Friday, January 31, 2014

Everything's Better With Garlic, 7x5 Oil on Canvas

I like everything about garlic: the look, the taste, the smell. My grandmother was Italian, yet she cooked very few Italian dishes, and I never saw garlic cloves in our house. When she and my grandfather became pioneers in Florida she became a Southern cook and learned to fry everything. He was from Spain, so I wonder what he thought about that? The other non-traditional thing for an Italian woman was that she didn't like to cook. Bad luck for us.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Are You Lookin' At Me? 6x8 Oil on Canvas

Pelicans are pretty cute when they are floating in the water, and quite beautiful when flying, but waddling around strips them of their dignity. This guy was at Port Canaveral having a relaxing day, just as my painting group was. 

I just renewed my passport and I must say, the new one is beautiful, with illustrations of America from sea to shining sea. It has wonderful quotations too, like this one:

The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class--it is the cause of humankind, the very birthright of humanity. - Anna Julia Cooper

Someone call Congress. They are apparently unaware of this. 

I admit I was not familiar with Anna Julia Cooper, so I Googled her (of course) and learned she was born into slavery, but became a prominent African-American author, educator and speaker.

And that's my lesson for today.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pink Roses, 6x6 Oil Painting on Canvas

$89, Click to Purchase

After my fantasy flower that I posted earlier, this small painting is very traditional. It's sentimental enough to be a Valentine's Day gift. I really think that it's easier to paint a rose petal-by-petal than to do a softer, looser version like this. 

Our painting group had a lovely day Monday at Jetty Park at the port. Sometimes it inspires us to change it up a bit and sketch in our journals or take pictures for future paintings. The weather was perfect and exhilarating. Here are a couple of my sketch journal pages. Pelican paintings are in my future.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Radish Bouquet, 8x6 Oil Painting on Canvas

Don't you think radishes have a personality? They are striking in color and nice little calligraphic roots at the bottoms to enhance a painting. It is a pleasure to paint radishes.

I was reading the latest post from Robert Genn's website, this one written by his daughter Sara. Robert is a talented and successful artist who is suffering from cancer. Many of us artists have followed his writings for many years. His daughter Sara is writing quite a bit in his place, and this week she wrote about 11 Steps for an artist, which struck a chord with me. Here is the link:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

White Hydrangeas, 6x8 Oil on Canvas

These flowers always remind me of my grandmother, who could grow anything. She was completely in sync with nature, unbothered by the snake in the garden. She was surrounded by flowers, birds and butterflies. She was like a heroine in a Disney movie, with beautiful things fluttering around her. I really miss being able to get her advice about how to grow a certain plant. I quoted her so often that when I lived in Bermuda, one of my neighbors asked me, "What does your grandmother say about planting this tree?" I replied, "Don't put a ten-dollar plant in a five-dollar hole."

My friend Qiang Huang had a quotable line on his blog the other day: "There is no shortcut in art. You just have to paint more." To all you Daily Painters: Rock On!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Flower Fantasy, 20x24 Acrylic on Canvas

Here is my acrylic skin technique on black. It is like collaging with paint skin, and just as messy as paper collage. Perhaps I could combine the two? Hmmm...

I love painting with oils, but now and then I digress and chase intriguing shiny objects. This one is, literally, shiny. The heavy lines are metallic gold paint.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Call Me Ishmael, 20x24 Acrylic on Canvas

This morning on the news I saw that a Taiwanese man drifted in the sea for 60 hours floating on a coffin lid. This was like pulling a page from Moby Dick, where Ishmael was the lone survivor because of floating on a coffin. I changed the name of this watery-looking painting in his honor. 

This technique is new for me. It is poured acrylic that I let dry into a 'skin,' then I peeled it up, cut it apart and arranged the design. It is glued to a stretched canvas. This is a very time-consuming endeavor, but I like the result. I am drying some very light colors now to see what I can do on a dark background. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tanglefish, 5x7 Pen and Ink

Sometimes I have a plan for these Zentanglish drawings, and sometimes I don't. I started this one as freeform curves and went from there. It made itself into a drawing that looked very undersea to me to I went with that.

I've been cleaning closets, purging mercilessly, and stopping occasionally to do Zentangles. I also tried an absolutely different technique which I will post next. I will be knuckling down to doing some serious oil paintings soon, and in February Qiang Huang will be here to teach, so I should be pumped up for months after that!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Flamingo Dancer, 5x7 Pen and Ink Drawing

Every time someone says, "Flamingo Dancer" this is what pops in my head. So nice to be able to put it on paper. I like the rose in her teeth (if she had teeth). Alas, my Flamenco Dancer fails in the castanet department; one really needs fingers for that.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Fancy Feathers, 5x7 Pen and Ink Drawing

This was really a flight of fancy (no pun intended). I got all Zentanglish and Seussical at the same time. I love creating my own bird. It's the Mandilla-Crowned Checkertail and it has a lovely call that sounds just like Adele. To hear it, go to Pandora Radio and type in "Mandilla-Crowned Checkertail."