Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Another Workshop, Arists Sessions, and a Sneak Preview

I would like to draw your attention to the right of my blog where I have made some additions to the Upcoming Classes list. There you will find a Painting from Photos Workshops, that I have added due to popular demand, and because I really see a need for it in the community. Many people are working from photos and are struggling. I derive inspiration from both photos and real life. I know some great techniques and strategies for working from photos. In these workshops you can choose your medium of either acrylic or oil paint.

I am also offering Artist Sessions. One is where artists can get the chance to work from real live models. It is hard as an artist, to pay for model time on one's own and the camaraderie from working next to other artist is invaluable.


Second I am offering an Artists Working Side by Side artist session where practicing artists can bring in something to work on and/or stuff you want feedback on from other artists. You get to see how and what other artists are working on. It is great for meeting other other artists and the conversations are always interesting. It is open to almost any medium. And, yes, that is not a miss print, the charge is $5.00 to cover the cost of the use of the space and of coffee and tea and such. I have had a few artist sessions already and they are extremely inspiring and energizing. Artists can come and go as they please but I ask that you send me an email or a call so that I know how many artists to expect.


Above is a sneak preview. I am feeling a twinge of guilt for not posting any recent paintings lately. I want people to know that I am working on something. So, here it is. A Sneak Preview. It is the long beginnings of my latest painting that is taking me many hours just to get to this point. It is quite a bit larger than most of my other still lifes. I really feel like it is taking me somewhere. All though it is time consuming it is quite rewarding as well. If some are confused on what the subject is, well I have been looking at it for so long that I almost know the image off by heart, it is a colorful beaded necklace. It really lends itself to a feeling of abstraction in it's color and unrealistic scale. It has become all about color, shape, paint, and the relationship of everything to everything. One color determines and relates to the next. The space between the beads is just as important as the beads themselves. I really recommend that others try this as well. It is a great exercise on the act of looking. I spend as much time looking and studying the beads as I do painting them. The beads are so many different colors that it is really challenging my color mixing skills. It is definitely not a monochromatic painting. I often recommend to students that are just beginning to paint, especially in oil paint, is to keep everything simple. I start them off using very small color pallets. Well, this painting is everything but simple. You would think that it being just one necklace that that would keep things simple, but it doesn't. This necklace is so complex. The drawing was very difficult to get it just the way I wanted it. The beads are all different shapes and sizes and I would be drawing what I thought was the scale I wanted and then I would end up with a tiny necklace in the bottom corner of the painting. So I took my camera and took a photo of it from my perspective that I was painting the necklace from. I made it black and white and used it as a compositional reference to get the scale of the beads and necklace to where I wanted it on the canvas. I wanted the composition of the necklace to push to the outer most edges of the canvas. It leads your eye around like a train track visiting all the little jeweled areas where magic happens, ( not the kind where little freaky elves jump out and bite on your ankles, that is not the feeling I'm going for). Like you are taking a trip across the country and you come to find in the different towns and fields, colors and shapes you never knew existed before whether it is in the landscape or in the characters you meet along the way.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I want to send a big Thank you out to everyone for attending my Winter Session Open House and Registration Weekend. It was great to have coffee with people and chat, and I even got to do some painting. The conversations were very inspiring and informative. People expressed their opinions and discussed what they need as art students and fellow artists. Our community is lacking things such as model sessions and the organized space and time for artists to get together, and that is why I am here to fill in what this community needs. I had some fantastic realizations and I am still buzzing from all the creative energy.

I have been working on the same painting for the past two weeks. It is more time consuming then I thought it would be, but the results I am getting and the amount I am learning from the process is staggering. I will post the painting as soon as I am done. Also I am starting to get together resource material to start some larger works. I can't wait!

I would also like to mention that if you feel so inclined to comment on my work, I more than encourage you to do so. You can just hit the comment link below the post. You do not need to sign in. All you do is write your comment then type in the disguised word in the box (this is to verify that you are a real person using that computer and not a computer sending junk) and hit the button. I would really appreciate it. I would love to hear what other people think of my work.

