Wednesday, August 25, 2010


30" x 30" (76.2cm x 76.2cm)
oil on canvas
$1,200 plus $25.95 shipping and handling in the US
E-mail me for International shipping rates or other inquiries.

There's a name for these ribbons and I cannot, for the life of me, remember what it is! I know when it comes to me I'll be shocked that I didn't remember it. I've been searching my saved receipts but to no avail. Oh well.

Anyway, this is the art club painting for August. The word was, well in this case, the words were: August Steinbuhler, the man responsible for creating ribbon. Don't ask. Our meeting leader has told us that all will be explained at the end of our meetings for the year and that all the word(s) we've been given are connected and will make perfect sense. I'm really looking forward to finding out just what that connection is. It's funny too because a lot of the attendees didn't really feel Augie or his ribbon, but it was an interesting meeting nevertheless. So, in the meantime, as with most of the words we were given, I went straight for the obvious - a representational painting of the subject. More about that later.

So, there I was, faced with a valid reason to buy something. With the new beginning, I'm discovering that I don't need more storage, I just need less crap. Still, I wasted no time, hopped online and searched until I found 3 yard strips of the widest, most reflective ribbon I could find. I was thrilled when they arrived and took lots of shots from above in as many different configurations as I could arrange. I had a great time with the color, the contrast and reflections. Maybe this time a real series is brewing.

As far as going for the obvious, we had a productive chat about conceptual vs. representational art at the meeting. I came to the conclusion that I am and will probably always be a representational artist with not much in the way of conceptual thinking and that's just fine.  As Tim pointed out, no one is complaining, just paint what you want to. It seems the only one with the problem about what I paint is me.

That said, I've been thinking, a lot, and some concepts have actually materialized! Now that I've relaxed and accepted my "limits," I'm realizing the deal is that concepts, if they are to be meaningful, must come from a pure place or they won't be me or to anyone looking at them. Oh my! Growth spurt!

The cleaning continues. Another 15 huge shopping bags of stuff got picked up on Tuesday. I'm still overwhelmed and sink into depression when I begin to sort the stuff, but I have to push through, face my demons and get it all done. I'm feeling so much better and have been very inspired by my progress.

And again, I cannot thank you enough for your wonderful, generous and supportive comments. They help more than you can ever know.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


NFDP Drawings by Tim Berry
from top left: Mathilde 9x12" pen on paper; Heidi  9x12" pen on paper
Harriet 9x12" pen on paper; Violet 9x12" pen on paper

Since I appear to be unabashedly showing himself off, I thought it might be nice to share these drawings he completed recently. I'm still finishing up the art club painting in the midst of "the new beginning," hopefully I can complete it by tomorrow. I received a sample of Faber Castell's Pitt artist pen big brush in the mail recently and thought Tim might have some success with them. Apparently he did! I'm a big fan of anything he does, especially these incredible character drawings that he finds the most interesting and appropriate names for.

On the clean up front, the positive results just keep coming. I like to fuss when I ship my paintings to the very kind people that purchase them, so it takes me some time to prepare them for their journey to their new homes. Now, that I know where everything is, not only was I finished in half the time it usually takes, but I had a good, calm time doing it. No tension wondering where I last saw the tape or knife blades, the postal forms. And, I'm beginning to feel more professional and respectful of my work space which in turn is creating a desire to work more. Seems logical doesn't it?

And, thank you so very much for the wonderfully kind comments about "Himself." I'm also very grateful for the comments on the painting.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

HIMSELF circa '93

pastel on paper

In the new beginning/cleaning process, everything is coming off the walls, even himself! I'm going to get it professionally framed finally. When we hooked up back in '92, I worked exclusively in pastel. I loved working with them but stuck with them primarily because painting in oil still frightened me at the time.

Since we share roughly the same level of ability there was a lot of sparring going on back in the day. I came home from shopping one day to find him hard at work on a pastel portrait of me that was stunning...the work, not me. I love it and it still hangs in the living room. However, I needed to answer his call with my own study of him and this is the result. He was tan from the summer sun, sitting at the dining room table, drawing happily with a glass of chardonnay by his side. More detail than you needed, but it was a nice moment and I wanted to wax poetic.

I'm finishing up my submission for this month's art meeting (it's late, the meeting was Saturday) in-between cleaning. I'm still overwhelmed but feeling very optimistic and anticipating a lot of positive results from all of this upheaval. We find ourselves actually walking by the studio and the store room just to glance in and feel their calmly uncluttered quiet. Ahh.

Sunday, August 15, 2010



It's that time again. Summer is shooting by and that's just fine with me, it's been too hot to do anything here. Last few days have been great however.

I'm firmly planted behind this puppy which is why I had to revert to an easily painted subject. The theme this month was yellow, black and white only. I used Naples Yellow, Ivory Black and Titanium White.

Enjoy these amazing interpretations of the limited palette:

“Sunny Back Light”
5”x7” Original oil on hardboard
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

‘Grisaille in Yellow Ochre,
Ivory Black & White’
©2010 Vicki Ross
11x14 oil on panel                   

“Waterlily in Evening Pond”
6x6 inches / oil on panel

"Yellow Man"
12x12 oil on panel
© 2010 Robin Cheers

“Rose in Glass Vase”
©2010 Elizabeth Blaylock

Friday, August 13, 2010


oil on canvas

This is Bean. He's not an Ewok. I checked. He's a commission I just completed. I think.

