Tuesday, April 15, 2014

self portrait 2014

test post from new phone...

bear with me while I try to get the hang of posting from my phone...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Rosie's Hands

9 x 12 oil on canvas panel
This commissioned painting has had quite an evolution, beginning with a monochrome oil drawing. At one point I thought it was done but after the paint dried the skin tones just weren't pleasing to me anymore. And I decided that overall there was too narrow a value range. So I lightened the pink fabric to almost white so the hands were set off better, added some darker shadows and added some new colors and subtleties which I hoped would give the hands a more 3D appearance.  Previously I had the painting in a vertical format but this afternoon decided I like it better horizontal. I may need to move that signature for the new orientation but I'll ask my collector first, how she'll intend to hang it. I'm so pleased she now has three of my paintings, all commissioned. Thanks, Judy!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Meghan Morongova 1

This is the first portrait I did of Meghan in August from a two hour sitting. The second one is below.  Just the slightest changes in proportions and placement of features make them look very different from each other. I had to give this to Meghan to hang in the show when I wasn't quite done with the mouth and it isn't even varnished but she tells me her husband has it hanging proudly over his desk. I think I captured her essence a little better in this one but style-wise I prefer the second one. Which works out great because I get to look at it here in my house :-)  This is in oil on a panel and is just slightly smaller than the one below but I don't have the exact dimensions at the moment.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Harley and Freelee

13 x 17 oil on board
There's a health movement out there that is centered on fruitarianism.  That is, people who eat a diet of almost all raw fruit, with fruit, salad and greens at night.  I've been experimenting with following this lifestyle the last six months and I feel good and have lost weight. There are people on YouTube who make videos touting this way of living and these are two of them:  Durianrider (Harley Johnstone) and Freelee the Banana Girl. They're shown here at the Woodstock Fruit Festival which was all last week in New York. I'm thinking of doing a series of portraits of other gurus in the raw vegan movement. Not sure what I'll do with them but I'm trying to tie in my painting with other important interests in my life, and health is sure one of them :-)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Portrait of Meghan Morongova

16 x 12 oil on canvas board, NFS

  This is the second version of my commissioned portrait of photographer/teacher/model Meghan. The first version was tighter and less colorful and still needs work. I think this one looks more like her. She wears her very long hair in this Frida Kahlo-like style sometimes and I took some liberties with the haircolor and detail. She was here at my house posing and we talked most of the three or so hours and that was a new thing for me -- beginning and attempting to make good progress on a portrait while simultaneously talking with the model. I'm so used to painting a quiet model or doing a portrait from a photo but it was certainly more interesting, I'm just not sure it helped the first painting. This one will be on display in the gallery of the play Art Show/Model Show that opened in Austin, TX last night at the OffShoot. It is part of the Fusebox Festival and runs Thursday through Sunday for this and the following two weekends. Meghan is one of the producers of the show which we got to see tonight. The five member group poses and tells stories over an hour and the audience is encouraged to sketch them, while watching other artists down on the floor who are drawing and painting them. I was happy and honored to have three of my paintings up on the walls there amid those of some of my favorite Austin artists.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Jen Reclining

14 x 18 oil on Ampersand board
Here is what I got so far from a 45 minute pose by the model Jen last night at AS/MS (Art Show/Model Show) painting group.  The colors here are adjusted on Photoshop but still aren't accurate.  The blues aren't that iridescent and underneath there is an overall much more warm gold cast coming through. (the orange-y color on her chest is actually in the background of the entire painting)  The last few weeks I've been taking pictures with my phone since my camera died, and it always dulls the colors like crazy and I have to try and bring them back with Photoshop.  I'm about to resolve the camera situation but until then I have to adjust as I can. Anyway I came away with three other smallish paintings and was happy with 75% of what I did.  The group is now going to have clothed sessions instead of nude since their landlord requested that.  That's fine by me; I like the challenge of painting fabric and furniture, and it adds color variety.  This group usually has mainly one light source, which is great for helping me paint the volumes more accurately.  My other painting group uses light from all sides and you can see from the portrait in progress below how it minimizes shadows so I see it all as more washed out.  Hmmm, I'll just need to adjust my vision for the differences I guess.
Thank you for stopping by to see what I've got going.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Portrait of Jayne in Progress

