Friday, May 14, 2021

landscape class


More atmospheric perspective.
Hope to paint a lot of marshes this summer.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

cumberland county house


A sketchbook page.
Painted from a photo I took somewhere in Cumberland County in south Jersey.
It's fun to explore CC, parts of which are on the Maurice River: there's natural beauty and a lot of history.
On this day we saw, among others, an AME church dating to the 1790s that was a stop on the Underground RR.

Another sketchbook page. Arya and Melo.

Monday, May 10, 2021

irises, cont.


Finally got up the courage to finish this. I like the way the top right turned out, dont like the bottom right--too dark and muddy. But I hope I learned something: dont go back in! Paint it and leave it alone.

The iris paintings I did this past week.

The start of another try!

Saturday, May 08, 2021

continuing w iris ...


This is for a class in which, last week, we looked at the paintings of Nell Blaine. Her early work was mostly abstract, but, after she was paralyzed by polio, her work became more representational (what's the cause-and-effect? idk, except maybe being, at least initially, more confined, she chose to paint what she could see?) and she painted more watercolors, which, the paper lying flat, were easier for her to paint.
I love her landscapes and still lifes, and her wondercfgul view-through-a-window paintings.
I chose to paint from a photo of dwarf iris in my yard.
Finding ot hard to "fill in" the negative shapes...
Best bet is probably to think it over for a day!

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

iris study


From a photo of dwarf Ditch irises in my yard earlier this spring.
Planning a larger, maybe 12x16?, of a group of these irises, and did this one to try out how I would approach it.
I decided on colors I would ahead of time (so unlike me): blue violet, red violet, yellow green ... and pretty much stuck to it. So, okay.
Messed up in my paint handling skills: 1) I got bleeding where I didn't want it; 2) mixed ugly neutral in the bottom.
I think I need to get a better plan-- for the pattern of the leaves, and for letting sections dry before painting next to them.



10-minute sketches. I set out to explore some blues ... but dipped into the same ones I always use.

Sunday, May 02, 2021

painting by lamplight


I painted these both sitting on the sofa, after dark, by the light of a 60 watt bulb!
Can't decide if that's good or bad.
On one hand the colors are more pure and intense; on the other hand the color are more pure and intense.

Friday, April 30, 2021

landscape class


This week's painting in Bill Rogers's Zoom class at Chesapeake Fine Arts Studio.
Also a great example of why I like taking classes: when I saw this reference photo I was not happy! The subject doesn't appeal to me much, but more than that I thought there was no way I could paint all those greens, and especially the darks in the greens.
As usual, my darks could be darker, but I am pleased that, even though there's not a lot of depth of field, there is depth.
A few things I see now I could tweak--more darks on the horse (some Norwegian breed), especially where its legs and belly meet the grass, the boot ...--

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

winter landscape class


This wasn't done in class but I did use one of Bill Rogers's ref photos.
I could've used his help: my values aren't great.
Sometimes a painting starts out or develops as a high-key painting and I just can't change it!
Spring landscapes coming up!

Sunday, April 25, 2021



Had a few weeks off from one of my Zoom classes, during which I was supposed to be painting trees. True to form, I'm doing my homework the night before it's due. If it were possible yo get an extenson, I would. These are not great trees. But 1) they're not brown; 2) I have something for show and tell.

Saturday, April 24, 2021



An exercise from another Zoom class. The assignment was to paint trees.
Sitting in my bed I look out the window opposite at my cherry tree, which has a bird feeder in it and a birdhouse that house wrens nest in.
I knew I couldn't paint what I saw realistically, so I just dove in.
Started with a wet wash and just kept adding. I found the hard edges were the worst part, so I dragged my brush through them.
I think I'm happier with the second attempt, below: same colors, but softer, less busy.
Have to say, this was fun, engrossing.

Friday, April 23, 2021

landscape class


Started another 4-class session with Bill Roger's at the Chesapeake Fine Arts center, via Zoom. 
This is the Bay of Fundy.
I didn't see much in Bill's reference photo, which just goes to show maybe I dont know a good reference photo when I see one!
I painted the small one below simultaneously, on a whim; thought it would help me simplify. 

Thursday, April 22, 2021



What's that thing teachers say ... Failing to plan is planning to fail?
I started with 2 leaves.
Then I noticed they were parallel, so I added a third ... but it was equidistant from the other 2, so ...
You get the idea.
Next time: plan ahead where to put the leaves!

Tuesday, April 13, 2021



A little daffodil sketch.

Sunday, April 11, 2021



I thought it was done, below, but felt compelled to add leaves.

And here, side by side, are the first, pencil-drawn version, and the second, not pre-drawn, version.
I don't mind and sometimes really enjoy pencil lines in a painting, but I think I was beginning to feel that,with these daffodils, they were confining.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

winter landscape


The last project in this section of the Bill Rogers class at Chesapeake Fine Arts studio. I think I learned a lot; I know I enjoyed the class.
This painting isn't quite finished, but I'm stopping here, for now, because I'm not really pleased with it. Though what I don't like may not be fixable: that shed is really dull!
I'll mull it over for a while. 

In the meantime, I signed up for a shorter group of lessons on winter scenes with Shari Blaukopf.

Friday, April 09, 2021


This one is a little tighter than I like but I think it's because 1) I wasnt sure where to go next with it and 2) the paper, Indigo, doesn't tolerate much mixing on the paper.

Wednesday, April 07, 2021


Need to work on the cast shadow colors; these are too warm. And maybe not strong enough--though I think I care more about the color, and the shape.
Going to spend 1 hour each morning for the next week painting daffodils.
The strategy this spring is to draw groupings of daffodils, looking for good shapes and arrangements. Then I'll have the drawings to refine and trace even after the daffodils are gone.
Though by then I will probably be ready to move on to irises! A few in my yard are already budding. Everything is happening too fast!

Monday, April 05, 2021



As often happens I find the unfinished painting appeals to me.
I wonder if it's possible to finish in an unfinished way?
For this painting I used a reference photo provided by Bill Roger's in his Zoom landscape class at Chesapeake Fine Arts Studio.
They have lots of classes, open studios, and free demos worth checking out!

Saturday, April 03, 2021

winter landscape class


This was the first time I ever drew horses where they didnt come out looking like misshapen cows.
And I think the secret is drawing them mostly with straight lines and angLLPes, not curves. Except for that lovely curve of their neck.
I think I prefer this picture half done, and may do another.

Friday, April 02, 2021

winter landscape class


Not too happy with this one. It's just blah.
But I guess that's an opportunity for me to figure out why.
Not enough contrast? The water could be darker, which would make the reflections in it more dramatic.
Not enough interest? I think if I do it again I will put more time into planning the rocks--they're very important and I was too careless: the shapes are not pleasing and they're poorly spaced.
I also think I'd do this smaller. Maybe 9x12. 
So many times I think one of the main things wrong with a painting is that the size does not suit the subject ...

Thursday, April 01, 2021