Brand New ~ Oil Painters Community Network!


A couple of great friends, fellow artists and I created the Oil Painters Community Network. It took me well over a month to build this site! I think it will fill a bigger need in helping artist to learn and grow in the fundamentals of oil painting. A place for students and instructors to connect on a professional and personal level.

Each member has their own profile page with a timeline and photo albums to upload pics of their paintings. There is also a Community News feed and over 20 Forums! It’s very interactive and we have some amazing talented artists joining us.

This Network is still brand new and in the developmental stages as I iron out all the bugs and streamline it to perfection. There is still work to be done but it’s coming along nicely! It’s free to join!

Join our Oil Painting community Network today!

See you there!

Painting my daughter in oils

Jessica portrait

I started a portrait of my daughter last week. I started filming the process about half way in. It would have been nice to have filmed it from the start, but I didn’t think of it at the time. A friend asked for some pointers on how to paint flesh, so started filming. Six videos later, I’m getting the hang of it. I’m hoping to purchase a new camera soon so that I can film for longer and do some live-streaming. I’m looking at a Panasonic Lumix mirrorless camera.

For this painting I’m using Natural Pigments’ Rublev colors; Ultramarine Blue, Nicosia green earth, Cypress Burnt umber warm, Burnt Sienna, French raw umber, Alizarin crimson, Genuine Vermillion, Yellow Ochre, Lead white #1 and #2. For medium I’m using Oleogel. For Brushes I’m using Rosemary and Co’s Mundy mops and Eclipse filberts.

I probably have another 6 videos coming as I still have a ways to go to go with this painting.

I hope you find these videos helpful~

Please feel free to ask questions.

Happy Painting!

Creative isolation…

Now that we are basically isolating ourselves because of Covid-19, I’m considering streaming my painting sessions on facebook. It’s a great way for us to stay connected. During these uncertain times, creative isolation is called for. I’m sure there will be a lot of new creative ideas emerging in the next little while. Online social gatherings as well as online art shows and of course podcasts will continue to thrive.

I recently moved house and still in the process of setting up my studio. It’s just too small to accommodate my huge bulky easel, So I’m building a wall easel to free up the floor space. Once I have some floor space I can set up my camera to stream my painting sessions. I’ve been encouraged to stream by a few fellow artists, but first I have to figure out the logistics of streaming as I’m not that technically savvy.

I’m pretty active on facebook so please feel free to connect with me here ~

I just started a new painting yesterday so what better time to stream than now!

Stay safe and Happy painting!



6 daily paintings ~ 24 to go!

5 days of dailies.JPG

These are so tiny I could take them all at once! They are 5″ x 7″. It’s a decent start. Improvement will come with time. Today is day six, yet to be painted. I was going to go outside to paint en plain air, but it’s a dreary dull day out and I got lazy and decided to paint indoors. I permanently attached the release plate for my tripod on my Pochade box so I can’t put it flat on the table anymore. At least I can paint anywhere in the house!

I think I might paint an interior scene, I’ll have to find the ideal place. Oh my, it’s getting late, time to paint!

I painted the 7th painting after I wrote this post, but it fell off my easel when I was trying to reposition it, on the floor face first. win some, lose some! Tomorrow is another day to try again 😉

Have an awesome day or evening where ever you may be.

Happy painting!

How to make your own Plein air easel


I can’t tell you how many videos I watched to find the perfect Plein air easel. I decided on the features I’d like for my own plein air easel. I definitely liked the idea of my palette being super close to my panel. I didn’t want to have to always look down to mix my colors as I had before, because the values won’t be as accurate as it would be at the same angle as my panel and the scene I’m painting.

I didn’t want to mess around with a shelf slider, so I decided on using bungie cords to hold my panel in place. Lucky for me, I had two braced panels in my studio, about to become a Pochade box! The tricky part was figuring out how to hold the lid open. Youtube is a great resource, there are so many people with great ideas!

I had a piece of glass cut to the size of the inside of the braced pane. I’ll use Velcro to hold my glass palette in place with a tab to remove the glass palette for cleaning.

Tools and Materials:

  • Router/ Jigsaw whichever is available to you.
  • A drill and drill bits and screw driver.
  • Brush for the stain/varnish
  • 2 braced panels, the size of those panels are up to you.
  • Sanding block
  • Wood stain, any colour of your choice. I chose espresso because I wanted a colour that wouldn’t compete with my painting.
  • 2 brass Hinges
  • 4 Wing nuts
  • 1 T-nut 5/16 x1/4″
  • 8 Washers, I used rubber
  • 2 side arm hinges. Once would probably work, I went with two, maybe its overkill, I wanted stability.
  • 4 small bungie cords
  • A piece of glass cut to the inside size of the braced panel.
  • Grey Neutral value 5 Acrylic paint.
  • Sponge brush.


  • Sand the panels and smooth off any rough edges.
  • With a pencil and a ruler, measure where you would like the slots be to keep your painting panel in place.
  • Use a router or a jigsaw to cut the slots before you stain.
  • Dust off the braced panels and stain or varnish, whichever you prefer. I stained mine an Espresso Mahogany. Allow to dry for a couple of days.
  • Once dry, apply wax with a soft cloth, an old t-shirt will work and wait twenty minutes and then polish the waxed panels with the same cloth.
  • Drill out the fittings on the arm hinge and disassemble the parts and re-assemble as shown in the image. I eded up using a combination of metal washers with the rubber plumbers washers. You could use a different hinge system if you like.
  • Install the hinges. You could recess them if you like.
  • Pre-drill the holes for the side arm hinge and install as shown.
  • With a metal drill bit, drill 4 holes in your tripod release plate and screw it to the panel.
  • Paint 3 coats on one side of your glass palette with an acrylic neutral grey.


Et Viola! You made your own Plein air easel you can attach to your tripod and take anywhere!

What I love about my plein air easel, I can move it anywhere in my studio. If it’s cloudy and dreary, I can move it closer to the window for more light. Next I’ll be making a shelf to attach to my tripod legs. I’ll be using this shelf for my brushes and medium and stuff. I’m also going to be making a paper towel holder. That will be in my next post! In the meantime, my painting panels have arrived and I’m going to be preparing to paint my first 5×7 panel for my daily painting challenge.

Hope you like the plein air easel, it’s not perfect and with a bit of tweaking and modifications, I’m sure you’ll be able to make one that suits your own needs.

30 day daily painting challenge: Day 2


I set out five onions and a bottle of curry powder on a cutting board in the kitchen and used my brand new DIY Pochade box . It was cozy by the wood stove, hot tea close and some lovely light filtering through the kitchen window.  I really enjoyed painting this piece. I do need to redo my signature though. Tomorrow, it’ll still be wet.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting instructions on how to make a Pochade box. No table saw necessary. Surprisingly simple :- )


30 Day Daily Painting challenge: Day #1

The first day of the daily painting challenge was pretty epic. It took me a bit longer than four hours. Instead of going for something simple, I decided to go with something super challenging. Live and learn! Tomorrow I’m going with simple. I’m also going to set up a nice shelf for my still life. It’s a bit tricky trying to get decent coverage, I will for sure pre-prep my canvases with a coat of lead white and raw umber and allow to dry. This way I would get way better coverage and my paint will have something to adhere to.


Want to join in the fun?

Join the challenge!

5 Amazing benefits of a daily painting challenge and why you should do it!

Sometimes it’s really difficult to find some kind of enthusiasm when you feel stuck. You find yourself looking through artist’s website for inspiration, only to feel overwhelmed with a sense of panic.

Comparing yourself to other artists can be very daunting. You feel like you have been left behind and that you would never be able to catch up. I felt like that after a long bout of depression where painting was put on the back burner. When I slowly began to recover, I knew I had a lot of catching up to do.

I also knew it was going to take a lot of discipline and hard work. 

I thought to myself, okay Naomi, what can I do to discipline myself to paint daily? Well, the answer came rather quickly. A few minutes later I was invited to show my work for a month at a local, very busy, bed and breakfast. I knew this was my only way to get painting again. By lighting a fire under my butt. I accepted. Then I thought, okay Naomi, now what? How am I going to create a body of work really quickly as I don’t want to show my old stuff.

Then it hit me…A Daily painting challenge! That’s it! I had done this before and it changed the way I painted forever, and this is what happened…

5 Amazing benefits of a 30 Day painting challenge…

1. You will be more Disciplined:

Joining a 30 day painting challenge will force you to discipline yourself. You have to organize your studio and be prepared each day with a new subject matter.  By the time the challenge is over you will be more disciplined. The benefits of self-discipline also carries over to other areas of your life. Like disciplining yourself to exercise regularly. It’s a win-win.

2. You’ll paint faster and loosen up:

Setting a timer to complete your painting is a must. Start with 4 hours. Prepare your panels ahead of time. Important~ choose small panels. Going too big will eat up your time. Painting on 5″ x 7″ panels makes it doable.

Soon enough you will find a method that works for you and by the end of the 30 days you will know what works and what doesn’t. It will also take you less time to complete a painting. Instead of four hours, you will be able to complete one in 2 or 3 hours.

Your technique will improve. Your painting style will loosen up. This forces you to paint more painterly.

3. You’ll become a better painter:

The point of the challenge is not only discipline, but to improve as a painter. You will be able to track your progress in a meaningful way that can be easily measured with before and after pics.  If painting clouds is difficult for you, then paint a series of clouds or trees or landscapes from life until you master it.

4. You’ll have built a decent body of work:

You will have 30 more paintings than you did before you started the challenge.

There is something so gratifying about winning. 

It’s not about winning a prize at the end of it all. The prize is your improvement. Your newfound discipline. Your 30 paintings. The feeling of accomplishment. And what’s even better, you’ll want to take it further… a 3 month challenge and a slightly larger canvas, because you’ll be faster and will be able to cover more canvas in less time. That’s another 90 paintings! That’s huge!

5. You’ll have more blog posts and a larger email list:

You’ll be posting your new painting each day on your Blog talking about your progress and your process. You’ll have more people engaged in your posts. If you have an instagram or Facebook account, post your painting each day and perhaps a few time lapses and link it to your blog. You can also run a daily painting challenge with your viewers engaging them that way. You can also set up an auction on your website or on Ebay and sell your daily paintings. You could also trade daily paintings with your viewers who are daily painting with you. You will grow your email list. You’ll have people who want to join the challenge and sign up to your email list.

I’m pretty sure I could come up with many more benefits. I’ll leave that up to you to discover them on your own!

I’ve ordered my thirty 5’x7′ panels and will start as soon as I’ve received them and prepped them.

Are you ready to take your skills to the next level?


Pochade box



Drawing is the foundational skill to a great painting…..


I swear by drawing sight size, in my opinion and experience, it’s the best way to get an exact likeness. It all begins with a plumb line. You could have a vertical and horizontal plumb line if you wish. I went with the vertical.

Don’t use a projector to draw, there are no short cuts to gaining skill. The only way is practice, a lot.

the plumb line

I searched for the best drawing materials and heard that Nitram was a great product, I bought a few packages and gave them a whirl. I must say, they are a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend them. What I really like about them is the paper holder, keeping my fingers from getting covered in charcoal. They also blend really well. Not all charcoal is created equally. I recommend using one brand and not combining with other brands on the same drawing. I tried this and ruined a drawing.

Tip***  Don’t smudge the charcoal with your fingers, I use a stiff round brush to smooth and blend the charcoal and a kneaded eraser to pick up the highlights.

For paper, I used Strathmore 500 series, tried both sides and I prefer the “wrong side” as it’s not as textured. I will be experimenting with different drawing paper, but for now, I still have twenty sheets to draw on.

I hope I inspired you to pick up a piece of charcoal and draw, it really is so mesmerizing!

Happy Drawing and let me know how it goes!

Nitram charcoal

I received the Charcoal Drawing paper and Nitram Charcoal….

I'm One

This morning I awoke with a renewed excitement.  I’m going to be prepping a painting panel for a new painting. I can barely wait to get started.  This is going to be so much fun! It’s going to be a fairly large piece. Life size. This is my grandson, Hunter.

I’m sealing my panel with Golden’s Gac100 and then four coats of Gesso.  Once prepped, I’ll prime with a lead white mixed some Titanium white and a dash of  burnt umber to a mid value. This is the first layer of paint upon which I’ll begin my drawing and underpainting. One of the predominant colors in the painting is turquoise. I’ll be mulling Prussian Blue and Pthalocyanine green to create the turquoise I need. These are two specialty colors I don’t usually use, but good to have for occasions like this.

I received the Charcoal Drawing paper and Nitram Charcoal I ordered and here’s my study for my painting. I’ll be transferring this image onto my prepped panel.

