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Updated 3/29/12

The Daily Paintings and Postcard-Sized Sketches in Oils and Acrylics

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June 2006

1

"Old Rancho Gate" I had a wonderful afternoon and evening of painting on location at the Santa Rosa Ecological Preserve with my friend and artist Roxanne.  We drove in through the locked gate to the center of this usually off-limits open space and came to the ranch headquarters.  They run no livestock on this land, and it has reverted with dedicated work to the pristine California grassland of 300 years ago.  I worked on this 7 x 5 canvas as the light was changing to the goldens of evening.  Looking at the 150 year old trees near the adobe bunkhouse, I also wanted to convey the human habitation on this fantastic 8,500 acres of open space.  The larger painting I did first might need some more tweaking before becoming a daily, but this one has a signature.  On display at the Santa Rosa Ecological Preserve Art Show through September.

2 "Evening Road" This painting was done on location with evening light shadowing the road we drove in on, earlier in the afternoon. I love the feeling of California light and scattered sun patterns on the road and the feeling of distance as you look beyond the shadows. It is a 12 x 9 oil

to Toni Vaughn of Woodland Hills, CA

3 "The Red Barn" Evening light, almost horizontal, and the shadow of a huge oak tree takes the right side of this barn into shadow. On location yet again, this California barn is still part of the Santa Rosa Plateau. This is just a wee 5 x 7 inch canvas, and was the third one from my day of painting as the evening light went golden. $

to Anthepy Nelson of Timoniom, Maryland. Thank you!

4

"In a Mountain Valley"  The mist rises on the morning valley pasture and the horses are alert as the sun glows off the mountains above.  But this mountain sunlight is only seen in the water, which makes for a most interesting composition, and a bit of a surprise after seeing the two black horses.
I am reflecting on things that are like these mountains, missed because I am looking down, focused in a different direction.  People around us who care and have a different view, point out the beauty in our lives, and then we see it.  I always love how water takes beauty and presents it to us in another way, and am often amazed at how much beauty we miss in reflections.
  Tonight I reflect on the list folk who have said what I write makes the art come alive for them, and I need to say how grateful I am that you feel this way.  Like the reflections in the water, you give to me a view of the world I might otherwise miss.  Thank you!
  Original oil on canvas, 12 x 9 inches. 

to new collector Michael Staton of Los Angeles, California

5 "Nectarine" Ah, the joys of summer and the multitude of fresh fruit!  Is there anything so luscious as a aromatic nectarine with its succulent flesh?  Perhaps a peach?  Or a dark plum?  As the weather warms, so come these wondrous flavors and colors to our palates.  Yes, dessert!  Chiaroscuro in value, vibrant in reds and oranges, the first fruit of the summer is here forever.  $100  Gadfry, I LOVE to paint!!!
6 "Equilateral" This is done from life, again with the joy of the sweetness that is now in my throat.  I think that the process to paint these is not finished until the object is consumed.  Consumed by my brush and then literally.  Watermelons are wonderful fruits, and this one is different in that it is an organic melon.  I was surprised and delighted at the burst of flavor from this usually watery treat.  I'm sold on organic produce for the intense flavors found there.  And now I will look for these in the store!  I think what we mean when we say "home grown flavor" is more truly the organic method of growing something.  At least it is true for me.  This is a 5 x 7 oil $100
7 "White Merlot"  When my husband comes in late from his akido or class teaching, he and I will often sit down about 9 p.m. and have a bite to eat, usually some cheese and wine.  One of my favorite wines is white merlot, made by Beringer.  Hard to find, it is not as sweet as a zinfandel, and not as heavy as a merlot.  Well worth the looking, as it is quite unusual, not being a white wine, and not pinot noir!  After seeing the movie "Sideways", we laugh every time we drink a glass or two!  This is an original oil, 7 x 5 inches, and what I really like about it is the glow of the light through the wine.  Try squinting your eyes and looking at this one.  Lots of paint, too.
 

