November 16, 2011

Homer Laughlin's Vintage Fiesta Juice Tumblers

I'm working on another painting but this one was up in my studio and calling my name...  I had set it aside to study it - something just didn't look quite right to me.  I decided to pick it up this morning and finish it.

Another painting inspired by Homer Laughlin's Vintage Fiesta line, this is of three vintage juice tumblers produced only during the years of 1940-1943 as promotional pieces.   Shown here are the original Fiesta Yellow,  Uranium Red, and Turquoise Blue.   They are in remarkable condition.  I really enjoy having the Fiesta line of dishes around.  Their bright cheery colors make me smile.

Oil on linen canvas - 12x16 

November 9, 2011

A Fall Pear and Grapes

I'm getting back to painting after a very emotional few weeks.  My Mom passed away.  I'll miss her very much - I already do.

Painting is not only a passion for me - it's a major diversion.  I can sit at the easel for hours on end and completely loose track of time.    This used to scare me - but now,  I treasure the gift and embrase it.

I painted a carafe  with grapes a few weeks ago as a study and feel the grapes lacked depth.  I may rework them and post it later.

Here is my latest - A Fall Pear and Grapes.   I really liked the fact that this painting has all three types (and colors) of grapes...  I also love the new color I've added to my palette - Olive Green...  The pear and grapes are painted life size - canvas size is 8x10.

October 11, 2011

Three's a Pear

Bought some nice organic pears at Sprouts and decided to do something different in the still life box... used tissue paper to create a backdrop and table top... a different look, quite colorful!  Hope you like it.

Size 8 x 16 (14" x 22" custom framed)

See this at the Framers Gallery in Georgetown, Texas  

October 2, 2011

"Green Backs"

This is a cabbage (otherwise known as - Brassica oleracea) I recently purchased for some stir fry...  The background I used under the still life was a purple cloth I usually use as a back drop.

The name is reminiscent of the New Year's dinners my mother cooked as I was growing up...along with black eyed peas to bring good luck to the new year, you had to have greens to represent prosperity!

Canvas size 10x10

September 28, 2011

Half Full

Half Full is one of my tall juice glasses "half full" of refreshing cranberry juice.  It was painted for an art exhibit with a theme of "Perspectives".   I think everyone has at one time or another heard of the old saying... "Is your glass half empty or half full?"

September 24, 2011

Berry Pail - A Full Day

The last of the series on the berry pail.  In this one I added some wild daisies from a field.  Hope you enjoy! 

September 23, 2011

Berry Pail - Goin' Pickin'

This is the second in the series of the berry pail paintings... a 5x7.  I love these old enamelware kitchen items.  They tell a story and have a lot of interest.  

September 22, 2011

"The Berry Pail"

I painted this berry pail in three poses... closed lid, open lid and closed lid with daisies.  (Too many of one subject... :(  which I will change up in the future.)    I had mixed way too much paint and didn't want to waste it so I painted two more versions of it :)   Each has it's own statement to make...

Here's the first one completed (6x6 on linen):

September 21, 2011

Fresh Picked

At a recent trip to the market I purchased some beautiful tomatoes still on the vine.    I decided to capture them on canvas before enjoying them in my salad!  Here is the finished painting (6x6) .

September 19, 2011

Gettin' Back to Business "Just a Little Tea"

I haven't been posting my work lately... primarily because I've been working on smaller pieces for two exhibits coming up.    It has been difficult to stop for the progress photos  so I'll be posting the finished products for a while.

Thanks for looking!

This first is a small tea pot I picked up at a recent auction -


August 1, 2011

Cherries Jubilee

This was on the easel when I left.   I thought I'd post it now and get started with a new work tomorrow...

Hope you enjoy it!

July 14, 2011

Cherries, Cherries, Cherries - "Fiesta Cherries"

I'm back again (at least for a couple of days).  I'll be heading out on a two week trip to capture some scenes for future painting subjects.  I'll of course be posting the finished works here.   Please hang in there with me...  I plan to get back in full action (including posting every day) once I return ... August 1st.   Most of what I'm doing right now are small works that will be on display at a future exhibit (October 2011).  I'll post more about that as the time approaches.  I have a wonderful still life set up and ready to go when I return.  I think you'll like it...  

