daily painting | peppery fantasy

I canNOT get enough of peppers. The globular shape (great word but it sounds like a tumor), the deep reds and oranges with tinges of green, the perky stems, their sensuality. I love looking at them. I love painting them. I love eating them. Yesterday I was eager to take a pepper to my studio and do a large one with watercolor on paper. I finished it off today and got a bit wild with the pastels, but it was satisfying and fun, things painters don’t often feel. I started another one and it is in progress, a green squished one with a terrific shape. We’ll see if that one works but I like its start.

30″ x 22″ watercolor, pencil, ink and pastel on paper = $795




daily painting | sibley goats

So there’s this gorgeous park up in the Oakland hills and some of the trails have breathtaking views of SF bay as well as Mt Diablo. There are also golden eagles that live in the neighborhood and I went up to try and spot them (no luck, though the pair was very visible earlier in the spring). The hard-working herd of goats-for-hire was there, though, surrounded by the electric fence and munching away at the poison oak and grasses. Really a hoot to watch them chewing their way up the hillside, chomp chomp. Not quite as thrilling as eagle-spotting, but lots of fun.

6″ x 8″ watercolor, pen on paper




daily painting | peppers

I brought a small mountain of assorted peppers for a still life for my watercolor/pen-and-ink class at Frank Bette Center last Saturday. Now… what to do with them? Stir fry? Some kind of casserole? (Still researching that.) Anyways I love the beautiful, feminine, sensual shapes and vibrant colors of these vegetables (or maybe they are fruits? they can’t quite make up their minds, maybe). So this is my watercolor sketch before I eat them for dinner. I did several renditions, and liked this one the best. I really love my fountain pen with indelible (carbon) ink and fude nib, which is bent at the end and flexible so I can play with thick-thin-thick lines (email me and I’ll give you details). A big thank you to the students who worked hard and embraced the lessons.

8″ x 10″ watercolor, ink on paper = $100




daily painting | reaching in

This small abstract started as a demo done last Saturday at Frank Bette Ctr for the Arts in Alameda as a promo for the abstract class I’m teaching there Aug 10 (cut-and-paste link: https://www.frankbettecenter.org/abstracts-in-acrylic.html). I’ve never painted in front of an audience (apart from a quick class demo in the watercolor class). It was intimidating. Privacy seems to be an essential ingredient in creating art, for me. The kind group of folks asked intelligent, pertinent questions and I was happy they were there, truly. And… creating art is a deeply personal process and isn’t conducive to public view. As I explained the emotional aspects of painting this one to the group, they were very kind and understanding — even being observed, painting this brought up tender feelings. I am truly happy to be a deeply feeling person, though, as I’ve said before, I’ve often longed for a frontal lobotomy.

12″ x 12″ acrylic, pencil on claybord = $185




daily painting | morning glories

More from Seattle. My sister’s beautiful garden patio in Ballard looks down the hill and into the neighbor’s yard where these morning glories graced the back fence and were glowing in the sunlight. Lucky to have sunshine so I could enjoy watercolor sketching that day; was mostly rainy there though not chilly. I sat on Kay’s back steps while she went to the hairdresser to get her hair dyed a wild color of blue so she could be a little old blue-haired lady for her birthday party. Was hilarious (I must have been psychically tuned into that process as the paints I used were the same color — as I applied blue to paper, Kay had blue applied to hairdo!).

6″ x 8″ watercolor, pen on paper = $60




daily painting | emily & kathy blowing bubbles

I have no idea where I unearthed this photo of my sister and I blowing bubbles on a bench in our front yard in Mill Valley, but I decided to do a monochromatic painting of it to bring for my sister’s birthday. We are only 15 months apart, and our difficult upbringing in the beautiful hills with a spectacular view of Mt Tam was something we made it through, more or less. As Kay (who was Kathy as a kid; thus the caption written on the sketch) prepares to leave the planet, I am comforted by these small scenes. I remember that redwood bench. I remember Daddy’s rages. I remember the glorious comfort of climbing through the scotch broom on the hill above the house and making little safe forts where I would go to read. I wish we had been closer, as little girls. But I am happy to have just had time with her last week. She is a hero — she possesses not one molecule of self-pity. She is living large and celebrating every breath. [And, for those of you who know me, this is evidence that my hair was straight as a board until puberty (that’s me on the left). The power of hormones.]

