Archive for November, 2016

Off to Provence

November 10, 2016


I’m starting a new piece for our gallery in Sedona, EXPOSURES Fine Art. I felt like traveling to Provence today. I love Southern France and all of the quirky architectural details found there. I’m taking the small window, lantern and tiled platform with flower pots from this photo.


This is actually Scottsdale, Arizona but I really like the corner roof line, arched windows and wrought iron holder for the terra cotta container.


I’ve combined all of my ideas into a rough sketch. Since this is for a gallery painting my drawing is not nearly as finished as it would be if it were going to be shown to a client for a commission. You can see where I’ve gone back and changed some of the flower colors. You may click on the image to enlarge the picture.


The piece is going to be painted around the sides on a gallery wrapped canvas. To make handling the wet painting easier I’ve attached the canvas to cardboard. If you would like to see how that was done, CLICK HERE.


The basic plan is sketched on the canvas with a brush dipped in a mix of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. My main goal is to make certain the perspective of the building and the proportions of all of the elements are correct.


The drawing gives me a “Road Map” to follow as I paint. The flowers are labeled so I won’t forget what my original plan was! Thanks for following along. If you would like to receive an email every time I publish a new post please feel free to subscribe to my blog. CLICK THIS LINK and scroll to the upper right side of the page. You will see a heading EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS. Just enter your email address and click the button “Sign me up!”  It’s easy. And if you enjoy my blog please CLICK the FaceBook LIKE Button. As we say in Texas, “Much Obliged!

New Garden Project

November 9, 2016


I’ve been working on a new project in our garden. This area between our back deck and the barn has been bare dirt ever since we moved here. It’s too shady for grass to grow; I’ve gotten tired of fighting weeds and muddy feet. That’s Molly chasing a lizard down the railing.


SO……..a two level terrace was my solution. The beds on either side of the little walk are planted with Asiatic Jasmine that will fill in pretty quickly. The platform to the right of the paver path is the base for a fountain. If you’d like to see how our garden developed over the last two years from an empty yard filled with rocks, weeds and trash CLICK HERE.


The paver “Area Rug” will be a perfect spot for a little bistro table and chairs. A nice quiet place to lunch, read or work on the computer. Please remember as you go thru my blog you may click on the pictures to see them larger.


Here is the view of the back yard from the new patio.


I had a little bench here that was made of all our extra pavers. But now they are my “Area Rug” so I found this delightful red one to take their place. Molly loves to sit here with me in the evening.


The Salvia (Mexican Bush Sage) is blooming like crazy.


Our fall tomatoes are almost ready to harvest. Hopefully we won’t get an early freeze! You can see the rose arbor in the background. The variegated agaves throughout our garden are great-grand-babies of some we had in our yard in Carefree, Arizona. Every time we moved I would take a few babies to our new home.


Tomatoes on the right, Blue Mist in the planter on the left. The butterflies love the fluffy blue flowers. It had just rained when I took the photo so no butterflies were in sight. But when the sun is out they are like a cloud of fluttering wings hovering around the blooms.


Looking toward our fountain courtyard from under the rose arbor.


All around the garden we have all sorts of “Happies”, gifts that friends have given us over the years. A gallery owner we helped in North Padre Island gave us the turtle. The ever blooming Bluebonnet was a present from Angel Ann who went with me to the Baylor Game. What fun to look around the garden and feel the friendships blooming right along with the flowers.


Sissie loves to stretch out on the deck railing to survey “Her” garden. I think she likes Mr. Swannee because this seems to be her favorite spot. A few more “Happies” hang on either side of the opening to the upper deck. Thought everyone would like to see what’s happening here in our garden. Hugs,

Planting the Flowers

November 7, 2016



Let’s plant our Sunflowers first. The mixes are #1. Cadmium Yellow Medium + Cadmium Lemon + White. #2. Cadmium Yellow Medium. #3. Cadmium Yellow Medium + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson). #4. Mix #3 + Alizarin Crimson. #5. Two shade of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium. #6. A couple of mixes in different proportions of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium + White.

VIDEO! Part 1 of painting the Sunflowers, blocking in the flowers to begin and doing the leaves last. I apologize, you’ll have to turn your computer sideways to view this. I thought I was being so brilliant by turning my camera so I could get a closer view. I don’t know how to rotate the video, OPPS! I’m not very computer savvy, I’m doing good to get videos posted.

