Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Painting progression continues...

After letting my first layer of paint dry, I started in on the background.  I added a Modigliani painting; "Nude on a Cushion" (1917), and then darkened the background wall color twice.  After the initial light background color, I knew I had to go much darker, but I am still not sure that this will be the final background color. I have been wanting to try a nude painting behind one of my nude models, but it is kind of tricky, due to the (famous) painting's actual dimensions, as well as just the choice of paintings that I feel will work with my composition.  I am planning on darkening the painting, especially behind my model's foot, as it is rather confusing with the similar skin colors.

Happy Thanksgiving!  (I had to edit this post, because the photos somehow disappeared??? So I'm not sure if these are the same photos I originally posted.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A week for paint to dry.

Because I started to get in the habit of posting something everyday, I thought I would post what I am doing this week.  Because I have 7 paintings now that are in some state of progress...most have no backgrounds, I am painting backgrounds this week, waiting for the first layer of paint to dry on my demonstration piece so I can continue to work on it, and post my progress.
Last Friday I was notified, however, that my painting "Pink Cattleya Orchids" was accepted into the "Blossom- Art of the Flower Competition" that will be held next February in Naples, Florida.  The reason I entered the competition, is because the grand prize is $25,000.00!!  That is an unheard of prize for a floral show.....but since I have been "re-visiting" my love of painting flowers recently, I figured why not?  I am keeping my fingers crossed!  The whole show will be able to be viewed online after it opens, so I will post a link to it.  For now, here is my painting.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day Five.... it is plain to see that I have to repaint the whole painting!  When I reach this point in a painting, I think: "I should really tone the canvas next time.."  ha ha!  Anyway, if I had kept the sheets white, the skin wouldn't look quite as pale, but against the red, the skin looks white.  Also I way misjudged the back wall color, and made it too light, but instead of going back into it when it is wet, I know from experience that it will be easier to paint darker after this layer of paint has dried.  You might also notice that I have left a space open, where I will paint a painting.

This may appear like a lot of work, but it seems this is the way I always paint a painting. (Hence the tentativeness of posting a work as it progresses.)  I can visualize the end painting, and think it will work, but this is the disheartening point.  I now have to leave the painting to dry for a week....hopefully not longer, and then begin the process of finishing it.

Thanks if you have been following this blog.....and check in in a week or so, and I will continue.....

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day Four...

Yesterday it seems like I didn't accomplish much.  I decided to start putting in the black and white striped material, but because the stripes are so small, I decided to paint the black stripes first, and then I will add the white stripes after the black dries.  This will save me much grief with dealing with the paint accidentally mixing.  The b&w material right now has no depth because I haven't yet added the darks and lights in the white stripes. Today I plan to fill in the rest of the background....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day three.

Yesterday I finished my first layer of paint on the figure.  I think the reason I like to paint the whole figure first, before incorporating it with the background is....I like the way it looks just with a white background.  (Again, probably from all my years painting in watercolor.)  At this point it has a Vargas feel, which I really like!  Because I had a little time left in the day to paint, I started to paint in the pillows.  Today I should be able to get a good start on the background.  Keeping in mind, after the whole painting drys, I will repaint it in more detail, and the colors will be more true to life...hopefully.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day Two..

Yesterday I continued working on my model's face; blending and then adding more colors here and there, along with highlights.  You have to bear with me at this point, because there are many adjustments to be made before the painting is "finished".  Like I said, I already know that when I add the red sheets, the skin colors will totally change.  But I still continue to paint the body separately from the background....I just like to....

I started to add paint to the body, and then out of the blue, around 5:00, I got a migraine!!??  Because they start with an aura, I couldn't paint.  Took my miraculous Imitrex and by 8:00 I went back to clean up my brushes, and managed to paint for another hour.  So I didn't get as far as I had planned, and the body looks like white paint....I will work on that today, and probably start to fill in the background.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Painting Progression.

