Monday, December 25, 2017

Winter Water

"Winter Water"
Image Size 15.5" x 15.5"

Merry Christmas.  I hope are all enjoying the day.  If you are in the areas that are having freezing temperatures I hope you are able to stay inside all cozy and warm.

I was playing around with some shellac burning in the water portion of this painting. I love painting clouds and water, so this is a perfect subject for me.  

Monday, December 18, 2017

Kelp Bed

"Kelp Bed"
Image size 12" x 24"
Encaustic and ink
I think these blues and greens are my favorite color combination.  The colors are so soothing.  I was going to do a shellac burn on this painting, but really like the texture created by the alcohol inks so for now, I'm calling it finished.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Shore Breaker

"Shore Breaker"
Image Size 24" x 48"
I think this is one of my favorite waves so far.  It's pretty heavy so I must have put a lot more wax on it than usual.  I know I kept layering and layering, building up the colors.  I wanted this painting to have a lot of movement and energy.  I love how the foam from previous waves gets drawn up into the new waves right before they break and tried to get that feeling in this painting. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Fanciful Wave

"Fanciful Wave"
Image size 5.5" x 6"
This is a poured acrylic that I finished this week.  I love the swirls in the paint and so when I added white paint for the spray I made fanciful shapes rather than trying to make it more realistic.  It's a bit crafty looking, but that's okay with me.  I've been working on a large encaustic which should be done for next week's painting.

Monday, November 27, 2017


"Drip, Drip, Drip"
Image Size 9" x 12"
Encaustic, ink
I was playing around with letting the wax run but wasn't totally happy with the results so I added some alcohol inks to give a bit more texture and now I like it.  As with all encaustic, getting the wax to run in a controlled way will require more practice and finesse with the heat gun.  Maybe I'll have to finally bring out my torch and see what I can do with that.  It's hard to get over my fear of fire though...  

Monday, November 20, 2017

Silverado Afternoon

"Silverado Afternoon"
Image size 16" x 20"
I wanted to paint a more representational painting in encaustic this week.  It's a challenge to fuse the wax without losing the hard edges between objects, but I'm having fun trying.  This is an area not too far from where I live and I have several pictures of this area that I've used for paintings in other mediums.  I think I might do a few more layers on this after living with it a few days.  I think a layer or two of clear wax in the background area might soften it nicely. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Follow Your Path

"Follow Your Path"
Image size 4' x 8'

This took me a couple of months to paint and was such a fun project.  I installed it today and I'm so happy with how it turned out and how it looks in the room.  I painted a multi-canvas mural like this about 10 years ago and was happy to be commissioned to do this technique again.  Although there is space between the canvases breaking up the scene, our brains are able to "connect the dots" and read it as one picture.  I think the color of the wall really adds to the painting.

Here is a picture straight on that I took once I finished it but it was still hanging in my studio.  The paper pattern with paint on it in the background is a bit distracting, but you get the idea. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Cresting Wave

"Cresting Wave"
Image Size 24" x 48"
Encaustic & Oil
I'm very happy with the colors and movement in this painting.  It is mostly encaustic, but I did some underlying colors in oil and a finishing layer of oil and encaustic. 

Monday, October 30, 2017


Image size 9" x 12"
This is NOT what I had in mind when I started this painting, but I'm very happy with the outcome.  I can't seem to stay away from painting water, probably because the encaustic medium is so beautiful for creating paintings of water.  I love the colors in the water and will probably do a much larger painting with this same feeling.  

Monday, October 23, 2017

Rainy Season

"Rainy Season"
Image Size 15" x 45"
We've been having another heat wave this week which made me want to paint something with cool, soothing colors that would remind me of how nice it's going to be when we get some rain.  I've been working on a large painting using acrylics and am really enjoying this medium so I decided to use it for this week's painting.  It is so versatile. It can be used thick like oil paint or thinned like watercolor.

For this painting, I mostly used the paints as I would watercolor paints, thinning them down so that they would run.  There are some areas where the paint is thicker, but mostly it is thin.  Acrylics really shouldn't be thinned with water too much because it affects the adhesion of the paint and it could flake off.  I should have used an acrylic medium to thin it, but the paint still would have been too thick.  I am planning to apply several coats of a UV varnish over this which will stabilize the paint as well as protect it from bright light so having thinned the paint won't be a problem.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Morning Mist

"Morning Mist"
Image size 15.5" x 15.5"

I love the subtle colors in this painting.  I started it by using mostly wax already mixed on my palette as the underpainting.  There were oranges and purples, blues and greens.  All of them mixed together to make some really beautiful color combinations.  They are peeking through the more subtle subsequent layers.

