The Everyday Life of a Working Artist

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Fair Oaks Pharmacy

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Any Day in South Pasadena, Oil, 10" x 8" Sold
I just ordered note cards again of some of my paintings. If you haven't ordered from www.vistaprint.com then you are really missing out. You can get 250 free color business cards and tons of free stuff (including 10 free notecards) all year long. If you don't mind waiting a few weeks, the shipping is only about $5.00. Anyway, I was amazed at how well the note cards for the "Any Day in South Pasadena" painting turned out. I sell the notecards but also use them for just about everything. They make great hostess gifts so I am always running short.
I painted this painting while trying to make a deadline for the California Art Club Rialto Visions show. We had to paint a South Pasadena landmark and I chose the Fair Oaks Pharmacy. I love the loose feel and apparently others did as well, as one of my favorite collectors bought this one for his office in New York! I have a sweet story about the Fair Oaks Pharmacy as my husband and I took Andrew there when he was about three months old and I made the mistake of giving him a taste of his first solid food ... ice cream. And here we are almost 18 years later and he eats almost a half a gallon of ice cream every day. My fault, I guess.
And speaking of ice cream, Monday's post will continue with this theme as I am waiting for a painting to dry so I can finish some detail work!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Back to Boats

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Boat Docked, Oil 10" x 8"
This painting is for sale.
Old habits die hard so I am back to painting boats. I really struggled with this painting as I scraped the paint off the canvas twice. That is the nice thing about working with a palette knife, it is so easy to just scrape everything off the canvas when the painting starts heading south. Of course then you have a nice pile of "used paint" which becomes ... muddy gray paint! Good thing oil paint is pretty inexpensive.
I had a great time at our book club last night. We read "Edgar Sawtelle" which is over 500 pages long and I did have some "not so nice" things to say about the ending. I won't spoil it for you but I hate it when books do that ... Regardless, the discussion was wonderful ... and we are looking for a good "classic" to read this month so please send your suggestions. Just click on the comments button below ... it is ok to identify yourself as anonymous if you don't already have an ID.
Well, I am back to the easel. I am trying to finish up two very belated Christmas gifts before we head into February ... my oldest brother and youngest sister are finally going to get their gifts!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Palos Verdes

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La Venta Inn Oil, 8" x 10"
This painting is sold.
I have been thinking a lot this week about the high school years I spent in Palos Verdes. This must be due to the fact that I have three high school aged boys and they just finished finals. My boys are great, in fact ... they are wonderful. I painted this painting of the La Venta Inn ... which I actually never visited in all the years we lived in Palos Verdes (sorry mom!). Apparently it is a great place for weddings and has a beautiful view of the ocean.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Live, Laugh, Love

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Laguna Coastline, Oil 14" x 11"
This painting is not for sale.
These three words have meant a lot to our family this past month. They represent to all of us a dear friend's struggle with cancer. Sadly, Sara Foxworth lost her battle with cancer this morning. She was blessed with a loving family, husband and three beautiful children. She was an amazing woman, known to all by her everlasting faith and incredible outlook.
Our families shared so many great memories ... at their ranch in Texas, celebrations at Stanford, countless volleyball games, and our last memory ... a great brunch at our house this past summer. One of my fondest memories was when they were out visiting in California and we met them for a day on the beach in Malibu. The kids had a blast and Sara and I just sat and laughed at the six of our kids all afternoon. Sara is one of the most positive people I have ever met and her positive outlook, even through her struggle, will leave an impression forever on all of us.
We will miss you Sara. As her husband so eloquently stated, we know you now have "complete, everlasting peace".

Monday, January 26, 2009

Into the Sunset

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In To the Sunset, Oil, 10" x 8"
This painting is for sale.
I painted this painting this past weekend when it was pouring outside. Seemed to be the right scene to paint as I imagined I was on a beach somewhere ... instead trapped inside on a crummy Southern California day!
The sun did come out on Sunday as I went to the Artist's Reception at Whites Gallery in Montrose. There were tons of people in attendance and the art was really great. I met some very nice fellow artists and I look forward to getting to know them well. Since I am so new to this it is great to have so many wonderful resources. I was really impressed with White's and their permanent collection. If you are looking for art, I highly suggest you head up there.

