Monday, December 28, 2015

Cloudy Pacific

"Cloudy Pacific"
Image size 15.5" x 15.5"

I'm doing a series of encaustics that are this size.  I've already finished two and plan to have ten when I'm done.  They will all be  images of oceans, skies and weather.  I've always liked a square format for paintings and encaustic is a great medium for these subjects.

I enjoy painting clouds in any medium but in encaustic they are really fun.  The white encaustic paint is extremely opaque (of course) and I love how I can break it apart with the heat gun.  By layering the colors and clear medium, I can get a really fun effect.  It doesn't show here in the photo, but adds a lot to the artwork when you see it in person.  And, as I've said before, the shine that you get when you polish the wax adds to the wonderful effect.  I'm always attracted to shiny things.  ; )

I need to get back to my watercolors but am having too much fun with encaustics.  Also, my studio is torn up because I'm painting the walls and baseboards.  Every flat surface is covered right now so it's hard to find a place to work.  Since I do the encaustics in the garage, it's been easier to find a place to work, although even out there, flat surfaces are at a premium!  At my house, if a surface is flat, it's usually covered with stuff!
Hopefully, I will finish painting my studio and putting things away this week so I'm able to start some more watercolor paintings.  That doesn't mean I will stop using the encaustics.  Now that the holidays are over, I'm hoping to spend much more time painting in every medium!

Monday, December 21, 2015


Image size 7" x 7"
Watercolor, collage and encaustic

I started this by attaching rice paper in some areas.  Then, I used watercolor and finished by giving it a coat of clear encaustic medium and adding some detail with oil pastel.  Once I fused the encaustic, the pastel became permanent.

Even with the wax coating, the collage texture still shows and gives an interesting effect.  Also, because of the encaustic, the surface can be very shiny or have a dull waxy finish.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Flat Line

"Flat Line"
Image Size 6" x 18"

Finally, I'm able to post this painting.  This is another encaustic, also done on the chipboard to give it that extra texture.  I also added some oil pastel line work which doesn't show up much in this photo. 

Encaustic paintings have so much movement and depth.  I'm really loving this medium!

Monday, December 14, 2015

I have no internet on my computer and can't figure out a way to access my photo I took on my phone to post here so I will have to wait until the tech comes out to fix my internet to post this week's  photo -hopefully tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Global Warming

"Global Warming"
Image Size 20" x 14"

I completely forgot about posting this yesterday!  It's been done since last Wednesday so it wasn't on my radar.  You all know how busy everyone gets this time of year so that is my only excuse.

I painted this on a piece of wood that I think is called 'chipboard'.  It has a wonderful texture and pattern that add to the piece.  Because the wax is translucent, the texture is subtle.  I want to do a painting on this surface using acrylic paints and give it a coat of glossy medium first and leave some of the surface unpainted so that the texture really shows.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Happy Hour

"Happy Hour"
Image Size 15" x 15"

I love that time in the afternoon when the sun is getting low in the sky and the day is almost over.  Seeing that sun setting on the ocean always makes me feel like I'm on vacation.  

This is another encaustic.  I really enjoyed trying to get the feeling of the spray as the wave is crashing, and the foam where the water hits the sand.  This photo really doesn't capture the beauty of this medium.  In person, the surface is shiny and looks like a glazed tile.

Monday, November 23, 2015


Image Size 15.5" x 15.5"

This is the first time I've worked in encaustic since I moved.  It took a while to find everything and set it up but once my wax was melted and ready to use, I was in heaven!  I've missed working in this medium and you'll probably be seeing a lot more over the next few weeks.

Monday, November 16, 2015


Image Size 12" x 12"

Here's another 'rain' painting.  I'm really trying to do my part in ending this drought!  ; )

I love working in acrylics using them like watercolors.  I don't think that acrylics have the beauty of watercolor, but it is nice to be able to layer colors without lifting the previous layers.  

