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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

During the past two weeks I have not only been enjoying the holidays but working with my giclee printer to create three prints, on stretched canvas, in double the size of the original paintings.  I was dubious about retaining the quality of line and fluidity of the watercolor with increase of size and printing on canvas, however my concerns turned out to be unnecessary.  This is a project to be repeated! 

I stood next to them to show the size.  Currently they are being crated for shipment to a home in a Southern California beach town.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Yesterday I delivered Split Above and Below.  This is the triptych I have been working on for several weeks.  It was hung in a home located in Tahoe Donner, high on a ridge, with spectacular views to the south.  The painting is the focal point of the room, but how could it not be at 4' x 10' ????  The designers, from Spirit Gallery in Truckee, CA, selected a wonderfully warm color for the wall on which the painting hangs, a shade that brings out one of the hues I use in my rock paintings in small small amounts, a shade that complements the other hues in the painting.

This was an interesting project, because the customer saw and purchased the center painting and then realized it wouldn't be long enough for the space where they wanted to hang the work.  They then commissioned two additional canvases which would create a triptych.  The painting was returned to my studio so I could design the work as well as match paint colors and line work. 

 As you can see, I used photos of the original painting to assist with the drawing.  The intent was to retain the focal point and weight of composition in the center canvas while continuing the visual flow of rocks and water out to the right and left.  In order to accomplish this, I chose to paint fewer rocks and some lake bottom in the side panels.

The composition was selected and sketched onto the canvases.  They were moved on and off my easel many times, placed along side the center canvas to compare and adjust the paint colors and confirm the alignment of the rocks and light patterns from one canvas to the next. 
Then I 'live' with the painting, keeping it in my studio so I can confirm the lighlights, lowlights, and other details, making small corrections with my brushes and paint, guiding the work to completion.

Now it is time to enjoy family, bake cookies, decorate a Christmas tree, wrap gifts.  Happy Holidays to all of you!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Holiday jewelry trunk shows have ended, so I have returned to painting, continuing work on a commission which adds two canvases to an existing painting, so the entire work will become a triptych.   This will be a very dramatic view of Lake Tahoe above and below the surface.  In fact, the title of the work is:  Split Rock, Above and Below.  Pictured here is the middle section of the triptych.  When completed the length of the entire work will be approximately ten feet.  The painting will be delivered this weekend to a home in Tahoe Donner which is being re-decorated by Cathy Nason of Spirit Gallery in Truckee.  

Right now my brushes are various shades of blue, my fingers are blue, and everything I touch is marked with blue.  

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Busy busy time.  I am working with my jewelry daily, creating new statement necklaces with unusual pearls, jade, stone and porcelain from China.  Last week I had a Trunk Show at a private country club, The Quarry,  in the Southern California desert.  The men and women loved my work and purchased beautifully unique pearl and Asian inspired necklaces for Holiday gifts and for themselves.  It is very special when a woman brings her husband to look at a piece she adores and the husband immediately arranges the purchase.  It is also wonderful to watch the faces of the women who see a piece they cannot resist, try it on, and wear it home.  I love bringing happiness to others by creating something they can wear and adore.

The pearls pictured above are actually three separate necklaces stacked together.  Most of you know my motto:  More is not enough!!!!!!  Wear one, two, three or four together for drama and to be outrageous.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I have been creating flamboyant, statement jewelry pieces for my upcoming Holiday shows.  Working with huge pearls, druzy quartz stones, ribbons, and rich earthy tones has been a fun change from standing at the easel with paints in hand and on brush.

This first necklace is actually two.  The jade butterfly is a necklace by itself or becomes a pendant look when worn under the eight strands of pearls, jade, and Peruvian andasite which are gathered together with a wide black ribbon.

Fingers of black coral, druzy quartz, lava stones and Chinese coins are gathered together with a ribbon allowing this necklace to be worn short or quite long.

This pearl necklace can be worn long, or doubled.  When it is doubled it looks like three strands of pearls....elegant.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nine Pie Apples    8" x 24"

As we move through fall, what happens in my studio changes just like what happens in the kitchen changes.   So...I find myself painting fall fruit and cooking with fall fruit and veggies.  I am not sure if the thought of baking apple pies led to Nine Pie Apples, the painting, or the other way around.  I do know that my parents taught me to make delicious apple pies, which started with peeling the apples.  We always tried to take the peel off in one continuous piece and then threw it over our shoulders while making a wish, and I think we then looked at the peel on the floor trying to figure out if it was a letter shape and that letter was indicative of the name of your intended spouse....silly and fun for a young girl!  Just the proper amounts of cinnamon and nutmeg mixed with brown sugar seasoned the apples, and then we always piled the apples high above the pie pan so the pie became a domed, golden work of art.  Every time I bake an apple pie I think of my parents.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What a surprise to have pointed out to me an article about my Tahoe paintings in Tahoe Art and Mountain Culture.  I had no idea..  They show three nice paintings...  all of them are 30" x 48".

