Saturday, December 3, 2011

Vashon Arts Tour at Barnworks

Tahlequah View
This is the view from my yard - painted out of doors on a Summer day.  This is one of several paintings that are on display at Barnworks during the Vashon Arts Tour.  Barnworks will be open December 3rd and 4th and December 10th and 11th.  Barnworks is located at 12122 SW Cove Road.

My favorite view; every day I look out the window and see something different. In the winter the sun sets just above the distant hills and the sky can be filled with streaks of orange & pink.  In the summer I often catch a glimpse of a sailboat coming out of Quartermaster Harbor.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Center for Wooden Boats SOLD

Last August I painted this at the Center for Wooden Boats on Lake Union in Seattle.  The day was still and there were just a few ripples in the water  and the light bounced off the water and back onto the hull.  I really enjoyed working on the water and the reflections.

This is one of several paintings that I will have on display at the Barnworks  at the Vashon Arts Tour.   Located at 12122 SW Cove Road on Vashon, the Barnworks  will be open for two weekends December 3rd & 4th and 10th & 11th.  

Saturday, November 12, 2011


The light was almost directly above these chili peppers and my angle of view was high, so the shadows were minimal.  I worked hard to observe and  include shadows, reflected lights and shiny highlights to add a feeling of depth and volume.  This was a fun composition to arrange - I spent many minutes with the viewfinder arranging and rearranging the chilis.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fork Spoon Vinegar

Although I usually paint on a white canvas, this time I toned the canvas with a red-orange tone and red has found its way into all the gray mixtures creating a lovely harmony. Titanium white added to other pigments actually cools the mixture so the gray is warm from the red-orange and cool from the black and white pigments that were mixed together.   I was also having fun trying to get sparkle and shine from the metal silverware and the glass vinegar bottle. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Silver Bowl Orange Slices Green Cloth SOLD

Another 10 x 10 painting that I did for consideration for the Vashon Allied Arts Auction held in September.  This one has lots of juicy reflections in the shiny silver bowl and some lovely saturated colors in the oranges.  And a fun bit of lavender in the shadow side of the orange slice and on the far side of the shiny bowl.   Even though the green cloth covers the largest area of the painting, I think the dominant color is orange because it is so intense or saturated.
A brief note about color: pigments have three qualities; hue - that means the name of the color like hansa yellow or azo orange or burnt sienna; value - the lightness or darkness of a color; and saturation - how much of something else is mixed with the pigment- a yellow straight out of the tube is more saturated than one mixed with white.  So the oranges in this painting are almost straight out of the tube, whereas the green is mixed with yellow ochre and white and purple and blue and a few other colors I can't remember.
Why create dominance? Having a dominant color gives the painting a theme; dominance organizes the composition and moves it away from chaos; it makes the painting stronger. And a painting can have dominance in any and all elements - shape, size, direction, color, value, line and texture.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Black Cup Three Tangerines on Pink

Another of the 10" x 10" paintings that I created for the Vashon Allied Arts commission.   I really enjoyed painting that spoon and fork and I like the dull brown color reflected in the dark cup.  It's really interesting how the change in size affects the composition.  A 10" x 10" painting is almost three times the size of a 6" x 6" painting.  So both the golden background and pink foreground seem quite intense because they cover a larger area.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Orange Slices, Silver Bowl on Pink SOLD

This is another  of the 10" x 10" paintings that I worked on for the Vashon Allied Arts Fundraiser Auction.  I painted several so that I would have lots to choose from.  I really like the orange slices and pink table reflected in the silver bowl. It feels like you could reach in and touch that silver bowl and it would be hard and shiny.  But it's just paint!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Orange Slices on Blue SOLD

This is the third painting that I painted as a commission for the Vashon Allied Arts September fundraiser auction.  I like the colors in the tabletop and in the shadow of the orange slices.  The blue goes from very saturated  to very neutral blue.  But it looks blue because it is against orange which is the complement of blue.  I also like the green stripe.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Black Cup Orange Slices on Green SOLD

