Friday, December 30, 2011


This is Jak, my son's roommate, Grant's dog.  Grant took care of the cats (and the mail, and a particulary disgusting hairball) while we were away for our Holiday Journey.  He doesn't like to accept payment, but this year he asked for a portrait of his dog, and I was happy to oblige.  Grant brought him over yesterday and I took photos so I could paint him today.

14" x11"
Acrylic on stretched canvas

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Reflections Challenge

I wanted to do a painting for the Daily Paintworks 'Reflections' challenge, and I wanted to include a horse.  I found an image on MorgueFile I wanted to use, but I also wanted to challenge myself to paint something large.  Thsis one is larger for me, typically I don't go larger than 16"x20" in acrylic.  I had also bought some new acrylic paint I wanted to try.  So, using a 20"x24" deep canvas, four acrylic colors (Australian Sienna, Red Oxide, Prussian Blue and Unbleached Titanium, all from the Derivan Matisse Flow line), and four paint brushes, this is what I came up with.  I love the warm colors!  He's in the DPW Challenge section this week!

Serene Sipper
Acrylic on 1.5 deep stretched canvas

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Commissions? Sigh!

This was the 'practice painting' for a commission - for a black horse.  The pose was right, but the color was too brown, and the mane was too thick.  So I am painting again tonight with lots more blue tones.  I painted over this one - much darker - and now I dont like it as much, but, oh well. 

Practice Pony
10" x 8"
Watercolor on 140# Fabriano paper

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Quiet Sunday Afternoon

Spent the day working on two paintings, but I'm not sure either one is finished yet.  I really liked the values in the reference photo for this one, but the other one was a solid black horse, and I'm struggling with it. 
I may go back and add some more intense color in this one, it feels too quiet.  I love the expression on this one, though.  Hope I don't overwork it too much!

Paint Pony 38
Watercolor on 140# Fabriano paper

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Back from the Big Easy!

Haven't gotten to paint for several days, I was chaperoning 32 college Honors students on a trip to New Orleans.  It was a very busy and exhausting three days, and you can't find free internet in New Orleans, so it was difficult to check email, Facebook, etc.  But everyone made it back in one piece (more or less), and now I can focus on getting a few more paintings done before leaving town for the holidays!

In the Rainforest with John at the Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Chicago Peony 2

When I visited my daughter this past June we went all over Chicago, and I took hundreds of photos.  Whenever I go, I try to visit the Art Institute, but this was the first time I had visited the gardens next door.  They were in full purple and white flush, with dozens of white peonies in bloom.  I loaded several photos into my iPad, and decided to paint one while I was waiting for my car to be serviced months later.  It brought back memories of a wonderful visit.

Chicago Peony 2
6" x 8"
Watercolor on 140# paper

Monday, December 5, 2011


I decided to paint a picture for the Daily Paintworks challenge this week.  I just took the photo a couple of days ago, and had printed it out to use 'someday,' and when I saw the challenge, I thought the time was now!  The challenge is 'man's best friend and their favorite thing.'  Just so happens that one of Mable's favorite things is her ball, but close behind is her sunspot on my bed.  I caught her with the sun warming her chocolate brown coat, and it looked so inviting, I wanted to snuggle with her!   But I painted her instead. 

Mable's Sunspot
6" x6"
Acrylic on Canvas board

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pixie Paint Pony

I challenged myself to paint four small paint ponies (5" x7") in four different styles.  This one is the third one I did, and I was trying to keep the color really vivid, since the reference photo was another brown horse.  This one turned out so bright, I decided it must be a fairy horse!
Too bad horses are color-blind, if they weren't, they might all approach this brilliance! 

Paint Pony 33
7" x 5"
Watercolor on 140# Fabriano paper

Saturday, December 3, 2011


When I first did this one in September, it got a lot of comments, but I think my favorite was 'Rainbow-headed beauty.'  There are many things I like about this painting, the rainbow hues, the slightly curved mane, and the lost-and-found edges within the mane, achieved by using opaque white.  I like his soft gaze.  And I love his lime-green (Skip's green) upper lip!  This is one of my favorites!

Paint Pony 17
8" x 10"
Watercolor on 140# Fabriano paper

Friday, December 2, 2011

Feeling Blue

I like to paint the horses of friends, but I do search for nice reference photos on public domain sites and the morgue file site that allows use of the photos.  When I saw this photo on, it reminded me of a wild mustang, although the description of the photo was just 'Horse's Head.'  I thought I'd depict him feeling sort of blue, with his down-cast eyes and blue face.  I especially enjoyed painting those white eyelashes!

Paint Pony 15 - Moody Mustang
10" x 8"
Watercolor on 140# Fabriano Paper

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Number 9

This inquisitive fellow was done with some intense pinks and blues to go with his intense gaze.  I especially liked the mouth and chin in turquoise, and the perky ears. 
I was disturbed this evening by the story concerning the slaughter of horses in the US for the export of horse meat.  I'm having a difficult time understanding the reasoning and implications for this legislation, and I know there are a lot of people that can give reasoned debate on both sides.  I don't think I will ever be able to support killing these guys for their meat like we do cattle and pigs. 

Paint Pony 9
8" x 10"
Watercolor on 140 # Fabriano paper