When life gives you lemons, draw them, 11 x 14 inches dry pastels, graphite on paper

"When life gives you lemons, draw them". (Nikki)

"Trust your intuition, it's just like goin' fishin'; you cast your line 'til you get a bite." (Paul Simon)

"Color! What a deep and mysterious language..." (Paul Gauguin)

Archive for October, 2007

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‘Tis the season

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007


Hey Baby, how’s it goin’?

“Hey Baby, How’s it goin’?”

Changes to Polypore Fungi

Monday, October 29th, 2007


Polypore Fungi created with modeling paste, sanding, scrubbing, scraping and carving

Polypore Fungi - detail 02The 3D fungi idea was fun to try. The canvas absorbed moisture from the modeling paste, so the faux fungi are permanently incorporated and will not fall off. It was carved after drying, being too goopy to manage while wet. The paste was applied then built gradually, dried before applying more, sanded, scraped and carved to define areas. Commercial modeling paste does not sand well, so a tiny bit of plaster helped to tidy it.

Polypore Fungi, work in progress

Monday, October 22nd, 2007


Modeling paste creating 3D effects

Polypore Fungi, 59H x 41W x 2D, acrylics on canvas, work in progress. Started in June, hung and studied in the loose-phase state; cautious about overworking it. Plans this week: most everything will stay out of focus, with details only on the fungi using a little modeling paste to sculpt. Modeling paste is applied in layers, drying in between, becoming permanent and adhered well to the canvas. Applying too thick at once creates cracks and unstable structures.

Water strider

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

Polypore Fungi, 59H x 41W x 2D, acrylics on canvas, work in progress. Acrylics painting started in June, hung and studied in the loose-phase state; cautious about overworking it. Plans this week: most everything will stay out of focus, with details only on the fungi (starting that next), using a little modeling paste to sculpt the fungi.


Watching the water-striders in the pond in our back yard pond.  Interesting that it is so weightless, yet with enough mass to be able to walk on water.

Dandelions Among the Tulips

Friday, October 19th, 2007


Dandelions Among the Tulips, 16H x 20W inches acrylics on canvas without frame

$250.00 unframed         Buy Now Using PayPal


Dandelions Among the Tulips, framed size 22H x 28W inches

$350.00 framed          Buy Now Using PayPal


Dandelions Among the Tulips, detail imageDandelions Among the Tulips, 16 x 20 inches acrylics on canvas with maple wood frame stained dark with red trim design, total size 22H x 28W inches. Available with or without the frame.

Simply “Tulips” as a title would have been too obvious. Dandelions are persistent. Likewise, I’m pleased to have persevered through the course of painting this one; it went through many changes and I learned a lot. Gradual build-up of textures and colors, layers of piling on, scrubbing off and reapplying paint — those parts show through. Painting with pure color in Firewheels, plus grey scale drawing earlier this year really contributed to finding a way to finish this painting. Next two thumbnails show phases of work in progress:

Dandelions Among the Tulips just started, 16H x 20W inches acrylics on canvas Dandelions Among the Tulips, work in progress


Saturday, October 13th, 2007


Firewheels - masking medium rubbed off    Firewheels - first coat of color

Firewheels 18H x 24W x 2D inches acrylics on canvas, wrapped sides painted with scene continued onto narrow trim frame. Above: masking medium, usually used for watercolor paintings, was applied with a toothpick, first image. After being painted it was rubbed off, revealing abstract scribbles and areas of pure color. A time limit was set for this one to be done by the end of today, something I don’t normally do, but the restrictions ensure that it doesn’t get overworked.

Next, Firewheels finished and successful in that I was able to stay away from the desire to perfect everything.

Post-dated note: This painting was accepted into The 23rd Texas & Neighbors Regional Art Exhibition, April 26 – May 24, 2008, Irving Arts Center, Irving, TX.


Firewheels, 18H x 24W x 2D inches acrylics on canvas, wrapped sides painted and extending onto narrow frame


$250.00            Buy Now Using PayPal


Firewheels work in progress

Friday, October 12th, 2007


Firewheels after about two hours of work

Firewheels, 18H x 24W inches acrylics on canvas, started

I started a small painting last night that I’ve been wanting to do since Spring, of Firewheels (Gaillardia). Masses of them come back every Spring in a nearby field.