"White Merlot" has to the collection of Judy Tinker of Eugene, Oregon

8 "Approaching Fog Bank" On the Plateau with another artist this evening, and the weather was changing as we painted. Roxanne was able to get two great 9 x 12s and I as able to do three small ones. This is the first, in the early evening across the Sylvan Meadows area where I rode my horse last Sunday. The light kept going lower, and the coastal fog from the ocean was billowing up behind us, and the desert thunderheads were visible 100 miles to the east. Roxanne was visited by a rattlesnake, she was concentrating so much that the creature was almost upon her before she noticed it and lept away. She called me and I threw a chunk of wood at it, and it swiftly about- faced and buzzed off into the tall grasses. Nothing like a little adrenalin to motivate some brushwork, eh? Original oil, 5 x 7

to new collector Roy Renfro of Pottsboro, Texas

9 "New Acquisition"  Tonight I was a guest with a handful of other artists painting along inside the Riverside Art Museum (or RAM).  The museum was host to a special event, and we were (I think) a form of entertainment.  Parked in a side gallery (with one of the bars!) traffic was light, and most all of the attention was going to an artist who was doing oil sketches of folks who sat down for a portrait -- she was giving them away.  She had quite a line.  So I leaned into my harness and painted two paintings without much interruption.  Studio time away from the studio!  The first I'll post later, here is the second one.  My husband came to cheer me on, and he ended up sitting for me, under a large abstract.  I liked the design of the pose and asked him to stay still.  I like the looseness of it and the flat areas of color.  It was fun to paint someone else's work, too!
  Original oil, 16 x 12 inches, not for sale
10 "On Cat Feet" (Coastal Fog) While on location at the Santa Rosa Plateau during this month of June, there is the phenomenon of the coastal fog that comes in and caresses the hills and grasslands in the later afternoon. The fog stays around until late the following morning, and is called "June Gloom" by the weather people. As the afternoon progresses, this fog slips over the coastal range just as you see it in the painting below (and if you can't see it, click on the jpeg link). This is a 6 x 12 inch on-location canvas, and was fun to paint, as the light kept coming and going with the sun being obscured by the fog "marching on cat feet" to envelop the late afternoon. I was with my artist friend Roxanne, and we were at Sylvan Meadows.
$220

to the collection o Debre DeMers of Brooklyn, New York

11 "Oak Tree and Rocks" This painting (it is only 6 x 4 inches) is the second painting on location when the fog was rolling in while painting on location at the Santa Rosa Plateau again.  
  The light was changing, the colors becoming oh-so-subtle, and the need to quickly capture the composition, the values and the lighting were imminently crucial for the success of this little one.  I look at it now, and I can FEEL the time of day, the weather, and the light... can you?
  I truly like this painting.  Although a small one, it represents the true connection an artist can get in an on-location work.  100% done on location, no "tweaking", I'm honored to share it with you. $100

12 "Evening Light, SRP" Below is the painting that came off my brushes when I first set up, at the gala at the Riverside Art Museum on Friday night.  It is a larger painting, 16 x 20 on board-backed canvas, and I surely enjoyed painting it.  Out of my head, from countless memories of the Santa Rosa Plateau.  In the days prior to the event, the desert skies to the east had been filled with tropical moisture, creating these wondrous thunderheads.  From the Plateau it is possible to see these, which dissipate as the sun sets.  The orange-y light of the approaching evening, and the dry grasses of the meadows create the compliment of the sky in the distance over the desert.  
  And I always love pathways...where are we going today?

