July 30, 2016

324 Strange Frida

Frida324 Strange Frida

18x24 inches :: original oil painting on stretched canvas

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I referenced a black and white photo of Frida Kahlo for this work. I first blocked in the values and then took liberties to add colors other than black and white where you see them. Of all the quotes attributed to her, here is one of my favorites:

"I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought, there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there you read this and know that yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.”

Here's to you and me and all the others who the world might classify as strange. :-)

July 29, 2016

323 Polar Bear

Polar bear

323 Polar Bear

14x11 inches :: original oil painting on canvas panel

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I used a beautiful photograph of a swimming polar bear by @paulnicklen via @natgeo for this work. What a majestic creature. As I frequently use art photography as references I wonder: what is the value of painting a subject that has already been brilliantly captured via photography?

I'm not sure I have a clear-cut answer to that. I just know that I have room in my heart to love intensely though differently: both a photograph and a painting of the same subject. That's the wonder about the heart, I think.


July 28, 2016

322 Profound Salute

322 Profound Salute

6x6 inches :: oil painting on gessobord

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My daughter is 20 and my son is 18. Upon his coming of age, we received a piece of mail from the federal government stating that my son needed to return a form indicating that he is a male, he is American, and that he exists ... alive and well to potentially be called if the nation ever needs him to serve.

The correspondence really took me by surprise. It's one thing to conceptually know that that's how our system works and a whole different matter when my baby boy is asked to identify himself under such a context.

I have always been puzzled by the tension amongst those who voice opposition to war and those who voice support for our troops. Puzzled because I have never seen those two sentiments as contradictory. I am a human and a mom who opposes at every conceptual level, war and battle. I am a human and a mom who will always be moved to regard our troops with the deepest gratitude and highest respect and indebtedness for their service.

In this important election year, I will cast my vote for the next Commander-in-Chief who I believe will not lead any of our sons and daughters into battle based on whims, moods, or a reckless desire to win and rule over and impose a will on me.

And with our current President Obama and First Lady, I stand to profoundly salute the men and women to whom I am deeply and forever indebted.

I used a photo of solders at Miller Park Stadium by @jaklingler to reference for this work.


RelevanceAfter attending my 30th high school reunion recently, so many memories and emotions have been swished around for me, as I contemplate them all ... about how to measure and determine time, reality, illusion, and existence.

In Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Carlo Rovelli says this about such matters:

"We say that only the things of the present exist: the past no longer exists and the future doesn't exist yet. But in physics there is nothing that corresponds to the notion of "now." Compare "now" with "here." "Here" designates the place where a speaker is: for two different people "here" points to two different places. Consequently "here" is a word the meaning of which depends on where it is spoken ... "Now" also points to the instant in which the word is uttered ... but no one would dream of saying that things "here" exist, whereas things that are not "here" do not exist. So then why do we say that things that are "now" exist and that everything else doesn't?"

Here's another great passage:

"There is no longer space that "contains" the world, and there is no longer time "in which" events occur. There are only elementary processes wherein quanta of space and matter continually interact with one another."

I know. In one moment I feel the clarity of such concepts and then in another moment they turn muddy and tangled.

Like most of my days, I will paint today. With each stroke, I'll try my hardest to be here, in the now. But I know that the here and now that I aim to be in is MY here and now. I know yours is different. And if we are lucky, our differences will continue to interact in ways that we can't fully understand ... but which is fundamental to the evidence that we exist and therefore we have relevance. We all do.




July 27, 2016

321 Actually I Meant Three


321 Actually I Meant Three

6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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I referenced a photo by Jeff Klingler @jaklingler for this work. I took some liberties and added part of a line from Kate Nash's song, The Nicest Thing that says: "I wish that you knew when I said two sugars, actually I meant three."

I love the nuances of life. Without them, life would be just too stark and unbearable, I think. I wrestle with this love, though. Sometimes wishing for the comfort of the explicit.

But then I would have to forego those achingly beautiful moments when someone actually does know that when I said two sugars, actually I meant three.

July 26, 2016

320 Lonestar

Shine down320 Lonestar

12 x 12 inches :: oil on canvas panel

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I referenced a beautiful photo from @andrea.margaret for this work. A great study in shadows, light, and creation of drama through a limited palette. Had this song by Norah Jones envelope the studio while painting it ...

Lonestar, where are you out tonight?
This feeling I'm trying to fight
It's dark and I think that I would give anything
For you to shine down on me

How far you are I just don't know
The distance I'm willing to go
I pick up a stone that I cast to the sky
Hoping for some kind of sign

Lonestar, where are you out tonight?
This feeling I'm trying to fight
It's dark and I think that I would give anything
For you to shine down on me
For you to shine down on me

319 Cute Duck

Lucky Duck319 Cute Duck

16 x 12 inches :: acrylic then oil on canvas panel

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Sometimes I wonder if I ought to have a more sophisticated and academic reason for selecting a particular subject. But the truth is that frequently it just comes down to when I think something is super cute and I feel like painting it. Like this baby duck swimming in the water. So cute! It's another work that I started by painting under layers with acrylic paint and then over layers with oils. (You can paint oils over acrylics but not the other way around.) I suppose also I was drawn to this photo I found on the Internet when I saw that the duck was partially in water ... a genre that I continue to be interested in.


July 25, 2016

318 That Very Shift

Lighthouse318 That Very Shift

18x24 inches :: acrylic and then oil on stretched canvas

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This painting first started out with acrylic paints on canvas. It was actually something I did as a demonstration while teaching a private painting lesson several days ago. After taking two days off from painting (in order to travel Bakersfield to attend my 30th high school reunion), I decided today to paint right on top of my acrylic work using oil paints and referencing a photo of the Pigeon Point Lighthouse by @jude_allen. I enjoyed how the houses I had made with the acrylic under layers worked together with the oil over layers to create a neighborhood of sorts, to surround the lighthouse.

While at the reunion, a friend from high school asked me where I was with my thoughts about God. I said that for the most part, I'm pretty much in the pocket of "I don't know" but that the more I get opportunities to really look at the vastness of the sky, into the petals of a flower, that I feel a shift from my "I don't know" to a "maybe there is." The sky in this work makes me feel that very shift.


July 22, 2016

317 Maple Bars

Maple bars317 Maple Bars

8x6 inches :: oil painting on gessobord

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My favorite donut? The maple bar. I mean, is there anything else as perfect? I used an image from the internet as reference.

July 21, 2016

316 Gerbera Daisies

316 Gerbera Daisies316 Gerbera Daisies

12 x 12 inches :: original oil painting on canvas panel

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My husband came home with these golden-peachy Gerbera Daisies a couple of days ago ... enough to fill two jars to beautify two rooms. They've been going strong in full bloom, and I decided to paint them today. Such happy flowers they are!

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