I will share my process with you, I’m excited!


Fine-tuning my drawing skills…..

Our studio building project came to stop. We put it on hold for now.  We were offered a gorgeous studio and we took it. I finally have a place to work. On time. I feel whole again and ready to take on a whole new perspective. I’ve been spending the last several weeks upgrading my drawing and painting skills.  I’ve taken a few online courses and purchased a few videos which in turn has inspired me.

There’s been a huge resurgence in the art of realism. Young and old alike, are no longer buying into “modern art”, they are more interested in learning to draw or paint realistically.  I would to inspire you to pick up a pencil or paintbrush and learn to draw or paint realistically. There’s nothing more satisfying than learning a new skill and completing a drawing or painting successfully. Talent isn’t just for a select few, it’s latent within each of us. The more you practice, the more skillful you become. There are tips and techniques on how to draw realistically. This is a pencil study of my partner, Marc.  He has a very interesting face to draw and paint and I used the same methods of measuring as one would learn Bargue plates.  I ordered more Drawing paper and Nitram charcoal, I’m so excited!


The sunshine is creeping back in…..

The past six months was a difficult time for me. I withdrew and sank into a depression that was hard to shake. Everything came to a halt. I dearly missed my old home and studio. We moved into a dark basement suite and that sank me. There is a shortage of housing on Salt Spring, we had no choice. Then we decided to move 6 months later after we couldn’t stand it anymore. We finally found a rural property to set up our little homestead. It’s been a month of glamping while we build our tiny home and studio. We’re really close, though. A couple of weeks ago I tripped over some tools and fell hard. I bruised my ribs, no break, thank goodness! It’s been a tough few weeks. I dislike taking medication, however, sleep is impossible without it. Every day is getting easier though. Yesterday Marc and I installed the half of the rafters, thank goodness the rain is holding off. The rest of the rafters, strapping, roofing, skylights, insulation, inside walls and then we’re ready to move in, I can hardly wait! I’m so hoping by next weekend.

In the meantime I’ve been upgrading my skills, learning new techniques and fine tuning my vision of things to come. I ordered some more pigments and can’t wait to grind and tube them and get back to painting. I look forward to sharing our progress pics. Soon 🙂


Painting outdoors….

The Oil Painter's Studio

Heading outdoors at day break, easel, canvas and paints in my trunk and driving in the direction of the ocean, music soothing my soul and my taste buds enjoying a cup of hot coffee. I arrive at my destination, a quiet spot on the beach, just in time to watch the sun rise over the ocean. Breathtaking. I sit there in silence taking it all in.

Seagulls fly overhead welcoming a new day. As I set up my easel on the soft cool sand, two little doorstep dogs and a tabby cat race by, chasing each other over driftwood, and yapping and playing, a smile warms my face, you dont see that everyday!
My gaze catches the perfect scene and I quickly sketch the shapes on my canvas with a piece of charcoal, dusting it lightly with a large soft brush to get rid of any dust. The ocean…

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Plein air painting on Salt Spring Island…

I set out on another plein air adventure down by the creek in my yard, a different view this time. It was pretty cold, I shivered while painting and by the time I wrapped up and head inside, I was chilled to the bone. I made a toasty fire and a pot of spaghetti.


I thoroughly enjoy painting en plein air. It’s almost addicting. I can’t wait till tomorrow to do this again! I have a scene scoped and no, it’s not the creek again, hahaha!

In case you missed this video I filmed painting the creek, here it is…Plein air painting with Naomi Grindlay

Happy painting!


Plein Air Painting – I know how easy it is to lose control of ones palette……..

I woke up the other morning, craving fresh air. I’ve held myself hostage indoors for way too long. It was time to get out and  do something exciting for a change. Marc worked on my easel while I prepped my canvas, mixed colors and readied myself for Plein air painting. After bundling up, we head out into our yard and set up my easel next to the creek. I’ve been wanting to paint this little creek since we moved here.


I had the most amazing experience. Yes my fingers were red from the cold, but it was soooo worth it! I went out again yesterday and today and it was really warm out. This afternoon I set up my easel right on the waters edge and thoroughly enjoyed painting in glorious sunlight all afternoon. I’m so looking forward to spring!


One thing for sure, is next time I plein air paint, I’m going to go fully prepared!

I know how easy it is to lose control of ones palette…..

In fact I had this experience yesterday, I should have filmed it to demonstrate how to lose control of ones palette, hahaha!

Experience taught me to always pre-mix base colors at home and adjust them as necessary later, so you can get to painting and not spend an hour mixing on location. Trust me, it really saves time. You only have limited space on your palette, so plan carefully where you are going to place your pre-mixed colors so you can have room to work.

You’re probably wondering what these piles of premixed colors are? Stay tuned!

I know I had planned on giving you a video on how to paint a still-life, unfortunately we lost some of our video footage. Too bad, because I put so much work and effort into it. I withdrew and painted quietly, posting on occasion. Ready to give up. It was all of your emails and notes encouraging me to keep at it. That you were so appreciative of all the content I had shared in the past and how much it helped you. It was all of you and all of your support that motivates me to share my passion for oil painting with you. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and for sticking with me.

Here’s something you’ll Really Love….  a video I filmed while painting a creek in our back yard. 48 minutes of painting close up!

Still wondering about the premixed colors? Plein Air painting on Salt Spring Island with Naomi Grindlay



How do you manage your day?

I don’t know about you, but I find that I have to carefully manage my day and time. I must. A structured schedule is the only way I can function or I never get anything done. I’d be wondering around all day like a lost sheep. As an autistic, even more structure is required. I have to be very strict with myself. Then again I also need to be inspired to paint to create my best work. Painting with a heavy heart is difficult for me. Although some people can produce amazing work while in their darkest place. I can’t. Our heart and soul, all our thoughts and energy, negative and positive are ingrained into every piece. I also believe the person who views the piece, and has resonated with the energy of the painting, is thereby, moved to purchase it. So be aware of your energy and thoughts when entering your creative space. I find listening to self-help videos on you tube helps keep my own thoughts from intruding and ruining my otherwise awesome day.

How do you manage your day and what do you do to stay positive and creative?

Wish you a fabulous day and happy painting!

Artists block ~ What’s an artist to do?

Feeling Blah and uninspired? What do you do when you run out of creativity? Is it perhaps boredom? How do you get your muse to move back in and carry on like the good ol’ days when you camped out in your studio, burning the midnight oil, painting like a crazed artist? Now you wake up and stare blankly at your easel wandering how on earth you’ll ever survive since your muse left not even a spark of desire?

Do you think perhaps going with the flow and just doing something else creative for awhile would help? Like gardening? Spring is on her way, how can one not be excited about getting your hands dirty, planting some seeds and planning your garden? Perhaps plant seeds especially for painting as a subject matter. Monet designed his entire garden just for that purpose.

monet garden

How do you overcome Artist’s block and where do you find your inspiration?

Teacups and Roses underpainting….

Another day closer to spring,  I’m so excited! I can’t wait to get my flower and veggie garden going. I’ll have tons of subject matter to paint, outside, my favorite place to be in the summer.

I completed my drawing and will be mixing some neutral grays to work on the underpainting. I filmed the drawing session and will be filming the process of mixing grays and how I made my value finder.

When I set up my still-life, I couldn’t find the right paper for the background, so I found an image of roses I liked and painted it into the background, really going for the look of  wallpaper. The rose lasted all of one day, so really had to improvise. So back to my palette, I have some grays to mix. I’ll be filming and explaining my process every step of the way right up to the very last brush stroke.

Have a wonderful day and happy painting!

Teacups and Roses underpainting

Teacups and roses drawing ~ Detail

A Wise man once told me…..

A wise man once told me to concentrate only upon the task at hand and nothing else. This way you give that task your full attention and the chance it deserves to flourish into something Extraordinary.


One of the best ways to improve your work….

Don’t you wish winter was over? I know I do… I’m more of a spring and summer kinda girl. I can’t wait to work on my garden and grow veggies and soak up some warm sunshine!

Back to my studio, I’m working on a project I can’t wait to share with you! It’s big and will probably take several months to complete. In the meantime, did you know, one of the best ways to improve your work… is to paint every single day. Set a time limit and do your best to stick to it. Start with four hours and then decrease your time limit as you improve. Start with a small canvas with one object and then add a few more as long as you keep it simple. Challenge yourself with a very limited palette like I did on with the bowl of eggs and water and the silver sugar bowl. When your time improves, challenge yourself with a larger piece. Anything is paint worthy. Coffee mugs, teacups, glass or even a rusty old pot. It doesn’t really matter. Pick something and go for it!

Begin with an underpainting using burnt umber and then add color. Try to stick with a very limited palette to challenge yourself even further.

I would Love to see some of your studies! Feel free to post your pics in the comment section below!

Silver sugar bowl

Painting eggs and water1

Apples for christmas



How to tint your palette and why you should.

Have you ever mixed color on your palette only to discover the value is completely off when you brush the paint on your canvas? The trick is to tint your canvas and your palette the same color and value, this way there will be no surprises when it comes to mixing the correct values.

When I streamlined my studio, I attached my palette to the wall next to my easel. I also have a palette table on wish I premix all my colors. I then transfer my mixtures onto my wall mounted palette. Now I can visually compare color and value on my palette with the painting I’m working on.


Glass cutting board or glass microwave plate or a piece of glass cut to size.

Underpainting White

Burnt Umber

1″ to 2″ Brush

Palette knife

Odorless Mineral Spirits

Paper towel


Glass for my palette

With your palette knife, mix some burnt umber into the underpainting white and thin a little with OMS until you reach a value of about 7. You want it to be a little darker than too light because when you flip the glass it will appear lighter. So just make allowances for that.

burnt umber underpainting white

Brush the burnt umber mixture over the piece of glass as smoothly as you can.


Paint it thick enough as not to see any glass, but not too thick. Start your brush strokes off one side, then smooth it over to the other side and off the glass, this way you eliminate brush marks. Leave to dry over night. Flip it when dry and viola! I attached mine onto the wall mount I made.

Palette complete

Yay! All done and ready for action!

Next up ~ I’m going to show you how to create an underpainting and how to manipulate oil paint!


New to Oil-Painting? 5 blunders you should never do…

Because there are so many inexperienced people sharing their ‘Knowledge’ on oil painting, I can understand how confusing this must be for those handling oils for the first time…

  • Never paint over an old painting. Why? Because oil paint dries translucent revealing the under layers. You cannot cover or hide mistakes because each layer depends upon the next. If you mess up, you must wipe it away with mineral spirits and re-do it.
  • Never randomly dip your brush in medium. Why? Because your painting will eventually crack. Observing fat over lean will prevent cracking. Each Successive layer has to be ‘Fatter’ than the next. Use a dropper and mix medium into your piles of color before you begin painting. Or rub in a tiny bit of medium on your canvas and wipe it off with a rag or paper towel and paint with straight paint into the couch.  Make sure the paint is dry before rubbing a layer of oil over it.
  • Never paint on an unprimed or unsized canvas.  Why? Because the canvas fabric will rot. If you’re painting on a panel, same thing, always seal your panel before priming.
  • Never paint with acrylic over oils. Why? Oil and water don’t mix. Your painting crack.
  • Never eat while you are handling odorless mineral spirits. why? Because it’s toxic.  Always clean up and wash your hands before handling food.





I’ve completely streamlined my studio…

I woke up this morning determined to complete my shabby chic studio. I can’t wait to show you my beautiful easel and my studio set-up. I’ve completely streamlined my studio which is perfect for anyone who has limited space.  I live in a little cabin in the middle of woods, we had to do a lot of downsizing and streamlining. Marc salvaged a skylight and we installed it on the roof over my studio space. I absolutely love it! I have all this natural daylight flooding my studio, it’s north facing, so the light is pretty even. I used to have this huge studio easel and a huge palette table that took up way too much floor space, cramming my studio. Now… my easel and my palette are mounted on the wall, nothing touching the floor! Even my still life box is mounted on the wall, all at eye-level. I also turned a little book shelf into a drying closet for my freshly primed painting panels, minimizing the dust factor. There’s nothing worse than cat hair and dust settling on wet primer. Not long now, I’m almost done and I’ll upload some pics. So excited to show you!

Have a wonderful day and happy Painting!

What a joy painting such a happy Pooch…

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I couldn’t help but fall in love with Montana ❤ His smiling face and bright eyes touch my soul.