If you enjoy my blog, please enter your email into the subscriptions box and you will receive an email each time I post something on my blog. Then you will be kept up to date. Your email is not shared with anyone and you will receive only updates of my blog and nothing else.

Once again thanks.

Monday, November 17, 2008

First Model Session in New Classroom Studio!

(Untitled so far, have any ideas?)
November 12, 2008
16" x 20"
Oil on Canvas
I am not quite sure what to call this one. There is a lot going on in this painting especially in the figures facial expression and in the pose. Look at how he is holding his arms around himself. What kind of emotions does this communicate to you? I am a little torn as to what is really going on in this one. This model is new to modeling, but at the same time he is a natural at it, and his features are fantastic to paint. Especially his facial features. I will have to get him a bit seasoned but I am definitely going to use him as a regular model for myself and for my classes, when he is available.


In His Element: Man in Underwear on Couch
November 12, 2008
16" x 12"
Oil on Board
This is more of a sketch. It was done in about 30min. The brush strokes are really telling of this as they are choppy. This is neither positive or negative, it is what it is. I did it before the painting at the top of this post and I realized the importance of the background colors. These ones really didn't reflect the models character at all. It is too harsh for this model. All though he may at first meeting come across as straight forward and comments abruptly, he has something else going on underneath, an underlying softness and naivete that seems quite vulnerable.
I will be having more Open Model Sessions for artists to get a chance to work from a model (please note this is without instruction, just artists working side by side from a model, though I will be teaching model classes and workshops in the new year). The next model session will either be Monday night Dec.1st or Tuesday night Dec.2nd, I haven't finalized it yet, I will post the final date as soon as I hear back from my models. It's an incredibly fun time, artists, a model, art, and usually a snack break. If you are interested please contact me: daphne@cotesystems.com .

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Winter Courses 2009

Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to encourage everyone to take a look to the right side of my blog. There I have posted the classes that I will be teaching in the New Year. I do need to say that space is limited for students (especially in my figurative class held in Stony Plain) so please register ASAP. I will be teaching from my own classroom and at the Allied Arts Council. Also, I wanted to make mention that I do not post my personal information beyond my email address for obvious security reasons. So, if you are interested or have any questions please email me. I will respond promptly. If you may be interested in the open house please email me and I will send you directions to the studio/classroom.

I am also wondering if there are artist interested in attending model sessions? You would be working on your own next to other artist in front of a Live Model! It is always difficult to find models to pose, so I will provide the space, time, and find the model. The cost would be $10.00 for one 3hour session.

Hope you can attend the Open House and Registration Weekend.
thanks,
-Daphne Congo

An Illustrated Life Video

I would like to share this with you. A good friend of mine sent me an email about this video she came across in her travels through the internet. Both of us have found it very inspiring and hopefully it will encourage people to continue to sketch, doodle, write, and dream in their sketchbooks. Sketchbooks are often like journals and are important to the creative mind. Also you don't have to worry about forgetting about an idea if you doodle it down. I keep a sketchbook handy at all times. I will often wake up in the middle of the night thinking I am some creative genius and have found the perfect idea, so I go and doodle it down and make notes. By doing this I can relieve myself of ideas that plague me so that I can sleep.
Enjoy!




video taken from: http://mattiasa.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Unwrapped

Unwrapped
October 30, 2008
8" x 10"
Oil on Board
In the painting class I teach on Monday nights, I set up still lifes of mandarin oranges slightly unwrapped of their paper on top of these glistening white plates that sparkled like jewelery. Then it was set on blue paper. The layers and shapes that the colors and the shadows made were very inspiring. Everyone's paintings that night really inspired me and I got together with a friend of mine and set up the same still life. I loved looking at the subject and I really like this painting. What do you think? Does it repeatedly catch your eye as it does mine?
The following week I guided the class through a positive critique that went incredibly well, thanks to everyone's participation. We focused on Why paintings work and Why we are drawn by certain paintings. I will be holding a workshop in the new year of positive critiquing and where people can bring in their work and we can talk about it positively. We will also discuss how to take criticism and how to discuss art constructively. If you are interested please check out my blog tomorrow as I will have all my upcoming courses and sessions posted.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hello everyone,
I am wanting to post my newest painting, but my computer is temporarily out of commission. I hope to be up an blogging again by the end of this week and I will have a schedule for January posted for courses and sessions that I will be holding in my private classroom.
Oh, and thank you to Deltra for kindly letting me check on my blog and email while my computer is down and out.
-Daphne

