Gallup Park Oil Paintings

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Under the Bridge Oil landscape painting    12 x 9 inch     $350
Please contact me if you are interested in this or similar artwork.

On the last day of Terry Miura‘s landscape workshop, we met at Gallup Park in Ann Arbor for a full day of plein air painting. It was cold and extremely windy but we were intrepid artists and we soldiered on! Terry painted a beautiful demo of the Huron River with tree reflections and then invented and added a canoe just for the heck of it! We were all amazed. It’s so illuminating to watch a master painter at work.

One of the most eye-opening bit of information that I learned from Terry had to do with his color palette. Instead of using sienna, he uses transparent oxide red. This would seem like a small and unimportant change, but it made a world of difference in my paintings. Sienna is a very opaque, heavy earth color. When I combine it with Ultramarine Blue to block in my composition, it blocks the light of the canvas. When I use Transparent Oxide Red, I get a very dark, but SHEER color that allows for a bit of sparkle in the shadow areas. I was immediately smitten with it and now use it for all my oil paintings. Thank you Terry!

The piece above was my first painting of the day, probably done between 10:30am and 12:30pm. I always love painting water but what really drew my eye that day was the sunlit, chartreuse bush behind the bridge. Adjacent to the dark shadows of the bridge, I knew it would make a great focal point. I was a little daunted at drawing the arc of the bridge, but Terry commented on its accuracy so I felt a bit more confident.

After lunch I attempted another view of the bridge from a farther vantage point (below). I approached Terry for help because I was happy with the structure of the bridge and water, but very unhappy and totally frustrated with my sky. Terry hadn’t touched my other paintings but felt he needed to actually show me what needed to be done, instead of just explain it. I was happy to oblige. In about 5 minutes, he totally obliterated the tons of tiny clouds I had included, and loosely brushed in a much more believable, cohesive massive of clouds. He was absolutely right. It was exactly what the painting needed.

I hope my brain can contain all of these marvelous new ideas without exploding!

Huron River Afternoon-sm


This artwork was created on: Linen Panel
Medium: Royal Talens Cobra Water Mixable Oil Paints and Holbein Duo Aqua Water Soluble Oil Paints

Umbrian Skies Watercolor Paintings

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Watercolor plein air skyscape paintings    4.75″ x 7.25″   
Please contact me if you are interested in these or similar artworks.

One day, after a really disastrous and frustrating attempt at a plein air watercolor painting in Italy (which I ripped into little, teeny, tiny pieces), I refused to be disheartened. There was simply too many scenic possibilities to clam up and get into an artistic funk. To loosen up, I decided to paint really quick, small studies of the passing clouds. No pressure, no expectations, just trying to capture the fleeting images before me.

I’m proud to announce that my painting “Rob’s Gaze” was chosen as one of the Portrait Finalists in the 31st Annual Artist’s Magazine Art Competition. It was one of my first portraits in oil and I am so honored to be recognized in this competitive show. It will be listed in the December 2014 issue.

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This artwork was created with:
Paper: Saunders Waterford Watercolor Paper
Medium: DaVinci Watercolors

Umbrian Lake View Oil Painting

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Plein air oil  seascape painting    9 x 12 inch     $525 Framed
Please contact me if you are interested in this or similar artwork.

One lovely afternoon in Italy, after visiting a different site, we stopped by Lake Trasimeno to have lunch, play and paint. Umbria is the only land-locked province in Italy and there are not many lakes. But this one is absolutely beautiful. Many Italians were enjoying the weekend on the beach and some of our group rented boats and visited the islands that we could see from shore. I chose (of course!) to stay on land and paint. I set up on the shady beach and painted Castiglione del Lago a city that is perched on a small peninsula on the lake.

I painted on a rust-toned canvas quickly and without pressure to capture details. I knew we only had a bit of time so I worked mainly to capture the main masses and colors.  I used only one brush, a #10 flat, and I think it helped me keep the painting loose and simple.


This artwork was created on: Gallery wrapped canvas
Medium: Royal Talens Cobra Water Mixable Oil Paints and Holbein Duo Aqua Water Soluble Oil Paints

August Afternoon Pastel Painting

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Plein air pastel landscape painting     12 inches x 9 inches      $350
Please contact me if you are interested in this or similar artwork.

Another day of wandering the back roads one day last August. This scene attracted me. Bright billowing clouds over a sunlit field, which was just starting to change colors. Little did I realize how difficult it would be!

I knew I would have to draw the sky quickly, but Mama Mia! Those clouds were zooming! At one point I decided that I would just have to paint my “remembrance” of the clouds. It was just impossible to recreate each one in the few seconds that they were in a certain position. Although I did catch a bit of the sky’s feeling, I think I could use a lot more work in that area. Maybe I should do what I’ve heard some other artists attempting. Give yourself a time limit to capture a scene, figure or still life. A short time limit. Like 10 -30 – minutes. Then stop. No more fussing or adapting or filling in. No more questioning. Done. Then go on and do another. And another. And another…


This artwork was created with:

Paper: UArt Pastel Paper
Medium: Rembrandt Pastels and Sennelier Pastels

Glimmer – Pastel Skyscape Painting

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Pastel skyscape painting     18 inches x 14 inches    SOLD
Please contact me if you are interested in this or similar artwork.

The skies are calling me again. Fall sunsets are so amazing: pure unadulterated color in its most vibrant form. And I love that they are devoid of a specific message. Each person brings their own history and connections to them.

I feel hope in this piece. Just a “Glimmer”.