Monday, October 9, 2017


Image size 8" x 8"
This is just a small water study.  I was working on a large painting this week so I didn't spend much time on my weekly painting.  Hopefully next week I will post a more detailed painting.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Canyon Wall

"Canyon Wall'
Image size 10.5" x 21.5"

I've been feeling sad that my watercolor roots have been largely ignored over the past year because I've fallen in love with encaustic.  This past weekend, Watercolor West started their yearly series of watercolor demonstrations that are offered during their annual international juried watercolor exhibition.  I am fortunate that this show is in my area and I look forward to it every year.  I didn't enter any paintings this year because I had nothing that I felt would be good enough to be chosen.

The first demonstration each year is my favorite because the juror of the show is the demonstrator and before he does his demo, he shows slides of all of the paintings that were juried into the show and tells why each was chosen.  What a wonderful education!  Of course, each judge has different reasons for choosing a painting, but it is still always good to hear what a judge likes.

I didn't really have time to attend on Sunday and almost didn't go, but I felt that it would be a good way to push me toward returning to watercolor.  Although I didn't stay for the afternoon portion when the juror,  John Salminen, demonstrated his painting style, I still learned a lot from him and am once again motivated to put watercolor paint to paper and use the unique qualities of those paints in a (hopefully) creative way. 

This painting was done on a saturated piece of paper.  One of the qualities that I love in watercolor paints that cannot be found in any other medium is the sedimentary action of some pigments.  That doesn't happen with all of the colors, but the ones that have that quality are among my favorites.
Daniel Smith makes a lot of colors that are very sedimentary because they use a lot of natural pigments which have heavy particles that fall into the valleys in the textures of watercolor paper.  My favorites are Lunar Earth and Lunar Black.  Lunar Earth is a rust colored pigment that is so beautiful alone, but can also be mixed with other colors to get that wonderful sedimentary effect.  I know using straight black in art is not recommended, but I use it anyway because I love the color black, especially in abstract paintings.  It can also be mixed with any color to take advantage of that wonderful textural quality that it has.

I used those two pigments along with ultramarine blue, another sedimentary color, to create a feeling of heavily textured canyon walls in this painting.  Other colors were mixed in and melded with the sedimentary colors to create this effect.  Here is a detail of the painting.  It might look more yellow because I just took a picture of it, but had to do it inside under incandescent light because the sun has set here.  Anyway, it shows the wonderful sedimentary qualities that can be achieved with these particular paints.

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Precipice

"The Precipice"
Image size 24" x 24"
Encaustic, oil, ink

Complimentary color combinations make nice mixtures.  My favorite color combination is blue and orange.  This painting has various shades of blues and oranges, with the orange leaning toward rust more than a true orange.

I started by adding alcohol inks to the gessoed surface before I added any wax.  I wanted the bright, strong color not to move as I added wax.  Not much of the original color is visible in the finished painting, but it does add some depth where it can be seen.  As I continued to add layers of wax, I also used oil paint to add some interesting textures.  When I felt I was almost finished, I added a final layer of inks.  Then, I decided that it needed more texture so I continued adding layers until I finally felt it was finished.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Land or Sea

"Land or Sea"
Image size 6" x 5.5"

Abstracts are fun because they can be interpreted in so many ways.  At first, I saw a crazy, turbulent wave, but I was walking past this painting a couple of days ago and it clearly looked like snow covered mountains.  

What do you think?

Monday, September 11, 2017

Storm's Coming

"Storm's Coming"
Image Size 6" x 6"

My heart goes out to my fellow Americans that are dealing with these hurricanes that have been battering our country.  

Monday, September 4, 2017

Light Rays

"Light Rays"
Image size 8" x 4"
I painted this small study intending to paint a larger version soon.  I love these colors and textures.  This is a combination of encaustic, alcohol inks and a small amount of pan pastel and oil paint.

Monday, August 28, 2017


Image size 9" x 12"

This week's painting is another acrylic pour.  I really like the feeling of texture that this has even though the paint is flat.  I think there must be a bunch of scuba divers just below this image causing all of the bubbles in the water.

