Saturday, January 29, 2011

White Tulip

Anything "White" is usually anything BUT. I love painting white objects, they reveal so much color! This painting was created to be a "mate" for another tulip painting I recently did. It's a publishing commission and therefore I am trying to match the style and the overall color sense of the original tulip. It will be cropped to a square shape but I decided to paint the entire 8x10 canvas. Working within these pre-determined set of parameters is interesting because I need to keep checking my painting against the original to make sure I don't veer off into some new flight of fancy. I think they play nice together but if my client doesn't, stay tuned for "White Tulip 2".

White Tulip
Acrylic on Canvas, 8x10"

Friday, January 28, 2011

Summer Lounge (SOLD)

This was done in plein air, this past summer. I do paint in oils every now and then. I keep meaning to drag them out and play with them more, but doing the "big switch" from acrylics to oils requires me to think a bit differently, and ... well, maybe later. It was a fast pose - probably about 20-30 minutes, and the light was changing fast. No time to think - just react. Sometimes thats the best way to operate.

Summer Lounge
Oil on Canvas, 9x12"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pink Mules

My poor husband. He buys me such hip shoes. Only to see them on canvas, as opposed to seeing them on my feet. He bought these at a punk/goth boutique called "Roadkill" in New Orleans. The owner is a friend of ours and gave us a good deal on them, as well as some black fishnets. Naturally, I was urged to wear them immediately. Trapesing around New Orleans in mules and fishnets is an interesting experience, one that I'm not compelled to repeat. Do men have any clue about the dichotomy between how these look and how they actually feel? (Does it matter?)
Pink Mules
Acrylic on Canvas 12x12"

Monday, January 24, 2011

This Weekend's Boston Workshop

Here is a small sampling of the work created in the Boston Workshop... 12 people created 87 small paintings / technique swatches in 1 day (5 hours).

Listed below are blog posts about this weekend's Boston workshop, "Not your Mother's Acrylics" written by two students that attended it.

They totally validate my own experience in working with these new acrylic materials -
  1. 'why would I ever want to paint on (or with) _______ (fill in the blank with a paste, gel or ground) and
  2. 'I can't stop thinking about new ways of incorporating _____(fill in the blank with a paste, gel or ground) into my work -- and I can't get to sleep!
These gals say it much better than I, so read on...

No wonder everyone was exhausted - in a good way, they really explored a slew of paints, gels, pastes, colors, surfaces, textures, techniques, iridescent and interference materials, and more. Some people did small reference sections on each board, with notes off to the side outlining what material and paint types they used, others did actual little paintings and used one technique for the whole thing. We encouraged everyone to write step-by-step notes of their process, because its so easy to get lost in the moment, going with the flow, then look at what you did and say "how the %$@*! did I do that?" If you want to recreate that cool thing you did, better take notes, because so much material gets covered, it can be quite overwhelming, but incredibly exciting.

I will be offering this and other types of workshops in the Rockland/Westchester area soon, through the art centers I teach at (Rockland Center for the Arts, Rye Art Center and Pelham Art Center), as well as free Lecture/Demo's where I will be giving out free paint and product samples to all that attend. If anyone is interested, let me know and I'll put you on the list to be notified of upcoming classes and dates. I will post these on my blog as they are scheduled, in a new listing called "Workshops and Demos". BTW - all levels welcome!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bold Brush Painting Contest Finalist

I just returned from a weekend in Boston, where I co-taught a workshop on Acrylic techniques using the full line of Golden products. It was a long weekend - but tons of fun. When I finally got home (a 7 hour ordeal) and was checking my emails, I saw that I was chosen as a finalist in the "Bold Brush Painting Competition". The category I won was "Outstanding Acrylic". I entered on a last minute whim... and must admit I felt really daunted when I saw the 600+ other images I was "competing" against - for the most part, very high quality work. I won a $350 prize - awesome!
Posted here is the painting I entered. I worked from a really blurry photo I took with my cell phone while on the subway. I just had to capture this New York moment - clearly the guy in the foreground had one LONG day. I know the feeling, buddy... this is exactly what I looked like today in the course of my car, bus, train, bus then taxi ride home. (hmmm, I hope there wasn't an artist with a cell phone sitting across from me!) For anyone who wants to see the winners in the show, here is the link:
Bronx Bound (SOLD)
Acrylic on Canvas, 24x24" (Sold)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pink Buckled Handbag

Snow and sleet - just when I don't want it. Sometimes I actually do like it (the snow, never the sleet), but not tomorrow. I have to leave for Boston to teach a weekend workshop. And the weather reports are... stay home! Not an option... Boston, here I come.
Pink Buckle'd Handbag
Acrylic on Canvas 12x12"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fuschia Birken Bag

I'm not the dedicated follower of fashion I once was but apparently these Birken bags are all the rage. I myself go for the fakes on Canal Street -within weeks they will be covered with paint splatters, like the rest of my clothes, a festive multi-colored effect!
Fuschia Birken Bag
Acrylic on Canvas, 12x12"

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Golden Artist Colors - Gels, Pastes, and Grounds Demonstration

