Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sunflower: Emerge

This is my second original oil painting of a sunflower, based on the sunflowers Allan and I grew in our garden this summer. For various reasons, this painting was tedious and I grew tired of it in a hurry. I was attempting to emulate a classical, realistic painting technique based on an article in one of my artist magazines. But I guess my tendancy towards perfection took over, and no matter what I did, it just wasn't realistic enough. Thus, I became disillusioned. The next and subsequent paintings I'm working on, (now in progress) are less focused on realism and more focused on 'feeling'. It works better that way and that's the truth!
~ I will keep the brush happy in my hand! ~

Sunday, October 18, 2009

October Wind #2

This is continuation of my October Wind series. I started it in early October and originally named it Klickitat Wind because all the wind turbines are in Klickitat County, Washington. Then I decided to rename it because the most intriguing component of this series (aside from the turbines themselves), are the gold, brown and orange fall colors. I wanted to tie it into the time of year, instead of the location.

This piece is small, painted directly on an oil primed panel, and is pretty true to the colors I actually saw. I like it because it is very painterly, with lots of loose brushstrokes.

I Googled 'klickitat county wind turbines' and found this article that says Klickitat County is becoming the Northwest's wind farm capital.


Check out my new book: 'Power of the Wind', and join my Facebook Fan Page to see paintings in progress!

Friday, October 16, 2009


Rhody #1 - oil on panel - 12 x 16

I resurrected this painting because I was happy to learn it was published in this year's edition of Crosscurrents, the annual magazine of the Washington Community College Humanities Association (WCCHA).

I hadn't heard of Crosscurrents before Ray Cooper, art instructor at Lower Columbia College, invited me to submit my artwork. Since then I've unearthed a previous year's issue and liked it very much. So it was an honor to be included this year.

The WCCHA is a state-wide network of humanities faculty whose goal is to foster creative thought, craft and instruction at the community-college level.

In his Crosscurrents President's message, Jared Leising of Cascadia Community College writes that it is difficult to 'quantitatively' measure the value of the humanities. He says, "One need only read an issue of Crosscurrents to understand this organization means a great deal to students in this state and the people who are teaching them."

As one of those former students I believe in the power of the humanities: art, poetry, music and theatre. Where would any of us be without it in our lives?

That's something to think about!

~Special thanks to Ray Cooper for coordinating artwork for Crosscurrents.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

October Wind #1

I haven't painted a wind turbine in 10 months! Last weekend we drove home from Kennewick on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. The hills were golden ochre, the sky was blue/grey, and wind turbines were churning on both sides of the river. I've never seen so many! I spent most of the trip snapping pictures through my passenger side window. A couple of times Allan stopped, thinking we could take a side road into a wind farm, but they were fenced off. We were in Klickitat County.

The colors were so magnificent that I had to sit down and paint when I got home. This is my first in the series--at least the series I hope to paint! It was painted directly, in one evening, on an oil primed panel that I'd prepared last January.

Here's some of the photos I snapped, and here's the book of all my previous wind turbine paintings. Looks like I'm back to 'painting the wind'!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Sharon's Sweet Peas!

Last July we attended a family reunion and I met my cousin Sharon for the first time. Her home had a wonderful patio area with pool, deck and lots of flower, herb and vegetable plantings. When I wasn't visiting (or eating) I happily snapped photos of all the vegetation.

The colors in this painting caught my heart. I love the brights and contrasts. Several of my FB friends inquired about purchase, so I have set the price at $450.

If you are interested in purchasing, please e-mail me. If you are local I will deliver to your home. If it have to mail it, shipping charges will apply, and I can only do so in the USA. If you are Sharon or Bob, thanks again for the lovely reunion! Dad will never forget it!

Here's a post on this painting in progress.
Join my Facebook Fan Page, the only place to see my paintings in progress!
~ I will keep the brush happy in my hands! ~

Sunday, October 04, 2009

October First Friday Highlights - Hood River!

First Friday at the Naked Winery
top image - My new painting at the Naked Winery!
Seen in photo (l-r): myself, Anna Weber, wine educator; John Tickner, tasting room manager

bottom image - Me at the bar having a glass of wine
You can see my paintings in the background

Our first stop in Hood River was the Naked Winery tasting room, to chat with owner David Barringer and install my newest figure painting, Meringue Angel. David and staff were all busy, because First Friday brings a lot of customers and traffic to Hood River, but everyone was very gracious, taking time to talk with us, posing for a photo in front of my painting, and even letting me try on tee-shirts. The Naked Winery has been very accommodating to hanging my figure paintings in a non-traditional setting (for artwork display). I've sold two, so it must be working! The staff said they loved the work, and customers often comment on it. Thanks Naked!