I mixed some titanium white, a tiny bit of transparent red oxide and a tiny dash ultramarine blue and a tiny dash of yellow ochre for the white fur; to which I ad a dash of gray made up of burnt umber and ultramarine blue. It’s a little tricky working the dark and the light fur without greying the black. I used a clean brush with every stroke from black into the white fur so that I didn’t grey any of the black fur. I left little bits of the underpainting showing through and that warms it up from the inside out.

Hope you enjoyed the progress picks and how I develop a painting. More to come!


Today’s progress on Montana the pooch…

Blue skies

I worked until 11pm, I’m done, tired, but I did promised I would load my progress by the end of the day. It’s the end of the day and here it is :- )

The colors I’m using for this painting are; Transparent red oxide, yellow ochre, Ultramarine blue, Burnt umber, Titanium white Alizarin and cadmium red.

Once I had laid in my darks, I filled the background with blue skies and clouds, placing Montana on the beach, his favorite place to be.

Montanas palette1

I mixed Ultramarine blue with a dash of transparent red oxide, plus white for the blue skies and for the clouds, I mixed some white with a grey I made with transparent red oxide and Ultramarine blue. For the lights I mixed white with transparent red oxide and a tiny dash of Ultramarine blue.

Montanas progress1

I painted in the yellowy brown colors above and below Montana’s eyes. I mixed Transparent red oxide with yellow ochre. To darken the mixture I added some burnt umber.

Montanas progress2

I then added the blue grey markings on his forehead and nose and blended the fur with the white color which is Titanium white with a dash of transparent red oxide and tiny dash of ultramarine blue and grey.Montanas progress3

I then painted Montana’s eyes with Transparent red oxide, a dash of blue and burnt umber. Next, for his tongue, I mixed a dash of cadmium red, grey, alizarin and white with a teeny dash of yellow ochre and white. The grey I refer to is a mix of transparent red oxide and Ultramarine blue.

Montanas progress4


Next I painted in Montana’s teeth with some transparent red oxide, a dash of yellow ochre and white.

I premixed my greys. Actually I always premix all my colors, it’s much easier in the long run even though it takes quite a bit of time preparing my colors, it still saves me time and hassle in the end. For the browns in the fur I mixed together some transparent red oxide with yellow ochre and a dash of burnt umber.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to complete the rest of the fur and then finish off the final touches!


I think I’m going to paint the pooch outdoors with blue skies…


It’s early morning, Jiji waits quietly at her cat door watching out for mice. I’ve seen a few scurry by on occasion. Yesterday she flew out of there chasing a mouse. I never new my house slipper could move so fast!

Back to my painting of Montana, figuring out the background. I think I’m going to paint him outdoors with blue skies in the background, implying he could be on the beach or at a park. Yup, I like the sound of that, what dawg doesn’t like to be outside! Time to lay some more color on my palette and get painting.

I’ll be posting updates on my progress by the end of the day.

Wish you a productive and successful day!




Painting Montana the Pooch…

I recently received a commission to paint Montana, the adorable pooch. Unfortunately he is no longer with us :- (

I’m posting my process with progress photos to show I how develop a painting. The easy way!

Here’s the photo of Montana, I love his beautiful smile! I used some artistic license to create a playful element and a pleasing composition.

Montana On my easel

I began with a 11″ x 14″ canvas I primed and sanded smoothly. Next, I tinted the canvas with burnt umber thinned with oms, applying it with a brush.

Tinting my canvas

Then smooth it off with a neatly folded rag. If you bunch up your rag, it will leave marks on your canvas.

Smoothing it out

Next I drew in Montana with a brush and Burnt Umber.

Drawing of Montana

Once drawn in, I begin filling in all the darks with a mix of Burnt umber and Ultramarine blue.

Adding darks

Tomorrow I continue filling in color with more progress photos. I’m excited!

Good Morning Fellow Bloggers and Lovers of the Arts!

I must say, I’m in a Fabulous mood this morning. Finally, hard work is beginning to pay off. My paintings are selling off my easel and the best news of all? Winter is headin’ on out and Spring is on her way! YES!!!

My Studio is looking amazing! Marc is super handy in the wood shop, I have all new studio furniture including beautiful easels, palette and taboret. As soon as I’ve tidied up, I’ll take some pics. I could really use a maid service today! Things get outa hand when one works long long hours. Laundry piled high, dust bunnies hoppin’ about, sheesh!

I’m working several pieces trying to bring them all to completion so I can begin more. I love the piece on my easel at the moment, so much pleasure!

I just discovered Adblockplus, the best thing ever! If you see annoying ads here or anywhere else online, install Adblockplus for FREE! and say goodbye to ads even on youtube!!! Yay!!!!

Wish you ALL a wonderful and Productive day!!!

Painting in my garden


painting in the garden

Peonies and tea


Everything you see on the table came out of my garden. Painting this was so enjoyable!


The painter’s Amuse…

Good morning #ArtLovers and fellow bloggers ~ Wish everyone a productive and successful day!

I started a new painting yesterday, after realizing I’d forgotten about an artist call to submit a self portrait by January 31. OK so this doesn’t exactly give me a lot of time. I also didn’t want to forgo and not enter. So I decided to go with monotone as i wouldn’t have time to produce anything in color. I’m about halfway, I still have to go over yesterdays work and add thicker paint. The piece is called “The Painter’s Amuse” I’m painting myself painting mehndi on myself, say that in a hurry lol! It’s a creatively fun piece and I’m thoroughly enjoying this technique. Time for some fresh hot java, Salt Spring Style 😉

Happy Painting!

painters hand

…My Muse appears and whispers in my ears…
And In the magic of the night, to my greatest delight
a tiny dragon appears…

The Painter's Amuse Detail

Best wishes with all of your creative endeavors…

There is so much to be thankful for as the new year begins. I’m so fortunate to have my own working studio and following my dreams. The new year finds me working my tail off in my studio, completing works for a local Victoria Gallery. Last year was a great year and I know this year is going to totally Rock! I’m also currently working on several pieces ~ one of them is a super large piece I’m entering into the Salt Spring National Art Prize.

Yesterday I painted a small still life to demonstrate my new Easel my partner, Marc, made for me and enjoyed every moment. What a great addition to my studio!

3 onions

Painting in the Garden

I’m so delighted that summer has finally arrived! I definitely came prepared this time. I created a veggie and flower garden, growing my subject matter. I’m pretty much snowed under with painting for the next while. I have a show coming up at the Eclectic Art Gallery in Oak Bay in Victoria at the end of September. More work than time. 

I plan on painting outdoors all summer and most of the still life are painted outdoors or indoors near a window, using only natural daylight. I’m excited! when this painting is done, my next will be a large canvas filled with sunflowers. I’ll be setting my easel up in my garden, pictures coming soon!

I must admit, I do prefer the direct painting approach…

How I love to wake up in the morning and head straight into my beautiful garden. Everyone’s happy, fertilized, watered and growing as I await in anticipation for the magnificent summer display of blooms and butterflies. I can’t wait to walk through my flower garden and pick fresh blooms to paint. I’m so excited!

I will be spending much time this summer in my garden painting en plein air. There is nothing more exciting than painting outdoors with such a vast array of subject matter. Come on summer!!!

Back in my studio, I’m working on many underpaintings all soon ready for color.  I must admit, I do prefer the direct painting approach. I find the gray underpainting somewhat monotonous and boring, although when it comes to adding color, it gets exciting again. Once these are done and out the way, I will be very relieved and stick to direct painting in future.

I know that there are those learning this method and who are intrigued by the glazing process. I will post some images and perhaps an iphone video of how I go about applying color, glazing and scumbling. My palette is a gray tile and the colors I use for my underpainting is Titanium white and Raw umber. My initial drawing is done with just Raw umber. I like to leave some of the warmth showing through in some areas.




Soon my canvases will be overflowing with summer blooms…

Wow, I cant believe I have taken so long to get back to my blog! January since my last post. I have since moved into a new place, a new studio. I’m still unpacking and organizing. Summer is finally on the horizon and my veggie and flower garden has been an important priority as I prefer self sufficiency. I’m also growing my subject matter. Organized my studio and soon my canvases will be overflowing with summer blooms, so exciting!  Pictures coming soon…

Studio Image

Studio Image

Painting these little guys makes my heart sing…

Happy New Year everyone, may you be filled with Love and Hope and a prosperous 2014!

A new year, a fresh start,  new paintings. I have much going on in my studio. Many paintings on the go, all in the underpainting stage. Every painting I’m working on excites me, so much, I can’t decide which one I want to work on first, so I work on them all. Variety is good, keeps things interesting and exciting. Here’s a large piece still in underpainting stage, called Playtime, my grandsons were on their Playtime mat and I stood over them and photographed the scene. When I later studied the photo I realized there was so much texture and color going on the whole arrangement. I loved everything about it and went for it and loving every moment. Painting these little guys uplift my spirits and makes my heart sing.
I have a few more paintings in the making, some portrait commissions. Will post soon. Wishing there were more hours in the day!

playtime progress

The challenge for me is orchestrating the design into a workable plan.

Last night I began working on my design for a new painting. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this. I know I say that about every painting, but this one is like something I have never done before. The image came to me in a moment of meditation, thank you kindly to the powers that be…

The challenge for me is orchestrating the design into a workable plan. The model, Christie, is one of my closest and dearest friends. She has a beautiful relationship with crows. They know her and are already spreading the word when the spot her. Next thing, they are flocking around her and landing on her car awaiting her loving attention and treats they have come to expect from her.

Christie drawing

This piece is going to be life size and although pretty dramatic, there will be strong connectedness between the human and animal spirit.  I can’t wait to share my vision and interpretation of a touching moment caught in time.

Imagine a crazed artist jumping up and down with anticipation…..

Months pass by and feels like only a few days. So much has transpired. My studio is practically ready, just a few more tweaks by the builders and this weekend I move in. I’m so excited! I have big plans for big paintings. I know I have been absent for a while. Now I return with a renewed sense of excitement and inspiration, I can hardly wait to begin! Imagine a crazed artist jumping up and down with anticipation. Yup, thats me! Now for some Java and to hang my paintings in my new studio and free up that display easel I made. By the end of the weekend I’ll have some Studio images to post :- )

A day at the Moss Street Paint-in

A day at the Moss Street Paint-in

I built this display easel and just realized how functional it really is and will be using it daily. I will of course add to it and make it even more user friendly. I’m delighted to mention that a brand … Continue reading

It’s quite amazing watching life unfold before my eyes…

I realize I have been absent for a while.  A lot of water has passed under the bridge since my last post. I don’t even know where to begin. I will in time speak of it. In hindsight I do believe that since I have been reading the Tao Te Ching, the world became a whole new world.  It’s quite amazing watching life unfold before my eyes.  I have learned that compassion is the secret to life. That when one looks past their own problems and serves another human being, ones own difficulties fade away and life falls into place. I have attracted people into my life who follow a similar path and I’m truly grateful.

Some Kitty company…

The road I travel definitely requires much energy. I do believe there will be some interesting times ahead. I’m fortunate to be sharing these travels with a cute Kitty, some company to make life a little sweeter.

Please forgive me for not replying or getting back to some of you, I will, I promise. As soon as I am able to exhale. The studio I found isn’t working out for me. It’s a communal studio. Too busy and too noisy. Painting requires much concentration. Don’t you find when there are too many distractions and interruptions that you cant get anything done? I know I will soon find a peaceful place to work.

I took part in the Moss Street Paint-In, more on that to come, just waiting on a few images.

Now for some Rooibos tea, Hippie style, while I do my homework :- )

iphonepics 010

A wise man once told me…

Your inner peace is within the present moment. To experience the presence is to only focus on what you are doing from moment to moment. When one paints, you are in the moment. A wise man once told me to focus only upon the task at hand and that way you can give it the full attention it deserves. You are meditating while you paint. You are fully present and within that presence you feel your inner peace.

There has been a misconception about the drying time of oils…

Yesterday, while painting En Plein Air at Bastion Square, a young man stopped by to watch me paint. He mentioned that he paints in acrylics because oils take too long to dry. Or so he heard. He himself had never painted in oils.

There has been a misconception about the drying time of oils and therefore people turn to acrylics. The oils I placed on my canvas was almost dry by the end of the day. If one uses oils with high oil content, yes it takes longer to dry.  Use the leanest paint on your first layer. If you add a slow drying medium to your oils it will take longer to dry. If you paste it on thickly, it will take longer to dry. Another misconception is the strong odor of oils. In my opinion, acrylics has a stronger odor than oils. It’s the turpentine that has a strong toxic smell. Don’t use it.  I’m asthmatic and I use oils. If you want to use traditional oils but still don’t want to clean your brushes with mineral spirits, then use walnut oil to clean your brushes and wash with paintbrush soap. Murphy’s soap works best.