24 x 24 oil on stretched linen
In our Friday painting group most of us started over on our portraits of Jayne today.  This was to be the second of three days we would all work on them.  I had a side view last week and was painting on such a small board that I got frustrated -- I don't like making tiny strokes but especially not on a figurative piece.  Today Anne Nelson Sweat and I switched places so she had a more 3/4 view and I had this more frontal angle; we were both happier with today's perspectives.  At this stage the values and colors are too close so next week I intend to increase the value contrast as well as refine the arms and hands.  I left the painting at Anne's house so I wouldn't alter it without looking at the model.  She is young and I will need to give her face more softness and less angularity.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunny Nap

6.5 x 6.5 oil on cradled hardboard
This week I've had my easel set up in the kitchen with a bunch of small prepared boards.  I thought it would be fun to paint my rabbit whenever I see him sitting still or asleep and this is one I did today.  He had positioned himself right under a sunny window, snuggled up alongside his favorite stuffed animal Shamu. I could see the golden sunlight coming through and illuminating his ear, and the painting shows that in real life but didn't come out in this photo.   He looked so warm and blissful and it was like meditation to paint him napping.  It reminded me of having a young baby the way we were tiptoeing around trying to not wake him up -- funny.  I have starts on about seven other paintings of him in various poses and I plan to get them all more finished as I find him posing each way for me again. I'm also working on a portrait in group sessions with some other artist friends the next couple of weeks so this will keep me on my painting toes between times.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rescued Pig in Haybed

9 x 12 pastel on paper, matted  $59 incl. S/H
More playing around with pastels.  I saw an image on the internet of a very contented-looking rescued pig at an animal sanctuary and was very taken with her sweet face. The thought of a rescued animal helps me focus on the "glass half full" aspects of it all.  Pigs are really intelligent and sweet (if treated well), and that's part of what helped me give up bacon and ham, which I loved to eat as much as anyone.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Snow Morning on Davis Hill

25 x 19 pastel on paper, $95 + S/H
Still working on getting more accustomed to pastels. I thought as long as I was still out of my comfort zone in the medium I might as well work on my area of least experience which would be landscapes.  I found this photo of the morning it snowed here last year (of course in central Texas we can only count on it every few years at most, even once).  Artists who live near snow are so lucky because it reduces the scene into big shapes and values, which we artists are always seeking anyway.  There's such a purity about those big forms and the rhythmic negative spaces they can generate.  I may... maybe... might also paint this same scene and compare the two pieces, the pastel and the oil version.  Same size. No promises but I like that idea.  Ideally the oil version would be done en plein air.  Next snow morning (several years from now most likely) I will try to plan on that.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

First Pastel Figure Work

19 x 25 pastel on paper
The Art Show/Model Show group had a drawing session yesterday. This piece was done from a one-hour pose. Starting from square one again I decided to extend my recent media switch from oil to pastel -- not a permanent change but am just branching out -- to figure work and on a larger scale of paper. (the pastel still lifes I've done have all been in the vicinity of 8 x 11)  And this is where, in my little blurb here it's tempting to start listing all the new challenges presented when a change is made in one's approach. The result is that you just sound like you're justifying whatever mediocrity/stinkage. I'll just leave all that out and say, look, I'm still trying. :0) But I *will* say this, to quote Ringo Starr: "it don't come easy..."

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Green Tomatoes With Peppers

9 x 12 pastel,  SOLD
Well, hello there!  It has been a while, yes.  So I was trying something new for me the other day and I found out that pastels present some unexpected challenges.  Not as easy as it looks, as is the case with so many things in art, and life...  These are some of my green tomatoes my husband thought were just ready for picking!  Uhhh, no, honey.  But when it came time for a still life I was glad they weren't red.  As far as my pastels I used a set of Rembrandt oil pastels that I bought in college back in 1979... glad I'm a hoarder and hadn't thrown them out for lack of being used.  Pastels are fun and I'll do more after I get some more paper.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cedar Elm Grove in Sunlight

14 x 11 oil on panel
Day two on this painting of a grove of cedar elms in the afternoon sun.  The first day I had a lot of low hanging branches obscuring my view of many of the tree trunks behind them.  I ended up doing quite a bit of tree trimming after I put my paint away so today I could see all 25 or so of them.  It was interesting how the light was a different color this afternoon even though it was, I believe, just as sunny as it was on Monday.  I will keep plugging away on landscapes even though they really challenge me.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Portrait of Loren

