Sunday, August 23, 2009


I had a few hours to spend working on this painting this afternoon. I think it's coming along just fine. Of course, as John Singer Sargent said, ""It seems there is something wrong with the mouth! A portrait is a painting with a little something wrong about the mouth."

And, compared to some of my recent past self-portraits this one is not so dark and gloomy. I have a better outlook on life. That's good.

This is Self-Portrait 2009, acrylic on canvas 11" by 14".

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I've spent most of this week putting coats of paint on the studio cabinets and flat files. Here's what it all looks like at this point.
I prefer using oil-based paints on the wood cabinets. Oil can be a pain, but I like the looks and feel of it after its on. And I really enjoy opening up the cupboards to find the nice white finished insides. It makes me feel good! And they are easy to keep clean.
I've learned some good tricks over the years, such as - freezing your roller and brush instead of cleaning them. If I'm going to be painting every day this works much better than dealing with paint thinner. I always wear non-latex latex gloves when painting. I'm using a foam 4" roller and a good China bristle brush. At the end of the day, I wrap the brush in plastic wrap, making sure there are no air bubbles. I do the same with the roller, except I'm using a small plastic bag (originally for dog-doo!). I'm using two colors, so two rollers go into the freezer for the night. The next day I just don the gloves and unwrap the roller, stick it on the handle - good to go.
The last few days I've just been doing the shelves (seen on top of the cabinets) so I don't even need a pan. I just dip the roller into the can and slop it onto the horizontal surface! I did this on the inside of the cabinets, too. I could start on a horizontal surface and get the paint evened out on the roller before I went vertical. Cool, huh?
At the end of the job, I'll just throw these cheap foam rollers away. But, I always take very good care of my good brushes.

And, here are the paintings I've been working on this past week:

This one, Leslie, I touched up and re-worked a few times and I think it's finished now.
The top one is the same picture I posted a few weeks ago. I went back in and in an attempt to even out the color, obliterated most of it! So, I had to then add some color back in. You can see the final version at the bottom. This is Leslie, acrylic on canvas 11" x 14".

Since I am kinda into portraits at the moment, I thought I'd start another self-portrait. Here it is after a few days work. It's VERY ROUGH. As you can see I like to go in and first describe the lights and darks and some rough patches of color.

Later I will go in and even it out and make adjustments. [Hopefully I won't ruin it!] I do tend to overwork things. It's a constant battle for me to loosen up and let things be!
Anyway, this is Self 2009, acrylic on canvas 11" x 14", just the beginning!

Sunday, August 09, 2009


My husband Darrell and I spent the weekend working on the cabinets for the south wall of my upstairs studio.
I first had to go through and move everything out of the way. I put all the junk from that end at the other end. I packed up my painting stuff and moved it. The studio is a mess! I can't believe all the 'junk' I have.
I need to re-think where I keep everything and what configuration would work best.

I've been using the above white set of flat files, they were on the other side of the room. But I found that a lot of the paper I buy wouldn't fit in it, so I recently purchased a larger flat file. I wanted them built into the cabinets. So, I took them apart and cleaned them and sanded them and primed the outside front. That's them, in dark red, now set in place in the cabinets. Eventually they will be the same color as the cabinets, a muddy clay brown color. In the blank spots above and below the built-in flat files will be drawers. As you can see we stopped before the doors, drawers or top were made. Hopefully, it won't be too much longer before Darrell can get to them. In the meantime, I can be painting what is there. I also plan to strip down the white flat files and paint them the same brown color.

Over to the right is Lucy-dog in her little bed. [She's all tuckered out from all the hard work this weekend.]

And lastly I'd like to say that I am so fortunate to have such a generous and talented husband [who just happens to have a woodshop below my studio!] Thank you Darrell.

Friday, August 07, 2009


Here's the painting I've been working on this week. I changed it quite a few times, in fact, now that I've looked at it here I see something that I must fix! One of the things was the sky, I wanted a little more drama than I had originally planned.
I remember the day I took the reference photo for this. It was several years ago when we lived in Renton. I was coming home on a beautiful autumn day when I noticed all the vivid orange maple leaves that were covering the park, Linear Park, and the street that runs parallel with to it. The leaves were probably six inches deep in the street. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing. It was spectacular! And I didn't have my camera.
We lived just a few blocks away so I hurried home and found my camera and headed back. I couldn't believe my eyes, the street sweepers were there cleaning the leaves from the street. What poor luck. I hurriedly took some photos, but the light had changed and the leaves were gone. But, the image has remained with me for quite a while. I love autumn.
I painted the image that was the gloomier, more emotional image. Someday, I'll do the one that's only in my head, with the brighter colors and the bright sun.
This is Linear Park, acrylic on panel, 12.5" by 20".

This next image is just at the first stage, I've got a lot of work to go on it. But, I was tempted to leave it as is, but as I looked at it, after a while, I noticed some things that need fixing.
This is Leslie, acrylic on canvas 11" by 14".

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Well, I think I'm finished with this one, finally. I did this scene because I needed to work on shadows. I really struggled with it. I probably re-did the walls at least four times, before it finally sank in and I got it.
I've spent the last four weeks looking at shadows in real life, in photos, and in other paintings. I had to decide how I wanted them to look and figure out how to paint them like that.
I like that it's a little surreal in places.
Am I getting tired of this building yet? I don't think so!
This is acrylic on canvas 20" by 30".