So... what have I been up to?  I've been painting Cherries!  One of our local stores had a sale of the most beautiful succulent cherries I've seen in a long while!  I just couldn't resist grabbing a handful and posing them...  I didn't capture the steps this time.  I know some of you really like seeing the steps so I promise to get back into the groove of doing that in August.  

"Fiesta Cherries":

"Fiesta Cherries" is on  6x6 linen.  The cherries are piled in the small bowl - typically found in the  center of a vintage Fiesta relish dish - in this case the piece represented is vintage turquoise blue.  

June 13, 2011

Jack "Surprise" Finished

This is a bit redundant since the finished piece is shown to the right of this blog; but, in case I should decide to change out the photo on the right,  I want to make sure the WIP is taken to the finished state.   I hope to get back on track this week.  I'll be posting the preliminary pics of my next work in the morning.

June 11, 2011

Jack "Surprise" WIP #4

Almost finished with Jack.  Added in the front decal and more wood grain effects.  The tongue and groove marks on the sides really added a realistic touch.  I played around with the highlights on his nose and forehead.  Since I'm "making" a new nose, I'm still not 100% satisfied with how it looks so I find myself returning to it to make minor adjustments every few minutes... (sometimes it's just hard to leave well enough a lone... :))

June 6, 2011

Jack "Surprise" WIP #3

I've let too many things distract me this month...  I'll soon be able to get back into the swing of things - so don't give up on me yet. :).   I promise to get back to my blog a day routine...

Had a wonderful exhibit opening at the Art Off the Square in Georgetown last Friday night.  A great turnout.  Guests and those out for a summer night stroll around the Georgetown courthouse  square stopped by for wine, ice cold punch and  hor dourves.  New exhibit openings occur each first Friday of the month hope you can join us sometime.

Here is the next in the work in progress pic of Jack "Surprise".    Wood detail has been added and more reflections over his head.  The brass latch was added - but the original is broken.  I'm going to paint it as I see it...

Here ya go...

I'm convinced I need to work on something like this soon.  But first I plan on painting something traditional.  I found  a really cool odd shaped frame (3" x 11.5");  I've stretched a custom canvas for it;  and,  have something in mind to do on it first.  

June 1, 2011

Jack "Surprise" WIP - 2

Part of the problem I had with Jack is the toy came to me with a crushed nose.  I had to re-invent his face and with those mischievous eyes... well  putting a nose  on him wasn't that easy.   Challenging but fun...

After his nose was in place, I worked on the top of the box which had a multitude of color in the shadows from his flesh color and red hat.  The image (decal) on the side was a bit tricky since it was at an angle so I relied on my PD (proportional divider) to help on getting it as close as I could..

May 31, 2011

Back from the Holiday Weekend -

Well, blogging is a lot of fun but as I've discovered - much work!   I am preparing for company and  also  for a new exhibit opening this Friday so I hope you won't mind if I post a previous work.  I've decided to post the WIP's for Jack "Surprise" shown in the right column.   Here's the first...


May 24, 2011

"Holes -2" finished

Here is the completed painting.   It has lots of patina in shades of turquoise, mauve, purple, green and topaz and various values of each of these.  I find it a lot of fun to paint items like this.  The winterberries and crab apples are no longer in season but I felt they added some interest and color to the foreground.

Size 12x16.  I have a custom frame already made for this one.  It has a bronze patina with flecks of turquoise green in it.  I think it will set off the color of this painting really well.   I'll post a pic of it framed when it's dry.

May 23, 2011

"Holes 2 - WIP"

I got busy today and forgot to post the information on the new painting I'm currently working on.  I also failed to capture the drawing on canvas before I got started... many apologies.  I was able to get quite a bit done today (so maybe you'll forgive me... :))  

"Holes 2"  is painted in a lighter value string than the first version of the "Holes" colander which can be found in my gallery (  Holes (#1) is also currently being offered at the Xanadu Studio Gallery.