Friday, January 23, 2009

More Boats

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Favorite Boats Oil, 8" x 10"
This painting is for sale.
Another crazy day at the house. We hosted the Stanford Men's volleyball team for lunch (they played USC tonight). You can only imagine how much eighteen 6'8" young men can eat!
I love this painting. Very loose but really fun to paint. I have plans to do a lot of painting this weekend plus tomorrow is the Artist Reception at White's Gallery in Montrose. If you are free, I will be there from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. See you there!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dave's Favorite Painting

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Dave's Barn Oil, 10" x 8"
I painted this painting while attending a workshop with Marc Hanson in Minnesota. I will never forget the week I spent in Minnesota ... and the fact that I got on a plane and flew to Minneapolis, drove three hours through the countryside and stayed a week in a town with basically one "main" street, no cell service and no Starbucks! I remember calling Dave (my husband) as I was driving through Minnesota and asking him "What am I doing and why am I here?".
Of course the week was fantastic, Marc was a great instructor and I learned a lot! This was my first "real" workshop and amazingly enough, the boys back home survived without me. I have taken four other workshops since but decided last year that I really just need to paint. Practice makes perfect ... well not perfect ... it just makes you better!
So Dave loves this painting and it is hanging in our family room. Maybe I should paint more barns (and less boats)!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Toy Boat, Toy Boat, Toy Boat

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Toy Boat, Toy Boat, Toy Boat Oil, 12 x 12
This painting is for sale.
I am back to my old habits again. I wanted to try a square version of this painting and add some more colors. It came out ok, I think! I painted this today while listening to pounding and hammering ... we are only about three days from completing our construction project!
I could kick myself for forgetting my camera this past weekend. I was in Long Beach for a swim meet and drove past the marina many times ... there were so many great painting opportunities!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

God Bless America

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Any Place in America Oil, 6" x 8"
This painting is for sale.
Today's painting was inspired by a photo from Becky at Walla Walla Valley Daily Photo. Here is a link to the photograph.
I have been eying this photo for a few days as I like the simplified look and it just reminds me of all of the great places that exist in our wonderful country. I painted the painting while listening to the inauguration (thanks to tivo) and really like how it came out. Regardless of one's political party affiliation, today was a big day in America. Thanks Becky for letting me use the photo!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Everyone Else's Favorite Painting

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Balbo Ferris Wheel, Oil 12" x 16" Sold
Of all the paintings I did last year, I think this was everyone's favorite. I painted it while we were in Balboa and I think the colors make it a nice painting! It was juried into two shows and sold on New Year's Eve to my favorite collector!
I just spent 30 hours over the past three days at a swim meet with my son so I am exhausted and WAY behind in my painting schedule! This will be a very busy week!

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Favorite Painting

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On Your Toes Oil, 8" x 10" Sold
I was hoping to add a new painting today but my last attempt ended up in the trash. It is amazing that I will be on a roll and love the paintings coming off my easel and then ... thug ... a dud. Usually, as it was in this case, the colors are boring and the painting was lifeless.
One of my girlfriends called me yesterday (in response to the post "My girlfriends think I am crazy") and asked me why I was doing this. I tried to explain to her that the only way I can get better at this is to paint. A lot. And even more than "a lot". I think she still thinks I am crazy but sometimes a self imposed goal (that everyone knows about!) is the best way to accomplish something.
After my "dud painting" went in to the trash I decided I would post my "favorite" painting. Perhaps I am doing this to remind me that I think I do know how to paint. The subject matter is interesting ... I am not a ballerina, there are no dancers in my family and I do not attend the ballet. Now, I should mention that I was a Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker when I was about 7 years old but I was NOT wearing toe shoes, as seen in this painting. (My ballet career was very short lived ... I was way too tall and not that coordinated ... don't ask me to try a cartwheel).
The entire reason I painted this painting is because my life is surrounded by boys and it was time for a change! I have three boys, they all play sports and my favorite pastime is to watch them play sports. However, I painted this painting titled "On Your Toes" when we were at the beach and there were 14 boys and me staying at the beach house. It was just time to paint something girlie.
I hope you like it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Girlfriends Think I'm Crazy

