Monday, December 31, 2018

Lily Pad Sphere

Lily Pad Sphere
Image size 24" diameter

I tried a new experiment this week.  This handmade paper had no sizing in it so I sealed it with gesso which makes the paint sit on the surface.  That makes it hard to glaze layers of watercolor paint without lifting previous layers.  I wanted to use watercolor paints rather than acrylic paints because watercolor paints have more interesting textures and aren't as flat looking as acrylic.  

I bought some airbrush medium (Liquitex) which has the same consistency as water and used it to mix my paints (instead of water).  By doing that, once it dried, it became permanent so I didn't have to worry about previous layers lifting.  It does have that acrylic sheen which I don't like so I'm going to finish it with a layer of matte medium.

It was a fun experiment and I would definitely try this technique again on future paintings.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Greek Fishing

"Greek Fishing"
Image size 15" x 22"
I visited Katakalon, Greece on a cruise with a friend many years ago and fell in love with the (very) small town.  This was one of many charming boats waiting to head out for a day of fishing.  

It had an old chair sitting on the deck which I planned to paint, but I drew it too lightly and painted over it before I realized that it was lost.  I may try painting this again sometime in the future and add the chair, but for now, I'm on to the next project.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018


Image size 24" x 18"

I didn't post this last night because I couldn't access my blogger account.  I updated my computer and it has screwed so many things up that now I remember why I ignore those prompts for so long!  I finally figured it out this morning, so here is my post.

Anyway, this is another abstracted water scene.  I was using up colors that were mixed on my palette so I can start with some new colors for my next project.  I don't know what that will be yet, but it probably won't be started until after the holidays.

Monday, December 10, 2018


Image size 12" x 24"
Koi fish are a favorite subject for me to paint.  It's harder to paint them in encaustic than in watercolor, but I enjoy the challenge.  I have several more koi paintings planned for the next few months.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Purple Haze

"Purple Haze"
Image size 12" x 12"
Encaustic/Shellac burn
Purple is probably my favorite color and I feel that it's a good addition to the blues and greens in this painting.  I mixed the purple with clear shellac to create the net-like textures when the shellac was burned.  I like the eerie quality that shellac burns add to an encaustic painting.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Rainbow Shore

"Rainbow Shore"
Image size 6" x 36"
This is a series of six individual 6" x 6" cradled boards that I painted to be hung together, but they could also each be individual paintings.  I did an underpainting of a rainbow color for each one and my thought was to have them hung like you would see the colors of the rainbow - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet.  

The effect isn't as strong as I intended, but I think it is still an interesting concept.  I also thought that they could be hung in a hexagonal shape as a more abstracted water painting.  I didn't have a large enough black background to take a picture, but you get the idea....

Monday, November 19, 2018


Image size 12" x 12"
Encaustic/Shellac Burn
This painting went through many different stages before this end result.  In the beginning, I was creating a lot of texture and only partially fusing each layer.  I decided that it wasn't reading the way I had hoped so I fused it all completely and added my textural look with a blue shellac burn.  I'm much happier with the outcome.  The background still has a nice feeling of texture, but with a smooth surface.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Choppy Waters

"Choppy Waters"
Image size 12" x 24"

I decided to make an abstracted water painting with some desaturated greens along with a small amount of blue.  I like the effect it gives the painting.  I also did some shellac burns using white and blue.  That gives such a fun textural look.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Blue Wave

"Blue Wave"
Image size 24" x 60"

This may look familiar to you.  I did the same painting about 6 months ago in a different size ( 24" x 48" ).  A client came into the gallery that shows my encaustics and loved the painting but wanted it a bit longer.

Reproducing the painting was not easy.  Encaustic has so many layers of color and because I had added a glaze of white oil paint as I finished the original painting, it was really hard to figure out how dark I needed to make the colors in the new painting so that when I added the white glaze the colors would be the same value.  Also, because each layer is fused, the wax moves as it becomes molten so control is a relative thing. 

Below are photos of the two paintings next to each other. 

