Friday, December 31, 2010

Shell Fragment

This is going to drive me crazy- this is an absolutely adorable little painting, but I can't get a clear picture of it for love now money! I'm betting it's the size...
In a few hours it'll be next year. The weather is finally back to a normal sort of North Carolina winter- fifty-ish and drizzly, which is a huge relief from that psycho cold we've been having....
And I got to go see the Norman Rockwell exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art today! It was amazing, absolutely amazing.
I know he was an illustrator. But aren't we all, in some way or another? I knew he had a sense of humor, I knew he was amazing at creating expressions and emotions....
What I didn't know was how absolutely breathtaking his brushwork was. Glazes here, negative painting there, thick daubs in just the right spots, not a wasted motion or a single goofy "hey look at me, I'm oil paint" slappy gob-on-gob thing... just whatever he needed to create the illusion, you know? To give life. It was amazing :)

Thursday, December 30, 2010


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It's my birthday. I'm twenty eight today.
Which is weird, but not for any good reason. Maybe I had some kind of delusion, that once I had Nugget I'd quit aging? I dunno. She's fourteen months old now, and all grown up, my very silly little princess. So, she's half in months of what I am in years... which might officially make me old as dirt :D
I decided to do something different today, zooming in on that awesome cow skull around the eye socket and doing what I'm calling a bonescape.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Puppy portrait! Now that it's after Christmas, I can share this one, and I'm so glad- I'm very proud of how it came out. Sadly Sophie passed away this year, and this portrait was commissioned as a Christmas gift in memory of her...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Green Pears

Snow still on the ground, and it's supposed to be seventy degrees on New Year's Day- welcome to North Carolina :) It makes the pears make more sense, though, doesn't it? These two struck me as having an awful lot of character :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tea Commission, part 2

Yep, loving on the tea. It amazes me how many different types of beautiful teacups there are... though of course. I gravitate toward one or two in my collection over and over again. It'll be interesting to see if those favorites change, over time...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tea Commission, part 1

I had forgotten how much I love these cup-of-tea paintings... they just glow so wonderfully :) This was one of two- I'll share the other tomorrow :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Study in Sienna

The snow held out till late enough for a wonderful Christmas day, and I have to admit, having my little Nugget is helping me to actually like the snow for the forst time in at least a decade.... I guess I have to enjoy anything she enjoys so much, and looks so cute in :)
Something warm, here- my favorite little teapot.

Friday, December 24, 2010


All I want for Christmas is warm weather.... and it ain't gonna happen. You know we're supposed to have snow on Christmas for the first time since (I can't believe this either) 1909? That'll throw a wrench in some holiday plans, I'm sure. I'm glad I don't have to get on a plane... hugs and best wishes to all of you that do! And all of you that don't. Hugs and best wishes all around :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Breaking Clouds

We've been having some really odd cloud formations around here lately, and today I pulled over with my camera to get some reference pics... really like the result, even if though I got a bit fanciful with the colors :)


Sorry about the delay in posting, things are kinda crazy around here. Of course. Like they're not crazy at your house too, huh?
And I don't know what on earth it is about raw eggs, but something.... I'm gonna be high up enough in the roman numerals soon that I'll have to start looking up how I'm supposed to write them out! How did people ever do math with those boogers, anyways?





Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mother and Child

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Gah, I've been having some serious glare issues lately, haven't I? Need to look into that...
Anyways, this is a totally awesome little statue from Haiti that was just begging to be painted. And then it needed something more, so I rolled in a marble.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Satin Bow

Something a little more seasonally appropriate. It was fun to paint, even though Nugget kept running off with the subject... so then I'd have to retrieve it, and lay it out as close as I could to the way it was.... my little helper :) Painting is different with my little fourteen month old in the studio, that's for sure! But I wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Seagull Feather

It seems I am still trying to summon summertime with my daily paintings... and failing dramatically, at least here in Durham, North Carolina! So is it the coldest winter in like ever elsewhere, too?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Green Glass

Gr, glass bottles get so tricky! Especially when they're kind of tinted, and you're trying to make the light more dramatic than it actually is :-/ Note to self: for the umpteen millionth time, just paint what is there. Once that's right, then you can start playing around :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Heirloom on Blue

'nother tomato, and this one looks even more nummy... I'm a summertime sort of person, that's for sure!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Yellow Heirloom