VIDEO! This is still sideways……I promise not to do this again 🙂 The dark centers in the Sunflowers are made with MUD + Liquin. Then the petals illuminated by the sun are highlighted with mixes #1 and #2. At the very end I let a few petals float to the floor.


Delicate Pansies fill the container at the base of the Sunflowers. The shadows of the White flowers are blocked in with mixes of Ultramarine Blue + White, Dioxazine Purple + White and Pthalo Blue + White. Then the foliage is painted around the white masses with some of the mixes left over from the Sunflower leaves.


I love Pansies, the little faces in them are so delightful. Dioxazine Purple + Liquin is used for these. After adding pure White highlights on those flowers touched by sunlight the Purples are gently painted wet into wet on the blossoms.


A lot of my leftover greens are used for the Prickly Pear Cactus. I’ve mixed a bit of Cadmium Orange into all of them to make a more muted green. Brushstrokes of Magenta are made on some of the pads to give color variations and add interest.


A few spiky thorns are highlighted here and there. I don’t try to delineate all of them, just enough to give the impression of sticklers. You may click on the image to see this better.


The containers are mixes of Viridan Green + a little Pthalo Blue + White. The heart shaped shadows of the Sweet Potato Vine are fun to make. One of the reasons I like to use the vine so much is the heart-like leaves bring a subliminal touch of romance to the painting. And our collectors just celebrated their 35th Anniversary!


The Geraniums are blocked in Flowers First (#1), Leaves Last (#2). This is so my flower color will stay nice and bright. If I painted the green to begin and came back over it with red, my brush would pick up the underlying leaf color and muddy the blossoms.


Highlights of Cadmium Red Light are “Laid” on top of the wet paint underneath. This gives the Geranium flowers lots of texture and keeps their color clean.

sk3116-refreshing-splendor-30x36Refreshing Splendor    30 inches tall by 36 inches wide

Sweet Potato Vines cascade out from under the Geraniums and we are done! Our collectors will be able to enjoy the Refreshing Splendor of Bluebonnets, Bougainvillea and their garden terrace every season of the year, rain or shine! It’s been fun having you follow along. I appreciate all of your wonderful comments and morale support. BIG HUGS,


November 6, 2016


This weekend I was invited by former Baylor Head Football Coach Grant Teaff and his lovely wife, Donell, to join them at the Bears/TCU game in Waco. Jack and Grant were like brothers, Coach spoke at the Celebration of Jack’s Life. Ann Wylie, Jack’s and my longtime friend, came with me. Here we are with the sculpture honoring Grant at Grant Teaff Plaza.


On our way across the bridge over the river to McLane Stadium. We’ll get to watch the game from the Teaff Suite, one of the skyboxes on the upper left level of the stadium in the background. If you’d like to see any of the pictures larger just Click on the image.


Ann and I with Donell, Grant and Jack’s Gold Leaf  EchruseosBaylor Bear“.


Jack did this piece for Grant when he first became the head coach at Baylor in 1972. It was the beginning of a long, wonderful friendship. In fact, they both considered each other brothers. I’d like to share something Grant wrote:

“I have realized that Jack’s name will always be remembered, because of his name on paintings and books. However, Jack’s life will continue to positively affect you and hundreds who have been privy to his teachings, wisdom and sincere love for all. Today, tomorrow and forever his influence will continue like the ripples caused when a pebble is dropped in smooth water. However, in Jack’s case, his life was a boulder.”

This is so true, don’t you think it’s beautiful?


During the game Grant, College Football Hall of Fame coach and Emeritus American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Executive Director, was honored with the National Football Foundation (NFF) On-Campus Salute as the 2016 recipient of the NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award. The Award has been presented annually since 1974 to those whose efforts to support the NFF and its goals have been local in nature or who have made significant contributions to the game of football either to the manner in which it is played and coached or to the manner in which it is enjoyed by spectators.

“Grant Teaff has had a profound impact on college football during six decades of service to the game,” said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. “From the players he coached at McMurry, Angelo State and Baylor, to the countless coaches he helped mentor through his work at AFCA and his many contributions to the game of football through his work as an NFF Board Member, he has truly helped shape some of our country’s brightest leaders. We are honored to recognize him at McLane Stadium.”


