Being Sneaky on Sunday in the Studio

The husband snuck up on me while I was working today and took this picture thus giving me content for a blog post while I wait for permission to show the commissions I completed today.

Sidenote: LOOK!! I haven’t killed my bonzai tree… yet.


Morning Glories

I had a great painting day today. The subject matter just sort of came to me and before I even thought about it I had already gone outside, plucked some morning glories off my vines and begun painting! That’s the joy about studies: I try not to think too much about them. The whole point of studies is just to get me in there and working, free up my hand and warm up my eyes.

The fun part was realizing that I had a small window of time before the blooms completely closed up. The three of them sit now in my studio in their jar, all closed up and looking like they’re huddled to keep warm in the middle of a snow storm. Tomorrow I expect to see them open and smiling happily back at me again.

Morning Glories, oil/canvas, 8 x 10"
Morning Glories, oil/canvas, 8 x 10″

Blanket Landscape Study 3

Today’s painting took me a bit longer than I’d hoped but it was still lots of fun. I’m new to quilting and it’s neat that without even having “quilted” this funky quilt top I made, I can immortalize it in paint.

This photo gives you an idea of how I set up my still-lives. It also gives you a better idea of the scale difference between my daily “studies” and my bigger piece, “Quilted Lake”.

Still-life painting in the studio
Still-life painting in the studio
Blanket Landscape Study 3, oil/canvas, 8 x 10"
Blanket Landscape Study 3, oil/canvas, 8 x 10″

Cat in the Yard: work in progress

This is a mid-day progress picture for you:

Cat in the Yard (in progress) oil/canvas, 16 x 20"
Cat in the Yard (in progress) oil/canvas, 16 x 20″

The photograph I’m using for reference I took when I was 13 and had a summer job babysitting a boy and his cats.

Random memory: we ate a lot of Cambell’s chunky soup that summer…  Something else we did was put pop* cans in the freezer (we timed this meticulously so that they wouldn’t explode) until they were a nice slushy consistency, cut the tops off (I did this part so Junior** wouldn’t hurt himself) then ate the home-made slushies with spoons.  We thought we were geniuses.

workspace with sketchbook and reference photo
workspace with sketchbook and reference photo

*”pop,” for my US friends, is what you call “soda” in the US, or “cokes” in some of the southern states.

**fake name to protect identity and inevitable punishment from parental units

Quilt and Lamp

I think vacation is the best recipe for making art. I’ve been back for four days now and I’m spending every minute that my body will allow in the studio. That said, yesterday was spent groaning around the house and podcasting… the aftermath of my first ever tennis lesson and two days painting. Yowch!

Since my second ever tennis lesson is this evening, I thought I better get back to painting today so that Friday can be spent grumbling around the house some more. Ha!

Here is my first finished piece this summer, although technically it is still Spring until tomorrow… I took the reference photo at my friend’s house this past year. It’s so cozy! The perfect painting to work on while the desert gets hit with heavy downpour after heavy downpour.

I have more photos from my friend’s place that will be used as reference material for more paintings soon…

Quilt and Lamp, oil/canvas, 16 x 20"
Quilt and Lamp, oil/canvas, 16 x 20″

New sketches from my watercolor table

I’m in the midst of a 5 week road-trip madness adventure extravaganza, only the road trip part of it is complete. I’ve been staying with dear friend and using my travel watercolor set on a little 2 x 3 foot desk that has become my workspace. My mind is on birds; their immense migrations, their delicate frames and the subtle hues of their plumage.

travel watercolors
travel watercolors
Sweet, watercolor and ink/paper, 3.5 x 4.75″
Speckled, watercolor and ink/paper, 3.5 x 4.75″
Striped, watercolor and ink/paper, 3.5 x 4.75″

Preparation day

Just another day painting washes on all my canvases and doing “research” for my next works. This often includes looking through old photos, walking, laying on the carpet, sketching and hopping around the internet.

photo of canvases with red wash

Just before my stomach dragged me off to the kitchen to cook dinner I managed to finish the fifth preparatory sketch right on the canvases. I rarely do this but I’m trying out a different technique with these next works. How exciting! I know you won’t be able to sleep tonight, just waiting for tomorrow’s post… what will the painting look like? Well, I don’t even know that so I bet I’ll lose sleep too 😉

sketches on canvas in graphite