I made a few artistic changes in the new painting, but mostly I tried to replicate the original in color and feel.  

Monday, October 29, 2018

Calm Shore

"Calm Shore"
Image size 8" x 15"
This was the start of another painting that began years ago.  I didn't like it so I painted over it with gesso using scraping motions and painted something totally different.  

Monday, October 22, 2018


Image size 6" x 6"
I was experimenting with texture in this painting.  It has actual texture and perceived texture from the color strokes.  This reminds me of a springtime flower garden.  I know that's a stretch, but that's what comes to my mind.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Pastel Plumeria

"Pastel Plumeria"
Image size 3.5" x 7.5"
I can't even remember the last time I used pastel as a medium.  I should use my pastels more often since I have collected so many over the years.  I really enjoy painting with pastels, but rarely think to use them.  Maybe doing this small study will get me motivated to break them out more often.

I used a piece of black mat board painted with pumice gel to give it the tooth necessary for a pastel painting.  In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have used a black support for a painting with white flowers.  I really fought with it to bring out the white. 

Plumerias are such great flowers.  I love the shapes of them and, of course, their fragrance.  They bring back memories of Hawaii every time I see them.  I planted about 5 cuttings a few years ago that I got from a dear friend's house.  It's nice to think of her each time I walk past them.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Tranquil Mist

"Tranquil Mist"
Image size 12" x 12"
One of the beautiful qualities of encaustic is the ability to create a mood in a painting.  I really like the soothing feeling I get when I look at this.  I see it as a landscape, but it could also be seen as an abstract.  What do you see?

Monday, October 1, 2018

Shore Sphere

"Shore Sphere"
Image size 12" Diameter

I always enjoy painting on these round handmade papers.  I love the look of the deckle edge and they are beautiful when floated and framed.

Since this paper doesn't have any sizing in it I needed to seal it so that it wouldn't be like a blotter and suck up all of my paint uncontrollably.  I also chose to adhere a piece of rice paper to the surface to add some texture.  It didn't really add as much texture as I thought it would, but it did add a little interest.  This was painted mostly in watercolor, but the paper wasn't very white so I added white acrylic for the foam and spray.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Lily Pad Koi Pond

"Lily Pad Koi Pond"
Image size 12" x 48"
Encaustic and Oil

I painted this design a few years ago, but this one is longer and it looks pretty different.  This is mostly painted with encaustic and I finished it with a layer of pale blue oil paint with a couple layers of clear medium on top to get an interesting texture in the water area.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Storm at Sunset

"Storm At Sunset"
Image size 10" x 14"
This is another old painting that I covered over with gesso using a piece of mat board and scraping a random design into it so that some of the original colors show through and then I painted a new painting on top of that.  I know this is a pretty scary looking sky, but I liked the drama of the dark colors against the pastel hues.

Monday, September 10, 2018


Image size 5" x 5"
I bought some cold wax a while ago and decided to try it this week.  I've never been able to figure out exactly what the purpose of it is other than extending the amount of paint.  I thought it would be fun to carve into this to show the underpainting (the red areas) and then once it was dry I added the black with a thin bamboo skewer rather than a brush.  

If any of you use cold wax and can give some pointers I would be very happy to learn.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Sandy Cove

"Sandy Cove"
Image size 13" x 13"

I took an old painting that wasn't a favorite and added gesso over it using a scrap of mat board to move it around and have thin and thick areas which allowed some of the color from the old painting to show through.  That sealed the paper so any paint I added on top of the gesso was easily liftable.  I added some acrylic in areas that I didn't want it to lift and for the white water hitting the shore.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Passing By

"Passing By"
Image size 7" x 11"
Watercolor and Acrylic

Koi fish have always been one of my favorite subjects and I'm back to painting them once again. I had a piece of watercolor paper to which I had attached a piece of Masa paper which had crinkles and wrinkles in it.  They show up in parts of the painting, but not as much as I had hoped.  It was fun experimenting with that surface and the combination of watercolor and acrylic.  