Donell, the quintessential Coach’s wife, enjoying one of Baylor’s touchdowns during the game. Unfortunately they were few and TCU won the game. That was the only negative during the entire magical weekend.


Walking to the car we stopped to look back at the new Baylor stadium. The reflections danced and sparkled on the water almost as if to say, “Watch out next week, our Bears will be back!” I’ll be back to painting in our next session. Just thought you’d enjoy sharing in the little vacation my dear, dear friends treated me to. I am so very blessed. HUGS,

Put on Your Hard Hat

November 3, 2016


We’re working in a construction zone today, let’s build the limestone arches! I use mixes of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) is added into the mixtures for the shadow areas.


After blocking in the parts of the arch that are in shadow the sunlit surface is painted.


The stones are indicated with lighter shades of the same mixtures. I don’t outline each and every individual rock, instead they are rendered impressionistically. I want to give the feeling of an old, limestone building. After the arch is complete I come back and add the finishing touches to the bright Pink Bougainvillea.


Now the building is done we’ll start laying the tile floor. The color mixes are #1. Ultramarine Blue + White. #2. All of the Terra Cotta mixes are made with different proportions of MUD + Cadmium Orange + White. #3. I’ve added some Pthalo Blue to one of the Terra Cotta mixes. Please remember, you can click on any of the pictures to see them larger.


The entire surface of the terrace is first covered, establishing the light and shadows.


Perspective lines are then pulled into the wet paint with a fine liner brush. This is done freehand, if I used the mahl stick it would limit the movement of my arm and I couldn’t make a straight line.


The horizontal lines separating the tiles are drawn in next.


The sunlight spilling across the terrace illuminates the edges of the tiles. So I come back and highlight them.


A little MUD is mixed in with my terra cotta floor colors to make the containers next to and on top of the little courtyard wall. In our next session we’ll exchange our Hard Hats for Gardening Gloves. Come ready to plant flowers! HUGS,

Blue, Blue, Bluebonnets

November 1, 2016


We’re ready to tackle the field of Bluebonnets. The basic mixes are shown above. #1. Two shades of Ultramarine Blue + a little MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White. #2. Three shades of Ultramarine Blue + White. #3. A few combinations in different proportions of Cobalt Blue + White.


The Live Oak casts a shadow that follows the gentle slope of the hill. It is made with the darker value of Mix #1. Because this mixture has a bit of MUD in it the blue is muted just a touch, causing it to drop back. We follow a simple rule to give the field of Bluebonnets a feeling of depth: Muted colors go back. Brighter, more intense colors come forward.


The middle ground of the field is made with the #2 mixes. They are a little brighter, making them jump in front of the muted blues behind.


The Cobalt Blue mixtures are reserved for the Bluebonnets closest to us. If you’d like to enlarge any of the pictures just click on the image.


The next step is to add the foliage. I use combinations in various proportions of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow + a little Cadmium Orange + White. The greens are worked around the blue to help shape the flowers.


Grass and a little path leading out into the field of Bluebonnets invite the viewer to take a stroll to enjoy the Texas spring.


Individual petals on the Bluebonnets are delineated with the corner of a small Bright (Square) brush. If you would like to know more about the brushes I use CLICK HERE.


White “Bonnets” finish out our Texas State Flower. Those on the flowers closest to us are made of Pure White.


As we go back in the field of flowers I mix a little Ultramarine Blue into the White for the little caps so they will recede. They are also made smaller. 


Another one of those simple painting rules comes into play for our field of Bluebonnets: More detailed objects come forward. Less detailed objects go back. Think about standing at the edge of your lawn, you can see the individual blades of grass close to you. But as you look across the yard, maybe 30 feet away, you can no longer make out the minute details of the grass, the greens all run together. I use that technique in painting the Bluebonnets, those in the foreground are very detailed, those farther away have less. This helps to give distance and depth to the painting. If all of the Bluebonnets were rendered with the same amount of detail the piece would appear much flatter. Oh, the flowers in the foreground on the left side are purposely painted without much detail. This is because Sunflowers will extend up in front of them! HUGS,