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.

Medical Supply Still Life

Medical Still Life #1 Final v2, oil on Gessobord, 8x8"

Medical Still Life #1 Final, oil on Gessobord, 8×8″

My attention, time and energy have been focused on elder care and family needs rather than art for the past couple months. Creating a still life out of medical supplies (plus a couple of caps from used-up tubes of oil paint) made sense on the day I started the project.

I intended this to be a one-afternoon painting but each time I thought it was finished there was one more thing to “fix” or change. Fiddling with it became a way to squeeze in a little painting when time and energy permitted. I finally called it done so I could start something else (a series of rather dark self-portraits, which I’ll be posting soon).

To show you all the fiddling, I thought a slide show might be good. Click on the image or link below to start the slide-show if you receive this post in your email.

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Pomegranates and Wine Corks

Pomegranates and Corks, oil still life on panel, 10x8"

Pomegranates and Corks, oil still life on linen panel, 10×8″

I’m still having fun painting poms and trying to understand them. Below is the process I used, with photos of the set up. I like starting with a Pitt pastel pencil to sketch in the composition and then go to thinned down transparent oil paint.

I’ve switched back to working on panels again from paper in order to have a slicker surface that allows wiping off more easily than the Arches Oil Paper which is very absorbent.

This painting is available. Click for purchase info on my DailyPaintworks Gallery.

Pomegranate, Persimmons and a Brick

Pomegranate, Persimmons, Brick, Oil on Arches Oil Paper, 10x10"

Pomegranate, Persimmons, Brick, Oil on Arches Oil Paper, 10×10″

(SOLD) This painting went through so many changes. I started it before I got the awful cold that kept me out of the studio for over a week. I lost my focus while painting the cloth draped in the background and at the end of the day scraped off the afternoon’s work. When I came back the next day, my foam core shadow box had collapsed and was on the floor along with the drapery and the LED light that I’d perched atop on a piece of plexiglass. Fortunately the brick held steady as did the fruit.

That accident gave me the opportunity to try a different background. I removed the white paper I’d been using to cover the black walls of the shadow box and painted the now darker background. I had fun painting the persimmons and the brick and I think I did a good job understanding them; the pom not so much. It  should have a more geometric, boxy shape, not be so rounded.

Below are the stages in trying to get this thing painted, along with the set up as it changed. Click on an image to see full picture, scroll over images to read captions.

(SOLD)
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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.

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