Monday, December 26, 2016

Jumbo Kumquats

"Jumbo Kumquats"
Image size 7" x 5"

I had been hearing about a new 'wax' paint called Ceracolors, so when I saw that there was going to be a demonstration at a local art store using these paints, I signed up.  They are described as wax and pigment emulsified in water and are supposed to be compatible with encaustic since both are wax.  I found that intriguing and bought a sample set of the three primaries plus white and a small bottle of medium.  I thought this would be the perfect way to get more detail in my encaustics. 

This painting is done on an Ampersand textured claybord panel.  The Ceracolors paint comes in a tube and has a smooth consistency that is similar to watercolor tube paints.  It was interesting to work with these colors.  I guess I would compare it to working with acrylic paints.  The paints can be thinned with water, but when I thinned them too much, there were bubbles and it was hard to get a nice wash.  I think that had more to do with the surface on which I was working than the paint.  On the lower background in this painting, I did a wash of very pale yellow over the blue.  I wasn't getting the smooth wash that I wanted so I created a random texture and I think that looks better than it would with a smooth wash.  I think that layering these paints to get more texture would be a fun way to work with them.

In the demo, we were told that the paints don't have to be fused like encaustics, but that they can be heated.  I was excited to see what results I would get when I used my heat gun, but nothing happened.  So then I took my palette with the leftover paint blobs to see if they would melt and they didn't.  I am going to do some more experimenting and try mixing these paints with my encaustics to see what happens.   Also, I'm going to do some research into the ingredients of this paint, but at this point, I don't think they are only wax, pigment and water. 

Monday, December 19, 2016


Image size 6" x 6"
This cute building is in Old Town Tustin, CA and was originally built in the 1800's.  I've always loved this building with it's interesting facade and was so sad when it burned down several years ago. Fortunately, the facade, which gives this building so much of it's charm, was mostly undamaged in the fire.  Many people in the community helped raise money to rebuild this historic landmark.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Painting Party

Image Size 12" x 12"

Last night my niece hosted a painting party and had a local artist come to lead the event.  The artist, Fabrice Spies, is an artist that paints hyperrealistic acrylic paintings that are amazing!  Check out his website.

For the project, he lightly sketched the image on a canvas for us ahead of time, and each of us had a picture of this painting (which is one of his original paintings) taped above the canvas.  He got us started and then helped each of us through the whole painting.  He is a very good teacher and I learned some good techniques.

It was a really fun way to spend the evening with family, new friends, art, food and wine.  Also, it reminded me how much fun it is to paint with acrylics.  I need to use this medium more often!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Misty Ridge

Misty Ridge
Image size 16.5" x 8.5"
The underpainting of this is a previous painting that I posted several weeks ago.  I decided I really didn't like because it didn't have any flow.  Actually, the painting depicted my mood at the time but it was a bit negative.  I'm much happier with this image.  

To start the change I took the heat gun and blasted the middle area where the drastic value change was so it would soften the transition.  Then I covered most of the surface with thin veils of soft color.  After that was fused, I added alcohol inks and a little bit of shellac burning. The shellac burn didn't really add much to the painting.

When I use alcohol inks or shellac, they leave the surface shiny, which I really like in some paintings and is distracting in others.  I didn't want any shine in this painting so I covered the areas with a layer of clear medium.  It dulls the colors a bit, but I think in this instance, it enhanced the finished look.

Below is the previous painting, "Divided" which is now forever underneath "Misty Ridge".

Monday, November 28, 2016

Vegetable Still Life

"Vegetable Still Life"
Image size 8" x 10"

I'm back to watercolor this week.  I really like the softness of this painting, which was achieved by painting on saturated paper.  I'm still trying to master this technique that I learned in Jeanne Hyland's workshop but it is a struggle.  She makes it look so effortless.  I am determined to get control of this technique, but I think it is going to take a long time.


Monday, November 21, 2016

Dynamic Sea

"Dynamic Sea"
Image size 36" x 96"

 This has been on my work table in my garage for over a year.  I used a combination of wax, ink, shellac and oil paint.  It wins for the largest encaustic to date.  I don't know how many pounds of wax I've applied to this, but is sure is a lot heavier than when I started.  Moving it by myself was a challenge.  Three feet by eight feet is HUGE and I'm excited to finally be able to have my worktable back.