Don’t miss out on using oils because of other’s misconceptions. Oils are a beautiful medium to work with. Easier in my opinion to plein air paint in oils than acrylics that dries almost instantly on a hot summers day leaving no time to manipulate your paint.

Happy Painting and I wish for you all a wonderful day!

Hi Everyone, I’m so sorry I haven’t replied to all your mail ,I’m going through some tough times right now. I promise I will reply as soon as the dust settles. Thank you all kindly for your support and so glad you love my work, love you all.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand…

The winds of change have come…

The winds of change have come, in more ways than one.  This morning I looked back at my fisherman painting and at that moment I had an epiphany. A veil lifted from my eyes.  I felt as if a fresh breeze kissed my muse and woke her up.

I thought back to a time when I was  teenager at high school. I lived in the Art-Room. My imagination was wild and creative…Limitless. But recently discovered that my age had stolen my imagination. I know now, well I think I know how to get it back. I would imagine myself as a teenager again with limitless boundaries, designing and creating freely . My adult inhibitions would no longer hinder me from exploring like a child again. If I choose it, then so be it. Laugh if you must, and I hope you do, because I have a wild imagination, really I do. I had to go back and fight with dragons and dragon slayers and the like and there it was, my Imagination. Shiny, although a little dusty, the magic still abides within :~)

me painting fisherman

Chopin plays his piano and soothes my soul…

It’s a beautiful morning on this first day of March. Although it looks like rain on the way, there is such a beautiful light flooding through my window. I moved my studio upstairs. I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner. The attic room was purple, but not for long. I painted it a dark sage green. The colour of ambient atmosphere. Perfect for painting people and still from life. I’m so fortunate to have this space in this north-west facing room.  The window light is more than enough light for painting. The natural light is way more uplifting for my spirit. Chopin plays his piano and soothes my soul while I write, sigh…

Here’s an image I took with my iphone of my studio. I love this space. I can close the door and shut the world out while I paint and swoon over the most beautiful music that touches my muse in such a profound way.

my new studio

In reply to your question, Felta, about how I set up a portrait sitting. How long a sitter sits and how much do I get done in one sitting.

I have two windows in my studio. I sit with my back facing the one window, so the window light falls on the canvas on my easel and palette. The sitter sits near the other window. Generally I like a two hour sitting, although I can manage an hour if the sitter falls asleep and needs to go home for a nap. Two of them fell asleep sitting for me yesterday hahaha!

Rolf's portrait

In this image, the sitter, Rolf came over to sit for his portrait quite late in the day and the light began to fade. I turned on a 5000k light and faced it up towards the ceiling. The light bounced off the ceiling and created the perfect light for my sitter. The first sitting took a few hours. This time was spent drawing his face with my brush on a canvas I stained with a wash of burnt umber the day before. I used burnt umber for my drawing. The second sitting was an hour and half. Half the time was spent laying in shadows and searching for the correct colours. I found the right mixes and made notes. The third sitting was in my new studio. An hour, Rolf fell asleep, lol, he had a long day at work, standing all day cutting hair. My studio is so peaceful. I have the most beautiful view overlooking a gorgeous Zen Garden David created. An old blue and gray house in the neighbors yard and the trees behind the house looks so inviting. I am definitely going to paint this view. Soon.

The colours I use for flesh tones are as follows, but first remember this, although we all have our own skin tone recipes, they are never written in stone. Skin tones differ and also depends on what surrounds the skin. Light and colour illuminate the skin. Our skin is like a mirror that reflects everything around it. Here are a few recipes I picked up from Daniel Greene, one of my favorite portrait painters. I found his mixtures to be pretty spot on. I like to premix some of my colours, especially when time is of the essence.

Raw Sienna + Cadmium red light. This is for the reds in the half tones and the hot reds in the shadows.

Chromium oxide green. I’ll explain how I use this colour…

Look at your hand. Hold your had sideways like this.

My hand

Notice that as the light begins to turn to shadow there is a green colour and then the hottest colour is right where the shadow begins. Right next to the hottest colour is green and then the shadow is made up of the ambient colour of the room . You can see it closer to my thumb.  If you notice the top left side of the image, the folds between my thumb and forefinger are red and then surrounded with a subtle green. Notice the green surrounding the indentation.  You will also notice the yellow colour of my skin in the light. Yellow Ochre + White and a dash of purple, I made up of Alizarin Crimson and Ultramarine blue. Always think complimentary colours when you paint skin tone. I use Chromium oxide  Green and the Raw sienna and Cadmium red light mix for the shadows. For the deepest shadows I mix Sap green + Alizarin. Two transparent colours. You want to keep your shadow colours thin. Always tone down your reds with green. Always tone down your greens with red and that includes pinks too, as that is made from reds. Always use complimentary colours to tone down the intensity and Nothing else. For pinks I use Burnt sienna + white. For orange tones I use Burnt Sienna + Yellow Ochre. Always tone down your yellows with purple. Nothing else. Remember, Yellow Ochre is a yellow. I also mix up a pile of Transparent red oxide and Ultramarine Blue for my darks. Transparent Red oxide + Burnt sienna with a dash of blue + White makes a great base for skin tone too. It all really depends on the sitter’s skin tone and the ambient atmosphere. Alizarin and Viridian make a beautiful dark colour for shadows in the the background too. I also sometimes use Viridian in skin tones too, it really depends on the skin tone of the sitter.

As I mentioned in previous posts, make up colour charts of the colours you use. You can’t go wrong. If I don’t know what combination of colours to mix to arrive at a certain colour, I use my colour charts. It’s fail-proof.

skin tone colour chart

Hope this helps, please feel free to ask any questions should I have missed anything.

Good luck and happy Painting!

Boys and girls, the surface you paint on is crucial to producing a great painting.

Unfortunately for me, Stan is toast. Ugh, so disappointing :- ( I overworked it on defective canvas and again, this is the last time I ever paint on ready made canvas.  Never ever again. Never. Two months into a painting and I have nothing to show for it 😦 I will not, however, give up on Stan, as with Dean, I never gave up and produced a painting the second time round that was better than the first. This was a life lesson I will definitely learn from. Boys and girls, the surface you paint on is crucial to producing a great painting. Paint on crappy ready made canvas will result in a crappy painting, it’s that simple.

Next week I’m going to prepare my own painting panels, so the above disaster never happens again. This time I’ll take images to show you the steps.

Tomorrow I head out to paint en plein air in Cook st Village. Painting outdoors provides an artist with needed vitamin D and enjoyment that uplifts ones spirit. So I have that to look forward to. Here’s last fridays Paint-in…

Me plein air painting

A wise man once told me….

A wise man once told me to concentrate only upon the task at hand and nothing else. This way you give that task your full attention and the chance it deserves to flourish into something Extraordinary.

I guess it must be Stan’s spirit edging me on to complete his portrait…

This time of year is such not easy for those of us suffering with manic depression. I cant remember the last time I felt so low to the ground.  The pain burning like hellfire down my legs makes my life incredibly difficult.   I’m surprised I can paint under this kind of duress. I guess it must be Stan’s spirit edging me on to complete his portrait. This painting is taking so much out of me, I’m never satisfied. I feel as though I’m being challenged way beyond my capabilities. I wish I knew what to do to improve on it. I am getting closer and closer though. I wasn’t going to paint the embroidery on Stan’s cap, but have since changed my mind as the painting lacks color, this splash of color may just be the missing piece. If it doesn’t work, I’ll simply repair it. Wish me luck…

A successful painter once told me to never be satisfied with mediocrity…

Wow, now that the crazy rush is over, well almost. I can get back to planning the year ahead. I have a few projects on the go. One of the projects involve painting a collection for a fund-raiser. More of that to come later as it develops. I plan to paint more prolifically this coming year. One thing I do intend to take part in, the practice of a one hour, tonal study from life as a warm-up to start the day. I find this practice excellent for self discipline and improves one’s skill over a short period of time. One of these days I’ll film a demonstration to show how easy this is and how much pleasure one can derive from it :- )

The best way to progress as a painter~ is to paint. A lot. Every day. The more you practice, the better you get. There are no hidden ‘Secrets’ or shortcuts to painting beautifully. One cannot put an apple in a blender and expect grape juice. What you put in, is what you get out.  A successful painter once told me to never be satisfied with mediocrity. Always push yourself further than your capabilities. Challenge yourself with the most difficult parts first and when you have that down, challenge yourself even further.

Currently on my easel is the first of several paintings for a fundraiser I’m taking part in. More to come on that.

Happy painting :- )

Stan on my easel1

The trumpeter on my easel….

Well now that the show is over, back to my studio to complete the trumpeter and many others stacked up waiting for completion. I’m going to begin with the trumpeter. I had seen him playing his trumpet at an anti-pipeline demonstration on the grounds of the parliament building in Victoria. I began the underpainting some time ago and finally got him on my easel and worked on it enough to show at the opening of my show. The underpainting was done  in Raw umber. trumpeter underpainting So here I painted the background with Raw umber plus Flake white replacement. I then painted in his face using Flake white replacement,  Transparent red oxide and Ultramarine blue, Chromium oxide green and Venetian red. (Indian red would be a good replacement if you cant find Venetian red.) Always think Complimentary colours when painting flesh tones. If the intensity of the reds are too strong, lower them with green and visa versa. trumpeter progress1 Here I painted in Ian’s hands and his sweater. I cant remember what colour green I used for the sweater, but I think it may be a combination of Viridian green, Transparent red oxide (it’s complimentary) and white. I always make sure I leave some of my underpainting showing through so that it can optically mix with the colours I paint over it. The jar on the left is my favorite painting medium, stand oil, walnut oil and Gambin turpentine. The jar on the right is Gamsol odourless turpentine. trumpeter progress2 Here I began painting in the trumpet,  still much to do, I used a combo of Gamblin’s Flake white replacement, Yellow ochre, Lemon yellow and Raw umber. Note that the colour of his flesh is reflected in his trumpet. I was fortunate enough to have located Ian through a chance meeting with a friend of his. lucky me, hoping Ian would be so kind as to pose for the rest of the painting 🙂 more to come…..

We only have one life, one chance to learn the most valuable lesson of all…

Love is all that matters in this life.

My painting has evolved yet again. The shawl, is just too much for my level of patience. I tried finishing each area as I went along, but ended up with muddied colors. After painting that shawl several times and found nothing I did worked, I decided to go about it methodically. Paint in layers. So my plan was to paint the entire shawl in the shadow color. Then, when dry, I would paint the next layer, being the pattern, then subsequent layers until I reached the lightest lights. Hahaha! This is what I call a ‘Surprise’ painting!

So I painted the grey layer and to my surprise, I love it. I love how the grey looks over the warm umber. I’m going to work on it a little more as I want to lighten and darken some areas on the shawl and I’m also going to paint in a hint of her arm on the right side, then sign this painting.

The most important lessons one can learn, are from ones mistakes…

Much has changed since my last post. I had planned on a one color painting and ended up painting in color. Thats life. Sometimes shit happens and one has to change plans to overcome the challenges. Bottom line. Be careful and take care when prepping your canvas. The challenges I experienced was a direct result of an uneven surface. My own fault.

None the less, I’m happy with where my painting is going. The shawl’s a bitch to paint, but other than that, everything is going smoothly. I can’t tell you how many layers of skin I’ve painted. Lets go with many lol!

Even though I decided to go with color, my palette is limited to very few. Raw umber, Transparent Red Oxide, Yellow Ochre, Viridian green, Permanent Alizarin and White. I painted the background with raw umber. I love the beautiful grey that raw umber and white produce. It’s a gorgeous neutral color that shows skin tone so beautifully.  I decided to paint as little color on the cedar hat as possible as I want the warm tones of the underpainting to show through.

The most important lessons one can learn, are from ones mistakes. We know what not to do for next time lol!

‘Feel Good’ hues for winter blues…

I posted a short video on how to mix a fleshtone for a portrait and that Video can be found HERE

Feel free to join us on The Oil Painter’s Studio Facebook Group and get in on all the awesome Videos, Tips and Lessons on everything Oil Painting 🙂


In my last post I mentioned  my challenges with this painting. Seems the challenges were smoothed out using Titanium white instead of a semi-transparent Silver white. I’m really enjoying using this very limited palette. I love these warm colours. ‘Feel good’ hues for winter blues.

