Tuesday, March 30, 2021

daffodils coming soon

That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty.“
~ William Shakespeare.

Monday, March 29, 2021

people watching

Another watercolor painted in my sketchbook while sunning myself alongside the swimming pool in Florida.  People watching is the greatest entertainment for an artist.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

peace of the wild things

I painted this watercolor from life while on a little vacation in Florida away for a brief moment from the frigid winds of March in Chicago.

 "...rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free...."
Wendell Berry

Saturday, March 20, 2021

"the more angels I shall paint" and daily painting number 23

“I remember once, in talking to Mr. Burne-Jones about modern science, his saying to me,
‘the more materialistic science becomes, the more angels shall I paint: their wings are my protest in favour of the immortality of the soul.’ But these are the intellectual speculations that underlie art. Where in the arts themselves are we to find that breadth of human sympathy which is the condition of all noble work; ...
 Whatever spiritual message an artist brings to his aid is a matter for his own soul. He may bring judgment like Michael Angelo or peace like Angelico;  Quote from Oscar Wilde

I have a collection of angel carvings and figurines. Much like my collection of seashells they are mostly from the Philippines where there are many woodcarvers and some beautiful tropical hardwood. 
This angel is made from black fired clay, from Guatemala which is another destination where I have enjoyed travels and wonders. 
I paired it with one white rose. No significant reason for one white rose, but if I think of one I will be sure to say.
I'm still working on my daily painting project, I'm not going to manage to produce 30 paintings in 30 days but it is a discipline to keep going.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

the smallest thing and painting number 22

There's a part of everything that is unexplored because we are accustomed to using our eyes only in association with the memory of what people before us thought of the thing we are looking at. Even the smallest thing has something in it which is unknown. We must find it. 

A small still life painting of a common little bulb of garlic. Garlic is essential to cooking flavorful dishes but does not usually take all the credit. Who doesn't love the smell of garlic sizzling in butter?
This is part of my daily painting project and I am adding it to my "guacamole series" which will end with...you guessed it! An avocado of course.
The garlic bulb is a small object but close study revealed it is not simple, lots of shapes and furls and interesting bits to paint.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021


 La Feile Padraigh. The greeting sent to me this morning by my dear friends in Dublin, Ireland of course.

Makes me think fondly of the time I sketched this. The River Boyne near Newgrange. A magical place.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

sunshine and puppies

“Happiness is a warm puppy.”
― Charles M. Schulz 

A commissioned painting on the way to a new owner. 8x10 oil on linen board. Happiness is a new puppy.

Monday, March 15, 2021

colorful painting number 21

 “Color is all. When color is right, form is right. Color is everything, color is vibration like music; everything is vibration.” Marc Chagall

Three peppers and an exuberance of colors. I was having so much fun splashing about large brushfuls of reds and oranges and yellows.
These three look like a bright silly group of clownish friends posing for funny photos to post on their social media.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

warm enough painting number 20

What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness. John Steinbeck

Here we have a large very red pepper for my guacamole series. It is as warm as a summer day.
It is a wonky sort of pepper leaning to the side as if inebriated from indulging in margaritas.

I have a color theory about dressing in outdoor clothing for winter. A warm red coat is preferable to a warm coat of a dark color. I once had a navy blue coat and shivered all winter. That might have also been because we were living in South Bend, Indiana during an exceptional blizzardy winter. Be that as it may, I now wear a red down coat and feel warmer in it. Not really ever warm enough but I endure.

Maybe red pepper and green onion is not included in the purist recipe for guacamole? I do not know, not being a purist cook. 

painting a day number 19 is spicy

 Jalapeño spicy!

I'm not much of a cook, I don't like to spend time in the kitchen and am not very interested in trying recipes. (Ask my poor undernourished family). I understand there are many entertaining cooking television shows that are inspiring. I haven't watched them. But I did get excited about making bacon wrapped stuffed jalapeño poppers this winter. Finally a recipe that I can master.

This small painting is going to be part of a guacamole themed series. You see I don't like to cook but I do like to eat. The onion is the first, next a red pepper or an avocado. 

