daily painting | amadia

Amadia, model for Tue night figure drawing group, had a pink topknot hairdo that was wonderful. I was delighted again to join the gang and practice doing loose, flowy watercolors of the lovely model; my style is a big contrast to the artists there who do beautifully detailed oils. It was great fun, as always, to be invited to fill in for an absent regular. Scott played a blues CD for me, Peter brought more mouth-watering chocolate tart treats, jokes bounced around the room, and I was at home with my artist tribe. One benefit of hot weather — paint dries quickly! I did a handful of paintings and will probably post more in the coming days. Was very happy to be there.

10″ x 7″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90

daily painting | lone geranium

I found a geranium growing by itself in a small patch of dirt along a curbside in Alameda on a recent sunny bike ride. Nothing else there, and it seemed so sturdy and cheerful. Geraniums are a bit of a nemesis, art-wise. I’ve made a number of attempts at capturing their brightness and hues. They have this nutty, wonderful smell that is nothing like any flower I know, and since they love the climate here, I’ve been around them all my life. I kept this painting simple, and it was my 3rd or 4th pass at this bright red-pink composition. It’s so lovely to enjoy this spring weather.

8″ x 5″ watercolor, pen on paper = $50




daily painting | dance party

Not exactly a daily painting as I worked on this over a number of days but wanted to post this. Excited to get my large studio wall back since the melted metal piece is completed. I’m actually not sure how to comment on this piece — there is so much deep emotion expressed here and it also looks like a party. Go figure! I cried and was sad and felt grief and loss, working on this painting. Yet the colors feel happy. It did feel joyful to paint something big again.

41″ x 51″ acrylic, pencil, oil pastel on unstretched canvas = $2700




daily painting | spring yellows

Aahh… flower-swiping. My participation in criminal activity, and no, I have not yet become an old woman klepto, though as a 13-year old I had a brief shoplifting career stealing cheap jewelry from Woolworth’s in Corte Madera.

Bright yellow blooms after such a wet winter are all joy, and there’s a large bush of flowers outside my marina that has fluffy, loose, humble blooms that are not stuck-up like roses or orchids. Though after painting these, and several passes at freesias, I’m a bit yellowed-out and may seek out more dilapidated, rusty old buildings. Spring flowers are impossibly cheery and I love having them in my kitchen windowsill which gets oodles of sun.

8″ x 5″ watercolor, pen on paper = $50




daily painting | freesia

I came across some nice square sheets of Arches paper I’d torn from a large sheet for creating small sketches. I love my watercolor sketchbooks, but Arches paper is sturdy and you can rub out color without wrecking the surface. I’d swiped some lovely freesias from the marina garden outside, and over a few days became obsessed with capturing the bright, cheery yellows, with mixed results. This painting was loose and moody and at first I hated it. Then I loved it. Then I hated it. Sigh… the life of an artist.

7.25″ x 7.25″ watercolor, pen on paper = $65

daily painting | lime shadows

Sometimes I see the way shadows and light play in a still life in a lovely bowl and try to capture them and what happens is crap. But I like this one. This ceramic hand-hewn bowl with uneven edges, made by my dear friend and studio neighbor Addiam Tsehaye, who died almost exactly a year ago at age 44 of pancreatic cancer, is a treasured gift, and holds the fruit I bring home from the market. The sun through the kitchen window flowed over this solo lime, creating stark edges and complicated shadows and I wanted to try my hand at capturing the darks and lights. It was satisfying to paint this yesterday after returning from a dinner party in my old neighborhood in Redwood City. I reflected on my choices in life with both joy and gratitude and sadness and loss. It seems to be an equal balance, in life, between painful endings and happy new beginnings. Such an unpredictable and interesting mix. Perhaps like the contrast between bright sunlight and deep shadow. My goodness I’m waxing philosophical. Apologies.

My younger sister has cancer. It has returned after 19 years of being mostly cancer free. She continues to live a rich life filled with family and travels and impressive career successes. Something about this bowl created by my friend, now gone, triggers both sadness and happy memories. I put music on while painting it and had to stop and take crying breaks. Such is grief. But it is grief mixed with gratitude and open-hearted joy in living.

7″ x 7.25″ watercolor, pen on paper = $65

daily painting | marie

I was happy again to pop into the Tue night figure drawing group in Oakland, a closed group but I get to sit in if a regular artist can’t make it. I go there to do as many quick sketches as I can squeeze into the evening, wanting more to capture a feeling and keep things loose than create a careful representation of the model. I may post another painting of Marie tomorrow after I review my sketchbooks. It’s such a privilege to hang out with those folks — wise-cracking, friendly artists. I don’t pretend to have half the talent of the artists there, some of whom make a living painting portraits of congressmen and prominent judges. I have joined the group for over a decade now, and it’s great fun to see old friends, laughingly argue about what music to play, take bets on who’s right about obscure facts about model trains, enjoy Peter’s homemade chocolates. Those guys crack me up. A thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Artgraf water soluble graphite, pen on paper, 10″ x 8″




daily painting | eggplant

Did a few paintings of this eggplant before I ate it. A friend had given me lemons so I thought they’d get along together in a group setting (no fights, no bruising; they were refreshingly civilized). The amazing rich color — aubergine — of eggplant is glossy and luscious and beautiful. Hated to ruin it by chopping it up for dinner. It’s also fun reading that it’s a member of the nightshade family, which makes me think of the Addam’s Family and cracks me up.

5″ x 8″ watercolor, pen on paper = $50




daily painting | big guns

Oh the fun of poking around Alameda Pt, a former navy base, looking for interesting scenes on a mild Spring day. An opening in a fence I’d never seen before created an opportunity to find old guns mounted near the flight tower. I wonder where they came from? Off a ship? From which era or war? No clue. It was rusty and interesting and I forgot my regular paint sketchbook so I found another sketchpad in the back of my car (which is why my trunk is overflowing with stuff as it gives me MacGyver opportunities to sit on a beach, paint and draw, view birds through a scope). It was both a piece of interesting war machinery and a bit chilling, wondering of its history. Implements of war—fascinating and terrifying at once. I can only imagine the terror of seeing something like this in action.

watercolor, pen on paper




daily painting | poppy

Thanks to our current California season of soggy, the poppies are everywhere in the brilliant green hills. This was from a hike at Sibley in Oakland hoping to see Golden Eagles (swifts and juncos, one PG&E drone, no eagles, not even a red tail). Brushing wet, bright washes over the paper was serious fun; took a few passes to get a painting I liked and in this damp atmosphere the paint took forever to dry. Patience and a hair dryer. I noodle around too much and complicate the composition when simplicity is best. Hope I never get over the magic of watercolors—they have a mind of their own and I’m never sure what will happen which is a combo of fun fringed with frequent frustration (sorry, can’t help myself).

5″ x 8″ watercolor, pen on paper = $50