Monday, November 9, 2015

Rainy Day

"Rainy Day"
Image Size 11" x 15"
We got some much needed rain today.  I think I'm partly responsible for that because I got my car washed this morning.  I hadn't heard that it was supposed to rain.  Having a clean car and not wanting to waste a car wash motivated me to work on emptying boxes in the garage so that my car would fit inside.  It's nice to finally be able to actually park in the garage!  I still have a lot more stuff to put away, but at least my car is safe from water spots.  ; )

This was painted on a saturated piece of paper.  I used the complementary color combinations of blues/oranges, purples/yellows to get some interesting grays in the sky.

Monday, November 2, 2015


Image Size 11" x 15"

This is the other painting that I finished in Jeanne Hyland's workshop.  This was painted from a photo of her dog.  It was fun playing with the bright colors to describe a brown and white dog.  Mariposa had some spots but I left them out.

I used the saturated wet technique again.  I really love the control that is possible when using that method.

Monday, October 26, 2015


Image Size 22" x 15"

I just attended another two day art workshop last week.  Two workshops within a month is not a usual thing for me, but it sure is a great way to spend a couple of days.  It's like a mini vacation.

This workshop was with Jeanne Hyland.  I've taken her "Wet and Workable" workshop before and really enjoyed it.  Even though I knew the basics of this technique from her last workshop, I still learned a lot this time and feel like I have a better understanding of what to do.  A little more experience painting in this style definitely makes a difference. 

This was a "Portraits and Pets" workshop.   In the past, I was hesitant to try painting animals and people.  I will have more confidence tackling them in the future.  There are three portrait projects that I've wanted to paint for years but have been too afraid to start.  I know, "it's just a piece of paper", but even with that thought in my head, I've been too intimidated to try.

This was painted from a photo that Jeanne took of a young waiter.  This painting doesn't look much like the photo but at least he does look human so I'm happy about that.  On my next portrait, I will be more careful about using green.  This poor guy looks a little under the weather.  I thought I would be able to lift the color out as I worked but whatever paint I used, it was not lifting at all.  Anyway, it was a fun project and I was less stressed as I painted it than I thought I would be.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Diane's Tallit

"Diane's Tallit"
Image size 24" x 72"
Silk dyes on Silk

My amazing friend, Diane (one of my college roommates), is becoming a Bat Mitzvah in November and we are making a prayer shawl for the big day.  

We worked together on the design and she came over yesterday and painted the pomegranates.  Today, I painted the border and leaves because we couldn't fit another painting day for her to finish it. I would have been thrilled to paint the whole thing for her but knew that it would be much more special if she did some of the painting as well as the design.

She did a beautiful job!  She has never painted on silk before so I am amazed how well she did and I know she enjoyed the process.  

Now, this has to sit for 24 hours before I can steam it to set the silk dyes.  Then I will seam the edges and Diane will add the knotted fringes (tsitsit) to the corners.

My watercolor teacher from years ago, Hillary Miller, has painted a lot of these tallitot over the years and was so helpful with advice on the best way to tackle this project and she sent the information on tying the tsitsit as well.  Check out her artwork.  Not only is she a talented artist, she is a wonderful teacher.  I learned so much about watercolor from her when I was taking her classes, and over the years, she has been so helpful whenever I have questions about silk painting.

I will post a picture of the tallit when all of the finishing touches are done.

Monday, October 12, 2015


Image Size 11" x 15"
This is another painting that I worked on during the Soon Y. Warren workshop.  I worked from a photo of my sweet dog that died a couple of years ago.  He was such a sweet, gentle giant and I wanted to try painting him in a less formal, realistic way.  I've painted two other paintings of him in the past that were more realistic.

The colors in this are pretty crazy but it was fun to treat a black dog with bright colors.  I was killing this painting and almost threw it into the trash but Soon helped save it so she really gets all of the credit for this one.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Soon Warren's Workshop

Soon Warren's Workshop painting
Image size 15" x 20"
Here is my first attempt at painting crystal.  It doesn't sparkle like Soon's paintings do but I'm pretty happy with it as a first attempt.  At least now I know how to break a painting like this down into baby steps.  

I have a photo that I took many years ago of a still life set up that has crystal in it and I've always been to intimidated to try painting it.  Now, I feel like I have the tools to try it.

