Friday, May 22, 2015


acrylic on paper 4 x 6 inch
$25 plus shipping
available here

Ammi was inspired by a love for folk art and Victorian clothing. The name Ammi is originally a Hebrew boys' name meaning "my people", however people today are naming their girls Ammi. I think the name is so beautiful.

I am still working on the 16 x 20 oil portrait.  Actually, I have not touched it since the last post as I have been working on another piece and projects around the house. I hope to finish it this weekend.

I hope you have a really good one.  Thank you as always for visiting!

Monday, May 18, 2015

What Frederick Leighton Inspired and Scenes from Yard and Studio

in progress
oil on paper 16 x 20 inch

Last week I wrote about a visit to the Kendall Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.  I was so inspired by Frederick Leighton's work I checked out some books at the library to learn more.  I then found  this image  online of a portrait called Biondina, also by Leighton.  The urge to paint a portrait was strong, so I am using Biondina as my guide.  

This is still in progress, but these photos are the most current. 

detail of work in progress

I added the checks to her clothing just this morning which was inspired by Edouard Vuillard's painting called Interior: Mother and Sister of the Artist in the image is below.

Edouard Vuillard
Interior:  Mother and Sister of the Artist

Look!  Morning Glories have sprouted!  Fingers crossed there will be blooms this summer.  I am worried though because the spot I planted the seeds in is a bit shady with dappled light.  Hopefully those little dapples will be enough.

Above is the absolute best place to sit on the back patio. 

This is part of the flowerbed I put in with the bench my son made.  My dream is to have it FULL of flowers and all kinds of pretty.  This year I put in a few perennials, but mostly seeds for Wildflowers, Sunflowers, Morning Glories and Hollyhocks for this year.  If it doesn't take, then shade-loving plants it is. 

When you're settling into a new place, it's all about creating spaces you want to BE in.  The hammock makes a great spot to read...or nap.  We had it at our old house and I was thrilled when my husband found a place to hang it at our new house.  Our old property had 20 trees on it, this one has three, which makes it a bit challenging to hang a hammock.

Lastly, a shot of the studio the other day.  The shelf on the desk is actually a CD shelf.  The smallness of it and the multiple shelves make it awesomely useful.  I use it to store supplies, or as an area to get things out of the way quickly, or to dry small works. It looks odd on the table, but it would have blocked a window on the floor.  Plus it only cost $5 at an estate sale. :)

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wearing Kisses and the Art I Saw in Texas

Wearing Kisses
mixed media on paper 6 x 6 inch
available here

Kisses can be pretty sweet.  Ever wish you could wear them?

 I spent Mother's Day in Texas visiting my youngest son.  It was a great trip and we visited the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and also Kimbell Art Museum.  

Most interesting at the Modern was Jenny Holzer's Kind of Blue.  I'm not sure I understood it, but I have to say it kept our attention for a while as the words rolled by, and even caused me to look her up and read up on the installment.  

Jenny Holzer
Kind of Blue
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas

Probably the most exciting and most promoted work was at the Kendall Museum.  Allegedly the only Michaelangelo painting in the USA, The Torment of St. Anthony c.1487-1488, was a sight to behold. Michaelangelo painted it when he was 11 or 12 years old and he had a terrifying imagination if you ask me.

The Torment of St. Anthony
Kendall Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas

My favorite was this gorgeous piece, also at the Kendall,  Portrait of Mary Sartoris, by Frederic Leighton c. 1860.  As many would say here in the Midwest, "ain't she pretty"?  But seriously, such a gorgeous portrait.  I love her tenderness.

Frederic Leighton
Portrait of Mary Sartoris
Kendall Art Museum Fort Worth, Texas

My son's favorite was this monster piece called Vortex by Richard Serra.  Does a man just wake up one day and decide to make something this big?  It was amazing and the echo inside of it was so spooky sounding.  

Vortex by Richard Serra
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

We saw so much and I wish there was time to show all of it to you.  If you ever go to Texas, these museums are worth the time.  

Hope you are all having a great week.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Something About Blue and Purple

Pansies in a Blue Pot
oil on paper 6 x 6 inch
available here
 I have really been loving blue and purple lately, especially together.  Years ago I bought a blue flower pot that I love, and there has been an array of different colored flowers in it each spring and summer.  This year I went with blue pansies in most of the flower pots, including the favorite blue pot.  I have purple pansies sprinkled in the mix of blues which makes the pots look so beautiful.  They provided a source of inspiration this past weekend for painting.  