11 x 14 oil on canvas panel
My subject is the cherished daughter of my friend Janie.  Loren, whose exotic beauty stunned people everywhere she went, was deeply in love and engaged to be married at the time she passed away after a long battle with cancer.  I feel so honored that her mother asked me to paint her for her project in Africa, Loren's Hope, as it was always Loren's desire to go to Africa.  Her portrait will hang there in the medical mission in Arusha, Tanzania after my friend Lori Dunne frames it.  Thank you again, Janie, for this privilege.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Portrait of Mandy

24 x 30 x 1.5 oil on gallery wrapped canvas
This is a portrait for my husband's brother Roy and his family.  My late very-adored mother in law Mary Love commissioned me to paint Mandy.  Mandy was a much beloved Sheltie with really soft fur and always had a happy smile, never met a stranger, all those wonderful traits.  She looks like a small Lassie to me except that she is a sheltie, not a collie.  Looking forward to delivering this and glad to have kept my promise to Mary Love.  Both she and Mandy are now in heaven getting their well-deserved rewards.  Two very loved girls.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pears Near Window

12 x 12 oil on Ampersand panel   SOLD

Today I was going for a limited palette, hoping to tie everything together well.  Also had in mind loose edges and attempting to capture the light on the form.   I still didn't get the feeling of volume I was seeking and I can see that my values are still too similar, need to shoot for some stronger darks next time.  I do like these colors I got though, and I like that the brushstrokes have a similar feeling to what I did in the last boots painting.  But the main thing is, back at it.  I tried yesterday and wiped it.  Does anyone really want to look at a bicycle seat?  Too bad if so, it's history!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Self Portrait

16 x 12 oil on masonite panel
I always have to feel my way along with proportions.  I've heard about the rules of feature placement (Peggy Kroll Roberts', etc.) but those just confuse me.  What I need to do is hang myself upside down like a bat and then paint what I see, since I'm not working from a photo.  If you don't know about that trick, turning your reference photo upside down makes you see big value shapes and exactly where they are so you don't rely on what you *think* you know/see in front of you.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Molly at the Beach

8 x 10 oil on canvas
It feels good to have a Christmas dog portrait commission done before December!  Molly is big labrador retriever and she loves the water (I guess, as does probably any dog who hasn't had a frontal lobotomy).   I think she has a really sweet face.  I'm tempted to paint her again, just for myself, in wild colors.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Faith Rescued

6 x 8 oil on canvas
I have some friends who are heavily involved with GALT, the Greyhound Adoption League of Texas.  This is their very special foster dog Faith who when taken from a home in Fort Worth, was covered in ticks and fleas, had intestinal parasites galore and a litter of puppies to boot.  She also has tested positive for Ehrlichia. This photo shows her just after her rescue, getting some TLC finally.  She has had expensive surgeries and GALT is trying to raise money on December 3rd at their art auction in Dallas, to pay for her surgery and care (as well as for their other rescued greyhounds).  So I am trying my hand at painting this breed for the first time in hopes of making a bigger, better painting that might help raise some money at their auction.  Even with all her troubles she has had, she is a beautiful girl and I sense that she really appreciates being rescued.  She has also been reunited with her puppies.  I think I saw a trace of a smile on her face in my reference photo.  Oh, you know dogs smile!  Oh yes they do.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Boggy Creek Farmhouse plein air

12 x 16 oil on panel

I revisited Boggy Creek Farm this morning and decided to try and tackle their old farmhouse.  When I began painting, the shadows were all climbing up and over the house and by the time I finished several hours later they were hanging down from above.  I went ahead and kept the early ones.  I bet that in about April this garden area was full of greenery but I made do with what little plant life I could see.  I'll be on a plein air paintout in Fredericksburg this weekend so I needed to go get the cobwebs out of my outdoor painting skilz.  My goal next time on a house like this is to... simplify.  Maybe even just crop one area of the house and do that.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Boots Say "Get To Work"

20 x 16 x 1 1/2 Oil on gallery wrap canvas
These are my stompin' boots I bought a year or two ago, since we have a little problem with rattlesnakes around our property.  I usually only put them on when we have recently sighted one because they aren't as comfortable as I hoped they would be.  But when it's time to do serious work outside (as in, moving rocks or anything where those lovely creatures might pop up), I will don these babies.  I probably mostly just like how they look :-)   Regarding how this was painted, I felt like laying it down pretty darn loose today.
I haven't gotten a ton of painting done lately but I have lost 14 lbs since the photo of me driving the boat (that was in June).  Hooray!  Two steps forward in one area, a step forward elsewhere;  yin and yang and all that...
Oh, one more thing, Donna Crosby honored me by asking me to be her invited artist for an upcoming Austin Art Space Resident Artist Show on Saturday, October 15th.  I need to choose one large or two small available paintings to display that night.  Any opinions about which ones?  I love Donna and am so stoked she asked me to do this.  Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Looking Out From Within

