Saturday, December 19, 2009

Big Art- Lotus Pond

I put in the darks using Shadow Green (Holbein). It took almost the whole tube of paint! Next, I used drafting tape to mask some of the stems, and masking fluid on some of the seed pods. These masks aren't just to keep the areas clean; the masks are really helping me keep track of the geography of this large painting. I'm painting pthalo blue in the darker area of the leaves and painting over it with green gold, sap green, and a green made of cobalt blue and aureolin.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lotus Flowers 60x40" In Progress

Big Art

I've got a new project. I've had a roll of Arches 140lb cold press watercolor paper for some time, and have used it for some larger paintings. I've always wanted to paint larger watercolors, so I got a sheet of 40x60 1/2" foamcore and another piece of 40x60" fiberboard and glued them together as a support. I soaked & stapled on the watercolor paper, and waited for it to dry. It has bowed a little, but it seems like it will work. For my first project, I'm going to paint a pond of lotus flowers. It should be
interesting though; my studio is so small, I can't even fit the 40x60 on my desk. It's projecting out at a diagonal angle!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Goldfish-Bowl Blues

I painted this a few weeks ago to prepare for the workshop I was giving on painting flowers & glass. There was really only one goldfish in the bowl, but I took the goldfish out of another photo using Adobe Photoshop, re-shaped it to look like it was in this bowl, and pasted it in. Then I printed the photo and used it as my reference. It turned out to be a good solution to the problem of having a photo with a poorly defined focal point.
Now it's time to pick something new to paint. I've got to do an abstract painting for a group show at Viewpoints Gallery in Los Altos, CA in January. That should be interesting considering how realistic I paint! Wish me luck.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 26, 2009

October 2009 Workshop- Painting Flowers

The workshop was held at Pedro Point Creative, in Pacifica, California. Pacifica is about 15 minutes south of San Francisco. Pedro Point Creative's web address is:
I chose white plumeria flowers with yellow centers as the subject matter. We focused on painting the shadows in the flowers first, creating depth. We used five different colors in the shadows to create interest. Next came the yellow centers of the flowers, followed by indigo in the background. After glazing over the indigo, the lush green foliage emerged. Here are some of the paintings of the participants:

This weekend's workshop was a huge success. We had a great time painting and the results were fantastic. Here are a few photos from the end of the last day.
I still have a few spaces available in my December 4-6, 2009 workshop. The subject will be "Painting Waterlilies and Lilyponds". If you are interested, please email or call me. Contact information is on my website.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Grapes Done!

I ended up removing the little green plastic tape that was fluttering on the left side of the painting, and painted in one of my white highlighted leaves in the upper center of the painting, and it was much improved. Thank goodness for the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser! My lighting is bad in this photo; there are areas in the grapes in the original paintings that are more dark like the grapes in the right hand side. I'll be hanging this painting at Viewpoints Gallery in Los Altos on November 2, and will be having a reception on November 13, from 6-8pm.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Just added another coat to the dirt at the bottom of the painting and lots of little details in between grapes on the left.


Grapes seem like such a nice subject to paint until you realize you have to paint every single grape. Argh!
I'm using cobalt blue, indigo & perylene violet.

I do like all the interesting shapes in the leaves. When I paint them, I just try to paint the shapes I see in my reference photo and don't try to think of the shapes as leaves. It all seems to work out in the end.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tropics on hold-- Going Grape!

Hi, I've had to put my tropical paintings on hold temporarily. I'm having a show with another artist at Viewpoints Gallery in Los Altos, CA beginning November 2. The theme is "Fall Into Color", so I'm painting fall related subjects. Here's one of my new paintings:

I've begun a new painting of grapes on the vine from a photo I took at a winery in Kenwood, CA. It's very large, 38 x 25". I'm using a 40x30" sheet of 300lb Fabriano cold press. It's nice not to have to stretch the paper. The pressure is on. I've got to complete a lot of new paintings in time for the November 2 show because I don't have a bunch of fall themed work laying around. The reception for the show is November 13, from 6-8pm, 315 State Street, Los Altos, CA. Please come!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Kings Mountain Art Fair

I've been getting ready for the Kings Mountain Art Fair which is held all three days of Labor Day weekend, so I haven't been painting. I've been updating my website, framing & putting together small prints & greeting cards to sell at the festival. I'm lucky that I live so close to Kings Mountain, which is in Woodside, CA-- artists come from all over the country to be in this art fair. It's just beautiful, up in the redwood trees in the coastal mountain range here in the SF Bay Area. If you're doing a "stay-cation" this weekend, please visit the art fair!
Here's a new painting from last month:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Working on Demo Piece

I've been working on a demonstration for my Watercolor Artist Magazine article for the past couple days. The painting is going well, but I hope the photos come out okay. I had to use the grown-up settings on my camera. I have a nice Canon camera, but I usually just use the "mountains" or "flowers" or "man running" settings, and let the camera figure out the f-stops and aperture. I get surprisingly good photos this way. Here's another new lily painting from the past couple weeks. (This isn't the demo piece). I've been getting pretty productive with my festival season looming ahead. Next weekend I have an art festival in Palo Alto, Labor Day weekend (Sept 5,6,7) I have the Kings Mountain Art Fair in Woodside, CA; and the weekend of Sept. 12-13, I will be at the Capitola Art & Wine Festival. If I'm lucky maybe I'll lose 5 or 10 lbs. from the stress!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Julie & Julia at the Movies

I went to see the "Julie & Julia" movie two nights ago. It was wonderful. It makes me want to be a dedicated blogger. And a better cook. I am a good cook. I have a Julia Child's cookbook. But cooking really good, inspired meals cuts into one's painting time...