I noticed that many of you are inquiring about Skin Tone Recipes. There is a mass mid skin tone colour for Caucasian skin. But remember this, our skin absorbs surrounding colour and light. The shadows on our skin are made up of colour that is reflecting off our clothing, the the object’s complimentary colour and the ambient colour in our environment (background colour) Atmosphere, if you will. The light on our skin also depends on the colour of the ambient light and direct light. I do recommend only one light source, more than that creates problems and why complicate things? Keep it simple. For your light source, I recommend a 5000k light as it is neither yellow or blue, but right in the middle. This way you can get clean light and clean colours.

My suggestion is to make up colour charts to help with mixing the correct colours. The predominant colour here is Transparent red oxide mixed with small increments of all the colours on my palette. For instance, the first colour is Lemon yellow mixed predominantly with Transparent red oxide, then Pale yellow, the Cadmium yellow, next Yellow ochre, Indian red, Transparent red oxide, Alizarin, Viridian, Cobalt blue and Ultramarine blue.


The colours along the right side are full strength colours and moving towards the left, the colours are mixed gradually with white. I decided to stick to only five values. If the light source is coming from above, which is my preference, the forehead would be the lightest. Then the nose and cheekbones and then the chin. The cheeks would have the most colour as there is more blood flow in the fleshy parts of the face. Depending on the colour bouncing off the clothing, Our skin tone kinda has a greenish tone to it too. I think it has a lot to do with the colour of our veins. Where there is lots of blood flow, fingers, toes, cheeks, our flesh is redder. Bony areas have more of a yellowish green tone. Think Complementary colours when painting flesh tone. If you want a certain area to look pinker, then subtly surround it with green and visa versa. I have included Venetian red and chromium oxide green on my flesh tone palette. I swear by colour charts, you cannot go wrong. It’s a huge time saver and mostly saves expensive oil paint. Mix the correct colour each time. Any questions regarding colour charts, please feel free to ask.


“I feel like a ghost ship drifting on a restless ocean…”

The last few months have been my lowest for creativity. Moods swings leave me feeling like I’m trapped in Alcatraz with no hope of escaping. (No peace for the wicked) At times I’m so numb and so damned tired, I feel like a ghost ship drifting on a restless ocean. Painting anything is a challenge. Yes my muse does emerge from the darkness of her cave from time to time. I began a painting of Ta’Kaiya. Yes another, even in the depths of depression, I’m able to glean some inspiration from this beautiful child.

This is the underpainting, at this point. I sealed and primed an Mdf Board and planned to complete this painting with only one colour. Burnt umber, and I’d use the white of the canvas for my white. Turns out, I should have taken more care preparing my board.  So now I must cover the imperfections  with paint. Number one challenge is applying the first layer of paint without it removing paint at the same time. The board is pretty smooth. Live and learn. I didn’t want to lose this piece, it was a lot of work. I’ll just very carefully layer paint without disturbing the previous layer. The trick is of course to allow each layer to dry thoroughly before applying more paint. I like the warm tones and intend to keep it that way.  My colours are Viridian green, Transparent red oxide, yellow ochre and Silver white. I chose two transparent colours as I want to keep my shadows thin and transparent. The yellow ochre is used only for my lightest lights mixed with white.

Super sweet Studio idea….

Here’s a great idea how to steady your hand for those intricate details. A dry-waller’s T Square attached to my easel. I can adjust the T square to fit the size of my canvas.


I used a nut as a spacer so the T Square sits flush against the bottom shelf. Bonus, I can always have more accurate paintings because now I can always measure to compare. How sweet is that!

Ta’Kaiya Blaney’s Art Cards in print now!

Scott Wingfield from Art ink Print, here in Victoria, bc, Canada, did a fabulous job designing and printing these beautiful cards now in print and soon available for sale :~ ) Details to come…

Hey everyone, I’m back again and ready to paint up a storm!

I know it’s been a while since I posted anything, I do sometimes withdraw and hide. But now I’m back and ready to paint up a storm. Not that I haven’t been painting, on the contrary I just recently completed ‘Chance Meeting in Fan Tan Alley’. Hmmm reminds me, I should update my gallery with more paintings 😀

Today I began a new painting of a guy playing a trombone. I took his picture during an anti-Pineline rally in Victoria. He is aware I may paint him. Always ask someone’s permission first. I will upload progress pics as I paint. I decided to do my underpainting in burnt umber and then I’ll paint in flesh color. Looking forward to this little painting.

Good news, Ive decided to make teaching videos :- ) How to begin an oil painting. How to mix flesh tones. How to successfully mix clean colors and how to avoid muddy colors. How to paint en plein air and much more!

No sense crying over spilt milk…

Unfortunately I have lost a painting due to an accident that has ruined my canvas and is not repairable. Yes it’s the Mayor painting :- ( No sense in crying over spilt milk. I’m going to put it behind me and start again.

I’m taking a new approach this time. I usually start every painting with an underpainting. Not this time. I’ve primed my canvas and tinted it Grey using a mix of Viridian Green and Permanent Alizarin. I’ve also decided to keep the background Grey. In fact I’m not going to touch it. I like that unfinished feel with the linen showing through in some places. I know this is no time to experiment, but I’m going to go with my gut on this. When inspiration has offered you a visual, then go with it all the way. Never second guess yourself or doubt your Guru.



I’m taking part in The VicWest Art Quest Studio Tour May 12 and 13…

For the first time I’ll be taking part in a Studio Tour. The VicWest Art Quest is a local group of Artists who are opening up our Studios to the Public. Here you can view our work and our process. I’m going to do a demonstration for those who are interested :- ) I have two paintings on my easel presently, Miss Rose, and Victoria’s Mayor, which I hope to have completed by the time the Studio Tour begins. Now back to work for me, have much to do….

Miss Rose makes herself comfortable on my easel…


I excitedly prepared my canvas and began my underpainting. I tinted my canvas with raw umber and tiny dash of Gamsol odourless turpentine. (No getting away from the turps. Although it’s use is very minimal in my studio.) Then rubbed the excess off with a lint free rag. I roughed-in the dark areas and drew my image with my brush and raw umber, taking out the lights with brushes and a rag. Once I’m satisfied with my composition placement and have the perspective and proportion right, I’ll start working on more detail. I placed the bricks and worked on Miss Rose, painting in her features and the detail in her coat. Her hand holding a drink and then her skirt and boots.  At this point I’m deciding how I want the other side to look. Although it’s Fan Tan Alley, I’m going to change it up a bit, like I do most of my paintings. The backgrounds are all from my own imagination. Nothing is what it seems. I guess we call it ~ Artistic license :- )

My Studio is now Chemical-free…

Last night was spent endlessly coughing. I didn’t sleep. My lungs have had it with chemicals. No more turpentine. Its over between us! My studio is now chemical-free.

Thank god for Virgil Elliot. An expert in the field of Oil paint and Mediums. He has found a safe alternative for this very hazardous profession. Safflower oil for Clean-up. Here’s an article he wrote on this very subject…

“All the natural resins have their drawbacks as ingredients in oil painting mediums, and increase the likelihood of problems developing at some point in the future. The most permanent paint films result from the simplest mixtures of linseed oil and pigment. I am less leery of alkyds than I am of damar, mastic or copal, if for some reason I feel a need for a resin in my paint. I find I can paint every bit as well without resins as with them. Our health will suffer less if we can find a way to keep the air in our studio free of solvent vapors. When the paint contains no resins, safflower oil and a rag will suffice for cleaning brushes while one works, and for that matter, afterwards, if it is followed with soap and water. I use different brushes for different colors, and do not clean brushes until I’m done painting for the day. Not only does that keep me from breathing harmful vapors, it keeps my colors cleaner in my paintings.”

Virgil Elliott

There are no words to describe one’s deepest longing…

I sit at my easel as I ponder my heart’s desire and the meaning of my existence. I believe as Artists, we ‘Feel’ more deeply and Love more intensely. There are no words to describe one’s deepest longing to love and be loved. Our pursuit of a soulful connection with another human being is an indescribable longing. Or is it that perhaps our notion of Love is our own delusion?

Miss Rose…

I met this delightful young lady in Fan Tan alley whilst out taking reference pics for a painting I’m planning.  The image I had in mind was very clear and very specific. I knew exactly what I wanted. Fan Tan alley was it, all I needed was a model.  Low and behold, Miss Rose appears. I couldn’t believe it. She was the Exact image I had imagined as the subject of my painting hours before. Wardrobe and all. Blew my mind. I happened to have our new Canon 5D camera and took some fabulous pictures of her.  Cali, if you’re reading this, please contact me again, your email address is incorrect. You may text me, my number is on the card I gave you.

It’s the anticipation of Love that gives us hope…

Our existence is so temporary. Hours fleet by without a second thought. Should we truly reflect, we would realize just how evanescent our lives really are. We’re all lonely people attempting to fill a bottomless void. Our hearts yearn for a deep, soulful connection with another being, yet we search in every other direction to fill the void.  Some fill it with temporary relationships that were never given a fair chance and virtual online fantasies that numb and destroy relationships.  We’re so busy keeping our options open that we don’t realize what’s right in front of us.  Stop for a moment and ponder your lives and the people who surround you.  Our human hearts are fragile, would your lives feel more meaningful knowing you are truly loved? If one thinks about it, it’s the anticipation of love that gives us hope. A reason to wake up every morning.

My favorite Oil painting Medium recipe…

For painting medium I use:

4 parts Walnut oil

I Part Stand oil

2 Parts Gamsol Odourless Turpentine

Combine the ingredients and stir until dissolved. Don’t shake, you don’t want bubbles.

You don’t need much, just a few drops. It’s best to use a dropper and mx into your paint thoroughly with a palette knife. Using too much medium will compromise the paint film and weaken it. Use very little, just enough to improve flow.

This afternoon I have intentions of working on the Mayor, I’m pretty happy with my progress. I’ve managed to match his skin colour perfectly. I’ll paint his hand next and demonstrate how I do it and the colours I use. Next, the Mayor’s shirt. A white shirt with thin blue stripes. I’ve been considering how to tackle this for a while now. This is a challenge I enjoy taking on. If it were easy, it would bore me. I considered painting the whole shirt white and then add the stripe. However, I don’t think I want to do that. I want a more painterly feel. So I’ll finish the shirt as I go along. Hmmm, here goes….

The sounds of Africa will always beat with rhytm of my heart…

I recall having a discussion in someones home with a group of people from various ethnic backgrounds. The subject was about finding ones roots and culture and redefining them. I always admired indigenous cultures, I felt somewhat left out. I’m a white girl whose roots were traced back to 1652 where some dude from Holland and a girl from France, met on a ship bound for the tip of Africa, now known as the Cape. They hooked up, married, procreated and here I am hundreds of years later. We don’t have song, dance, rituals, colorful art and beautiful stories told by our ancestors. To be honest, I secretly wished I was born an African girl with beautiful tanned skin. I’d have vibrant culture and rhythm and colorful children. Last Wednesday, David took me to a fantastic concert. Ladysmith Black Mambazo. He scored a million Brownie points the moment they sang. Wow, you have to be there to fully understand how amazing they are. I could feel their voices vibrate through my body, beating with the same rhythm as my heart beat. There is nothing like it. I smile thinking about their playfulness. Takes me back to a place and time in Africa, I used to giggle at a group of African gardeners having their lunch break. They can be so cute, very animated with zero inhibition.  I do miss Africa, very much. I love tropical thunder storms. I love that smell when the first few raindrops hit the dirt. I love the unique sound of a sansa and bongo drums, the sounds of Africa that will always beat with the rhythm of my heart.

I do feel somewhat better as the day’s progressing. Time to head into my studio now and work on completing David’s Painting. Perhaps I’ll attempt a cup of coffee. The Gremlins, I’m hoping have finally left me in peace.

Turns out, the gremlins returned, seems like it may take a few days before they all clear out ~Food poisoning no fun :- (

I think there are a few gremlins left…

I ended up having a pretty rough day and night due to food poisoning. I lay curled up in a ball for twelve hours in ridiculous pain.  I think there are a few gremlins left in there, still gnawing at my intestines and slurping up my morning coffee. No more coffee. No. I’ll be taking it easy and self care is on the agenda. Emotionally, I’m still a bit tender. Hoping this will pass sometime soon. I do prefer the strong, aloof, mischievous side of me as apposed to being a miserable b****

I will eventually find myself sitting in front of my easel at some point today, have much to do. Finishing off David’s painting, a little piece I began last week for his birthday. I wanted this painting to have a nostalgic feel and painted it in sepia colors. Burnt umber, raw umber, white and lemon yellow for the highlights. Looking forward to sharing it with you, hopefully by the end of the day :- )

A little Still-Life to warm up the day…

Tea and Manderines to warm up the day. A little still life I put on the back burner. It’s on my ‘To Complete’ list, as are many paintings waiting in line.