26 x 11 oil on panel
 This was a 'getting back on the horse' exercise today.   I've got my studio set up back where I had it before, which really doesn't have the greatest natural light at this point in time.   I found that if I stood in the family room looking into it (the family room having super bright natural light) that I could really see my palette and I was able to focus and get after it.  It will all work out but ideally I would just take over the entire family room for my studio!  I'm sure no one in this house would have a problem with that.  :-)

We watched the old Kirk Douglas/Anthony Quinn movie about Van Gogh last night.  I had never seen it before and it got me all inspired to get my rear in gear today.  Thanks, Kirk!   I also found out I got in the Plein Air Austin juried exhibition next month (reception is Oct. 16th, 2 to 4 in the Chase Bank Building).  First time I've entered this show so I was relieved not to be... r...r...rejected!  Only entered one painting, the one of Boggy Creek Farm.  I feel like things are looking up in my art world; I've had a really good year so far on painting sales.  This could be my first year to qualify for paying taxes on my art income -- yikes!  It helps that I have weaned myself off of giving paintings away.  :-)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunset Profile

5 x 4 inches, oil on canvas, NFS
Again from the same photo but this time I painted her in oil and trying Hawthorne's 'spots of color' approach. I was just looking at Frank Gardner's 100 Mudheads Challenge site today and was glad to be reminded that I need to make paint spots that don't blend together. Every once in a while I have to relearn things because I get mentally lazy (or because my brain is just plain impaired). So in this study for the future portrait of my niece, I was attempting to follow Hawthorne's rule. And this is tiny if you will note the size. I'm not used to making such small strokes with a little bitty brush. Tricky, but a good exercise for me.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Shed Late Afternoon

12 x 12 oil on panel, SOLD

This is what I'm going to call quasi plein air, because I was looking out our window at this backyard scene. We have a whole lot of big trees so we always have a ton of stripey shadows this time of day. I had just painted some trim on the house and turned around and saw this and decided it was time to switch out paint and subject being painted. But oh man, really hot out there, so I painted it through the window in the cool of the A.C. I should try it again tomorrow out in the heat and see if the outcome is much different. Maybe at a different time of day too.

Monday, July 25, 2011

New Bales

12 x 16 oil on panel - plein air + studio  SOLD
This is the painting I did by the side of the road after the Plein Air Austin paintout weekend in Hunt, Texas in May. A sudden windstorm and approaching rain caused me to have to stop painting on the spot and I finished it at home. I included the fence, which I decided should have been left out (Stapleton Kearns' advice on his blog, and I agree one shouldn't 'fence out' the viewer). So, today I reworked the foreground and touched up some other areas. I thought it had too much mustard yellow in it before. Anyway I like it better now. This hay was super fresh - looked like it had just been baled and I tried to use tones that would convey that.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Great Times - study

6 x 6 oil on canvas
Here's a small study of some young boys in a small town athletic club. Specifically the Athens (TX) Athletic Club, in about 1932. More specifically that's my dad in the center of the front row. Written underneath the photo was "Estes Park, Colorado - Great times - Ersh."

Since I painted this from a blurry old black and white photo I thought sepia tones would work well just to establish major value areas. I really, really need to get some new brushes, the ones I used for this are like rakes, they're so old. Bad, bad, naughty Camille!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Time To Relax

12 x 16 oil on panel   SOLD
Nice cool saltillo tile is the perfect place for a bunny to sprawl out and beat the summer heat. And it's a good way to keep an eye on his owner while she paints to make sure she doesn't pull a fast one and slip out the door, never to return. Sometimes I think that's what he thinks I have in mind doing. Little does he know that I like our setup and I'm here to stay. Fear not, Disco.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


14 x 18 oil on canvas, private collection
Here are my sister, mother and dad at the beach in Galveston last summer.  My dad is really enamored with the history of Galveston and the Galvez Hotel, and my family has lots of great memories there.  I took this photo on the exact spot where my brother, sisters, cousins and I used to spend time when I was little. Good times.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Red Mug

