Monday, December 2, 2013

"The Back Way"

5"x 7"
acrylic on hardboard
 I took a rare trip to the country with my sister last weekend.  Rare for me because there is not as much reason for me to go now that my grandmother isn't there.   When we left out of her driveway she asked, "Which way do you want to go, I-10 or the back way?"  There has always been two ways you can make the trip.  Interstate 10 is the most direct, but for me the back way is the most interesting.  The town we were going to is at the beginning of what is known as the Hill Country.  Some of the towns we pass threw are quiet picturesque and the roads curve and wind in some interesting ways.  This is a painting of one such road.
$100

Monday, November 25, 2013

"Hibiscus 2"

 8"x 10"
acrylic on hardboard

This is the second painting of the same hibiscus flower from my mother's house.  I think I can safely say that I was able to give it a longer life with paint than my daughter was ever interested in giving it.
$140

Sunday, November 24, 2013

"Hibiscus"

acrylic on hardboard
8" x 10"
At the end of our last visit to my parents house my daughter acquired this hibiscus.  My mother always feels as if she needs to walk us outside to our car as we say our goodbyes.  I looked back to see what was taking so long this time.  My daughter had apparently asked my mom for her flower.  She was breaking off one of the plant's few blooms.  Why? I thought to myself, this beautiful flower isn't even going to make it past the thirty minute car ride home.  Thankfully it did.  As it lay on the kitchen counter, quickly discarded I decided to put it in water and paint this gorgeous flower.
$140

Monday, November 18, 2013

"A Face in the Crowd"

12"x 16"
acrylic on hardboard
Many of you that have followed my work for a while may remember this painting painted in a smaller 6x6 version.  I liked it at the time when I was concentrated on producing artwork daily. This time around I was more concerned with getting all of it to feel right.  I have been trying to paint larger and now realize that is something that also has to feel right.  It took me so long to complete this painting.  My daughter answered the phone and I heard her tell my sister that I was "still painting that picture."  That was funny because it was exactly how I felt.   I love the way it turned out, but it was a long journey to the end.  I didn't see that coming considering I thought I had already solved all of its big problems.  This time I managed to capture the depth of the little girl both literally and figuratively.  She is not fighting with the crowd in the background for importance.  I have captured her essence. Her spirit.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"High Fashion"

8 x 10
acrylic on hardboard
The last time I visited my mother, she surprised me with a photo saying, "I found a picture you would probably love to paint."  To my amazement she reappeared from a back bedroom and presented me with this image.  Wow!  My mother found the picture in a file with some other documents belonging to my grandfather. What a treat it was to paint theses fashionable women.
SOLD

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Butterfly & Roses

8 x 10
acrylic on hardboard
This is a painting from an unused reference.  I worked on a book several years ago about a little girl and the largest earth quake in the US.  I had been cleaning up some files and came across the picture.  It made a great painting.  I am always amazed at how my work has developed over just a few years.  In this painting I am particularly excited about how the butterflies and roses on the dress turned out.  I would have never even tried painting them before.  Now I not only painted it but the pink pattern glows off of the dress.
SOLD

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"Little Girl in Blue"

8 x 10
acrylic on hardboard
I had a great painting day over the weekend.  I was in the zone for most of Saturday.  I painted almost all of this painting that day.  The portrait alone would have had me pulling my hair out.  The little girl has dark skin and because she's back lit,  it was hard getting just the right balance of features and shadows on her face.  I find painting nature difficult.  I guess I am not bad at it because I have some great comments on the way that I handle certain landscapes, but it is not a subject I feel comfortable painting.  When your painting nature you have to constantly edit because you can't paint every leaf or twig.   So you are constantly asking yourself what is important.  Then you paint in the important stuff  like it took little or no effort at all.   
SOLD

Sunday, September 22, 2013

"Zora"