Added to the collection of Dick and Dee Staley of Lake Elsinore, California

13 Well, I thought I'd have a finished one for you today, but instead, a large one in process.  I DO have some tweaked ones put up in June's and May's archives.  I went back and finished the foggy morning workout for the Harness Tracks Auction (May 26th painting), and also finished up the details on June 4th's  "In a Mountain Valley".  More subtle the difference on the latter work, but major difference on the former!  Some of you have said you keep archives on your computer of these, so you'll really see a difference.
  Today's painting is the beginning of a commission of "horses coming at you" that was requested by a collector.  I'm doing this totally from my head without references, because to get those references, you'd have to be ready to be stomped!  So I have to imagine how the horses would look, the leg locations, and all the ordinary rest of the stuff, and plot out a design that will hold up from across the room.  Howard Pyle used to say, "thirty minutes, thirty yards" in talking about that crucial initial lay-in and how it must be a strong structure.  
  You can also see some of my working methods in that I sketched the horses, then started laying in one to an almost finished state, and then did the upper background.  The middle horse is next, and he is only about 1/3 finished.  The left horse will need some tweaking on the forelegs size, and I haven't decided what color yet
14 "Redwood Avenue, Fairmont Park, Riverside" On location again, this time in the city of Riverside with the Plein Air Artists of Riverside (PAAR) group. About eight of us showed up to paint the water and the vistas. My muse was with me, but not about to have me paint water today. I did two small ones, this a 5 x 7, of the afternoon light coming through the trees to the blooming jacaranda trees. That's my car on the far right--the one that used to belong to my folks. It's a silver Ford Taurus, but not easily identified with my brushwork. I think the second car got totaled... I'll have to fix that tommorrow, when I work again on the horses. On Display at "Au Naturel" art show in Riverside through August/September.
15 "Pony Tails" This is a 6 x 8 canvas, and I picked up the brushes to begin it at a bit after 11 pm. Just a wonderfully busy day, and full of pleasurable things--riding the horse, working on my courses for the college, and... well, laundry. So what do I like about this one? The color, of course. The position of the girl, achieved with minimal brushwork, and the thick paint on the right side of the draft horse. I could tweak it some more, but I sure like it right now! Oil

to Kris Baxter of Santa Clara, California

16 "Three Horses" Here is the earlier 30 x 40 painting, much more toward the finished state. It was suggested by one member of the list to paint a buckskin, and after contemplation, here he is. Again, all of this from my head, no references. I also decided to add three more horses so the feeling of the herd would be maintained. It isn't finished yet, but you can see how much more is laid down now. I will get back into it and take care of the anatomical issues plaguing me for not using references, and also to modify the foreground. Please compare this to June 13th's painting. Oh, the dark upper corner isn't dark, that is just the problem with photographing such a large piece at night.

to the collection of Randell May of Raymond, Maine

17 "When Your Muse Takes a Hike" I'm sitting here chuckling and not a small bit of embarassed to show this to you, but if you can learn from it, so be it! This is the second painting I did last Thursday on location, and it surely is a problem child! The artist's muse went out for a beer and left me struggling. There is so much wrong with this painting that I hardly know where to begin. So how about if you make a list, and really tear into it? And then tell me what you'd change to make it better. I'm so used to helping students with the latter response, that I'm ready to have each of you analyze this one and flex your design muscles. Its future is dim, no matter what. 6 x 6 inch oil, unsigned for a reason!
18 "Sharing a Cup"  I drink coffee.  Love the stuff.  I even have a Capresso 1300 automatic machine in the studio, I'm that bad about it.  OK, I drink decaf.  Now don't jump all over me about health risks, I know the story.  I just love the aroma, the flavors, the... nevermind.  Today's painting is about coffee.  It is about sharing the pouring of a cup of java between friends.  It is only 12 x 12 inches, and FELL off my brushes. I just love the guy's hands.  Nice to have the muse back in the house!  This from source material taken at Big Bear in 2003.  I keep references for ages, because back in '03 I didn't have the skills to tackle this subject.  We can grow into our source material!
$300 from me.
19 "Now what?" He's got his coffee, and has a *look* on his face.  Could be he broke too many broncs and the pieces of his face don't fit together so well any more.  Could be he thinks you're a greenhorn!  Could be he's got some inner joke going on, but regardless of the reason, he has a Mona Lisa smile on his craggy face.  Can you see it there, in the twinkle of his eye?  Original oil, 12 x 9 inches.
  Enough already, it is after midnight and this is the same fellow pouring the coffee from yesterday, but now he's going to down some of his brew.   Fun to paint tho', even if it is night owl time!

