Sunday, May 31, 2015


This one was painted with only 4 colors: Red, yellow, blue, and white. It's kind of cool when you think about it. 

Since red, yellow, and blue are primary colors, they are all you really need. Also, those three colors mixed together will make your gray color for shadows.

11x14 stretched canvas

Speaking of reflections:
It’s actually a myth that a mirror reverses your image.  Your reflection is not flipped. What you see is the left-hand side of your face on the left of the mirror, and the right-hand side on the right, giving the illusion that your reflection is reversed. 
However, a non-reversing mirror, or “true mirror,” was developed. It allowed the user to see their reflection as others saw them, primarily for applying cosmetics.
It’s easy to make a true mirror yourself—simply position two conventional mirrors at 90 degree angles, and look at your reflection from the join. A true mirror gives you a 3-D reflection which moves as you do, rather than giving you the flattish image you get in an ordinary mirror. It allows you to see yourself as the world sees you. Try it if you dare.

Friday, May 29, 2015

This is a painting from the way back machine. I painted it about 2 months ago or so. This was the point that I started putting little figures into my paintings. It's fun and makes it interesting.

5x7 gessobord

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sittin' near the dock of a bay

I had fun with this little painting. I originally painted a tree coming in from the right.  The branches stretched all the way to the top. I used a palette knife to add leaves to the tree. 

The tree looked great but it took away from the main subject of the painting, so I took that same palette knife and scraped that tree off of there.

It was a jumble of colors there for a while but I just painted over it and it turned out fine.

For the clouds, I searched the internet for a photograph of clouds that I liked. I thought these clouds looked especially great. I like how they brighten up the sky.

6x6 gessobord
Just a simple painting of a sailboat. This was from a photograph. I fell in love with that little sailboat and had to paint it. 

This painting has found a home and is no longer available for sale.  

5x7 gessobord

A few thoughts on color............

Value is the most important part of a painting.  If you get the value right everything else will fall into place. There are certainly a lot of things to consider including composition, balance and subject matter.  But getting the colors right is also something important to consider.

You can't take color and use it straight from the tube (most of the time).  Usually there is some blending involved. For example, you can't squeeze some green out of a tube for a leaf color. There are many colors in that leaf besides green. Also, you can mix up your own green, so a tube green isn't necessary. But I digress.

Going back to the leaf color, you would first mix blue and yellow to get green, is there light, dark, shadow? That would change the value. Is there a flower near the leaf, that would change the color. How about the bark of the tree or the sky? All of these things affect the color of the leaf.  There are lots of things to consider.

Another thing to consider are paint recipes. For example, what is the color of a wave at it's crest where the light is shining through?  How do you make a bright orange or mix your own cobalt blue?
Below I will share a short list some of my recipes that I either came up with myself, looked up on the internet and experimented with, or found in a book.  It's up to you to decide the amounts of each color to blend together because it all depends on what you are painting.

Light in the ocean wave:  ultramarine blue & turquoise blue & cadmium yellow

Cerulean blue: white & phthalo blue & black

Cobalt blue:  ultramarine blue & turquoise blue

Bright orange:  Cadmium yellow & permanent rose

Green apples:  Cadmium yellow & black

Bright green apples:  phthalo green & cadmium yellow light

Red apples:  Alizarin crimson & Grumbacher red (or any permanent red)

The Green part of the apple near the stem:  white, cadmium yellow light, yellow ochre, small amount of phthalo green

Monday, May 25, 2015

This painting has already found its new forever home. ;D  I'm thinking of making a series of these. I like the tree branch in the foreground concept.  

What do you think? 
5x7 gessobord

Fun Fact:
Salty or fresh, lakes are some of the only freely available water sources on land. Aside from rivers and streams, the rest of the world's freshwater is locked up in ice or trapped underground.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Coming Home

Another in my series of ocean paintings.  I thought this one looked a bit plain so I painted in some seagulls, then some more seagulls.  I like the way it turned out.
5x7 gessobord.

Fun Fact:
What is a lee shore?
A lee shore is any shoreline that you would drift into should your vessel lose power. Most of the time this means the shoreline that is downwind of you, but it can include shorelines down current of your vessel as well.

The degree of danger that is posed to your vessel by a lee shore is directly proportional to the force of the wind and current that is pushing you toward it. If you misjudge this force and then lose power, you can be on the lee shore faster than you can anchor your boat.

Friday, May 22, 2015


As I mentioned before, I seem to have a propensity towards painting ocean/beach scenes as evidenced by my painting below. 

I find that using phthlao blue and phthalo green gives the water a more realistic look.  To capture the deep colors of the ocean or bay, or lake, or whatever waterway you decide to paint, it's very important to use the correct colors in order to achieve a certain vibrancy.

About 70 percent of the planet is ocean, with an average depth of more than 12,400 feet. Given that light can’t penetrate more than 330 feet below the water’s surface, most of our planet is in a perpetual state of darkness.

Monday, May 18, 2015

I had a painting day yesterday at my house with my aunt and cousin. Good times. I started this painting of a lighthouse and finished it today after work. 

In this picture, the lighthouse keeper was just coming back from a trip to get some Wawa coffee. ;D  Believe me, it's worth the trip!