Back to my little $20 dailies! Did you miss them? I'm thinking another tomato tomorrow as well... I'm trying to eat as locally as possible, so of course I'm going off of my summertime reference photos here :) I figure I'll just enjoy tomatoes all the more when I can get them fresh and beautifully ripened from the farmers market when we get back to warmer weather.
For now? Wonderful, nummy foods that aren't quite as pretty as a fresh tomato... tomato sauce, for instance. Pesto, fresh homemade cheeses and breads, carrot cakes and pumpkin pies. Yes, the fresh carrots and pumpkins are lovely, maybe I ought to give them a try. But how one earth could I paint pesto or tomato sauce?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Looking Closer

Ah, I love this one! I think it's my most effective yet in terms of the look-at-it-and-think-it's-a-real-box illusion, the others had it but not quite as perfectly, you know? And I was thrilled to discover that the peeling paint with woodgrain thing is actually easy!
The objects were so much fun, and they just feel like summer by the water, the worn stone and the feather and looking so closely, appreciating everything.... But you know what really brings it to life for me? The reflected lights in the shadow along the back of the box- that warm grey is so wonderful, right where your first impulse would be to make it super dark or something to make sure it recedes...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Apples and Lady Bugs

I loved "Apples and Blue Sky" so much I just had to try something similar. I used two apples from the same orchard, set against the sky at eye level, but everything else- the light, the sky, the directions of the stem and the size of the apples, even the little things like adding the ladybugs, contributes towards changing the mood of the piece... which is so cool to me!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Study in Contrasts

This is what the pinecone studies were leading up to- the weathered wood, the wonderful natural structure and texture of the pinecone, and the gleaming, beautiful teacup. I don't know what it "means", no, but it really feels right to me, you know? And that blue is absolutely fantastic, a little bit of the sky pulled right down into my reliquary :)

B is for Boat

And something that I am unequivocally happy with! Yes, you've seen it before. Here on the blog. Thhbbbbbt!
Seriously, though I added some wear and tear to the boat and to the block, but what really changed was the extreme foreground- I lost the blank grey vertical bit for a board/shelf with peeling paint and a honeybee, and I love it! Sometimes I just need a little more time to think on something that I thought was already done. Even though I am one of those artists where nothing is ever safe unless it is up in somebody else's house and away from my paints and brushes :D

Friday, December 10, 2010

Snow Day

Another experiment that won't be going on etsy.
Bummer side effect of trying different things, sometimes. In this case, I should have known- I really, really hate snow, but I got some cool pictures of it, chasing Nugget around in her first real snowfall ("first real snowfall" being the first one she cared to play in, seeing as how she wasn't mobile last winter) Saturday, and so I thought... Anyways. Values, values, values! It surprised me that the sky was so emphatically the brightest thing visible.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


This one is certainly different for me. It's funny, I like it, but I'm really hesitant to put it on etsy. Sometimes I confuse myself.
One cool thing I saw while painting this was how similar the shapes of flames and food coloring dropped into water. I mean it makes sense, the same way it makes sense for a pinecone to have a tree-like construction, but it's not something I'd recognized before, you know?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Avacado and Papaya

I just had to share this! You remember the avacado, of course :) Well, the wonderful lady who bought the avacado wanted a companion piece for it, and we agreed on a papaya piece. Setting up the mirror composition was absolutely critical to making them look like they belong together, and getting the orange on the papaya wonderful and vibrant, and managing all of those seeds.... I'll just say I really appreciate her patience in letting me take enough time to work all of that out properly!

And now that they are in their new home out on the west coast I couldn't resist sharing- I am so proud of this set of paintings :D


Monday, December 6, 2010

Shallot at Eye Level

Fun painting. Oniony things have such interesting textures, and I'm a sucker for textures :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mask Shadows

A beautiful painting I just got up at Broad Street Cafe. I want to experiment more with this idea, something beautiful hung on the wall with th double shadows...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

B is for Boat

Ok, obviously not a daily. I am so loving the double shadow, it adds so much depth, you know? I'm so glad Nugget let me borrow her little bath toy :)

Friday, December 3, 2010


I liked doing the cloud poofs as a study so much that I thought I'd do another study, for something I find incredibly intimidating. To paint. Promise, I'm not scared of pinecones in day to day life :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cloud Poofs

Something fluffy, a study for the background for a gorgeous 16"x20" of the cow skull that I have in my head. Ultramarine, phthalocyanine blue, and titanium white for the sky- just luscious!