Monday, November 30, 2015

732 Baby Queen Bee

This is my grand niece/god daughter, Natalie as a baby.  She is now an adult and has always been affectionately called Queen Bee.

"732 Baby Queen Bee"
acrylic - 7x5 in

Saturday, November 28, 2015

731 Hello

I thought if I would paint someone I didn't know well, it might be easier.  I enjoyed this exercise.

"731 Hello"
acrylic - 8x10 in

Friday, November 27, 2015

730 Contemplating

With each new painting and lots of study, I am learning.  I have
 corrected this painting at least a dozen times after photographing it, when errors glare at you.  I have to give it up for this painting (for now).  As the month nears an end, I hate to see it go, as Chantel's class comes to a close soon.  I never thought an online class could be so informative! I will continue  working on portraits at least until the end of the year, and then who knows where my whim will take me....

"730 Contemplating"
acrylic - 8x10 in

Thursday, November 26, 2015

729 Make a Wish

Although I am enjoying this portrait painting class very much, I am having difficulty getting my subjects to look like they are supposed to look.  I seem to make the children look older than they really are in the photo.  Perhaps I should be an age progression artist.  ha ha.  I am not sure if this is because I know the people I am painting, and if it would be any different if I were less connected to the person.  In any event I am not giving up and will continue to practice.

Perhaps you have noticed that I have not posted with my regular frequency.  I have two tennis elbows and it is really cramping my style.  In addition, these portraits take much longer than my normal daily paintings so I often take two days to complete one.  Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.  I am grateful that you indulge me by receiving my paintings and notes each day.  I really appreciate your comments and encouragement.

"729 Make a Wish"
acrylic - 9x12 in

Monday, November 23, 2015

728 (My) Brown Eyed Girl

There are a few things off in this portrait, but one of them is not the eyes of my Brown Eyed Girl.
It's really telling that when you paint a painting, you almost become too involved with it, and you cannot see the errors.  But give a little distance and time and perhaps a view of her staring back at you on a computer screen and I see that the nose is a little too long and the lips are a little off.  The "attitude" in the reference photo is missing, and she is softer in the photo, less tough.  Taking all of that into consideration, I still feel good about his painting because I only started this portrait course 23 days ago, having never painted them before.

"728 (My) Brown Eyed Girl"
acrylic - 9x11 in

Sunday, November 22, 2015

727 Patiently Waiting

I am certain that my family will be mortified when they read this blog post. Quite some time ago, I was at Kinkos/Fed Ex and the line was quite long.  In front of me stood this lady, so patient and very beautiful, particularly her skin.  Because the line was moving slowly, I had quite a bit of time to debate with myself, "Should I or shouldn't I?"  I finally convinced myself that "What do I have to lose?"  So I explained to her that I am an artist, and although I did not currently paint portraits, I would someday like to, and she was a perfect candidate, so would she mind if I photographed her.  She was so flattered, yet embarrassed because she had just come from a work out and she thought she wasn't presentable.  I have kept the photo in my "someday" file, and am so happy to include it as one of my assignments for my portrait class. 

"727 Patiently Waiting"
acrylic - 10x8 in

Saturday, November 21, 2015

726 Ronnie With the Smiling Eyes

This is my brother Ron as a baby.  He is now in his late 70's.  The photo, where he is sitting on a horse, is very grainy and in black and white with just a hint of sepia.  In case you are wondering about the long hair, my mother thought if you cut a child's hair too early, the curls would go away and never come back.  At his age, he has a full head of beautiful white hair.

"726 Ronnie With the Smiling Eyes"
acrylic - 8x8 in

Thursday, November 19, 2015

725 Lost and Found

Yesterday I found this old girl roaming around our neighborhood, looking for food.  No collar/tag.  She was frightened and looked so sad with those big milky eyes.  Bribing her with treats, she cautiously approached, then ran away again.  Luckily she went to a neighbor's yard with a gated section for their trash cans, so she was cornered.  Our local police came and took her to the station, and luckily she had a microchip, and later he called to say she was reunited with her family.

I should be working on painting people portraits today for my class, but I can't get this pooch out of my mind.  I started wondering if the same principles we are learning in our people portrait class would work with painting animals, and I was so pleasantly surprised.  I have painted many, many dog portraits, but never with this technique.  As instructed, there was no drawing, just painting with the paint, blocking in shapes and values.  Soon she emerged and I was pleasantly surprised.   I hope she is happy at home.

"725 Lost and Found"
acrylic - 6x6 in

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

724 Pretty in Pink

The online portrait class is definitely a challenge for me, but I'm enjoying it (most of the time).  These paintings take much longer to complete, and I am hoping with time, I will be more familiar with the process, facial construction, and therefore more comfortable painting portraits.  I am determined.