Soon's workshop was so much fun and Soon is a wonderful teacher.  I learned so much!  I'll have to practice so that I don't forget everything that she taught.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Krazy Kitty

"Krazy Kitty"
Image Size 22" x 15"

No, I'm not a cat person and never thought I would paint a cat but I'm taking a workshop with Soon Y. Warren and this was one of the projects.  She is a wonderful watercolorist and is known for her beautiful still life paintings of crystal.  I'm working on one of those too but it's not finished yet.

For this painting, we poured a base from a combination of blue, red and yellow and once it dried, worked on the cat.  In this workshop, Soon actually paints on a person's painting so I can't claim that this is all my work but I did do a lot of it.  My colors in the original pour homogenized a bit too much and I lost some of the lights that I wanted to save but I'm still happy with the outcome.  Of course, if the subject was a dog instead of a cat, it would have been a much better painting.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Boulder Creek

"Boulder Creek"
Image Size 8" x 10"
Our son got married about a week ago in Boulder Colorado.  His new bride is wonderful and we're so happy to have a new daughter added to our family.  

Boulder has been one of my favorite places since I first visited while our daughter was attending college there.  The school is beautiful and the town has a nice kind of hippy vibe.  It's also very dog friendly and the people are very welcoming.  The 'Flatirons', the hills lining one side of town, have interesting rock formations and lots of trees.  I found this scene while driving to the wedding venue.  Boulder Creek runs from the hills and through the town.  The wedding was held next to this creek, but farther into the hills.  

This is a palette knife painting.  I haven't done one of these for a while and it felt good to use this technique again.  Spreading the paint with the knife is very calming and fun.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Image size 15" x 22"

I finished this abstract that was started several years ago.  It is mostly watercolor, but has some accents of a copper acrylic, which I'm not sure you can see in this photo.

This is how my head feels right now - too much to do and no idea where to start.  Organization has never been my forte so I'm really feeling out of my element.

I. just. want. to. paint!

Monday, September 7, 2015

New Zealand Vista

"New Zealand Vista"
Image size 7" x 8"
I painted this on a saturated piece of 300# arches paper.  I had forgotten how much I like that heavier paper and it works really well with the saturated technique.

This is the first painting I've done in the new house.  It's not much of a painting but I am still short on time and my studio isn't really set up yet either but it felt good to start and finish a painting here.

I painted this from a photo that my daughter took in New Zealand.  I took some artistic license with it so she probably won't recognize it.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Fog on the Lake

"Fog on the Lake"
Image Size 15" x 20"
I'm still strapped for time so I pulled out another painting that I did a while ago that I decided I didn't really like.  After I painted this, I did a 6" x 6" similar painting that I like better but as I am desperate to post a painting and haven't finished one this week, this suddenly looks much better to me.

I'm in the process of moving so with everything torn apart and separated between two places, it's been hard to focus enough to paint and also to find all of my supplies.  Maybe next week I'll be more creative.....

Monday, August 24, 2015

Chaotic Cosmos

"Chaotic Cosmos"
Image Size 15" x 20"

Again, having little time to paint this week, I pulled out an unfinished painting and dabbled with it until I declared it finished.  This is done on paper that was coated with gesso and was also splattered with it during the painting process.  Throwing paint is always fun and such good therapy!  White acrylic was also added at the end to give some punch to what I wanted to be the focal point.  

I'm still hoping for more time to paint but it is also a good feeling to be getting these unfinished paintings done and off of my list of 'things to do' which seems to be getting longer and longer each day.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Spin Cycle

"Spin Cycle"
Image Size 15" x 22"

I finished another old painting this week.  I was hoping for some time to work on a new project but things have been pretty busy so I'm hopeful that next week will be better for art.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Abstract Canyon

"Abstract Canyon"
Image Size 15"x 22"

Again this week I've finished an old project.  Originally, this was a very loose watercolor and I didn't like the colors I used.  I covered the paper with gesso and created a texture.  Some of the original color shows through but mostly, I used blues and rusts to finish this.  I think the texture in interesting and the colors are much more cohesive than they were originally.  

