Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days

Well I've done it! I've thrown my hat in the ring and joined Leslie Saeta's Thirty Paintings in Thirty days! I'm #83, but she now has over a 100 participants. Wow! It should be a lot of fun.

What a great way to start the year out! I need to be more disciplined with my painting time and this should help me do that. I'm not sure I'll be able to post every day, but I will be painting 30 paintings at some point during the month of January. The fun starts Jan. 2 so be sure to check back! I'll be posting my painting here, and a link to it from Leslie's blog along with all the rest of the artists.


8 x 10 oil on panel

Rower on the Illinois River in December. Water was like glass this day.

Mira - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

This is Mira. She is the prettiest thing. Long, soft, thick, orange fur. Yellowish, greenish golden eyes. She is always lurking just within reach...I just can't help but reach out to pet and snuggle her. And then I remember too late... Mira bites! Her alter personality kicks in and I learn my lesson once again! Mira is to be seen but not touched!


8 x 10 oil on panel

Another in the series I'm doing of snorkeling in the Caribbean. This has been a fun challenge to try to capture the color and values and do the reflections justice. More to come.


5 x 7 oil on panel

This is a small study for a larger piece.

Marcelo - SOLD

8 x 8 oil on panel

This is a commission I did earlier this month that is still drying and awaiting varnish. I should be able to ship soon. I'm pretty sure Marcelo's parents don't view my blog so the surprise should should still be safe. 

Spring Honkers ... larger

6 x 12 oil on canvas

I've painted a similar painting before. But I wanted to try this larger and I'm pretty happy with the results. I do like painting on panels better than canvas. I need to order some larger sizes. 

Spring Goose

6 x 6 oil on panel

I decided to work from one of my resources from last spring. I love the greens in this one, and the hint of orange from the underpainting.

Light Footed - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

I love how this guy seems to be balanced on one foot at this very second. He is so light footed he is almost flying!

Portrait Class

This is one of the paintings I've done recently in the portrait class I'm taking with Frankie Johnson. She is a wonderful artist and incredible teacher. I'm learning a lot.

Face #30

5 x 5 oil on panel

Seems like forever since I've posted. Yes, I'm still alive here. I've been insanely busy. But things are starting to quiet down. So yesterday I did have time to paint. I wanted to start out simple with a mug shot. I thought this guy looked gnarly enough to be fun to paint, and I was right! I loved the cool bright on one side of his face, and warm glow on the other. I have a profile of him too I'm thinking of trying. 

Race to the Beach - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

Here is another painting of these two playing in the water. They were the perfect subjects that day at the beach. Running out into the water to retrieve the balls. Then bringing them back for another toss. At least most of the time they brought them back. There were a few times they seemed to forget what they were out there looking for and they came back empty handed! 

Spring Honkers

5 x 7 oil on panel

These Spring Honkers were captured last May. The water was this bright yellow green and was glistening with floating blossoms. 

This painting was difficult to photograph well. The light green is close but not quite right here.

Face #29 - The Hiker

4 x 4 oil on panel

Painting that small face, Babushka, the other day made me realize how much I miss painting those mugshots! I'm going to try to fit them in more often. My schedule has gotten pretty busy lately. I plan to paint as often as I can and these small ones might be easier to fit in. 

Retrieve - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

These two were having a great time with their balls in Lake Michigan. Everyone was keeping cool and enjoying the summer.

Babushka - SOLD

4 x 4 oil on panel
private collection East Haddam, CT

Babushka, one of my favorite words, but I really never get to use it. So I'm thrilled to paint this little girl who is wearing what I call a babushka! (I think this might be Regula's sister at age 6. Is that right Regula?)

This my submission to the August HHG challenge put forth by Regula Scheifele. She has challenged us to paint one of the photos from her trip to Singapore. I guess I chose one she posted that wasn't really from Singapore. I just noticed that!

Fetch - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

Another pair of legs! Out wading and playing toss with her dog. A great way to enjoy the late afternoon, and it was fun to watch.

Gental Waves - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

I think I want to do a series of just legs. I guess that might be a bit strange, but legs, shadows and the negative space between are really interesting.

Swimming With Jumpy - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel
private collection in North Barrington, IL

Do you believe this frog lives near or at this pool? Well, these two boys are having a great time swimming with this little guy. I loved the silhouettes and the colors of all three of them.