The second of the three paintings I chose for the Vashon Allied Arts  September fundraiser auction. This time the orange slices are on a piece of glass on top of a green tabletop.  That way I get to paint the reflections and the cast shadows and the green color of the tabletop.  The gray in the background allows me to use a large number of intense colors The piece of calm gray balanced the orange and lavender and gold as well as that vivid lime green. I also like the reflections on the cup.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Paintings of Oranges - Orange Slices on Pink SOLD

Vashon Allied Arts commissioned me to create a work for their annual September fundraiser auction.   I painted several 10" x 10" paintings on the subject of orange slices and then chose three as a triptych.  Painting in a larger format was fun though it was difficult at first.  I like to paint items actual size, not enlarged, so the effect on the composition was to increase the number of orange slices and items that wound up on the canvas. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Turquoise Plate Yellow Cup Sienna Wall

The same cup stack -- this time I put the turquoise plate on a piece of glass.  The light color under the plate is light bounced around by the glass.  I like the blueish-greenish stripe at the bottom of the painting- the color of the edge of the piece of glass.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Yellow Cup Stack on Glass

Another stack of cups  on a sheet of glass to give more reflections.  I enjoy the limited colors, yellow, black, and white and that hazy yellow gray streak that interrupts the reflection on the glass.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Turqoise Plate Yellow Cup Lavender Shadow

My titles are really plain vanilla.  When you do so many paintings it's actually hard to remember them all.  Hence the verbal clues about what it looks like.  I do like all the colors in this one.  There's enough reflected light to move the color around, and every color sings against the neutral black white and gray.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cherries with Gold and Silver

The silver bowl acts like a distorting mirror for the reflections of the red cherries and the gold tabletop. I reduced the contrast and darkened the reflections to subordinate them.  I especially like the gradations on the interior of the bowl - it almost makes the hard metal seem soft.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Three Cherries on Glass SOLD

Here are three more sweet dark cherries.  I added interest to the composition by placing the cherries on a clear sheet of glass. That way I get both a shadow and a reflection and the color of the tabletop shining through the glass.  And I get more of those lovely reflected lights on the underside of the cherries.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Silver Bowl and Three Cherries SOLD

It's cherry season again.  Black objects are hard to paint so I look for a red dark sweet cherry rather than a black cherry.  That way there's more contrast between the light struck areas and the darkest shadows.   I like the cool reflected lights on the bottom half of the cherries.  Lots of reflections in this one.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Orange Slices and Orange Stripe

I think I found this little plate at Target last year and when I got it home thought "Why did I buy that?" and put it in the closet.  But I dug it out recently and discovered I'm a better shopper than I thought.  The square shape and the angular cast shadows go well with the angularity of the orange slices.  The color is just the right shade of green - sometimes it's duller than  the background, sometimes it's more saturated; I can explore all sorts of subtle shifts of color and intensity.  It's a perfect plate!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Shiny Bowl Reflections

More orange slices.  The bowl was in shadow, the oranges were in the light.  It was fun to try to paint the reflections without being too tight.  Really love those shiny metal bowls.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Blue Cup Two Orange Slices SOLD

I enjoy painting these dark shiny cups and orange slices.  And I especially like the reflection in the shiny cup.  Blue and orange are of course complementary colors, and mixed together they make wonderful grays. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Orange Slices Green Plate on Lavender

I really like this square green plate. (You may have noticed I've used it before.)  It is so vibrant and really sets off the orange slices.  This painting is done in a triad of secondary colors- orange, purple, and green.  Because the three colors are high key (light in  value) they harmonize rather than clash.  The purple covers more area of the canvas, but the orange is more saturated (intense) and thus the dominant color. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Kwanzan Cherry Tree in Bloom SOLD

This was painted from a photo of a magnificent Kwanzan cherry tree near the post office.  I took the photo several years ago, late in the afternoon when the sun was peeking through the clouds long enough to light up the cherry blossoms.  I really like that late afternoon glow.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Oregon Coast Near Bandon

I did this painting last year, but decided to rework it last week to make the piece more painterly and to move the distant rocks back.   I have a tendency to use a small brush way too much - so my goal was to allow just a few small strokes in the distant rocks & waves, and to repaint most of the foreground with a few close colors and a large brush. My mantra was "simplify, simplify."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Silver Bowl Eggplant on Chartreuse