5 x 7 oil on canvas board
I did what I've heard others do; went to Goodwill in search of colorful still life dishes (and my daughter can use them in her apartment). It seems that Monday is a good morning to go -- new things are in after a weekend of people unloading their garages, etc. I got a good haul that day, about eight Pier One mugs for 50 cents each. Also found a nice big heavy wood tray for $5 that had a $50 Pottery Barn sticker on the bottom. Since I avoid the mall like the plague this worked out well for me :0)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pearly Bird

6 x 6 oil on canvas, private collection

I have a mother of pearl bird that my mother-in-law brought me from Mexico. It is so delicate and I love the way the light hits it from any angle. I'm a big bird lover anyway so I have several small collectible birds. However, speaking of birds, they have eaten almost all of our grapes we just noticed. That is not a good thing! (for us, -- it's great for them! I hear a very vocal/happy mockingbird out there today - running on grape fructose no doubt) We'll figure something out by the time the next crops sprouts again next year. Maybe we'll need a scarecrow...

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Website, Blog & Upcoming Show

camilleolsenart.com, my new website, is finally loaded up with paintings. I hope you will stop by and see what it has to offer. I am going to move this blog there so everything is all in one place.

Also in August I will be in a group show at Russ & Company Salon in Austin, Texas. The opening is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, August 14th but the paintings will be up for almost a month, from August 9th through the first week in September. Kevin Dunne, Karina Martens, Connie Miller, Robbin Robertson, Deborah Thomas and I will all have five or six paintings each on view throughout the salon, located in a renovated three-story house near downtown. It should be a fun place to check out a great variety of artwork.

And finally, the 5 x 7 painting above is one I did several years ago from a photo of a child pouting at the beach. I love the 80's outfit. I have been so busy uploading photos to the new website that I didn't get a chance to paint the last several days. Back to it today...

Monday, June 13, 2011

First Grapes

7 x 5 oil on canvas panel
I've shown you our little family vineyard before, and this week we've had the excitement of watching our first ever bunches of grapes turn from green to red and a lot of shades in between. I got out there in the blazing sun today (because I ran while it was cooler earlier) and attempted to capture the feeling. I loved the sun coming translucently through the leaves. We have nice big leaves that I can imagine could probably be wrapped around something yummy and cooked to eat. I'll have to google recipes because I feel sure in Greece I had some kind of rice dish wrapped in grape leaves, dolmades I think. I'm so glad my husband decided to plant these vines just two years ago. It was his dad's idea - he bought us vines and said, you need to plant a vineyard!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Lone Bloom

6 x 8 oil on canvas

Only one yellow bloom remains on our cactus outside. I liked the play of the shadows and the side lighting. This is only the second time I have painted cactus. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

AN2 Colt

14 x 18 inches, oil on canvas panel  SOLD
This Russian biplane is my husband's favorite airplane. I thought this image lent itself well to a value study.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sift Through It

5 x 4 inches, oil on canvas
I like this old fashioned flour sifter. I'm always finding symbolism (holdover from English Lit. classes) everywhere I look. This object reminds me not only of the times we have baked bread or made cakes and cookies in our kitchen, but also this: There is so much negative in the world, and I need to sift through it and focus on the positive. Change things if need be and if I can, but otherwise, enjoy the beauty and wonder of the life I'm blessed to have right now. Knock on wood. I just posted this on Kim Rempel's new Mundane Objects Challenge. So far she has a ball of twine, a hammer, a roll of tape and this sifter. Link

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Down Time

12 x 16 oil on panel
I brought some brown and white paint with me to the lake last weekend and began this one right on the boat. The waves of course made it so I was having to really grab the floor with my toes to stay upright, much less get the paint mixed and where I wanted it. I used a book with a ziploc bag around it for my palette and got a Very rough sketch down which I finished at home a few days later. I've been out of town and just now had a chance to post it here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cobalt Glass

16 x 12 oil on Ampersand board with natural pine frame, $200
I've always loved colored glass. My grandmother Mary LaRue always had colored bottles lined up on a window sill: cranberry, cobalt, red, green. Her whole house was painted and decorated in gorgeous Victorian colors that remind me now of Vuillard's palette. So when I got older and saw cobalt glasses for sale I knew I had to have some. Since then I've run across old wine bottles in the same blue. And here they are on a linen tablecloth in the sunshine, with a little Becker Vineyards cabernet. This painting will be in an upcoming show at Ross and Co. Salon in Austin, TX.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Barefoot and Pregnant

