Saturday, February 23, 2008


After posting the painting of Charles, I decided to add this painting that I did of Priscilla with dreadlocks.  I probably painted it in 2004.  It is also an alla prima painting on panel.  This was the original "Stylin'" painting.  If you go back to the beginning of my blog, you will see me painting Priscilla again in the same theme.  The dreadlocks were gone, but the curly pony tail worked.
Our group on Thursday painted our first male model, Charles.  He is a musician from Bakersfield, and one of my kid's friends. Enlisting models seems to take a standard course...first you get family members and then talk friends into posing. Charles had never posed before, but being used to performing, he didn't mind us squinting and staring at him. It is an odd fact, but there are probably more kids in Vermont with dreadlocks than in most other states.  Yes, 2 of my 5 children wore them at one time or another, and I must admit....they are fun to paint!  This, again, is an alla prima oil on panel.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Head Study

Here is another alla prima oil that I painted during one of the sessions in Stowe.  It is fun to complete (or at least try to get as far as I can) a painting in one sitting.   I am convinced that in order to keep learning, I need to do quick studies like this and then slow, carefully conceived and constructed paintings.  As long as an artist can stay on a learning curve, she/he will continue to improve.  Painting can be frustrating at times.  There are always times when you seem to hit a plateau....and then.....Bingo!  You have a break through.  Advice to self:  Keep painting!

Still Life Revisited

I did a little glazing on this one:  the background, bowl, berries and print.  I might do a little more, but I don't want the painting to get too picky or overworked.  So, I will put it aside for a while and think about it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Another Alla Prima

I thought that it would be fun to do a painting with my granddaughter, Violet, and my daughter, Priscilla.  Violet had her little easel set up in my studio.  Priscilla was on the other side of her 2-sided easel, painting a picture of Violet.  Somehow, I forgot how hard it is to get kids to cooperate.  So, the painting kept morphing.  Priscilla started looking more like me, and Violet stopped posing altogether.  This was a one-shot attempt, but I think I will try to keep working on it.

Alla Prima Study

Recently,  I have been painting with 5 other artists in Stowe, VT.  We meet at Dee Macy,s studio which is large enough to accomodate all of the easels, painting supplies and a model.  The model takes a pose, which is repeated for 3 hours.  In that time, we all paint like crazy.  This is the result of one of those sessions.  It is an alla prima oil of my daughter's Mother-in-Law, Nancy.  This is one way to solve the expense of  hiring a model.  All of the artists pitch in to pay the modeling fee.  This would have been one that I would have loved to work on just a little longer.  Perhaps, we can get the model to pose again, but it was a fun study, at any rate. 

Monday, February 11, 2008

Still Life

Here is a little still life that I just started working on when I had to stop and take care of my grandchildren.  When I got back to it, it was too dark to paint in the studio.  The next day, the paint had dried.  I prefer painting wet-in-wet where I can manipulate the paint and carefully work out my forms, modeling and editing as needed.  So, I had to re-work the entire surface.  I need  to finish this painting soon (the berries are getting a little spoiled).  The actual vase has a blue print, but I refrain from putting it in until I am satisfied with the form and light.  When the paint is dry, I will carefully apply the blue.  In this way, I can keep the print very clean and crisp..

Margaret Hampster

There are times when our children do some pretty strange things.  My daughter invented Margaret Hampster,  an odd character , who has become her pseudonym.  She poses as Margaret when she hosts the Community Calendar for a public access television station.  Margaret is never seen without her "mink".  This painting is a work in progress.  Margaret, of course, is wearing her "mink", and she is holding her "pearls" (which I haven't painted in yet).   This is the first portrait painting that I have tried under electric lights.  I never paint under artificial light, but in order to get the model...I had to work at night.  It is certainly different than under natural light, but I am still having fun.  Hopefully, I can get back to working on it soon.