I love this story. I secretly love frogs. Playing with frogs and toads were my favorite activity when we used to vacation in Wisconsin as a child. Poor things... I'm sure I damaged a few of them unintentionally. I wonder what chorine does to amphibians, and I wonder why he's chosen to live there?


6 x 6 oil on panel

Last week at my workshop I was pretty overwhelmed with dealing with the weather and also trying to learn as much as I possibly could. But now, back home, it's starting to click. Too bad it starting to make sense in the middle of the night. I could have used some sleep! But I kept dreaming about repainting the hydrangeas from Door County. I'm not even that big on painting flowers, but these just kept calling me. So this morning I knew that this is what I had to do and this painting came together pretty quickly.

I cropped the composition quite a bit (which is what Randy was suggesting from the beginning) and used my smaller panels and fuller palette which was more comfortable for me. It definitely helped that I had sketched and painted this already from life! I'm pretty happy with this. I might go back into it when it's completely dry... but then again, I might not.

Exciting News...

I'm pretty excited that my small painting "Sunny Saturday" has been accepted in the Real People 2012 show which is presented by the Old Court House Figurative League in Woodstock, IL.

The show will open on Thursday August 2 at the Old Court House Arts Center in Woodstock, and will close on September 28. Reception will be held on August 18 from 7:00 - 9:00pm. Come if you can! Reception date has been changed to August 25!

Sexton Workshop Final

After a day of blistering heat, a day of high winds, a cloudy day, then an all day rain, I left for home this morning on a beautiful clear day in the 80s. With the occasional puffy cloud in a beautiful blue sky!! ha! This was the day I had been waiting for all week! I guess that's the luck of the draw.

The weather definitely was a challenge for me. But I'm so glad I took this workshop and I learned a lot. Randy was great! Always calm and easy going and spending a lot of one on one time with you and each of your paintings. The last day was spent critiquing our paintings and showing us how we could improve on them all. We then either worked into our paintings or started a new one with the changes we discussed. This was a great exercise. Here are my two paintings after working back into them. I did paint a third but decided to wipe it.

Randy Sexton Workshop Day 2

Our class met at the Fish Creek Harbor for the second day. It was a lightly overcast, threatening rain most of the day. It was very windy by the lake. Randy painted a demo of a motorcycle that was parked on the road.

He masses in a large dark shape to start. He compares this to a portrait. This is just a portrait of a bike. 
At this point he does a lot of wiping out to get the correct shape and establish the lightest areas.

Love it!

Randy Sexton Workshop Day 1

It's been blazing hot here in Door County. Painting out in this heat this afternoon was a challenge in more ways than one! A true test for me, and I'm not sure I succeeded in a graceful way. But I'm cooling off now so I thought I would post a few things.

After our initial introductions and a small talk, Randy sent us out to sketch. We decided to stay close to the school because of the heat. Here is a photo of his first preliminary sketch. He had us do at least 3 or 4.

Here is a photo of his demo. He did not consider this done yet, but I didn't get a photo of it after he worked on it some more.

He premixes piles of his main colors in order to compare the value and temperature of them while still on his palette. I don't usually do this but I gave it a try and liked it. It made me slow down and think more before filling my canvas. I do like this process. 

He decides on his darkest dark, lightest light, coolest color and warmest color. Then develops his palette around that.

This is the spot I decided to paint. I was in shade when I started... but in full sun by the time I was done. 

And this is a bad photo of my results after 1 1/2 hours. I took this photo out on our balcony and there is a shadow on the left side and bottom of it. I'll try to get a better photo later. I'm not unhappy with it, but deciding on the composition is always tricky. 

 It's supposed to be cooler tomorrow, but maybe rain. We are headed to the harbor. I'll post if I have time.

Randy Sexton Workshop

I'm headed up to Door Co tomorrow. I will be taking a workshop at the Peninsula School of Art with Randy Sexton next week. I think it's going to be a good one. I'm very excited and a bit nervous. I don't think I'll have time to blog while there, but I'll post about it when I get back. 

Carter & Briggs - SOLD

5 x 7 oil on panel 
private collection North Barrington, IL

This is a commission I just finished for a good friend of mine. Her boys, Briggs (on left) and Carter (on right) were perfect subjects. I put some twinkles in their eyes, but I promise they were glittering even more than this! Would love to try painting these two again.