Check it out:

Friday, November 6, 2009

Today I made more small corrections to the painting, adding highlights, a little more glazing with the raw sienna and the chromium green oxide, changing the stems on some of the figs to create visual movement, and painting out the fig on the far right.  

Here you can compare the two compositions, the painting with the fig on the far right and the painting as it now looks without that fig.  It is a much better composition now.  That particular fig created too much weight on the right side of the canvas.  Without it there, the painting is more balanced.  So that is it!  I will paint the sides of the canvas, sign the front of the painting, write the date, title and my name on the back on the stretcher bars, add a wire for hanging, and then it is completely done.  By the way, I never used the yellow orange azo.

Nine Figs on a Board

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

At this point in the painting I make small corrections while 'living' with it and having the opportunity to critique what is already there.  I have added highlights to the figs and changed the top of one of the figs.  

Monday, November 2, 2009

I just glazed some areas of the figs with raw sienna.  Glazing is a technique that allows you to add a hint of transparent color by watering down the paint so that it is barely there.   I use my fingers for this process so I can rub the glaze onto the area with close control, adding and removing quickly until I achieve the amount of color I desire.

You can see the raw sienna glaze fairly clearly on the  left side of the fourth fig from the right.  Each fig has some of the glaze.  Click on the photo to enlarge, and take a look at the transparent color.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

What a beautiful day today.  I had to force myself to stay inside to work on the painting, but once I got started I was 'lost' to the process of painting and time flew by.  Dipping the brush into the paint, applying the paint to canvas, watching the evolution of the painting becomes completely entertaining.  It is the act of painting, the process that is rewarding.

While standing in front of the easel today, I began to paint in the board on which the figs sit.  Using raw umber, raw sienna, phthalo blue and touches of white the board began to take form.

And when I was done with this, I headed out the door to enjoy this gorgeous day knowing that when I return to the easel I will be refining and adding detail.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I started painting the figs, and because they are sitting out in my studio getting softer by the minute, I decided to get all of them onto the canvas at once. They will need to be eaten immediately or become additions to the circular file.   More work will be done on the figs eventually (notice how they look a bit dull and lifeless), but here are a few photos showing how I painted from right to left, working towards the light, and how I shaped the figs with some shadows and deep to lighter tones.  If you click on the photos, they will increase in size and you can see the colors in the figs a bit better.  Just remember, you are seeing a painting come together, step by step, and this painting is in process.....

These are Brown Turkey figs, hence the deep purple tones I am using in this painting.   Some of us adore their shape, color and taste.  Others, I am told, cannot stand this luscious fruit.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I have selected the palatte of hues to be used in this painting, based on the figs in front of me and the colors I see in them:  Yellow orange aso, raw sienna, raw umber, naphthol crimson, phthalo blue, chromium green oxide, titanium white.  I snapped a photo of the paints after I put them into the container from which I paint, so you can see what they look like before they are mixed together on the canvas.  They will all combine into rich tones.

The other photos show the process of  painting in the upper background using three four of the hues.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The figs are in my kitchen, so I am 'living' with them and realized that I want the light, in the painting, to stream from the left, so more sketching today after repositioning the figs and changing the direction of the light source.  I have settled on the location for each fig, which will create movement across the canvas and draw the eye.

I also selected the canvas which is 10" x 30" and sketched the composition onto the canvas.  The figs will be located in the right 3/4's, on a board, with light hitting and bouncing off the left side of the board. This will also create a visual movement across the canvas which will lead your eye.

These figs are on the other side of firm, won't last long, so this is a painting that will need to proceed quickly since I want to have them sitting in front of me while I paint.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I am thinking it might be interesting to show the process I go through to create a painting, start to finish.  I will post every day while I am working on this painting, every day I actually work on it, but I will not send out an 'update' notice every time, so it will be up to you to follow along.

I have been intrigued with figs because: 1.  It is fall and figs are in the markets, 2.  I love to eat them, 3. they have wonderful squatty little shapes, 4.  the color in figs is unique, and I think difficult to capture on canvas.  So I have chosen figs as the subject for this painting.