Every now and then I buy these lovely eggplants.  They are small and purple and shiny and hard and have such a lovely shape.  And I usually forget about them until they have started to turn to mush in the refrigerator.  This time, however, I did get them painted first.  And cooked them afterwards, too!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Silver Bowl Limes on Lavender Pink SOLD

"Lavenders and Greens love each other." I'm quoting Edgar Whitney from a watercolor workshop I took, oh, quite a few years ago.    I've made most of the painting lavender pink but balanced that with a small area of very saturated lime.  I surely do like the pink color in the reflection.  It's just a little darker and a little more neutralized than the tablecloth color.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Silver Bowl Tangerines on Pale Green

Another in the tangerine series.  I usually paint the same subject for a while until it gets too squishy to move easily.  I'm really enjoying the reflections in the silver bowl.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Silver Bowl Tangerines on Pink SOLD

Gotta love those shiny bowls.  When I first painted this I had more distinct reflections of the tangerines - and it did that unfortunate mental jump of creating a cartoon face.  Once you see it, you can't not see it.  So I removed detail from the reflection and dulled it down and the face went away.  It's easy to get caught up in the details but then get surprised when you step back and really look.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tahlequah Sunset

This is the view from my yard towards Tahlequah on the south end of Vashon Island. I painted this sunset several months ago when the sun was still setting to the south.  It's fun to do these quick plein air studies, and this was so convenient - right in my own back yard.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Oranges on Black and Gray

These oranges seem especially saturated - probably because the blacks are so very neutral and make the colors pop more.  I really enjoy setting up these still life compositions with a cast shadow across the background-- it enables me to get such interesting angles in the shadows and reflections. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Orange Slices, Glass Jar, on Lavender

Back to those orange slices.  And the oranges have been so tasty, too.  I like the orange/lavender color scheme and enjoy that little bit of yellow and splash of blue that keeps it interesting.  Still working on those lost edges.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Orange Slices Green Plate Leaning Right SOLD

These orange slices lean so that the light is coming through the slices producing a marvelous translucent color.  I really like those intense colors together.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

View from Hake Road SOLD

On Maury Island looking north towards Dockton from Hake Road.  First it was forest, then it was farmland, but now it is filling up with houses on five acre parcels.  Every houseowner clears their property towards the view and plants trees to screen the neighbors.  The trees are coming back, slowly but surely.  

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bandon Lighthouse SOLD

This is one of the paintings I'll be showing at the Barnworks during the Vashon Spring Arts Tour.  May 7th & 8th, and May 14th & 15th.
This lighthouse is at the mouth of the Coquille River in Oregon near the town of Bandon.  I liked the way the light felt intense and hazy at the same time.  All that sunlight and moisture washes the color out and makes everything seem soft and insubstantial.   This view was from the sand dunes looking south and west towards the sea.  The far hill is on the other side of the Coquille River.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Monashka Beach SOLD

A beach in Monashka Bay, Kodiak, Alaska.  The view looking from Ft. Abercrombie towards the Three Sisters mountains.  When it's sunny, there's no place more gorgeous than Kodiak.  

Sunday, April 24, 2011

BLack Cup Orange Slices on White and Gray

I put the still life set up on a piece of glass laid over a white tablecloth.  It's similar to a mirror, but it gives fainter reflections, and allows the white tabletop to come through.  I really like the gray shapes in the shadows areas, and I like the purple color of the yellowish pith in shadow

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Grapefruit Slices, Pink plate SOLD

I had the pink plastic plate in the studio and I set some leftover orange slices on it while I was arranging another still life. I started working on the other still life, looked over and realized that the wild colors looked exciting, so I had to paint this one too.  What's the dominant color?  I think it's the vivid areas of warm reddish orangeish pinkish color in the center of the canvas.  But maybe its the orange of the slices. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Orange Slices on Green Plate

I love the vibrant colors.  The total effect is harmonious because the colors of yellow-green, yellow, and orange are analogous (next to each other on the color wheel).  You would think that the lime green would dominate, but because the orange is dark and so intense, you still see the orange first.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Four Orange Slices on White SOLD

Another painting of orange slices from a while back.  I hadn't posted it, so I thought it would fit in with my current orange-mania.  I like the white around the slices.  It's actually mostly blue-gray, but your mind tells you its white.  