Ellen Dittebrant at the Columbia Center for the Arts

top image - Ellen Dittebrandt
bottom image - Ellen's paintings at the Columbia Center for the Arts

Just behind the Naked Winery is the Columbia Center for the Arts. Many different artists were showing there, but I had the chance to chat with Ellen Dittebrandt, who's paintings I've loved for years, having first seen them at the Mother Goose Gallery in downtown Portland. Ellen is a colorist and her work is bright and vibrant; that's why I love it. I'd really like to acquire a smaller painting one of these days. She and I chatted about acrylic techniques and so forth, and even though she was busy with potential customers, she agreed to pose for a picture. Thanks Ellen!

Benjamin Benjamin Gallery

top image - Benjamin Benjamin Gallery interior
bottom image - Benjamin Benjamin Gallery entrance and sign

Around the corner from the Columbia Center is the Benjamin Benjamin Gallery, with an October showing by Brian and Corinne Vegter. Brian is a dog artist and his acrylic paintings of vacations with his dog were lively and vibrant. Corinne's ceramic travel trailers complete with interior lighting were unique and unusual. There was quite a crowd roasting s'mores on a little brazier outside the entrance, which fit well with the 'family vacation' show theme. I enjoyed talking briefly with Brian about his acrylic works, and Benjamin Benjamin curator Myah Bailey and her husband Scott were so gracious to us, as always. Here's Brian's blog posting about the show.

That's it for my First Friday in Hood River experience. It was fabulous!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

October First Thursday Highlights

Margret Short at the Lawrence Gallery
Margret's display of Egyptian pigments (below)
First Thursday in Portland brought us several surprises. At the Lawrence Gallery we had the chance to chat with Margret Short and she was kind enough to pose for a picture, even though we'd just met. Margret's show, 'Lessons from the Pharoah's Tombs' consisted of her series of paintings exploring the pigments of ancient Egypt. Her paintings are so beautiful! She traveled to Egypt to study the Egyptian mytholody and painting methods. I admire Margret because she's a scholar of the 17th century Dutch artists, including Rembrandt. I also admire Rembrant, particularly after seeing his works at the Met last spring, so it was inspiring to talk with someone who's studied his work extensively.

Pictured above is Margret, below it is the glass cabinet displaying momentos from her trip, including glass bottles containing the actual Egyptian pigments that Margret used for her paintings.
State of Grace, Jennifer Gray at the Lawrence Gallery

At the Lawrence we also saw paintings by Jennifer Gray, a figure artist I've loved for several years. She typically paints in toned washes of browns, grays or greens. She also does some abstract work. This piece was amazing!

We were also surprised to also discover Bev Jozwiak is showing at the Lawrence, both watercolors and acrylics. We've always loved her work, having seen it in many shows and galleries over the years.

Tamara English at the ANKA Gallery

We were so surprised to discover that ANKA Gallery is located in the former Rake Gallery space, where I had my Metamorphosis show in December 2007. The Rake Gallery closed in July 2008, much to my dismay. Curator Jeremy Tucker had scheduled my Power of the Wind for September 2008, but had to cancel it. I subsequently showed these works at Lower Columbia College's Art Gallery in January 2009.

But our objective in visiting ANKA Gallery was to see Tamara English's paintings, which inspire me because she patterns her color and design after Persian rugs. I'm fond of intricate and delicate things, and just seeing her paintings makes me feel good. I'd buy one, if I wasn't such a starving artist myself!

We alse learned that the ANKA Gallery showing was part of a larger Portland celebration in honor of the Pacific Northwest College of Art's 100th anniversary. Galleries all over town were showing works by former students and/or instructors. Tamara apparently attended there.

Sherrie Wolf at the Laura Russo Gallery

At the Laura Russo Gallery I was taken aback at Sherrie Wolf's colorful, delicate and inspiring paintings. I had to study them for a while in order to realize that she creates her backgrounds from 17th century French or German paintings, then adds her own flower or fruit arrangements in the foreground. Many of the backgrounds consist of menagerie paintings, which I'd heard of but didn't quite understand. Allan explained they are French paintings featuring exotic animals. Sherrie's work reminds me of Janet Fish's paintings, which I love. I definitely have to learn more about Sherrie's work!


Broadsides at the 23 Sandy Gallery

I'd never heard of a Broadside until Lower Columbia College English Instructor Joe Green explained it to me. A form of book art, a Broadside is a combination of relief printing and letterpress printing. The 23 Sandy Gallery's Web site says Broadsides 'were developed in the fifteenth century for royal proclamations, official notices and even advertisements.' Today they are the intersection between literature and art.

Seen above is Allan viewing the show. The piece directly in front of him is Joe Green's Broadside of William Stafford's poem, Meditation, with relief printing by Joe's wife Marquita. Allan said he took a class once from William Stafford!

That's the end of my First Thursday highlights! It was one of the best First Thursdays I've ever attended!