Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goldie and Blue and a Happy 2015!

Goldie and Blue
mixed media 
16 x 20 inch cradled board

This is the last painting in 2014 and I finished it this morning.  Well, it's mostly finished.  There are a few areas I would like to clean up, especially around the bird.  I painted this based on a painting I did in my sketchbook a while back.  Honestly, the whole thing was about using the gold colored acrylic paint I bought and the story unfolded from there, in my sketchbook and in the painting. 

I read someone's Facebook post this morning that said they were going to push 2014 right off the edge of a cliff and it made me laugh.  I wasn't laughing at this person's hardships, no, I was laughing at the thought of being able to actually push a bad year off of the edge of a cliff.  Now wouldn't that feel good.  

I can't say 2014 was the best year.  I lost my mom this year and it still hurts.  But I've had many blessings too,  and for this I am so grateful. 

Thank you all for everything!  Here's to a blessed 2015 for all of us!  

Happy New Year!

♥ Lisa

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

mixed media 
 8 1/2 x 11 inch sketchbook

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!  Thank you for your kindness as always!

♥ Lisa

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Flower Petalers and How the Move Went

The Flower Petalers
mixed media on cradled wood panel 8 x 8 inch

Hello friends!  I am back after a chaotic couple of weeks of moving to our new house. I have taken some time to paint, but not too much.  Above is my newest finished piece.

 The move went well for having been settled in the old home for 15 years.  You accumulate a lot of stuff in that amount of time! I should have counted boxes as I am sure the number would have been impressive.  Oh my!  

Anyways, you would probably like to see photos rather than read babble, so here you go...


Above is my favorite picture.  It captures the beauty and some of the character of this old house we now live in.  It was built in 1930 and comes complete with glass doorknobs and drafty window panes.  We absolutely love it. 


My studio is really really great.  I have lots of storage and it even has a sink in it because the previous owner had a manicure business.  The light coming from the north and west windows makes me want to be like a cat and lay on the floor basking in the sun.  


This is the view from my west studio windows.  I think I am going to have to paint every one of those houses at some point.  They are so pretty...and HUGE.  Our house is quite a bit smaller than those.  


This is the best part about our new's in Riverside and there is so much to see in this special area of town.  The river always inspires...


it's a great place to see Christmas lights on foot...


and ooooo and aaaaaahhhh at how they reflect on the water.


And now that we live here I was able to walk less than two blocks the next morning after a beautiful snowfall the night before...


and see this park blanketed in white...


and the footprints of the locals...


and chuckle at how the geese just hang out in the streets.  Do you see them?  They are everywhere in this neighborhood.  They cross the streets (and take their sweet time), hang out on lawns, walk up the sidewalks.  They squawk and honk at each other like they are discussing plans for afternoon tea.  

This evening I made pumpkin bread and plopped into this chair to write to you all.  It's the same chair that started my art journey years ago...the one I drew just for the heck of it.  The same funky pillow is there too.  And you may also recognize the painting on the wall, Candela's Light.  

My family said that our furniture looks like it belongs in this house and that my paintings are like I was painting them specifically for this house.  Maybe they are right.  I wonder how long we will be here.  We are told we are only the fifth family to live here, which we found amazing.  The family previous to the family that sold it to us was here 36 years.  I can't imagine staying anywhere for 36 years.  But who knows?

Have a beautiful weekend.

♥ Lisa

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

No Waiting

No Waiting
oil on paper 
9 x 6 inch

There is a wonderful pizza place called Grimaldi's in Brooklyn, NY. There is usually a wait outside the door, but the day we were there we got right in. There WAS a line that day, but we were only a party of two so we didn't have to wait. Lucky us. 

I hope you are having a great week and not having to wait for anything.

♥ Lisa

Monday, October 13, 2014


mixed media on paper
9 x 12 inch

I never did learn to sew very well.  My mother taught me how to hand sew a simple hem.  She actually used to darn socks using a light bulb to stretch them out so that she could mend them.  "Who in the world sews socks???  Why not just buy new ones?"  I once asked her.  "Mothers with six children," was her answer.  "Oh"...said me.