May 20, 2011

The Pitcher - Finished

This went a  little faster than I expected... probably because of the limited palette.  I changed the bottom a bit, added shadows to the right and highlights to the left and did a lot of blending...

May 19, 2011

The Pitcher - WIP #2

I've blended the colors on the pitcher and added more highlights and shadows...  almost finished!

May 18, 2011

"The Pitcher" - WIP #1

Here is the pitcher with the background and surrounding color laid in.  I started laying in color on the  pitcher itself too.  I'm using cool colors for the shadows (purple, mauve, and dark blues...).  I'm also noticing that for some reason the paint is slipping around on the canvas more than usual...

May 17, 2011

"The Pitcher"

Here's a second post for today (I need to catch up...).  The next item I'm going to paint is an enamel pitcher. I'm mainly going to capture the image from a photograph and change up the background and table top.  Here's the photo and drawing:

The Path - finished

Here is the path - completed.  I added quite a bit of color to the foreground and many values to the background.  Added detail to the trees, etc.

May 14, 2011

The Path - WIP #3

Here is the next work in progress picture of "The Path".  I've started adding in the established border line of the path.  I also laid in the underbrush, midtone tree trunk colors and the back ground trees.

May 13, 2011

"The Path" -WIP #2

Here's the latest in the progress of "The Path"   I added in the darkest trunk color and defined the closest  underbrush line in the background.   Started establishing the position of some of the shadows...  I also laid down the first  in a series of colors for the path and fallen leaves.

May 12, 2011

"The Path"

I took a break from the toy series to paint a landscape for the back drop on our church's next exhibit poster - topic The Way.    While on a morning walk last week, I took a picture (shown at the bottom of this post) of "the path" behind our house.  The new growth was still a vibrant green and the sun ahead looked to be guiding the way...  I loved the way the shadows criss crossed the path and the fallen leaves left from last fall.  Shown below (and above the picture) is the drawing and the first lay of color....

May 10, 2011

Staking Out - Finished

Here it is!  Added more of the patina colors, highlights, the slab and lip of the slab, and cleaned up the "key holes" in  the bed...  You'll notice that I cleaned up around the bed of the truck  - the reason for the glare of new paint... the background has already dried.

Hope you enjoy!

May 9, 2011

Staking Out - WIP #6

Here's the update (as promised).  I was able to paint for 6 hours today.  I added the wheels and worked n the shadows some.  I also started laying in the slab rim...

Monday - May 9

Hope you Mothers all had a wonderful Mother's Day.  I was unable to get any painting done this weekend but will be heading up to the studio as soon as I finish this post.  I'll be sending out an update this evening.  Thanks.

May 6, 2011

Staking Out - WIP #5

Hi!  Thanks for stopping by.  Today I added more detail to the grill and added the step down.  I also started work on the under carriage of the bed.

May 5, 2011

Staking Out - WIP #4

More of the cab has been added, the front grill and the base of the bed.  I've also added more detail on the bed of the truck...   Thanks for stopping by...

May 3, 2011

Staking Out - WIP #1

Started laying in the paint.  I'm posting a couple of pics on my progress.  I decided to begin with the bed of the truck first (this is a fabulous green!).  As I lay in the paint, I need to make sure I capture the "key hole" detail.


May 1, 2011

Toy Stories - Staking Out

I've decided to paint the Stake Truck by itself.  (Heavy Metal was so much fun!)   Here is the drawing and set up pic.

April 28, 2011

Toy Stories - Staking a Tinker - FINAL

Just finished the Staking a Tinker painting.  Added some detail and cleaned up a couple of areas where the red got away from me... and signed it!

April 27, 2011

Toy Stories - Staking a Tinker - WIP #8

We're in the home stretch!  There are still a few more details to capture before it's ready to sign but I'm nearly there... :)   I'm posting a little early today as I have an appointment in Georgetown; however, if I still have some energy left when I get home later tonight... I'll continue.  I've noticed the tinkers bead head looks a bit blurry... his features are just about rubbed off from age (I guess at 84 years old - I'd be pale too!)
I intend to see what I can do about it - and still maintain the age appearance.  Also added are the broken string sections (around the neck, on the hub and wrapped around the axle.  and the horse has what appears to be a beard (lol) but I'm sure that's not what it is... I painted it in anyway...