Monday, August 3, 2015

Patriotic Cabin

"Patriotic Cabin"
Image Size 16" x 20"
I've never felt completely comfortable painting buildings but I'm pretty happy with how this has turn out.  I might play with it a little more but for now I'm going to live with it and decide what it needs.  I know I need to add some shading to the bunting but want to wait until this layer of paint dries.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Tasty Tomatoes

"Tasty Tomatoes"
Image Size 9" x 12"

Here is the tomato from last week along with a couple more vine ripened tomatoes.  They aren't as flavorful as homegrown, but pretty good for store bought produce.  I was hoping to grow tomatoes this year but it wasn't in the cards.  No tomatoes taste as good as homegrown tomatoes!  Next summer I will have a bountiful garden.

When I decided to paint a second picture of these tomatoes, my intention was to do a 'saturated wet' watercolor painting.  I used Fabriano Artistico paper which didn't work well for this technique.  I think there is too much sizing in the paper.  When I tried to darken the colors, the previous layer lifted so I had to let it dry completely and paint it using traditional techniques.  Another thing I don't like about this brand of paper is that it has a huge watermark on the edge of the paper.  You can see it on the bottom edge of this painting.  To me, it is a distraction to a finished painting and that will keep me from buying this paper in the future.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Palette Knife Tomato

Palette Knife Tomato
Image Size 6" x 6"
It's always seemed wrong to me that a tomato is classified as a fruit.  I looked it up just to be sure and scientifically it is definitely listed as a fruit.  In cooking, it is considered a vegetable since it is used in savory dishes rather than the typically sweet dishes that use other fruits.  Strangely, this makes me feel much better than having them only seen as fruits.  Avocados, cucumbers, pumpkins and squash are also fruits.   Really? 

This is a palette knife painting.   I think I am getting back into the painting groove finally.  I have a couple of paintings that I've started this week but had to paint this one to post today since the other two are larger and I knew I would never finish either by today. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Old Yellow House

"The Old Yellow House"
Image Size 16" x 20"
Still no motivation to paint...

This painting was started many years ago and I decided to finish it this week.  Old Town Tustin has a lot of charming old houses and this is one of them.  I painted this completely with a palette knife and simplified it, trying to keep from noodling it to death with detail.  Using the palette knife makes it easier for me to stay away from detail which tends to be the way I see things.

It feels good to finish another project.  Hopefully, next week I will feel more like painting and will have more time.  I miss spending time in the studio.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Colored Pencil Plumeria

"Colored Pencil Plumeria"
Image size 2.5" x 3.5"
Colored pencil

Another week of no time and little, here's another ACEO.  This time, I felt like playing with colored pencils.  I love the look of colored pencil drawings but rarely have the patience to use them for anything much larger than an ACEO.

I used a piece of Bristol paper with a 'plate' finish - totally smooth - which doesn't allow for working with multiple layers of color.  There is no 'tooth' to grab the pigment so after one or two passes, the paper doesn't accept any more color.  It feels as though your pencil is gliding over a slick piece of ice and leaves no trace that it has been there.  That was fine for this drawing since I didn't want to spend much time finishing it.

Hopefully, next week I'll feel more like painting and will have time also.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Mini Merlot

"Mini Merlot"
Image size 3.5" x 2.5"

Are these Merlot grapes?  Who knows?  Who cares?  I was just trying to make a title that was an alliteration.  This has been a crazy week and I wasn't able to paint, so luckily, I found this little gem that I painted a while ago but never posted.  Since I make the rules for my weekly postings, this counts!  

This is a tiny painting which is called an ACEO - an artist trading card.  I don't know if people are still trading these or not but it's a fun size and quick to paint.

Monday, June 22, 2015


Image Size 14" x 11"

This painting was also done on a saturated piece of paper.  It was my first painting in Jeanne Hyland's workshop.  There is space at the bottom that I cropped out for this view.  I haven't decided whether or not to put some land in or leave it as a skyscape.  I like it this way, I think.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Brilliant Pepper

"Brilliant Pepper"
Image size 11" x 15"
Last week I took a watercolor workshop with Jeanne Hyland.  I worked on this painting in the class.  Her "wet and workable" method is very interesting and and I love the brilliant and saturated colors.  She had us working on a totally saturated piece of paper and we had quite a long time to work before it began to dry.  Controlling the water/paint ratio will take a lot of practice but this seems like a pretty forgiving way to paint with watercolors and I'm looking forward to trying it again.

