Monday, October 25, 2010

Low Key Work

These are the two low key pieces in progress from last week. STILL working on them, but they are at the point I really need to live with them for awhile before deciding what to do next. Talk about drama!

Friday, October 22, 2010


This is a photo of one I saw in Chicago. I think its my favorite of the series!

Lessons from Monet

This week in class, I demonstrated two identical compositions, two identical tertiary palettes of purples, greens and orange with different dominance. I pulled out photos of Monet's work on The Seine near Giverny. He produced 21 pieces of this river. Each piece was concerned with the changing light, moment by moment within one time period. In my demo, I was not outside capturing the light, but putting together a completely different emotional response using the same color in a very different way - a way to think outside the box.

I love studying from the masters, especially Monet. I like to feel that he is standing over my shoulder whispering to me about his work - no, not literally :) I'm not crazy, just very imaginative! The work has stood the test of time and every time I study it, I see something different, something more to learn. I also love painting in series for the same reason. Every time I revisit a painting or place, I see and feel something new about it.

I will post my demo's later!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

One of my Fav's of all time!

I gave my classes the assignment of doing a high key, low contrast painting this week. It is possibly the most challenging composition to make successful. One of my favorite paintings of all time is a Monet piece in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This painting made me weak in the knees! It is so delicate, so sophisticated in color and such an emotional piece. Take a look and let me know if you get the same response as I do! Attached is another photo of it side by side to a Monet Low Key Low Contrast piece. My photo does not show the subtle change of color temperature like in true life as well as I would like it to! I think it's time to get back out my Monet masterpiece book and do some studying :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Holiday Fun!

Nesting again! I went to the HALLOWEEN SUPERSTORE today! Good Lord, who would have thought Halloween would ever get this big? When I was a kid, we would go into the local Skaggs Drugstore and there was an aisle of box costumes of assorted ghosts and monsters with a plastic mask that attached with string around your head and a vinyl costume that would slip over your coat so you could stay warm when you were trick or treating. You could hardly breathe through that mask, so most moms would put makeup on their kids faces - it was also so you could see and not get hit by a car! And that was back in the day when you actually went house to house with a pillowcase begging for candy. Nowadays, you can buy elaborate costumes and go to a school or church parking lot and "trunk or treat" and acquire quite the bounty in about a half hour and go home. Just not so much fun as it used to be! And what is with this dressing like hookers for one day a year, as naughty as one can possibly imagine - even little girls costumes! I like the SCARY idea much better! Oh well, I guess that's my personal opinion and you know what they say about those! Never-the-less, my house is now appropriately decorated, pumpkins, cobwebs and all - and I'm feeling quite festive! Here are a few pics of my favorite place to hang out- the front porch! Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Harvest Season!

Oooh baby, it's cold outside! I wandered out to the garden this morning and it is on it's last leg! Marco picked all the peppers, green, anaheim chili's and jalapenos and most of the tomatoes and we put a small bag together for his grandma and the rest are for todays project - Canned Salsa! It's probably been three years since I have made it. I used to put up 3-4 large batches a year, but that's when my garden was huge! I really don't miss keeping up with that garden. This is so much more manageable. I think by next week, it will be time to take out the plants, fertilize, till it up and get it ready for winter. So into the kitchen I go to chop vegetables. I have been told this is the best salsa recipe ever so I will post it for you.

Best Canned Salsa Ever!
(I know, everyone says that)
3 lrg onions chopped 8 tbsp. oil
5 lrg green peppers chopped 5-6 jalapeno's chopped
13 cloves garlic 5 yellow peppers chopped
3 tsp oregano leaves 5 tbsp salt
3 tbsp cumin 1 tbsp pepper
9 tbsp wine vinegar 27 oz green chili's, or 18-24 fresh chopped
1/2 bushel tomatoes, chopped

Mix and simmer 7-8 hours. Hot pack 15 minutes.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My High Key Complimentary Color Homework Assignment

This is what I gave last weeks students - a high key complimentary palette piece (or two). Well, I can't give them something that I wouldn't do, so here it is! It is called Bare. When all the decoration is stripped away, you have the full beauty of what is. It is a 20x16 oil on canvas.

New Directions!

I have decided today to take the blog in a little different direction. My life is so full of things that make me happy besides Art! I have done some serious nesting over the last few months - my family, my beautiful garden, cooking, music, all the good things in life. I am discovering that balance is the key to living in the moment and appreciating every experience that comes my way. We are all such multi-faceted beings! While painting stays on the forefront of my mind constantly, always studying, always composing, I do get a chance to do other things and some of these I will share with you - starting with one of my favorite recipes of all time. When I make these, my family comes running and I have enough leftovers to feed them for a few days while I disappear down in the studio. I hope you like......

Pork Roast Carnitas with Pico de Gallo

A braised pork roast, cooked until it practically falls apart, with an incredibly intense and delicious flavor.