April 26, 2011

Staking a Tinker WIP #7

This one is taking a bit longer than I had anticipated.  All those WHEELS!  Augh!   :)  The little guy is coming along fine though.  I still have quite  a bit of touch up and finishing strokes to add before he'll be done.  I'm hoping tomorrow...   The shadows in the window have been added now as well.  Thanks for stopping by.  :)

April 25, 2011

Staking a Tinker WIP #6

I was able to clean up some of the lines on the solder joints, add the stained glass (it's so dark - you can hardley tell in the pic) and lay in the ground work for the wood window frame.  I also painted the outer areas (to outside of window frame).     Here ya go... :)

If the picture looks crooked to you ... it is.  I'm propping them up against the side of my shadow box and if I don't tilt them a bit, they fall.   Once completed, I can work on a better way to snap them so they will be square (not crooked... :))

Toy Stories - Staking a Tinker #5

This truck is so COOL!  It has it's challenges in detail but has been a fun work in progress.  I finished the truck bed platform and tires on Friday.  (I fully intended to post this but didn't have my pic yet.)

I'll be working on the frame and tinker in the next few days so it will hopefully start to shape up... :)

April 20, 2011

Toy Stories - Staking a Tinker WIP-4

I  laid in the solder strips and window panes (minus the shadows..) and added the patina to the truck cab.  I've also painted in the grill and added the patina to it as well... this truck is really fun to paint.  The challenges I've faced so far are the openings in the bed.  You'll notice in some cases only the inside of the bed is visible but in other instances the background is visible as well.   i still need to make some adjustments to them... maybe later tonight.

I may not be adding a picture tomorrow, I'm visiting the Blanton Museum.  If  I get home early enough to paint - I'll be sure to post but it may be late.

April 19, 2011

Staking a Tinker WIP-3

I was able to make some good progress today.  I'm posting what I have completed so far but plan to continue after dinner... :)   I love watching a new painting unfold.  (It's like opening a present !)

The red cab colors have been laid.  I'll be working on the stain glass solder areas tonight and adding the patina colors on the truck cab tomorrow ...


I thought I'd show you the palette.  

Is this nuts or what??!!  I don't normally label it but thought it would make more sense to those of you watching.. :) 

I worked on color matching for another three hours and then began laying in the paint on Monday. 

I decided to start on the truck... since it's really the featured toy (unless tinker steals the show!)  The greens look very bright but still have a lot of patina on them... especially on the outer side.  I'll be working more on that today and I'm hoping to get the truck finished by this evening...  I'll post my progress tonight (Tuesday) ... Thanks for watching!  

April 17, 2011

Saturday and Sunday progress

I've been mixing paint!  I found that there are numerous values in each of the subjects of this work.  I'm now ten hours into it and almost done!

Will be posting a progress pic on Monday....


April 14, 2011

Toy stories - Staking a Tinker

Here is the next set up I'm working on.  The truck is a Wyandotte Stake Truck dated around World War II - 1930's - 40's.  It is on loan from a VERY nice gentleman I met at an antique mall at a town 100 miles from home.   Bill Shideler has a booth at the Red Barn in Round Top and a website where he sales his antique toys.   This particular truck is made from pressed metal and has wooden wheels.

I told Bill that I've been using antique toys as subjects in my oil paintings to capture them before they deteriorate... he gifted me a Wyandotte  truck like Heavy Metal - but in much better condition (which I'll be using in a future painting) and loaned me this stake truck  and a tin mechanical airplane  and asked me to return them when I was finished!  There ought to be more trusting soles out there like Bill.

The horse toy is actually from Tinker Toys.  It was made pre-tinker toys (that we're familiar with) in Evanston, Illinois.  I ran across a sales ad which has it pictured  - dated 1927.  How fun is that!

The satined glass window has seen better days - probably 1940's.  The paint is peeling off the frame like crazy!  But the beautiful colored glass shaping the arrow is a gorgeous emerald and crimson.  I hope I can do it justice.

Here is the photo set up:

and the drawing:

 I'll be posting my progress daily.