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Estranged and Reconciled Mental Cans


Reconciled Mental Cans
October, 25, 2008
9 1/2" x 9 1/2"
Oil on Board


Estranged Mental Cans

October 25, 2008

12" x 9"

Oil on Board


On Saturday I had an 'Studio Christening' to kick off the opening of my new home studio and classroom space. I had a group of fellow artist come over and fill the new space full of creative energy. We painted, we ate, and we talked about art. It was fantastic! The space really proved what it is capable of. The space can hold more people than I thought, which is excellent. So, thank you to all of those that attended.

Everyone had some great ideas that really got me thinking. Everyone has mentioned that they would like to do this again. Maybe I should have an artist drop in night? Also, I have now found connections to start up model sessions. They would be open to everyone. I maybe able to start up a figurative class as well. I think the space would really lend to that and it would be a great opportunity for local artists and art students since I have not found any model sessions or figurative classes available in my community. So, anyone interested in figurative model work or figurative classes, please contact me. As well, any artist who would like to attend a drop in night where you could meet other artist and get advice, tips, or just enjoy the environment of other working artists, please contact me. I would like to put a few sessions together for November and create a Calendar for regular artist sessions, classes, and workshops, starting in January, that is if people show an interest. So, contact me and show some interest!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Painters Alchemy

Painters Alchemy
September 20, 2008
12" x 4 1/4"
Oil on Board
I have been longing to paint glass for a while, and while I was fighting to open these little jars, I realized they would give me the perfect opportunity. I still have not managed to get them opened. They are filled with oils that I paint with but they have been sealed for over a week and have sealed themselves shut. I love how the light made the oils glow. The subject matter often makes me feel like a mad scientist. I use combinations of oil and paints and I try out new products and methods that appeal to me but while I mix all these things I never measure them or write them down. I experiment through feel. I may just be the messiest and most unorganized scientist.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dependant Onions

Dependant Onions
September 6, 2008
12" x 12"
Oil on Board
These onions I did on Monday before my Adults Oil Painting class, Simple Beauty in Everyday Life, that I instruct. I had my students paint on a dark ground and so it inspired me to do the same. With the main focus being tone. These onions I set under dramatic lighting. It really got me interested in cloth. I think I need to work more with cloth. I find that one painting often, actually almost always, leads me into the next painting. It really influences where I will go next.
I have to thank my sister for bringing over really good tunes to paint to. I love painting to music. It is hard to paint without other distractions like music. I let my left brain get distracted by the music so my right brain can focus on painting. When I get to the point where I cannot hear the music anymore, even though it is still playing, then I know I am "in the zone". Nothing but good things come out when I am " in the zone".

A Pear On Date Night


September 4, 2008

A Pear On Date Night

9" x 6"

Oil on Board


I have been waiting to use this cloth as a background but everything I tried it with just didn't do. I needed objects that could be worthy of this cloth. It is a dress of mine and it really set the mood for this painting. It helped to personify these pears into not just pears but a pair of characters. I felt like they were caressing each other on an evening out in a corner of a darkly lit restaurant, maybe they are waiting for dessert.

Technically, I am having difficulty capturing the blacks in my paintings with my camera. They usually catch too much light and produce a glare or reflect a blue tint instead of a browner blackish value. I have also tried to fix this using my computer but with no success. I just try to capture the paintings the best I can and I avoid digital touch ups, I find it tampers with the true image too much. And, well, the real painting is always better than a reproduction anyway. Which reminds me, I should go to a local gallery to visit art in person. Maybe meet some new paintings. I encourage everyone to go out this weekend and meet some art in person.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rising Like the Sun

Rising Like the Sun
9" x 6"
September 30, 2008
Oil on Board
I seem to paint flowers when they are on their are about to wither away. Maybe I am a procrastinator. I like the way it gives the petals more character. I like the color in this one and the texture. It reminds me of a landscape with the sun rising on a clear blue sky. I must say shadows really make this painting.