When I was pregnant with my first child, my grandmother, who was a seamstress back in her working days, helped me sew some maternity clothes.  They were corduroy overalls and I loved wearing them even though they made me look like an elephant. They really did...they were gray.

 I never did take to sewing though.

sketchbook sweetie
graphite and colored pencil

The painting was inspired by this sketch in my sweetie book (a tiny moleskin) and a recent conversation with a friend who likes to sew.

Hope you had a great weekend.  Thank you SO much for all your very kind comments on my most recent paintings.

♥ Lisa

Friday, October 10, 2014


mixed media on panel
9 x 12 inch

It was kind of an amazing experience painting this.  I really cannot explain it in words that would make sense, but I can tell you a certain and special peace came to visit me once it was done and it made me wish the painting session could have lasted forever.

Here are some close-ups.

Happy weekend to every one of you.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ancestors of the Tapestry

Ancestors of the Tapestry
oil and cold wax 
9 x 12 inch gesso panel

This painting has been shown in progress a couple of times on my blog.  I was not sure the mega-texture was going to work with this, but it was kind to me.  

Some areas were easy because of the texture, like the flowing hair on the figure on the right and also the grass.  Other areas were more of a challenge. Take the arm, for bumpy.  However, once I added the lace sleeve, that seemed to cure the problem.  

Here are some close-up views.

Happy week to you all.  More work to show you soon.  I've been painting a lot.

♥ Lisa

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Bluebirds of Joy

 The Bluebirds of Joy
oil on paper 16 x 20 inch

This painting came together with ease...the colors, the faces, the design, even the birds...and doesn't this make the artist happy?  Not all of them go so well.




The decision to make the birds blue came after my art instructor Brian Hinkle discussed how different background colors can really change the mood and feel of a painting.  He pointed out a smudge of blue that was in my already dark red background, suggesting that it would make the mood light and happy.  It was an ah-ha moment for me, not for the background...but for making the birds blue.

Did you know that bluebirds are a sign of joy and a good omen?   Thank you for pointing this out Julie!  After Julie told me this, the title came swiftly.



Up close, I always see things I want to uneven eyes or perhaps a crooked nose.  However, there are other things that seem very right to me, so leaving it alone seems to be the lesser of two evils.  Reworking areas often can lead to disaster or lost loves.  I admit I do not paint fearlessly, but I am working on this.


This piece was painted on Daler-Rowney Georgian oil paper.  It stays flat and feels great to paint on.  It will be mounted to a cradled hardboard which makes a very nice and inexpensive presentation and omits the need for a frame.

Have a beautiful rest of the week!

♥ Lisa

Friday, September 19, 2014

Adding Birds and More Pretty Pictures


More progress on this 16 x 20 inch oil painting and this morning the birds have been added.  In Tuesday's class, the art instructor suggested that I could change the background if I wanted to brighten up the mood.   He pointed out a tinge of smokey blue that I had smudged on in various places as a possible alternative, but I love the reds with the yellows here too much to change it.  

However, his suggestion gave me an ah hah! would be the perfect color for the birds that are planned for this piece.  So here you have progress.


Speaking of are samples of photo edits again.  I found a new photo app called Photoscape for $1 and I love the colors you can add.  The photo above and below are the same picture with different hues.  I almost expect to see elves tip-toeing out from behind the trees in the above and the one below looks more like Fall in real life.  The original is bright and vibrant summer green.


I have been spending time outside in the yard. Weeding flowerbeds is an ongoing job and such a relaxing thing to do.  I try to stretch while I'm could call it Yard Work Yoga.  That keeps me from getting too stiff.   My camera is always near by of course.


These flowers are not from my yard.  They are from the flower shop.  That big sunflower just seemed to be singing out loud. 

Sometimes when I take pictures, they come out pretty just the way they are so I leave them alone.


Especially when it comes to the sky.  Often, it does not need a filter.  It seems to have its own.


Have a beautiful weekend.