8 x 10
acrylic on hardboard
I love the result I got from cropping the portrait so close.  Sometimes simple is more effective.  I learned a lot from this painting.  First, there is no such thing as too close.  Second, blurring the edges of the hair is far more interesting than painting in individual strands. Third, softening up the jaw line creates a much more rounded face than using sharp edges.
$140

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"Zora with the Orange Ball"

"Zora with the Orange Ball"
8 x 10
acrylic on hardboard
I finally finished this painting.  It wasn't difficult, I just dragged it on and on while I completed other paintings.  At different times of the year we get extraordinary lighting through the windows in our dining room and living room.  I usually can't resist taking advantage of these remarkable moments.  They only last about thirty to forty good minutes. 
$140

Sunday, September 15, 2013

"The Boy's Line"

8 x10
acrylic on hardboard
This is the boy's line from the same party as my previous painting.  As you can see the word line is used loosely.   The image reminds me of how I made the decision to NEVER teach at the elementary school level.  At the end of every summer I would help my mother decorate her school's cafeteria.   One of these times we ran out of paper.   In the short distance we walked from her cafeteria to retrieve some paper from the teachers' lounge we encountered a class in line at the restroom.  Not a single student was standing quietly in a single line.  Just watching them drained the little energy I had left.  This made my decision very simple.  Elementary school...never, but if there is one thing I tend to learn over and over again, it is to never say never.  So far so good.
$140

Friday, September 13, 2013

"The Girl's Line"

"8 x 10"
acrylic on hardboard
When your kids turn a certain age you end up spending a lot of time at birthday parties.  Some months like October and December you end up at one and sometimes two every weekend.  My husband and I negotiate elaborate deals so that we get the least unappealing event.   He loves my side of the family, but it's a given that I'll be the taker on that one.  I'm horrible, but I don't even feel guilty that I made my poor sick husband stick with his turn to take our son to his last party.  I absolutely refuse to attend another paint ball party, they are just too dirty for me.  I prefer a nice quiet princes tee party any day, but I am a girl, my daughter often reminds me.  This happens to be one such birthday party.  I love that I was able to capture the expressions on each one of the little girl's faces as they stood in line waiting to begin a game.
SOLD

Monday, August 5, 2013

"Rose Colored Glasses"

8"x 10"
acrylic on hardboard
I enjoy working with portraits.  No big surprise I know.      I thought I was being adventurous with a blue background.  Blue isn't a color I would have naturally chosen for the back, I'm more of an earth tone or neutral kind of girl.  This painting taught me a lot.  I generally think in layers when I am painting.  In order to get the eyes to look correct, I had to layered values and colors like I've never done before.  The eyes have about six layers of paint and gloss medium on them.
$140

Thursday, August 1, 2013

"All Wrapped Up"

8" x 10"
acrylic on hardboard
I love using pattern in my work.  I often say,"I have a love hate relationship with it."  I love the magic pattern instantly brings to a painting, but I hate the complications it creates when I"m painting in the details that never seem to end.  In this painting I'm illustrating the similarities between two women who are separated by both a century and culture.   At first sight both seem so different, but with longer inspection similarities become abundant.
SOLD

Sunday, July 28, 2013

"Flowers in the Mason Jar"

8"x 10"
acrylic on hardboard
Wow! I don't believe I actually completed this painting.  I began painting this one some time ago.  Before I began I knew it would be difficult and completely out of my comfort zone.  Usually I try to stick with one or two flowers in a painting at a time.  Painting individual petals drives me CRAZY.  So why would I paint a cluster of tiny flowers that have soft edges placed inside a highly reflective glass jar?  I must be insane. I don't really remember why it seemed like a good thing for me to paint two weeks ago (when I originally started this painting.)   
Not For Sale

Saturday, July 27, 2013

"The Church Steps"