Today I did a demonstration for the Scarsdale Art Association on Golden Pastes, Grounds and Gels. Basically this was about how these Golden products can be used as grounds (as a surface to paint on) and mediums (mixed in with the paint). Every year I get invited to do a demonstration for their artists and I usually do a "Fast, Loose and Bold" painting. This year I offered them the option of teaching a mini-lecture on how these various products can provide new and interesting surfaces and textures they can integrate into their paintings. The lecture went very well - LOTS of questions about the products and the correct way to use them.
Its very fulfilling for me to share this information, because I myself find these options so exciting. The more I work with them, the more I think of new ways to use them. I have never considered myself drawn to working in thinner type watercolor-style paintings... until now. My niche is all about thick paint. Will that change? Probably not. But the fact that I so thoroughly enjoyed working on these various grounds made me realize that I want to work with them more. For instance, when I travel or paint en plein air, schlepping around a suitcase full of heavy body paints is, well.. heavy. Working in a watercolor style would lighten my load immensely. The thought I had while painting in this very fluid style was that "the painting is painting itself" - the colors were flowing and mixing and pooling in the grooves of the texture - wow - its so cool. And it felt really natural and... fun. I feel like I just discovered a treasure chest full of toys. Can't wait to get into the studio and play with them more! I'm looking forward to teaching hands-on workshops in these products, which will be posted here on my blog as I start adding them into my schedule. I will be co-teaching a hands-on workshop about Golden products in Boston this coming weekend with a friend of mine, and very much looking forward to it.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Eau De Provence (SOLD)

Last night, in my late night scramble to find a subject to paint, I realized I've been neglecting glass. All those reflections! I never feel like I have enough time to get into that complexity, it seems so time consuming. Excuses, excuses. So I reached for a pretty little bottle of perfume sitting on my dresser and forged ahead bravely. Truth be known, glass is like anything else... one color spot next to another color spot, keep the values correct, don't get too fussy. When I find that my paint starts to get sticky and tacky (1- 1.5 hours) I know its time to quit. The properties of acrylic paint make it a perfect automatic alarm clock. Glass - its fun!
Eau De Provence - SOLD
Acrylic on Canvas 6x6"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Metallics

These are NOT Dancin' Shoes, I learned the hard way. Nor are they walkin' shoes. Or go to see a concert shoes. They are, however, wonderful paintin' shoes. So I did.
My Metallics
Acrylic on Canvas 12x12"

Monday, January 10, 2011

More Macs

Whenever I have a new student I do a quickie demo for them, just to show the technique with the big brushes, applying color, being aware of the values, etc. I do try to keep the whole thing within about 1/2 hr -45 min., so they can see how fast it can be, after all thats the name of the class... Here's one I did today for my students. Apples are always a great demo - simple shapes, pretty colors, what could go wrong? (Answer: plenty!) I have to do 4 demos this coming weekend for a large group of seasoned painters... yikes - wish me luck!

More Macs
Acrylic on Canvas 8x10 $150

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I've heard it's good to paint in a series - like 2, 4 or 6 paintings of the same/similar subject, same size, same style, etc. so they all go together, and potentially could be bought together as a series. Another reason is that there is something nice about having a series; it looks cohesive, they each complement the whole, and it feels like you had an idea and explored it beyond the initial attempt. I felt that "Two Cups" needed a complimentary piece to go with it, so heres what I did today.
Acrylic on Canvas, 6x6" $100.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Two Grannies

Red Delicious (previous blog post) needed a mate - two voluptuous grannies were available and interested... maybe I should have named this Ménage a Trois?
Two Grannies
Acrylic on Canvas, 6x6" $100.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Red Hot Jazz

Someone asked a question about the painting of the girl in the airport, ("Busted Flat"), whether I painted at the Airport. Painting in public places is do-able, depending on restrictions and permissions, but entails a lot of issues to cope with. What I like to do is sketch and do paintings from the sketches. I did this painting to illustrate how its done -
My husband is a jazz musician (the bass player) and often I go to his gigs and sketch the band while they are playing. Here's a pen sketch - I focused on the big shapes and the values. Not much detail, but just enough to tell a story. Then I did the painting using a limited palette, just using a few colors to indicate values. I did not take photos so I had no extra information to rely on, which forced me to improvise ... which is what the painting is all about.

Red Hot Jazz
Acrylic on canvas, 9x12"

Monday, January 3, 2011

Eye Candy

Yesterday I hung a show of 25 pieces, some of them were my smaller daily paintings, which look so nice as a grouping of 6 or 9. I mounted them on wooden 6x6" boxes that have a 2" depth so they stood away from the wall very nicely. I painted each box a coordinating color, which made for a very lively and colorful presentation. The show is in Beacon, NY, about 1 mile from the Dia Museum Art Foundation, and about 90 minutes from NYC. The curator saw my work in a group show last year and we have been planning this for several months. Its always a kick in the butt to prepare for shows - framing, promo materials, last minute touches, etc. But seeing all the work up on the wall, in their color matched boxes, mmmm - easy on the eyes and satisfying for the soul!
Eye Candy
Oil on Canvas, 6x6"