Monday, June 8, 2015


Image Size 8" x 10"

I wasn't really in the mood to paint this week and I think it shows.  This isn't one of my favorites but it is done.  I think I got the shadows too dark and I fought with the paper a lot.  This paper is Fabriano Artistic which I don't usually use so I'm not that familiar with its properties.  It's easy to lift color from this paper but conversely, it's hard to add layers without lifting the previous layers.  Since I love to glaze many layers of color, this probably isn't the best paper for me to use.  I like Arches because it works with my way of painting.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Rat Condo

"Rat Condo"
Image size 30" x 22"

What a horrible name for a painting, right?  Well, living in Southern California, we have palm trees everywhere.  Some are well manicured and some have a lot of the dead fronds hanging below the pretty green ones.  When I see these trees that aren't well maintained, I start imagining what critters are living in those dead fronds.  I mean really, what a perfect home for rats and other critters.  Nobody is disturbing them and they can live there forever!  Rent free!

I came up with the name for this painting before I painted it.  Sometimes that happens and I actually like working that way.  It gives me a goal instead of painting a picture and then struggling to think of a name.  Sometimes, naming a painting is the hardest part of the process.

This is a poured painting.  I save the white areas of the paper with resist and then wet the paper and pour red, yellow and blue over the whole paper.  Then, I decide what areas I want to save that are that value, add more resist and then do another pour.  I continue until I have achieved the value contrast that I think will work.  After the resist is removed, I tweet the painting where it needs it and then I say, "It's finished!" 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Rain Dance

"Rain Dance"
Image Size 30" x 22"
I know there are parts of the country that are having serious problems with flooding right now, but here in Southern California, we are praying for rain.  We were promised some rain last Friday and I tried to do my part by painting this, doing a little dance, and begging for some rain.  We didn't get any but it sure looked like were were going to have a storm.  We were teased by the heavy black clouds, but we didn't get any precipitation.

We are in such a desperate drought situation after four years of very little rain and I really hope that we have a mild summer so that our need for water is lessened.  However, it seems that in the past several years, the summers have been much hotter than average so I'm not going to hold my breath...

Monday, May 18, 2015


Image Size 30" x 22"

I love the textures and dimension that can be achieved with watercolors.  I used two of my favorite paints in this painting; Daniel Smith's Lunar Earth and Lunar Black.  They are the most sedimentary colors that I've found and are beautiful straight from the tube or mixed with other colors.  I'm sure you can't see the sedimentary effects in this photo but in person, they are pretty interesting.

I painted most of this on wet paper.  The initial painting layer was allowed to completely dry and then I re-wet the paper to add additional layers.

Monday, May 11, 2015


Image Size 7" x 10"

I struggled with picking a subject for this week's painting.  When I saw this papaya in the store, I decided to paint it.  Papaya is my least favorite fruit.  In fact, I really dislike it and would never choose to eat one, but I do think the inside is very interesting looking.   It took longer to paint than I thought it would, but since I really wasn't planning to eat it, I wasn't too upset when it looked really dry and unappetizing by the time I finished my painting.  Usually I eat my still life set ups once I've finished painting them but this was an exception and although I do feel a little guilty about wasting food, I think I'll get over it especially since I don't think of papayas as an eatable fruit.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Mexico Surf

"Mexico Surf"
Image size 15" x 22"

I wanted to work on a saturated piece of paper for this and I could tell as soon as I wet it that the sizing was gone.  The paper looks translucent when wet if there is no sizing.  Since this has happened to a lot of my paper, I'm becoming used to working with this blotter-like paper.  The things that make it hard to work on are:  
* You can't blend colors because the paint soaks into the paper immediately 
* It's hard to get dark darks. 
* Color can't be lifted
This probably wasn't the best subject to pick having a paper with these limitations but I muddled through anyway.  It was actually fun because I went into this not expecting much.

I would have liked to have the look of some misty spray from the waves but that wasn't possible with this paper.

In this photo, you can see the ripples in the paper because I haven't flattened it yet.

