Saturday, October 23, 2010


I'm making one last effort to become an oil painter. I said that the last time I tried.... May of last year when I took a 3 day plein aire workshop in Juneau. After I got home, I didn't touch the paints again. The time before that was about 12 years ago... I did one painting which wasn't too bad. Someone even bought it. There were a couple of times before that, years and years ago. Each time, though, I probably never spent more than a week trying to work with them. Always back to watercolor with the easy clean up and no bad toxic odors.

In the last couple of years, working with gouache, I've been finding watercolor less and less appealing. I really like being able to paint lights on dark, not having to save the whites. All summer, I had lots of intentions to go outside and try out the oils again, not wanting to use them inside, but just the idea of getting outside with all the gear and remembering the frustration outside in that workshop, I never got there. I saw a show in Juneau last summer with some work done with "water miscible oils" and read up on them, figured they would be good to try, and last month ordered a few tubes made by Winsor and Newton and started working with them a couple of weeks ago. And after starting to experiment with them, I ordered some more tubes. I'm loving them.

From what I heard and read, most oil painters say they aren't like real oil paints. But since I'm not at all experienced, I don't know the difference. Here are a couple of what I did the first week:

These are both small, about 5 inches high and painted on gessoed watercolor paper

It hasn't been easy. Controlling the long brushes at an easel instead of a flat table still feels awkward and it has been hard getting the colors right and painting on top of wet paint.... especially painting on top of wet paint. I ordered some fast drying medium and hope it helps. Also ordered some more brushes and some canvas panels. I think I'm hooked.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Last week I found this website of pear paintings, got inspired to paint another still life, and went to our little stores looking for pears and there weren't any in town. I asked a friend who was coming from Juneau to bring some out to me and spent the week painting them. Here are 2 I did in watercolor. In each there are 2 De'angelos and a Bartlett.

watercolor about 8x8 inches on Fabriano hot press

watercolor 11 x 8.5 inches on mystery paper

I placed the cloth hanging vertically behind the pears. I'm not sure it reads that way. I love this paper..... on a block that I got at a garage sale.... a German company (I think) with a long name starting with an S. I no longer have the cover of the block with the name on it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


watercolor about 9 x 9 inches

I brought these in from the garden to have for dinner one night and they looked so pretty I started painting them. Different light coming through the window on different days made for some confusing shadows, I used some white paint in the highlights. By the time I finished panting them they were ready for the compost pile.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


No rain today and would have gone outside and painted in the sun, but was waiting for someone to come by all day (he never showed up) and so painted from a photo that I took last week. Tried to do something a little larger than usual with gouache.... still pretty small.

gouache painting 8x8 inches

I feel like such a beginner with gouache, still having trouble with the values..... the mountains should have been lighter. I have begun using oil painting brushes and painting on an easel instead of with my watercolor rounds working flat, and it is beginning to feel a little easier but for the details. I had a lot of trouble with the foreground on this one, wiped it out a couple of times and still don't like it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Its been over 6 weeks now since my surgery and I'm getting into the studio and starting to paint again. I'm having a hard time getting enthused about painting from photographs. I want to go out and paint, but the weather is just too yucky. I did go out for a walk with my paint kit yesterday, a relatively nice day, but I was just too cold to set up. I did these two from my studio window last week.

gouache about 5.5x5.5 inches I painted the sky with a wet wash

gouache about 7x7 inches