Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Spiral Shells & Other Things (8" x 10") Colored Pencil Sold

Spiral Shells is from my "circulism" series, and the little pink shell on the left has been in several of my pieces.

This piece is owned by someone who was instrumental in my journey as an artist. When I lost my way, she listened to my stories, and helped me find direction. She is a special angel in my life (I have several). I believe strongly in miracles and angels here on earth.

Happy Holidays to All, my family celebrates Christmas and it will be a very special one this year.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Classic Tomatoes

Classic Tomatoes (7.5" x 11) Colored Pencil on Brown Colorfix (12" x 16" Framed)

These juicy little guys were from our local Wild Oats produce. I tried to incorporate as much color into the "white" cloth as possible.
There's something about fruits and vegetables that just intrigues me. I'd rather draw/paint them than eat them. I am a choco-holic!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cling Peaches

"Cling Peaches II" (5" x 10") Colored Pencil on Brown Colorfix (Framed 12" x 16")

My favorite.....peaches!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tea & Sympathy

Tea & Sympathy (8" x 14") Colored Pencil on Rust Colorfix (Framed 16" x 20")

One of my favorite pieces as it holds special meaning for me. This piece was also accepted into the 14th International CPSA Exhibit in Albuquerque, NM.

It did not start with an underpainting....I started with the background to see how light I could get the value. The little black teapot was next, so now I had one of my lightest lights and my darkest value. Everything else was relative to those two values.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Colorado Gold - Pastel

I do pastels occasionally...but I don't have much room in my little house, so pastel dust is really an unwelcome thing. But I do love to paint with pastels. Maybe someday I will have a larger studio and there will be room to "dust" off the pastels.

Colorado Gold (11" x 17") soft pastels on Wallis Sanded Paper Sold

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Sweet Reflections

Sweet Reflections II (4" x 6") colored pencil on Stonehenge Sold

This is the complementary underpainting for Sweet Reflections II. I chose Dark Green and Celadon Green for the cherries to create the value study. Since the reflections were part of a mostly greenish-blue surface I chose Black Grape and Tuscan Red (complements) to create the values. There is a very light pink in the background to add a little variation to the greenish-blue background. The emphasis when working on white is to model the shadow areas, leaving white paper for highlights and pure colors.


This is the underpainting for Sweet Reflections I using White colored pencil. So instead of creating shadows (see example above), I am creating the highlights leaving the shadow areas the black of the paper.
Once the white underpaint is done, then I work the dark shadow areas with color, then the midtones, then color in the highlights comes last.

Sweet Reflections I (4" x 6") colored pencil on black LetraMax Sold

This is one of the few paintings I have done on both black paper and white paper. You can see the difference in the mood of the finished piece.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Peaches & Blue Cup

Peaches & Blue Cup (10" x 7") Colored Pencil on Black LetraMax Board (Framed 17" x 14")
Award of Excellence Englewood National Juried Exhibit 2007, Englewood Civic Center
Also exhibited in International Guild of Realism Exhibit 2006 Manitou Galleries, Santa Fe, NM

This is the underpainting and I considered leaving it white, but color won out!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Moonshine (8" x 12") Colored Pencil over Acrylic on Hot Press W/C Paper (Framed 16" x 20")

This was an image that would not leave my head after a huge loss in my life. I figured I better honor it and let it take form. It's not a "show" piece, but it is a "special" piece.

This is how it looked with the acrylic applied to the W/C paper. I used Delta Ceramcoat Craft paint as it seems to give me the best tooth to apply the colored pencil. You can see the brush strokes. They give some interesting texture to the finished piece.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

And now, for a little color and Holiday spirit......

Pink Poinsettia (6" x 8") Colored Pencil on Stonehenge (Framed 12" x 16") Sold

I loved the hot pink of this lovely poinsettia...with a hint of orange in places.