8"x 10"
acrylic on hardboard
When I was a teen, my family began attending church.  My father was so enthusiastic about going to church that every Sunday we would be the first members there... waiting!  I remember sitting in the car, waiting for someone to open the church many mornings.  Getting to church first also meant we were among the last to leave.  Parking was tight and you would always get blocked in.  This didn't bother him one bit.  Unlike myself, my father is an extrovert and thrives on interacting with people.  So while we are all sitting in the car waiting to start the rest of our day.  He was socializing within the crowd of members in the front of the church. Apparently my memories of this aren't too bleak, because I have chosen to illustrate it with my latest painting.  When I saw this little lady in pink I knew I had to paint her.  You could tell that she put a lot of thought into her attire that day and was as confident as she could be while she weaved through the crowd talking to people.  I also couldn't wait to paint the lovely lady in the black dress.  It took confidence to pull off the really big white bow on her hat and I was impressed by that.
SOLD

Friday, July 19, 2013

"Green Lennon Glasses"

8”x10”
acrylic on hardboard
We are still loving the Lennon glasses!  The kids love posing with them and I love the reflections they create on faces.  The latest addition is green.  The painting came together fairly easy, which is rare for me.  In this work, I began with the darker browns and built up to the lighter areas that you can see in the forehead, chin, and nose.  Darker colors are always painted in first, then the lighter colors are applied.  I leave the true white highlights for last.
$140

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"Red Lennon Glasses"

8”x10”
acrylic on hardboard
 I picked up a couple of glasses at a party supply store.  These were called Lennon glasses from the singer John Lennon, unlike Lennon’s, mine are tented a lovely shade of red.   I’ve been having a lot of fun painting what I love, portraits.  I have been pushing myself just a little to do some things differently, like my color choices.  I would have never dreamed of using green like I have been doing in the last few paintings.  I have been pleasantly surprised by my results.
SOLD

Monday, July 15, 2013

"Girl with Orange Flower"

8"x10"
acrylic on hardboard
 After painting so many portraits I wanted to challenge myself a little by playing around with a different point of view.  I tend to avoid posses at this angle because… they’re hard!  Even when you get the angle right, it kind of looks weird.  So you end up questioning the marks you’ve made.  I got this orange flower several months ago.  I knew when I saw it I was going to paint it, I just didn’t know when or how.  I really thought it would end up in a still life, but as you can see it didn’t.  I can’t tell you how many times I thought I was completely finished painting this flower,  only to return to it over and over  again, until it finally looked perfect.  I’m so glad I didn’t stop.  Sometimes you get rewarded by your obsessions.
SOLD

Saturday, June 22, 2013

"Stripes"

8"x 10"
acrylic on hardboard
The Houston Rodeo is a pretty big deal around here. My in-laws found this out a couple of years back when their visit coincided with our annual rodeo trip. We always leave the rodeo with full stomachs. I often refer to our rodeo experience as eating our way through the rodeo, literally from the minute we walk in until we leave. All of the best local restaurants have booths there.  We also leave with empty pockets, but our kids always leave with lots of stuffed animals. This painting is one such moment. I absolutely hate stuffed animals, we have hundreds of them all colors, shapes, and sizes.
$140

Thursday, June 20, 2013

"Portrait with Red Mask"

8" x 10"
acrylic on hardboard
In this painting I got a chance to play around with some of my favorite colors, red, brown, and black.  Red is my all time favorite, but you can't use much of it in any given place because it definitely screams "Look at me!"  I have always had a love hate relationship with brown.  I grew up in a brown paneled house, so I find the color very familiar to me and calming.  I also hate the color because like I mentioned I grew up in a brown paneled house.  Black is a mysterious color, usually hiding most of the flaws in my painting while adding drama, who can't love a color that can do all of that?
$140

Saturday, June 15, 2013

"Beauty Queens"

