Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ukulele Art

My other addiction: ukulele.
Bought an inexpensive ($40) Makala ukulele, sanded the finish off and painted the image that was in my mind's eye when I looked at it...Thin layers of acrylic paint, a shellac finish and it still sounds decent..Still want to have a cleaner finish, no brush marks, no blobs, but need to take the strings off and spend some time sanding and polishing...Right now I am having too much fun playing it..
Got great advice from Mike Da Silva, uke builder extraordinaire!
All I need is the patience.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Foam, foam on the Range...

Sorry, I couldn't resist...

I just finished clearing out my studio to prepare for new lighting installation..(Hopefully it will help on the foggy, or rainy days and at night... ) Sawing, sheetrock, paint, and dust don't go well with all the STUFF. Once it was cleared out it was so... light! airy! spacious! clean! Maybe it's time to move the paintings on to a new home....Hmmmmm.
Meantime, I have been painting on a ukulele, which is time consuming but a nice break from the canvas...will post it when I am finished. Back east to Maryland tomorrow for a week to see my mom...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Quicksilver Blue

This is not the ocean, but a small tributary of the Choptank River in Maryland. Most of my reference material comes from here in California, where most of the time it is either foggy or clear or stormy. Very rarely are there puffy white clouds in blue sky, as one sees so frequently on the East least not in the early morning when I tend to be in the water... I had been saving this photo for quite a while, but when a piece of aluminum appeared for me to paint on, I knew I had to use it.. I would like to know how to paint thin glazes so that the reflective quality of the aluminum surface somehow works with the paint.. Instead of just being covered up... This piece has a tiny bit of that quality..

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Shaded Sea

Once I concentrated on the final plunge, all went smoothly...

"Shaded Sea" oil on canvas (24"x30")

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Take chances, make mistakes!

Started out really well on this painting, thinking that I had really learned a lot in my understanding of water and form, then totally lost it as I put the final layers on.. Trying out new colors... Too much time and distractions between times at the easel...Ruined the painting. What the heck.. I went at it with a rag and Gamsol, then sanded the whole canvas.. The result looks like an ash storm.. kinda cool..
So now I am paying a bit more attention to all the varying nuances of blue in my oil tubes... Getting the color results I want continues to be a huge challenge, not yet successful..
The good news is that I am still engaged with this painting of water..As long as it continues to be a challenge, as long as I don't understand it, as long as I question what and how, I keep returning..
The painting is still on my easel and I have been doing a lot of art in the studio... but haven't touched my oils.. It is intimidating, and the weight of not knowing what to do with it is heavy. But I want to work on it at least before I start something new....

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Primary or secondary experience?

oil on canvas (16"x20")

I heard Squeak Carnwaith interviewed on PBS the other day and she said that one can look at all the printed and projected images one wants, but in order to truly "see" a painting, one must see it in person...I totally agree. I am relating to my frustration at not being able to accurately take a true photo of my own painting, as well as the charcoal drawings. So much is lost when one is unwilling to hire someone who knows what they are doing. Even if I could, I agree with her, there is so much of the color, surface texture, size that cannot translate otherwise. If it's just about the image, I guess that doesn't matter so much, but there are so many subtle details that contribute to the experience of viewing a painting.. Probably just me and my own personal bias.

On another topic, I really need to get a website up and running. The archives of this blog are now way too long. It worked well originally, as all I wanted to do was let people know what I was doing.. and I didn't have much... but now, scrolling back over the years is not very efficient. Hope to say, Coming soon!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Two in one

Two canvases, 16"x20" each..

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Studio tour

While my son had his camera out, I thought it might be fun to post a video of my studio!
The space is very efficient, nice place to work! When I see large art studios, I always notice with envy the lack of clutter... but I am not complaining... I am happy to have a great space devoted to work! Lucky me!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Water therapy

oil on canvas 24"x30"

"The cure for anything is salt water-sweat, tears, or the sea."
-Isak Dinesen

Friday, May 29, 2009


I stopped this painting midway when I had to go back east when my Dad passed away...finished it when I returned..
Oddly enough, I couldn't take an accurate photo of it as every photo turned blue...Only when I put it against the yellow wall with no zoom was the color accurate. Must be some setting on the camera I have yet to understand..Can't crop too close either as it is blurry...Too bad my perfectionist leanings don't extend to this blog.. otherwise the photos I take would be a lot different...Being impatient isn't very helpful either..

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Avoiding "real" work, I turned to varnishing the small studies. I ended up arranging them on the floor...Lots of old pieces, but seeing them in a new way. Fun for me...

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Small works, catching up....

When I saw how a friend had framed this small wave, I was amazed at how good it looked....Framed like a precious jewel.. Wish I was committed enough (and wealthy to boot) to frame all of my art...

All oil on board, most 8"x10', the vertical one is 9"x12" .. When I am in between paintings or just don't feel like facing a big canvas, or need to work out some color, or idea or just get something out of my mind, this is where it goes. Occasionally, it may find it's way onto canvas.. but I feel I can experiment small and not waste precious time and/or materials... Sometimes I just have extra paint squeezed out and don't want to waste it..

Monday, March 16, 2009


(oil on canvas 12"x36")

Saturday, March 14, 2009

When in doubt...

Looking back over the past posts, I seem to be doing nothing but waves.. After that big painting I guess I unconsciously gravitated toward a different form.. I mean, painting water is one thing, but waves? They are mostly my experiments in color and support, so I guess a wave form is like having a home page...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Up against the wall!

( "The Wall" oil on canvas, 24"x24")
When I began this painting a month ago, I thought I had a clear idea of where I wanted it to go...I wanted to somehow convey the experience of being in the water on a clear sunny glassy day, looking on as a wall of white water comes rushing at me.. Stopping it in motion for just a second to explore the reflections, the shape of the moving foam, the angle, what movement looks like when it stops...The experience is always breathtaking for me.
Well, it started out quite nicely and I was enjoying myself.. then I hit a point where the relationship started to change, and I wasn't quite sure why.... so I have been attempting to make it work for me, painting and repainting, and have finally just decided to let it go and call it finished....If I keep at it I am afraid I will really mess it up..
I have a lot of ideas as to why it "isn't quite there" (for me anyway) so hopefully they will inform me the next time I attempt something similar....This seems to be a part of my process.. Learning by mistakes...wonder what this one will teach me?

And on another note. This sweet kitty ( Tigger) is the source of the occasional cat hairs that find their way onto the paintings ....This wave is oil on experiment with a new surface...Very nice and smooth....Just for fun..

Monday, January 19, 2009

January 7am

(oil 8"x10")
I recently discovered a gel medium (used to mix with paint to make it flow and dry faster, among other things) called Neo Meglip by Gamlin. It is supposedly a modern mix of a medium used by the old Masters, which allowed for glazing and luminous colors. In it's original form it is quite toxic, a no-no in this day and age..But not this new version!
This small oil was my first attempt at using the medium and I loved it.. Will continue to see what it allows me to do! There are layers and layers of paint... and although it may not show on the screen, the surface of the painting has a nice luminosity...Sorry its a bit soft, but I was shooting in low light (as usual) ..