A Pair of Pears

A Pair of Pears
12" x 9"
September 30, 2008
Oil on Board
The more I look at this painting the more I like it. It really frustrated me for a while. I have tried some new things with my painting surface and I am not quite sure I like it. So during this painting I really felt like I was struggling against the surface. In the end I just said to heck with it and took a bigger brush ( because if there is ever a problem I usually just say use a bigger brush and give'r) and I just made a few strokes and told my self this is as good as it is going to get. So I set it aside and did a new painting and when I came back to it it didn't look so bad as I thought it was. In fact it is looking pretty damn good, if I may say so myself.

Sexy Pear

Sexy Pear
5 1/2" x 7"
September 29, 2008
Oil on Board
This is a Demo I did for the class I taught on Monday. We went though composition and focused on tone to create dramatic paintings. This pear reminds me of someone on stage giving a dramatic monologue where a self centred actor is really getting off on the attention. I always seem to personify pears. They are so shapely and seem to have such personality and character. They like to pose for me too.

Day Dreaming


Day Dreaming

4 1/2" x 12"

September 28, 2008

Oil on Board


On Sunday, everyone was asleep, even my husband. The sun was brightly shinning and it was hot compared to previous days. The sky was perfect and the light was perfect. I snuck out onto my front porch and did this painting. I look at this view everyday and dream about painting it but painting with two small children in the midst of toys is never a good idea no matter what the light or view is like. Well, I must have done something right because I was given my chance.


Here is my theory on the fall sky, in case you might be wondering. It was brought up by a friend who asked what makes the sky so different in the fall? Well, I think it is because the color of the leaves in the fall and the different direction of the sun makes the contrast of the clear blue sky vibrate against the color of the orange tinged trees. The combination makes the trees and sky pop against each other.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Early Fall Rising

Fall Rising
September 21, 2008
12" x 9"
Oil on board
Sold



Early Rising

September 21, 2008

9" x 6"

Oil on Board


I have just finished getting over a really bad head cold, so I am sorry for the delay in posting. I went out on a really chilly morning with a good friend of mine and we painted together on one of the back roads close to where I live. The sun was coming up, mist was rising, the light was fantastic, my fingers were freezing, and my nose was running. It was a good day of painting.




Lemon Interrogation

Lemon Interrogation
September 22, 2008
9" x 6"
Oil on Board
This is my demo painting that I did during the oil painting class I am teaching on Monday nights. I was sniffling the whole time and I am quite sure I made no sense whatsoever. I was sick and didn't want to take anything because I was worried I would get drowsy, and I needed to drive myself. Now looking back at that night my recollection of it seems quite hazy as if I conducted it in a drunken stupor. But my wonderful class stuck by and continued on. I really put them to the test. I have a feeling it is going to be a great bunch, and I am so excited for the next class as I am no longer in a snotty trance.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sneakers

Sneakers
September 18, 2008
14" x 11"
Oil on Board
I could hardly wait to get to these shoes. I promised myself I could paint them after I did the paintings of the flowers. These shoes are my reward for painting the flowers before they passed on. I loved painting my daughters tiny red shoes. I like how over sized the laces are. I had to really hold back from getting too intense on the details. I did this by using larger brushes so I couldn't get too finicky.
I have been posting my work usually the day after the work is completed because I need the drying time so I can put my signature on without it turning into an unsightly, illegible, blob of paint. So, I go through my day anxious to post my newest work. I love posting my work and sending it out there to the abyss to see what will happen or if anything will happen at all. I love it.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thinking of Amber and Autumn

Thinking of Amber and Autumn
September 16, 2008
12" x 9"
Oil on Board
I had a vase full of these flowers and they have such a life to them. I cut them from my garden and they have kept for weeks now. I finally noticed some of the flowers had passed on so I quickly grabbed this one that was still quite vibrant to paint it.
This flower reminded me of my sister-in-law who loves the fall especially fall colors. I was so intrigued by the colors in the petals, they reminded me of her hair, the colors at her wedding, the colors in her home, and I always seem to spend the most time with her in the fall. So here is a painting that I would consider to be almost a portrait because it came into being through thoughts of a wonderful woman and what her husband would probably call, her weird obsession lately with orange.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Better Together