Monday, August 20, 2018


Image size 12" x 12"

We finally got a couple of days that were a bit cooler so I did some encaustic painting in the garage.  The heat has been brutal for working outside with a heat gun and melted wax.  I'm looking forward to fall...

Monday, August 13, 2018


Image size 27.5" X 12"

Although this is mostly encaustic, I did use a smudge of raw umber oil paint around the edges to give an antiqued feeling.  Most of the white in this painting is wax, but I added some white oil paint because I like the texture I get with the oil paint when I fuse it into the rest of the wax.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Tranquil Waters

"Tranquil Waters"
Image size 8" x 10"
I have a few canvases that I've painted with cadmium red paint as a ground and I decided to use one of them this week.  I really like seeing the red flecks peeking through the paint.  This was painted with a palette knife.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Watery Abstract

"Watery Abstract"
Image size 11" x 18"
Watercolor and Acrylic
This was an experiment that didn't work out the way that I expected.  I think I definitely overworked it.  This one may be re-worked in the future....

Monday, July 23, 2018

Abstract Reflections

"Abstract Reflections"
Image size 10" x 14"
I took an old start of a painting and put gesso over it with a small piece of mat board to give it the texture.  Then I added color to the sky, hills and water.  I love the textures in this painting.

Monday, July 16, 2018


image size 9.5" x 12.5"

Weird name, right?  Well, when I look at this, I see like a window that needs a squeegee.  This is done on a thin piece of TerraSkin.  I originally bought the thin pieces hoping to do some layers of painted paper with each layer showing through.  It isn't transparent enough to use that way, unfortunately, but it works well for regular paintings.  That's good because I have quite a bit of it. 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Peppers On TerraSkin

"Peppers On TerraSkin
Image size 4" x 6"
I finished up another old painting this week.  This is on TerraSkin, which I haven't used for a while.  I had forgotten what a great surface it is for watercolor.  I'm glad I finished an old project and will use the TerraSkin again soon.

Monday, July 2, 2018


Image size 24" x 24"

I can't seem to get away from the blues and greens.  I did mix some rust, brown and white in for a little variety though.  I also did some encaustic burn using white and blue for some texture.  It doesn't really show up very much it this picture though.

Monday, June 25, 2018

San Clemente Vista

"San Clemente Vista"
Image size 6" x 6"
This week is the "Paint San Clemente" plein air event.  I've been looking forward to trying some more plein air paintings.  I went to Casa Romantica yesterday, which is a beautiful, old spanish style home perched above the ocean.  It has beautiful gardens and views.  I lasted about an hour and a half before I got tired of painting and went home.  I will continue trying plein air paintings, but there's nothing like the comfort of painting at home.  I still have trouble editing what to paint when I'm outside looking at a scene.  I'm sure it will get easier with practice, but I doubt that I will ever consider myself a plein air painter.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Painting Party Vineyard

"Painting Party Vineyard"
Image size 9" x 12"

This painting was finished on Friday, but I forgot to post it yesterday.  I've been really busy with several projects and my brain just couldn't handle one more thing I guess.

On Friday, I led a painting party for a friend.  About 10 people painted.  I wanted a scene that would be easy to do, but not look simplistic.  I've never led a painting party before so I was pretty nervous.  I painted along with everyone so they could copy what I was doing.  Only a few people did that.  Some people painted something totally different and others copied the example that I had brought but painted much more quickly than I did.  It was really fun to see everyone's creativity and I think they all turned out really well.  I wish I had pictures of them.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Nature's Power

"Nature's Power"
Image Size 24" x 36"
Back to waves again!  They are just so much fun to paint and I can't stop!  This time I wanted to have the wave crashing on the sand instead of just curling.  I'm really happy with the colors on this one.

Monday, June 4, 2018

San Juan Bougainvillea

"San Juan Bougainvillea"
Image size 6" x 8"
Water Miscible Oil

I went to the San Juan Capistrano mission this week to do a plein air painting.  I've only tried painting outside a handful of times and it has always seemed to be more trouble than it's worth.  I like having all the comforts of home when I paint, but it's time to try something new. 

