Saturday, January 30, 2016

Cramming & Catching Up

This post will be rather short today as I have some catching up to do on minis..... 

Admittedly, as you may have noticed, I haven't done any minis this week.  This week was the deadline of an art show competition and even though I am more of a steady farming type of artist - working at the same routine pace each day,  a week or two before a deadline I am always cramming in the hopes of that one last painting that will just knock everybody's socks off. I don't think this has ever worked once! Ha Ha. But stubbornly, I always hold out hope that it will.  So there is lots of fast food, unwashed dishes, piled up mail, dwindling food in the kitchen and no time for the supermarket. Painful photographing (trust me this is the most frustrating part) and editing of the work. Trying to decide whether or not to enter the piece that photographs really well or the piece that has something special in person- sigh. This is often the case, and since most competitions now are judging from digital images there is not much you can do about it.   Emotionally, the cycle tends to go through hope, determination, anxiety, self-doubt, hope, preparing for rejection, acceptance that I have done the best I could and let the chips fall where they may.  

So now that is done, I can get back to my normal working schedule which produces between: 1-3 gallery paintings a week depending on their complexity and size, my 1 hour daily sketch, and on average 1 day of teaching a week. 


We are only 24 HOURS AWAY FROM THE MINI GIVEAWAY!  I hope you will JOIN my blog, by clicking that little Green Google Join button on the right. Check to make sure you show up in the members list underneath.

I started catching up on minis yesterday afternoon and with that said, I gotta go so I can do more today! I want the winner to have plenty to choose from. 

Thank you all so much for following, commenting, pinning, sharing, bidding, etc! All of it helps keep me striving daily for artistic achievement.

Much Love,

Here are some of the gallery paintings finished this month:

"Cottage Roses" - 18"x14" - oil on panel - $2000
"Apples with Brass Bucket" - 16"x20" - oil on linen - $2400
"Daisies and Blue" - 24"x30" - oil on linen - $4800

"Pink Gladiolus" - 24"x20" - $4000

"At Her Dressing Table" - 30"x40" - oil on linen - $4800

"Champagne Pink & Red Roses" - 14"x18" - oil on panel - $2000

Friday, January 22, 2016

1 Week Away From My Mini Giveaway!

That's right we are just 1 week away from my mini painting giveaway.  Right now your odds are 1 in 64!  If you would like a chance to win one of my mini paintings please make sure that you JOIN the blog. You will see your picture listed among the members. Which means you will probably have to sit down at an actual computer to do this, the phones are not showing the button to join.

I am so excited to give someone a painting on February 1st!  I will announce the winner here.  I ask that the winner emails me at and I will give you a list of available paintings to choose from.

  I will be coming out with a new batch of minis next week so please keep watching my Daily Paintworks gallery on the right hand side of the page or follow my facebook page. Another big thank you to everyone who has purchased my work! I am soooo looking forward to writing a big check to Wells Fargo and chop down that student loan.  Also even if you can't purchase something, every time you like, comment, pin or share me on google+, it is a huge help you guys!  This really gets my work out there to more people.



If you are an artist and wondering how I paint you may not know that I have some free YOU TUBE mini tutorials and I plan to do more:

Also I do have a full 2 1/2 hour video + 8 page written lesson available here:

And you can also schedule critiques for your paintings on this mentor website.


Down to business, I wanted to write about showing up.  It's so important that you are showing up everyday in your studio and doing deep work.  Deep work can only come from having a set amount of uninterrupted time to focus. Yes this means no internet, no phones, no getting up every 5 minutes because you remembered something you have to do.  No studying someone elses work for 30 more minutes. If you only have an hour, use that hour! Everyday!  There is so much that you can only learn from time in the saddle. (Check out Cal Newport interviews on the topic deep work on YouTube)

 These days it seems like we have an unending wealth of knowledge from other people who are masters and that is great of course, but  just because one "knows" what they are to do does not mean that they can do it.  Unfortunately, you can "know" and then sit down to do and the "knowing" does not come out. You know what I'm talking about don't you? Aaarrgghhh, I should be better than this!  This can be so frustrating.....and well, I wish I had some better news for you, but there is no way around it, you just have to not be able to do for a while. This is where a lot of people give up.  I encourage you to be willing to make paintings that do not live up to your knowledge.  It's the only way. You can't get to a great painting by doing one painting. I promise you that one day you will be painting and all of the sudden you will realize that your skillset has caught up a little bit to your knowledge.

 When this happens, EUREEKA! Go get a root beer float folks, it's time to celebrate.  I tell you nothing makes me happier than realizing that after months of struggling I have finally reached a new level.  I don't even give a shit what anybody else thinks about it or that it's not as good as So and So. I know that I improved! I know that I will keep improving. I recently had this experience with my portrait painting.  I've been going to group once a week at least for months, I went to 2 portrait painting workshops this year, I've watched videos, I've analyzed my paintings and master paintings.....and finally my portraits started to show improvement this week.  You have to be willing to fail, be a beginner, look like a fool in front of everyone, be vulnerable and open and allow someone else to help you!   This is so hard, but personally NOTHING is worth missing my goal of improvement - especially my own insecurities. 


Some minis from this week:

I painted another pear mini by special request. No matter how many times I paint pears, I always find it a challenging study and try hard not to make they look like light bulbs.

Pink & Red Carnations, 7"x5", Starting bid $50!
I loved the spiraling light on these carnations, sort of a contrapposto of flowers!
or buy it now for $75. If you don't have paypal just email me for another form of payment.


What else do I do?