I'm not totally sure that it is finished yet.  I need to live with it for a while.  Today is the first time that I've seen it in a vertical position.  I've been working flat on a fairly tall table which is good for my back but not so good for really seeing the artwork.  

I intended this to be totally abstract, but I seem to have created another wave painting...


Monday, November 14, 2016

Free Flow

"Free Flow"
Image size 12 3/4" x 13"
I started this painting by rubbing some dry pigment into the wood which had been first coated with white encaustic gesso.  It looked soft and subtle until I added a layer of clear medium over it.  The color became a bit more intense, which was fine.  I like that the grain of the wood can be seen in areas.  I've built up layers of wax, alcohol inks and shellac burns to create the texture.  

Monday, November 7, 2016


Image size 16.5" x 8.5"

This week I played some more with adding alcohol inks to the encaustic.  I bought some white alcohol ink and was excited to try it, but found it was too thick to get it to move and create a fun texture.  I will thin it with additional alcohol and hopefully I will get it to flow without losing too much opacity.  The white ink doesn't show in this painting because I totally covered it up with more wax.  The other inks colors are used only in the lower portion.

This could be read as a type of landscape or as a pure abstract.  I've played with creating a feeling of agitation and chaos juxtaposed with more soothing colors and shapes.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Image size 15.5" x 15.5"
I used a mixture of encaustic, alcohol inks and shellac to create this painting.  I think it has a strong sense of power and movement.  Even though it is an abstract, it still has a feeling of water cresting before a powerful break to me.  I'm having a hard time moving away from water in my paintings - especially when using encaustic.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Powerful Peak

"Powerful Peak"
Image size 24" x 24"

I started this painting by painting and fusing a layer of clear medium as a base.  I knew that I wanted to have red bits peeking through the finished painting.  The red oil paint that I used had a very pink tone to it, which surprised me because it was a cadmium red.  Anyway, when I added white encaustic, it was even more pink in the wave crest.  I'm happy with the amount that is still showing and with the color palette.  The white is very textured and has great movement in person.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Shore Break

"Shore Break"
Image size 16" x 20"
I took a break from using a lot of texture on the foam of the wave break for this painting.  I wanted the textural part of the painting to be in the foreground in the sand. I did a shellac burn in that area to give it an interesting effect.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Pond

"The Pond"
Image Size 12" x 32"

Well, this was fun to paint as well as a being a learning experience.  I don't usually work this large in encaustic, but I really like big paintings.  This is still small compared to watercolors, oils and acrylics that I've done.  Working in encaustic is more time consuming and takes a lot more material than the other mediums that I use.  Each layer needs to be fused before adding more wax and it becomes more difficult to control the wax as the layers build.  I had real problems with the flowers in this painting because the blues and green surrounding them kept migrating into the flowers.  I kept scraping the flowers and adding more white, but continued to have the same problem.  I put a layer of clear medium over the entire painting and fused that before trying to add white again.  That did solve the problem of the greens and blues migrating, but the white continued to move uncontrollably.  I finally got it pretty close to how I wanted it and then added orange oil pastel to edges of the lily pads and brought some of the color into the white flowers which made them much more interesting.  I like the sketchy look of the pastels so I also added some lines with white oil pastel to the lilies.

I'm really happy with this one and can't wait to polish it.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Palm Tree Trio

"Palm Tree Trio"
Image Size 6.5" x 5.5"

I've painted this scene many times because it is one of my favorite views in Laguna Beach.  The reference photo was taken from Heisler Park looking down to the beach.

I painted the support red because I really liked the red specks peeking through on the wave painting I finished recently.  I wanted to see if I could get a similar look using red oil paint to start the painting rather than coating the surface with red wax.  I also used oil pastel to add some detail as finishing touches to the painting.


Monday, September 26, 2016

The Blues

"The Blues"
Image Size 22" x 15"

This didn't start out being a wave, but it seems to have morphed into a suggestion of one.  I chose a  paper with a surface I had previously textured using thick and thin gesso over a painting that I didn't like.  I really hate wasting paper!  ; )  Since I didn't like the colors that were peeking through, I began layering colors and playing with creating texture and this is what it became. 