Snips N Snails

5 x 5 oil on panel
private collection Cedar Park, TX.

This is Sugar N Spice's bro. Just turned 3 and cool as a cucumber!

Sugar N Spice

5 x 5 oil on panel
private collection Cedar Park, TX.

More spice than sugar sometimes just like it should be! This was a fun to try to capture this little girls spunk! 

Looking Down

5 x 5 oil on panel

I thought this was an interesting angle on things. I loved how his chest glowed cool and warm. Hopefully you can tell he is standing in a wading pool. It's one of those blow up ones. 

DPW Phone Photo Challenge

4 x 4 oil on panel

This is my submission to this weeks Daily Paintworks Phone Photo Challenge.

Still keeping things loose and simple.

Sprinkler Time - SOLD

5 x 5 oil on panel
private collection Herriman, UT

Enjoying the sprinkler on a hot summer day. The big challenge seems to be catching the water in his mouth! 

Still working on staying loose and bold.

Hold On!

6 x 6 oil on panel

Hold on tight! This little guy is new to the water!

When your glasses slide off your face, you know it's too hot to paint. I can only paint in the mornings these days. 

Beach Stroll

5 x 7 oil on panel

I'm thinking about my time on Hilton Head Island lately. 

A Day at the Lake

6 x 6 oil on panel

I'm enjoying just trying to capture gesture. Particularly children. I have a few more I'm working on. 

Summer Concert

6 x 6 oil on panel

This nice couple were sitting on the lawn waiting for a concert to start. I liked the curve of her back against his dark shirt. This was painted on a red ground and I found that mixing skin tones is much different when laying it on red. 

Lime Donut - SOLD

6 x 6 oil on panel

Pool time for this little girl! I loved the lime against the blues and turquoise and I had to give this composition a try. I painted this on a red ground. I'm not sure you can tell that because I covered up most of it. There are just a few specks showing through. 

Plein Air Workshop with Frankie Johnson

It's been a while since I've posted. Some family conflicts kept me away from painting for about 3 weeks. But I just spent this last weekend out plein air painting with Frankie Johnson and a very fun group of ladies. Frankie is a talented and giving artist and teacher. I was so lucky to get into this workshop with her. She teaches regularly out of her business Mainstreet Art Centre. And is also teaching workshops out of the Peninsula School of Art in Door Co., WI. If you ever have the opportunity to take a class from her, do so.

I had only been out plein air painting once before this workshop and I learned so much in 3 days! Above is my take home. I painted 2 paintings each day. I like some more than others. I also took a lot of photos for future paintings.

I also learned that I need to get an umbrella before my next plein air workshop in July. Does anyone have any recommendations?

DPW Shadows Challenge

6 x 6 oil on panel

This is my submission the the DPW Shadows Challenge. I thought the shadows were interesting here. I also loved how the light was hitting the man's pants and how her legs glowed cool and warm.

DPW White House Challenge

6 x 6 oil on panel

This is my submission to last weeks Daily Paintworks White House Challenge. This was my first attempt at doing an interior. I really enjoyed painting the sunshine on the walls and rug. It was fun to explore the house and I would love to turn one of those huge light filled rooms into a studio!! Ah, dreaming.

R Is For Ryker & Value Study #7

R Is For Ryker
8 x 8 oil on panel

This is my grandson who will turn 2 in a month. He is learning his letters already. 'R' is a hard one for him to say. This is really a value study also.

Value Study #7.  Simple still life. So much fun to do.

Morning Mug

5 x 7 oil on panel

I really think that doing those value studies is helping me plan my paintings. I need to get back to them. 
This is Easter morning with my son.

More Value Studies #3, 4, 5 & 6

I didn't spend a lot of time on any of these studies. Less then an hour for each. This is a very fun challenge that I'm learning a lot with. 
Value Study #3. Set up this simple still life for this value study. I think I kept to 4 values this time.

Value Study #4. I tried to set up the same still life again in order to try color.

Value Study #5. 

Value Studies #5 & 6. I painted these from photo references. I plan to try these in color next.
I keep hearing Peggi in my head telling me to be a designer, make interesting shapes and connect your shadows!