Sunday, August 26, 2007

Oil Floral of Cornflowers and Pewter Pitcher, 5" x 7"

"Cornflowers with Pewter"

Lunch at a friend and collector's home brought me this little pewter pitcher (on loan) to paint. It has a soft warm patina. I liked the play of the cool cornflowers against the warm tones of the grapes and the pitcher.
The painting is varnished and has a lovely soft glow. Good generous paint on this piece.

I've been out of practice on small pieces this summer but it's good to get back into the flow again.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Oil Reproduction from Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel

"The Delphic Sybil"

OK. So it's not exactly an original. Last fall I took a dream vacation and finally got to see the Sistine Chapel in Rome. "The Delphic Sybil" is one of my favorite images and I've actually reversed it here. I thought it would be fun to do a series of these to a small scale - perhaps in reverse. Just for practice. The piece is signed "Spar after Michaelangelo" which is in keeping with tradition when copying from a master.
Thanks for looking!

Monday, August 20, 2007

"By the Full Moon Bridge"

I started this large painting the other day at our local county fair as a demo piece. I realize this is not a full painting done in one sitting (actually it will take several sittings of several hours each to finish), but I thought some of you might enjoy seeing something actually develop. Right now it's pretty much in the underpainting stage and needs a lot of refinement. I'll be showing you other stages as they develop but not over the next few days as I have "daily" paintings to do and also a large commission demanding my attention.

I started this piece with a raw umber imprimatura (toned canvas), and then did a subtractive underpainting in which I pulled out the highlights showing the white canvas below. You can still see this part of the painting in the flowers that she is holding. Once dry I started working thin layers of paint into it. I kept things simple but have defined the skin temperatures for the planes of the face. The hair is the last to be painted and I wait until the final strokes of the painting to do this. Her hair is up in a knot so right now she looks a bit masculine as if she has short hair. The background is a bit of a challenge as I don't have much in the way of reference material for it, but it seems to be coming along well enough. I keep you posted as things move along. Feel free to comment or ask questions.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Oil Figure Painting of a reclining woman, 5" x 7" on panel

"The Red Robe"

Figure or "life" drawing is a passion of mine. I attend a small open studio group once a week and feel that the work I have done there has made a huge impact on my work. "A" is a model that sometimes sits for the group and for me privately. I did this as a color study for a larger piece. I like the way it came out. Some of the color in the face shows as higher contrast here than in the actual painting which is much softer. The scanner tends to pick up every dot of color and also casts some shadows on the tiny flecks of paint.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Oil Painting of Wine and Pears, 5" x 7", $45

"Chianti & Pears"

I'm trying some different twists to my palette and using the opportunity of doing (more or less) daily paintings to experiment. Hope you like this one. I do. I’ve found myself stunned sometimes by the way color works with light and how just a little flick of the brush can bring such change to a little vignette. I am also astounded how much the practice of painting daily has improved my work and my understanding. While I don’t think everything I produced last year is noteworthy, it all came together in a great way and some of the larger work I produced this summer has brought me a lot of commissions and notice. So, although, I’m often fretful over having to come up with something new to paint, I can’t complain about the real end product…my own improved skills. Thanks for checking in and PLEASE, feel free to leave your comments by clicking on the link under each post.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Original Plein Air Pastel Painting of Ruby Beach

"Ruby Beach"
Available $75.00
E-mail Susan about this painting.

Most of my collectors are unaware that I have been a pastel painter for more years than I have painted in oil. I recently decided to add my pastels to my daily painting blog and to put a few up for sale on Ebay.
This piece is 11" x 14" and was painted on location at Ruby Beach on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. I had just started this when the fog started to roll in. It was a mad race to the finish. When I folded up my easel, I was in pea soup.
The pastel is lightly sprayed and will be shipped protected by glassine between two pieces of foam core. Pastels are pure pigment. They are completely fade resistant - more so than oils or watercolor. Color may vary from the original depending on your monitor.

Friday, August 10, 2007

"My Glass Magenta Vase"
Available for $75
Click here to e-mail Susan about this painting.

My summer hiatus was lovely but it's back to the easel. It surprised me how good it felt to do one of these again after my bigger summer projects.

This piece is 11" x 14" and has a sort of build-in wood frame with it so there's no need to frame it. Check on the link to Ebay and you can see an image of what the painting looks like with the frame around it.

This magenta glass vase is one of my favorite things. The color may or may not be off a bit depending on your monitor and my camera.

Thanks for looking and for those of you who have stayed loyal...double thanks!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Original Still Life of Copper Mug with Paint Brushes, 5" x 7", $40.00

"A few old friends"
Click here to purchase through

Sigh. I've had a wonderful summer vacation but I'm back to work now. Sort of.

I want to say a personal "thanks" to all my fans out there who have sent me e-mails and inquired as to when I would take up my brush again. I dearly needed the break from "having" to paint and the breath of fresh air allowed me to focus on larger and more important pieces. Still a few things to take care of this August, but I should be hitting the easel about three or four times a week and then pick up once winter settles in. It's important for me to say, though, that as the end date for my sabbatical drew near, I found my anxiety mounting. While I enjoy painting to an appreciative audience, I need to remain true to my muse. So things will change here a bit. I'll be posting as regularly as I can but the subject matter may change a bit and will occasionally include works in progress and subjects outside of my usual "old world" still lifes. Some will go to Ebay auction and others will be posted for sale on Etsy. Other more expensive pieces will be available through my website.

I'd like to leave my posts open for comment also so with a few changes to the settings on this blog, you will all be able to post comments and feedback. Be nice, now.

This piece was a warm up for the days ahead. They're old buddies. I love the old copper mug and I often use it as a subject as much as a work horse for holding my brushes. There's some nice thick paint on this one. Enjoy.