I should probably buy some new paper to be sure that there is sizing in it (apparently the sizing degrades over time) but I have so much paper that I need to use first so I'll wait.  I hate to waste art supplies.  Also, I think working with this limitation is a good exercise and will force me to work differently which is a good way to grow.  I can always seal the paper to keep the paper from slurping up the paint but a sealed piece of paper has its own challenges and is also different from working on a piece of paper with sizing.  

Monday, April 27, 2015

Silverado Creek

"Silverado Creek"
Image Size 48" x 72"

Here is another one of my projects finished.  This one has been hanging around for over four years!  It's hard to stick a 4 foot by 6 foot painting in a closet.  It's been on my easel all that time and I'm so glad that it's finally finished!  Now, I can use that easel for something new and exciting.

This painting has gone through many stages through the years.  Originally, I planned to paint this as though you were seeing the image through a window.  The white areas would have been dimensional looking with the window divisions shaded as they would look as if it was a real french paned window.  I wanted to hang it in our bathroom and have it look like there was another real window in the room.  I thought it was a great idea at the time.  It started out as a scene that had mountains in the background, an orange grove in the middle ground and would have the upper parts of eucalyptus trees in the foreground - as though you were seeing them from a second story window.  Here is as far as I got on that idea:

After it sitting at this stage for a couple of years, I decided that I wasn't motivated because I didn't like the scene so I changed it to its first layer of the current scene but still kept the window idea:

It continued to sit until one of my friends told me that she didn't really like the idea of the window because it was too distracting.  I realized that I probably wasn't in love with that idea anymore either which was probably why I wasn't motivated to work on it.  My friend said that a couple of months ago and it was the motivation that I needed.

I've always loved this scene and have painted it before several times but only in watercolor.  This one is oil and it is the largest oil painting I've ever done.

I will probably play with it a little more after seeing it in this photo and looking at it in my studio over the next week but for now, I'm considering it finished!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Pastel Hibuscus

Pastel Hibuscus
Image size 7" x 7"

I haven't worked in pastels for a very long time, but I'm trying to finish up some of my paintings that have already been started and this is the one I picked to finish this week.  I started it a couple of years ago, but lost my motivation.  I'm not really painting flowers as much any more so I'm not sure my heart was really in this, but it does feel good to have finished it.

Pastel is such a fun medium and the look can vary from totally blended -which can look like an oil painting- to sketchy and gestural.  I usually prefer seeing the strokes but I had already started this with blending the pastels in the background so I continued that look there but made the flowers a bit more textural.  I like having both techniques in one painting.

Monday, April 13, 2015


Image Size 7" x 11"

I'm still working with encaustics.  I've decided to finally get a blow torch and experiment with that for future paintings.  I'm interested to see if it is easier to control smaller areas of the wax.  I should probably stick with the heat gun so that I don't have more control but why fight my basic personality?  

This painting has a shellac burn in a couple of areas and I've added more wax on top of that in a few areas. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Slow Burn

"Slow Burn"
Image Size 35.5" x 48"

I felt like painting another large acrylic abstract and this is what I created.  I started with a base of blues, reds and a neutral and let that dry.  Then, I poured a mixture of gesso, water and matte medium and spread it randomly over the surface using a small piece of mat board to create a busy, abstract texture.  Where that mixture was thicker, it was an opaque white and where it was thin, the base colors showed through.  After that, I used thin veils of a neutral to tone down a lot of the background to make it recede and threw some white paint to create a feeling of energy.  That always makes me feel good - throwing paint is the best sort of therapy.  Then, I began adding my black and rust colors.  Once I got those areas looking the way I wanted, I added the white details. I mixed the white paint with a gloss medium so that it would be different from the matte finish of the rest of the painting, but that detail doesn't show up as much as I would have liked because the lines are so thin.

I'm very happy with the texture in this painting.  The reds and blues in the background are very subtle but add interest.  One of the things that I love about abstract paintings is that the longer you look at them, the more you see.  Sometimes, I think that can make them more interesting than representational paintings.  They sure are fun to paint.

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Mist

The Mist
Image Size 6" x 6"

I love how this little encaustic came together.  The ethereal feeling of this painting is much stronger in person and I'm not sure it could be achieved with any other medium.  I painted shellac on the rusty color and burned it to get the texture.  I like the soft, misty feeling of the sky next to the texture of the earth.

