Grandma’s Laundry Sprinkler and Apples

Grandma’s Laundry Sprinkler and Apples, oil on canvas, 9x12 inches

Grandma’s Laundry Sprinkler and Apples, oil on canvas, 9×12 inches. Click Image for Purchase Info

My grandmother ironed everything including underwear and sheets! Doing laundry was a major project. My mother bought her a dryer but she refused to use it, preferring to hang everything out to dry on the backyard clothesline. She dragged her wheeled canvas laundry cart with a big pocket for wooden clothespins (see sketch below) down the stairs and then pinned everything up to dry in the sun.

Before she ironed she sprinkled the stiff, dry laundry with water, using her special sprinkler cork (in painting above) stuffed in a bottle. Steam irons made laundry sprinklers obsolete but I wanted to honor this artifact of my grandma’s life in a painting. A few years ago I also made this sketch of her hanging laundry (below). I always loved playing with the clothespins and hanging out with my sweet grandma on laundry day.

Grandma hanging laundry with her laundry cart, Digital sketch.

Grandma hanging laundry with her laundry cart, Digital sketch.

Here is a photo of the setup (which I painted from life, not from the photo).

Photo of still life set up

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Wedding Bouquet (Finished or Fix?)

Wedding Bouquet, oil on linen panel, 10x8"

Wedding Bouquet, oil on linen panel, 10×8″

I started this painting of my daughter-in-law’s wedding flowers soon after the wedding in January 2014 but wasn’t thrilled with the way it turned out so set it aside. I began reworking it again recently, and after several times reaching a point of saying, “Finished” and then working on it some more, I remembered the saying, “Art is never finished, only abandoned” and decided it was simply time to stop.

But there’s still one thing that bugs me in this painting: the pink rose on the right just feels too Barbie pink to me. Every time I look at the painting it irks me. But I’ve repainted it 5 times and perhaps because the photo I’m working from isn’t very good, especially of that rose, it keeps turning out the same. I may try one more time. What do you think? Leave it or try again? Or maybe find another photo of the set up with a different view of that rose and try again from that photo?

My challenge in painting is always how to maintain the freshness of my original inspiration, color choices and brush strokes while holding back my inner perfectionist who wants to keep noodling around forever. Another challenge with returning to an older painting is that the fresh flowers are long gone and only a so-so photo remains to work from. Likewise all my new fresh ideas about painting have to be set aside to work on something from the point of view of a year ago.

EDiM 14: Glass of Juice

EDiM 14 Glass of Juice. Ink and watercolor, 7x5 in

EDiM 14 Glass of Juice. Graphite, ink and watercolor, 7×5 in

I got confused and skipped over posting this glass of yummy Trader Joe’s Garden Patch juice yesterday, and numbered the two pics I did post with the wrong numbers, which I’ve now corrected. This is an odd glass, made by Bodum and meant to be used for tea as it’s double-walled for insulation.

This was more fun to draw than to use since I prefer my tea in cups with handles, even if the glass doesn’t get hot. I love painting glass!

Flowering Crab Apple Blossoms in Bottles: Oil Paintings

Crab Apple Paired, Oil on Archival Panel, 10x8"

Crab Apple Paired, Oil on Archival Panel, 10×8″

The branches I snipped from a tree in Berkeley provided many opportunities to sketch and paint. The first were watercolor sketches. Then I did these two oil paintings and some other sketches I’ll post later. Two of my favorite things to paint: flowers and glass. Crab Apple Paired (above) is available here.

Sake Bottle with Flowering Crab Apple

Sake Bottle with Flowering Crab Apple Under Warm Light, oil on archival panel, 6×6

This sake bottle is from a nice sushi dinner I had with my son. He’s much more knowledgeable about such things so he ordered the sake. I was delighted by its wonderful peach colored bottle with a kind of etched surface. I knew it would be fun to paint. I used a very warm light for this still life set up which made everything a little peachy. This little painting is available here.

Purple wildflowers in purple glass vase, ink & watercolor 8x5"

Gone Wild With Wildflowers (and Watercolor) Part 2

Purple wildflowers in purple glass vase, ink & watercolor 8x5"

Purple wildflowers in purple glass vase, ink & watercolor 8×5″

This was one of my favorites of all the wildflowers (see previous post for the wildflowers’ back story, which had such a variety of parts, from the pea-like pods to its spiky green leaves, plus I love purple.

Big yellow wildflowers on stalks, ink & watercolor, 8x5"

Big yellow wildflowers on stalks, ink & watercolor, 8×5″

Another curious plant with a variety of features and quite vibrant in color.

Yellow spikey flower with photo

Yellow spikey flower with photo

Here it is above in real life (though a bit blurry) with its portrait.

Gentle white blossomed wildflowers, ink & watercolor, 8x5"

Gentle pinky-white blossomed wildflowers, ink & watercolor, 8×5″

These were very delicate.

Gentle pinky-white wildflowers with photo

Gentle pinky-white wildflowers with photo

I had to take an allergy pill halfway through the day because all the wildflowers were making me sneeze.

California Golden Poppies, ink & watercolor, 5x8"

California Golden Poppies, ink & watercolor, 5×8″

The first attempt at the poppies above came out nice and fresh but my pen was running out of ink so I drew over the lines with another pen and then wasn’t crazy about the composition so I sketched them again (below).

California Poppies, first attempt,  ink & watercolor 8x5"

California Poppies, #2, ink & watercolor 8×5″

I liked the composition better. Since this is our California state flower, it deserved an encore anyway. If you know the names of any of the flowers, let me know and I’ll update the captions.

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