The revamp continues. This week, it's been an exceedingly sobering experience. All this started as my somewhat light-hearted effort to re-arrange my life in an orderly, grown up fashion, clearing out the clutter, start behaving like a professional. This week it became painfully clear that I have a problem. A big one. I had a moment of clarity I think they call it. I saw for the first time in my life just how much crap I've accumulated...and I'm only working on my store room.

This is my very first before and after photo. The big difference this time is that I'm not stuffing things away so it looks neat, I'm actually getting rid of it all. The living room is the unfortunate repository of what used to be here while I sort, donate and toss out. Happily, the Lupus Foundation picks up donations right off the front porch. I found boxes of canvasses I'd ordered and forgotten. It was like going shopping in my own home! This room is now organized in a very efficient manner. I'll never add anything unless there is a place for it. I'm thrilled and can't wait to branch out to other areas of the house.

As I filled bag after endless bag with books, magazines, action figures and the like, I became hopelessly overwhelmed and just sat down and had myself a real good cleansing cry. I didn't know! I didn't see! Just who the hell did all this? Apparently that "hoarder" joke I made at the outset is on me. On a sliding scale of one to ten, I'm quickly approaching a solid eight! Just thinking about the amount of things stuffed into closets and the garage is mind boggling.

I thought I was ok. You know, occasionally I spent too much on things we didn't need. I knew I mood altered with shopping. I didn't know I mood altered with clutter as well. Although I feel badly for wasting our money and stuffing our home with useless things, I'm grateful for whatever caused me to finally see the problem for what it is. Himself is beside himself with joy that I've finally seen the light. He offered to help, but I think the best therapy is to handle every single piece of poop I've collected. This way, I'll reflect a tad more on any possible purchase before bringing it home to add to the existing chaos.

Thank you everyone for your wonderfuly supportive comments! They've helped me so much! I don't feel like I'm alone in the wilderness of clutter. And the suggestions have helped so much. Each time himself sparks up the grill an entire box of bank statements and credit card solicitations do their part to get the coals a glowin'! And I also appreciate the suggestions on how to thank everyone for stopping by and leaving comments. I'm giving myself a block of time each day, starting Monday, to catch up on what everyone has been doing, I've missed so much.

Thank you again and enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


oil on canvas
in progress

Well, it's pretty obvious I didn't limit my palette yet. I will and am looking forward to it very much. There was so much going on with the sun on her face, I needed to use oranges, yellow ochers etc. I've posted this to light a fire under the hind parts to get back to work. I've been so busy cleaning I haven't had any extended time to paint.

Speaking of cleaning, happily the universe is helping out. I got a call yesterday asking if I had any books, magazines, household items, clothing etc. They hit the motherlode here. I've got 7 huge bags full to be taken away tomorrow morning and more to follow. I get overwhelmed, depressed and want to give up there is so much stuff, but I'm determined to get it all out of here.

I'm trying a new canvas surface for this one and I really love it. It's a heavyweight linen with some tooth to it and it really takes the paint well. I started this along with the new beginning but had to put it away for a bit.

Back to going through the books and mags. Please forgive my seemingly that a word? your wonderful comments. After I'm all tidied up, I'm working out whether or not to thank folks on my blog or send an email. Does anyone know the proper etiquette? Miss Manners would have a whole new career handing down edicts stating the proper, polite behavior online.

I'm off.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

PROGRESS or keepin' it honest

Well, it's August 1st and I'm makin' progress. I'm not gonna get all heavy handed with myself about missed deadlines. The deal is I'm doing it, that's the point. Meeting deadlines will be addressed during the next new beginning.

First however, an admission. I'm an artist. It would be a good thing if I knew how to spell palette. I'd like to thank an amazing artist and new friend Jala for very delicately asking if I meant palate/palette as a play on words. How tactful and kind. Unfortunately no, I didn't. I've simply been spelling it incorrectly for quite some time now. You know when you're sure of the spelling or pronunciation of a word and you find out it's completely wrong and your face grows flush and hot as you realize how often you've used or said that word? Well, that happened.

Anyway, that said, I've made great progress although it certainly doesn't look that way. Here's why. Mail and I have a strange relationship. I can't seem to let it go.That nice man in that cute little truck leaves me so much stuff to look at every day, what kind of person would I be if I just chucked it all out? So I save it. Why? I have no idea. I'm getting help.

So, all that mail eventually gets stuffed into bags and the bags get stuffed into closets and  the store room. And in order to be able to actually walk in and move things around, I have literally been shredding, cutting and ripping up bank documents, credit cards solicitations and unsolicited address labels from as far back as 1994. I know there are bags with older documents in the garage. I don't want to think about that now.

This gives me new hope of a real new beginning because I am going to eliminate every bit of clutter and confusion from my life and take it from there. Himself is admitting he had given up hope of ever living clutter free and is considerably hopeful that a real change is taking place. Ouch!

I've filled three...count 'em three... huge contractor bags of old shredded mail. Hold me, I'm frightened. My feeble attempts at cleverness aside, I am feeling as though a huge weight has been lifted and I'm on my way to a simpler, more direct and present way to exist.

Thanks again for the support, the positive reinforcement and the spell-check, it's all helped me on so many levels. We'll see.