Blue Pot on a Purple Table
oil on paper 6 x 6 inch
available here

I did some painting on the patio one evening.  You can see my sweet blue flower pot there on the table in the photo below.  Also notice the teeny tiny backyard.  Did I mention it only takes 15 minutes to mow instead of 2 hours?  :)

Painting on the patio in the backyard

I think the inspiration for adding purple into the flower pots came after seeing this gorgeous lilac bush a few weeks ago on a walk in our neighborhood.  I plan to take a printed copy of this photo to the person who lives in that house which is just around the corner from us.  They have a beautiful yard and I feel inspired every time I walk past it.

lilac bush during neighborhood walk
photo editing with distressedfx

The photo led to some sketching too.

sketchbook sweetie
graphite, water-soluble pencils in tiny moleskin

I recently bought a few blue glass things from antique stores and thrift this blue drinking glass with the yellow flowers.   There is a cobalt blue bud vase that makes an appearance twice in the movie Under the Tuscan Sun and I have been on a search for one just like it for years.  Haven't found the bud vase yet, but the movie sure is good.

Blue drinking glass in the kitchen window
photo editing with distressedfx

Speaking of blue...our skies are stormy tonight and this evening after one storm passed, the blue in the sky looked so soft you could wear it.

Stormy Kansas skies and the Arkansas River
no filter used

What colors are you into lately?

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Margaret on Peace Hill

Margaret on Peace Hill
mixed media on linen canvas panel 8 x 8 inch
available here

There hasn't been a lot of painting this week.  I am busy doing yard work, but since we have less yard now, I expect that to be done soon.  I am doing fun things like putting in new flower beds.  I sprinkled a bunch of seeds yesterday and can't wait to see what grows.  Growing things from seed can be the most exciting and rewarding type of gardening...worth the effort...kind of like making cookies from scratch.

Hope you have had a good week.
♥ Lisa

Monday, April 27, 2015

Bouquet in a Watering Can

Bouquet in a Watering Can
mixed media on linen panel 8 x 8 inch

available here

I was taking pictures of this little 8 x 8 inch mixed media in our sun room today and it seemed as if I had painted the room, however that is not quite true. This piece was all about the floral arrangement. I saw a similar arrangement in our local grocer's coupon book and just had to paint the bouquet. The rest of the scene was purely from imagination...or was it? Hmmmm.

Besides painting, I have been planting flowers...

and watching puddle ducks swim and dive in the street!  What they are diving for, I Have no clue.  I imagine bugs and worms, but whatever it is, we sure enjoy having ducks and geese in the yard so often.  Our dog and two cats like to watch them also.

Looking for a good art-related movie to watch?  My husband and I recently saw this one which is a story about Klimt's painting Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I.  Helen Mirren is spectacular in this one. Here is the trailer:

We had the chance to see the actual painting in New York City at the Neue Gallerie in 2011, not too long after it was purchased.  I could not believe my eyes...the depth, the color and her face looked so real.  You can get an idea of the size of the painting on their website

Hope you had a great weekend!  Thank you for visiting!

♥ Lisa

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Family on Summer Vacation

A Family on Summer Vacation
oil on panel 12 x 9 inch

The vintage photo that inspired this piece  was the same photo I used to paint Mother Daughter in Blue, Brown and White.  Initially my attention was drawn to the woman with the girl on her lap, and as I painted I sort of grew attached to the whole group of people, feeling compelled to paint them as well.


 I am assuming they are family, but I am not sure about that because the photo simply says Grandpa at Long Beach.  It must have been a cool day, as they are dressed in coats and hats in the photo.  I always think of southern California as warm and summery place.  Perhaps on the day these folks were there, it was not...thus the long faces.


The color palette was also blue, brown and white (ultramarine blue, burnt umber and titanium white to be exact).  In the mother daughter painting, I used raw umber rather than burnt umber.  The raw umber makes it more green and the burnt umber is much more warm.  

I wanted to keep things loose, not get too fussy with facial details or any detail for that matter.  I wanted visible scratches and interesting lines too.  It came together in the end, but it was challenging  because of the number of people in it.  

the inspiration
1935 photo reading "grandpa at Long Beach"

I feel as if I know them now.  Isn't that strange?

Have a great rest of the week! 

♥ Lisa