I had good news yesterday. My paintings will be in the April issue of Watercolor Artist Magazine which comes out in February. I feel safe in saying this because there is an actual date assigned! A good friend of mine (you know who you are) waited until the magazine was practically on the stands before she told anyone, but I cannot keep a secret when it's about me and it's good news!

Here's an orchid painting I finished about two weeks ago.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Plumeria Painting

This is a 40"x 18" piece of 300lb paper. I've already torn it using a sharp ruler so it has deckled edges & I can paint right up to the edges. I've been doing this so that I can float the finished piece in the frame. Sometimes, I've torn the paper after the painting is finished, but I'm always worried that I'll tear the finished painting!
I'm doing an underpainting of the shadows using a grey made of cobalt blue, permanent rose & aureolin, as well as cobalt blue + winsor violet. I've added a little mixture of aureolin + bright rose (Holbein) in some of the shadows where there is reflected light in my reference photo.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Facebook Page

I set up a Facebook page today. I finally gave in. Now that everyone's switching to Twitter I'm finally getting on the bandwagon. Here's the link:
I really have no idea how to use Facebook yet. 
I've been doing lot's of painting lately, just not very much photography while I'm at it.  I'm about to start a new one today so I'll make a point of taking photos and putting them on here.
 I'm working at Viewpoints Gallery in Los Altos on Friday. We have a new show up. It's artwork by Terri Hill and Carol Mead-- all inspired by the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The reception is Saturday, August 8, 2-5pm. Please come by! Some of my new paintings are there as well.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Thank you to those of you who have been following my painting blog and sending the nice comments. If anyone has any good book-on-tape recommendations I would love to hear them. I listen to books on CD while I paint, and it makes the time fly by. For anyone who hasn't tried it, it allows you  to be much more productive than when you have the TV on. 
Here's some of my recommendations:
Janet Evanovich  (Stephanie Plum stories)
David Baldacci (Camel Club series, & anything else)
Jonathan Stroud (Bartimaeus Trilogy)
Orson Scott Card (Ender series)
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love)

Here's a picture of my messy little studio. 

Heliconia Painting Finished!

Here's the finished painting. The new reds I used (mentioned in previous post) are fantastic. I  will be adding them to my palette, and replacing some of the reds I've been using.

I started another heliconia painting yesterday. It's cold and drizzly here in Pacifica, CA, so I will be painting all day in my nice cozy studio. When the weather is like this I don't have to feel guilty for  staying indoors all day! Maybe you can see why I'm so attracted to these tropical scenes-- I can pretend it's 80 degrees outside and I'm on vacation, having a mai tai.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Heliconia Painting In Progress

I was awarded the entire set of Daniel Smith watercolor paints at the Northwest Watercolor Society exhibition this past spring. I have just been enjoying looking at all the tubes of paint since then, but decided to try some of the reds for this painting. WOW! These reds are fantastic. I'm using Perylene Violet for the darkest reds, Pyrrol Crimson for the middle value red, and Permanent Red (Holbein-- oops) for the lightest value red. The Permanent Red is great too. My reference photo is down in the "Inspiration" posting on this blog. You can see that I left out some of the stalks which ran right through the middle of the flowers. I love this stage of a painting-- everything seems to be coming together and you can see the end in sight. Only problem is you have to start with a big white sheet of paper again as soon as you're done!

Heliconia Painting In Progress

Well, I've started putting in dioxazine (Winsor) voilet as an underpainting in the flowers.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Heliconia Painting In Progress

I've added leaves, using turquoise, phalo blue and indigo as underpainting. Over that, I've used perm. sap green, green gold, and a new color for me, Van Gogh's "Perm. Yellowish Green".  You can start to see the shapes of the heliconia flowers in the negative space between stalks & leaves. I'm waiting to paint in the flowers until the greens are all in place because I've found the red paint likes to "wake-up" and bleed into other areas if you come near it with a wet brush. It's really an excercise in delayed gratification-- it's hard to wait for the reds!

More Heliconia Painting

I'm using an underpainting of Cotman's turquoise and phalo blue for the shadow sides of the stalks, as well as shadow areas of the leaves. I'm using indigo for some of the really dark shadows.

Heliconia Painting In Progress

Here I'm using drafting tape as guides for my stalks. For those of you unfamiliar with drafting tape, it's by 3M, and it's less tacky than masking tape, so it doesn't pull up the surface of the watercolor paper (you hope).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Here's a photo of Kokee (Ko Kay A)-- It has got to be one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Just back from Kauai with lots of new photos to paint. Here are some I'm getting to work on:

I've come back from Kauai so inspired, but there are so many obstacles! 

Monday, March 9, 2009

Flower Painting Workshop March 6-8, 2009

For more information on my upcoming classes & workshops, check the classes section of my website.

Flower painting Workshop March 6-8, 2009

I used a grey mixture made up of cobalt blue, aureolin, and permanent rose to darken certain shadow shapes in the flowers. I used the same grey mixture, Holbeins' shadow green, sap green, cobalt blue, and perylene maroon in the background. The detail on the flower buds was done with a mixture of quinacridone magenta and winsor violet (dioxazine).

Flower painting Workshop March 6-8, 2009

For the yellow centers
  1. Start in the center with quinacridone gold.
  2. Switch to new gamboge as you move out from the center.
  3. Switch to clear water and drag clear water out towards end of petal so you don't get a hard line where the yellow ends.
  4. Drop in a small amount of burnt sienna in the very center of flower to make it recede.