I really need to get back to watercolors but can't seem to turn down the heat on encaustics.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Seeing Red

Seeing Red
Image Size 8" x 8"

I started with a red color painted on the surface and then built the other colors on top of it.  About halfway through, I did a shellac burn.  Layering more encaustic over that created an interesting texture.  After I was happy with the overall effect, I did one more shellac burn diagonally to bring in some of that warm amber color and a bit more texture.  

I think it looks a bit like a piece of stone.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Molten Sunset

Molten Sunset
Image size 8" x 11"

When I started painting this, I had a rough idea of where I wanted to take it but as I progressed, it went in a completely different direction.  I started seeing a sunset so I went in that direction but in a very abstracted way.  

What do see in this painting?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Laguna Beach Encaustic

Laguna Beach Encaustic
Image Size 5" x 7"

Well, I completely forgot that today is Monday until 7:20 PM.  That's how crazy things have been around here.  Fortunately, I had painted this one last week so I'm not missing my self imposed Monday deadline although I'm probably posting it too late for those of you that subscribe to my e-mail delivery to get it today so it will come on Tuesday to you - but it was finished today.  : )

Not that any of you probably care about it but I would have been really mad at myself if I had the painting finished and just forgot to post it.  After all, I've been posting a painting a week since 2008 and haven't missed a week, no matter what's going on in my life, so I don't want to miss one now!

I admit, it's not much of a painting, but it's done and as with all of my paintings, it was a learning experience.  I've done this scene so many times but never in encaustic so it was fun to see how different this looks from the other mediums that I've used in the past.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Peter's Canyon Encaustic

Peter's Canyon Encaustic
Image Size 7" x 5"

I combined encaustic with a little oil paint for this painting.  I have a lot to learn about this medium but am enjoying my experimentation with it.  I'm not crazy about the shape of this tree so I will probably try to change that tomorrow but for now, it's finished.  

I'm having problems with getting little pin holes in the wax.  Even if I get rid of them when I fuse the first layer, they seem to appear as I add and fuse more wax.  If anyone out there knows what is causing this, I would love to learn from you.  I am using encaustic gesso to prime my boards.  Maybe that is too porous and is causing the problem.  I think I will try an encaustic with no gesso and see what happens.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Pear Family

Pear Family
Image Size 12" x 6"

I painted this on a saturated piece of paper.  It's fun to try to control the combination of water to paint when painting this way.  It's important to add less water and more paint as the paper begins to dry.  I put the paper on a piece of plexiglass while I was painting so the paper stayed super wet for a long time.  It's a challenge to keep adding paint without getting blooms from having too much water in the brush.  I've got a long way to go before I'll feel like I'm in control when painting this way.

When I wet this paper, I could tell that the sizing was gone.  The paper becomes translucent when wet if there is no sizing.  I didn't care about the lack of sizing because when the paper is saturated, it doesn't seem to matter if it's gone.  I like the fuzzy, ethereal look that this painting has because of the combination of wet paper and lack of sizing.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Little Plumeria Study

Little Plumeria Study
Image Size 3.5" x 6"
Watercolor on TerraSkin

It seems like forever since I've painted with watercolor and I've really missed it.  This is a small study on TerraSkin, which I haven't used for a long time either.  I had forgotten how much fun this surface is to paint of and definitely need to use TerraSkin more often.  It's challenging to layer color without lifting the under layers but that is part of the fun!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Encaustic Magnolia

Encaustic Magnolia
Image Size 5" x 7"

I painted this from a photo of the magnolia tree in our yard.  It was a close-up of one of the upper branches and it was vertical like this.  As I look at this finished painting, I think it would have looked more natural if I had placed the branch at a bit of an angle.  Also, the branch for the bud became much thicker as I was fusing.  It's just a small study so I'm using this as a learning experience.  As always, encaustic is a lot of fun and a great challenge.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Koi Pond

Koi Pond
Image size 11" x 14"

I started this a couple of months ago and finished it this week.  I really love painting koi.  I think this is the first time I've painted them in oil.  I'm getting more comfortable painting with oils although I still love painting in watercolor better.

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