Artists Statement

I paint as often and as much as I can. I take classes when I can afford it, but the money usually goes to buy more art supplies. This blog is to share the results with you! I am a Work in Progress.

Dianne Lanning Fine

Saturday, December 29, 2012


The Lacemaker-Vermeer, 6X6 graphite on paper
If you are unfamiliar with it, there is a wonderful Artist's Challenge Blog called Paint and Draw Together that offers fascinating challenges for artists to interpret. Right now it is issuing challenges to learn from the Masters, currently Vermeer's Lacemaker. It's free of charge, you accept the challenge and send the results per the simple instructions given in the upper left corner.

It's wonderful for artists because it is "rut prevention." I find myself sometimes painting the same thing over and over because when one sets up ones own still life, or paints plein air near home a "sameness" can creep in. It's natural because you are picking it out yourself. An Artist Challenge is chosen by another pair of eyes, another set of experiences. It can freshen your work no end! It's relative to getting a commission.

In the back of my mind I kept thinking I should do this one, but with Christmas and all...
But this morning I saw it again and realized time was wasting! Without preamble I grabbed a pencil out of the drawer and an old drawing pad, found a clean area on the back of another drawing, cleaned it up a bit and started in! I was too lazy, and too "into" drawing it to go get a pencil sharpener, but the dull pencil was a good challenge too!

I think my neighbor just moved out yesterday! Wow, am I oblivious or what? There was a small van there 2 days ago, but it's a bustling family and lot's of going and coming. But it finally dawned on me that there was an actual moving van there yesterday. Er, uh, did I miss a memo? Was it something I said? I was painting a lot yesterday on the other side of the house and not paying much attention. Now I feel bad. And embarrassed. And the painting isn't finished.

Here is what I've done so far:
Foggy day(?) 8X10, acrylic
Lots to do, rigging, reflections, shading, lots more, but it's a start. Sorry neighbors, I hope I see you again.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Christmas Card

At the moment Jose Feliciano is singing "Have Yourself a Merry Christmas,"
Christmas in Arizona, #1, 5x7"acrylic

Navaho Christmas, Arizona, 5X7 acrylic

Grand Canyon Christmas, 5X7 acrylic
Most of my very early Christmases were spent in the desert, rather like around Bethlehem.
Some were in El Paso. El Paso has a really long history of luminarias. Phoenix is trying to adopt it, but I know where it started. It was established in El Paso way back, and by the 1950's planes landing at the El Paso airport on Christmas Eve always made a special pass over the city after dark because whole neighborhoods would be outlined in the little brown (yes BROWN, not white) paper bags, weighted with sand and a votive candle burning inside, spaced three feet apart outlining all sidewalks, roof lines and fences. The city would agree to turn out the electric street lights for the evening to get the right effect. It was breath taking!
Boy Scout troups would help their neighborhoods, especially the elderly people, to set them up and light them. All other Christmas illumination would be turned off for the evening. I wish I could show you all what it looked like for that one evening. Cars of families would tour all the streets with their headlights off to see it.

Why? Well to guide the Three Wise Men so they wouldn't get lost, of course! We combined customes very naturally there, there would be the Christmas Tree, and it is base was La Nacimiento, naturally. Of course it was best if your main nativity figures had a removeable baby Jesus, because he was to be added Christmas Eve in a special traditional way. However we did NOT wait until January 6th to open presents. There was no way!

Growing up during the Baby Boom years, the whole world was full of kids. The war was over, and the phrase "well, there was a war on," as an explanation for things began to fall out of use eventually.

Peace on Earth, "as it is in Heaven." It IS natural.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve, Fa-la-la-la-la

It's Christmas!

"And God sent his only begotten Son," 4X6 watercolor
Since tomorrow morning is Christmas Morning and there will be Christmassy activities, I thought I'd get this off to you now!

Bless all of you on this special day when we honor the birth of Jesus, the Christ. He may or may not have actually been born on this day, but I don't think that's the point. We picked this day to remember and reaffirm the Christ in our hearts. That's Love multiplied in our lives, our reason for being here, to express that Love and live it.

Have a very Merry Christmas as part of the family of Man, and enjoy the day! We all be thinking of you, here and everywhere! There is no divide that can separate us, Love is instant in our hearts.