Cousin Carol bringing a tree to life.  She was rocking that tree!

Aunt Pat working on a watercolor painting. 

With lasagna for lunch and a brownie chaser, life is sweet!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

These barnyard chickens were fun to paint. I love how they can be so expressive while simply eating their feed. 

Cluck, cluck, cluck............SOLD

A few fun facts about chickens:

~Chickens can run up to nine miles an hour!

~The longest record of flight made by a chicken was 301.16 feet!

~The longest time recorded of a chicken flying was 18 seconds!

~The longest a chicken has ever lived was over 23 years old!

~Chickens experience rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which means they have frequent dreams just like we do!

Friday, May 15, 2015

I put some finishing touches on my house and beach scene from beautiful Cape May, New Jersey.  

It was a great learning experience. Namely, be sure to bring weights to tie down your easel on a windy day (quart water bottles tied to the ends of the easel), heavy duty pallets (not paper pallets that flap around in the breeze, full of paint, that then slaps across your arm), a brush holder to keep your precious paint brushes/knives from flying off the bench just when you need them, and sneakers to chase after your stuff if it does blow away. ;D  
What can I say, experience IS the best teacher. 

5x7 gessobord

Monday, May 11, 2015

Here is me and my beautiful sister on our first plein air expedition. Aside from it being very windy, (which became a challenge consisting of flying easels, flying canvases, and flying pallets), we had a very nice time, took lots of pictures, and generally had a lot of fun.

We spent the day at the Cape May beaches.  We walked along the shore and saw a great deal of dolphins, someone in a kayak who was fishing, and a sunken ship. (below)

We had an all-around fun day and plan to have more in the near future. Yeah!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Flower Power

Hot off the easel comes my newest creation, Flower Power.  It's nice to have flowers in the house that don't make you sneeze. ;D This is another Walter Foster study.

     This painting is no longer available.  
5x7 gessobord. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

You light up my life

One of my earlier paintings.  I was playing around with reflections with this one.  

8x10 on canvas board.  

Friday, May 8, 2015

Missed the boat

I love painting (and eating) strawberries.   
Fun fact:  Strawberries wear their fruit on the outside, and technically they're not a berry because berries have their seeds on the inside.

Painted on a 6x6 gessobord. 

This is a Carol Marine inspired composition. 

I love painting ocean scenes, especially ships. 


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Standing Guard

This painting was completed around Easter time. I saw this little rabbit figurine in Target and knew that I had to paint it! And what goes better with a ceramic rabbit than a bowl of apples? ;D

6x8 gessobord.  

High and Dry

Another painting completed! This one is an abandoned ship. I love the beach/ocean scenes. 
My sister and I are studying landscape paintings together in order to plein air successfully.  
(Plein air is short for en plein air, a French word meaning "in the open air).  
It's so much fun.  This is my interpretation from a Walter Foster book. 

5x7 gessobord. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

I Only Have Eyes For You

This recent painting has a vase that I picked up at a thrift store. I fell in love with the odd shape of it, put in some flowers, and of course, an apple. 

This one is painted on a 5x7 gessobord. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A bit of cuteness.................

.............because every blog needs cuteness.

Fall Tree

This is a painting I did with my sister. We painted together and did the same painting. Here is my version:

It's a 5x7 on gessobord.  I'm looking forward to plein air painting with my sister really soon. And of course when I do, there will be pics to follow.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Here's another throw back painting that I call, "Bowls and Fruit".  

If you can think of a name that's more clever than this, I'll be happy to take suggestions. ;D

This painting is 8 x 10 on canvas board.

This is a painting I did today.  I call it, "We have you surrounded".  

I love painting apples as you will discover as you follow this blog.  I've done a lot of "10 minute apples" that I will share with you later.  I think I can paint one blindfolded (almost).  

This one is painted on 5x7 gessobord. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

My next post (after this one) will show you my latest painting. Since I have so many daily paintings in the queue, I'll post the older ones in sort of a "throw back Thursday" sort of fashion, but it won't necessarily be on a Thursday or in any particular order.

With that being said, here is one of my "throw back" paintings. Can you call it "throw back" if it happened only in the last couple of months? Well, it's my blog and I say yes. :D

This painting was from Carol's Daily Paintworks challenge titled: "Take a break from color".  I never posted it in the challenge, but here it is in all its glory. 

I definitely need to work on my picture taking skills (Chapter 10, Daily Painting book).  I'll try for a photo that's not crooked next time.  
But I think the painting turned out okay. It's a very interesting study to make, not using color.  I learned a lot from it.  Value is very important.  You better get that down as soon as you can. 

I began my daily painting adventures in January of 2015 when I discovered Carol Marine's blog and Daily Painting Website.  As of this date, May 3, 2015, I have completed 71 paintings. I can't believe this myself but it's true. 

Daily painting (paint small and often) has freed me from the constraints of large paintings, spending weeks (or more) trying to finish one. I feel good about my paintings and have improved a great deal.

I highly recommend you follow Carol Marine and her Daily Paintworks site as well as her blog, and I also recommend you purchase her  book "Daily Painting, paint small and often to become a more creative, productive, and successful artist". Carol freely shares her expertise with us in her book, holding back nothing.  I can't say enough good things about it.