Saturday, May 13, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

Cowgirl with Child, 20x16

Happy Mother's Day, and a special thank you to you who subscribe and follow, and to you who leave comments~ you are a blessing to me.  I devoted myself to our boys while they were growing up, and when they left home, I turned my attention to another labor of love.  You are part of this labor of love, which kind of makes us family.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Son Worshipper, 18x24

Son Worshipper, 18x24, Oil Painters of America 2017 National Show, opening soon!

It has been so long since I posted a blog, I actually forgot how to do it.  I had to get google help to get back into my account.  
There are so many outlets now for social media and I am really enjoying facebook and instagram, mostly because they are much more interactive than blogging.  Blogging can feel like talking to yourself, except that talking to yourself requires no effort and no spelling worries :-)  
So I took some time away from my lonely blog to write for some publications and I have to tell you, the response makes that kind of writing so much more fun and gratifying.  
And now I'm taking time away from them because I can't work with deadlines right now; I'm back to the rarefied ether of the blogosphere!  

So, I have been working on some paintings that I have long pictured in my head but have had to figure out just how to create.  This is a LOT harder than painting something that you see with your real eyeballs.  
Some of these paintings have been in my mind for decades before I learned how to paint, and I still don't know how to realize them on canvas.  This one, though, only needed a good ram skull, so you would think it'd be slam-dunk, but it wasn't.  I had a half a dozen people hunting around for a skull for me for OVER TWO YEARS before I finally asked my husband, Russ, if he would get me one for Christmas.
He thought I was kidding.
I won't share my secret of how exactly I convinced him that I was not kidding, but he was convinced that I wasn't joking in time for Christmas.  He found a guy up by Canada somewhere who had this professionally taxidermied skull that had originally come from TEXAS, where I had been looking for OVER TWO YEARS.  
Not to digress...

Like a lot of my paintings, this one was staged in my own backyard, and all parts of it are symbolic.  I am working on another larger one right now that, if it turns out, I will share on the blog as well.

The Oil Painters of America 2017 National Show will be opening in the Eisele Gallery of Fine Art in Cincinnati, Ohio on 12 May.  There are about 200 paintings in the show and the preview looks pretty spectacular.  If you are in the area, it will be worth your while to take a peek.

Also of note, my own gallery, RS Hanna Gallery in Fredericksburg, TX, is having the grand opening of its new space this coming First Friday: 5 May 2017.  They have expanded, during a time when so, so many great galleries have either sold out or have had to shut their doors altogether.  I feel very grateful and indebted to the outstanding leadership and hard work of Shannon Hanna and her whole crew for their tireless work and love.  Please come if you can!  And thank you to John and Patty Curtis, Texas art collectors who bought the first painting that sold on the night of the soft opening: my own Beach Hut!  
It looks like the art world is coming back to life after a long hibernation, and I'm so glad.
Here's the new address:

RS Hanna Gallery
244 West Main Street
Fredericksburg, TX

If you miss First Friday, don't worry: Hanna Gallery isn't going anywhere; come by anytime and see what wonderful things Shannon Hanna has done for the Art World lately. 


Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Change of Pace

This has been a different year, so far.  A good year, but different.

As promised in my last post, I continue onward and upward in the joyous journey called, My Life as an Artist.  It's a journey fraught with twists and blessed with surprises, and it hardly ever goes the way I plan.  I do my due diligence, don't get me wrong; flying by the seat of my pants has never been my forte, no matter what you've heard. 

So I have professionally ventured into plein air painting, having been an avid amateur for more than a decade.  Seeing the field from the field, competitively speaking, instead of from the studio window, has given me a new perspective and some interesting insights.  I was slated to write an article for Oil Painters of America this summer and thought it would be about color, but as I began tromping around en plein air, I came to realize that I had to write about something else.  So I did.
What happened next surprised me.

I was going to copy/paste the article for you here but it would be better for you to go to the OPA site, because the surprising thing happened in the responses.  If you scroll down to the Comments section under the article, you will see what I mean. 
Click here to see the Oil Painters of America article.

Then the next thing that happened was also unexpected: another magazine wanted to do an article on the article and the responses to it.
Click here to see the Outdoor Painter article.

The most conversation took place on Facebook though.  It was fun and a little scary to see it; scary because I felt like some people were thinking that I am against plein air events.  I am not; not at all!  I love them.  Fun because it is comforting to know that you are not alone when you find yourself in an unexpected place~ and I always have fun when there's a group of us!  And also rewarding, as I received several emails from people who said that they were about to hang up their paint brushes for good, but now felt like they had been given permission to stay in the field and explore their own art at their own pace. 
I'm reminded that we are on this journey together, contributing to the culture and the historical mark of our generation; to encourage each other on the path is a part of our job. 
I hope you enjoy the articles!  Feel free to add your two cents, and thank you for stopping by PYJ.

Shell Basket, a work in progress

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Great Outdoors!

I decided at the end of last year to spend this year really focusing on plein air painting.
My thinking was that I would only paint en plein air for a year, but events have conspired to convince me that what I should really do is just what I tell other people to do, which is: "Paint Your Joy!" 
And it is such a joy to paint the figure and objects of beauty, as well as the landscape.

Until this year, plein air painting has always and only been a great sport that I play with my friends. I've never been trained. When I decided to get serious about it, I signed up to study with two top-notch plein air painter-teachers: Ray Roberts and Jill Carver. Roberts' workshop was in the West's Most Western Town of Arizona, out in the desert, this February. Carver's was in the Cowboy Capital of the World in Texas, this March. I am a new person out there now; I cannot say enough about the skill and generosity of these two artists.

I am just freshly back from teaching my own workshop in the hill country and am preparing to go to the Oil Painters of America's national show, and this time I am really sticking my neck out. In addition to the big OPA show, there is a "City by the Sea" plein air competition. I've never done anything like that before. I'm going to do it. In the words of my son (who was 8 years old when he said them), "What's the worst that can happen? ...They can't kill me."

To prepare, I have been working very hard. I have just finished three books about designing landscape paintings, and with the workshops fresh in my mind, I've been painting out as much as is weatherically possible. (weatherically. adverb. 1a: with regard to weather <as much as is ~ possible --KS Carlton, 2015>...) These preparations have kept me from my blog post, but I am bound heart and soul to pass along the joyous journey, so back to my post I faithfully come.

I will share for now only my trip to Fairfield, TX, this week, where the wildflowers lend credence to the town's name.

After exploring a wide swath of beautiful landscape, I ended up painting in the median of I-45 at the Fairfield overpass. For the first time EVER in a roadside plein air stop, I did not have a single obnoxious honker. I attribute that to the presence of my husband, whose truck was pointed toward me as I painted, across the feeder from where I worked. It was grand and glorious, and while I have not yet shot a "real" photo of the finished work, I will attach what I do have for you. First, here's the work in progress:

The temptation was to really "get" the flowers, because they were beautiful and so paintable.
Instead, I applied my lessons and went for design and essence. The bluebonnets are still present but are hiding now under the new grasses; visible, peeking out here and there, with a strong presence in the shadow of the main tree. My motif was the flowers in front of the tree shadow. If I create a studio piece after this, I will bring out the flowers a little more. I have to tell you, I just love painting out in the open air. I love Texas and I hope this little 10x8 will bring some of what I love to you.

Thank you so much for stopping by PYJ. I'm dedicating this blog to my dear friend, Donna, who has been very patient with her MIA BFF, and to Lewis, who also has been very patient with his MIA MSP pal, and who encouraged me to post this blog.
I'll let you know what the next chapter held, once I find out.
Love, Kim.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Spring "Just Paint!" Workshop

This spring's Just Paint! workshop will be held in the brand new Spicewood Center for the Arts, in the beautiful hill country area near Austin. John and Patty Curtis will host the workshop and will answer all your questions about how to be a part of it!

We are planning to have a variety of workshops there in the future: portrait, still life, and plein air, as well as short-shops for color charting and other special skill-boosters. This time, I've invited students to bring their own source material; whatever they want to paint. It can be actual still life objects or photographs of anything that inspires them.
I have found that there are a lot of people who have great art inside them but are afraid or unsure of how to let it out. That ember of inspiration can either die or be fanned into a flame. I'm a flame-fanner, baby! If this is you, if you want to paint your vision but are stuck... bring me an ember of inspiration and we will start a bonfire of beauty that will let your joy be seen by the people it was meant for. Quiet all the other voices and listen to the still, small voice that whispers greatness for you: believe it! Do it! Just Paint!

If you missed this one, contact Kim ( or Patty ( to be added to the wait list for September's workshop.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Oil Painters of America Blog

Happy Middle of the Holidays to you!  I have something I'd like to share with you and I hope it works.  Today, Oil Painters of America published an article I wrote about color charts on their blog.  I will post the link at the end of this but I am going to try to copy and paste it to my own blog, so that you can read it if you don't subscribe to OPA's blog.  You should, though.  There's always something interesting for oil painters being discussed on it; you might enjoy it.
Okay, wish me luck, I'm cutting and pasting now:

The Value of Color Charts

My advice—my plea to you—is to do the charts for your sake. (Do not use mine.) The charts are not a sure-fire gimmick guaranteed to make you a color wizard, but they are the best way I know of to understand your pigments and enter the study of color on sound footing. Take your time; don’t be in a rush just to get them done. Stay alert and see what is happening, not only on your palette, but within yourself. Impatience will well up, so will exasperation as you make mistakes or struggle with decisions about the right color and value, but I urge you to stick with it. In a way, the charts are intended to be somewhat agonizing so that you will develop the patience and self-control so necessary in painting. It should be like an initiation ritual before what is to come, so you may endure it without giving up.
Richard Schmid, Alla Prima
I begin with this quote because, seriously, anything that Richard Schmid pleads with his readers to do is worth consideration. The discipline of charting color might be compared to learning to read music or understanding grammar. I know some great musicians who play “by ear,” and writers who know nothing about the rules of grammar, but they will admit that they wish they had that academic knowledge in their hip pocket. Color charts are like that. You may not learn everything possible about color by doing them, but you will have, as Richard said, “sound footing” to begin your journey. You will also have confidence, knowing you’ve done your work.
The purpose of the charts is to show how each color on your palette relates to all the other colors there. You will want a chart for every color, to see how that particular color interacts with one other color, and then how their offspring look when mixed with white. Each chart will show the influence of the dominant color on the other colors. You will be able to tell by looking which color is represented in the chart; your red chart’s red/yellow will not look like your yellow chart’s yellow/red. You will add white as you go down, tinting each color until it’s all but white; across the bottom, all the lightest lights should be the same value. Most of the other colors start out at different places on the value scale, so the other rows will have a variety of values. Even though you can tell by looking, it’s still a good idea to label all the columns.
Here’s what you will need: ¼ inch masking tape (easiest to buy online; costs about $2.00), a pencil and ruler, one or two small palette knives (the second one can scrape the first, you won’t have to wash brushes between each color, and your squares will be pretty), and of course your paints, palette, paper towels and canvas. When I am teaching color, I start with four colors (plus white) in order to reveal the unlimited potential of a limited palette. This number of colors fortuitously fits perfectly on a piece of 14×11 canvas, which can be bought in tablets.


Charts.Pic#1.Materials.materialsHere’s how you prepare your canvas: It’s easier to work on a tabletop for this than using an easel. Tape the canvas to a board to allow yourself freedom to spin the chart around as you fill the squares. Measure out a quarter of an inch for the width of the tape, then an inch for each square, and repeat for every color. Make tic marks with your pencil, rather than lines, to indicate placement. Put the quarter-inch tape between the marks and leave a tag hanging off the end for you to pull when you’re done. Place all vertical tapes first, followed by all horizontal tapes. You will carefully remove the tape as soon as you are done with each chart (don’t wait till later!); it is easy to pull the horizontals off first, then the verticals. Now write the initials of the colors you will be charting. For example, the colors I use for the limited palette are Transparent Oxide Brown, Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Red, and Cadmium Yellow Pale: TOB, U, CR, and CY. The Transparent Oxide Brown chart will have these headings on the columns: TOB, TOB/U, TOB/CR, and TOB/CY. Note that the size of your chart/canvas will be determined by the numbers of colors and values you want to explore. For the limited palette, I chose four colors and five value steps, so I will have four across and five down, plus some space between each chart. Measure it out accordingly.

Prepared Canvas

image2Here’s how you create your chart: Understand that this is an exercise for your eyes, mind, body, and soul. It will demand your full involvement in a most personal way as you begin a real dialog with your colors. Give yourself lots of latitude, grace, and hours.
The order that the colors are laid out on your charts is a personal choice. Some people want the order of colors to be the same on every chart; others prefer that the dominant color leads on every chart and the rest fall in behind it. How you lay your colors out is a choice you make based on how you want to see your colors. To me, it makes sense to start with the dominant color, so I can see at a glance which chart it is. Then the other colors follow according to their value, so that whether reading across or down, they start with dark and move toward light. Lay yours out in the order that makes sense to you.
Allot a nice big pile of the color you’re charting on the palette and another pile of white. Your first color is always the easiest, as you only have the one color, plus white. The square you fill first is the top left one— pure, untinted, unmixed color. The second one you’ll mix is the last box on the column; it is nearly white. To mix that, start with a pile of white and add just the tiniest spot of color to it. All the bottom boxes on your chart will be the same value: nearly white. The value of the other squares will be determined by the value of your master color.
You will be working one column at a time, taking five value steps with each color. The first column of each chart is the master color’s value scale. All the other columns will show this master color’s effect on the rest of the palette’s colors. Here is the first column for the limited palette chart:

First Color Column

image3When you have your first and last colors laid in, you will mix the value that is right in the middle of those two. Mix it and hold it on your knife over the two color values on your chart and ask yourself which it favors more, the pure color or the lightest tint. This is when your colors really start talking to you. When you finally mix a color value that favors neither, you have your middle square. The last two colors are halfway between each of these: one is halfway between pure color and middle color value, the other is between middle color value and lightest possible value.

 The next column will be a little bit more complicated, as you are adding another whole dimension: you’re making not only value decisions but also color decisions, as you mix color columns that show two colors in which one dominates the other. It should be clear on each chart that you’re showing a certain color as it’s influenced by other colors. You then create the tint steps in the value scale for each.

First Chart Before and After

As you are working, remember that this is your chart and no one is timing or grading you. Let it be a joyous experience, with not one nerve wracked and nary a tear shed. Scrape your mistakes and don’t worry about the squares; your tape is in place to keep you tidy. You will be so surprised when you pull the tape off and see how beautiful your work looks. When I first finished mine, I put them on my studio wall because it was just so satisfying to look at them; like a lovely rainbow of harmonies. But they had to come down. They are a tool, and just like the tools on the pegboard, they have another use besides looking pretty on the wall. I use them for teaching and for note-taking in the field. A good field sketch combined with informed color notes is invaluable back in the studio.
A good field sketch combined with informed color notes is invaluable back in the studio.

Limited Palette Color Chart

 When you’re finished with all your color charts, you may want to varnish them after a few months to ensure their long life. You can keep them with you as loose canvas pieces or cut them out, hole-punch one side of them and put them in a binder, or you can just keep them in transparent sleeves. When you want to add a new color to your palette, it is good practice to create a new chart for it, to see if it can play nicely with your other colors. Some very nice colors are too weak or too aggressive to fit in with the family. Subjecting them to the scrutiny of the chart is a quick qualifier for contenders.
image6It’s easy to see how your mind and eyes are challenged by the creation of color charts, as all the measuring is intellectual and visual. If you try to literally measure part-for-part, you will not have an accurate chart because every pigment has a different saturating power. So, your mind and eyes are about to get smarter. You will not find how it challenges your body until you start the process. You will then be amazed at how physically demanding this assignment is. This isn’t for sissies. And as for the soul… ultimately your choices, as objective as this process seems, will be determined by how you feel. It can’t be taught. You will only get it when you do it. This is why charts must be done and not just seen. It’s also why the color charts vary between different artists, and why Richard Schmid can say that he learns something new every time he makes a new set. He is still making new charts for himself! And since he’s been painting longer than a lot of us have been breathing, perhaps it really is a worthwhile thing to try.                                     

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Civil War Reenactment 2014

The weekend before Thanksgiving: that's when they have the Civil War reenactment at the historic Liendo Plantation.  I had to miss it last year because I was getting ready for that big solo show in Houston and had made myself very sick breathing great doses of varnish.  This year looked grim too, as the weather was just awful at the start of the weekend.  Then, a clearing.  Sunday was beautiful! 
I got there just as the big battle was starting so I couldn't get any closer to the action than this:

We were to be sitting down, and you can see the yellow cord that was supposed to keep us back.  The four people center and left let that cord mark where their backs would be, and they were on their knees for most of the time.  From my position then, were captured a plethora of photos that look like this: I held the camera up over my head.
It was exciting though.  The most exciting part for me was seeing two people who I felt close to because I had painted them over a long period of time.  It's funny to have a one-sided soul-connection with someone, but my heart was pouring things into the figures I was portraying, completely unbeknownst to them.  When I saw them again, I greeted them: they being dear friends to me; I being a perfect stranger to them.  How odd, but somehow sweet.  Like when you dream about someone: you have had this experience with them that they don't remember at all!  Still, it's a part of your memory of them, hopefully a pleasant one.

So here is the bravest of them all, Gordon, and the painting I did of him, "Behind the Lines:"

He is the symbol of our military, staying on the periphery of our lives but laying their lives on the line for our freedom.  Gordon himself, and his children, have served/are serving our country in the military.  He is a true patriot and he is keeping our history alive in a very literal sense. 

And here is the most lovely of them all, Billie, and the painting I did of her, "Something Found:"

She is a symbol of the sweet pursuit of something lost.  Her grace and beauty have moved a lot of people.  She has such a gentle but strong countenance that people seem to confer upon the image of her wishful pieces of themselves.  I had the good fortune of meeting her, and so know that she is everything you would wish such a beautiful person to be; humble, gracious, kind and more beautiful than a brush could render.

I am so grateful this Thanksgiving for the things the skipper in my very first command told us we were living to serve: God, country, family.  I wish you a wonderful holiday.
God bless you and God bless America!

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Vanishing Mist

I don't know what is in the mind of other painters when they work, but my mind is very busy while I paint.  As I spent my day painting this man, who is in his work clothes, being as he is a genuine Hieromonk of the Orthodox Church, I was thinking of what he might be thinking.  I was hoping that I might convey something, like a vanitas painting, that would project beyond the subject and into the ether of the great beyond.  Without being weird or morbid.

So my first idea was kicked out immediately: that of Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 1; the famous "Alas, poor Yorick!" meditation.  Now, Shakespeare was my favorite in school and I knew him well, but holding the skull of a friend must needs be counted as weird and morbid in any man's book.  And Father John, as he is called, seemed not to be tragic at all, as he rested his hand on someone's skull.  Rather, he seemed somehow radiant and self-transcendent; the opposite of Hamlet.

That's when it hit me.  He gave me the same feeling that I had when I looked at Bernini's sculpture, The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa!  Here's what Teresa herself says about her feelings following the vision she had, that inspired the sculpture:

"...The soul is satisfied now with nothing less than God... It is a caressing of love so sweet which now takes place between the soul and God, that I pray God of His goodness to make him experience it who may think that I am lying..."
(from her autobiography, "The Life of Teresa of Jesus" 1515-1582)

There are no "alases" in her heart, the heart that she perceived as pierced by an angel with an arrow of fire unto earthly death.  This is what I could see in the priest-monk's face as he posed in silence.  It was as though he were looking at a thing of beauty that only he could see, and I was finally reminded of the verse in the Bible, James 4:14: do not know what tomorrow will bring.  What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

So I left the top part of the painting lighter, like a lifting fog, and have entitled the painting, The Vanishing Mist, so as to allude to not only the vision that vanishes when one awakes fully, but to earthly life itself: a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 
That makes me want to live a life that counts; one that is colorful and courageous, while it's still today!

The Vanishing Mist, 20x16, available through RS Hanna Gallery

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Freedom Flowers

It feels good, she says from southern Texas, to turn the corner toward autumn.  There is an ever-so-slight hint of cool in the days all of a sudden that makes me excited to get back out to paint! 
In the last post, I told you that I was going to Fredericksburg to do an oil painting demonstration at my gallery (  Thank you all for the great turnout!  
I brought my whole set-up, including a table, wooden box and spotlight, so I could paint something patriotic from life.  I went with some Gerber daisies that reminded me of bursting fireworks, and a kind of red, white and blue color scheme.  I had a graphic from 1776 America tacked to the back of the box, of an eagle with a shield, arrows and olive branches: perfect!  Altogether it made a good subject for the day.  At the point of the top picture, I had just finished the initial block-in and was preparing to talk about color and temperature.  The set-up is visible on the left.  The lower photo shows the finished painting, which is available at RS Hanna Gallery.  Some of those paintings on the wall are still available, too.  I'll be updating inventories in the coming weeks~ I want to sincerely thank the art lovers and collectors who are such a rich blessing to me; thank you so much.  I hope that the paintings you've taken home with you make you smile every time you see them!  
Welcome to the new season!  And thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Holiday Dream

Happy Independence Day!  I'm so proud to be an American.  I hope that you and your family are enjoying this holiday.  As I said in the last post, I will be demonstrating the art of oil painting at the RS Hanna Gallery in Fredericksburg during First Friday Art Walk~ I would love to see you there.  I'll start at 5:00.

Today I want to share a brief sketch of a woman napping in a park on holiday, to get you ready for the long weekend.  The model, Khayt, has posed for our Friday group a couple of times and seems to epitomize the relaxed vacationer.  Too bad she wasn't in red, white and blue, but she does have an apple!  And I believe the volume at her hand is Alexis de Tocqueville's "Democracy in America," in which the author opines about the greatness of our young country: "...I have nowhere seen women occupying a loftier position; and if I were asked... to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of that people ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply, --to the superiority of their women."  A wise man!

Happy Independence Day, God bless you this holiday and God bless America.

Holiday Dream, 8x10 $old, RS Hanna Gallery

Monday, June 30, 2014

Three Little Pitchers

Spring semester classes have finished and our art league is soon to be homeless again so my classroom is disappearing for awhile.  I will publish workshop, class or demo dates as they are scheduled, and my next demo date, as a matter of fact, is this Friday at the Art Walk, RS Hanna Gallery, in Fredericksburg, 5 p.m. 
I would love to see you; if you are in the area, please stop by.

Three new paintings are on display at RS Hanna gallery: The Three Little Pitchers. 
My beautiful and brilliant mother-in-law loaned me these pitchers so that I could paint them.  They were my rainy-day painting subjects: on days that I had no model or could not go out to paint, I painted them in the studio.  They are 8x6 paintings in nice solid wood frames and they make me feel so happy!  In my imagination, we are all vessels, looking a certain way on the outside, containing certain things on the inside, each unique and wonderful in his own way.  We are always being filled up, poured out, or holding our own.  These three pitchers are beautiful and purposeful, so very different from each other, but complementing each other perfectly, like a good family. 
I hope they bring you a smile today: 

Gold With Green 8x6 $295

Green With Blue 8x6 $295
Blue With Pink 8x6 $295
Three Little Pitchers $800

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

All About the Light

The only thing a painter can paint is the light.  It seems like he's painting a tree or a face, but he's painting the look of the light that is bouncing off the object and landing on the retina.  The subject is the light.  Even if it's in the shadows, a painter is painting something about the light: the bounce light, the ambient light; if it can be seen, it has light touching it somehow. 
The light has a color to it that will be felt by the viewer as warm or cool, and will influence the local color of the object.  It's smart to try to understand this, as it does influence color choices.  A blue light on a red ball will make the local red color look different (purple) from a yellow light on a red ball (orange).  This is because blue and red make purple, and yellow and red make orange!  The funny thing is, if you paint it right, it will read "red," even if it was actually painted with purple or orange pigments. 
And the shadow that will be cast is different according to the color of the light as well.  "Warm" light casts a cool shadow; "cool" light casts a warm shadow.  The first thing a painter has to do is determine the color of the light.

Each of these four studies, done when I was painting with Gerhartz, was painted in a different light.  I was glad to be able to really closely scrutinize the temperature and relationships for as long as I wanted.  Well, as long as I wanted in three hours.
(I don't know how these will be presented in the email version of this post, so if you want to see it in its natural and deliberate format, please click )
You've already seen part of one of these in the last post.  Here are all four:

There is cool natural light (the girl with the flower); cool natural with warm artificial light (the girl in the kimono); cool artificial light (the auburn-haired girl); and warm artificial light (the man).  The most challenging one was the cool natural with warm artificial light.  Most of the face was in shadow and I had to concentrate to discern the temperature there.  In spite of the warm artificial light, the shadow was warm, maybe due to the overall cool light pouring in through the north-facing windows.  The studio is painted a warm color so that would also affect the feel of the bounce light.
No matter where we are or what we're looking at, it's all about the light.  The purpose of most representational painters is to share a light impression, regardless of what the objects in the painting happen to be.  I feel like it is true in life as well: it's not about the objects; it's all about the light.  The way you see the world is related to the kind of light you put on it. 

Monday, May 26, 2014



I have been so inspired.  Recently, in Texas, we have had Sorolla in Dallas, Sargent in Houston and Gerhartz in The Woodlands. I have learned from these three artists by studying how they process and organize light and temperature and values.  I spent today with Sargent, saying good-bye and asking for just one more lesson; he never ever disappoints a person who asks nicely and listens carefully.

This is a crop of a painting I did from life while studying with Gerhartz, showing the play of light and shadow across the form of girl's head, that embodies many of the ideas I've been exploring this spring.  Her face is illuminated by cool north light from a window and her hair is up-lit from behind with a hot spotlight, yet most of her face is not in the light at all.  I love the extreme subtleties of form that can be turned within a color-value shape, just using slight shifts in temperature.  If I learned nothing else from Sargent and Sorolla, I learned that there is infinite strength in restraint.  I will be practicing this idea over the summer and I'll try to be better about posting on the blog and website. 

I taught my last class of the semester this week and am looking forward to catching up on some studio work.  I found out that Something Found was picked as a finalist in the prestigious Art Renewal Center's International Salon, so that's two international salons that the little Spanish lady did well in.  She's back and available at RS Hanna Gallery now.  Shannon has sold five of my paintings in the last couple of months so I know I've found the right place for my work.  I love this time of year when all the quiet work of the winter is blossoming forth and bearing fruit!  
Thank you for stopping by and have a safe and grateful Memorial Day holiday.   

Monday, May 19, 2014

Salon International 2014

Salon International was very different this year. Greenhouse Gallery, the SI venue, has new owners and has moved back into their original gallery space.  Many decisions are being made to "remake" Greenhouse and the Salon, including expansion of the show to include other media besides oil, and limiting the number of accepted entries to around 200 from the traditional 400.  I felt honored to have both my paintings chosen this year, and then flat out elated to be one of the 12 winners chosen by the great master artist, David Leffel.


The two paintings in the show were Something Found (above), which won the first honorable mention, and Little Gypsy Girl.  The show was great and having Mr Leffel there to judge it first time out was a fantastic stroke of brilliance.  Having Mr Leffel there to talk to collectors about your work while you are standing right there is nothing short of surreal.
Thank you to the people who came out to support the arts and the artists in the salon!
And thank you for visiting the Paint Your Joy blog!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

RS Hanna Gallery

Of all the news I've had to share with you, I've saved the best for last.

I've joined RS Hanna Gallery of Fredericksburg, TX and am so very pleased to be a part of what they are doing.  This pint-sized powerhouse is packed with high caliber artists from all over, but it was because of who owns it and because it's in Texas that I chose them. 
One of the things that I love about Fredericksburg is the busy art scene, including their First Friday Art Walk every month (  I'll be there every single first Friday that I possibly can be, including this one, in spite of the dire weather forecasts. 
If you get to go, make sure to stop by and meet the wonderful Shannon Hanna and check it out for yourself, you'll love it: (

208 South Llano Street, Fredericksburg, TX 78624
One of the things I love about Shannon is that she doesn't want me to be uni-dimensional; she wants figurative, landscape, genre, and still life!  I'm very happy about that.
She will be representing me exclusively so questions about paintings will go straight to her now.  
In other news, I will have two paintings in the Salon International this year: Something Found and Little Gypsy Girl will stand before the great master, David Leffel, to be scrutinized and judged.  A preview of the show can be seen here:
And last but not least, I am beside myself with excitement as tomorrow I will get to see one of my most favorite masters in a show up in Dallas: Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, or "Sorolla" to his rabid followers.  Talk about a proficient multi-dimensional artist!  I will be learning some lessons from him.  I have packed already my notebook, my sketch pad, my camera and my binoculars, just in case. 
Here's a link to the show:
I have been able to paint every single day so far this year (except Sundays, my study day) and I would like to be able to say that at the end of the year, so I'm already finagling a way to keep the streak~ wish me luck! 
I hope to see you at all or some of the events listed today, but most of all I want to see you at RS Hanna Gallery!  Come this Friday if you can: the more the warmer!