Of course my schedule doesn't just include painting 1 hr mini sketches. I also complete up to 3 larger gallery works a week. In addition to hiring a model once a week privately and going to a portrait group. 
Here is one of my recent gallery paintings, "Apple Butter Bucket" - 16"x20" - oil on linen
and you guessed it, it is for sale $2000 framed and shipped.  So just email me if you are interested. I also do a 2-4 month payment plan, $500 a month. I can take credit cards as well.  
Framed in black and gold, it's about 23"x 27".

You can already see one of my portrait sketches in the background there. Here are some of the portrait sketches I've done recently , total working time is about 2 1/2 hours each and some rough 30 minute figure sketches in my studio searching for ideas. It's said that you shouldn't show your unfinished work, but I don't know- I always enjoy seeing the artists sketches that I admire. It gives me an idea of how they were trying to discover and art gold didn't just ooze out of their fingertips all the time!
30 minute figure sketches:

2 1/2 hour portrait sketches....I had some root beer floats to celebrate my progress!

Portrait of Kiana

Portrait of Kelly

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Work is Joyful!

Once again I am overwhelmed by the appreciation and support I receive on a daily basis! Every time you comment on a painting, share my work on social media sites, add me on google+ or like a youtube video and of course buy a painting, it helps me out tremendously.  So, I want to say a big THANK YOU!  

So often, I get comments about my work ethic....and I would like to not sound like a Pollyanna, but I often wish I had more daylight hours to work by or more energy because the work is so enjoyable. Not always pleasurable, but joyful.  It is very important for me to keep it this way. To guard my happiness and keep the positive momentum going, lest that sneaky little sister self-doubt should creep in and sabotage my progress. 

As far as the minis go, I have been doing them off and on for about 4 years and I have always set a timer. I started doing this my last year of school to work through problems faster.  Between doing demonstrations for classes and these minis, I have gotten better at prioritizing and painting faster.  I've always loved a good drill!  Something about the focus, the adrenaline, no time to overthink - just whatever is in there comes to the surface.  When I was in grade school I lived for the end of the week math drills where whoever completed the quiz first with a perfect score got a big giant cookie with M&Ms in it. Now that was some motivation for a little 8 year old, and I would win almost every time. I really just wanted to win, often I would just split the cookie with all of my friends.  I guess not much has changed about my personality. If you are a painter, I hope you embrace your personality traits and use them to fuel your progress. It may be in a totally different way than mine.


Here are some of my minis completed this week:

"A Good Pearing" - 7"x5"

This one was really fun to do! I've always loved a good wine bottle painting. The shiny highlight and reflections I just can't resist. I also really enjoyed putting down some juicy light on that pear.
This one still doesn't have a bid on it. You can get it for $50 here:


"Two of a Kind" - 6"x6"

This one was probably the hardest to do in 1 hour, just because it was more up close and I had to try to model the form more. All of those little ins and outs where the stem comes out of the green pear was tough, especially because when oils are fresh out of the tube they are really soft and buttery so it can be tough to get a lot of fine detail.


"Yellow and Pink Flowers" - 6"x6"

This one was just so much fun to paint! I wanted to do all shades of pinks,purples and reds and have the yellow carnations really pop.  I accidentally ordered some brights (paintbrushes) and I found they came in handy on getting those super lit crisp edges. 


"Sunflowers on Blue" - 7"x5"

Well they are all fun to do, but I can never resist a sunflower.....or two! Decided to pair it with a lighter background this time. (This one did not photo well. I think because it is dark outside this morning and overcast. The background is more of a blue-green. I'll try to retake tomorrow).


"Roses and Carnations" - 9"x12" - oil on panel

I loved that mini so much I decided to do a variation on it for my classroom demonstration. This time with some roses- yikes!  I'm really getting into studying roses lately and they are still intimidating to me.  I decided to take it a bit more dramatic this time with a bolder composition and darker background.  I spent about 90 minutes on this one with talking.



Don't forget to JOIN my blog (your id badge will show up under the members list) if you want to WIN  one of my paintings on January 31st.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Mini Painting Giveaway January 31st!

I just want to say first of all how overwhelmed I am by all of the support I receive for my work on a daily basis. Sometimes I just think, "How did I get so lucky?"......and then I think "Oh yeah- hard work, student loans, sharing that work....and people actually wanting that work.....and maybe a little touch of grace or luck too!" 

So my campaign this year (as I mentioned in my previous post) is to sell my daily mini paintings as a way to dig out from underneath this burden of student loan debt.  ALREADY this month you have given me an extra $350 to go towards my payment this month! Thank you so much and I hope you enjoy your new paintings.


Please JOIN my blog (look for the tab join this site on the right hand side) if you want a chance to WIN one of my minis! I will draw a name and announce the winner here on January 31st. 


Here are some of the daily paintings I have done since after Christmas :

I bought a bouquet of Yellow Roses and I was really getting into practicing those. So there's a lot of those - ha ha.  I have always found roses to be very complex and intimidating to paint, so I figured it was time to put in some time on them.  Of course even in these minis, I am always trying to make a painting with good design as well. Sometimes these lead to a larger work if it is strong enough.  I played around with high key, middle key and low key values as well as trying out different color combinations with the yellow. It's really amazing how many different looks you can come up with using one subject.  The other hard part is trying to study their delicacy and shape in one hour. I really focused a lot of time and energy on the contours and tried to keep their overall shape close in value regardless of shadows so their abstract shapes would remain strong.  I'm not sure what I am going to work on next, now that my roses died!