Wishing you the best of the Holiday Season!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

White Colored Pencil on Black

Allium Cepa (Onion) (16" x 22") Colored Pencil on Black LetraMax (Framed 16" x 20")

Dreams of Another Day (10" x 15") Colored Pencil on Black LetraMax (Framed 17" x 22")

Working this way taught me tons about values! So much so that I always start with a white value study when working on black. Not only does it help to brighten the highlights but all the hard work is done with the value study, adding color at this point is nothing but FUN, FUN, FUN!
The only way to achieve the values is by pressure of the white pencil.
If you want to try the reverse, black pencil on white paper, see the work of Ann James Massey,

Monday, November 26, 2007

Small Painting on Black

"Just One" (5" x 2.5") Colored Pencil on Black LetraMax Board (Framed 8" x 10")

This little shell is one of my favorites among seashells and other beach found objects I have in my possession. It has appeared in several of my paintings.

One of my favorite places in the world is the Oregon Coast. I'm just enamored with anything having to do with the beach or Pacific Ocean.

Of all the things I had set up in the photo shoot this particular day, only this shot made it to the drawing board. It was so simple and pleasing to my eye.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Small (not Miniature) Painting

"Gourd & Peppers" (3.5" x 4.5") Colored Pencil on Colorfix (Framed 8" x 10")

The aspect of this painting that makes it a small painting instead of a miniature is the scale. These peppers were very small to begin with, and they are not 1/6 th scale. The gourd also doesn't meet the scale requirements.

Friday, November 23, 2007

String Theory

"String Theory" Colored Pencil 10"x14" (Best of Show, Artist's Choice 2007, Lakewood Cultural Center, Lakewood, CO)

One thing you may not know is that I enjoy reading about Quantum Physics, Cosmology and Theology. I based one of my latest pieces on a physics concept called string or superstring theory.

This theory is the idea that everything in the universe is comprised of tiny strings of indefinite length. I believe the theory has been bypassed by M (M for membrane) theory.

Here is a great website that explains string theory:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Colors of Cabo

I have finally uploaded the pictures I took in Mexico. My photography skills are not all that skilled, maybe that's why I became an artist. I see so much more than when I view the photograph later. But here are two that I thought were of interest.

This first one is from the Cacti del Mundo in Cabo. It was a lovely botanic garden of nothing but cactus. This little number caught my eye, as it looks just like plaid material (the quilter in me made this observation). Nature is so diverse and incredible in its creations. One has to wonder what purpose the plaid pattern serves! I would have loved to stay longer at the cactus garden, however, we were on the tour bus and under tight time constraints. I think one of my biggest fears was missing the darn bus and therefore the ship.

The second is the restaurant in Cabo del San Jose where June and I ate. Lovely, colorful patio. Wish we would have had more time to linger in this quaint little village, but again the tour bus thing. Don't do the tour bus thing!

Almost everything manmade in Mexico is colorful, even the cemetaries, where family members have built little structures in bright hues around the graves. Maybe they paint with beautiful colors because the terrain is so brown and dusty?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mexican Riviera Cruise and Colored Pencil Workshop

SOLD "Just Peachy!" 3.5" x 5" Colored Pencil on Black Letramax Board

My first day of blogging, thanks to some inspiration from a dear new friend I met on my latest adventure...teaching colored pencil on a Mexican Riviera cruise the first week of Nov.

It was my first cruise and I just fell in love with the whole experience. A little too much food, but it was sooooo good. Especially the "artwork" at other words, the desserts! If you take the stairs instead of the elevators, and walk around the Promenade Deck (3 laps = 1 mile) you might just come home missing a few pounds.

I was one of three instructors and I taught my workshop the last day at sea. We had a grand time, and they were a great group of artists....some very accomplished. I haven't taught for awhile due to some family issues, and I had forgotten how much I love teaching.

Above is my version of the finished product that my students worked on. All of their "sensual" peaches were gorgeous and I was so pleased with their results. Part of the instruction was how to create circulism with colored pencil. It is a technique that I first learned while reading about Maggie Toole,

Many colored pencil artists have tried circulism, some call it something else, but I think everyone that tries it finds they have their own look to the circular stroke. It's a bit like handwriting. Your "a" is the same as my "a" but they are definitely recognizable and attributable to the writer by those with a discerning eye.