Last week I attended an oil painting portrait demonstration.  I won't say who the artist was, but he is an exceptional artist and teacher whose work I admire.  Here is what I discovered, after watching him paint for 3 hours.....first of all, I paint pretty much the exact opposite of him, and second, I didn't care for the finished (and I'll use that term lightly) painting.  (I don't think a painting can really be finished in 3 hours..)  It seemed way too dark for me.
There is an interesting "rivalry" developing between painters who paint from life, and painters who paint from photographs.  I watch the discussions on facebook, and find it interesting that artists are judging other artist's, not on the work, but on the process.
I generally like work that is done from life, especially from the experts like Daniel Green or Jeremy Lipking, but I also love the work of Alysa Monks and Pamela Wilson, along with many of the photo realist and hyper realist artists like Charles Bell and Pedro Campos....just to name a few.  Of course my works run more towards the photo realism genre, but I am amazed to watch people paint from life, because it is a talent that I don't pursue.  I did start out painting and drawing from life, but I eventually, not that many years ago, started to paint exclusively from photographs, mostly because of time constraints.
I feel like having a photo shoot is where I can really come up with many different ideas, and then weed out the photos that wouldn't work as a painting.  When a model comes over, I am paying her by the hour, so I try to use that time to the best advantage, and get many different images I can use.
Because I am a self taught artist, I learned by, as they say: "putting miles on the brush".  I painted in watercolor only for so many years, that it was not in my nature to paint dark to light, so I start my oil paintings the same way as a watercolor painting; light to dark. 
I don't think there is a wrong or right way to paint, and I think labelling a painting process as right or wrong can have a detrimental effect on an artist that is just starting out.

Having said all of that, I thought I would post some pictures of one of my paintings in progression.  The painting is named "Bananas", and behind the model is one of my favorite paintings by Janet Fish named "Yellow Bananas".

Monday, September 27, 2010

"Pink Cattleya Orchid"

I just finished painting this pink cattleya orchid......and I am still deciding if it is finished.  The pink is so pink, that I think I prefer painting white flowers.  I have been taking a break from painting my figures, but am anxious to get back to them.  A change of subjects is always great to renew the spirit.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I have been keeping most of my new work offline, until my show at Modernism, but thought I would post one of my newly finished paintings: "Dessert".
This is one of my favorite models, Laura, with one of my favorite paintings by Wayne Thiebaud; "Salad, Sandwiches, and Dessert". This painting is from 1962, which is also a favorite time period for me.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

7 New Paintings to San Francisco

Last week I sent 7 new finished paintings to my framer in San Francisco, and then he delivers them to Modernism. I have 2 others waiting to dry to be sent, and am currently working on a new piece. Love to start a new painting! So I know my show is getting closer...waiting to get a date, after Martin receives the new work.
Today I thought I would post a painting that I haven't posted on my blog before, but it is on my website. The painting is called: "Kaitlin with Two Lilies on Pink". I finished it a while ago, and it is one of the paintings that will be in the show. I am still trying to hold back my newest work until the show. (The painting in the background is another Georgia O'Keeffe.)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Quentin John Davis!

My new grandson, Quentin John Davis was born May 29th, so I went to Phoenix for 10 days to help out. It was a wonderful time, and a beautiful baby! Quentin and his mother, Leah, are doing well, and I treasure the precious time I got to spend with my other grandson, Jackson, who is almost 3. His wonder of the world, innocence, and inquisitiveness is something people should strive to never lose! What a delight!

Friday, April 23, 2010


Here is a painting of my model Caley, that I just finished. Of course nothing is ever really finished until it leaves the studio, and then I even sometimes rework a painting. I'm still not completely satisfied with the hair, and since the painting really is all about the hair, I may work on it a little more. Also I need to come up with a title.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I have been painting hair for the last week...uuggghhh! I think I am close to finishing my painting of Caley, but today I decided to paint the pubic hair of a painting I just recently repainted: "Michelle". My intent was to repaint the ribs, but I knew that would probably entail painting the whole figure...and indeed it did. I am not one to match paint from a few years ago. Anyway, the pubic hair is darker than the original, so I thought I would post the painting so I could see it large. I still might make some changes to it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Finalist in International Artist Magazine!

