Sunday, August 29, 2010

Susan Carlin Workshop

What's on the menu? 

Reclining reader

Last weekend I attended a two day workshop taught by Susan Carlin here in San Antonio.  Her website is here:    The subject was painting the human figure. NOT portrait painting. Susan taught and did a demo the first morning and then we painted from a reference photo in the afternoon.

I didn't manage to finish the first painting. Susan urged us to finish at home, but I didn't get to paint this week, and the painting isn't calling me. I think it's more fun to start something new than to go back and work on an unfinished one. I don't think I'm the only one who has unfinished paintings lying around!

The second day we painted from a live model while Susan gave lots of helpful individual feedback. I painted the legs in the morning, and after we came back from lunch I had trouble getting the same colors for the arms and face.

We had a great time and Susan is a great teacher!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I want to recommend that you visit a blog named "Pilgrim's Breakfast".  The artist posts beautiful still life paintings of fruits and vegetables.  It's fun to look at her earliest postings and see how her style has evolved.  I think she deserves to have lots of followers! 

You can visit her blog here:   I recommend you check her out. 

I haven't been posting because I am in Houston this week helping out my daughter. She's a working mom and her husband is out of town, so she needs a hand with the kids. A good excuse for me to visit my grandchildren!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Morning Mango

My husband fingered the mangoes on the counter and announced they were ready to eat.  I've been saving them to paint, so I painted while he went on his morning bike ride. As his reward for biking and exercising,  I cut up the mangoes and served them to him for Sunday brunch.

I should have gone biking with him, but hey, I have my priorities!

9" X 12" oil on canvas panel

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sunflowers in a glass jar

I've been wanting to try painting flowers,  so when I went for my morning walk I picked a couple of wild sunflowers and brought them home.  I totally wiped off my first attempt.  I'm somewhat happier with this version.

Is it just me, or does everyone else have self-doubts about their paintings?  I know I'm just learning, but I hesitate to post something I've done, because I don't think it's "good".  I keep looking at what I think is wrong.  Or sometimes I don't even know what's wrong!   But I know it doesn't look right to me.

Hope this doesn't sound like I'm whining or begging for compliments.  I'm not.  I really would like to know if other people felt like this when they started.

(Click on the painting to view larger.)

9" X 12" oil on canvas panel

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lemon Study with blue background

This is all I had time to work on yesterday.    My other life gets in the way.   Family and household work still come first.

6" X 6"  oil on paper

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lemons and blue bowl

This was fun.  I painted this yesterday afternoon and decided it was finished.  No going back and "fixing" it.   This is a comfortable size for me for a daily painting.

I am learning on these paintings that getting values right is my biggest challenge.  I have a hard time getting the darkest values--I keep thinking "a lemon can't be that dark".  But when I stand back from the easel I see that I haven't made enough contrast between the lights and the darks.

(click on the picture to view larger)

8" X 10" oil on canvas panel

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lemon studies

I wanted to practice painting lemons with different colored backgrounds to see how that affected the colors in the lemon.

These are 6" X 6", which I find difficult to paint on.   I have large handwriting, and I feel comfortable painting on larger canvases.  I think those two things are related.

When I was a little girl, my grandfather told me he liked getting letters from me (revealing my age...we used to write actual letters) because my handwriting was large and he could read it.  I used to like getting assignments where the teacher said to write a page on a subject.  Didn't take me all that many words to fill up a page.  I felt sorry for those girls who wrote with little bitty handwriting.   They may be the same girls who can paint little bitty paintings.  Not that there's anything wrong with that!  It's just hard for me.

6" X 6" oil on paper