Art note: I think next time I'll set up La Nacimiento and paint from it directly! No guessing about shadows and shapes. This one is out of my imagination, or "out of my head" as one teacher used to call it. That was too ambivalent a phrase.
Hey, it's not raining today!
Love to all, every one!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Deck the Halls with...

Home and Hearth, watercolor, ink, markers, 8X8
Since my "hearth" isn't much, this is a picture I did of a good friend's last Christmas. It was a Christmas gift to them, but I have this electronic copy. There is a wonderful sense of "Home" in this house.

As for the artsy stuff, I was experimenting the dual pens and markers, then I added some watercolors for a wider palette. The tree on the left is a little half tree that actually hangs on the wall. I used my Artistic License to set it on the little table. Their real tree was on the other side of the room and out of my line of sight while drawing and painting. Now I look at it, I think I should have used a cooler color for the shadows.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Closer and closer to that precious day,

Window, St Margaret's chapel; watercolor, 2.5X6"
This is a "souvenir" I painted of a trip through Scotland. I wish my little watercolor could do it justice. I'd seen a lot of impressive stone piles, but this tiny stone room, all by itself off to the side at Edinburgh Castle, said it all much better. The subject is not Christmas, specifically, but the feeling is there.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's almost here, what should I wear?

Actually I have been painting daily, but mostly I've been knitting. The daily paintings I've managed, little watercolors, have not been in the Christmas theme, so here is one from last year, because it is Christmas time!
Candy Cane-watercolor 5X7
Alas, this one doesn't look quite like this anymore. It's in a sketch book I carry with me and it didn't travel all that well. Thank goodness for scanners that can stop time in it's tracks! Before rains and seepage.

For Christmas presents this year I decided to try my hand at knitting lace. Oh my. To make it fair to the lady recipients I decided to use the same type of yarn for the same lacy shawl/scarf, but in different colors, except the one I had already started in a different pattern. It's going to Alaska and will be warmer, so it's OK.

This all involved a lot of do-overs, believe me. An odd result is that now, suddenly I have long nails. All I can figure is that my hands haven't been in as much water or chemicals and I've had to keep the nails smooth to avoid snagging the thin yarn. I guess.

It does not, however, make it easy to type.

Now I've got to get to the post office as soon as the last one I'm blocking is dry and get them on their way! There is no hope for the one going to New Zealand to get there in time, but it's summer there anyway.

Merry Christmas to all!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas is coming!

Christmas Candy 3X5 watercolor
OK, you've seen this one before, but it's Christmas time and celebration is in the very air!
More, much more, later! Gotta get that tree up.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Autumn, the air is as crisp as a potatoe chip...

Inelegant prose, but apt. This is more fun and games with the Dual ended pens I've been using. It seemed appropriate to the season.

Harvest is in! 5X7 watercolor pens

Gourds 5X7 watercolor Dual pens
The second one here is of some ornamental gourds I found at the grocery store. There should be a little yellow hi-lighting the green gourd, but the set of pens doesn't have any form of yellow or gold. There were no other watercolors within reach, and being lazy, this is what I came up with.

And left over from the end of October:

Bubby, "Wake me for Halloween" 5X7 watercolor
This is my friend's kitty. He has modeled for me extensively. Usually in this position. The white stripe is really part of his markings, honest. I started this one with the Dual pens, but I finally got up and got the watercolors to get the black. Alas, he was very elderly and slipped away this Fall.  Some of the shine you see is not my painting ability, it's flash from the camera. Sorry Bubby!

And then there are the Cliffs of Mohr:
Again with the Dual pens. I'm not satisfied with this one, I need more work with these things. I'd love to find an individual pen with a good yellow or gold. The ink is water based and, if you're quick, you can blend the colors and wash them.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Creepies are coming...

Squash - 5X7 watercolor
 The laptop is not talking to the scanner right now, so this was done through the digital camera. There is more, but I haven't taken pictures of them yet. Bummer.
Have a Happy Halloween!

Filet Crochet  rose wreath - 5X6 cotton
I know, off-topic. But I've been trying to keep my hands in with the needlearts part of my activities. This was my first filet crochet in a very long time, and I hadn't ever done much. It was sort of a warm-up to try something more adventurous.

