so much to learn in the process of identifying and perfecting one's "craft."

I spent a lot of time today and yesterday mixing colors and practicing the floral portrait.  Yellow is my nemesis color so I painted one of the yellow roses and a red rose for the first assignment.   I will try to find white roses or another multi petaled flower to paint for upcoming assignments.  I am enjoying this learning process after one of those "uh oh, what have I done?" moments yesterday.

"839 Practice"
oil - 8x6 in

oil - 8x6 in

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

838 Bloom Where You Are Planted

Happy New Year to all of you!

I received this amaryllis bulb at my Garden Club holiday gift exchange.   I was delighted to receive this bulb because of its unique growing technique---no dirt, no water, just put it somewhere where it will receive light.  Apparently, this is a new variety of amaryllis, and what could be easier?  It has produced four beautiful flowers on one stem and every day is a new visual experience. There is another stem which changes each day but it is now at the exact height of the blooms, so it will be interesting to see what happens next.

I set out to paint the beautiful blooms, but didn't want to tackle the bulb, and I didn't think just the stems and flowers would be interesting, so I propped it up first behind this black and white vase, thinking I could paint it seemingly IN the vase, but that didn't please me.  I took a risk with the vase in the background, and despite input from my best critic, I like it.  One of my goals for the new year is to be more of a risk-taker and to not labor over my painting, which will definitely be a challenge.

I am REALLY stretching myself by taking another online class on painting  "The Floral Portrait." After spending several hours over two days reading materials and watching several videos just in preparation for the first class, I have that sinking feeling of "Oh,  what have I done?"  I will be painting with water soluble oil paints, which I am far from competent at, but in line with the above-mentioned goal, I know I will learn a lot.  I will keep you posted.

"838 Bloom Where You Are Planted"
acrylic - 12x9 in