It's been pretty hot here this week so I guess this is my unconscious attempt to cool things down a bit.   

I love the texture in this painting and the feeling of movement that it creates.  All of the layers don't show in this photo, but up close the layers make this painting very interesting.

Monday, September 19, 2016


Image Size 6" x 6"
This week's painting is an abstracted wave.  I layered many different colors as a base and let them peek through the blues in the top layer.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Encaustic Spray

"Encaustic Spray"
Image size 8" x 24"
I really disliked last week's painting, so it no longer exists!  I painted this over the red wave.  The colors were just too disturbing for a wave.  Greens and blues are much more soothing.

I wasn't sure what would happen when I tried to layer over the red and orange.  Since orange is the compliment of blue, I was afraid that I would end up with mud.  I was pleasantly surprise to find that the colors didn't really mix.  I love how the bits of red and orange are peeking through.  That gives a nice energy to the painting.

The foam on the crest of the wave is very textural, which reads nicely in person.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Red Wave

"Red Wave"
Image size 8" x 24"
This idea looked much better in my head.  I wanted to paint another wave but use totally different colors and see if it still read as a wave.  What do you think?  I haven't decided yet.  It was a nice experiment though.  I used the same colors in the sky as in the wave and they were competing too much so I put a couple coats of clear medium to knock the color back.  Even though the medium is clear, because it is wax, it is cloudy when it cools.  

Monday, August 29, 2016

Skyscape II

"Skyscape II
Image size 9" x 6"

I've had another busy week will little time to paint so I went back to experimenting with my encaustics.  I love painting skies with this medium.  I tried to do a simple grassy field but in this picture, it looks pretty sad.  In person, I thought it was successful, but I might have to revisit that area with my heat gun and some more colors.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Stormy Sunset

"Stormy Sunset"
Image size 6" x 6"

I used my palette knife again this week.  It is so much more fun than using a brush.  I don't really enjoy using a brush with oils because I don't like the drag of the paint.  I'm used to the fluidity of watercolor and the heavy oils really bug me except when I use a palette knife.  Then it's like spreading frosting - such fun.  

Now I wish I had a cupcake to eat.😕

I painted the support red before I painted this and let specks of the red peek through.  

Monday, August 15, 2016

Lone Waterlily

"Lone Waterlily"
Image Size 10" x 14"

I love painting waterlilies and liked the interesting shape of the shadow in my reference photo.  There are a few areas I might tweak on this but for now I'm taping it up where I will see it each time I walk into my studio.  That way, I can look at it with fresh eyes each time I see it and will decide if I want to change anything.  

Monday, August 8, 2016

Green Onions

"Green Onions"
Image size 6" x 6"

I can't believe that it's been a year and a half since I've painted in oil and two years since I've done a palette knife painting.  Even though oil isn't my favorite medium, I do like painting with a palette knife so it surprises me that I've let so much time pass without using that tool.  

I went to the Farmer's Market this weekend hoping to find some incredible vegetables to paint but there was nothing that screamed "PAINT ME" so I ended up with these little onions.  I chose a red background to add some punch.  I do love red but rarely use it.  I wonder what's up with that?  I'll have to concentrate when I make my color choices for future paintings instead of always going with my comfortable colors.

Monday, August 1, 2016

New Heights

"New Heights"
Image size 15" x 8"
Watercolor and Acrylic

This is painted on a piece of 140# hot press Arches paper.  As soon as I began wetting the paper, I could see that it had problems with the sizing.  That seems to be an ongoing problem with the paper that I have.  I have purchased some new Arches paper for projects that involved a lot of drawing where I don't want any surprises with how the paper will react, but I've come to expect most of the paper that I have stored will have problems with the sizing so I'm keeping a lot of matte medium on hand so I can seal the paper when I have this problem.

I'm sure that I've had this paper for at least 10 years because I don't typically buy hot press paper.  I find it hard to work on since I like to paint with many glazing layers.  The previous layers tend to lift on hot press, which is really frustrating.

Of course, when I seal the paper with matte medium, the paint layers lift even easier.  In this painting, I painted the background and initial base colors of the pear with watercolor.  Since I wasn't doing additional layers on the sky, the watercolor was fine.  For the pear, the watercolor was lifting way too much so I carefully painted a layer of matte medium over the watercolor and painted the rest of the layers in acrylic.  There's always a way to make things work, which is a fun challenge.

