Archive for the ‘Original Oil Paintings’ Category


November 18, 2016


It’s that wonderful time of year when masses of butterflies come floating through our gardens here in South Texas. The butterfly is a symbol of Jesus’ resurrection. Many people believe they are our loved ones coming to visit us from Heaven. I like that!


I love the intricate patterns God created on their delicate wings. You can click on the picture to see it larger.


Karen and Stu Cooper, friends of ours from Floresville, sent these two pictures taken in their amazing gardens. Karen said they’ve never had this many butterflies before.


Isn’t this Swallowtail gorgeous? Being able to sit in the quiet of the garden with the music of rustling leaves in the background, watching these beautiful creatures dance from flower to flower is a gift. I know many of you are already experiencing winter cold and even snow. So please enjoy our butterflies and let them warm your heart! BIG HUGS,

A Kiss of Sunshine

November 16, 2016


OK, let’s do some planting. We’ll start with the Geraniums. The red blossoms are blocked in first with mixes of Cadmium Red Deep + Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Red Deep. Then the leaves are painted around the masses of red with combinations of Pthalo Blue + Lemon Yellow.

Silver Pony Foot Vine dangles out of the Geraniums. Next I begin work on the Salvia nestled at the base of the wrought iron plant holder. I’m working opposite of my usual sequence of Flowers First, Leaves Last. The delicate blooms of the Salvia are easier to paint after the foliage is blocked in. I use mixes of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White for the leaves.


The thick paint of the lavender blooms is gently “Laid” on top of the underlying color. I have to be very careful not to pick up any of the leaf or wall color on my brush. I don’t want it to muddy the flowers made of Dioxazine Purple + White. I also wipe my brush after every stroke with toilet tissue. This insures my brush is clean; a clean brush makes for bright, crisp colors on the canvas.


Sunlight tip-toes down the tall Salvia blooms. Those blossoms in the sun are delineated with a very light mix of White + Dioxazine Purple.


All of the Petunias are blocked in with mixtures of Dioxazine Purple + Magenta + White and Magenta + White. The leaves are mixes of Ultramarine Blue + Lemon Yellow + a touch of Cadmium Yellow Medium.


The deep centers of the Petunias are painted with a mix of Magenta + a tiny bit of Liquin. To see this better you may click on the image to enlarge the picture.


Hollyhocks are favorites of mine. The shadows of the large flowers are made with combinations of White + Ultramarine Blue, White + Pthalo Blue, White + Dioxazine Purple and White + Pthalo Blue + a touch of Lemon Yellow. I just let the colors kind of smoosh together as I work.


The broad leaves are made of mixes of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium + White. I use my large Bright (square) brush to work the greens around the masses of lavenders and blues, helping to shape the flowers.


After the centers of the Hollyhock flowers are made I come back with pure White to highlight those blossoms in the sunshine.


Red Orange Irises dance in the gentle breeze whispering though the courtyard.

sk3216-a-kiss-of-sunshine-24x30A Kiss of Sunshine       24 inches by 30 inches

Our little Provence cottage and garden are brightened by A Kiss of Sunshine. After the piece has dried a few days I’ll spray it with a thin coat of Grumbacher Retouch Varnish and the painting will be ready to ship to our gallery in Sedona. Thank you for following along. Hugs,


November 14, 2016


That’s a tongue twister! And to tell you the truth I don’t have a clue how to say it! But the common name for this beautiful plant cascading over the roof is Bell Vine! The flowers are actually shaped like little bells! I use the corner of a small Bright (square) brush to delineate the individual blossoms. The leaves are much like the sweet potato vine I love to paint, Heart shaped!


Next we’ll lay the pavers! The entire surface of the courtyard floor is covered, establishing the light and shadow pattern.


After making perspective lines between the tiles, I draw the horizontal crevices into the wet paint with a fine liner brush.


Sunlight catches the leading edge of the individual tiles. So they are accentuated with a lighter shade of the floor color.


I think this wrought iron plant stand is so cool. Wish I could find one like it for our garden!


All of the terra cotta containers are completed, using the same mixes as the tiles. Some of the pots are made darker by adding some MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) into the mixtures. Another detail I especially like is the brick window sills. That’s all for today. Hugs,

I Adore Shutters

November 12, 2016


My first step is to block in the vine draping over the tile roof. I use mixes of Alizarin Crimson + Magenta + White for the blossoms while Viridian Green + White makes the foliage.


After blocking in the vines the tile roof is painted with thick, textured brushstrokes. Then the shadows on the building are painted with several mixes of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White and Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange + MUD + White. Even though the building is white the parts in the sun are still made with light shades of White + MUD and White + Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange.


I’ll come back later when the walls are drier and add highlights of pure White.


I’m not sure what it is about shutters that call to me, they just seem so cozy and quaint. These are painted with mixes of Pthalo Blue + a bit of Cadmium Orange + White. My arm is braced against the mahl stick to steady my hand as I delineate the edges of the individual boards making up the shutter.


The same mixtures are used for the door and windows.


A cute, bronze lantern nestles next to the door. At this point the blue tiles on the platform under the shuttered window are just washed in with Ultramarine Blue. I’ll come back and finish them when I do the floor. Don’t forget, you can enlarge any of the pictures by clicking on the image. And always feel free to ask questions, the main reason I write this blog is to help my fellow artists. HAPPY PAINTING!


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,