1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1 tablespoon beef base

Freshly ground pepper

1 (4-pound) pork loin roast

1/2 cup water

Juice of 1 fresh orange

Juice of 1 fresh lime

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or 1 tablespoon dried


Pico de Gallo (recipe follows)

Fresh corn or flour tortillas (warm before serving)

1 large white onion, chopped

Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Lime wedges

  1. In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, garlic powdered, onion powder, oregano leaves, beef base, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Brown pork roast on all sides in large cooking pot over medium heat.
  3. Reduce heat and evenly coat the roast on all sides with spice mixture.
  4. Add the water, orange juice, lime juice, soy sauce and the fresh cilantro. Heat to boiling; reduce heat; cover and simmer over low heat for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until roast is so tender, it falls apart.
  5. Discard any fat and "shred" roast with a fork, allowing meat to absorb any juices left in the pan.

Pico de Gallo

Fresh Tomato and Chili Pepper Salsa

4 large ripe tomatoes, finely chopped*

4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 medium white onion, finely chopped**

1 1/2 teaspoons packed brown sugar

2 green onions, finely chopped

2 teaspoons green Tabasco pepper sauce

4 to 6 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

4 to 6 pickled or fresh jalapeno peppers, chopped

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Juice of 1 small lime (about 2 tablespoons) or to taste

  1. Combine all ingredients in glass bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Makes about 4 cups.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Paint and Medium Toxicity

I am hoping to start a dialogue, and maybe this is the wrong venue :) as I have a whopping 18 followers LOL (and I love every one of you), but this conversation is coming up everywhere I go. How big is the concern about toxicity levels and how are people making changes if it is affecting their quality of life?

I have been a Liquin junkie for a very long time. I know that after a few hours of glazing, I hit a wall and have to go lay down for a minute with fresh air. I am hearing that Galkyd is a little safer and that Gamblin Oderless Mineral Spirits are safer than other OMS's on the market. Just this week, I used a sample of Gamblin Neo Megilp and I do think it is a little piece of heaven. I have also heard that one should use a ventilator while using this medium - YIKES!!! I know there is the Graham product made up of Walnut oil and an alkyd, but I just cannot get used to the feel of when it tacks up. I am a creature of habit and it's hard making ANY kind of change with my tools. I am also looking into an air filtration system. My ventilation in my studio certainly could use a little help, but will the filtration system make up for that?

I guess I need to do more research on the subject, but just as most artists - it's just easier to keep painting and say "someday I will do more research on the subject" unless it starts seriously causing trouble. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated to get this ball rolling :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Western Art Collector

This has been such an incredible year for me and I get to cap it off with one more really cool magazine article in Western Art Collector! It will be talking about my December show in Mtn Trails Gallery in Park City. I have MUCH painting to do for this show and for Celebration of Fine Art. Stay tuned and I will post images as they are finished. My plan is to do a series of skyscapes and to open to possibilities of new and exciting color palettes. Should be interesting.....

New Pieces (FINALLY)

Had a match lit under my behind - deadline! Here are two pieces worked and finished....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Teaching again!

It's been a couple of years since I have done any regular teaching and this week was the beginning of the series. I forgot how much I enjoyed it! I have a gang of very enthusiastic, willing participants (guinea pigs for my assignments) and a headful of ideas to stretch each persons' experience and knowledge of their work and themselves.

I am reinforcing my art philosophy in these classes to help each person keep their unique voice ever-present in their work - don't paint like I paint, paint like you paint with all these new tools and ideas! I have a few abstract painters as well as representational ones and I am so excited to see the work they produce. I will try and post some of them if they give me permission! Each week will bring a different tool to the tool belt and various ways of integrating it into a series.
This week we are working in high key with a select limited palette, homework is two large(r) finished pieces. Should be challenging enough :)

Keep ya posted!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Yin and Yang

October, can you believe it? The mornings are getting crisp and cool in these parts! Maybe it's the natural order of things, but I'm starting to feel the yearning for "hunkering" in. All summer long it's been traveling here, going there, doing what I need to do to keep the ball rolling with this art life I have chosen. Fall is in the air and I'm in the mood to stay home and cook, clean out my garden, as well as head down to the studio and hole myself in alone through the season. Does everyone go through this? Does anyone else feel the need to get serious, pull in the reins and hide for awhile to get some footing back? Maybe it's nesting, maybe it is assimilating everything in the last five months that I have learned. Regardless, it's time to get down to business.

There has been so much talk lately in the art world about technology - help or hindrance. I think the general consensus is that the art world has been rocked by the internet. I can only speak for myself, but this is another area where I feel like pulling in the reins. I am mostly talking about social media sites, but I think I might just reduce my activity in front of the computer screen :) Notice I say - think - it's become an addiction of sorts! Instant connection, instant gratification. I have absolutely LOVED the ability to see such fantastic artwork out there in the cyberworld. I love keeping up with who's who and what's what. Who could have ever imagined there were so many wonderful artists out there making their way. It's inspiring and intimidating at the same time. Yin and Yang.....positive and negative.....One can be inspired and enlightened and then the next day start playing a comparison game and beat the hell out of yourself. How to find a healthy, happy medium.... It takes getting out there, reaching out for more information and then going inside to find yourself. And in the end, it really is all about the relationship between you and that canvas, you and your higher source, what you have to say or what will be said through you. For me, art is about connection with spirit - for the artist and for the viewer. And it's that connection that keeps me digging, searching and "hunkering" in!
Happy painting to all!