That lead to this:
Filet crochet, cotton size #20, about 15X12
This one took a while. As you can see at the bottom point, I started it according to the directions, but it DOESN'T work. So I modified the vertical stitch and continued. The changed stitch worked! This is supposed to be part of a table cover, there are more identical sections. Will  do the others?  Hmmm.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Gatsby Summer Aftenoon Picnic

A Summer Afternoon ala Gatsby

About 2 weeks ago was the gala "Gatsby Summer Afternoon" at Dunsmuir House in Oakland! It's an annual event beautifully put on by the Art Deco Society of California at one of the most beautiful Italianate mansions in the Bay Area. No, I didn't paint the house, I have painted the house in the past and, as it is a huge white house of a thousand geometric angles and elements. . . I am not sufficiently recovered from the experience to attempt it again. It's more drafting than drawing. But it is truely magnificent.

This is one of the paintings I did there, a watercolor done plein air in the morning part of the picnic. It was a gorgeous day, not too hot, not too cool, a delicate breeze and a clear sky. This annual event is always special, but this year seemed very special.

The attendance of many people with beautifully restored and maintained cars of the period (1920-1940) really makes it very special. Not to mention the clothes! This year I got an early entrance pass because the house is at the top of a hill, and you have to schlep your picnic gear up and in otherwise. I've done that many times, not going to do it again. Since I have a modern car it is not allowed off the paved path, nor left in view during the picnic. You drive in, drop your bundles, and drive on through to a hidden parking lot that must be nearly a mile further on. It's also up a hill, but it's no problem when you aren't carrying all your gear.

The ADSC has definite rules for the picnic, which ensure that it is a fabulous experience, and some of the picnics are amazing! You cannot leave anything later than the correct period in sight. There is a costume tent at the gate so you can get help with anything from a finishing touch to a dress for the occasion.

There is an excellent live orchestra playing the grand old tunes on which my parents grew up. There is a nice size wooden dance floor so you can dance to the music, then there are talented singers that specialize in Swing etc, and of course the famous Deco Belles. This is a group of 15 or 20 young lovelies in antique bathing costumes doing "Busby Berkeley" numbers on the dance floor for the show. And they are good, well rehearsed.

It's irresistible to watch the 1972 version of "The Great Gatsby" just before or after this event.
My vignette was "society matron who thinks she is a great painter." This allowed me to take my plein air set up, all the wood things, and the picnic stuff and set my scene. A nice thing is I didn't have to buy anything except a new ground cloth tarp. It was green and shiny and the one thing that wasn't period. Note to self: throw rugs.

It's funny, because I knew people who were there, but I ended up meeting many new people but I didn't see any of my old friends. We touched bases with each other later.

Sigh. It was a lovely day. Soon I hope to have more pictures to post.

Monday, August 20, 2012

And yet again...

Nicasio - 8X10 Oil
It looks like I'm going to just keep trying to get it right!  Trees are one of my current challenges. So, I got on the internet and studied at artists who know how do it, masters of the art. Most  recently I looked at Brian Blood because he is a northern California painter and does lots of eucalyptus trees beautifully. Well, you should have seen me with my mouth skewed to the side and even my tongue sticking out as I concentrated. I couldn't quite get it. Then I was looking at Ron Guthrie's latest paintings. He also is a California painter and does lots of wonderful landscapes, which include eucalyptus trees, as well as a variety of other subjects. In trying to see what I could learn about painting these trees from both artists, something clicked a little bit.The background has been simplified some, the sky has been worked a bit too.  This is definitely a learning experience, and I'm glad I've been able to spend the time on it. Now I'll leave the eucalyptus alone and try something "painterly" with the background.
   When it comes to composition, the clump of bushes in the very center of the painting don't seem like a good idea. They might just go away, or get converted to something more straggly and a shallower slope. I just got a tube of "Naples Yellow," and I sort of got carried away playing with it on the hills and grasses.
  This was a plein air I started last year at a horse ranch in the Lucas Valley at Nicasio.

Darn it, that sky sure looked better in person. Now when I look at the photo, most of what I did looks faded. Another lesson.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Good Grief, look at the date! What happened to July!!!

Nicasio - oil 8X10
Starting with the oldest: This is a plein air I'm still trying to get right. The enormous group of incredibly tall eucalyptus on the right are still defeating me. "Only God can make a tree." It's sooo true. I've been studying the work of very accomplished California artists, and some trees are starting to look better, but I still don't have it right. Hmm, and then there is that sky. Van Gogh-ish?