8"x 10"
acrylic on hardboard

Coming up with titles is either easy or hard. There is no in between. This one came to me at the beginning of the painting process. With "Beauty Queens" I'm celebrating the diversity of my family and the concept of beauty.  I began this painting with each face.  I thought capturing each woman's face would be the hardest part of the painting, so  wanted to get that out of the way first.  In the back of my mind I knew if I couldn't pull off the faces I could just scrap the entire thing.  Then I wouldn't have committed too much energy and time on this one.  I also knew that it takes a lot for me to scrap a painting. I hate the feeling of defeat. Realistically, if I didn't get the faces modeled just right, then I would be obsessed until I did!  That's no fun.  Luckily I was able to paint all four portraits in about three hours. I impressed even myself.
SOLD

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

"Blue Eyes"

8"x10"
acrylic on hardboard
This cute little guy was painted fairly quickly. This was a diversion from an existing painting I had been working on.  I was having some trouble making decisions.  I am pretty sure it's hereditary.  I remember calling certain people in my family out on this very thing.  Now I know I was so frustrated by their inability to make a decision because it was a reflection of my own problem.  At least I recognize the problem.  Isn't that the first step... or something?  
I was so surprised that this painting came together almost on its own.  Unlike the painting before, this one had a calming effect on me.   "Blue Eyes" is all about lighting. I'm a sucker for images with strong lighting, but what's even better is when I get to paint translucent objects interacting with the light.  You can see this in the blue goggles. 

The portrait is cropped so closely that it adds a kind of intimacy with the viewer. This is how I see my own kids, because they have NO concept of personal space.  Everything is important, loud, and in that moment. I think the placement was my subconscious breaking through to my conscious.  This is the first week out of school and already I am experiencing sensory over load!
SOLD

Sunday, June 9, 2013

"Cool Blue & Hot Pink"

8"x10"
acrylic on hardboard
 This is a study of contrasts.  I enjoyed playing with the idea of opposites attracting.  Here you have the reserved older lady in her formal blue dress seated next to the spunky younger woman in her short skirt.  Opposites do attract.  This was another image almost lost forever from our family records.  Had it not been for my father's final walk through of his childhood home, I would not have had this great image as a reference  for this painting.
$140

Friday, June 7, 2013

"Glasses What Glasses"

8" x 10"
acrylic on hardboard
This was a fun painting.  It is lite hearted and almost funny.  I was pleased with how it turned out.  I guess the second time's a charm when it comes to painting the pattern in the glasses.  I found it far less frustrating this time around.  This time the process was much easier, but I don't think I want to tackle it again. Looking at this painting in my post reminds me of owl eyes.  I  guess if I wanted to I could have named it "What a Hoot".
SOLD

Sunday, June 2, 2013

"Bold and Bright"

8"x 10"
acrylic on hardboard

I liked working with this painting.  The portrait was big and the patterns were bold.  I was attracted to the patterns on the glasses, which turned into a challenge that I didn't anticipate.  When you have done a number of portraits you tend to need to experiment a little to change things up.  That's why I cropped in close and placed the person at a diagonal across the painting.  I am glad I did, because it turned out so much more interesting than a straight portrait.
SOLD

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"Goggle Girl"

8"x 10"
acrylic on hardboard
It's almost time for summer!  We officially kick off our summer with the purchase of a swimming pool.  I know we aren't being environmentally friendly, but we definitely get one hundred percent out of our pools each year.  This was at the lake, which is also a part of our summer family tradition.  If you are familiar with lake water, it's not blue, so I did take artistic liberty with that part of the painting.
SOLD

Sunday, April 7, 2013

"Picture Day"

5"x 7"
acrylic on hardboard
Having kids of my own I have learned to loath picture day.  Coming across this long-ago image of a distant relative's portrait on what was probably her picture day, has helped me put my own family's picture day into a new perspective. Maybe one of my future relatives will come across a picture of my kids and create a painting to post on their blog. I guess if that were to happen, then all of the last-minute visits to the barber, and the fights about what is going to be worn or even better not going to be worn, and the late-night ironing of the only shirt my son has yet to grow out of would almost be worth the effort.
SOLD

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"Feather Mask"