♥ Lisa

Friday, September 12, 2014

Painting in Progress and a Surprise Gift from a Blog Friend

detail of WIP
16 x 20 inch oil on paper

On Tuesday I returned to Brian Hinkle's art class at Tessera Fine Art Gallery and jumped right in starting this 16 x 20 inch oil on paper.  Using one of my sketches as inspiration, the figures went down quickly.  There will be birds in this piece once it is all said and done.

beginnings of 16 x 20 inch on paper
at Tessera Fine Art Gallery

Here is a full view of the piece.  You can see another oil painting in the background which I have shown recently.  That one is slow-going because I have been really indecisive about color.


I caught this shot the other night of my dog Hurley.  He has so many facial expressions and this one is precious.  Kind of pitiful, but precious.


Speaking of Hurley, do you remember the above photo?  I posted it a while back.

5 x 7 inch painting of Hurley
by Patty Musgrove
Well a couple of days ago I was surprised and so touched to receive the above painting from Patty Musgrove with Listen to the Road.  Patty paints the most beautiful animal portraits and I could not believe she would give me such a gift.  Tears.  Many of them.  Thank you so much Patty.  Life is sad right now after losing my mom and this gift is so joyful and uplifting.

Please click on the photo to view her beautiful brush strokes.  She captured him perfectly.

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Monday, September 8, 2014

More Chairs and Notes on the Technique

Chair Number 11
4 x 6 inch oil on paper
available here

Before traveling, I painted these three chairs and they are now dry and in my shop on Etsy.  

Chair Number 12
oil on 4 x 6 inch paper
available here

I have been inconsistent with signing them on the front.  Sometimes it is too crowded in the area I want to sign in, or too distracting, or simply does not show well enough.  I also stopped gluing these to the mat boards because it did not seem necessary since they are so small.  They don't buckle like larger works on paper and they stay flat in a frame without the boards.

Chair Number 13
oil on 4 x 6 inch paper
available here

 About the Process

To make these I prep the paper with various colors of acrylic paint, then apply the oil paint with a palette knife.  I draw the chair by scratching through or wiping away the oil paint to expose the acrylic color underneath.  The third chair here is the best example of how I do these.  The red part of the chair you see is the acrylic paint beneath including that little splotch of blue on the side.  The background, floor, chair seat, chair back and pillow are in oil.  

These little things can be tricky because the oil painting is wet on wet, and on a very small surface.  This is another reason for the inconsistency of signing them.  It is impossible to sign them with a paint brush because they are so small, so the only way to sign it is to scratch in the signature which may or may not show up well.

Painting these has been a great way for me to explore color and also a good exercise in thinking ahead.  I always have to consider the color of the acrylic that will pop through. It dictates what oil colors are chosen.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Where Have You Been?

I have been away on a road trip.

We headed northeast through the Flint Hills of Kansas, then Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and New York.

We ate lunch on Lake Erie.

We marveled over early signs of fall near Kalamazoo, Michigan.

We spent most of our time in the western part of New York...about one hour from Niagra Falls...visiting my family.

We watched sunsets on Lake Ontario and walked on the pier under the stars.

We dined near the boat docks.

We visited a sweet carousel of the past.

We walked the trails in Corbett's Glen.

And got excited at the lushness of it...and the smell of it.

We enjoyed walks in quaint neighborhoods.

We felt jealous of George Eastman...the founder of Kodak.  He actually lived in this house.  Does anyone really need all that space?

Really jealous.

We celebrated Labor Day picnicking at Hamlin Beach. We didn't feel jealous anymore.

We watched the skies a lot.

We visited family a lot.

And posed for pictures a lot.

There were some quiet moments...

...during a lovely visit at the DuPont Mansion in Louisville, Kentucky...a detour we took on the way home.

We had the whole mansion to ourselves! It is their slow season. Now George Eastman would be jealous of us. :)

We took in one last Louisville over the Ohio River.

We stopped by a very famous place to horse racing enthusiasts (just to say we saw it).

Then we clicked our heals and headed home to Kansas.

It is true, there really is no place like home.

I hope all of you are well.  See you soon!