The Plaza, Sonoma - oil 6X8
Another plein air, a little "less-old" than the one above. I'm not sure anyone would recognize the building, I used my artistic license to try to simplify it. Bummer, the photo is less than focused. Skip it.
Still Life, Watercolor, 10X14
I did this a while ago, and just fixed a little bobble then photographed it. It's too big for the scanner. The mat is one I found in a thrift store, but the items are mine. The wiggley bit in the center is a reticulated helmet I picked up on a beach, I especially like the square bottle, the crock with the blue band was my grandmothers and dates back to the 'teens. I don't remember where or when I collected the smaller jar on the left, it's crockery too.
Garin Park - oil, 5X6
 This was originally an attempt (plein air) to use a limited palette suggested in a workshop. It has reinforced my general objection to Veridian. This version has the addition of Sap, Hookers and generous amounts of yellow ochre. OK, I confess, a touch of black. Some artists seem to think it is some how cheating to use black and not mix your own. However, you can find just as many who swear by it, so I pick my battles. I'll use it when I need it. Why do I feel the need to apologize? Whatever works. Unless I claimed my self the strict student of a particular school, I can feel free to use what I need. Er, Uh, right? Wow, have you seen the subtle variety available in Charvin paints!?
Hopi Adobe - Acrylic, 12X15
Sorry this is leaning away from the camera. This is from a black and white photo from the 1930's. They back onto a cliff, so they must have an incredible view. They might not have much in the way of windows at the back, but a lot of time is spent on the roofs.
Carquinez - oil,  6X8
It was a gorgeous day, but difficult to settle on what to include in the picture. The road way on the left that includes a "bridge" has gone through a major change. I think I'll stop (or give up on) this one.
Coyote Hills - oil, 9X18
A studio work based on photos taken during a plein air paint out. Not very accurate, the hills are smaller, the rocks are way smaller and the foreground field is way bigger. It may be best to strip it and start over, to bring it back into proportion. A challenge in composition. Ick, veridian is an awful green.
Coyote Hills 2012 - oil, 8X10
Hmm, too recent, I need some perspective provided by time. It was dawn at the park and the reflections and shadows kept changing.
Niles Canyon - 9X18
Not a plein air, I have driven by near here, and I was imagining it before the urban sprawl. The oak on the right has been really re-worked, and some things about the gate and cattle guard.
Tulip - oil, 8X10
This was to be a palette knife painting. I don't have the knack for it yet, had to repaint the blossom completely, and the leaves and stems a bit. I probably couldn't leave the background alone either, you know me. I normally would have done this in watercolor, but it seems important to try a variety of subjects in each medium.
Canyon, AZ - oil 8X10
The rocks on the left look too soft, like pillows. They need flatter tops. There is a village on the valley floor, but it looks amateurish. Time to study the work of some experts. The depth seems pretty good.

Beach, Cape Cod - watercolor 6X8
This is using the American Journey watercolor sticks. I can't find half of them, so that meant a really limited palette! It sure is easier when you can find your browns instead of mixing them.
Toy Boats, Paris - watercolor 4X6
Again, the A.J. watercolor sticks. Boy am I out of practice on water ripples! Ick.
Provence - watercolor 6X8
At last. Same session, only half of my colors in A.J. watercolor sticks, no mixing surface, and no pencil. I tried to lightly sketch shapes with the only thing I could find, a ball point pen. I should have just gotten up and scrounged a pencil! Oops, the balcony shadows are way too light. Obviously this is not finished. Especially now that I see an out of focus photo of it. Sorry to inflict it on you! thanks for your patience.

OK, now I'm hungry. I can't believe July is almost over!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Plein air fallout!

Shinn/Niles preliminary painting, oil
If you're old enough, you remember the saying from the 70's: "As soon as I've figured out where it's at, they MOVE it!" (sigh)  It still holds for me. As soon as I get the hang of this blog business, they "improve it." Honestly, they ARE improvements, it's just that they catch me off guard.

OK, enough whining. (for today) The above is a new oil that I started in the bathroom. Sounds funny? Well, I have one bathroom that is really large and incredibly well lit, so once I removed the useless tub-thing, I had room to paint in there and could be comfortable no matter the weather.

