Sunday, January 29, 2012


18x36" oil on canvas  in progress

Still going and lovin' every minute of it. I'm cautiously excited! But that's the rub isn't it? For the first time in the last eight years, since I began painting full time, I am happy with where I am creatively. The elusive muse has, it seems, favored me with more than just a drive by.

I've been waiting for some existential building to fall on my head enabling me to envision a concept deep in meaning and clever in execution, but I always felt my ideas were just too literal. But, I recently realized that again, I've been struggling to be someone I'm not. Clearly, if my mind worked that way, I'd be knee deep in cool, moody, clever paintings wouldn't I? What if I took what was right in front of me and used that?

That's where the concept for "Laura Contemplating the Container" came from. Yeah, I know. The title is quite literal, but that's the clever part you see. A series of shots from a photo session— where Laura picked up an plastic container with a red scoop inside and just began moving about the room with it —has been in my reference folder for months. And then one recent day, for some reason, I stepped out of my self-imposed "why can't I think of anything cool" box and came up with this composition.

I'm going to be patient. I'm not rushing to completion. I'm studying it and making adjustments when necessary. Again, I'm cautiously excited but, I think I have a real shot of getting my artistic license renewed!

We'll see.

Thanks so much for dropping by!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

UNTITLED in progress

detail  18x37" in progress

I'm fairly excited about this painting. You might remember Laura, my model from sometime last year. Her face appeared cropped on cradled hardboard for a painting entitled "A Hesitant Introduction." I've been wanting to take the shots from her session and bring them together in some way that might make not only an interesting composition but also be fun to work on. Success!

I won't go into too much detail except to say that there are four figures in the painting, all Laura, and I can honestly say that I'm happy with everything about it. We'll see!

Thanks for stopping by, hope the weekend was a good one.

Monday, January 16, 2012

LIP SERVICE 1 in progress

18x36" oil on linen
work in progress

I've been wanting to try painting close ups of body parts on large canvases. This is the beginnings of my first stab at this, starting with the lips/nose series which is tentatively entitled a rather obvious "Lip Service." We'll see.

While cropping and position are important, the goal is to get this to a very realistic stage while still maintaining a painterly quality.  I'm beginning to think this would be a lot more fun if I actually knew what I was doing.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


"SPILLAGE"  5x7" oil on canvas  $85.00

It's that time again! This month's theme, given to the group by it's leader, Diana, was "plastic bag." We were to capture the "clear bag and what's inside." I really enjoyed this one. A pain-free challenge is my kinda challenge.

Also, we welcomed new members Mary Maxam and Becky Joy!

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by:

8x10" oil on hardboard
©2012 Diana Moses Botkin


9x9" oil
©Mary Maxam

5x7" oil on linen
©Vicki Ross

Thursday, January 12, 2012


LITTLE WRINKLES 1   5x7" oil on linen $85.00

LITTLE WRINKLES 2   5x7" oil on linen $85.00

LITTLE WRINKLES 3   5x7" oil on linen $85.00

or purchase LITTLE WRINKLES TRIPTYCH for $225.00

These took longer than expected. I find them relaxing so I decided to try a series of three smaller versions. With a virtual stockpile of smaller canvases, triptychs are definitely in my future. Still making what seems like daily visits to the dentist's chair. Root canal isn't nearly as much fun as I remember. The upside is that chewing isn't at all what it used to be—at least until he's all done—so I no longer feel like I'm pushing maximum density.

I've got three commissions going, a challenge painting due, graphic design work and some projects I'm looking forward to working on, so the new year has gotten off to a great start. I'm maintaining a positive attitude and not allowing more than one heavy sigh per three hour period so things seem to be moving along well. Don't want to declare myself emotionally grounded just yet because there might be a reaction, but the self imposed darkness is being kept at bay.

My newest wrinkle, pun definitely intended, is studio envy. I've seen some really amazing spaces in magazines and online and I've become acutely aware of the fact that I'm now inhabiting all of the bedrooms in the house, including the one we sleep in, and the den with my work and supplies. I'm dreaming of a larger space, designated just for painting. I imagine himself wouldn't mind that either!

I haven't gotten a chance to personally thank everyone who stopped by and left a comment on Pug Mug 1 and I do apologize. I think, for the time being at least, that would be best accomplished here until I catch up so thank you! Your comments mean so much.

And, thanks a lot for stopping by!

Monday, January 2, 2012


24x24" oil on canvas $950


Still rockin' the Making A Mark award buzz. Feels nice. I can see it now. By the end of the year I'll be entering every possible competition known to man and turn into a fierce competitor with skin as thick as cowhide. Not!

Anyway, meet Pug Mug 1!  I recently installed a collection of snaps into the computer screen saver folder, most of them of the boys. Since the tv is hooked up to the computer screen, when it goes to sleep we're treated with fade in and out images of the boys. As Blu's face filled the screen a few weeks back I was instantly inspired to fill a canvas the same way. It was great fun to paint and I look forward to doing more of my little super models.

Raz is next, channeling Norma Desmond. And I'm planning on more quick smaller works but we'll see what happens.

Thanks so much for stopping by. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Tim, the fuzzy ones and I would like to wish everyone an incredibly happy, safe and prosperous New Year. And don't worry -- maybe the Mayans ran out of space and the calendar continues past 2012 on another rock somewhere. Either way, I'm not gonna stress nor am I packin' my stuff...just yet.

Now onto some really nice news and a lovely way to start the New Year!

A few days ago I was notified by a colleague that I was up for a Making A Mark Award! The blog -- in which artist and writer Katherine Tyrrell draws and writes about art for artists and art lovers -- is number 3 in the top 25 art blogs in the UK! I was very excited by this news and equally shocked, as I make it practice not to enter competitions. Admittedly, this practice is based solely on my rather distressing inability to accept rejection of any kind like an emotionally mature adult. Kidding...sort of.

I then received an email from David J. Teter, a phenomanal artist that I admire greatly, apologizing for not contacting me before nominating my painting. He had been under the impression that I would be notified by Katherine. So, rejection issues aside, I was thankful for David's nomination and hopped on over to "Making A Mark" and found that "Alvin the Ant" was nominated for Best Picture of the Year (Nature) on an Art Blog in 2011! This, as you might well imagine, made me very happy indeed.

However, as I read through the nomination requirements, I found that Katherine had specified in the rules that entries should not have been overly reliant on a photograph not taken by the artist, so I contacted her to let her know I depend on others photos for my "Bug Narratives." Alas, while I have contemplated searching for, catching and trying to pose the little critters I paint, the absence of a high end close-up camera made the venture an impossibility (not to mention the trouble I imagine I might have with some overly-stimulated and arrogant arachnid!) So I came to the conclusion that relying on photos from generous collectors, fans and semi-inexpensive stock photos as reference for my "bug narrratives" would be my best option.

Happily, after giving it some thought, Katherine decided that if the votes dictated a win that she would let it stand! Yes!

Thank you David so very much for nominating me, thank you everyone who voted for Alvin the Ant and thank you so very much Katherine for allowing my painting to remain in the competition. And, I got to experience this wonderful feeling without the angst of entering anything!!  How very nice indeed!