Thursday, December 31, 2015

John Singer Sargent.

An American Master. They say copying the old masters work is a good way to learn. I did learn a lot painting Sargent's, An Out-of-doors Study. He defines his shapes by using the strongest lights and dark tones next to each other: if you remove them, the whole painting is mainly a medium gray tone. This was more daunting to think about painting than it was to paint. A good study indeed. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Snow Road #2.

Bigger. Bluer. Better. Well, some areas are better to me. I like the background depth more than the one from yesterday. I think the shadows are more defined in this one too. This one is on a 12" x 12" canvas and after painting on 6" x 6" for so long, the larger canvas size felt like an ocean to me. I may need to replenish my tube of white paint.  

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Snow Road.

Snow shadows. If I had to pick my favorite shadow, it is the beautiful blue shadows cast on a fresh Minnesota snow. My plan is to use this study to paint another one of the same thing tomorrow with greater contrast and detail. I do like the road tracks in the snow but I wonder if the backwoods are too sunlit. If is was darker would the shadows look brighter? Good idea, paint one of each. ; )

Monday, December 28, 2015

Bowl and Brown Egg.

I wonder if I have the placement of the egg to centered. I was creating a diagonal line with the shadows and maybe focused a wee bit too much on that. I do like the background colors in this one though. They remind me of a Minnesota winter sky. I must say, painting this simple composition felt good even though I feel like I have been as far from my art as I am to the moon. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Gift of the Magi.

I have to admit that this painting isn't finished. I decided I would cut it short due to my lack of time. Get it? I can point out all the places where this painting fails, but instead I am calling it a study in the real sense of the painting term and hope no one notices. The Gift of the Magi - such a beautiful story. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

A Good Team.

This was painted from an old family photo. I was attracted to the hazy atmosphere, the colors and the stance of the horses, especially the turned head of the horse on the left. I used a limited palette of cad red medium, burnt umber, white and black. I rarely use black but it worked well here. Painting this one was a joy. I don't know who took the photo, but I think I have Grandpa Wayne to thank for his team. Just hear those sleigh bells jingling ring ting tingling ....

Friday, December 11, 2015


I have been taking an online portrait class by Will Kemp. The assignment was to follow him as he did his self portrait and I was to do my self portrait. Well, I thought it best to practice on him. So, this is Will Kemp, my finished assignment. I had to stay after school to finish it and get it posted today. My goodness. Tough one. He is such a fantastic artist and teacher - I hope I got close to his likeness. Glad it's Friday -  just like when I was in school.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thick Skinned.

A good fat. The avocado. What's there not to like? This little green guy has it all. This painting turned out close to what I imagined. Except, I wish my imagination would have included a better background color to add some zip, but it didn't. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Orange You Glad I Didn't Say

Banana! Well now, I don't know how I feel about this end result. I know it looks orange like, but I had a different end result in mind when I started. Creating a painting everyday means sometimes you post when you don't know if you are done or not. This is one of those times. Oranges make me think of Christmas. Maybe because of the Little House on the Prairie books. An orange was a marvelous Christmas gift back then. I can only imagine what a gift getting a banana would have been. : )

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Christmas tree jewelry. I have wanted to paint a Christmas tree bulb ever since I saw a painting of one... years ago. They are so beautiful, reflective, fragile and they seem to be the keepers of all the good Christmas memories. I am happy with the finished piece and the way it turned out. It was a joy to paint.  

Monday, December 7, 2015


The bright orange color is what drew me to this cone. Mainly, I suppose, in a Minnesota winter, there are fewer and fewer things outside that have any color at all. I think I got close to the orange in the cone, and the shape overall is good, but there were so many shifts in value on each scale (seed) that one might just have come very close to taking the paint brush and scribbling over the whole thing like a four year old. But one didn't. : )

Friday, December 4, 2015


I tried to stand back and gauge the values from a distance like the famous painter John Singer Sargent did. The end result is interesting and I rather like it. The sloppiness, for lack of a better word, keeps my eye on the painting. I will definitely give the stand back and paint style another go.  

Thursday, December 3, 2015


I found this little cream pitcher at a garage sale this summer and loved the tarnished surface. It was made in the 1880's. Older than most dirt. The overall shape of it looks right to me and the tarnish looks accurate and it is my favorite part of the oil painting. The handle might be off somewhere in it's shape or maybe not. I can't tell, which is why I left it be. It's nice to know some things get better with age.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


This is a pencil drawing of my great uncle, Jack. The original photo (I don't know who took it...) is one of my favorites because it captures the essence of this kind and wise man. My focus was Jack's face and I think I got that pretty close. I wish the little cow on the left was not so dark, but as I relearned today, in pencil you have to start light and gradually add the dark because going from dark to light is not recommended. Sometimes it isn't even possible. : )

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I Dare You.

Daredevil! Loved painting this one, loved it! Why? Well, I like the subtle shading that helps show the roundness and I didn't mess up by getting the red mixed too much into the white and I think the colors are a good match to the real one.  Sometimes a painting flows swimmingly, like a shiny red lure in the water.