Monday, March 30, 2009

Vicki's Bowl - Final

I went ahead and finished this. Sometimes things come together better than others and I am grateful that this morning's efforts turned out well and with no stupid moments during the construction. This is a perfect example of what I am trying more and more to do....paint the shapes (or in this case lift the shapes!) instead of the objects.

Vicki's Bowl WIP 4

Now I have given the bowl more shape by defining the highlights within and around it. I will next strengthen the shadows where needed. I planned on working on this all day, but I am having so much fun and it is going so fast that I guess I will just finish it this morning. I love it when things go as planned and I don't have to stop and kick myself for doing something stupid. Alright, I know there is still time left to do something stupid, but I feel so good about painting today that I won't anticipate that.

Vicki's Bowl WIP 2 and 3

Okay, don't be scared, this isn't as bad as it looks, it is all part of my plan. When this dried I went on to WIP 3, below. Hopefully, you can begin to see what I am up to...or not!

Now, I am strengthening the darkest shadows and painting negatively to show the shape of the bowl. Cool, huh? We'll see if I still feel that way after the next stage....lifting!

Vicki's Bowl - WIP 1

I have promised myself that I will commit to painting this bowl and now is the time. I decided that if I submit the WIPs to my blog as I work, I will have to keep working on it since I don't want to be embarrassed by letting this sit, undone.

The reference photo was provided by my good online friend, Vicki Green, who had this bowl on her blog, only it was filled with candy. I asked her if she would do a few quick still-life set-ups with the bowl on light and dark surfaces, and without the candy. She, being the good friend she is, accommodated my request. I was fascinated with the glints of light on the dark surface of this photo so decided this is the one.

I will be experimenting with a technique that I have decided in my own feeble mind will work, so stay tuned to see if my "spearmint" is successful or not. You just never know.....bravely she begins to paint.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Great new blog

I keep finding great new blogs and today's discovery is no less than great. The reason I like this blog so much is because I love the work of Jana Dahmen, who I have "known" through the online group Watercolor Workshop. I have always found her work to have such gaiety and color, as illustrated by this painting I borrowed from her blog.

If you want to see what else she has done, the url is

Monday, March 23, 2009

Caricature by Madeline

At the ArtChix sale this weekend one of our members, Madeline Ledzinski, dropped by to practice her caricature skills. If you want to see her recent body of work, please go to the ArtChix blog - she did a great job and it was fun to "sit" for a portrait. She did comment, though, that I should quit talking long enough for her to get my facial features "correctly". Please note that she drew the artisan jewelry I was "modeling" for the show.

ArtChix Sale - Artisan Jewelry

This is a close-up photo of my artisan jewelry display. I received many encouraging comments about my designs and had two sales from this display, so will continue on since I enjoy doing it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

ArtChix Sale/Show

The ArtChix are holding a show/sale this weekend, with my corner of the world consisting of the space at the back of Studio I. For this sale, I am launching my new line of artisan jewelry, pictured here. I received many positive and encouraging comments on this jewelry so will continue to design and construct more. Stop in for a visit if you are in the area!

This photo was taken by Jim Greenwald, the Sun City Grand Art Club's Historian. Thanks Jim!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

At the Sun City Grand Spring Art Faire last Saturday I did a demonstration of watercolor on clayboard. This is one of the photos taken during the demo. Please note the necklace and earrings I am "modeling". They are part of my inventory of artisan jewelry I have been working on for this coming weekend's ArtChix art sale, at which I will have a display of all the jewelry I have been working on. Nothing like a little self-promotion!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Gina's Teapots

In the interest of maintaining some artistic integrity on this blog, I don't think it is fair to my readers to only submit to the blog paintings of which I can be proud. We all paint stinkers occasionally and this happens to be one of mine. I got lost in the cloth patterns, I blopped some dark paint where it needed to be the lightest, I gave up on the background, etc., etc., etc. I like the arrangement and colors of this still life set-up provided by Gina of the Watercolor Workshop and will eventually try a re-do with what I have learned doing this one. We were all to paint from her photo of this and it was a great photo! I'm not making excuses, just saying ya can't win 'em all. The other project for March is to paint anything shiny, so I will try a crystal bowl next. I'll never "get it" unless I keep on trying. I love the process, it is just the end result I sometimes have doubts about.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Art Blog!

As Secretary of the Vanguard Artists, I have committed to setting up and maintaining the Vanguard Artists Blog. I have been working on this endeavor over the past few weeks, assisted by my Co-Blog-Mistress, Ann (the President). I feel it is getting closer to being ready for Prime Time viewing now, so if you would like to see what we are about and getting up to, please go to:

We are a group of artists in the West Valley and disprove the fact that good art begins and ends at Central Avenue and is to be found only in the East Valley (Scottsdale) area. There are many lifelong artists in this group and their rich and varied art experience shows in their magnificent work.

There are slideshows of some of the individual artists' work, and this sidebar feature is being developed more as we speak. Do stop by and have a look, we'd love to hear from you!

Monday, March 09, 2009


After letting this fellow sit in my studio for a few weeks while I made artisan jewelry, I finally got him done. I haven't painted many birds but he was in such a fine pose that I had to paint him.

Being an artist who is drawn to warmer colors I couldn't quite settle on the cool blue tones this painting was taking on so I glazed some of the warmer sunset hues over and it looked more like I thought the Brown Pelican should look.

Thanks again goes to Diana for allowing me to paint this guy from her photo.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Gila Bend Trip - PS

I will also add this photo of what I believe is a Thunderbird. This was taken at a BLM sponsored park which has preserved this rocky pile that holds hundreds of good petroglyphs. I have added many of them to my ever-growing collection of petroglyph photos.

Gila Bend Trip

Last week we took a short motorhome trip to nearby Gila Bend for a Get-A-Way trip. This sunrise below was seen the first morning we were there. It was just a fabulous photo session and the colors were glorious.

This heron was perched atop the rock of the canyon and I had to use my longest lens and a multiplier to get this photo.

This is Gillespie Dam, which harnesses the Gila River for irrigation of crops. There was quite a bit of water there this time so it becomes a bird sanctuary at times. We saw herons, egrets, ducks, and many other birds there. I hope you can see the five egrets that were standing atop the dam.