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North on Raymond, Oil, 8" x 10"
This painting is for sale.
I met my girlfriends at a bar the other night for a birthday celebration and one of my friends commented that I am crazy to have started this blog. "You think you are going to paint a new painting every day?" she asked, "Are you crazy?"
My other girlfriend commented that this is the way I do things and that I get more accomplished than most. I promise you this is not true.
First off, the only reason I started this blog is to make myself paint more. Last year I tried plenty of things ... self imposed deadlines, promising paintings to friends, joining art organizations ... and I still wasn't painting more than two paintings a month. (Did I mention that I still owe a lot of paintings to family and friends?) Now, in all fairness, I should mention that I work full time and have three high school aged boys (and a wonderful husband) who do take up a lot of my time. The secret ... I decided ... is to be so organized that I don't need to waste any more time "thinking about painting" and "getting ready to paint". I realize that I was spending WAY TOO MUCH TIME "thinking about my next painting" and not painting. I know this is just "procrastination" and "lack of organization" but hey, this was my problem.
So, I have this new "craft room" that we just finished in our remodel. It is mostly a place for storage and after single handily buying out the local Container Store, I now have a storage place for everything ... in a mesh drawer ... with a label. Even my palette knives get their own drawer ... and my Viva paper towels ... (a drawer for paper towels?). I have my own desk in an adjacent new room and that is where I paint. My stuff is always out ... somewhat tidy ... and there is no thinking required when it is time to paint. My ipod even sits on the desk ready to blast away my favorite play list that Scott Christensen gave my at his workshop a few years back.
So, am I crazy? Maybe not. It is only mid January and I already decided that I didn't need to post a new painting on Saturday and Sunday ... I guess I am kind of taking the weekends off. Actually that is not true, I am painting on the weekends - this weekend I finished three paintings although the last one didn't turn out and will not be posted on this blog (unless I start a blog titled "Really bad paintings"). I will finish one more today and then pull one out of inventory and viola ... I will have five paintings for this week!
OK, perhaps I am crazy. But no, I do not accomplish more than others. I have just finally figured out how to "just do it". Basically, it is time to be organized. And stop procrastinating. The only scary thing is ... if I paint five paintings a week for the next year, where am I going to store them all? Oh no ...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

84 Degrees and Sunny

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Boats for Dinner Club Oil, 8" x 6" Sold
The weather in South Pasadena has been insane this week. Sunny, hot and well, not what you would expect in January ... anywhere ... Apparently tomorrow is supposed to be in the high eighties. Wow. So, given the lovely weather, why not post another boat painting? I painted this painting in December so I could take it to a dinner party for the gift exchange. One of my dearest friends ended up with it and she was kind enough to bring the painting back since I had forgotten to photograph it. It is 6" x 8", oil and with a palette knife, of course!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Peter's Painting

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Peter's Painting Oil, 6" x 8" Sold
France anyone? I painted this painting for my brother in law. He and his family spent a year in Strasburg, France and I wanted to paint something to remind them of their year abroad. I hope he likes it!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Must be a School Day

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Must Be a School Day Oil, 8" x 10"
I went back to my comfort level and painted another boat painting. I absolutely love this one and I must say that this photograph does not do it justice. This painting (titled "Must Be a School Day") will be for sale at Whites Gallery in Montrose. I am participating in the New Member Show for the Pasadena Society of Artists which takes place from January 20 - 28.
I also wanted to thank so many of you for the photos - keep them coming! There are so many fantastic options and I am so excited to create paintings using many of them ... not just one!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Challenge #1: Send me your photos for a painting!

Pin It OK, I had so much fun painting the South Pasadena pictures from Laurie Allee's blog at http://southpasadena.blogspot.com/ that I am going to do a painting like this every week! (Thanks again Laurie for sending all your friends to my blog!) All you need to do is email me a photo and I will pick one each week to paint. The photo can be anything ... cityscapes, landscapes, the beach, your child, your dog ... anything will do. Just send them to me asap. Be sure and send them in jpeg format and I will handle cropping and preparing them for the painting. Just remember that if you send me your photo (and it needs to be one that you have actually taken) you are giving me permission to paint it. I will post the photo and painting one week later. Thanks!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gotta love the tropics!