$300

20 "In at Del Mar" A punny title on the sign, and the action in this painting.  The groom is leading the horse "into" the track area, the sign says "IN", and we are definitely "in" Del Mar Race Track!
  This was a 12 x 16 demonstration painting for my demo at the San Diego County Fair today.  I enjoyed the demo after a rough start, with phone calls and forgetting the ticket entry stuff, having to drive back to get them, and being late on account of it all.  However I stayed later and kept on painting.  
  Problem with this one, is it is a bit too complex to be a demonstration piece (for me).  I was talking the entire time and I need time to process the details and the overall planning.  Although it has a strong abstract structure holding it together, it is weak in a bunch of areas (don't tell me, I know where they are!!)  
  It will be reworked perhaps tomorrow, and reposted in a finished state, perhaps as a learning/lesson.  Hopefully it will be worth the wait.  It is deep in the "uglies" at the moment! Not for sale right now.
  After the demonstration, I spent the rest of the afternoon being a "Fair Junkie", seeing all the kitchen gadgets, the carnies with the carnival rides (I like looking at the people who run the rides--not the rides themselves!), shopping for odds and ends, and eating all the "heartburn specials" that are peculiarly found only at county fairs.  Can you say "Haystack Onions?"  I've also posted a link to a nice digital of the view from the Sky Ride that I took.  Very Del Mar Fair.
  Fun day!
21 "Summer Squash" What's meaningful today? Oh, I went into the garden for the first time in a week, and did some weeding... and the zucchini and summer straight neck squash were already producing! I picked, threw a couple really big ones (how does zucchini DO that--grow so big so fast?) to the chickens, and brought this one in to the studio for today's painting.
The way the leaf was attached at the stem was intriguing, and its placement like a hand on the counter seemed to lend itself to a stalwart message... "We are not through yet; you will be buried in summer squash!" I'm fine with that, because his brethren were mighty tasty! How does your garden grow? The pole beans are next, followed by the summer sweet corn, which is about four feet tall today.
Original oil, 6 x 8 inches, done with palette knife on the highlights, and a single source light for chiaroscuro. Enjoy! Here's one that won't get away from you in size, and will stay scrumptious on your wall forever!

to collector Ramie Little of Atlanta, Georgia

22 I'm writing to you from Colorado Springs, in the state of Colorado, tonight, and am visiting friends I used to work with (ulp) 32 years ago, when I lived and worked in Europe. We've gathered to share memories and catch up with our lives, and it will be a gloriously fun weekend. However, I missed my connecting flight from Denver, so I had to rent a car and drive down. It's really late, and a "wet" daily isn't forthcoming. Interesting, though... when I arrived at my friend's place, my eyes fell on a painting I had done shortly after we'd met.
Now this is to be taken with a grain of salt, folks. This one is 30 years old, and I had no record or memory of it! It even has my *old* name signed... archivists will have a field day tracking down these...um... "gems".
23 "Relaxing" This is my coworker ffrom 32 years ago when I lived and worked in Germany in the mid 70s, and at whose house I am currently staying. Gaye is full of humor and life, with a joy that is hard to beat. Raised mostly in Europe, she and I worked for the military (not in) and had a great time in our 20s while single and living overseas. We'd been out among the shops and stores, and had come back to the house to relax before taking my rental car to the airport. I have always wanted to capture that elfin look of hers, and think I've finally succeeded. 9 x 12 oil to the newest collector, Katrina Smith of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
24 "Russian Olive in Monument Park" On location to paint the view to the Colorado Rockies from the creek that runs north/south through Colorado Springs. While my two friends went walking, I plunked down and plugged in the Ipod to hear "The DaVinci Code" and painted this 12 x 16 oil. the Russian olive trees are a beautiful smoke gray, like smoke trees in my familiar California desert. I love their contrast against the greens. And of course the sound of trickling water isn't too shabby!

It's , added to the collection of Gaye Crosby Smith, of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