Monday, August 21, 2017


Image size 6" x 6"

Although I wasn't  motivated to look at the eclipse today, I felt like I needed to acknowledge it in my weekly painting.  I did a layer of clear medium followed by a layer of white encaustic and inscribed the circles.  Then, I added raw umber oil paint to the circles and background. I wiped most of it off of the flat surface, added turquoise wax and some burnt sienna oil paint.  I like how the white wax came through when I fused it.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Moody Mist

"Moody Mist"
Image size 24" x 48"

This painting started out much brighter, but as I added layers, I found that I preferred the less distinct, softer colors.  There are probably 10 layers of wax and oil paint on some areas and at least 5-7 layers  on the majority of it.  

Monday, August 7, 2017


Image size 24" x 24"

This painting has much darker colors than I usually use, but as I was painting it, it seemed to need some punch.  I added oil paint and some shellac burning  to this as well as many layers and I like how the colors from previous layers are visible upon close inspection.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Sandy Shore

"Sandy Shore"
Image size 6.5" x 5.5"

I did this small study as an acrylic poured painting with no idea of what it would become.  It is obviously abstracted, but I saw water running over sand on the shore.  I added a little bit of white to give it the feeling of the foam at the edge of the water.  This would be fun as a large painting.  These small studies are great for giving ideas for more involved paintings.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Cloudy Calm

"Cloudy Calm"
Image size 54" x 13"

I really love the end result for this painting.  I've always liked skyscapes and the size of this one is really fun!  This photo doesn't show all of the layers that can be seen in person.  I think this is one of my favorite encaustics so far.  

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sweet Beverly

"Sweet Beverly"
Image size 15" x 12"
I've painted 3 different views of my friend Beverly wearing this fun red hat.  I haven't been totally happy with any of them, so you'll probably see another one sometime in the future.  I'm determined to get a really special painting out of these reference photos.

I want to paint more portraits so that I feel more comfortable with them.  I should probably pick a more forgiving medium so that I don't tighten up worrying about making a mistake that might not be fixable.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Skyscape III

"Skyscape III"
Image size 12" x 30"

Painting is my primary focus once again and really enjoyed finishing this encaustic painting.  I love the colors in it and the shine of the polished wax really makes the colors pop!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Biggest project ever

This week's post is a different type of art project, but it is the most difficult art project that I've ever finished.

My daughter's wedding was a couple of weeks ago and I got to see her wearing my art project - actually two different ones.

Although I hadn't sewn for 10 years, I wanted to try to make her wedding dress.  We found an incredible fabric in the fabric district in downtown LA which started dictating the beginning design of the dress.  There were a lot of changes along the way to the finished dress.

When I started college I chose to major in fashion design.  I stuck with it for about a year before changing my mind, so I did have a rudimentary understanding of pattern drafting.  I learned more during the making of these dresses than I ever did in college.  There were a lot of "one step forward, two (or three) steps back" kind of days over the past six months.  Unfortunately, all that I learned will probably never be useful because I won't do a project like this in the future.

Now that the dresses are finished and there were no wardrobe malfunctions the day of the wedding, I am really glad that I chose to take on such an important project.  There were countless days and (sleepless) nights that I questioned my ability to make something so important to my daughter's most special day and I certainly cut the finish date as close as it could possibly be (three days before the wedding - the night before I left to travel there).  My daughter looked beautiful and said she felt great wearing them, so that is all that matters.

The wedding was perfect and I had such a wonderful time.  The photos below are ones taken by guests.  We should have the professional ones in a few weeks and I'm excited to see how the photographer caught Michelle in the dresses.

This first two pictures are of the wedding dress:

These next two are of the dress and overskirt that I made for the reception:

Monday, June 26, 2017


Image Size 6" x 6"

I tried a technique that is new to me this week.  I've been seeing videos on Youtube for poured acrylics and really like the effect.  It was very fun to try and I'm sure I will do more.  I have so much acrylic and this would be a good way to use some of it since I don't paint with acrylic very often.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Sunstone Villa

"Sunstone Villa"
Image Size 8" x 8"
My daughter's wedding was this past Friday up in Santa Ynez, CA at the Sunstone Winery Villa.  This beautiful villa was built with stones and various other materials imported from Europe.  It is an amazing property and being there feels as though you've traveled to another country.  

The wedding was amazing and the setting was magical.  I'm so happy to have gained a wonderful son-in-law.  I am truly blessed.

I painted this on a cradled panel with a textured finish meant for oils and acrylics.  I painted it in watercolor because my daughter wanted to give it to the wedding photographer as a gift and my acrylics are at my son's house and oils would have taken too long to dry.