Better Together
completed September 8, 2008
approx. 4' x 3'
Oil on Canvas
This is a painting I did as a commemorative piece, which is something I rarely do. I almost always refuse to do commissioned work. In this painting I tried to capture the emotional pull between this couple. He really can't keep his hands off her it is very heartwarming to see a couple so in love. I wasn't going to post it at first because I didn't want people to think that I would do commissioned pieces but when I showed it to my mother she cried, so I thought it must be good or she is hormonal. So, I am posting it. Throughout much of my University days I did mostly figurative work, so this is nothing new to me.
I am putting this work out there so that it may raise some interest or some discussion between people.
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Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Gift of Herbs


A Gift of Herbs
September 10, 2008
24" x 18"
Oil on Canvas
Sold
I don't think that I will paint while my kids are around for a long time! This was a nightmare to complete. My kids were running around and causing havoc it forced me to paint extremely quickly without paying much attention to what I was doing, which also helped me to catch the morning light. I was constantly keeping an ear open to make sure bad things weren't happening, which they were anyways. I learned some good things through the process. Sometimes you need to think about what you are painting and other times you need to lose yourself to it and not question what you are doing. There has to be a happy balance. I do have to thank my friend Deltra for such an inspiring gift. I came home to find this lovely gift of herbs on my step. I woke the next morning to see the morning sun light making the box and herbs glisten. I brought my painting equipment into my kitchen and painted it as it was. It still makes me smile when I see it sitting on my kitchen table.
I have been spending quite a bit of my time lately working on a larger painting that I will soon post. I have been very fortunate to get more time than normal to paint. It is a special painting that I can't wait to post.

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Friday, September 5, 2008

Subscribe to My Blog

I have recently added a sign up for a subscription to my blog, for those who are interested. All you need to do is enter your email address into the box on the lower right of your screen then go to the link emailed to you to activate the subscription. You will not be asked for any personal info or anything like that all that is needed is your email address. Then whenever I post a new painting or other information, it will automatically be sent to you by email. Man, I love technology, well sometimes.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Fading Sun

Fading Sun
September 4, 2008
12" x 9"
Oil on Board
I have recently been kid swaping with an artist friend of mine. Not only are we friends but luckly our son's like eachother and are great friends as well. What more could two artists hope for, especially when they have two year olds. So today my son is at her house, he has a playdate and I have painting time.
I don't quite know what my latest obsession is with oranges and blues. It isn't intentional. I didn't realize this trend till today. I wonder if it will change once winter hits?
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I have just arrived back from an excellent trip to British Columbia where I spent time with relatives. I hope to get back into my studio tomorrow (I am quite under the weather today). My trip included being in such a beautiful, humid, green and lush environment, and now I come home to fall weather. It has hit me today as I wake up to the chilled morning air while I let my dog out, that summer is officially over! That also means that I can start looking forward to teaching my classes this fall. Which is always exciting.

Friday, August 8, 2008

August 7th Demonstration

This past thursday I gave a demonstration at the Allied Arts Council in Spruce Grove. I must throw a thank you out to all of those that attended. I think it went well and I enjoyed the group very much. I could feel the creativity that was buzzing through the room. I hope that it went home with everyone, I could tell everyone was itching to get back to thier own work.
Thank you to Judy for sending me the great photos that were taken at the demonstration. I think there is an interest for my future class and if anyone is interested in attending a weekend workshop please let me know by email preferably: daphne@cotesystems.com
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Here I am!
Painting away, I really zoned out at times. I find I cannot talk at all while I am painting. I cannot make those shifts in my brain.
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Demo Painting
Red Tomato on Blue Ground
August 7, 2008
8" x 10"
Oil on Board
This painting was done during the above mentioned demonstration given at the Allied Arts Council in Spruce Grove. I really enjoyed painting this tomato the stems really took on a life of their own. It was great to talk to people afterwards about the painting and to get feed back. I also enjoyed hearing peoples comments while I painted. It really felt like a pat on the back. Everyone's creative energy filled the room and made me see things very clearly.
Thanks again.
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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Vibrant Cluster