Today I purchased figs, set them up in a composition I like, photographed them, and started to sketch them.  Ok, I ate one.  You think I can become one with the fig and do a more satisfying job of painting them by eating them?

Pictured here are the figs I purchased and a couple of sketches.....

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's the time of year to notice Fall Leaves.  They are green to start with because they are filled with chlorophyll, the substance that allows them to manufacture food.  Other pigments - red, orange, yellow - are also present but masked by the green.  As the days shorten in Fall, chlorophyll synthesis ceases, the green color disappears, and other pigments begin to dominate.  The leaves of certain species typically turn a uniform color (yellow on aspen and birch, scarlet on Red Maple);  others are more variable. 
   As well as looking at a colorful display of trees from a distance, do you look at individual leaves? Each leaf is a work of art, sometimes painted with a variety of color.  So while the drama of firey reds, coppery apricots, and golden yellows pop sizzle and jump right at you, especially when the colorful trees stand in front of deep hued evergreens, take the time to pick up and study individual leaves.
   Right now the lawn is strewn with multi hued leaves.......nature's confetti!

   The paintings here show both views, close up and from a distance.  'Aspen Mountain' (30" x 15") an acrylic on canvas, was painted after a Fall hike on those world famous ski slopes.  'Fall Aspen Leaves' (40" x 25"), a watercolor on paper, was painted to express the end of chlorophyll synthesis in aspen leaves.  I no longer own this painting, but do have giclee prints in full and half size.   Village Interiors (775-831-8868) has a framed print of this painting which can be hung vertically or horizontally.

Take a look at my web site: to see additional paintings of spectacularly colored fall leaves.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

For several years I have been stacking rocks into cairns around and in front of my home. While they can represent many different things, to me they celebrate the sacred in nature. After living with these cairns in my daily view, I couldn't help but begin to paint them in luminous jewel tones. They have become monuments to nature's beauty.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Working on my Trunk Show calendar....these are shows of my jewelry for pre-holiday, winter and early spring. Not only will I be showing in boutiques, but I am accepting 'in home' dates in some locations.

My designs are created with unique, unusual beads, pendants and other items I have collected. Included in my Fall-Holiday collection is a Mah Jongg grouping, due to my love of the game and the great response to my Mahj jewelry from other players.

All of my jewels are semi-precious: pearls (loads of pearls in unusual shapes and sizes - I love them!), turquoise, jade, coral, citrine, lapis....all fabulously outrageous! Necklaces designed to be worn as one, two or three together, and some can be doubled or tripled. This provides options, incredible wearability, and crazy drama. Not to be forgotten: multi-strand bracelets and co-ordinating earrings.

My original jewelry designs have sold through the exclusive SAK's Fifth Avenue designer case in San Francisco, Beverly Hills and South Coast Plaza. Numerous boutiques across the US have carried my designs. If you, or someone you know, is interested in hosting a Trunk Show, contact me via e-mail ( to receive hosting information. My calendar is filling....

Saturday, September 26, 2009

This past week was the Autumnal Equinox, so according to the calendar, it is Fall. And Fall is when Lake Tahoe is at its clearest. I am not exactly sure why this is, but my best guess is that all the run off from last year's snowfall has, by now, dribbled down to nothing. Therefore not much in the way of sediment gets into the lake this time of year to cloud the lake's crystal clear water. Don't misunderstand, the lake is always very very clean, pristine, and clear, but it is just a bit more this time of year. This is also a very peaceful time of year on the lake as not many people are out on the lake. It is a perfect time to photograph, sketch and paint from my kayak. Today I deliver two paintings to Spirit Gallery, in Truckee, CA that were painted with inspiration from these magnificent days on the lake: Split Above & Below and Caught Again.

Friday, September 18, 2009

All Summer the farmers' markets have been filled with ripe, juicy fruits and veggies...perfect subjects for paintings! I just completed and shipped to Colorado, Andrea's Peach, which is pictured here. I am now finishing Three Lemons, for customers in Truckee, so they may hang it with Two Times Three and Two more Green Apples, all shown here. More of my produce paintings can be seen at Spirit Gallery in Truckee, CA.

Fall fruits and vegetables are beginning to show up in the markets. The local produce guy thinks I am a nut because I linger over his bins, arranging produce into compositions before selecting the items I will buy, take to my studio, and set up as subject matter for a new painting. So here I go with luscious red pairs and curvaceous figs....