Nothing like a surprise Studio visit to get me motivated. You know, there are no chance meetings. We are meant to connect with those who help us on our healing journey.

No words to describe our sadness…

Today we said goodbye to a beautiful friend Rafiki. There are no words to describe the sadness of losing the sweetest hound on earth 😦 We shall miss u terribly sweet doggy, we love you infinitely ❤

How to set-up an Oil Painting Studio…

Setting up an Oil painter’s studio can be a costly affair. It doesn’t have to be. In this post, I give you the basics of setting up your studio, I cover the paints and brushes and mediums I use.


In this video I show you how I converted my regular easel to a crank easel

My partner, Marc, built me a 10′ x 12″ studio without any windows, with 11ft tall ceiling. It wasn’t possible to face north, so decided to go with indoor lighting. I wanted to be able to work in my studio day or night and not be challenged by lighting.

Here are some recent pics of my new studio. I painted the entire studio in black.



The wall easel slats are cut at an angle so I can hang my panels. I also made sure that they are perfectly level.




Marc cut some wooden blocks shaped at an angle and I attached them to the back of my panel. Just make sure the screws are short and don’t pierce into our painting. Now I can hang my paintings on my wall easel. I can work on many paintings at a time.

Please Note: The links I have provided are not affiliate links. They are products I love to use.

Lighting: For lighting I use flicker-free 4700k LED’s,  high quality lighting.  What is so awesome about these lights is it uses very little power and you can paint any time day or night and the light remains consistent and with a high Color Rendering Index. This makes a huge difference in the quality of the light. You can accurately mix colors and paint with confidence.  Here is some info about their flicker-free light bulbs.

I had an electrician create a circuit of 10 lights for me. My mom made a sheer cover to mute the light somewhat to prevent glare. I include a couple of clip on lamps for extra lighting if needed.


A Chest of Drawers is handy…This is ideal for placing your computer monitor, your brushes and jars of turpentine/medium, whatever you use.

Studio setup

In the top drawer you can place your tubes of colors in a row all along the width of the drawer. This way you can easily find the colors you need. The next drawer down you could keep paper towels, rags etc. And in the bottom drawer you could store drawing pads and small painting panels.

Palette, brushes, paints and mediums

I use a cart for my palette and to hang my paints. I attached some wheels so it can easily be moved. I had some glass cut to fit the top perfectly. I tinted my palette with a mix of burnt umber, raw umber and a dash of cadmium orange. I added the orange to counter the blue-green tint of the glass. I found this warm grey to be perfect to accurately judge values and colour. I used a fast drying white and the umbers dry super fast too. It was dry the next day.

When you flip it over, it turns a beautiful gray. This way,  you can judge your colors and values more accurately. No surprises when you mix a color with a particular value, you know it’s going to appear the same value on your canvas. If your palette is white and you paint on a tinted canvas, your values won’t be the same as what you mixed. Always keep this in mind.


Studio cart

Brushes : I use Rosemary and co Brushes, the best so far. They are amazing to paint with. The Classics are perfect for laying down paint and the Eclipse flats, filberts and rounds are my favourite and are amazing for smoother passages, and for painting flesh. The Masters choice long flats make great softeners and are ideal for sky and clouds.

Rosemary and co brushes

Mediums:. I use Natural Pigment’s Oleogel and I love how it handles. It’s easy to use, no mess, no fuss and is solvent free.

I highly recommend Natural Pigments for those who want to use quality oils. Their Rublev oil colors are absolutely fantastic to work with. They are handmade using traditional pigments.


Substrate and Grounds: I paint on wood braced  panels I make myself. Size the panel first before applying an Alkyd Lead oil ground.

I don’t recommend painting on stretched canvas. If you do, be sure to size your canvas first BEFORE you paint. The reason for this is the oil paint will eventually rot your canvas. You must prep your canvas properly.

Paper towel and clean-up… I prefer to use paper towel instead of rags to clean my brushes. I also find that the cheapest brand or even recycled paper towel is best. No lint. Avoid the big fluffy rolls of paper towel.

Even though one can’t smell the odorless Mineral spirits, it is still a chemical and is still dangerous. I don’t use it anymore. I use walnut oil as a brush dip to clean my brushes. I just wipe off the excess paint and dip my brush into walnut oil, don’t swish your brush, just dip it and work it into a paper towel.

My favorite brush cleaner is Murphy’s Soap. I can’t live without it. The best ever! It will even clean off hardened stiff brushes, it’s amazing and totally Non-toxic!

IMPORTANT: Make sure you rinse your brushes off thoroughly with water to remove ALL traces of soap.

There you have it, I hope you found some of my ideas helpful! Best of luck setting up your studio!

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Happy painting 😉



Every time I paint, I learn something new…

Making some excellent progress with Ta’Kaiya’s painting. So delighted with how it’s turning out. The progress is slow but sure, I don’t really know what i’m doing :- / I’ve never painted a close up of foamy waves lapping the shore. But i’m definitely hooked and want to paint an ocean scene only in burnt umber using the wipe-out technique. Such a beautiful colour. The experts say to take it off our palettes because of it’s ‘sinking in’ phenomena. However, I do believe there are ways around that. Use it on it’s own and ‘oil out’ with a mix of damar, stand oil and turpentine at the end.  Damar is a resin, similar to a clear coat, but varnishing a final coat can be done a year later if one feels it’s necessary.

Now to get back to my painting, I can’t wait to work on it some more… so exciting to learn how to paint ocean water rushing over the sand.

We’re Passionate, we’re Artists, Musicians and Poets…

There are pro’s to being on the Autistic Spectrum ~ We’re out the box thinkers, we’re Passionate, we’re Artists, Poets, Musicians and Writers. We’re Inventors, Directors, Producers, Performers, Actors and Comedians. We provide the World with Art, Music, Poetry, Stage Productions, Opera, Movies, Documentaries and Humor. The World would be Boring without Us!

Painting is food for the soul…

Feeling way better today, my head cold is on it’s way out. Back to the land of the living. And back to my easel. I’m gathering together my wits as I approach my easel to work on the mayor’s portrait, the underpainting turned out great, I painted the underpainting in burnt umber and then using rags, brushes and turpentine to form the light and features. I have the likeness down- I sprayed with retouch varnish and now to paint the colour- this is the scariest part. Once the face is painted, the rest is scribbling and bibbling. Now for some hot java, cool tunes and a mood enhancer of my choice :- )


Cozy studio, #MushroomJazz and sweet doggy company…

Tuesday morning, yet another day in the land of the living dead. I’m going to take the necessary cold meds every 4 hours and work on the portrait, come hell or high water. Still working on the underpainting. So glad the face is done, now to work on the clothing, that’s do-able, I can handle that. Here’s the catch, the shirt is striped. I almost had a heart attack at the photo shoot when the Mayor walked in the room. But then, as the photo shoot went on, I knew that although painting this shirt will be a mission in itself, it will add enormously to the character of my painting. I love the pose, it’s completely natural. I’m excited, it’s going to be a pleasure painting this. There will be challenges, as there always are, for me will be the shirt for sure. Not necessarily difficult, but rather, a test of patience. I thought of a few ways I could approach this shirt, I decided I will work on the stripes in my underpainting. I think doing this will make my life a lot easier when I paint in colour. I also decided the best way would be alla prima. In other words I’m going to finish it as I move along. I do like the painterly approach over the photo realist style. Start at the top and work my way down as I do every painting. I’ll use lead Silver white because of it’s opaqueness and it’s smooth handling. Limited palette, burnt sienna, ultramarine blue, transparent red oxide, venetian red, lemon yellow and viridian. I will more than likely glaze transparent yellow oxide over the face at the end. I discovered this while experimenting and find it adds that final layer of natural skin tone. Looks like I’ve just mapped out my day. Now to scrape my palette and make myself comfortable at my easel. Hot coffee, mood enhancer of my choice and sweet doggy company :- )

Creativity uplifts my spirits….

Day seven of this head cold and it aint going anywhere in a hurry, it seems. Just when I thought that yesterday, it had hit it’s peak, I was wrong, it’s today. I so badly want to paint. I have so much to do. Yesterday I drew the image of a new portrait. I then transferred it onto a canvas I had prepared and tinted the day before with burnt umber. I also sprayed with re-touch varnish to deal with the ‘sinking-in’ phenomena. Then Last night, as awful as I felt, I started the underpainting. I used the wipe out method and darkened the shadows a bit with transparent red oxide and ultramarine blue. I’m not using any white at this stage as I don’t want to contaminate my darks. I’m tempted to work on the face some more, but I won’t because the likeness is 100% now, and I want to keep it that way. So I sprayed it with retouch varnish to preserve my image in case I lose it later, I can just wipe it away and my image will be there underneath.

I can’t work on Ta’Kaiya until my head is clear, I dont want to wreck the painting. I can’t  make important colour decisions when I feel like the living dead. So, I’m sticking with ‘safe’ and I’ll work on the underpainting of the new portrait. The only thing I need to concern myself with here, is Value. At least I’m getting some work done. There are ways one can feel a wee bit better. Some incense, Mark Farina’s Mushroom Jazz 6, a mood enhancer of one’s choice, an oil painter’s studio, and ones creative mind ;- )

I didn’t get much done today due to feeling like death warmed over. Holding up my head requires an enormous amount of energy I apparently don’t have. I’m so hoping for improvement tomorrow.

My subject inspires me like no other…

This morning my attention will be on a painting I recently began.

A young girl with the voice of an angel, is standing on the shore, water lapping over her feet. She’s surrounded by Earth’s beauty, she’s fighting to keep. For soon the inevitable will take place, super oil tankers will be spilling their wares into the sea. Oil soaked birds and blackened shores will be all one can see.

She’s Sings out to the World to join Earth’s Revolution. Her voice hauntingly seeping into  the fibres of our beings, stirring our innate desire to preserve our kind and the environment in which we live.  My heart’s desire to express the beauty we fight to keep overcomes me. I give in and allow my instinct to take over as my hand moves my brush over the canvas forming waves in the distance.

I’ll post the painting upon completion.

My Brushes beckon me…..

When one is in a complete funk (Painter’s Block) it’s great to have a worthwhile  distraction to occupy ones time and I must admit I’m compelled to have my say over the Northern Gateway pipeline, and my disgust with the oil industry and Canadian government campaigning against “Radical Environmentalists”, makes me want to puke. This whole affair stinks. The stakes are high, obviously many pockets will be lined at the expense of our environment. The Planet’s very last Temperate Rain Forest, The Great Bear Rainforest is at risk and so is our Pristine British Columbia Coast line. Can you possibly imagine the impact of ecological disaster on our coast caused by a tanker tanking?  It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Oil Spills are inevitable. Worse, our government doesn’t give a damn. Ponder this… what’s in it for them? Shit, the stakes must be so f*cking high for them to turn a blind eye. Who’s going to be paying for the clean-up when a tanker tanks on our coastline? Obviously us, the Canadian Tax Payers.

Now back to my studio where I’ll prepare for my next piece. I’ve been inspired to  paint what I feel so strongly about, the battle to preserve our gorgeous coastline. And although my roots are from Africa, I have a great love for Canada’s natural beauty and it’s indigenous people. The image of my new painting is burned in my heart, and is crying to be unraveled on my canvas. My brushes beckon me…

How I long for warm sunny days…

My mood has been in a somewhat ‘Indifferent’ mode, rendering me emotionally empty. I feel nothing. Wondering around like a lost ghost. I read an article via Twitter about the advantages of MDMA and the treatment of  Aspergers. There are risks associated with it for sure,  however, I can also see it’s advantages under controlled use through ones psychiatrist.  Although I do have a painting on the go, it aint easy painting anything when my desire has taken a raincheck. Lack of emotion leaves a person with absolutely zero desire to create anything.

I do have big plans for this year as I have mentioned in a previous post. Portraits and figurative works are on my agenda. I have a few exciting pieces in the works and hopefully soon I’ll be happily painting at my easel.

Hoping for a sunnier disposition tomorrow…

As much as I do want to have my say…. I can’t bring myself to that point where words just roll off my tongue blurbing about my optimism over my New Year plans. Instead, I feel numb. Words have no place. Tears are easily drawn. And although laughter can be induced over something quirky, on the inside I’m dying.  An uneasiness lingers. Perhaps it’ll pass. Tis the season. Grey days do play it’s toll on one’s mood.

I did begin a still life a few days ago, just a small one, an 8×10 inch painting. However, the desire to paint has slipped away to nothingness. Perhaps it’s best I put it aside and spend some time educating myself technically and updating my skills. Hopefully tomorrow will find me in better spirits.