The texture adds an interesting effect and it was fun working on a non-porous surface with watercolor.  I sprayed it with a sealer so that it could be displayed on an easel.  

Monday, June 12, 2017

Max's Woodland Friends

"Max's Woodland Friends"
Image size 10' x 8'

My first grand baby was born a few weeks ago and I painted this mural in his room.  My daughter-in-law came up with the idea and her theme for the room is "Woodland Animals" so we put in her favorites.  My favorite is the raccoon peeking out of the hole in the tree.  The book that bear is reading still needs to have the title put on it, but I didn't know my grand baby's name until he was born and I haven't had time to put the finishing details on it since he was born.

I've been working on making dresses for my daughter's wedding so I haven't had much time to get down to San Diego since he was born.  I've only seen him a few times.  After my daughter's wedding I will make up for lost time.  I miss his sweet little face!!

Here are some close ups:

He still needs his whiskers....

Monday, June 5, 2017

Marine Layer

"Marine Layer"
Image size 5" x 6.5"
This is my "June Gloom" painting but I thought that sounded a little too negative so I named it Marine Layer, which is what our June Gloom is anyway.

Just encaustic on this one with no fancy techniques.  Two more weeks until my daughter's wedding.  After that,  I will be able to spend more time creating art.

Monday, May 29, 2017

May Gray

"May Gray"
Image Size 6" x 6"
Here in Southern California every year we get June Gloom.  The days start out overcast and sometimes stay that way all day.  I've always enjoyed that month of atmospheric calm before the heat of summer comes.
Sometimes we also get May Gray.  This year, we've only had it a couple of days in the past week or so.  As I was painting this small painting, that is what came to mind.  My intention when I started was to do some inscribing and playing around with techniques new to me, but when I saw how this was evolving, I had to leave it alone.  
I'm sure "June Gloom" will be another painting for me.  

Monday, May 22, 2017

Stormy Day

"Stormy Day"
Image Size 11" x 14"
I painted this on an unprimed, cradled board so that the wood could show through the wax in some areas.  I love blue and rust together so that is what I chose for my color palette this week.  This has a little amber shellac and white shellac as well as wax.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Powerful Crest

"Powerful Crest"
Image size 8" x 8"
I love the colors in this painting.  They are soothing, happy and are perfect for my obsession with waves.   Obviously, I love painting waves and I hope you're not getting tired of seeing them because I'm sure I will be painting quite a few more.  In the past, I've enjoyed adding a lot of white to the waves by flicking the wax onto the surface and lightly fusing so that the end result is very textural.  I wanted this painting to have a softer effect so I fused the white dots of color until the surface was smooth.  That makes the white specks have softer edges and they are more translucent than opaque.  I'm happy with the result and for such a small painting the totally smooth surface makes it look like a glazed tile.

Monday, May 8, 2017


Image size 12" x 24"

I didn't get a very good picture of this painting.  The white blotches are reflections from spotlights.  I started this painting on a cradled board that had a base of encaustic gesso.  I planned to start the painting with watercolor so I painted the gesso on with a lot of texture hoping to have that show up through the watercolor.  Unfortunately, unlike regular acrylic gesso that becomes permanent when dry, the encaustic gesso is reactivated by water so the texture went away when I used the watercolor. 

 My base of watercolor was a dark blue that I dripped onto the board and some muted green in the background.  Then, I added a layer of clear medium.  Once that was fused I started adding oil paint, encaustic layers and some inks.  I love the colors in this painting and the soft background colors which were done with the oil paints.

Monday, May 1, 2017


Image size 15.5"x 15.5"

There are many times when deciding on a title for a painting is very difficult, but this one came to me easily.  As I look at these colors and the movement in the painting, I feel very tranquil.  Most of the textures in this painting are from various layers of wax, but the white paint was added as a shellac burn.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Below The Surface

"Below The Surface"
Image size 12" x 12"

I wanted to work more with layers and textures this week and get a sense of atmospheric depth.  I used a variety of transparencies of wax and some layers of alcohol inks in the lower part.  My surface was an cradled board that I didn't gesso. The unfinished wood gives a bit softer look than if the background had been the bright white of a gessoed surface.

The striations in the top light layer in the bottom portion were achieved by using a cheap, thin brush that is missing half of the bristles.  That gave a nice texture that shows more in person than in this photo.  

