Freesias in a Pill Bottle

Freesias from Brigitte, oil on panel, 8x8"

Freesias from Brigitte, oil on panel, 8×8″

This was a quick little painting from life that happened spontaneously one afternoon when my tenant came out to my studio and presented me with some freesias in a vitamin bottle.

It might have been a more interesting painting if I’d a) included the lettering on the bottle and b) taken time to do a preliminary thumbnail sketch so that the flowers weren’t almost touching the top of the panel. I was interested in looking at white in shadow and gray in light and shadow and the colors found in both from the warmish light and flower reflections.

Fresia photo reference

Photo of set up (slightly different perspective and light)

Winter Begonias

Winter Begonias in Tin Pot, Oil on Linen Panel, 10x8"

Winter Begonias in Tin Pot, Oil on Linen Panel, 10×8″ (Click image for purchase info)

It was time to face something more cheerful than my own face in the studio. This pretty pot of begonias was just what I needed. I worked on them a bit at a time, between visits to my mother in hospice.  My mom passed away very peacefully last week, in no pain and with family at her side. She taught me many things in life; her final and maybe most important lesson was how to let go and fearlessly accept this final passage with grace (and the help of amazing hospice nurses).

This painting is available on DailyPaintworks. Below are the steps in the progress of the painting.

Bits and Pieces (while falling to pieces with a cold)

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Sunflower and Pomegranate Studies, oil, 5×10″

After I did these two studies on one piece of Arches Oil Paper focusing on values (started with transparent earth color underpainting), I caught a nasty head cold. I feel super lousy and haven’t had the energy to paint but I’ve done a couple sketches, below.

Pomegranate and persimmons on a brick. 2B pencil in 8x10 moleskine.

Pomegranate and persimmons on a brick. 2B pencil in 8×10 moleskine.

Drawing helped take my mind off my sneezing and nose running like a river.

FarhooD S via Sktchy app. graphite, 11x8

FarhooD S via Sktchy app. graphite, 11×8″

I think I made his hand too small. Here’s his photo on Sktchy:

Less Struggle, More Sunflowers

Sunflowers #4, Oil on Arches Oil Paper, 12x9"

Sunflowers #4, Oil on Arches Oil Paper, 12×9″

I’m still trying to figure out sunflowers. I hate to quit before I’ve succeeded so decided to give it another try, continuing from the four attempts in my last post. Off I  went in search of fresh sunflowers. After striking out at the first two shops, I decided that if they didn’t have any in the next store I would put an end to the sunflower project. But freedom was not yet mine; they had sunflowers.

Below are a couple steps in the process. This time I didn’t spend as long sketching or blocking in and I made a point of starting with darker tones which I think helped. I get fooled by the concept of “yellow” and have trouble really seeing how dark yellow can be in the shadows.


And believe it or not, I’ve started yet another sunflower painting that will be the last one for a while. I’m desperate to get back to portraits and a still life I have in mind.

Mom’s Vintage Perugia Italian Vase

Mom's Perugia Italian Vase, Oil on Arches Oil Paper, 12x9 inches

Mom’s Perugia Italian Vase, Oil on Arches Oil Paper, 12×9 inches

My mother loaned me this beautiful vase years ago to paint. When I was looking for a subject to paint this week it called out to me from the shelf where it’s been waiting for so long. Below is the step-by-step progress of the painting, which is available on DailyPaintworks here. Read More

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