For some reason, I've signed up for a plein air competition that is held in a local beach city each year so I'm forcing myself to paint outside.  It's a week of painting with a contest at the end of the week.  I doubt that I will enter anything that I paint, but I thought it would be fun to try. There will be artists all around the town painting so there should be a nice energy.  I think that once I get used to painting outside, I will really enjoy it.  

The mission has so many places that would be beautiful to paint, but I saw this bougainvillea at the end of a broken archway and decided that would be my subject.  I painted for a couple of hours before I left, but for me, that's a long time to paint without taking a break.  I have a very short attention span....

Monday, May 28, 2018

Reflections Study

"Reflection Study"
Image size 8" x 10"
This is a very rough first attempt painting reflections in water.  I'm not at all happy with it, but will continue to experiment because I want to try this in an encaustic painting.  

Monday, May 21, 2018


Image size 6" x 6"

It's been a while since I've done a palette knife painting.  I really enjoy this technique and the textural look of the finished painting, but have been preoccupied with encaustic paintings. 

I'm planning to paint 'en plein aire' in June for a local contest so I thought I should start practicing with oils since I will be using them and can use some practice.  It's stressful enough painting outside (since I never do that) so being comfortable with my medium will help.

Buellton is a small town in Santa Barbara county and there are several nearby wineries that are fun to visit.  I love the look of the rolling hills with dotted greenery behind vineyards.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Iris on Yupo

"Iris On Yupo"
Image size 11" x 14"
This probably looks like one of my older paintings and it should.  I started this probably 8 years ago and never finished it.  I've been cleaning out my studio (again) and when I found this painting, I decided I needed to finish it.  I think this is the only painting that I have done on Yupo (a plastic, non-absorbent paper) because I find it to be a very hard surface to paint on.  The results can be interesting, but I have trouble with lint getting onto the surface and in the paint.  After I finished painting this, I spritzed it with a light mist of water which gave it an interesting texture.

Monday, May 7, 2018


Image size 15" x 22"
This was a fun exercise in acrylic.  I used a variety of thicknesses of the paint along with different applications to achieve this effect.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Gray Day

"Gray Day"
Image size 24" x 36"

I love the beach on an overcast day.  There is something very soothing about the lack of color and a misty sky.  This is my second painting using tones of gray in a wave painting.  This photo shows much more contrast than I see in the actual painting, but in looking at this, I might put a few layers of clear medium to diffuse the colors more.

Monday, April 23, 2018


Image size 12" x 12"
I was trying for an ethereal feeling in this painting.  I love these muted, soft colors even though I usually am attracted to bright colors.  These are very soothing and I like that.

Monday, April 16, 2018


Image size 36" x 43"

I finally finished the large encaustic that I've been working on for over a month.  This is the most difficult encaustic that I've painted so far.  I had trouble keeping the distinct edges of the railings each time I fused a layer of wax.  The wax on either side of the railings would also become molten and move, destroying my edges.  I did a lot of cursing on this one, that's for sure, but I'm happy with the finished painting.

This was a commission painted from my client's photo.  He was recently on a trip to Chile and snapped the reference photo on his iphone.  I love the photo and was really excited to try to capture the feeling of light hitting that back area on the path.  The right lower corner of this painting is darker than it appears in this photo because there is light coming in through a window on that side.  Since encaustic paintings are shiny it is really hard to get an accurate photo of them.  

Monday, April 9, 2018


Image size 5" x 7"
Encaustic, shellac burn
I'm still working on that large encaustic so this week's painting is another small study.  I could probably call the large encaustic finished - my friends that have seen it say it's done, but it is a commission and I want it to be perfect.  I will definitely finish it this week.  I'm just noodling the details at this point.