Creativity uplifts our spirits…

Back to the business of making art. Too much time wasted on incidentals. Today I’ll be working on completing unfinished works, then back to the drawing board to map out my plan for the upcoming  year. I’ll be starting the New Year off with a new website, and a new easel is also on my wishlist. I usually build my own easels, but this time I’m going to purchase a studio easel for hassle free painting.

Prolific painting  is definitely on my agenda for the upcoming year of 2012. Soon my gallery will be on the map and doors open for viewing.

Now for some hot java hippi style ;- )

New Canvases = endess possibilities…

2012 is definitely going to be my year. Ive worked hard over the past year to improve my skills as a painter and now plan on working even harder to paint a decent body of work for a show coming up in May. Not a lot of time, but enough to light a fire under my ass to produce several major pieces. Figurative paintings are on my agenda. Next month I begin with a formal portrait, very excited and can hardly wait to get started 🙂 My next figurative painting excites me. The model, a beautiful friend whose eyes look right into ur soul. So two canvases on the go this month. Now to set up my studio easel, scrape my palette, mix some fresh medium and prepare myself for some serious easel time.

I did complete ‘Amanda’s Tea Party’ I just never posted it. And there’s good reason. It doesn’t photograph well. It has to be photographed professionally by someone who knows what they’re doing. And I will get to that, I have many other paintings still waiting to be photographed/scanned.

Dreaming of sweet things to come…

I’m on the last stretch of Amanda’s Tea party. The canvas is covered and now the finishing touches will take all day. I’m delighted with how it’s turning out. It was a lot work, felt like it took forever. I don’t know why it is that some artists drag their heels towards the end. Just sit down in front or ur easel and paint dammit! hahaha!

My next two pieces are going to be painted on very large canvases. Both excite me, I know I always say that, but they really do. One is a portrait and I’m not going to reveal the painting until it’s day of completion. I have big plans for the second piece. The image in my minds eye is on the canvas and painted. I know exactly what I want and how I want it to look 🙂 yes that’s me jumping up and down with excitement! This time I’m setting up two easels and working on them both 🙂

You know that feeling when you’ve bought yourself a new toy and u cant wait to get home to play with it? That’s me in anticipation of a new canvas 🙂

More easel time…

I made some great headway on my painting of Amanda’s tea party yesterday. I’m determined to spend the entire day working to complete this painting. I have a canvas prepared and ready for my next piece I’m very excited about. Just waiting on the go-ahead. (she says jumping up and down with excitement :–) time for some fresh Java on this very chilly morning brrrr

Words for the day….

My son is a 19yr old sweetheart. Aspergers. Suffers terribly from allergies, god I feel for my kid. The other day we chatted for hours on the phone. He says, ‘I’m so troubled and disappointed in humanity. No matter how hard I try to be friendly and kind, I’m shunned and ridiculed. I don’t do anything to them. Why is my life so unworthy of living?’

My god, how awful it is for a mother to hear those words.

Humanity can be cruel, yes. I watched it unfold before my eyes raising my aspergers child. He was a target for bullies and they made his life a misery at school and in our neighborhood. Sigh. Unfortunately even in adulthood, it continues.

My heart burns with pain to hear his words. My wishes are many.

Is life so cheap that we lose our sense of humanity?

Words for the day…think before u judge another human being. Ur actions could be the breaking point of someones life. A simple smile can make all the difference in the world.

Compassion can change the world.

Doin’ some easel time…

Ive put myself under easel arrest until such time as I’ve made some decent headway on this painting.

Spent the last few days finishing off a couple of still life paintings and now I’m going to work diligently on this one until it’s complete. Got to move on to the next canvas soon. I plan on covering these walls by May for the studio tour organized by Vicwest Art Quest.  Now for some fresh java and back to work for me.

Grateful for another day to paint…

It’s Thursday morning – I’m sitting in front of my easel contemplating my day’s work. I had hoped to complete this painting of Amanda’s tea party by the end of Friday. I’m so glad I painted the rest of her skin last night before bed. I stood here, midnight, still some mixtures of flesh paint on my palette. I didnt want to waste it, so I bit the bullet, eyes heavy, and painted her arms and hands.  And now….. I’m a happy girl 🙂 Let’s see if I can make my deadline.

I spent some time taking stock of where I’m at and where I’m heading. I’m happy with my progress, although I feel I should be spending a couple more hours a day painting. I do tend to get side tracked. I should be more disciplined. I do tire so easily working on the same piece for too long. So I decided to set up another easel and complete incomplete paintings to break up the monotony. Now to scrape my palette, mix some more paint and then enjoy some yummy java,  hippie style 😉

A new painting on my easel…

Spent the past several days working on a new painting in a little corner in a hotel room in Vancouver.

‘Amanda’s tea party’. I’m really enjoying this painting and plan on completing it by friday.   I decided to paint Amanda first in color and continue with the underpainting with raw umber  before I finish the rest in color. I do prefer an underpainting. It makes my life as a painter, so much easier. My drawing is resolved and all I have to worry about is the color and light.

The sparkle in Amanda’s eyes adds playfulness to this image and the cakes and sweets on the table with gorgeous teacups and cute stuffed animals around the table is such a delight to paint. I can’t help but smile while painting this very cute scene :- )

A new challenge….

It’s been a week since I last posted. Busy times getting ready for Halloween festivities and taking stock and restocking studio supplies. The painting of Emma playing her Cello will be heading into the printers today and two model T paintings heading out my studio for hanging. Now time to get back to my easel and begin mapping out my new painting. I’m really looking forward to this new piece, it’s going to challenge me in every direction…. and that excites me.  Can’t wait to lay out my colors on my palette and do what I love most… Paint.

I’m also look forward to visiting some galleries in Vancouver this week and  perhaps even attend a few life drawing classes. But for now, a busy day ahead packing and preparing for the week ahead.

Monday in my studio….

Monday morning, and my intentions are to spend the day working on Emma, which I plan to complete it today. I got the bulk of it painted yesterday, go me, hehehe! Now to finish off the rest of the slate colored rock she’s sitting on and do some fine tuning on the Cello and her foot 🙂 The model I hired didn’t show up again, too bad, she was perfect for what I needed.  Hoping to find someone soon, I really want to get my next painting started as soon as possible. Now for some coffee hippie style ;- )

A Little flesh tone Lesson

It’s Thursday morning, listening to Mark Farina’s Mushroom Jazz, very mellow tunes, great painting music. Truth in position, Mushroom Jazz 4

Today’s going to be a little lesson on painting flesh. I’m still working on Emma and going to be painting her ankles and feet. She’s sitting on a rock on the beach and the reflection of light on her skin renders a slightly blue purple color on her skin. She’s a red-head and has very fair skin too. The rocks she sitting on, will be darker shades of blues and purples with light reflecting from the sky, sunlight and water. The orange u see, is the under-painting.

The base color for flesh is Ultramarine blue and Burnt Sienna plus white. So mix up a pile. To warm it up add a dash of Transparent red Oxide. This is a very strong pigment, so just a tiny bit at a time. For the tender flesh areas, add a dash of lemon yellow to the base color.

Mix up a pile of  Permanent Alizarin and ultramarine blue to cool the flesh tone down mix in the purple-blue color to the base, really depends on the light. For dry brush scumbling I use a pink mixture of permanent alizarin plus white to give the skin it’s luminosity. The tips of the toes are going to be a red pink tone because of the blood flow. For the veiny area add a little lemon yellow with a hint of green into the flesh base.

I use a mix of burnt sienna and ultramarine blue for my darks and also a dark mix of Viridian and Permanent Alizarin.

Now I’m set and ready to paint. I begin with the shadow under her right foot, then paint in the red areas on the soles of her foot with Transparent red oxide, cad red and Alizarin mixed in with some flesh tone.  On the lighter tones I added a dash lemon to the flesh and the pink red tone on the top of her foot is a little cad red and alizarin mixed into the flesh base. I used lemon yellow for highlights. I blended the shadow color under the foot and painted in some of the surrounding rock.

I wanted this foot to kind of blend in with the background as it’s not part of the focal point. So subtlety is the key. Any questions, please feel free to ask.

Greatness requires enormous time…

I’m making some progress here with Emma paying her Cello, not too long now, hoping for under a week. This painting has certainly challenged me in every direction and then some. If ur drawing skills are not spot on, ur in trouble. I highly recommend practicing often, daily in fact. Greatness requires enormous time. Based on a study by Anders Ericsson, it takes 10 000 hours to perfect ones craft. That’s 20 hrs a week of practice for ten years. There are no shortcuts. U gotta put the time in. Find the work of a master painter and emulate him/her. Study their technique, look at edges, light, reflective light, the colors they use. There is so much to learn. Undeniable talent equals countess hours of practice. There’s no mistaking it. There’s no faking it. Put ur arrogance away and humble urself. Immerse urself in study and practice. Once u have learned to control ur arrogance, then u will grow as a painter and as a person.

I still have a ways to go yet…years of practice. Diligence.

“Love is the greatest refreshment in life”…… Picasso

Although I’m a little under the weather, I feel optimistic and content :- )Makin progress, slowly but surely, and hoping to complete this painting of Emma playing her cello in a week or so. I’m workin on ideas for my next piece, I’m excited, and can hardly wait. Now back to work, first some inspirational tunes to set the mood. Love to paint to Mark Farina’s Mushroom Jazz…

Rose colored glasses…

It’s Monday noon-ish, and still much to do on my painting, although I’ve made great headway in the last couple of days. I’m delighted with it so far, very time consuming, most challenging and most importantly, I’ve learned a great deal whilst creating this painting. That excites me. It gives me more confidence to create something even more challenging for my next piece. My head is filled with images from visions and dreams, just waiting to be rendered on canvas.

What motivates a person to want to create? I’ve heard that some artists create their works out of a painful and stressful place. I simply cannot lift up a paintbrush under duress. When I’m in my most happiest place, that is when I create my best work. I want to create works with life and light, how could one do that in cloud of darkness? I must admit, I’m quite happy to be rid of the dark cloud that had been raining on me for the last seven months. A breakthrough at last. I’m free and able to take on all the challenges I can to improve my skills as a painter. Life looks so much sweeter when ur wearing rose colored glasses. So happy I found them again :p

Another day to paint…

It’s an early start for me again this morning, have much to do on my painting today. I must admit, I feel good today. I’ve shaken a little demon and am now finally free of it. I find the best way to deal with ones demons, is to face them head on.  A kind of cleansing process. I write down my thoughts, and I don’t care if they’re ever read, just as long as it’s been released. From there, a healing takes place. Have u ever written a letter to someone and never sent it? That letter was never intended for that individuals eyes. All that matters, is u got it off ur chest and sent it into the universe. Life’s too short to hang on to unpleasant thoughts, clouding ones vision, just release it and let it go.

A good friend and very talented painter used to say, ‘Life is good’ … his sunny disposition complimented his brief, yet full life. His paintings were bold and flamboyant, yet he had a quiet, gentle demeanor and will always be fondly remembered and sadly missed. However, life goes on and we’re given another chance to live another day. I plan to make full use of it and work on completing my painting 🙂

A new day, a new song….

Beautiful stranger

This morning I sit at my easel, music fills my senses. I always believed. And I also almost gave up hope. But I  knew, in the very depths of my being, that one day, loves sweet song would play it’s exquisite notes, that would touch me so very deeply.  I’m about halfway on my painting of Emma and her cello. It’s been somewhat challenging, I must say. It’s true when they say ‘the painting has a piece of the artist’s heart and soul.’ I exhale as I mix paint, I thank the divine one for a gift I shall treasure with all my heart.


My days work cut out for me…

Today seems filled with hope as I sit in front of my easel, although there is still a slight uneasiness lingering in the corners of my mind. I’m waiting to exhale…

My painting excites and distracts me. It’s a good thing, or my heart will explode. I shall drown myself in my work and  fill my senses  with Mozart’s incredible inspirations.

A new distraction…

I’m within an hour of completing my painting, why is it, that this is where artists drag their heals? Does it perhaps have something to do with separation anxiety? I’m beginning to think so. Come to think of it, I don’t really want to part with that painting, I want to keep it for myself.  I tried to distract myself with a new painting. A very talented Cellist. I sketched it in and it’s ready to paint. I’m excited and cant wait to sink my teeth in. The almost completed one looms in the background, beckoning me to complete it. I’m so torn right now :/

There are no words to describe how I feel right now…

How much pain and how unbearable it must have been to want to end your own life. What thoughts flow through your mind as you swallow handfuls of pills. Do you wander what might lie at the foot of your gravestone as you wish your life away? Endless tears of sadness fill the air today. An eternal gratefulness  for the nudges of an angel intervening and averting an awful tragedy.