A Vibrant Cluster
August 6, 2008
10" x 8"
Oil on Board
These juicy little balls of joy are right fresh from my garden. I had to quickly paint them before they were eaten! I have made a space for my family and children to hang out in while I paint. I tried it out today with the kids and had great success, as you can see by the above produced painting. I have recently switched from painting on rough boards that contain a noticable grain to a slick masonite panel. I like the roughness of the boards, especially for landscapes and impasto type work. Masonite helps things become (as my yoga teacher would say) "juicy" and "delicious".
Posted by Picasa

Fallen Bloom


Fallen Bloom
August 5, 2008
5" x 7"
Oil on Canvas
Well, I was quite frustrated with this one. I was quite aggravated with it that I just about didn't post it, not that it isn't a good painting, I just have a personal grudge against it. We really struggled against each other. As always those types of struggles teach me more than the easier quickly produced variety of paintings.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Artist Demonstration

I will be doing a demonstration at the Allied Arts Council in Spruce Grove (in the public library) this thursday August 7th from 1-4pm. I will be showing some of my recent work and talking about my currant painting practices. I will also be speaking about the course I will be teaching through the Allied Arts Council this fall entitled Oil Painting, Simple Beauty in Everyday Life. Everyone is welcome. I hope for it to be an inspiring experience.
If you would like any further information you can check out the Allied Arts Council website at www.alliedartscouncil.com

-Daphne

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Picnic of Plums

A Picnic of Plums
July 28, 2008
8" x 10"
Oil on board
It all started with a larger painting that I am starting and I was waiting for my underpainting to dry so I picked up the glass and striped bag and headed to work, then after the kids went to bed at night I was waiting for another layer on that larger painting to dry so I grabbed some plums that are just about ready to melt they are so ripe. I do recommend having someone read a really good book to you while you paint. It really distracts your left brain and keeps it occupied while your right brain can go all out and just create it's heart out. I wasn't thinking at all about the plums I was just seeing and doing, seeing and doing and I really think it shows.
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Candy Striped Water

Candy Striped Water
July 28, 2008
9 1/2" x 9 1/2"
Oil on board
I had a fantastic day of painting yesterday. My sister came over and read to me, and the kids took an awesome nap while I painted. This painting I just had to post eventhough it is not even dry yet. I will have to take better pictures of it at a later date but, I just had to put it up here. I was inspired by this gift bag I had received and I loved how the colorful stripes shattered a bit when I placed my glass of water in front of it. Finding beauty in everyday life, at it's finest!
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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Don't Forget...

Don't Forget...
July 5, 2008
9 1/2" x 9 1/2"
Oil on board
This is the first painting to come out of my own studio! The stage was set. My walls freshly painted white, kids both down for a nap, husband fishing, all was quite and I found the two most used things in my life right now. I would not be the same without them, and they are the two things I can never forget somewhere.Posted by Picasa

Three is a Crowd

Three is a Crowd
May 2008
9 1/2" x 9 1/2"
Oil on board
I just couldn't help it, I know the title is corny but don't you feel it? Can't you see them conversing? I really enjoyed creating this painting and I think it shows. I really felt a breakthrough in this one. It drew me back to the reasons why I love painting. I didn't feel like this was labourous at all. All I felt was joy and light while painting.Posted by Picasa

Opened Up

Opened Up
May 2008
9 1/2" x 9 1/2"
Oil on board
The photo of this painting does not do it justice. I must work at getting better photos of it. The flower is just so delicate and I think I really captured the paper light weight feeling of the pedals. The dark back ground is extremely intense, unfortunately it is hard to capture with a camera because of the glare.Posted by Picasa

Greenery and Glass

Greenery and Glass
May 2008
9 1/2" x 9 1/2"
Oil on Board
This got me back into the routine of painting. There were no kids around and it was done at night. I am a night person. That is when my best work happens.
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Eggs for Breakfast

Eggs for Breakfast
May 2008
9 1/2" x 9 1/2"
Oil on board
Well at least it is colorful. Not much more to say. It is one of those paintings where I learned a lot. I am quite sure that others may relate. Duds are part of the process.
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