Monday, April 2, 2018


Image size 6" diameter
I've been working on a large encaustic, so I just painted a small study for this week's painting.  I've had this handmade piece of watercolor paper for several years and thought it would be fun to use as a support.  I didn't test it, but I am pretty sure that it doesn't have any sizing, so I put a coat of fiber paste on it to give it an interesting texture and to seal it.   The fiber paste that I used is an acrylic medium made by Golden Paint Company.  I'm a big fan of that company's products and they have a wonderful website full of information.  They have a series of videos on their site and they also employ artists that demonstrate their products around the country.  Along with their acrylic paints and mediums, they also make Qor watercolors (which I love) and oil paints (which I've never tried). 

This is a very cool thing on their website.  It's a virtual paint mixing guide.  You can click on colors, add varying amounts and see what the mixture will look like.  

I know it sounds like work for Golden, but I am just really impressed by their products and how supportive they are.

Monday, March 26, 2018

New Zealand Road

"New Zealand Road"
Image size 8" x 10"
I painted this from a photo taken by my daughter when she was traveling in New Zealand.  I love the colors in the sky and painted this in oil so that I could do a lot of blending.  I'm ready to get back to encaustics and watercolor.  Oils can be fun, but that isn't my favorite medium to use.

Monday, March 19, 2018


Image size 6" x 8"

Just a small oil painting that I did in a workshop with Debra Huse this past weekend.  I learned a lot and it was a really nice group of artists, but I think I had an allergic reaction to the paint fumes.  We had the doors closed because it was so cold outside so there wasn't any ventilation and I was also sitting down so the smell of my paints was close.  Something to think about for the future.  Maybe I'll only use oils outside and stick to acrylics, water miscible oils and watercolor when I'm working inside.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Low Clouds

"Low Clouds"
Image size 8" x 10"
Water miscible oils
I went to another oil painting workshop this past weekend and painted this with the guidance of Rick Delanty.  He is such a wonderful artist and I feel like I learned so much from him in this brief workshop.  My challenge in this painting was to portray a sense of atmosphere.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Tranquil Pond

"Tranquil Pond"
Image size 36" x 24"
Encaustics never really show as well in photos as they do in person, and that is especially true of this painting.  The colors and textures just don't come through.  

I've always loved painting koi and all of the ones I've painted have sold.  I haven't painted them for a while so here I am going back to a favorite subject.  I painted them in encaustic only once and it was a much brighter painting.  For this one, I was wanting a more relaxing, tranquil feeling and I'm happy with the result.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Onion Cluster

"Onion Cluster"
Image size 13" x 7"
The support for this painting is a previous painting that I wasn't in love with so I covered it with gesso using the edge of a scrap of matboard to create texture.  This sealed the paper which made the paint sit on the surface.  That made it very easy to lift paint which is very helpful.  I really enjoy painting this way and am not sure why I don't do it more often.  I certainly have plenty of paintings that could be covered with gesso and wouldn't be missed.  ; )

Monday, February 19, 2018


Image size 18" x 24"

As always, I'm experimenting with encaustic and compatible mediums.  This painting has encaustic, alcohol inks and some oil paint mixed in.  I was going to also use some shellac burning in this, but I'm liking the textures from the other mediums so I don't think the shellac is necessary.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Laguna Rocks

"Laguna Rocks
Image size 8" x 10"
Water Miscible Oils
I participated in a fun morning workshop in Laguna Beach last Saturday.  There were three different teachers helping students.  I worked with Rick Delanty.  I met him several years ago when he was a judge for an art show.  I have always admired his paintings and he is a wonderful teacher.  I learned a lot in the short workshop.  I wish he still taught classes, but he now spends all of his time painting.

This was the first time that I had tried water miscible oils.  In the past, I have talked with people that have tried them that didn't like them, so I was never tempted to try them.  I surely don't need another medium.  
After using them in the workshop, I think I really like them.  They act like oils, but don't have the noxious smell and they clean up with water.  I like thinning them with water since it seems more natural to me with my watercolor background.  I also like the slow drying time.  They have the blending capabilities of oil with the easy clean-up of acrylics.  It seems like the perfect medium for plein air painting, which I am wanting to try.

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