Hill Town in Corsica

One of my Facebook friends was kind enough to share some photos of Corsica where her  mother lives.  I was inspired to paint this from one of them.   I love the idea of people living in a quiet community, all knowing each other, far from the crazed media linked existence we all seem to share.

Corsica-Hill Town
Book Reviews Original Art Biography Techniques Uncategorized

Lavender in Provence-Use of Semi-Neutrals

This is my new favorite painting.  I combined some abstract elements with lavender fields in Provence.  I also used elements of color theory that I used from Stephen Quiller and his book Color Choices: Making sense out of color theory.

The Quiller Wheel works by using semi-neutrals that harmonize a painting.  For instance if you need a dark for a shadow you could try blending a purple with the opposite on the color wheel a yellow, for a cool toned semi-neutral.

You can see how this works on his website, where I love some of the muted tones in his paintings.

So without further ado, Lavender in Provence.

Over the years this has turned out to be one of my most popular paintings and I won’t give up the original. But for a friend I did Lavender in SC


And in 2016 a gallery wanted the original (which I still won’t give up) so I did Provence 2016 for them.


So if you in the mood to try reading the book I used Making Sense Out of Color Theory know that although he works in watercolors, he has charts in the book that cover acrylics and oils, as the exact name of a purple hue may be different for different media.  It also comes with a pull out color wheel that I have on my studio wall.  One of my favorite things about the book is that he will do the same scene using different color combinations and intensities, that in itself is very educational.

Happy painting!

If you like his work and you are a watercolorist you may like this book:


Best Friends

The first time I visited my breeder I noticed she had a number of cats around.  I remarked that she must be a cat lover.

“I despise cats.” She said, “and don’t go near that one, he bites!” 

She then elaborated that when her female dogs went into heat, and were not bred but still full of the instinct to mother they broke out.  While they were out and about they would find a kitten to dognap.   The cats around the place all were pets of the dogs!  


Dream Gallery

I had a dream that I was in an art gallery.  As I walked along I saw many small paintings and they were wonderful.  When I awoke, I lamented that all the wonderful perspectives and concepts I saw belonged to someone else and I couldn’t use them.  Then I awoke more fully and realized, my brain, my gallery MY IDEAS!  

I painted this based on something I saw in my dream.  I call it The Light of Learning.



Analogous Colors with Semi-Neutrals

I’m reading a great book on Color by Stephen Quiller that I will review at a later date.  I tend to go a bit wild with colors.  Sometimes my tones are all too bright and there are so many colors it hurts your eyes and it’s hard to see the main focus from the background.

I decided to do a few paintings base on color schemes I’m learning from this book.  While I’m not fond of the still life, I did one in analogous colors with semi-neutrals for this exercise.  I used greens next to each other on the color wheel, a yellow green, viridian, and a blue green.  I mixed the yellow and the blue-green myself using the viridian.

Here is my palette:

 The colors at the bottom are the semi-neutrals where the opposing color from the color wheel was mixed, for instance quinicone red with viridian green.   This gave me a semi-neutral.  I added white to the main hue as well as the neutral to give me a larger palette.

I set up this still life:

 I then did the following painting with the idea of it being soothing and calm. 


The Three Teddy Bears Go Camping

Take 2 The Teddy Bears Go Camping

I posted the comment below on Facebook and an artist friend made some suggestions so here is Take 2 of The Three Teddy Bears Go Camping.  What she suggested was that I make the cold sky and background warmer and fill in the trees.  So here is the new and improved The Three Teddy Bears Go Camping



Take 1

I’m still trying to find a balance between careful clean brushwork and the more interesting combinations of  “dirty” brush.   I just bought a book on color theory which should help me.   I feel at this point I’m diving into too many colors at once and loosing clarity.  But I’m also getting interesting textures and brushwork.  




The Bumblebee’s Last Party of Summer


And the brush ran away with the paint!

Sometimes the cow jumps over the moon and sometimes the brush runs away with the paint.  I have a fabulous picture of Tila rolling in the snow making a snow angel.  I really meant to try and do something realistic, but I’m finding I still have some impressionistic canvases that need to be painted.  It is as if the ideas are waiting in the wings and they are clamoring, “Me next! No Me!”.  

I have actually bought all the canvases I need for the ideas waiting in line.  And I’m sure when they are done, my muse will go out and fetch me some more.

So here is Spirit of the Snow Angel.  Some day I will try to do the realistic version, Snow Angel.   But when I tried this time the brush just ran away with the paint. 

Spirit of the Snow Angel





Addiction-Yes I Have an Addiction

I confess, I am addicted to paint brushes.  I love each and every one and cannot help but click “buy” every-time I see a new one on a website.  Here is a picture of my rapidly growing collection and a link to types of brushes and their uses.


The Growing Brush Collection







I have the exotic, like this “cat’s tongue” brush.  I read some of the old Masters used this and I just tried it today and love it.

Cat's Tongue Brush







And then there is the old paintbrush from who knows where that I found in a drawer.  It’s very useful when you want to lop a lot of paint on for a ground.   I usually underpaint most of my paintings with one color or another.  Blue if I am doing snow, yellow if I am trying to be impressionistic and so forth.

"Junk Drawer" Brush


I love the big rounds for the wonderful free strokes they make that seem to imply motion.


Round Brush







And who could forget the fan brushes for delicately putting on layers of glaze.


Fan Brush

I do have a ritual for cleaning all my brushes involving wiping, turpentine and soap and water but they get worn with use.  I think I like them better when they are a little broken in.

I have a dagger brush on order, well backorder (the dastards!) that I am awaiting.

If you have a brush or three you love, let me know.  After all you can never have too many brushes!


Twitter Tweet Twit

Twitter The Original by Nature

This spring I heard many birds twittering and tweeting in my backyard.  And they did it without I-Phones!

I remember back in the day when someone said “Twitter” then it meant a noise birds made.  The logo for is even Larry the Bird.  So I decided to call this painting “Twitter, The Original By Nature”. 

I also was playing around with glazing at the time and glazed many shades and layers on the cardinal.   So if you like it, Tweet it!