Internet fame

I've just been featured on another artist's blog.  Jane Sloss saw my paintings on ETSY, liked them, and featured me on her blog.  She did an interview with me and posted my work on her blog.
Go to to see my work there.

Four Orange Slices on Blue-Green SOLD

This is a painting from a while ago but I hadn't posted it and I'm on an orange slices obsession just now. I like the shadows cast by one wedge onto another wedge.  And I like the translucence of the color in the shadows. And I like the complementary contrast of the blue-green and red-orange colors.  And oh, oranges are good to eat, too!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blue Cup, Orange Slices, Sail Shaped reflections SOLD

Another painting of orange slices and a shiny blue cup.  I placed the cup & orange slices on a piece of glass to get reflections.  I like the angular shadow shapes created by the combination of shadows & reflections.  And I always like the orange, burnt sienna, ultramarine blue color combinations - they make lovely grays.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

One Radish on White

The radishes aren't up in the garden yet, I was getting spring fever and bought this one at the grocery store.  My intention was to keep the background very high key,  and to work on those loose edges

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Green Apples Black Cup Silver Fork

I know you can't eat apples with a fork, but the fork looked more interesting than the knife.  I like the yellow and blue on the tines.  I also really like the reflected light on the apples.  A strong downlight gives a great bounce back on the underside of the apples. 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Single Camellia in a Glass Bottle

A friend brought a bouquet of camellias so of course I had to paint one.  They are waxy and stiff - the leaves are especially sculptural.   It was important to capture that little sliver of light showing on the edge of the leaf to give that impression of stiffness.  I especially enjoyed the light shining through the bottle onto the tabletop.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

White Bowl with Orange Slices

This painting was painted for the Daily Paintworks Challenge -which was to paint a white object.  This white object happens to be a majolica bowl which was created by my daughter Annie.  The white bowl is decorated with yellow and green dots which echo the yellow and green background and tabletop. 
You can see Annie's pottery at her Etsy shop at
The yellow and green and orange slices remind me of lemon lime and orange sherbet - just what I need to put in the bowl.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Four Brown Eggshells in a Row SOLD

I posted this painting last June, but I reworked the background so I wanted to show the brand new version.  The old version had a lot of burnt sienna in the background - mixed with white it makes a sort of flesh tone.  I had been staring at the painting for a long time and decided that it was just too pink and too harmonious and lacked punch, so I changed the background.  I like it better now

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Madrona Hill

The south end of Maury Island is covered with large stands of Madrona.  They like the sunlight and drainage on the steep hills.  They have beautiful reddish bark and green leaves most of the year. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Beach View Sunny Day SOLD

Painted from some photos taken on the Oregon coast last year.  This was one of those super long sandy beaches with light colored sand and so much blue sky and blue water that it seemed unreal.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Apple Slices Pewter Bowl Purple Background

The pewter bowl is back again.  Here is the set up with a purple background.  I like how the light is positioned overhead so that the right side of the apple slice gets a slightly different amount of light than the left side.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Taylor Lake

As I was painting this scene of Taylor Lake, I kept taking out more an more information.  I tend to focus on the distance and have to keep reminding myself to make it cooler, paler, and less contrasty.  It's easy to be tight and fussy and busy; you have to concentrate to make it simple and loose - just the opposite of the way you'd think it would be.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Apple Slices Pewter Bowl on Gold

I finished this painting and put it aside for two days and then realized I needed to tweak the reflection in the pewter bowl.  It was too bright; the reflected apples had to be duller than the apple slices on the table.  Sometimes when you're painting you can get the individual parts and pieces to look right, but still the painting doesn't hang together.   So you have to look at the painting as a whole to figure it out.  The final version is on the top, the original version on the bottom.