5"x 7"
acrylic on hardboard
I have created several paintings with the same theme, a little girl in a feather mask.  As I complete the last of the paintings I thought I should share a little about what inspired them. I took a workshop at the Museum of Fine Arts.  I usually do this once a year to fill a credit requirement. As usual I put it off  until the last possible minute. But it happened to be my lucky day because not only was the workshop inspired by a painter, it was Henry Tanner a painter that I liked a lot. 
The workshop was on a Saturday, actually an entire Saturday, but I was happy to get away from the kids and do some adult stuff for a refreshing change. I didn't know just how much I needed this change. I was really glad that the workshop spotlighted Henry Tanner an artist that was a painter and a realist. I have been a fan, but I didn't know too much about him. I'd only seen copies of his work in books and on the internet.  Viewing Tanner's work made me fall in love with painting all over again. Each painting I likened to watching a magician perform a magic trick. These two dimensional paintings created decades ago possessed a kinetic energy.  You actually wanted and needed to walk around them.  Up close you could only see his loose expressive brushstrokes, but as you walked back from the painting, these wild brushstrokes would disappear forming into what appeared to be a meticulous modeling of details. It was magic plain and simple. I had the most incredible experience looking at every single painting of his this way.  First up close and then from far away. I must have looked insane, but painting had become exciting again for me. I spent hours after the workshop was complete looking at his show again at my own leisure pace.  
Tanner taught me that paintings can be interactive. I learned that it was okay to stage my subject. After all Tanner's "Mary from the Annunciation" (my favorite) wasn't something he was witnessing in real time. He affirmed that light and illumination are powerful tools for an artist. He taught me sometimes a painting is never finished, and lastly his work taught me to love painting again.
$100 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

"Aunt Tip in Pink"

8"x 10"
acrylic on hardboard
I found an old photo of my Aunt Tip that I had never seen before.  I can't really explain it, but for me it's like finding a piece of gold. I guess it's because I know that in some ways old photographs are in limited supply. I've painted an image of Aunt Tip before. Those who follow my blog will remember her in pearls, well I guess this time it's Aunt Tip in pink. Pulling this painting off was a little hit and miss at first. I even thought about, dear I say giving up on it or at least putting it down for time. I trudged on and about twelve in the morning all of my work finally paid off and develop into this lovely painting.
SOLD


Sunday, March 24, 2013

"Portrait in Red and Black"

12"x 16"
acrylic on hardboard

I am always excited when I get to use red in a painting, which is one of my favorite colors. I spent a lot of time on the background on this one.  I know your probably thinking, "what 
background?"  Well I had a background of thin transparent red fabric with light shining 
threw it. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how I was going to pull it off.  Then I 
painted over it and everything finally felt right. The background and foreground weren't 
fighting with each other anymore.  I guess I should write about what is actually in the 
painting since I just explained what isn't.  I enjoyed working with this one, it had everything I like, from the rich red and black colors to the mask itself.  I love masks and can't wait to 
paint my next masked figure. Their will always be a next masked figure.
$220 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

"Sarah"

5"x 7"
acrylic on hardboard
Sarah was my sweet mate in college. She was the first New Yorker I had the pleasure of meeting.  She was from Queens, New York and though she was just over five feet tall.  She was one tough cookie.  Sarah was the cool kid that knew her way around, needles to say we hung in different crowds most of the time.  We remained friends the entire four years of school.  This was a portrait I took of her our last year.  I was in a photography class and had to finish a roll of film, so I asked her and several other friends to pose for me.  I'm glad I did because these were some of the only images that I have of a couple of friends.  
This painting was supposed to be easy, but like I tell my students, "Just because it looks easy doesn't mean it will be." I relearn this lesson from time to time. I began this painting a little over a year ago and got everything painted in, but I wasn't pleased with the face.  Never being one to give up on anything, I picked the painting up late one night at the end of a great night of painting and was able to easily work out the problems.
$100