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I have been in Mexico for three days with clients so no painting yoday ... loved the warm weather! I posted three posts on Monday to make up whilte I was gone so I think I am still on schedule updating my blog ...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Will it be a Portrait?

Pin It Time is running out on the survey for the subject material of my next painting. PORTRAIT ... hmmm ... I typically don't do portraits ... in fact this is actually a painting of a mannequin I painted in a class I took at Art Center! It is my one and only attempt at a portrait ... and a bit lifeless ... so yikes!

Next week I am going to ask you to email me one of your photos that you would like me to paint. Any subject material is fine. Houses, boats, pets, kids, boats, your hometown, still life, boats, whatever ... Then I will select one of the photos and then use it for the basis of my next painting! So start looking now for your favorite photo!


More Winter Wonderland

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Whistler II Oil, 6" x 8"
This painting is for sale.

My business travels have taken me to a very warm climate for a few days so I though I would post my second Whistler painting in honor of colder climates! I think I like the previous painting better but I seem to be in the minority. Your thoughts?

Winter Wonderland

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Whistler Oil, 6" x 8"
This painting is for sale.

We spent the latter part of the holidays in Lake Arrowhead and it was beautiful! Beautiful sunny skies, cold temperatures and snow just about everywhere! I did this small painting of Whistler ... another one of my favorite winter wonderlands. This painting makes me want to go back to the snow!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hope in South Pasadena

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Hope Street Oil, 6" x 8"
This painting is for sale.
I just finished these two paintings. Both of these paintings are South Pasadena locations and I need to thank Laurie Allee and http://southpasadena.blogspot.com/ for the wonderful photos which served as the inspiration for these paintings. Laurie hosts this wonderful blog and posts a new South Pasadena photo every night. She was very gracious to agree to let me use her photos for my paintings!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

More Gifts for the Family

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PV Drive South Oil, 8" x 6" Sold
The holidays are a crazy time of year at our house. With all of the preparation for our big party and the many hosted family dinners, it is amazing that I find anytime to paint. Starting at about age 10, I began "making gifts" for my family members every Christmas. As I look back I realize how gracious they all were to endure the homemade quilts, crocheted afghans, stained glass mirrors and hand sewn robes. I sincerely hope they are happy to receive oil paintings as gifts ... and not something else from my new "craft room".
This painting was done for my parents and it is entitled "PV Drive South". We moved to Palos Verdes when I was in high school and spent lots of time on this wonderful drive. My mom thought the painting looked more like the drive up to Lake Arrowhead, which I assume is because I left out the beautiful and scenic ocean views often enjoyed along PV Drive South. I like the painting and the colors! Another 6" x 8" size.
I have two more paintings to finish for my siblings that live back east. I am sure they are watching the blog looking to see when their gifts will be finished. Soon, I promise!
By the way, I see "portrait" is currently leading in the "next painting" survey. Could be an interesting challenge for me as I tend to paint land and seascapes most of the time. Send me your pictures if you have a good "portrait" you would like me to try. Of course if my kids get their way, "Sports" will win. Good thing you can only vote once from each computer!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Painting Boats

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Two and a Half Boats Oil, 8" x 6" Sold
Finished another painting. But this one is for my brother and his wife. My favorite "subject" to paint is boats. I have no idea why, especially since I don't even like boating (or sailing). I just love to paint boats!

Gifts for My Family

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Balboa nd Boat Oil, 6" x 8" Sold Main Beach Oil, 8" x 6" Sold
Oil painting is my passion and I have promised myself that I would spend more time painting in 2009. I just finished these paintings as a gift for my sister. One was a Christmas gift and the other was for her belated birthday ... which is on Valentine's Day! My sister lives in Laguna Beach so I did two ... Main Beach and the Balboa Pavillion. They are small ... 6" x 8" ... but I really like the size!


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