I know I have posted these images before, (right after I finished them) but "White Cattleya Orchids" has "won" an award as a finalist in International Artist magazine's floral and garden competition. I haven't entered a competition for many years, but after I painted 2 new florals, I figured why not? Especially since there was a monetary prize. Of course I was hoping to win one of those, but at least my work gets published in the magazine, and I get a year's subscription to the magazine.
When I entered this competition I felt like the "Wyoming Peonies" would win something, but thought I might as well enter both images. I was surprised when I was notified that the orchid painting was the one they preferred. (Especially after seeing the magazine (yesterday) and realizing that the grand prize winning painting was one of peonies. It is a beautiful painting, but quite different from mine.)

You can see all the winners and finalists in the April/May issue of International Artist magazine.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

San Francisco: Ramos and Nagel!

I am just back from the bay area again, and was lucky enough to attend two openings. The first was a Mel Ramos show at Modernism, and it was very exciting! I am a fan of Mel's work, and was delighted to see so many of his paintings up close. He has also added sculptures to his repertoire, and although I liked them, I preferred the smaller ones to the large ones. They are made of resin, and are "fashioned after" certain paintings of his. The thing about Mel Ramos, to me, is that he has a place in history as an acclaimed painter, and you can definitely spot a work by him. (My favorite work of his is from the 1960s.)

A few years ago at a Gottfried Helnwein show at Modernism, I was seated next to Mel at the dinner following the show, and I got to delve into his mind a little, about his painting career. He said that in the 60's and 70's women picketed his shows and demanded that he stop "objectifying women". He thought it would be much easier for me, being female, to paint nude women. I also asked him about some of the lawsuits he was involved in, and he said that he won all of them. I think it was 7UP that said he could use their image, but they got some prints of the painting as compensation. (There definitely needs to be a new book on Mel, with more recent paintings, and details of his experiences in the art world.)

Even at this show, he had placed the heads of Scarlet Johansen, Nicole Kidman, Jenifer Aniston, and Drew Barrymore, on nude figures. I'm not sure how he "gets away" with it, but he does. (Pamela Anderson commissioned Mel to paint a nude of her.) All in all it was a very nice evening!

The next show we went to was Aaron Nagel's. His show was at The Shooting Gallery, which is a newer gallery that shows the work of younger, very talented artists. Aaron also paints nudes, but he adds some text behind them, and in this show, he also incorporates arrows. One of the things I find truly amazing, and interesting, is his use of paint on the model's hands, and even on one face. I also enjoyed the brushstrokes and texture of the paintings. The paintings were amazing, and Aaron was very nice and pleasant!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"Laura with Narcissa's Last Orchid"

I have just realized that I have around 10 paintings that I have not posted on my website, so thought I'd post one of them here on my blog! Hope you like it!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Here is yet another version of my Caroline painting. I made the background green, and am still deciding if I like it. It might be too much color??

I am reposting this image of Caroline. After viewing the image large, I decided that I wasn't happy with the lips, so I repainted them. Many times I can see things in a large photograph that I don't see in the actual painting. I don't know why this works for me, but it does, and always has. I hope this looks better. (Excuse me for using my blog as a work tool....) Also I am not happy with the color in the photograph...the painting seems much warmer to me in person, but when I try to darken the photograph the background becomes too dark.


This is a new painting commission of one of my friend's beautiful daughter, Caroline Federicci. She is only 14, and a beautiful dancer. When I went to the dance studio to photograph her, I was lucky enough to get to watch her practice a routine, and I was very impressed! As far as the painting goes, I have many more photographs that I plan to paint, but I think this one is finished. I will show it to the family, and see what they think. Sometimes a parent can see something subtle, that I may not see, that can be easily changed, and makes the person in the painting look more like themselves.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Mardi Gras!!

This is a painting I have previously posted, (as "Nude with Mask", but it's real name is "Bullseye") but I think it totally has a Mardi Gras "feel", so I thought I would post it again. I am currently working on three (almost) finished paintings, while almost ready to start a new very large piece.
Sent six paintings to Modernism, so things are starting to fall into place. Can't wait to post my newest work!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"Laura Reading O'Keeffe"

Here is a painting I finished a few months ago.