Friday, July 31, 2015


The little girl is finished.  Finishing touches today included work on her hair and hand.  Now I can move on to a few others that have been waiting patiently on my studio floor to be finished.  I think I've learned enough from this one to finish the others.  That is, if I can remember how I did this one.  That always seems to be the problem.  I know just what I want to do, but when I get started on a new painting, all that seems to leave my head.  Just another thing I have to work on.  I have read that many well known artists are still looking for perfection, so hopefully, I'm not too far off.  As long as I'm searching, I am growing, and that is what counts.  Becoming stagnant and working in the same manner all the time just doesn't help an artist grow. 

Enough of that, here's the painting.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

FINISHED - well almost.

When I took the photo I really thought this painting was finished, but now that I see it closer I can see just a couple corrections that must be made.  Today I worked on skin color, hair, clothing, and the background.  Pretty much over the whole canvas.  I'll finish it tomorrow, but there really won't be a lot of difference.

I feel as though I've loosened up enough to complete a painting that has been sitting around since last winter.  We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


So far I'm liking what is happening.  I decided today that the background was too dark for a little girl, so changed it up - a lot!  Much better I'm thinking.  Tomorrow I work on the dress, hair, and a few corrections that need to be made.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

DAY 3 - New Style

I was able to work a few hours today and again was happy with what happened on the canvas.  I'm thinking the head is nearly finished, so now it's just the arm, hand, dress and background.  Today I worked on adding more lights and color to the face, hair,
 and on the eyes.  It seems that nearly every stroke I make teaches me something else about how to make the brush work in a different manner and for different effects.  This should be good for doing more plein aire painting.

Monday, July 27, 2015


It was good to take a break from this painting and let it semi dry before working on it.  I spent the weekend in and near Sisseton, SD, painting en plein aire.  It was great.  It was the first (of many I hope) for that area.  There were many painters there and so much to paint.  I definitely have to return there - probably in the fall with the color changes.  The activities were all held at the Farm Bed and Breakfast south of Sisseton.  It is a very old home which has been in the same family since the late 1800's.  Of course, it has been modernized, and Betsy, the hostess has put lots of time and money into developing it as a B & B.  It is such a peaceful place and would be very relaxing to stay there.  I was able to complete three small paintings, which was okay for 1& 1/2 days.  There were so many more I would have liked to do. 

The hospitality was wonderful, and for that I have to thank Alexis and Tonya, two art teachers in Sisseton, and Betsy. 

Today went well and I was able to retain the freshness of the painting, leaving brush strokes where they were placed rather than trying to blend them together.  This has been a goal of mine for a long time now and I feel like things are finally beginning to come together.  I completely changed the background color and made corrections to the drawing from the first day.  Hopefully, I'll be able to finish it in another day or two.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


I've been working most of the summer on trying to loosen up my painting style and make the paintings more interesting and not as labored looking.  Now I'm finally feeling like maybe I'm onto something.

I started this portrait this afternoon.  So far it is only a sketch, but I'm happy with what
I'm seeing.  Sketching with pencil in a journal was the first step.  Then I began painting with a limited palette without first sketching on the canvas.  The background was painted with a mixture of terre verde and burnt sienna.  Then, I wiped out much of the facial area so that the paint I added wouldn't pick up so much of the green.  Local color came next.  I'm working with yellow ochre light, cadmium red, white, burnt sienna, cadmium yellow, and quin violet.  So far I'm liking the combination so will probably stick with this palette.  This is all done with quite thin paint and would only be considered a sketch.

I have to go to Sioux Falls tomorrow, and then to a plein aire paint out in Sisseton for the weekend, so won't get back to it until Monday.  My intention is to keep track of my progress day by day so that I can have a record of what has worked and what has not. 

I can already see some of the things that need to be done, so am feeling this is a good way to check my work.