Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Scones and Mojo

I found a British program called Portrait Artist of the Year on Ovation TV and am amazed not just by the enduring fascination with portraiture, but that there could be such thoughtful discussion of painting on television! I hear that's the appeal of the Great British Baking Show:  no drama, just appreciation for the craft and the quiet concentration of those who do it well.
Past 3 person show at Glama-Rama
Happy to say I have done some curating, putting together three artists who will show at Glama-Rama Salon & Gallery early next year. Each artist's work is so distinct, so personal, and yet I think they'll be magic together and in that space. I'll keep you posted on this matchmaking venture and their colorful and surreal adventures!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Starlight Caravan oil on canvas 7 x 5 in.

Happy New Year - well, not very happy, as this is now a world without David Bowie. I don't think it's completely sunk in yet.
We also lost Chicago musician Kevin Junior, who was only 46 (my age). I always used to look forward to his band the Chamber Strings playing San Francisco, and how he'd look so cool I'd think, too late, "that would make a good painting!"

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Winter's here

Moonlight Caravan oil on canvas 4 x 6 in.
Thank you, everyone who came to Open Studios last month! It was great having six artists onsite, the most ever at the Allied Box Factory, and seeing all our friends. Special thanks to our Gallery Girls for helping it run smoothly. The weekend was a big success. I've continued to paint since then, even though the days are short and it's getting colder. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

This Very Weekend

Box Factory artists in the SOMArts Open Studios Exhibition:  Kytha Gernatt, Mark Seely, Christine Meuris, Sean Vallely and me (and someone else who's not at our studio. But their work looks good with ours anyway)

We were just in Scotland for three weeks. Revisited the sandy white beaches of the Outer Hebrides, and even the campsite and lone caravan that were the inspiration for many paintings. We saw the Northern Lights over a quiet loch, and the Fairy Pools with a steady queue of tourists. In my beloved Glasgow, we visited Kelvingrove Art Gallery and the Glasgow School of Art (still under repair following last year's tragic fire), and took a day trip by train to Edinburgh, where we were lucky enough to see the BP Portrait Award at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. It's a popular and fascinating show, and so inspirational for anyone who loves painting people. I feel I must follow my heart back to that area of work. Maybe someday I could even apply for that prize.

Here's a link so you can check out all of the artists who will be participating in Open Studios this weekend:
Box Factory 2015

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


This is a work in progress, a tent in the moonlight. With almost every painting, I'll be at this early stage and wonder if I should just leave it while it's bold and loose. Finishing it, the way I paint, will take forever and I get tired just thinking about all that work - and afraid of messing up the painting and losing the freshness it has now. But would people go for it? Maybe they'd just think I ran out of time, or that I was trying to turn out more pieces more quickly. Maybe they'd tell me they're so glad I'm not overworking my paintings anymore.

Here are some more secrets:
Gamblin's radiant yellow saves so much time mixing paint (that's it on the tent).
Winsor & Newton magenta is also there and is a great sketcher, carrier, and way to make colors sweeter.
I make a nice warm black bean color with ultramarine blue, cobalt violet and burnt sienna to use in place of black sometimes. Wish I could get that premixed.

I don't paint for about the first hour in the studio, and instead sit and drink coffee and look at my phone. Then, at the end of the day when it's time to go home, I'm running late and wishing I had more time.

People are my favorite subject to paint, but I don't enjoy doing commissioned portraits very much - it's too much pressure. And there's not much of a market for "people I don't know looking back at me." This doesn't make sense to me though, because interiors in magazines always have plenty of portraits and figurative work. It doesn't matter who the person is - they just look cool.

I just photographed all my smallest paintings with my phone, and I think the images look fine.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Open Studios 2015

. . . Only two months away! There will be five artists at the Box Factory this year. More information soon. . .