Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays

I decided to revisit a previous painting. I decided to change the size and the color, somewhat. Behine the easle are two barn style doors that open and give me a lot of light when I paint. But the photo looked better with the doors closed. This is the painting in progress. I think my coffee is getting cold. See my pink cup in the foreground?
Here is the finished painting. ( I wish I had done a better job of cropping the image, that dark line at the bottom is not part of the painting.)
Wishing you all a wonderful holiday.
"Sunny Day on Pearl Street" 20" x 16" acrylic unframed $485.00
in the gallery now

Thursday, December 22, 2011

From Abstract Study to expressive realism

This acrylic study is the basis for the oil painting below. The acrylic is loose and abstract. I like it for it's freshness.
"Into the Evening" 16" x 20" acrylic on canvas unframed. $345.00

This oil painting still isn't resolved and I'm not sure how to finish it, so it will have to sit for awhile and rest. In the meantime the acrylic has made it into the gallery.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Odds and ends

Well, it is the time of year when everyone feels like they have a million irons in the fire and I am no exception. I have had a number of orders to get out, and the store to get stocked for the Holiday tourists that fill Key West the week between Christmas and New Year's. Plus I can't stay away from my paint brushes even when I have other things to do. Here are a few items that are going in the gallery and a very special dog bowl that is a Christmas gift for a friend who has a rescued puppy. (That's a secret, so don't tell).

I'll show the paintings in another post. I hope everyone is doing well.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I'm still here

Just a few images to prove that I am still working. And maybe these bright tropical colors will entice some of you to come and spend a few days in Key West and visit my gallery.

7 Artists Key West

604 Duval Street

Key West, FL

Monday, December 5, 2011

No Excuse

I have no excuse for being gone from "blog land" for so long. I have been busy, but it hasn't seemed like I have been doing anything really blog worthy. However, I did buy some really inexpensive paints and have been doing some experimental painting.

They are very fluid acrylic paints, and while they are not great paint, I don't feel bad about using a lot of paint and not being sure about the results. They are Lukas brand acrylic paints and you really get a lot for not much money. But some of the colors seem "off" and chalky and you have to tweak them to get the color you want. For example, I couldn't mix a decent black and I had to use a store bought black on the above cowpainting. I use a large sheet of plexi for a pallette and really pour out a lot of paint.

I also bought a big box of 16 x 20 canvas. The plan is to use these supplies up doing lots of experimental work. Most of which will probably just be for my own education. I was happy with the cow painting and it is hanging in the gallery.

But I have had very little time to paint and most of my time has been spent making pottery for customers who want special things in time for Christmas.

the cow painting is titled, "Those big brown eyes"

acyrlic on canvas, unframed 16 x 20" $395.00

Monday, October 31, 2011


This painting sat unresolved in my studio for many months. I just didn't know how to finish it. I finally decided to approach it the same way I did my recent bird paintings. See the April, 24 2011 post to see it "before".

"Little Gem on Pearl Street"
24" x 20" $495.00 acrylic on canvas

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Saturday's glaze fire

I haven't done this little sail boat design in a while.

Flip flop spoonrests in assorted colors and designs. $23.00

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Love on the half shell

I finished this painting a couple of weeks ago but never got around to taking a photo.  Now it is framed and hanging on the gallery wall.  I meant to take some pictures at the opening.  But I was having fun talking to friends and just forgot.  We all had a good time and it was fun to see the gallery full of people.  Saturday I had a hard time getting motivated to do much.  But I did get some pottery started and I continued on today.  I think the next couple of weeks will be mostly pottery.  But I would like to paint another cow.  Thanks to all my friends who came to the opening.  It was great to see you.

"Love on the half shell"
oil on board
16" x 20"

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

You are invited

What do you do when you have paintings piling up in your studio? HAVE AN OPENING!  This is a last minute kind of party so just come as you are.

Friday October 7, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
7 Artists Key West
604 Duval Street

Sunday, September 25, 2011

This week's pottery

 A customer had a request for some fish flops.  So I made a few pair.  I've also made some nesting wall chickens.  I used to make a lot of those "back in the day" and it seemed like fun to do some again.
I also made some flip flop ornaments.  Some for me and some for Margaritaville Key West.

Little wall chickens are $29
flip flop ornaments are $22
fish flops $48 a pair

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Learning curve

I have been wanting to paint a cow for quite some time.  While going through my stacks of paper to use there was another odd size one that just said "cow head" to me.  At the time I put my signature on it I thought it was finished but as I look at it now I see a number of improvements I could make, and that is a good thing.  It means I learned something.  But now the decision, do you go back and work on it some more? or do you leave it as is and apply what you learned to the next one?

acrylic on paper
about 15" x 15"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Standing Tall and Proud

This great blue heron, again on odd size paper, looks like he is standing guard at the entrance to the swamp.
"Great Blue Heron" acrylic on paper
11" x 7"

I call this one "Ruffled Feathers"
acrylic on paper
11" x 7"
I get to see white herons, and great white egrets on a regular basis in the wetland areas that surround where I live. But a blue heron sighting is more rare. For these poses I would like to thank the artists who share their photos on

This painting is on larger paper 15" x 11'

no title as of yet

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Feathered friends

September in Key West is a quiet month. Not very many visitors and the snow birds haven't returned yet. The gallery ( 7 Artists Key West) is opened limited hours this month and I am using my extra time in the studio as best I can. I am determined to use up art supplies that I have on hand. Some of which is beautiful watercolor paper that was cut in an odd size for a workshop and didn't get used. The paper is about 7" wide and 11" long. Not standard at all, but a great shape for this series of expressive roosters. My plan was to start abstractly with just shapes and then use layering and brushwork to resolve the image. My new favorite brush is a synthetic liner that was perfect for the feathers. I used acrylic paint for all the paintings in this series. I will be showing more.

