Wednesday, February 29, 2012


About a week ago we got blue skies for the first time in a long time, so I went out and did this:

"Troposphere" Oil on Canvas, 9x12"

Worked with a VERY limited palette of Titanium White, Ultramarine Blue, and Sap Green. Fortunately, Ultramarine Blue is pretty close to violet and with some careful mixing I was still able to emulate those purple-y shadows in clouds.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

This is my most recent self-portrait, as seen in my profile on the left:

"November Self-Portrait" Oil on canvas, 16x20"

I like it, but it feels a bit... diluted. This makes me want to try another self-portrait soon, but with purer, more saturated colors.

We've been having fantastic weather this week, and I wanted to go out and do some more plein-air painting today. Instead, I came home to a watery basement (current status: cleaned up, source of water still a mystery) and a restless great dane, so painting got put on hold for today. I can't imagine what things will be like when we have kids...

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Process

"Trio" Oil on canvas, 9x12"

I love to see the progression of a painting from first sketch to finished product. I don't know why, but it's so fulfilling for me. 

I started this at my dining room table about a month ago, and finished it in an afternoon, taking TPC (Terrible Phone Camera) photos along the way. 

I'd actually planned to paint some pears for a long time now - it's such a ubiquitous subject, but they're beautiful! And tasty. Truth: I did not paint pears for so long because I kept eating them first.

My underdrawing. Filling in basic lines and shadows.

Here you can also see my little homemade pochade box - just a small wooden cigar box from our local thrift store, reinforced in the back with some cork to keep the top from falling back.  I love painting out of this thing! It's so easy! I have some plans to make a better one for our trip to Europe next summer.

Filling things in... I love this step. All those unresolved lines and brushstrokes... it's so expressive.

I kept it to a limited palette of Yellow Ochre, Sap Green, Titanium White, and Burnt Siena, I believe. 

"Trio" Oil on canvas, 9x12"
Such a fun and simple painting. I would definitely like to do more like this... next time I have uneaten pairs available.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Two Sketches

Trying my hand at plein air painting. I painted these one sunny day last fall. Was underwhelmed with my results, but I'll keep practicing. 

"Trees Lining a Street" Acrylic, 9x12"
I loved painting this tree's highlights and shadows. Sap Green and Yellow Ochre may be the best combination of colors available in my paint box.

"Powerlines" Acrylic, 9x12"
Haven't touched this one since I pulled it off my little french easel outside. Acrylics, again. I think I was hoping that by using acrylics I'd be forcing myself to paint quickly and instinctively, which worked to an extent, I suppose. 

Cyclist on a Bridge

This painting was a Christmas gift for my little brother, David, in 2010. I painted it from a photo my husband took in Portland. 

"Cyclist on a Bridge" Acrylic on canvas, 24x36"

We were biking over the floating bridge that runs along the Willamette River. It's part of a 10-mile loop along part of the Springwater Corridor Trail in the city. David ran with us. The figure in the painting is my mom.

My brothers and I grew up in Portland and now we're all living elsewhere and missing it very much. I thought this was a good painting to share with David. There's even a bit of his beloved Rose Garden (home of the Trail Blazers!) in the background.

I generally prefer oil over acrylic, but in this case I didn't have time to wait for oils to dry. I enjoyed working with all those arching bridges and freeways in the background and with the murky greys in the water and sky that are so characteristic of Portland.

Painting a Blog

Here we go!