Monday, July 25, 2016


Image size 16" x 8.5"
This looks like an underwater infrastructure to me.  Painting watery looking paintings seems to ease the heat we are having.  I painted this on TerraSkin, which I haven't used for quite a while.  If you regularly follow this blog, you might remember that TerraSkin is a surface made from stone dust and non-toxic resin.  It is mostly non-porous, but the surface has a little bit of tooth which holds the paint a bit better than Yupo, another non-porous 'paper'.

I love using fluid acrylics on this surface.  I've also experimented with watercolor, oil and pastel, but I think acrylics are so perfect to used in transparent layers.

Monday, July 18, 2016

New Zealand Sky

"New Zealand Sky"
Image Size 11" x 15"

I've been busy working on my house this past week so I didn't have much time for painting.  Here is a watercolor skyscape.  I really enjoy painting skies in watercolor and you'll probably be seeing a lot more in the future.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Oceans Apart

"Oceans Apart"
Image Size 21" Diameter

This is a circular painting on a handmade piece of watercolor paper.  I bought a few of these papers several years ago.  I love the shape of the paper and the fact that it has a deckle edge.  These look wonderful when framed with the paper floated so that the edges show.  This paper doesn't have any sizing in it but I painted on it while it was saturated which seemed to work well.  I used some heavy sedimenting paints - Daniel Smith's Lunar Earth, Lunar Black and Lunar Blue and was hoping for some heavy textures but the effects are pretty subtle.  That could be because of the lack of sizing but I'm not sure.
I kept layering colors and created the design in the lower two thirds with a combination of cobalt turquoise, Titanium White, Lunar Earth and Ultramarine Blue while the paper was in varying degrees of wetness.

If you're not familiar with the "Lunar" colors from Daniel Smith, they have very heavy particles in the paints that settle into the texture of watercolor paper.  Any other colors you mix them with take on those characteristics and sometimes separate from the heavier particles which gives a beautiful effect.  Lunar Earth is my favorite of the Lunar colors.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Breaking Wave

"Breaking Wave"
Image Size 15" x 22"

I'm embracing one of the symbols of summer this week.  I really enjoy painting crashing waves and trying to capture the feeling of power in the water.  It's fun to paint in any medium but painting it in watercolor is always a challenge because the whites have to be saved when working with only transparent watercolor.  I used resist to save many of the whites and then worked wet into wet to get the softness of the spray and color blending in the wave.  I like the graphic quality that the hard edges of the resist add to the painting.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Pepper Trio

"Pepper Trio"
Image Size 14" x 14"

The majority of this painting was done on saturated paper.  I'm really happy with the colors and softness of the background.  I used a blend of green, blue and purple in the background to bring out the complementary colors of the peppers but in this photo only the green really shows.  I probably could have painted the blue and purple a bit bolder, but didn't want to take away from the shadows by having the background darker.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Red Hat #2

"The Red Hat #2"
Image Size 11" x 11"
This is my second attempt to paint my friend Beverly.  I still don't feel like I've captured her essence and I know the reason for that is that both paintings I've done show her not smiling.  I'm surprise I even have any photos of her not smiling because she's always smiling.

I will try it one more time using a reference photo with her smiling.  I have several good ones but have hesitated to try painting her smiling because I don't want to deal with painting teeth.  It's probably not a big deal, but that's one more thing that I've always found intimidating.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Cerulean Sky

"Cerulean Sky"
Image size 7" x 11"
I haven't painted a skyscape for a while so that was this week's project.  I love the colors in the sky, going from ultramarine at the top into cerulean at the horizon.  I remember the first time I saw a distinct color change like this in the sky was when I was visiting Lake Powell.  The colors always seemed to be more intense there than in So Cal - probably because of the cleaner air.  It was as though those two colors had been used directly out of the tubes to color the sky that day.

So, that is what I did in this painting.  The sky is the focal point of this piece and the sand dune/water is less important to me.