I like the above image because even though there is a lot of activity in the grass and feathers he seems calm and reflective.
"Lost in thought"
acrylic on paper
I think this rooster is just about to shake himself into a crow.
"Day Break II" acrylic on paper

I like this rooster very much but it has a "commercial" feel to it (my opinion). That may be the result of the color palette and its abstract qualities.
"Day Break I" acrylic on paper

The title says it all.

"All riled up" acrylic on paper

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Big Skies and the white dot trick

Here in the Keys, we have been having some really lovely big skies. The dark clouds move in, drop some heavy rain and move out. Leaving bright clouds and puddles. This is a painting of those skies with a marina in it. One of the things I learned while doing this painting is the white dot trick. I often use a dark spot in a painting to stop the eye from moving out of the picture plain. It acts like a period at the end of a sentence. In this painting I found that a white dot works just as well. I got this little insight when I placed the little area of light that comes between the two boats in the lower right hand corner. There is also a more muted one in the peak of the building at the edge of the left side. I have been looking at the work of English landscape painters lately, so this is painted with the palette I call my "gray skies palette" Lemon yellow, vermillion, ultramarine blue, naples yellow, yellow ochre, English red, and titanium white.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Searching for a title

Sometimes it seems that finding the right title is harder than painting. This lovely blue heron and turtle are from a photo on In the photo they were facing away from each other. But I wanted the painting to be about their relationship. I placed them facing each other and they are having a converstion. They are very comfortable in each other's company dispite their differences. Now I just need a title that will say all of that in two or three words. It may take me awhile but I will come up with one. This painting is 20" x 24" and is still on the drying rack.

P.S. However, a painting where they are not looking at each other might be an interesting way to show a shift in their relationship.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Low country marsh

I have been experimenting with painting with oils on a very absorbent ground. It is an acrylic gesso mixed with calcium carbonate. While this technique is new to me it is not new to others. It really speeds up the drying of the first coat of paint and lets the second coat go on without the colors getting muddy, which so often happens in oil painting. I did tweak this painting a little after I took the picture. I made the marina in the distance a little whiter and I made the the edge where the reeds hit the water a little darker.

I call it "A distant marina"

14" x 18" not sure if it is finished.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sunny Day in Tuscany


I did a lot of painting this week and I have been continuing my "travels". I went to Italy, England, and the low country, USA. Here is my painting of Tuscany. I enjoyed wandering around these hills, but I'm not sure if the painting is finished yet.
12" x 16" oil

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Loose and Juicy Flowers


Loose and Juicy Flowers

This week in painting class there was a large vase of flowers to paint. I had a large canvas and decided to paint loosely on the canvas the same as I did on paper last week. (See earlier post) I covered the canvas with various blues mixed with a lot of water. While it was still wet I sprinkled it with alcohol. That is was created the spots with halos. Then I took white and did a thin negative shape painting of the vase, flowers and table top. Then I laid in the large yellow flowers as focal points and worked all over the canvas adding more flowers and leaves.

This is the finished piece. I'm happy with it.

This is what the sky looked like while we were painting (the class is out doors). If I ever put two twin clouds like that in a painting they would just look fake.


"Wild Flowers" 24" x 20"

framed in a white frame SOLD

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The colors of summer

I love watching art instructional DVDs. I recently added several new ones to my collection with the intention of watching them while I am on the elliptical trainer. It is amazing how fast 35 minutes go by while I am watching someone who wants to share painting skills. One of my new DVDs is by Robert Burridge, on painting loose floral paintings. I have taken a Burridge workshop before so watching the DVD was like a refresher course and I think I put it to good use with this fun painting. Another exciting thing is that Mr. Burridge is going to be in Key West in February conduction a plein air workshop. I have already signed up and can't wait.

Most of my other DVDs are on plein air painting and it is so beastly hot I'm not sure when I'll paint outside again. Although now that I think about it my studio isn't air conditioned so what's the dif? ( At least I'm out of the sun and have lots and lots of fans.)

"The colors of summer"

11" x 14" acrylic on paper

matted and framed (black with a gold edge) to 16" x 20"


A Moment in Venice

Late summer and September is when Key Westers head for Europe and other fun spots. The town gets quiet and everyone is sick of the heat and mosquitoes, so it's a good time to "get out of Dodge". I won't be headed to Europe any time soon but thanks to I can be a vicarious traveler. On there is a section where artists (very generously) share their photos and allow other artists to use them without any copyright infringement issues. I found a lovely little photo of Venice that was really fun to paint.

Note to artists; You might have to go through a lot of photos before you find one you like.

Recent firing.

Last Friday's firing had the recently discussed chip and dip pieces, some fish spoon rests for Margaritaville Key West's web site, some coasters and a special order plaque.

A customer came to me about a month ago with a special request. She wanted the above saying on a plaque that could be outside in the weather and she wanted it a certain size. Other than that I could do what I wanted. I came up with this little scene to go with her text. I hope she likes it. It leaves via UPS tomorrow for her house in Tallahassee.

Three chip and dips, one very tropical and two not so much.

Of the three chip and dip pieces I made recently I decided to do only one with a tropical theme and two that are packed with bright colors but no specific motifs. I do love the tropical flora and fauna but I can understand that not everyone does. So for those people, there are two color-packed contemporary style chip and dips.

Tropical chip and dip $124.00

Comtemporary chip and dips $94.00

In 7 Artists Key West gallery now.

604 Duval Street
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