OK, back to the topic. I've now switched the oils to the porch studio due to fumes, so I've been finishing this one out there.  This is a fairly inaccurate picture of the Niles Canyon entry, with the Shinn house in the midground as it was around 1910. I fully took advantage of my artistic license in moving things and turning them around. I wanted to explore depth in painting hills, too. You can see sketch lines where I was trying to decide about the foreground. Eeek, what do I do with all that yellow? Make flat land interesting.

Niles Canyon/Shinn House - The old gate, oil
Ultimately, I think this is it, done, finito, fin. When it dries a bit, I'll sign it. Then start saving for a frame. Funny, I like the barn a lot more than the house! Too small to see here, but the barn did come out well.
As a child we went to grandma's ranch most summers, mostly so daddy could help her with the heavy annual stuff. In painting this picture I started thinking about those days and those old cattleguard gates everywhere. So it went into the picture! She was a homesteader who raised Black Angus and my Dad, all by herself. Grandaddy died when Dad was three months old, as a result of conditions in WWI. Yes, WWI.
Those summers are great memories. The scents were especially nostalgic, hot sun on hay, young calves when you feed them from a nursing bucket, barns and old wood, lots of things.
Can you tell I've been checking in on Ree Drummond's "Pioneer Woman" blog? Just type "Ree Drummond" in your browser and it will take you there. That's how I found it. It's fun to lurk, without having to do the WORK.
Hmm, I think the trees on the left may need something, some variety. The red is not flowers, they are red weeds that grow around here.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Learning curve,

Kayaks on the Charles River, Summer
This is an "oops" post. A friend did a comment and let me know it didn't show up. There have been some changes to Blogspot, and I encountered them yesterday when I thought I was doing a new post. Well, it's gone where ever good posts go when they pass over.
I was actually trying to figure out how to add to the other page of this blog, the Period Needlework page. All I could do was edit what was there. I added some "WIP" pictures at the bottom of a lace Pelerine I made this winter.
Well, It's Summer now. Technically. We had TWO hot days for the last days of Spring, then it dropped to the 60's the 1st day of Summer. It felt like this:
Paine Massif, Patagonia
Of course, I just made the change over to the A/C. There is no going back. I have a new thermostat I am about to install which will remedy that , and other problems. Thanks Bob and Sheila!

It's time to paint the top photo. I took it from the dining room in the Marriot in Newton, MA. A lovely place to stay.

San Mateo Coast, Fog Bank and Fishing boats.
Maybe it's time to paint this one. It was an amazing day on the northern California Coast!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

"Blue Sax" is IN!

I got the word yesterday, "Blue Sax" has been accepted for the show! Yippee. Now, I've got to get ready for a couple of other local shows coming up. What to choose, what to choose? Or what's framed, What's framed?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Art of the Blues II, Jazz and Blues Festival

Blue Sax, 8X10 Acrylic
This is from a photo by Lee Brown, he posted it last year for an artist challenge. I have wanted to do it for a long time and I kept picturing it as a study in blue. The announcement of the art show to accompany the Festival here gave me the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

It was tempting to use watercolor, but I kept thinking of oils. So, after some graphite sketching and then studies in Pentel pens in 5 shades of gray, I finally got up the nerve to put brush to canvas. Of course I waited so long that oils would never dry, so it ended up in acrylics.
I've submitted it for jurying, so wish me luck that it will be accepted.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

My nephew likes to hang off the side of mountains: The Edge Craigieburn

I would write something here, but I'm still a bit breathless from the ride!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

While the oils are drying...

Silly me, I have three oils going right now. When I get exasperated at one, I move to another.  There are any number that I thought were finished. I take a look at them in on the computer and OOOPs. Why didn't I see that? It's the same as stepping away for a few days. You suddenly see what it needs. At least some of what it needs. That can be exasperating, but revealing.

Taking a break while pictures dry, I picked up the pen and ink. I need practice in portraiture, and there's so much to learn. (To cheap broke to pay for classes) Or something. Not wanting to offend anyone, or make them sit still, I thought of trying photographs of long gone composers. These tend to be old and grainy, to simplify values and shapes. They also tend to have lots of character in their faces.  So far I've done about eight, but these two are the only ones that anyone will see:
Toscanini 5X7

You should see Rimsky-
Korsakov. Well, no you
shouldn't. He looks like
a walrus in my version.
"Do over!"

I feel especially embarrassed about Bernstein, he's a handsome man and I grew up on his wonderful music. OK, that's another do-over.

