Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Color . . .

Trial and error.

The 'trial' is the scan. My poor printer is not a high-quality piece and trying to get color and detail just right is probably not in the stars for this machine. I guess that makes this the 'error', as well.


A little colored pencil piece that I'm pretty proud of. A red 1957 Chevrolet front fender and bumper drawing that measures 2.5"x3.5" as in "ACEO size". The scan comes into play as I'd like to scan and print a limited run of all of my hotrod drawings for summer shows. A departure from jewelry for me. Labors of love, these little "jewels" are.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Sandhills . . .

Where does this yellow tint come from anyway? Frustrating. 

Anyway, this is another quick painting that took all of an hour so maybe 'quick' isn't the best way to describe it. Measures about 3"x3" and is from a photo I took on our road trip to the Nebraska Sandhills last Spring. Gorgeous warm day with rolling hills and fields just starting to bloom. The clouds were intensely white against the deep blue of the sky. I do like the way the cloud shapes worked in this painting. By flooding the paper and gently guiding the blue pigment to the edges of the wet, the defined edges of the shapes were left as the paper absorbed the water and dried. Some watercolorists - instructors especially - will insist on softening the hard edges and write pages about how to avoid the edge by sucking up paint and water but I like them. I guess it's what makes all of us different and our styles unique.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Day 3 . . .

Day 3 : watercolor study snowy field

Doing these quick little studies is a big confidence builder and seeing them on a computer screen lets me see where I have room to improve.
Unless and until my style of watercolor changes, these will probably lean toward the wash with fat detail. Broad strokes of suggested shapes.
The tiny brush I am using for these 2x4 paintings in my little watercolor Moleskine won't allow for much detail that isn't broad. Yes, I have lots of other brushes, tubes of paint and papers but I'm sticking with this little kit for now with its 12 hard cakes of paint. It challenges me to mix cake paint and water to achieve the color and tone I need.
The end.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Snowy cornfield study . . .

A quick watercolor study out the back window. This snowy field took all of 20 minutes. I can see using this as a reference study for other, bigger paintings. Not much detail but just enough of a suggestion to know there is a slight rise in the field and cedars in the hedgerow. This little guy could easily morph into Spring - if that ever comes.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Year : New Direction . . .

New Year : New Direction
I've been thumped on the head too many times this year to not pay attention.
My interests change, my favorite gallery closes, I want to paint more but resist over and over again.
Now it is becoming clearer that it's time to step away from the metalwork. 
I love it but I've done it. 
I know I can do it. I can always do more later.
But for now - paint.
My goal is to paint every day if even just a little. I have a tiny travel palette and a Moleskine so I have no excuses not to paint.
I have a stack of 6x6 canvases. A box load of oils.
Quit reading about it and just do.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A former life . . .

Plaza lighting from atop the Swanson's building
And such a big part of my former life. I lived and worked on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City for so many years waiting tables at the last of the owner-operated restaurants on the Plaza. All of the rest of them were corporate 'chain type' places but this one was special for so many reasons.  The owner, Cliff Bath, played it like a fine instrument. A true restauranteur.

Harry Starker's Restaurant
Here I made friendships that have lasted 30+ years. We have stayed in touch, watched each other's kids grow and lives change. We moved away and we came back - we couldn't wait to get away but couldn't wait to get back. And we marvel at how old we are and how we ever managed to stay up past 1:am every night of the week. This place was magic and how we manage to remain connected is no mystery. Pure magic.

Stores on the Plaza were unique - there was a teeny grocery store, a bowling alley, a large theater and a small one with several screens, so popular in the 70s. A dimestore, a bookseller, a needlepoint shop, a record store with booths where you could play a record before you made your purchase, a fabric store, a florist who knew you bought daisies every Friday, the shoe store where my first rockin' shoe purchase started it all for me, and several large retail stores but unique to Kansas City. Harzfeld's, Hall's, Swanson's, Woolf Brothers, Cricket West. In the 80s those blocks were bought up by the usual big guys - Saks, Bonwit Teller, all of them the usual mall experience.
Carriage rides - Nichols Road on the Plaza

I lived at 4726 Summit at the west end of the road pictured here - a darling apartment for which I paid $100 a month and I worried every month that I couldn't scrape that together. Still, I could walk back and forth to work at midnight and not worry. Maybe I was just young and had no fear but Kansas City and especially the Plaza was a wonderful, safe place to be. 

I know we all must pine for the 'good old days' but this is one instance where I truly wish the Plaza could have retained that individuality. I suppose it's difficult to reclaim that when the big box guys pay their rents on time. Predictability is good. But still . . . 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dundee Gallery and the Gift of Unique . . .

 My favorite little gallery in Omaha - the Dundee Gallery - is officially closing its doors at the end of December and I am crying huge crocodile tears. My work has been there since shortly after opening and I have come to love this place.  Beautifully curated by gallery owner Jean Imray, the Dundee Gallery is chock full of artists' work that is colorful, unique, artfully made and always inspiring. I could not be sadder that the gallery is going dark.

I have placed a large amount of my inventory with Jean for the holiday shopping season and know that her last two months will have tremendous sales. Come January, anything not sold will be online but don't wait!


If you live in Omaha, Shop Small and please visit the gallery a few times before Christmas and Hanukkah and pick up your special gifts, your big gifts, and your small gifts. Support your local artists and makers and give the gift of unique.