Monday, April 17, 2017

California Oranges

California Oranges
Image size 6" x 9"
Watercolor on TerraSkin

Several decades ago, we moved into a house that had 12 mature Valencia orange trees.  Where the house was built was originally an orange grove and they left many of them. I was so excited to start juicing fresh orange juice every morning (I was young and much more motivated then).  It was December and the oranges were a beautiful, deep orange color so I was sure they were ripe.  I picked a bucket full and with my new juicer I was able to fill a large pitcher of fresh juice.

I filled a glass with ice, poured my fresh juice and took my first sip.  YUCK!!! It was so sour!  I started adding sugar as you would with lemon juice.  As I was doing it, I was a bit concerned that my healthy fresh juice was becoming a sugary mess.  Also, I was wondering what I was going to do with so many trees full of horrible tasting oranges.

I found out that even though the oranges look ripe and ready to pick in December, they actually aren't fully ripe and ready to juice until about June.  I'm not sure why the flowers and new fruit, which are on the trees in early spring, are on the tree at the same time as the orange fruit, but that is how my reference pictures show.

Now, I have 5 very small valencia orange trees that I'm hoping to get fruit from this year for the first time.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.

This painting was done on TerraSkin, that surface that is a mixture of stone dust and non-toxic resin.  The paint sits on the surface and the paints mingle in interesting ways.  I love this surface, but haven't worked on it for a very long time.  I simply forgot about it.  That is a sure sign that I have way too many art supplies.  

Monday, April 10, 2017

Stormy Canyon

"Stormy Canyon"
Image size 21" x 4"
Encaustic and ink
I used the OSB (I call it chipboard) as a support for this, hoping that the texture of the layered pieces of wood would show a lot.  I put one layer of clear medium and then rubbed burnt sienna oil paint onto the surface, filling all of the depressed areas.  I left several areas with very little wax so that the wood could show, but it really doesn't as much as I had hoped.  I do like this color palette and the layers of wax and ink though.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Metal Threads

"Metal Threads"
Image Size 5.5" x 6.5"
I experimented a bit more with the metallic leaf pieces that I have and I added some gold threads as well.  The first layer of thread doesn't really show, so I added the second layer as the last element of the painting and coated it with a thin layer of clear medium to protect it.  I have several layers of the metallic chips and they give a very nice sense of the layering in the piece.  I also did a little bit of shellac burning which ended up as the little dots - a different effect than usual, and added some alcohol inks for some transparent color in the early stages.

Overall, it was an enjoyable experiment.  It's nice to work small to try things out, but I think I need to do a large abstract using these techniques.

Monday, March 27, 2017


Image size 8" x 9.5"

I didn't intend to paint another wave, but that is what came out of my paintbrushes.  I do so love to paint water.  I also like to play around with the spray from a crashing wave.  My finger is a little bit burnt from doing that, but it's temporary.

Monday, March 20, 2017


Image size 11" x 14"
Encaustic, oil, ink

I really love the textural quality of the paint and the colors mixing in this painting.  I worked on a cradled board and didn't put any gesso on it so I applied the wax to the unfinished wood.  Some of the wood is peeking through the colors and I think it gives a softer effect than having the colors sitting on a bright white surface.  

After applying some of the leftover color from my palette along with clear medium, I rubbed some oil paints in some areas.  Then I applied another layer of clear medium and heated it to move the oil paint around.  This is becoming one of my favorite techniques in encaustic painting.  I also added some alcohol inks in the lower portion including some gold ink, which gives just a little bit of an accent.  I also did a little shellac burn with amber shellac, but it doesn't really show and didn't react as I wanted.  There is also a bit of oil pastel in one of the layers.  

A little of this and a little of that makes for some interesting results.

Monday, March 13, 2017


Image size 7.5" x 11"

I worked on saturated paper for this painting and played with the push/pull of color and value.  I got the background too dark so I used white watercolor to lighten it up and really like the effect.  I don't usually used white watercolor because that is considered a no no to watercolor purists and that is how I was taught to paint, but I don't think we should be constrained by such rules when creating.  It was very freeing to do something that goes against what I was taught to do.  It makes me feel like such a rebel. 😉

Monday, March 6, 2017

Arid Landscape

"Arid Landscape"
Image size 8" x 16"
Encaustic and Metallic Leaf

This is another encaustic and metallic leaf painting.  The layers of metallic leaf looks a bit like rocks to me.  It was another fun experiment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails