Tag Archives | still life


Linocut: Pippins & Braeburns (& Hilary Paynter’s wood engravings)

I’ve been framing small linocut prints to take to the San Diego Artwalk this weekend. I usually meet young people interested in art, but not yet fluent enough financially to be art collectors. Printmaking in small editions is a lower price-point than one of a kind paintings, so little prints are often the first original art a budding collector will buy, and I’m always thrilled to be part of another art-lover’s emergence into the exciting first chapter of lining the nest with beautiful, original art. I know the thrill of finding something you really just have to display in your home. Exhibiting small prints (and showing some of the plates and …[Continue reading]


Watercolor: Afternoon with Wyeth (& the Pros and Cons of Artistic Exposure)

When you make art for the simple joy of creating – there’s incorruptible magic in the act. It’s fueled by your own expression, your personal sense of aesthetics, and your choice of media & subject. The entire adventure belongs to you. But as soon as you think about showing & selling your work – whether via social media, an exhibition, an online shop, or taking commissions – everything changes. Now, you’re making art for other people, and they might give you money for it, or your creative time is fused with desires for winning Best of Show. The switch from private playtime in the studio to taking your art out to the public, or making a …[Continue reading]


Floral Watercolor Still Life – and why we paint what we paint

Surfing the internet entices surreptitious visits to other artists’ studios. The subject of each artists’ work varies; we’ve all seen magnificently executed art featuring everything from a bucket of fish heads to an artfully arranged pile of tangled nude figures. Why an artist choses to paint or draw a particular subject is their secret, but I presume (I know, that’s a dangerous practice) that what we find enticing to render in the studio has something to do with our personal histories. This is my grandmother Margery and one of her dogs (I think this was Gigi, or maybe Buttons, but it was before my time). My maternal …[Continue reading]

a monotype ghost print with watercolor of ornate glass bottles, a bowl of dried rose petals and a persimmon on a sunny window sill

Monotype with Watercolor: Persimmon & Vintage Whiskey Bottles (& a lecture on John Singer Sargent)

Here’s a video you can watch, or just listen to while you’re working on something else… Richard Ormond is the former Director of London’s National Maritime Museum and the former Deputy Director of London’s National Portrait Gallery. He is also one of the world’s leading authorities on John Singer Sargent, who was his great Uncle, and he’s published at least 9 volumes on his work. He spoke at The Art League in Virginia on November 5, 2015, and lucky for us, they posted the hour & twenty minute lecture on youtube, so you can listen & watch it too. Artist extraordinaire Robert Liberace introduces him:  If there are other …[Continue reading]


Pen and Ink Watercolor: Lean In Three (new demo video)

Productive in the Studio Happy September to you! Fall Art Festivals will start for me this weekend (If you’re in Thousand Oaks, CA, be sure to visit the Thousand Oaks Arts Festival and say hello!), and there are no less than five projects underway in my studio. It’s a race to the finish line to get deadlines met, show layouts completed and art packed and delivered, but it’s All Good. New Pen and Ink Tutorial Video I just posted a video of the pear art above on my youtube channel (see below), and I’m wondering if the next video should be an introduction to the …[Continue reading]


Pen & Ink: Afternoon Snack (& a video of the process)

What is a Still Life? From Wikipedia: A still life (plural still lifes) is a work of art depicting mostly inanimate subject matter, typically commonplace objects which may be either natural (food, flowers, dead animals, plants, rocks, or shells) or man-made (drinking glasses, books, vases, jewelry, coins, pipes, and so on). With origins in the Middle Ages and Ancient Graeco-Roman art, still-life painting emerged as a distinct genre and professional specialization in Western painting by the late 16th century, and has remained significant since then. Still life gives the artist more freedom in the arrangement of elements within a composition than do paintings of …[Continue reading]

watercolor techniques like lifting color can be seen on this painting

Watercolor: Shadow Parade (& a video on lifting watercolor)

Do you have a favorite watercolor paper? I’ve had several, and lately, I love Strathmore Plate Finish Bristol paper. The surface is hot pressed, and sized, so it’s slippery-smooth, and luminous under the pigments, and it’s perfect for lifting watercolor. When I paint at art festivals, watercolor artists strolling the shows frequently ask about the paper I’m using, and they usually reply that they’ve never heard of bristol plate finish.  When I ask what they use if they want the option to lift color, the unanimous answer is that they just don’t. Well, I make lots o’ mistakes, kids, so I Do. Lift. …[Continue reading]