8″ x 6″ watercolor, pen, pastel on paper = $60




daily painting | seattle garden

There was a little patch in my sister’s front garden that had mini calla lilies that were a rich ruby red and glorious. I took a few photos and couldn’t wait to get my paints out after I came home; what interesting stories she told me about their creative gardener! He nurtures a riot of growth and color and lushness. As my sister is ill with cancer, I was glad to have time with her and painting Seattle scenes from her yard is gratifying. We had what I felt were important discussions about death. What’s it like to know you are dying? How does it feel? Can you make sure to get rid of Trump once you leave the planet? Anyways I was grateful to be there and enjoy her extremely generous hospitality.

8″ x 6″ watercolor, pen, pastel on paper = $60




daily painting | seattle neighbor

Aahhh… Seattle. Where gardens are lush and green and damp and gorgeous. Had an opportunity to sit in sister Kay’s yard and paint and this was a hanging plant on her neighbor’s fence. Was very lovely to be there and join my sister’s 65th birthday celebration — and there is so much to celebrate! Kind friends there, clients, neighbors, zydeco lessons, a stunning sunset over Puget Sound complete with a bald eagle fly-by. Happy birthday, dear sister.

watercolor, pen on paper




daily painting | alluris

Alluris was the lovely model for last Tuesday night’s figure drawing group in Oakland. I so enjoy doing a series of paintings and sketches, changing my spot in the room to get different views of the pose. Someone said once, as I did a number of small paintings and then left earlier than other, more serious oil painters, that watercolor artists are like hummingbirds — flitting around, alighting briefly, zooming off. I am gaining more experience with the gorgeous fountain pen I’m using these days, which can create thick or thin lines depending on pressure on the nib. Cool stuff (if you are interested in this process, you can take a class next month from me at Frank Bette Center in Alameda; class info is on their website: www.frankbettecenter.org/fountain-pen-and-watercolor.html).

There’s a freedom I am experiencing, using this pen, and it creates more interest in the drawing/painting. Plus it’s lovely to enjoy artist Peter’s home-made chocolate treats that he brings to the group [there was a funny moment that night — Alluris was taking a brief walk outside to stretch her legs and I was also outside getting fresh air. As she walked up the sidewalk, a man in a car pulled into a driveway near her, asking if she ordered a pizza? No, she said. Then he tried to convince her to buy pizza from him. Did he have a card, she asked? No. Either he was so smitten by her beauty he couldn’t help himself, or he hoped she was a lady of the night — which she did not look like at all, as she was demurely dressed between modeling sessions].

watercolor, pen on paper




daily painting | light getting in

I have a new favorite spot, the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse on Telegraph Ave in Oakland, near my studio (Temescal neighborhood). I’ve been working on a series of medium-sized canvases that are recycled paintings purchased there — stretched on a frame and ready for a new skin of paint. I specifically created this piece for Open Studios, as I wanted a not-too-big abstract to fit in my allotted space at Gray Loft Gallery (not to mention fit in my car.). I do try to create paintings with more muted colors — but they always end up here. So I’m going with that attraction to the primaries. Open Studios was a lot of fun, as I was with a terrific group of artists. We sweltered through the first weekend and were happy when the fog rolled in. I’m rethinking future plans for E Bay Open Studios (“EBOS”) as I find that at the end of the day of showing my art I feel quite raw and it takes a few days to recover. I often am reassessing my role as an artist — how do I fit in? Is it worth it? Does my work suck? Can a modern Peggy Guggenheim please come discover me? I’ll see how I feel in 6 months. A big thank you to everyone who came to see my work! Your enthusiasm means a lot.

28″ x 22″ acrylic, pencil on stretched canvas = $800