daily painting | airwaves

This large abstract, acrylic on canvas, isn’t exactly a “daily” — took longer to finish, but it’s my latest large one. Because I worked on this over the course of days (weeks, really, but not every day), it has a lot going on. Sadness (sickness, cancer in the family), rage (same reasons), joy of life. I kind of like this one. It feels like a wild expression of human emotion and the journey of being in this world.

58″ x 61″ acrylic, pencil on canvas = $4500




daily painting | gardenia

Here in San Diego, looking after grandsons Heath and Mason, the weather has been lovely and mild (temps in 80s, not 100s — what a relief!). Heath (8) and I had a paint-out in the back yard yesterday and I gave him a pair of scissors and asked him to scout around the yard and find blossoms for a still life. What a lovely surprise to see him bring me a gardenia, which he found in the back of the gardenia bush under a tree. I’d never have found it. So we went to work, me with my watercolors and Heath with tempera paints while little French bulldog Rocco, who is in our care this week, wondered why Heath wasn’t throwing the ball for him. It was a perfect afternoon.

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




daily painting | studio Q nasty

I was out in the overgrown, gnarled and wonderful garden patch outside my studio in Oakland spraying fixative on a pastel piece and a few nasturtiums were valiantly rising up in the tangle. The shapes and colors were such fun — even in urban Oakland there is a wildness in that corner though it is surrounded by industrial garages and cabinet shops. “Nasties” are so basic, with an elegant simplicity. Made me remember walking home from school as a kid in Mill Valley (no long lines of cars of parents picking up kids in those days, for sure!) and one of the front yards exploded with them and I learned how to suck the sweet nectar from the flower’s stem. A nice after-school treat. No one ever came out to yell at us kids dawdling on the way home.

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




daily painting | dad…

After teaching a watercolor class last month at Frank Bette Center I unwound by going up to the estuary near the Fruitvale Bridge in Alameda to sketch and relax and hopefully spot the peregrines who live on the bridge. A family came along, including a quite precocious little 4 year old (maybe younger) peppering her dad with questions. She climbed up on the railing and I only wrote down a couple of things she said — she was mesmerized by the water and so curious and cute (her little toddler brother loudly objected to his older sister climbing on the railing, though, as it scared him). She was bubbling over with questions and her dad, obviously used to her inquiries, patiently addressed each one. It was a charming family scene and I was so happy there was a little girl in this world who was embraced by her parents and who honored her inquisitive mind. A happy and refreshing scene; I wanted to follow them just to be around the little girl’s wonderment. Oh how I aspire to approach each day with such open-hearted curiosity!

I’ve been under the weather with an infection this week so I apologize for not posting. Am on the mend. Looking forward to teaching the acrylic abstracts workshop tomorrow at Frank Bette.

small ink drawing on paper




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