I painted the sky on saturated paper and after it dried I added the land and water.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Guacamole II

"Guacamole II"
Image size 11" x 18"
This probably looks very familiar to you because I've painted it before.  I wasn't happy with how all of the values were in the middle range so I painted a second one with a very dramatic background.  I masked the subjects so that I could get a very smooth background and used colors that lift so that I could soften the edges after I removed the masking.  Unfortunately, since they were liftable colors and I didn't get the darkness that I wanted with my initial wash, when I added more washes, the color lifted.  I don't usually use an airbrush, but for this project, it worked perfectly to achieve the darkness and the variegated background.  After removing the masking, I wasn't able to soften the edges anyway so I'm not sure what was happening - suddenly, the liftable colors weren't lifting.

I really like my idea for this painting but I can't really say that I'm thrilled with either version.  I like the value contrast of this one but I should have used a different background color.  This is too much green, even for me.

Here is a picture of the first painting:
 I would love to hear your honest opinions of these two paintings.  

Monday, May 30, 2016


Image Size 11.5" x 24.5"

I painted this on oriented strand board (OSB) which I have always called chipboard.  It has thin, random pieces of wood glued together and they make a really interesting pattern.  I left areas of this painting with no color so that the wood shows through.  That's what those brown areas are but I don't think you can really see the texture in this photo.  

Usually, I try to get the wax in my paintings pretty smooth, but in this one, most of the white areas are very textural.  I almost added sand like in my last ocean encaustic, but I wanted to try getting texture with just the wax.  The tricky part is fusing the wax enough without losing the texture.

I used a little amber shellac to do a burn but I also got some clear shellac and added green powdered pigment to it and burned that.  The green doesn't show much but did add an interesting texture.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Lake Powell in Wax

"Lake Powell in Wax"
Image size 9.5" x 6.5"

I've painted Lake Powell many times using many different mediums.  It is such a beautiful place and the blue and orange complementary color scheme has always been a favorite for me and Lake Powell is an amazing example of that color combo.  

I love the way the wax moved in the water in this painting.  At first, I fought against it but each time I hit a new layer of wax with the heat gun, this is the direction it moved and now I really like it and think it is interesting looking.

I did a little shellac burning in the cliffs but because the color was the same, there was little change in the effect.  It does have a shine that it wouldn't have otherwise though.  I also added oil pastel but that didn't add much detail either - just a little extra texture in the cliffs.

Monday, May 16, 2016


Image size 5.75" x 11.75"

I started this on Saturday when I was doing my encaustic demo.  I was trying to show as many techniques as I could.  Some techniques were covered up as I decided what this painting would become.  I started by using the leftover color on my palette which turned into an ugly dark gray.  I'm sure everyone watching wondered what the heck I was doing.  You can still see some of the initial color in the background, which I really like.  As with many of my encaustic paintings, I don't know where I'm going when I start. I look for something in the wax that will lead me in a direction.  I showed inscribing and adding colors to the marks initially, which I covered up as I made my wavescape. There is some shellac burning done in the lower portion and I embedded sand at the bottom also.  I've never added that before and I'm not sure if I would do it again, but I like it in this painting.

I am so happy that everyone that tried painting an encaustic on Saturday really enjoyed it and they were amazed with how much a painting can evolve as heat and wax are added.  I think their favorite part was doing the shellac burn.

Here is a note that my friend, Nancy Grubb sent to me to post on my blog:

An open note to all of Nancy Goldman’s bloggers:

My daughter, son-in-law and I hosted  Art Salon II on Saturday for artists who work in watercolor, colored pencil, metal smithing/jewelry and ceramics when Nancy demoed encaustic.  It was fabulous– she had us absolutely enthralled.  As she started her demo the circle of participants was about three feet back from the table.  As she continued to work, everyone was moving in closer and closer – the ooooohs and aaaaaahs were resounding along with gasps and WOW, look at that! exclamations.  It is truly an amazing technique.
Nancy had brought along all the materials so 8 or 9 of us made our own small piece under her tutelage – such fun!
We all felt enriched at having that wonderful opportunity to experience a new-to-us medium.  Many thanks to Nancy for so generously sharing her expertise! 
Nancy Grubb

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Murphy House

"The Murphy House"
Image Size 14" x 22"

This was an interesting commissioned painting.  My daughter's friend lived in this house for much of her life and before her family lived there, it was the Murphy house in the movie "Home Alone".  I thought that was so interesting so I rented the movie to watch it again and see if I could get some more visual information on the house.  It's hard to paint a house when I haven't seen it and photos don't show all of the details.  