"724 Pretty in Pink"
acrylic -

Sunday, November 15, 2015

723 Daydreaming

"723 Daydreaming"
acrylic -

Friday, November 13, 2015

722 So Tired

I need lots of practice with the lessons I have learned so far in my online portrait class.  These exercises are very gratifying but I have far to go.   I may have bitten off more than I could chew with this one.  The angle of the face was challenging for me.  I am still having trouble with the colors---I don't want them to look clown-ish, but I don't want to be so realistic that there is nothing exciting about the painting.  The last portrait is a good example of that.  I tried to be a little looser with this one.  (For some reason, yesterday's painting did not get posted to Daily Paintworks, so please refer to it via my blog if you would like.) 

To get accuracy with the image, I employed a few of the suggested tools to measure size and placement of features.  I also, as recommended, turned the photo and my painting on it's side, at which time glaring errors became evident.  Then I turned both images upside down, and bingo! that's when the greatest improvements were made, especially in shading.

I am very excited about learning something new and am enjoying Chantel's class very much.  She is an excellent instructor!

"722 So Tired"
acrylic - 6x6 in

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

721 Ruby

As I recently mentioned, I am taking an online course on portrait painting.  It is very organized, informative, well taught and includes homework.  Our second assignment is to pick a photo ( with no teeth showing!).  Using a timer, observe it for 2 minutes, then put it away, and paint from memory for a timed 15 minutes.  I can't even consider showing you how horrifying that painting was.  Next we studied the painting for 2 more minutes, followed by 15 more minutes of painting.  We did that for 2 more times until we reached an hour of painting from memory.  It was still still horrible, and I was so unsettled that I spent another hour doctoring up the painting by looking at the reference photo.  I put it aside for a day, and of course, errors were glaring when I returned to it today, so I spent another hour moving features around and adjusting lights and darks.  In the photo, Ruby was a baby, and the child in the painting above looks much older.  Considering I haven't tackled portraits in the past, I feel I am making progress, but there is still much to learn.  I have nowhere to go but "up." 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

720 Opportunity

Some days I have a set plan, other days I have no idea what I will paint, hoping something will present itself to me.  Today was one of those days.   I had homework to do for my portrait class, but wasn't sure I would want to post that.  Then an opportunity presented itself.  Oliver and I were taking our morning walk and we passed some guys doing fall cleanup in our neighborhood.  In the pile of leaves were several gorgeous hydrangeas in a variety of colors.  Since my hydrangeas didn't produce a single flower this year (why is that?), I couldn't resist collecting them and bringing them home.  They are so lovely floating in this lovely aqua bowl.  There is opportunity everywhere.  You just have to look for it.

"720 Opportunity"
acrylic - 6x8 in

Sunday, November 8, 2015

719 End of the Season

We visited Door County this weekend for one last time until Spring invites us back with fresh paintings and vivid spring colors.  Many of the shops and restaurants were closed for the season, giving Door county a sleepy town feeling.  The Gallery was hopping on Saturday night for the artist party with a vivid literature theme, including many very creative costumes depicting favorite books.  Fifty Shades of Grey seemed to be a popular theme, with many people wearing a variety of paint chips in the grey scale.  The people there, artists and their guests/spouses were friendly and the air was festive.  It was a magical ending to my freshman year, and I am so looking forward to what is ahead.

This scene is one I look forward to every time we visit Fish Creek.  As you approach the quaint downtown area, you drive down a steep hill and this is the view you see around the bend.  I don't know what the island is in the background, but it is a beautiful scene.  I hope I have done it justice.

"719 End of the Season"
acrylic - 9x12 in

Thursday, November 5, 2015


Although I have not been posting with my usual regularity, I have been very busy with all things art related.  I am preparing for a show at the Tall Tree Gallery and Studio, my away-from-home happy place, which is where I meet once a week, year round, for lessons.  In addition to the actual painting, there is so much to do to prepare for a show---varnishing, framing, preparing lists for the gallery owner, sending invitations with notes, etc. 

I have been painting on larger formats, this one measuring 24 x 24", which of course is not completed in a day, hence the recent absence of small works for Daily Paintworks.  I just love these bowls, hand made by Jean Smaglik Wells.  I've collected the bowls and her platters for many years.  You can see more of her work here:

I also recently started an online portrait course with Chantel Barber
I have NO experience with portrait work, nor have I ever taken an online course, so this is really scary for me.   So far we have had one homework assignment--to paint a grey scale portrait using 4-5 greys in 45 minutes or less.  It's not that easy, folks!  Finding a suitable reference photo was a real challenge, as it needed to be high contrast, and no toothy smiles!  Chantel critiques our work, but I have not yet had the courage to check for that.  I know I will learn a lot from this very talented artist with a most distinct style, who is very giving in sharing her techniques. 

I am pleased to tell you that I had a successful season in Door County and have been invited back to the Edgewood Orchard Galleries for next year's season.  I am very grateful.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

718 Wishful Thinking

After working in the yard all day doing Fall cleanup, and having recently painted many Autumn paintings, it hit me hard that winter is coming, which I dread.  Maybe the subliminal wish for Spring, rather than Winter, moved me to paint this today.

"718 Wishful Thinking"
acrylic - 12x9 in