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

Tuesday, March 30, 2021




Most of the daffodils have opened ... and I'm panicking because I am too busy working to devote as much time to them as I want to.
I really think I used to have more "leisure" time!
Next year I should take this week off!

Sunday, March 28, 2021

a self portrait


I love this hat, especially its color. It gave my face a nice reflected pink glow.
I was proceeding slowly, just trying find and paint all the little planes ...
Stopping here for now; though theres not much left to do, I dont think: some hair? pupils?

Saturday, March 27, 2021

arya and melo


This is Arya and Melo on a windowseat.
I like the shapes of their bodies but I dont know what to do with the surrounding space ...

Thursday, March 25, 2021

winter landscapes


From a Zoom landscape class with Bill Rogers at Chesapeake Fine Art Studio. (Check them out: they offer classes, open studios, and some free demos.)
I like the class: he talks and paints and we paint along. 🙂
I like his approach too: it's methodical but simple and painterly.He says not to ask how you can reproduce what you see in the photo but how you can represent it.
This really looked like a fail to me while I was painting it--too busy ... But looking at it after I photographed it, I found things to like, mainly how the river recedes.
Have to go back and paint that overpass--yes, that's an overpass--in the back.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

still life starts ...



A couple of still I started, then abandoned. The top one because it lacks interest; the bottom one because I didn't like how the cactus was coming out ... too messy. But this setup is not so bad so I may give it another go.

I love still life but am constantly frustrated by my inability to set up a "good" one! If I go for simple, it's too simple; busy too busy ...

If anyone has any tips/tricks/advice on setting up still lifes, I'd love to hear them!

Monday, March 22, 2021



I have so many seashells! Some I bought, some I found. The idea has always been to draw and paint them ... but I rarely do. Going to try to remedy that.
A bit of a challenge getting the shape right, or close to right, but an engaging challenge. 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

dried hydrangea


A dried blossom from my limelight hydrangea.
I was inspired by Piet Mondrian's flowers paintings, which are so beautiful and ethereal!

And: getting ready for daffodils!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021



Two faces from Sktchy.
I chose these because they both have their hands by their face, and the hands were in positions that made them not so hard to draw!
But I felt a got off to a bad--hesitant--start on each ... and so I just stopped here.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

class assignment


Last week the class looked at the work of Bloomsbury painter Vanessa Bell; I wasn't familiar with her work, but I am now a big fan.
She painted landscapes, interiors, people, still lifes: I think I like the last best.
So this was my first attempt to try to apply some of her Modernist techniques to a still life. 
I am really finding this difficult ... it requires me to think and practice and try and refine in a way that's wholly unfamiliar to me! Which is not to say I'm not enjoying it!
For this one I was simply trying to arrange/divide the space in an intentional way.
It's not a bad little still life ... but it doesn't really work in the terms I was going for.
I'll see what I can come up with tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 09, 2021



My final go at my new class's assignment.
This was a good exercise for me: I usually paint something, am happy with it or not, and move on.
This week I had a problem to solve and it led me to evaluate and rethink what I was doing. Which, in this case anyway, led to a kind of distillation ... and I think I may even have approached the painting of this one a little more confidently. 

For this week's assignment I'm going to try a still life, and I'm hoping to go through several iterations ...

Sunday, March 07, 2021

new class

I started a new Zoom class this week. It's a little unusual: the first half is an art history lesson. In the second half we critique the paintings we did based on the previous week's lesson.
This week the lesson was on beds in art.
I went through three ideas, below, before settling on the one above: in which my cat Arya plays the part of an odalisque.
Just always wanted to paint this: white cats on a white bed.
This was was inspired by Van Gogh's Bedroom. at Arles, but very soon began to look like a dud: I didn't divide the space or add enough things to to make it interesting. Also couldn't figure out how to add dark values.
This one was inspired by a watercolor sketch by Edward Hopper; in his sketch, his naked wife, Jo, with her back to us, hugs a bunch of pillows. I have no model, so it's pillows only.

Friday, March 05, 2021

winter landscape


For the last week of class we painted this icy stream.
All the time I was painting it, it looked like a horrible mess. When I put it across the room, it seemed to hang together much better.
Not to say this particular painting doesn't have problems--chiefly the shadows, which are badly done (bad shapes, ugly color); and that bottom right bank, the shape of which I messed up, repearedly.
But, having seen that it wasn't as bad as I thought, makes me want to try again.

Thursday, March 04, 2021

virtual life drawing


Just to show every day is not a winner!
I had high hopes for this face--the strong features ... Maybe the eye makeup she was wearing really threw me off, idk.
But, whatever it was, the worst thing is how much I overworked it!
A reminder to not overwork!

Monday, March 01, 2021

winter landscape, week 5


This one got away from me: it got very wet and I should have stopped and let it dry, but I kept at it ... 

Saturday, February 27, 2021



It took me the longest time to figure out what was bothering me about this--other than that the paper got a little exhausted in places (from me abusing it!).
It's the eyes. This woman does have lovely large, dark eyes ... which I kept working on and working on. Now I see: I didnt give her enough eyelid.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

virtual life drawing


There was a lot more to the reference photo: in it she's got a foot up on a stool and is leaning forward to pull a gun out of her holster.
Not a big fan of costumes when it comes to life drawing. If she were an actual cowgirl, or if I were illustrating a book on the Wild West, okay, but otherwise it's too stagey for my liking.
So I painted only the part that interested me: the head.
Though, I have to say, I would really like to have a model reading a book, dozing in an armchair, or stepping out of a clawfoot tub!

Thursday, February 18, 2021



A friend of mine says he can tell when I start to get a little tired of a subject. I kinda felt on this one a little lack of commitment ...
I had trouble "finding" enough planes to create interest, which just means the lighting wasn't dramatic enough for me. But also the very thing that attracted me to this face--its smoothness and openness--made it not a great subject, for me, anyway.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

virtual life drawing

Another model painted from a photo supplied by Chesapeake Fine Arts Studio. I am enjoying painting these models.
I wish I had stopped after my first pass, below. I really do like all the white space.
The prettiness of the pink parasol seduced me though, and once I painted that, I figured I should do her kimono as well.

Friday, February 12, 2021

winter landscape


No matter how hard I try for grays, I get color.
At least they should be somewhat harmonious as I used a pretty limited (for me) palette--raw sienna, carmine, cobalt, ultramarine ... and some green in the evergreeens, which I'm now regretting as it stands out too much. I may go back and gray some of it down ... or not; I'm not a great one for going back!

Thursday, February 11, 2021

virtual life drawing


I love deep set eyes and curly hair; they make good shapes.
Toyed with the idea of painting her clothes, but decided a little was enough. Plus, I really have no interest in the clothes, so why bother?

Friday, February 05, 2021

virtual life drawing

  .                            11x15

Years ago I took life drawing classes. I could count the number of times I got a good painting on one hand, but I liked it because it was very engaging, if also very challenging.
In this virtual class we work from a photo of a model, and I have all week to draw them and think about the painting. All of which really helps!
In my classes long ago I found I got better results with some models than with others--they took poses or had attitudes I responded to. I apparently like drawing this woman.