12 x 16 oil on panel  SOLD
These two goats weren't sure what to make of my taking their pictures yesterday. The pregnant female froze in her tracks and didn't move for about three minutes while I was clicking away. I wanted to reassure her that I wouldn't do them any harm. I had a long conversation with a wild turkey in a tree one time, but so far I don't speak goatese. I guess I should work on that, I'll put it on my list.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Octopus Tree

11 x 14 oil on panel
Friends and I met in a park between the Heart Hospital and Central Market yesterday for en plein air painting. This tree reminded me of an octopus; the lower branches were long and resting on the ground. I liked studying the details of the water reflections and I liked the tranquil feeling I got from painting this scene. I think John Muir was on to something...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Before Wii

11 x 14 oil on panel, SOLD
My sisters and I were monkeys. In 1967 you had to entertain yourself, there was no Wii. We were not exactly ladylike girls...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Who Goes There?

14 x 11 oil on panel SOLD
This rooster is a resident at Boggy Creek Farm. He was strutting around slowly as roosters do, letting everyone know he was the shiznit. I decided he needed painting for the Daily Paintworks Challenge for this week. I got multiple photo views of him that I hope to paint. I think he is the prettiest breed of rooster, with shiny gold silky feathers that slide all over his back when he turns. In this shot he had quickly turned his head and paused, vigilant to see who dared try to pass. *None* shall pass!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Boggy Creek Farm

9 x 12 oil on canvas panel, shown framed in pine
More beginner plein air from me; not too proud to post my early efforts. I painted this on site at Boggy Creek Farm in East Austin. Deborah Thomas, Nina Brodsky, Robin Cheers and several others were there painting also. Quick decision-making has never been my forte and that is a required skill with this sport. But I'm beginning to see more than one or two greens in front of me. I had a great time afterward photographing chickens and roosters. Nice mild breezy morning and no bugs biting, yay!

Friday, April 8, 2011


14 x 18 oil on canvas board, $150 plus s/h, SOLD
We saw this beautiful shiny red Cadillac this past weekend at the Lone Star Roundup antique auto show. I thought with her red paint and shiny headlights she should be on the beach, showing off. So now she is.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Barton Springs Afternoon

9 x 12 oil on canvas board   SOLD
Several friends met me at Barton Springs this afternoon and here is what I painted on site. My family is kidding me now because I was so appalled that people don't know to be quiet around someone trying to paint something outdoors (okay, in a public place, yes). But even with my earplugs in I had a super hard time concentrating on what I was seeing and what the colors were and how to mix them. I could hear a man talking to one of the others "So you do this just for fun?" (don't ever say that) "How long have you been doing this?" "I mean how long have you been an artist?" ... Remind me not to paint in a public place again anytime soon...
I will get better, but first will need much better earplugs! Trying again tomorrow morning with the Plein Air Austin group at Zilker Botanical Gardens. Should be more quiet... one can hope!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


16 x 20 oil on canvas, SOLD
This dog portrait was commissioned by another lifelong friend of mine. It has been through a long process due to a glazing snafu. But I attempted to pull back some of its former colorful state and if I don't declare it finished I will mess with it from here to kingdom come. Lady is a blackish brown lab; I purpled and aqua'd her up a little bit and now will send her on her way to the Laughlin family in Dallas.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Model A Truck Sketch

I liked the feeling of my original sketch for yesterday's painting. It ended up looking to me like a hound dog panting and 'smiling' with its mouth open, and the steering wheel looked like one eye open. This truck looked rarin' to go to me. I thought I was going to paint it really loosely and keep some of that feeling but of course things don't always go as planned -- I got caught up in the lines and showing the form. I may go back to sketching first somewhere else separately beforehand so I can keep my original drawing -- if I can muster the discipline to do that. I'm a little short on discipline though so it might be needed elsewhere...
By the way, Happy St. Patrick's Day! This truck is wearing green...grass.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Model A Truck

12 x 12 oil on 1.5" gallery wrap canvas, private collection
We saw this old rusted Model A truck when we went out of town this weekend so we stopped and I got photos of it. It had a lantern hanging inside the passenger window -- I wondered if that came standard. The chrome on the front still looked amazingly good considering the years. It's fun to imagine someone getting it for their first wheels... first taste of freedom. It was someone's pride and joy I'm sure.