Before I decided to watch the movie, I tried searching Google Street Maps to see the house but this one and the main house in the movie are blurred out.  Apparently, tourists still drive to the street and take pictures of the houses.

It is a bit stressful to paint commissioned house portraits because it's so important to capture the feeling of the home for the client.  I'm very happy with this painting and am excited to send it off to it's new home.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Roiling Surf

"Roiling Surf"
Image Size 6" x 6"
I'm getting ready to do an encaustic demonstration in about a week so I've been concentrating on this medium lately.  This week, I wanted to do a painting of water.  Encaustic is such a perfect medium for this subject and it's fun to try to get a feeling of movement.  I thought I was finished with this several times and then decided to add some color and then the heat gun would move the wax in a way I didn't like so I would add more color and heat it again.  I love the way the white breaks apart and was trying to get more of that effect but was having trouble with that today.  I splattered the white to get an effect of water spray.  I did that by flicking the brush with my finger - probably not a good idea with hot wax but sometimes, we have to suffer for our art.  Ha ha!

Monday, April 25, 2016


Image Size 15.5" x 15.5"
This painting was so much fun to paint.  I started out by using all of the colors that had been mixed on my palette for previous paintings, knowing that my first layer rarely showed much in the finished painting.  That gave me a jumping off point (and cleaned my palette).  I also knew that I wanted to used some shellac burning in this one as well.  Usually, I burn the shellac while it is still wet and then make some adjustments after it is dry if there are areas that I don't like.  This time, I let it dry and then used the heat gun to make it react.  It didn't react as strongly as when it is lit on fire but it did make some interesting ribbon-like shapes.  I'm not sure you can really see them in this photo.  Even in person they are hard to detect because I did some layering after the shellac was added, which I usually don't do.  

I also experimented with alcohol inks.  I added them and moved them around by blowing on them through a straw.  Then added more wax.  This is the most visually textural encaustic that I've done so far and I'm very happy with it.  I can't wait to try another one using this combination of techniques.  

Monday, April 18, 2016

Waxy Waterlilies

"Waxy Watercolor"
Image Size 15.5 x 15.5
I felt like painting a more representational encaustic this week.  I've painted waterlilies many times but never in wax.  Now that I see it in a photo, there are a few things that I'm going to change but that's easy with encaustics.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Breaking Out

"Breaking Out"
Image Size 6" x 5.75"

Flip flop.  I've switched back to encaustic.  This started out with totally different colors. There was a lot of yellow initially which I didn't like.  Now, a little bit is peeking through the other layers and I'm happy with this color palette.  

To me, this design looks as though the surface has broken and something is spilling out.  What do you see?  I really like how abstracts are seen differently by each viewer.  

Monday, April 4, 2016

Off The Grid

"Off The Grid"
Image size 7" x 7"
I'd like to see this abstract as a large painting.  In fact, I'd like to try to achieve all of this texture using only transparent watercolor.  I think that will be a future project.

This texture was achieved using collaged rice paper so it does have actual texture.  If I paint something similar in watercolor, it will look textured but be a smooth surface.  That sounds like a fun challenge.

I've used fresh, spring colors again.  I'm really enjoying this time of year and enjoy portraying it with such a happy color palette in paintings.

Monday, March 28, 2016


Image size 15.5" x 15.5"
I really enjoyed working on this painting.  The colors I started with completely changed as I continued to layer wax and it evolved into a totally different painting.  As much as I loved the colors as I was finishing the painting, I felt that it was lacking some pizazz so I added areas of shellac burning into the lower portion and am really happy with the result.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Kelp Forest

"Kelp Forest"
Image size 6" x 6"

I've been concentrating on my watercolor paintings for the last couple of months and have missed working with wax so I decided to paint an encaustic this week.  Watery subjects are such fun to paint and, of course, watercolors are a great medium to use to achieve that fluid look, but I've found that I can also get an interesting watery effect using encaustics.   

