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 ...