Dancing With Trees 02

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007


Dancing With Trees started Aug.30, 2007  Dancing With Trees in progress: Sept. 4  Dancing With Trees - Sept. 6

Dancing With Trees - Sept. 10 details  Dancing With Trees - early details using drips  Dripping varnish, and painted upside down


Dancing With Trees 02, 48H x 48W x 1D inches acrylics, matt and semi-gloss glaze medium, and semi-gloss varnish on canvas, trim frame
Dancing With Trees 02, 48H x 48W x 1D inches acrylics, matt and semi-gloss glaze medium, and semi-gloss varnish on canvas, scene continues onto trim frame
Layers of glaze washes used in final stages: Hansa yellow light, Pthalo blue, Pthalo green, Permanent green, thio violet, Mars black, Cadmium red light, Dioxazine violet
This piece is an example of work that does not reflect the original vision, but is turning into something much more interesting. To help enhance the character of cedar branches I’ve dripped water, paint, glazes, and varnish across patches of color, splattered it on with a brush and also painted it turned upside down. This left sheen and textures not captured in photos; best seen in person.
Dancing With Trees 02,  started August 30th – several progression details posted on different dates are combined in this post. The oil pastel with the same name, first version, posted in March 2007, inspired the painting.

$550.00              Buy Now Using PayPal



Monday, October 8th, 2007


Competitions, online galleries and juried exhibitions

Galahs in Traffic - flocks of Galahs fly in front of cars, many laying dead beside the road to the Kangaroo Island ferry, South Australia - Paper Places seriesThree works were accepted into Artjury.com’s 2007 Fall / Winter National Online Juried Exhibition: Galahs in Traffic, Mayan Bowl Chair, and Linden Sunset.

There’s controversy that entering competitions is purely about vanity. For us who need to self-promote, we understand that it’s more about career stability and advancement than the ego. Still the question of ego exists, so a little devil-artist on the shoulder is good to have because we need to stay tuned to our arts’ original meaning and purpose. Evaluation is always in order. For the most part, self-promotion is personal, often uncomfortable, and a very humbling and enlightening experience rather than an egoistic one. We need to search deep for our very best, and stay open to every opinion.
Mayan Bowl Replica Chair placed 2nd in the 3D Category at the Grand Prairie Arts Council Juried Exhibition Sept./Oct 2007- see March 30, 2006 blog post for chair process details Acceptance by peers means a lot, but accepted or not, honest feedback and interaction with those who also love what they do and know what they’re talking about, or hearing from those who appreciate art and enjoy discussing it, is really beneficial. We encourage each other, and straight-forward critiques go a long way. Any kind of response helps us consider the direction we will take moving forward.
Recognition and validation are helpful because faith in this vocation waxes and wanes. Many of us ask from time to time: What am I doing this for? or: What’s the big deal about Art anyway? We are so closely involved with it as daily work that the personal and the professional are one and the same. Art is our life, and monetary or “ribbon-ary” validation is encouraging! Primarily though, motivation must be self-perpetuated. For work to work, we need to love what we do. No amount or content of external comments affects the genuine drive to create it.

Linden Sunset - March 5, 2007 - photographyIf we haven’t yet captured our big break with gallery representation, it takes a long time to learn the do’s and don’ts, and it’s surprising that there are so many expectations. We need to have confidence to be articulate about our works’ intentions and messages portrayed. Self-promotion, for artists who can’t afford outside management, is the other necessary half of the job and is time-consuming, but vital.

Temporarily it seems distracting, taking precious time away from creating the art in order to write gallery proposals and exhibition entries, but since sharing and selling are the main goals, who knows more about the heart of the art better than the artist? Practice meeting deadlines, and familiarity with managing all the details means we are in control of our destiny as much as possible, helps focus clarity of purpose.
It takes diligence and fortitude to wear all the hats. We need to take advantage of every open door whether it shuts in our face or not, and a few cash awards to supplement sales doesn’t hurt a bit!

Morning moon

Sunday, October 7th, 2007


Oct. 7, 2007 morning moon and stars

Morning moon, Lewisville, TX

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