89 The King’s Grapes



I don’t know, something about this just says Ceasar….greecian columns….right?

I actually painted the purple vase the same day as the last still life I posted because I have these GORGEOUS red-purples (my newly decided favorite color btw.)  So I painted the vase again while I had them mixed.  I really loved how the vase turned out – as usual – and the more I look at the grapes, they do kind of look like they’re glowing.  Okay, getting closer.  Now the shadow just needs to be more transparent.

Class with my 12 year olds was awesome today!  We’re onto how color can enhance a composition.  We set up a still life together and drew it on the canvass, but that’s all the further we got.  Great lessons learned, pushing through frustrating perspectives and proportions, but they’re doing so great!

Custom Still Life


My first still life commission!  A commission like this is different for me than a commissioned, say, landscape.  This is my turf!  The commissions (could I say that word more?) where people want my style but their image or idea are great, but extra challenging and nerve wracking because they’re usually not my normal genre.  Good challenging for sure – otherwise I’d never get out of my comfort zone and try something new, but scary for the same reason.

A customer of mine at the coffee shop wanted a few specifics in a still life and asked me to put it together for him.  He wanted 3 slices of orange and grapes.  That’s all I had.  He was admiring the glass still lifes that are hanging at the shop currently so I had some sort of idea of what he was imagining.

Now to the painting.  The more I paint this purple vase the more I love it!  My grapes could stand to be “choppier”, and I want to practice polka dots more, but as usual – I’m in love with the glass. : )

in the studio

in the studio

Blank wall space….must cover it….

88 Color theory with an 8 year old


This year I am a much more organized teacher. : ).  I’m going through the color wheel with my little friend, and each week we’re exploring different color combinations and why their important.  Example: primary colors, complimentary colors, analogous colors…etc.  Last week we did a ‘cool’ colors painting, so this week we did a ‘warm’ colors painting.  She gets to pick the image knowing the color rules and then we just go!  I thought her pick for the warm color painting was right on!  Here’s her’s:

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Hope you’re inspired!

Golden View


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Commission is done and given!  Funny story with this one, I was partly working from a Google street view image for this view….yeah….But it got me thinking – does Google have copy rights to those images?

Anyways, hope you enjoy it!  How does your eye journey across the painting?  I kept most of the detail to the right of the canvass. : )

Mastering clouds


Though I actually did paint a lot today, I can’t really show much yet since what I’m working on is a secret commission again, and what I did with the kiddos today….I don’t really like (my painting that is, not the kids’ : )  ).  But here’s a little compromise, I’ll show my favorite ‘part’ of the painting so far – luckily it’s another large one.




Clouds!!  I worked with them a while.  Then kind of smudged it all together.  Then when back with a few bold strokes, and wa-la!  Something I’m okay with. Ha.

87 Neighbor’s Eggs



I came home to a letter on the front door telling me to come over to 706 and get some of their chicken’s eggs because they had too many.  What a wonderful note!  I’ve probably been getting to know that couple the best so far in the neighborhood too, just great.  I just had to paint them today, right?!

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I really had fun with the shadows in this one.  I actually started with those, I like how in paintings of artists I love, it looks like they paint the shadows first – almost transparently, then go around the edges with the bright light shining down.  I’ve been working on that.  I think I could have paid more attention to the egg “white” part in this painting.  It did sort of melt and spread all over the plate, but I feel like I got too anxious to be done….shoot.  Still had fun painting this one though!

86 Favorite Mugs



Busy and productive days behind us!  Our shower is coming together and the end is in sight.  And my art lessons are going smoothly, I am way more organized (as organized as a right-brained artist can be) this go around and the kids are really enjoying themselves.  Makes me a happy teacher.

Anyways.  I worked on a larger commission earlier today and right before I had to start making dinner I decided to try to whip out a small guy, to keep me fresh.  It had been a while.  And I was determined to just have something work!  I’m not terribly thrilled with this guy, but I exercised muscles that wouldn’t have been warmed up if I hadn’t….if that makes sense.  Keep on truckin.’

Feeling like a kid again


Sidewalk chalking in Loveland day.

Well today was different!  I got to help out good friends and local artists Scott Freeman and Mollie Walker Freeman color in their 6ft x 6ft square of sidewalk for the Pastels on 5th event down in Loveland.  They were there from 10am to 5pm, I showed up at noon and helped till we finished, but wow that was a lot of painting!  Lots to say, but check out the photos:

This is the shot of the whole street.



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Here’s how far along they were when I showed up.  Scott designed the whole image, I just got to help fill in color.  The fun and easy part ; ).

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The piece was based off a verse in Isaiah (sorry Scott I’ve forgotten which one).  An overall message of peace.

