Friday, February 19, 2016


Changing up Space...

Study with Pitcher and Apple, 9 x 12 oil on canvas

I'm putting together small studies in preparation for larger commission works I've been asked to do recently. I feel fortunate that those doing the asking have provided notes, and still given me a lot of space with regard to the finished pieces. This has given me wiggle room, and the liberty to just get something on my painting surface, along with a few other ideas to bring a fresh eye to things.

Yesterday I decided to play around with locations...other areas to set up and paint from; studio space I have in our home versus other rooms that would change my perspective.

Here are shots I took of my set up while working from our downstairs basement area. I do like the mood here, but the lighting is also easier for me to control because I use a single direct light source instead of the lighting from my northern facing window in studio. That said, I like using this northern lighting, it's more constant - not 100%, but more constant.  It prompts me to work faster due to changing light conditions, so I don't think too much...that always sounds funny, but overthinking things can block spontaneity. Using this northern facing window for a set up is a little like being out on location. After an hour in a half, I move on. :) 

Set up with varied lighting

Set up with varied lighting

And here's a view of my studio space at the end of a quick paint session. At times an hour is all I have to work with before the lighting becomes too bright for my painting surface.

At the end of a quick hour session with 9 x 12 canvas

Here are a couple of pieces from a recent sketch night. Fun things to translate to canvas...
Thanks very much for stopping by and have a great day. I invite you to visit me at

Peace and Health all - 

Flamenco and Guitar, ink on paper

Flamenco, ink and charcoal on paper

Monday, February 1, 2016

Organizing and Preparing Materials...


Before the Jam, 8 x 10 oil on canvas
 The concept of organization is a tough one at times. Whether it's my materials for a day out with classes, or personal studio space, the act of experimentation and making art often takes precedence over the active response to the nest of things that wind up all over the place. Suddenly it's midnight and I'm too beat for cleaning up anything more than my brushes. This is another selling point for palette knives...a wipe of my rag and they're done.

Today is Monday and coming off the weekend, I'm looking forward to an afternoon of doing...with paint that is. So early this morning I worked to better prepare my space and get things put back where they belong - at least for now.

It's the same for me as when I get items ready to cook. There is produce to wash and cut up, or prep for stewing, braising and overall good eating. Before the Jam shows a few leftover pieces from ingredients I used for jam. Grapes and Apples so ripe, they smell sweet enough to leave off the sugar. Truth is I don't use much anyway, but it's the same with over ripe plums - they give something extra to the batch. Organizing these things makes my time in the kitchen short
and sweet. :)

In studio, if I spend too much time looking for something, that's time away from my canvas or paper. A little bit of catch up time today will save me the frustration of wondering what I did with my favorite palette knife, or where I laid my blades and sandpaper for sharpening charcoal. It's an exchange that I have to just do from time to time. Actually, for me I think it's often that good break that is needed. A few minutes to brew a cup of tea, and twenty minutes or so of straightening up goes a long way toward keeping me on track and feeling good about my tools.

Today's quick sketch in progress - short of color adjustments, I'm looking at areas to develop versus those to leave be... 

Quick Sketch on 9 x 12 canvas

Quick Sketch - focus on this lovely blue vase

Portrait Study, charcoal on paper

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the day. Peace and Health all...