Painting the wax onto the surface is only half of the work when using this molten medium.  Using the heat gun or blow torch is equally important to the appearance of the finished painting.  Manipulating the wax once it is applied to the surface is what gives the finished look.  I like to get a lot of movement with the heat gun.  Some colors are transparent and some are opaque and the colors react differently to the heat which adds interest to the painting.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Time To Plant

"Time To Plant"
Image Size 15" x 11"

This neglected onion started sprouting to get my attention and I waited until the greenery looked interesting and decided to paint it.  I think onions are beautiful when they sprout and the onion begins to wither as the greenery grows stronger.  

I've heard that you can plant an onion in this stage and it will grow a new onion but that doesn't make sense to me so I'm not going to bother.  If any of you have done this successfully, let me know.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Watercolor Collage

Watercolor Collage
Image size 7" x 7"
watercolor and collage
Just a little playing around this week with some of my rice paper and watercolor.  I really love the textures that these different papers give when applied over and under watercolors.  This is a study for a larger abstract using these papers.  I don't plan to try to recreate this design - I was using this as an experiment to get ideas started.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Falling Colors

"Falling Colors"
Image Size 6" x 4"
Acrylic and watercolor
I was out of town for a week so I didn't have much time to paint.  I would like to see this as a large painting but that is for another time.  That wonderful texture comes from coating the surface with fiber paste.  It is an acrylic medium made by 'Golden Paint Company'.  I put it on mat board but it is flexible and can be used on paper, board, canvas or probably almost any surface you can imagine.  It is very absorbent and, as you can see, has a wonderful texture. 
These are my happy "I'm ready for spring" colors.  My deciduous trees are leafing out and my fruit trees have wonderful smelling blossoms on them.  I love this time of year!

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Red Hat #1

The Red Hat #1
Image Size 7.5" x 11"
I think I've found a new series.  I've had several photos of my friend Beverly in this red hat for many years and as with last week's painting of my daughter, I was too intimidated to try painting her.  This really doesn't look like her, but I'm still happy with this painting.  I'm really enjoying painting portraits much more than I thought I would.  Maybe I've found a new calling....

This was done on 200# Waterford paper which I really like.  It has a soft surface and that little bit of extra weight really makes a difference.  I didn't know I had any left so I was pleasantly surprised when I found this little piece.  I painted most of this on saturated paper and finished the details once it dried.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Make A Wish

"Make A Wish"
Image size 7.5" x 11"
I had my daughter pose for this quite a while ago, but have been too scared to paint the painting.  This is a study of what will be a large painting (hopefully soon).  I am always hesitant to paint people, but actually enjoyed this project.

My original idea was not to have her holding a cupcake, but since tomorrow is her birthday, I thought it was an appropriate object to place in her hand.  I really made a mess of her hair and I'm afraid she will cringe when she sees this, but I promise to do a better job on the real painting.  She has beautiful curly hair which she usually straightens so I'm happy that it's curly for my reference photo.

For the big painting, I will probably use warmer colors.  The overall feeling of this is a bit too cool for me.

Anyway, happy 29th birthday my dear, sweet, baby girl!!!

Monday, February 8, 2016


Image size 18" x 12"

I thought the ingredients for one of my favorite foods would make a fun painting.  I stuck a stick through the tomato, avocado and onion to stack them and created my still life composition.  I hope I'm not leaving out any major ingredients.  Of course you have to add salt and pepper to taste but I didn't feel like I wanted them in my painting.

It feels good to be back to my watercolors.  The paintings from the last few weeks have been a good warm up and with this week's painting, I feel more in the old groove.  I did most of this painting on saturated paper.  I'm still experimenting with this technique and don't think that it's easy for me yet but I am enjoying the process.

Monday, February 1, 2016


Image size 7" x 12"
One of my wonderful artist friends, Nancy Grubb, sent a picture of this dragonfruit to me.  We are both painting it which is such a fun idea.  She already finished hers and I must say that I like hers better, but it is fun to have two artists painting the same subject and seeing how each approaches the subject.

I painted this on a piece of Arches 140# hot press paper.  I saturated it and worked on the wet paper until I did the finishing details.  Working on the saturated hot press was a bit different than working on the saturated cold press, and I do like the cold press better, but this was still a nice surface on which to paint.

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