Last weekend was really cool. On Saturday there was an Artists Flea Market in Pleasanton. I also did some painting, it's a very picturesque town.
After church on Sunday a ran back to finish up and take a picture with the light "just right" (I forgot on Saturday). On the drive back I passed through Sunol, another painters dream, and decided to paint some more. There was a group of painters on the street! I parked nearby and painted a different scene.
For lunch I waddled across the street to pick up a sandwich and soda, passing near the group of painters. I thought I recognized one. Yep, I stopped and said a brief hello to Mark Monserrat! He was working with this group! They all had great pictures going too! He's an upper level instructor at San Francisco's Academy of Art University. I've been there(she a model).

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Back again, formats keep changing!

All at once scanning a picture has become an ordeal. HP Devices can't find the HP scanner. The scanner can't find the computer, but when I Print it finds it, no problem. Unless I go through the System Preferences and choose the Printer/Scan and go through a guessing game of which will work this time and how to get it into iPhoto once I finally get it into Photosmart. Sheesh. And now the format for blogspot has changed. Oh give me patience and persistence!

Light & Color, 5X8 Pen & Ink
(Heavy sigh of relief) I was able to actually find the two scans I managed and upload them. Maybe it's time for a little workshop in how this new system works. This is a Pen and Ink from a little challenge by Light & Color (or vice-versa) found through David Lobenberg's blog. An interesting challenge, too bad it isn't plein air.

Peony, 5X8
Here is the other item I was able to upload. a close up of a peony. I wish I could grow these! We don't have the right climate, I'd have to refrigerate the plane for a a certain number of weeks. Can you imagine trying to extract the butter by reaching around a peony?

OK, I need a nap, and the laptop battery is running low. And it's time for lunch! Then I'll visit all my favorite blogs again and see what everybody else has been doing!
Love to all.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Forgive the delay, been painting...

Ok, Ok, but it's plein air season! When it isn't raining I try to work outside, so, I've been doing a lot of work in the studio. (Sigh) Mostly it's been oil and acrylic, and I have not mastered the art of photographing shiny pictures without getting a flash on them.

Winter - Acrylic 12X16
Now, this h'yar paintin'. . . (cough, wheeze, sorry) This picture is one of a set of Four Seasons to-be. In earlier blogs I have posted Autumn and, well, early Summer. It's not quite finished yet.

North Coast, 6X8 Acrylic

Well, always practicing. The clouds came out OK. The rest needs work. Or not.

With flash.

Bottles, 8X10 Acrylic, no flash
Here's what happens when you try to photograph a shiny picture. This is "source unknown." I think I got a photo somewhere on the web, so I can't give the attribution. Ooops. But it was good practice, I wanted to paint something dark.

Fogged in Fishing Fleet, watercolor
I just got this framed. This is a much bigger piece than usual. I painted it in 2010, but it took forever. Sometimes watercolor is NOT fast. To get the fog effect I ended up doing washes, layer after layer of white, with a little Designer Gouache in it, then lifting it back off in certain places for depth. Sheesh. I was painting it for my brother, and about then he announced he didn't want me giving him paintings for his birthday or Christmas. It seems he figured his walls were already full. What can you do. You'd have to know him.
Well, today's his birthday, and I decided to give him a really big card. In a frame. (schnert, schnert)

Carquinez Straits, 8X10 oil
This is a plein air I started last summer but couldn't finish. This week I dug out the photos I took that day, brushed on a little linseed and went at it again. I have decided it's finished. Ta-Da!

On the Square, Sonoma 6X8 oil
 This too was started late last year, and last week I dug this out too, brushed on the linseed and played with it. The proportions are all wrong, but I've decided to pull out my "Artistic License" and use it.
Garin Pond, 6X8 oil
This is plein air, it's up the hill from my house. After a demo recently by Mark Monserrat, I started experimenting with a limited palette. This came out heavy on the blue-green side. I think it needs more reflections of the darkest of the yellower greens in certain trees to give it better balance. Hey, I think my trees and shrubs are looking less like fluffy balls and more like vegetation! Oh, I forgot, I still need to put in trunks and branches. I'd better do that first and see how it affects the color scheme. Or is it theme?
Work in Progress, 7X14 oil
This is just getting started. It's Coyote Hills Regional park. I went to a Paint Out there last year and this is a view I photographed but had not painted yet.

OK, that's what I've been up to since the last time I posted. I hope to get back to being more frequent.