Your life is not only yours, it’s ours, we’re all a part of each other. With the loss of a wing, how are we to fly again?

Halfway into a large painting

The scene is set, large clouds form over the horizon, and the ocean reflects the colors of the clouds. There’s a sunny haze in the atmosphere, a breeze catches the sails in the distance.  The waves gently spill over the rocks on the beach as seagulls fly overhead. A woman  in a pale blue dress,  hair blowing about in the ocean breeze, stands on the beach with her black lab as she gazes at the beauty nature has displayed before her. Her rare car, a Tucker torpedo glistens in the light as she turns and makes her way onto the beach with her dog.

Once this painting is close to completion, I’ll post an image 🙂

Painting in ocean breezes….

Heading outdoors at day break, easel, canvas and paints in my trunk and driving in the direction of the ocean, music soothing my soul and my taste buds enjoying a cup of hot coffee. I arrive at my destination, a quiet spot on the beach, just in time to watch the sun rise over the ocean. Breathtaking. I sit there in silence taking it all in. Seagulls fly overhead welcoming a new day. As I set up my easel on the soft cool sand, two little doorstep dogs and a tabby cat race by, chasing each other over driftwood,  yapping and playing. A smile warms my face, you don’t see that everyday! My gaze catches the perfect scene as I quickly sketch the shapes on my canvas with my brush. The ocean breeze caress my face and the sound of the waves gently lapping the shore quiet the chatter in my head. I meditate as my hand moves my brush forming the clouds on the horizon. A few hours later my canvas is covered with oil paint, an impression of the scene is made. I  step back to view my completed painting from a distance, I nod, oh yes, I’m quite happy with that. I thank God for my passion to paint as I drive home with my new painting, I couldn’t imagine my life without the ability to express my appreciation for all this beauty that surrounds me.

Sleepless in Victoria…

I just read a quote I can relate to in every way ~ “Don’t cry for those who won’t cry for you” Then again the tears we shed aren’t necessarily for the individual in question, rather, it is the bruising of our egos that create the most anguish.

How can one tell if affection is mutual? Truth be told in the eyes. Pleasure, Love and affection dilate our pupils, one simply can’t fake it. When you realize it’s one sided, the above quote comes in handy.

I do believe there is a reason why our paths cross. Why some doors have to close for another to open. Some lessons life teaches us may not make sense right away, but somehow, in some significant way, we learn valuable lessons. In the midst of it all, we learn how fragile the human heart really is.

Sad parting and new beginnings…

Today’s a sad day for me, parting with my kitty was tougher than I expected. The new folks adopting her are terribly nice and have all a kitty could want and hope for… a garden to call her own with a platter of squirrels, birds and insects to keep her entertained…. this is best for her, I want her to have her hearts desire…. and her dearest wish, is to feel the breezes between her whiskers and the freedom to play in her own garden…

Goodbye my sweet furry friend, we shall miss u terribly 😦

The new proud owners of Kitty are keeping me updated, and she’s doing really well, settled in already and taken over the house. She’s not allowed out yet as she may run away, but soon enough she’ll be playing in her garden chasin squirrels. I’m sad for me but really happy for Kitty :<)

Seasoned avocados…painted to taste…

Oils 8″x10″

Spent the the day painting my favorite breakfast food ~ avocados 🙂 This was definitely a very enjoyable subject, I wanted to ad some interest painting the seasoning sprinkled over the avocado and plate. I’m happy with it and am planning on completing a painting again tomorrow.

Painting in Nanaimo…

Spent a few hours painting on a beach overlooking huts in Nanaimo Saturday afternoon. Speed painting more like it! Would have liked at least one more hour on this, but managed to get the gist of it on my canvas 🙂 David took the pics…

The Pink Grad Dress

A color study of my daughter in her pink grad dress… Although I chose this pose for the study, I’ll be painting a different pose for the final painting and plan on painting a close to life size piece of her. I can hardly wait to start 🙂

A humbling experience…

I sit here in my studio in front of my easel, Gandhi’s image warms my smile. I had my fair share of struggles with this painting. I guess I wanted to honor this great man on an elaborate canvas, but instead I painted him on an oil primed board, lot’s of texture. At first I struggled with it, on the verge of giving up the board and starting fresh on canvas. But then I awoke the next morning to find Gandhi’s face beaming, his stance and character with a life of it’s own. I’m pleased 🙂

My son, his wife and my two grandsons have left South Africa and are in a plane heading for Canada. I can’t even begin to contain my excitement. Tears stream my face, it’s been way too long. Soon I”ll be holding my two grandsons for the first time. There are no words to describe how I feel right now….. elation? Most definitely 🙂 🙂 🙂

A new painting on my easel

I promised a friend I would paint Gandhi for her fundraiser and I finally am getting around to doing it. And to prove I`m doing it for real,  here`s a pic 🙂 I`m painting with a limited palette of Venetian Red, Ivory Black and Transparent Red Oxide. Love this technique!

New painting under construction :)

Today I finish off the priming of my panels and begin with composition drawings. Next I’ll do a few color studies of my model, being my 17 year old daughter wearing her stunning grad dress.  Can’t wait to get started!

Off my easel…

I’m in the last stretch completing this painting.

Oils 8″x16″

Once dry, I’ll glaze it and complete the final touches. I’ve been working all day on this, the details seems to go on forever. Break time and then I’ll begin the new one.

Whoever came up with mother’s day…thanks :)

I sit here working on a painting that is to come off my easel today. It’s of a vintage car from the 40’s parked on the beach. A woman and her dog stand on the beach on a windy day, watching sailboats in the distance.  A smile warms my face, my daughters are thinking of me and wish me a wonderful Mimi’s day. I truly am so incredibly lucky to have amazing daughters who are also my best friends. I’d be lost without them. My son’s…. they’ll catch on soon enough hahaha!

New works in the works…

Yes! I finally completed the commission and will be framing and hanging today 🙂 I’ll be completing works for the Sooke Fine art show and planning works for this coming Sidney Fine art show.

Now on a deeper more personal note… it’s not easy being caught in the middle… uncertainty eating at ones core.  Thing aren’t always as they appear. Misunderstandings  can easily change ones perceptions, distorting truths. There is always a bigger picture.

No-one is replaceable. How can that be? Love is powerful, it’s bigger than us. Love is an entity all of it’s own. There is always something beautiful and special about each of us that can never be forgotten. Those incredible memories people made together will always be cherished.

New beginnings open new doors. Life embraces our excitement as we enter. We have the world at out feet. After all, we are the Writers, the Painters, the Poets and Directors of our Own lives.  Where we are at this point of our lives is the result of our own choice.

Life is so fragile. Embrace every moment as if it were our last.  We only get one chance. Make every moment count.

A Slow day Painting…

A little setback yesterday due ill health, and now back to my easel  to complete my painting. It’s a little more challenging now as I’m working in a different studio and on a different easel and this one isn’t as adjustable. I can’t raise it any higher, so I’ll be sitting on the floor to complete the last bit of work. What a pain 😦  I kinda feel somewhat indifferent today. A fever has set in and lack of energy will probably be slowing me down. Got to get this painting done come hell or high water.

Few days left to completion…

The large commission is close to completion, I’m aiming for a Monday framing and hanging. It’s been a challenge since the Sunday incident. Adjusting my easel resulted in an injury to my hand, slowing down my progress. Once the commission is complete, I’ll be priming a few canvases for upcoming works.

This is going to be a good year. A busy year. I have much planned and do have some upcoming projects, one being the Sooke fine art show coming up shortly and the Sidney fine art show a few months later. I’m going for figurative works for the latter. I have chosen my model and plan on a photo shoot by the weekend and plan on sittings whenever possible as I do prefer painting from life. A camera can never pick up the subtle nuances only the naked eye can see.

Back to work for me 🙂

An early start….

It’s way too early to be up, however, my cat disagrees. She did her best to awaken me to join her in welcoming the sun to a new day. I do have a full day painting today, but I really had no intentions of starting at 5am 😦

The large commission painting is halfway and aiming to complete by the weekend. It sure is comin along nicely…I love it when a plan comes together.  I’m also working on another vintage car and hoping to complete that shortly after the commission. Well, back to that warm cozy bed for me 🙂

October Skies…

Finally getting this painting off my easel and onto my wall. I painted this from a plein air study I did last fall near the market in Sidney. It`s a fairly large piece, 24“x36“

Painting in the morning…

Wednesday morning, a new day, another opportunity to make my mark on this planet.  I’m making great progress on the fisherman painting, I couldn’t be happier. I shall take a few pics of it today, and upon my client’s consent, I’ll post a progress pic of it.

Every painting has a piece of the Painter’s soul. Every struggle and victory, and every sadness and happiness, are within the heart of every painting.

Now I’ll brew some delicious coffee and get painting…

Back in my studio…

Spent some time away from my studio, sometimes it’s good to get a break.  But it’s always good to be home in familiar surroundings. Spent quite some time tidying my studio and preparing canvases for upcoming works. Looking forward to those. In fact I can hardly wait. The painting I’m working on right now, 48″ square, monotone, a Schooner fisherman from Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.  This painting excites me. For the next couple of weeks this shall be my main focus.

Blessed be and sweet dreams to u Zorro kitty. My studio would be dreadfully boring without u xoxo

New projects on the go…

Lots going on in my studio this weekend, have several projects in the works~  Very excited about the commission I’m working on, it’s quite a large piece and painted in Raw umber. A still life coming up too, as well as some figure studies. ….and have several paintings to complete, a large landscape and a still life. I think I’ll complete the latter first before commencing with the newer pieces. I’m excited and can’t wait to get painting, must also finishing priming a few canvases and yes I must remember to source a drying rack today. Oh yes, there is another piece I’ll be working on, also mostly in sepia~ a painting of Mahatma Gandhi for a fundraiser. Wow, looks like a busy time ahead. I better get to it!

Saturday morning…

I awoke this morning to my cat meowing profusely and  desperately trying to wake me up. She doesn’t realize that it’s 5.20 am, cats have no concept of time. She wanted food and company. I couldn’t get back to sleep, so will have an early start and work on my new painting. It’s a birds eye view of a sailboat on a sunny day. Sunlight dancing on the water around the boat, this is going to be most enjoyable to paint 🙂 Now for some coffee hippie style 😉


Back in the day

Back In the Day

Finally completed this Vintage car, really happy with how it turned out 🙂

Another full day painting :):):)

Presently  working on a painting of a vintage car. I had taken a pic of it driving by last summer and decided to post it as a painting challenge on Cafe Guerbois on WetCanvas. My painting’s close to completion, another couple of hours or so.

Yesterday I prepared a canvas for another painting and very much looking forward to getting started!

Oh yes, I bought a new lighting system for my studio and now I can have balanced daylight all night long which means I can paint 24/7! WOOT!!!!

Orange tea

Started working on this still life several days ago. I’m really enjoying this painting and yes I’ve painted this same tea cup in four paintings. There’s good reason. I will continue to paint it until I get it right. Even if I have to paint it for another ten paintings, this tea cup will be there 🙂 I also have intentions of adding a little leaf in front of the oranges on the bench. That’s on tomorrow list of things to do.

Strawberry Tea

It’s been a busy couple days and have had little easel time 😦  Now my camera is on the fritz for some strange reason, just trying to figure out how to reset it. This is the only decent pic I was able to get. Tomorrow this painting will be completed and the next one started. Busy working on creating a new still life set-up. Going to include some color. Ah I can see it. Now where did I put my sketch pad….and time for tea too, hippie style hehe 😉

A day spent painting…

I spent the day working on Tulips and Strawberry tea. I decided to keep a dark but slightly textured background, but I am going to keep my options open. I’ll see how it goes once I paint in the leaves to the right and behind the clay pot. I’m also going to age the pot a bit to break the contrast and add continuity. I wanted to upload a progress pick, but my batteries for my camera died, so busy charging.  I plan on completing my painting tomorrow, then I’ll take a pic for the gallery 🙂

I’m so stoked with my progress, I can hardly wait to start the next one!

Tulips and strawberry tea…

Worked on this till last light, bout halfway at this point. A few more days work left. I put this painting aside for a bit so I can view it with a fresh eye and tackle the problems. I am going to glaze the teacup as the values are a too high and also the tulips still need work and will be toned down  too. Getting there…..I’m learning 🙂 Most importantly, the more diligent one is, the sooner improvement will be evident.