Sunday, February 24, 2013

"The Ladies Garden Club"

8" x 10"
acrylic on hardboard

I usually get really intimidated when I have to paint more than one person in a single scene. I am becoming better at this though, it's something I can't keep dancing around so I am meeting this challenge head on. I had a relative that I always thought of as very classy and worldly. She and her husband did things I could only dream of as a little girl growing up in a trailer park.  Things like going on vacations, traveling to California to visit relatives, and going on cruises. They were also members of several popular clubs and organizations. One such club was the Ladies Garden Club.  They took turns hosting the garden club at their houses monthly. I think this is one of the images from the ladies garden club, or at least that's what was on the back of the photograph. I guess I would consider myself an anti club person, but I was quite happy to find out that I received the dishes that she used when hosting her garden club members. She used these dishes on rare occasions. I use them as part of our everyday dishes. I'm just not that formal of a person, but I am very sentimental.   I think she would get a kick out of knowing that I painted this lovely painting of several of her garden club members. While she was living she was an admirer of my artwork and I always appreciated her for that.
SOLD

Sunday, February 17, 2013

"Back Light"

8"x 10"
acrylic on hardboard

I'm still enjoying my masks.  It took me awhile to post this one.  I finished painting it some time ago.  A friend described it as intimate and moody.  It sounds good to me.
$140    

 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

"Feather Dancer"

8"x 10"
acrylic on hardboard
 I was so proud of myself after I completed this painting.  I was able to recreate the left hand hitting light just right, making that entire area glow.  I had seen so many painters get it right with little or no effort, but I had never been bold or skilled enough to paint what I was seeing instead of what I thought I was seeing. When I finished I left the painting out so I could admire it every time I passed it on the table.  A few days later my brother stopped by and began admiring several paintings I also had out in various stages of completion.  He even commented on how nice my work was, then he holds one up and says, "When are you gonna finish this one?" I looked up to see him holding this painting. 
"That one is already finished," I replied. 
He goes on to say, "Your NOT going to paint the hand?"
"What, that's the best part!" I explain to him.
"I don't get it....your really not going to paint the hand in?" He finished a little bewildered.  
As you can see I still didn't paint the hand in.  I guess I'll let the comments page decide if I made the right decision.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

"Clever Boy"

12"x 16"
acrylic on hardboard
This was the painting in which I finally became comfortable with painting soft edges. It seems so simple to do, but after a lifetime of coloring inside the lines it's hard to do the opposite   I originally had an elaborate background on this painting.  I even painted it all, before I painted over it. I quickly realized that even though I spent a lot of time panting the details, in the end it was just too distracting.  I have always had a problem with editing, so this was big for me.
SOLD

Sunday, January 20, 2013

"Queen of the Feathers"

12"x 16"
acrylic on hardboard
We pulled out some old Halloween costumes.  I loved the way the dress caught the light from the window behind us.  The feather mask was one of those things that spoke to me when I was out shopping for something else.  I wasn't prepared to make the purchase, but I thought about it for a couple of days and found myself walking right back into the store and sealing the deal.  The best thing was, everything was marked half off.  I didn't have to feel so guilty about the frivolous purchase.  What a difference a few days make! In my own defense  I think this mask has been put to good use already with this painting, or at least that's the line I used on my husband.  I pushed myself with this painting and I got to use a lot of bright color.
$220
 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

"Wearing It"

8"x 10"
acrylic on hardboard
I was visiting my parents' church and noticed many of the men were wearing hats like this one.  Fashion, like most things recycles itself. I didn't realize how iconic this particular hat was for me until I began painting this image.  I kept thinking of photographs of the men marching during the civil rights movement and the always popular original "Twilight Zone", which had men wearing theses hats.  I can't tell you how any nights I stayed up way to late just to catch an episode of the show.  I purchased a costume version and had a lot of fun photographing people wearing it.  This was one of my volunteers.
$140