Friday, March 12, 2021

easy peasy number 18

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

As the saying goes. 

I have this green glass lemon squeezer that I love to set out in the sun just to look at the light reflections.
There was nothing easy about painting this but I believe it is something pleasing to see.

And the smell! Those cut lemons were so pleasing to the nose and to the eyes while I worked.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

learning to listen and painting number 17

Learn how to listen as things speak for themselves. 

Matsuo Basho (famous poet of the Edo period in Japan.)

A lonely onion painting as part of my ongoing painting a day project as I continue in my online premier coup oil painting class with Duane Keiser.
I have learned so much but sorry to say I have not reached the goal of painting 30 small daily works in 30 days. I think I will get to number 18 in 30 days but then I will keep going.
This is a smaller work, 6x8 on linen board. I decided to do smaller single subjects for a while in order to work a little faster toward my goal. And then of course, I get fascinated by the little universe inside one small vegetable. A universe speaking from inside a small thing.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

not a snowflake escapes Painting number 16

 "Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand."
Henry David Thoreau
We have had such a snowy winter, January and February frequent snows to bless the view out my windows. I am fascinated with the way the wind fashions the snow and then with the way the sun lights it up and the shadows grow long and deep blue and violet.
This painting was not planned in advance, spur of the moment I looked out a window and saw the blue shadows and brilliant sun. Here in West Chicago Illinois we don't always have a bright sunny day.
But when we do it is blindingly bright. 

One more snow scene before it all melts away. Looking out my windows at my front yard I am delighted by the patterns of shadow on the bright sunlit snow. The blue sky overhead reflects in the shadows making them appear all shades of blue. The sun reflecting back to my eyes on the snow is too brilliant, I painted this from life but ended up putting on sunglasses. It seems the coldest days are the ones with the brightest sun glare. This tree in the foreground is a little star magnolia that bloomed beautifully last spring. It’s also the grandkids favorite climbing tree because the branches are easy to reach. I’ll paint it again when it is covered in pink.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

a snowy day and painting number 15

I said that I would DO this
this and I did! I went out and painted in the cold fresh air.  In the winter! Alla prima en plein aire in art speak.
When I visited this place a couple of weeks ago I was miserably freezing, I brought my grandchildren to see the new baby lambs. It was maybe 10 degrees Fahrenheit.  But I made a promise to myself that the scene with the frozen creek and banks of snow was worth returning and painting.
Today hovered around 40 degrees F and the sun was shining so it was tolerable. I finished this 8x10 oil work in about an hour and a half. The temperature was not high enough to prevent the paint from becoming very stiff and difficult to spread. 
We have had a number of weeks here in West Chicago Illinois where it has snowed quite a bit. But today with the temperature rising and predicted to continue upwards it seems that the frozen winter is breaking. All that lovely snow will melt soon. 
 I wanted to get out there with my little portable palette and easel and make a recording of that memory. Especially thinking about the banks of snow with the sun shining and the patterns of blue shadows reflecting the blue sky.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Painting a Day number 14, a Turkish bowl

I don't know which day of 30 days of challenge this is, they are all blending together in a blur. Everything I see, everywhere I look I am seeing potential paintings. My bowl of yogurt, my cup of tea, the birds at the bird feeder, the snow drifts in the sun and shadow outdoors, are all composing themselves into potential paintings. I see the whole world as one big canvas right now. 

This painting is titled "The Turkish Bowl". My parents went to Turkey on a grand tour and this was a gift they brought back. I love the cobalt blue color with the red strip. The inside of the bowl is painted with an intricate design and the bottom is signed with a name and it says handmade in a script that I can't read.

I kept seeing this in my  mind's eye filled with lemons.  But since I had just painted the lemons and limes, I looked around the kitchen and decided to arrange clementines instead. I must have gone through a dozen different arrangements. In the end I put a lemon in there too because I like the color yellow with blue. Also I have painted more horizontal still life compositions lately and wanted to see how a vertical view could work.