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This next shot is cool because you can see other artists lined up next to us working on their squares.

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The finished result!  Sorry about the shadows….couldn’t just make them even out.  Hopefully you get the idea.

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That was my day!  Hope you enjoyed yours.

(click on the links above to check out more information about Pastels on 5th and the Freemans.)

84, 85 Plum Drop


I had the day off today and took advantage of all the time to paint!  I started out with a warm up (below) and wasn’t terribly pleased with it, again.  But since reading Carol Marine’s blog, and from personal experience, of not painting for a while – then beginning again – it might take a few paintings to get the hang of it.  So I pushed through and worked with some plums a coworker of my husbands gave us.  Thanks Pat!  I loved the red-purple richness that they had, and decided to keep everything else pretty simple.  I’m feeling better about life now. : )

I also (hopefully) finished a dog portrait one of my coworkers commissioned me for.  I have to admit, the photos I had were pretty tough to work from, but I used two or three to get this image to work.  I also hope she doesn’t see it here, I haven’t handed it off yet. ::wink::  -but thought I’d show you all that I am still painting when I can!

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Looking at it now I feel like the face needs to be brightened to attract more of the attention.  Right now the hind leg and front paw are stealing the show.  Yay for looking at it through a different lens.

Here’s that other painting from today.

Purple Much?

Purple Much?

A friend of mine asked to see me use more purple….I think it’s subconsciously happening.  I almost titled this one ‘Red Handed’ because this is how I found the jar and flower on my still life shelf today and loved the lines the leaves and huge petals made with the curve of the vase.  Then I realized nothing about the painting would be “Red Handed.” Heh.

83 Beta Test


Reds just don’t photograph well.  This is a test for a future painting I want to work on.  Fish are so colorful and a friend of mine wants to tie in all the colors in her house with a painting of some beta fish.  I’m not too crazy about this one, but at least I got a practice one under my belt. : )

I’ll be working on some dog portrait commissions tonight, hopefully some proud posting tomorrow!

82 Anniversary Bouquet


Art classes have begun again with the young ones.  I had two twelve year old girls today, they are going to be fun!  We are going to study some “rules” for composition all semester.  This painting was inspired by our exercise today.  We set up a bouquet of roses I had from last week and used our view finders to crop in on a specific section and then draw that area and fill in the fun negative and positive spaces they make.  An exercise I did myself for a whole summer a year ago, turns out it’s still super fun!

Here’s the original sketch I started with: (unfinished because, let’s face it, art classes are NEVER long enough : ) )

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And of course > the after class shot.  I love the messes we make.

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81 Maine on the Brain



We had breakfast this morning at Lucille’s, a cajun cafe here in Fort Collins.  Yum!  They had a painting of a crawfish on the wall and I was given an idea for what to paint today.  My husband and I honeymooned in Maine 2 years ago and with the cooler weather coming we’ve been reminiscing lately.  So this lobster is two fold.  I love painting with red!!  It’s so vibrant, and usually the different shades of red and orange don’t really get picked up by my camera, but they look okay here.  Phew!

Here’s a shot from the men working on my bookshelf today.  Way to go guys, it looks great!

Beauty and the Beast library here we come!

Beauty and the Beast library here we come!

Something to look forward to:  I might get the chance to paint (with oil pastels) a 6ft x 6ft square of sidewalk with local friend and artist Scott Freeman this Saturday in Loveland.  I’ll keep you posted.  But you could start praying, I haven’t used oil pastels since high school!

80 Pug Life



My father in law is in town this weekend helping with some projects around the house!  He’s been super helpful and we’re very grateful.  Thanks Dan!

I have a few dog portrait commissions this month so I thought I’d practice with a dog today.  Some friends of ours breed Pugs and just had a litter of 7 puppies I think!  This was from the photo for their Facebook page.  Too fun.  The hardest part= what to do with the background.  I think the purple was a good move.  For this painting, I started with black and did all the darkest parts first.  Then dark brown, then a reddish brown and kind of worked my way up toward the lighter colors.  I did have to go back and re-work some of the wrinkles again.  Oh pugs.  Enjoy!

Here’s a shot from my show at Mugs at the Oval location:

Mugs at the Oval show

There’s so much wall space there, this is the front corner nook.

79 Secondary Glass



Sorry for the long hiatus, but hopefully this is the beginning of getting back into the habit of daily painting. : )  I thought “Secondary Glass’ was a good title for this one since I used all the secondary colors (green, purple, and orange).  Also, for fear of failure, as often happens when I don’t paint for a while, I kept it simple and a favorite = glass.

Here’s a shot of the new studio…mostly unpacked.  I also need to get some better lighting in there. Yikes!

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