25 "Barb Reading" Here I sit, trapped in the Denver Airport, having had the most wonderful day, until spiraling down to a lousy return batch of problems that I'd not wish on my worst enemy!  First, since I didn't make my connecting flight on my arrival on the 22nd, the airline assumed I'd died, and sold my seats, effectively canceling my return reservations, for which I'd PAID, of course!  After unsnarling the first leg of my flight, I get on the plane, and I find that someone from the prior flight had urinated on the cushion and then hidden it under napkins and a blanket.  YUCK!  
  Sigh....
  Now I'm on standby with a three hour wait for my flight to our local airport in Southern California, which is already 40 minutes behind schedule.  I did get a bit of money for the hassles they caused me, but if anyone can learn from this, I'll sure feel better.  Let 'em know you're still alive if you miss a flight, even if it is their fault!  I don't fly enough to know these kinds of things, and they don't TELL you.  You'd think with my email and phone address, someone would call instead of taking away my flights!
  This morning we enjoyed a wonderful brunch and then I painted Barb, who thoroughly enjoys the newspapers and the game of Scrabble.  This is a 9 x 12 inch canvas, (which she now owns) showing her sitting at Gaye's dining room table.  It took me a little over an hour to do. I love the feeling of light...
  I'm sending it early, because I know I'm going to be stuck in this airport for a while, and will be home a bit late...to the collection of Barb Barton, of San Francisco, California.
26 "Color Study, Del Mar" I spent some time now that I'm home, in the studio looking over some sales catelogues from Sotheby's from some time ago. They auctioned off a few Sir Alfred Munnings' paintings, and I enjoyed seeing how he manipulated a brush. This little 6 x 4 painting resulted in the wee hours of the night, to put into practice what came through my eyes earlier in the day. The essence of the subject, with rich brushmarks. This source was a photo I took at Del Mar last summer. One of the things I was working toward is the thick aplication of paint, without overworking any area. Now I'm off to sleep, with a full plate this week and many more daily paintings about which to dream! Original oil, shown actual size of 6 x 4 inches $100 from the artist. 
27 "Smoke Trees" This is a 16 x 20 canvas for today's painting, and I had fully intended to do this one in stages, to show the different points of development--sort of an online lesson.  But....  I went into the studio to start this one, and it just got ahold of me and wouldn't let go!  I just fought and released myself long enough to escape to the computer to send this to you.  It is 90-100% finished now, and I'm quite pleased with it.  Now I'm not going back in there, because I just might paint all night!  If I do tweak it some more, I'll post an update on June's archive at the dailypaintings.com site.  
  For those of you not familiar with the low deserts of California, in the dry washes you can find smoke trees, so named because from a distance their spiny, leafless branches give the impression of smoke. In the summer months they have purple blooms.  Hardy to a fault, they grow to about 20 feet.

to Green & Associates, for the La Quinta Men's Golf Clubhouse

28 Remember that I did the acrylic version of this still life for the Del Mar Fair a couple months ago? They took it and presented it on a wall with other artists who had approached this same subject using distinct media, including oils, watercolor, pastel, and drawing. The idea was to educate and entertain. I saw the final framed works, and it makes an impressive presentation! The Del Mar Fair runs through next Tuesday, and I won't be able to get down there again. I ran across the reference photo while "de-piling" the studio, and thought you'd enjoy seeing my take on it in oils, at least half as much as I enjoyed painting this little 8 x 6 canvas. Real quick, real small, but still enjoyable in the terseness of it all!
So although the larger 16 x 20 is gone for education, now I have a smaller version replete with all that color.

29 Today's painting is another 6 x 8 (I have a couple boxes of them and they just keep popping up on my easel) of a girl I'm either calling "Yellow Dress" or "Before Milking".
  Had a lot of fun painting the figure, trying to get the nuances of the arm shapes and her pose to look relaxed.  Buckets are a passel of fun to paint!  And the source was a black and white old time photo, so I had to brighten up her dress and give her a contemporary hair and "look".  Using the Color System made painting the lights and shadows on the grass near and into the distance a piece of cake.  $200

30 It is the end of the month, and 178 paintings so far this year... I hope you're enjoying them!  Sometimes I just have to paint things, and other times the painting subject eludes me, and i need to go search for it.  Tonight was a compromise--I had images in my head, and sorting through reference material, came up with an old B/W of a plowing match, on one of those foggy days.  This needs a bit more work, but I'm happy with it so far.  It is a 10 x 20 canvas, so it is also a bit larger than most dailies.  I'll let you know when the "fixed" one replaces this one .

You can find it now on December 11th, 2006!

  I do have a couple of commissions coming up (Kim, yours!!) and want to spend some time on them... but not until after this weekend!  Family's coming over on Sunday, and I have to hunt down the dust bunnies, and even throw a pot and pan around the kitchen.  Cleaning the pool was no problem, because the water is 90, and the air was just a bit above that.  Nice!