Saturday, December 1, 2012

Series Painting

I've never done "a series" of paintings - in other words, taking the same subject and experimenting with it in different ways.  Recently, a friend ask me to paint two small paintings of her as a child.  Her wish is to give them to her sisters for Christmas.  I've known and traveled with this friend for almost forty years.  The fact that she has cancer, made this assignment/commission even more special.  I hoped that I would be up to the challenge.  It was quite a challenge as the reference photo she gave me was only about 2x3 inches, black and white, and she was one of five people in the shot.  In addition, she wanted the paintings to be small - about 3x5 inches, so her sisters could put them on their desks.  Following are my renditions.  It was a pleasure to paint these for her.  I hope she'll find two that make her (and her sisters') heart sing!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Lunch with "old" friends

Today I was so lucky!  I had lunch with friends from Steele Creek Elementary.  We worked together from 1976-1983.   I hadn't seen some of these ladies in almost thirty years.  What  a special blessing it was to reconnect with my friend Nettie Gentry.  We taught kindergarten next to each other for seven years!  It's hard to believe that we were in our early twenties when we started working together.  So many memories!  After lunch, we went over to my studio.  Here's a picture of Nettie with her new painting!
Thank you to Joy Cheek for organizing our lunch and to Betty, Kay, Marie, Sandy, and Joey for a great time together!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Introduction to Figure

Figure Class - November 2012

Yesterday I went to an Intro to the Figure session at Andy Braitman's studio taught by Charlotte!  Great class with lots of reminders, input, and feedback.  It was interesting to have a young male model - different energy and a need for more straight lines and angles.    The above drawings are just sketches, but I thought they were worth  posting.

Monday, October 8, 2012

BIG Picture FIgure Class

I've been taking a figure painting class from Miriam Durkin!  It's really been great!  The first four weeks we worked with one model, Kelly.  The first week we planned our compositions using smaller canvases.  Then, the next three weeks we worked on larger paintings - working on skin tones, shadow shapes, values, and light source.  Above is my result.  Tomorrow, we'll start the process again.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Blue Chairs

Here is the fourth interior painting that I did while in the mountains. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Interiors in Pastel

I spent the last three days at my favorite cabin in Franklin, NC.  While I was there, I saw some paintings of interiors in a Traditional Homes magazine.  The artist who painted them was much more abstract/impressionistic than I, but she inspired me to try some interiors of my own.  Here are three of the results!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lady in Red

Sometimes you work on a painting and just can't get one part "right."  That was the case with the Lady in Red's face.   I worked and worked on it and rather than overworking it (any more than I already had done), I decided to STOP!

I'm working on not being so negatively judgmental of my work.  I had the delightful experience of seeing an old friend - a lady who is now in her eighties - recently.  She has started painting flowers and is SOOOOO proud of them.  She doesn't apologize that they are not perfect, but enjoys the process of creating and sharing her creations with others!  Maybe there is a lesson there!

Monday, April 23, 2012

April Figure Painting

In Andy's Monday Creative Figure class, we have been working on losing some of the edges of the figure, on creative expression, and on lights and darks.  I brought home my charcoal drawing from last week and worked to capture the image in oil paints. 

Dancing Sisters

I've been experimenting with my palette knife lately.  When I saw a photograph of a little girl dancing on the beach, it gave me an idea for a subject to attempt.  My sister Nell and I are very close, and we used to take dance lessons together.  SO, I "doubled the fun" and painted dancing sisters.  Here's the result.  (I'm the blond.)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Stiletto Sprint

These two little (8X10) paintings were just quickies to celebrate the upcoming Stiletto Sprint which will be held on Saturday, April 28th, at Southpark Mall.  The Sprint is to benefit the Carolinas Ovarian Cancer Fund at Levine Cancer Institute.  My good friend, Phyllis Zellmer, who has been battling peritoneal cancer is one of the sprinters.  I hope you will support this important cause by either signing up to sprint, volunteering, or making a donation.  You can do this on-line and see details by going to    

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Portrait of my brother

I decided a portrait sketch of my brother Gibbs would be a good practice for me and a nice surprise for my dad.   It was a good exercise, but not a great likeness.  Practice makes perfect - but do I really want to be PERFECT?!   Artistic, creative, interesting - yes!  Perfect - been there, done that!  :>) Ha! Ha!

Yesterday in Andy's class we worked on a much more creative painting!  It's great to learn new techniques and to "see" things in different ways.   I'll try to post my painting from yesterday after it dries.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lady in Red

I haven't posted in a while, and, actually, I've been in a little bit of a painting funk.  We've been out of town a lot AND the weather has been pretty enough to play some golf.  So, my painting has not been a top priority.  Today, I went back to Creative Figure class after a two-week absence.   Andy is such a good teacher!  Today we worked on the core form (pelvis, hip, pear-shape that forms the middle of the body) and connecting the darks.  Then, I came home and worked on the painting above.  I probably should work on it some more, but may let it "sit" for a while.  I have a tendency to overwork pieces.  It's not "perfect" but I'm pleased with my progress!   (I might need to take a photography class. I didn't make a careful image placement and the top ribbon of dark is actually not part of the painting - sorry!)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Adding a little color

Today I was at the studio for a little over an hour.  I played around with some color (pastels) on my recent portrait sketch.  I'm undecided about whether it is better or worse, but it was a good learning experience.  I think a little more time on it will be enough to say it is finished.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Portrait sketching

For some reason, I have had a very hard time "getting started" on anything at my studio.  I've been excited about work and progress while at Andy's figure class and at the model sessions at Tony's.  BUT, once at my studio - I have been uninspired!  Today, I decided just to do SOMETHING!  I remembered a motivational speech by Michael Shane Green.  First, he told us about the attributes an artist needs - motivation, inspiration, perspiration, creativity, etc.  Then, he admitted that some days he doesn't feel any of these.  It's those times that he tells himself just to go to his studio and "make some mistakes."  What a wonderful thought on learning!  So, this morning I pulled a photograph of my cousin's daughter Betsy and her daughter and worked for a little over an hour.  Above is the unfinished sketch.  I know it still needs some work, but at least I got started and am excited about getting back to it on Tuesday. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Figure sketching in January

Today I went over to Tony Griffith's studio to sketch with other local artists!  It's a great opportunity to draw from a live model and to be around other artists.  Above are a couple of examples of drawings completed in twenty-minute poses.