This artwork was created with:
Paper:
Burgundy Colourfix Pastel Paper

Medium: Rembrandt Pastels and Sennelier Pastels

Ocean Pier Pastel Painting


Plein air pastel seacape painting     9 inches x 12 inches   
Please contact me if you are interested in this or similar artwork.

One day in Florida, I headed down to the Fort Myers Beach pier. Although it was midday, there was an atmospheric, foggy look to the area. I set up my easel on a boardwalk nearby and tried to capture the effect. Unfortunately, the winds were blowing so hard that it became impossible to work. My plein air visor kept flying off and my sun umbrella became airborne every couple of minutes. I must say I looked pretty ridiculous chasing it down the beach.  I finally had to give up and hope to come back on another day. Unfortunately, the conditions were never the same again during our month down south, so this piece is still in flux…

This artwork was created with:
Paper:
Sand Colourfix Pastel Paper

Medium: Rembrandt Pastels and Sennelier Pastels

On the Way

Pastel skyscape painting      18  inches x 24 inches     Giclee Prints Available

Please contact me if you are interested in this or similar artwork.

Although I spend most of my summer art time painting outdoors, I also create some pieces in my studio during rainy days and at night. Recently, I have been working on a new pastel in my skyscape series. This piece was inspired by a beautiful sunrise that Beth and I experienced on our way to Wisconsin in June. We had just set out on our big adventure and it seemed like the sky was celebrating our departure. Patient Beth stopped the car and let me shoot 10-12 photos of the drama unfolding before us. I used several of them as reference to create this piece.


This artwork was created with:
Paper: Aubergine Art Spectrum Colourfix Pastel Paper

Medium: Rembrandt Pastels and Sennelier Pastels

Pratiques des Art Magazine Article

My copy of this French magazine came in the mail on Friday and I was soooo happy to see it. Not that I can actually read all of it…

The editor of Pratique des Arts, had emailed me a few months ago and requested the use of some of my skyscape paintings for an August article titled “Les Yeux au Ciel” (“Eyes to the Sky”). My promised complimentary magazine never came and I thought they had forgotten about me. But when I contacted the editor, she said everyone had been on vacation for the month of August (ahhhh… the joy of being European!) and would send it right out.

From what I can tell (I actually do read a bit of French) it is a really nice piece with eight artists featured from all over the world, each painting in a different medium and with a different vision. I was really honored to be included! You can read my part of the article here.

Crystal Blue Persuasion Pastel Painting

Pastel skyscape painting      11  inches x 16 inches
Please contact me if you are interested in this or similar artwork.

Another in my new series of skyscape pastel paintings. This one feels earnest and hopeful and joyous to me, like life is bursting with possibilities. While I was in my studio working on this piece, I was listening to my “oldies” playlist. The old Tommy James and the Shondell’s song, “Crystal Blue Persuasion” came on. I have to admit that 1960′s tune is a longtime favorite of mine and I often blast it in my studio and sing the words at the top of my lungs. Definitely NOT a pretty site. But the title and the sentiment of that music just seemed to fit this piece…and also the way I have been feeling lately.

You can hear the song on YouTube here to judge for yourself. Please don’t write me and tell me you hate it. It will break my heart.


This artwork was created with:
Paper: Aubergine Art Spectrum Colourfix Pastel Paper

Medium: Rembrandt Pastels and Sennelier Pastels

Evening Sigh Pastel Painting

Pastel skyscape painting      16  inches x 20 inches   $850 Framed    Giclee prints available.
Please contact me if you are interested in this or similar artwork.

When I saw this beautiful sunset, all I could think of was “Sighhhh…..” It was just so beautiful and calming–the end to a perfect day. Most of my skyscape pastel paintings right now have that feeling. Yes, everything is going to be all right. Life goes on and every day brings new joy and surprises. Ahhhhh…

Capturing that feeling on paper isn’t easy, but with each attempt I feel a bit closer to the effect I want to capture. I started this painting on a piece of reddish-purple paper and layered colors, dark to light, until I  reached the values I was looking for. A big thanks to my Ann Arbor Pastelists who helped me with a constructive critique!


This artwork was created with:
Paper: Burgundy Art Spectrum Colourfix Pastel Paper

Medium: Rembrandt Pastels and Sennelier Pastels

Northern Sky Pastel Painting

Pastel painting      18  inches x 24 inches
Please contact me if you are interested in this or similar artwork.

Another one in my series of skyscape pastel paintings. The inspiration for this piece came from one of our spring trips “Up North” near Charlevoix, Michigan. When you are at the top of some of the hills in that area, it feels like you can see forever. And in some places, there is not a trace of civilization to be seen. I often think that I might be enjoying the same stunning view that native Indians or early settlers saw many years ago.

This painting is currently at River Gallery in Chelsea. Stop by if you’d like to see it in person!


This artwork was created with:
Paper: Aubergne Art Spectrum Colourfix Pastel Paper

Medium: Rembrandt Pastels and Sennelier Pastels

Sunrise Pastel Painting

Pastel painting      16  inches x 20 inches   Giclee prints available.
Please contact me if you are interested in this or similar artwork.

Skies, skies, skies. That is what is occupying my mind right now. I want to capture them in all of their different nuances. Dark and moody. Bright and optimistic. Subtle and ethereal. They have a hold on me right now. I’m sure I’ll move on, but for right now they are helping me work through some hard personal times.

This skyscape pastel painting was inspired by the sun rising early one morning at the end of my street. It speaks to me of hope, but also the reality that another day will come and we have no control over what it will bring.


This artwork was created with:
Paper: Burgundy Art Spectrum Colourfix Pastel Paper

Medium: Rembrandt Pastels and Sennelier Pastels

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