Green, green, green… ggrrrrhhhh…

Green sm

50 cm X 50 cm Oil

Why does France has to be so far???

I started this in France, in a need to loosen up after doing a portrait for several days… I really like this beginning and am excited about it.  But I had to come back before I could finish it… it stands on its own in an empty house… and I am here, really wanting to work on it…  GGGRRRRHHH….

Monsieur Gay

M. Gay sm

14 in X 11 in (36 cm X 28 cm) Oil

While in France, my neighbor Mme Gay, whom I have known since I was 13 years old, had her 84th birthday.  I decided to make a portrait of her husband who passed away several years ago.  He had the kindest face and a twinkle in his eyes.  My father respected him a lot and the two were good friends…

Mme Gay was so touched…  I wished I had done a better job..

A turban the color of mangos, a shirt the color of sand dunes.


Oil on canvas 16 X 20 People wearing turbans and veils fascinate me…Their faces often carved by the weather, speak of years spent outside… relentless sun, storms of high winds and sand… not an easy live. Dreams of deserts and high plateaux… I am painting a series “Men in blue turbans”.  There will be 5 men in blue turbans, and one in an orange turban (Orange, the complimentary color of blue).  (Strange  idea for someone who does not like to do pleats and folds…! )

Point Reyes color notes

PtReyes 1sm

9X12 Oil

Yesterday, I took a class from Joan Hoffman at the Point Reyes National Seashore (in one of their stunning old ranch house).

The class was about “color notes”: I learned that “color notes” are dots or blobs of colors.  In other words, one applies the paint in short strokes which are not blended. (a bit like pointillism, but larger).  The idea is to put colors next to each others and on top of each other, rather than blending.  I LOVED it.  Such fun it was. (I could see doing this with blasting music!! )  :)

Most ladies in the class were quite experienced and all very nice.  I found our teacher to be very informative, joyful and positive.  I will sure look for another class with her.

When we started, most of the hills were in fog and it was quite cold.  All of us started to paint with cool colors…  But of course, by noon, the sun had come out and although we remained in the same place, we were facing a new landscape.  Good thing Joan made us do two paintings.  She wanted us to paint fast, but I suspect she new the light would change drastically.

What better day than one spent outdoor and painting…  I was in heaven!

A love of wrinkles


16X20 Oil (Men in blue turbans #1)

For over a year now, our art teacher has brought in models who were beautiful young girls.  I have suggested several times an older model or a model with signs of life on his/her face.  But no, each time, here is another beautiful young woman…  I longed for wrinkles… !!  :)

So I found a picture on-line and went at it.  Not easy, wrinkles…  I find the face so interesting.

For the first time, I used a black canvas, which was tons of fun.  Except for the background..  Doing the background last is not a good idea.  I think this yellow is still too strong, I will lighten it a bit…

In a world of numbers…

In a world of numbers

16X20 Oil on canvas

“We live in a world of numbers.” said my sister Catherine… just when I was wondering what to do with the empty space in the left!  :)

It made me think:  the “word” does not seem to be as respected and cherished: truncated, abbreviated or fallen out of use all together.  On the other hand, numbers are what drives computers, phones, stock market..   We are in a world of mathematics…

Which, of course, makes the “word” that more beautiful.

Speaking of words, the model’s first name is “Heavenly”.  Should I title this painting “Heavenly in a world of numbers” ??

Feeling spanish

Feeling spanish sm

18X18, oil

Longing in a face… Calm, waiting…slow motion

I paint melancholy, resignation..

I paint, circling the nose, brushing a lip

The ear needs to tilt more…

I move parts, lifting a nose, straightening an eye brow.. until all harmonizes  and tells a story.

Deep red of a contained passion.

I paint a story. “

Paintings definitively take personalities of their own… this one took on a hispanic feel little by little… :)

Is it the red??  Is it the holding of the head??

Art corner: re-arranged


I re-arrange my art corner so that i have a wall to paint on and be wild!!  :)

I also added some wheels to my easel, so I can move it around easily…  The wall is for acrylics, the easel for oils paintings.  Of course, Lucky had to check it all out !

The Girl in Pink… gone

Girl in pink sm


18X18 or 46X46

This one was done on masonite, which was first very absorbent, then very slippery.  I loved the challenge.  I was not finished, wanting to work on the background, but then came Christmas and all… well I never finished it.

This week our class started again, so, finding this painting boring, I painted over it…



Oh my!  I am wayyyyy behind posting on this blog!!  Oils do take longer than watercolor, so I will not post as often, but still…

This is Jonqui, our model.  A wonderful person, and artist, art teacher, advocate for birds and wildlife… a strong personality indeed.  I loved painting her fascinating face!

Church on Sunday


8 X 10

I feel that since the earthquake, I have spent a lot of time indoors.  Today, I joined a group of Plain Air Painters in a little town on the way to the coast.

Three of us set-up our easels under a large buckeye tree.  It was pleasantly warm.

Char and I painted the church and Carol focused on the hillside.  Char’s help with advises was very welcomed as I struggled with the small size of the canvas.  Carol made me smile with her wonderful spirit.

All in all, it was a fantastic day.


Sketching Morgan horses with Paul Miller

IMG_1457   IMG_1458IMG_1459  IMG_1460

I saw this workshop offered thru one of our parks: Sketching Morgan horses.  The teacher is an older gentleman volunteer, who takes care of these old old Morgan horses left at the park.  An artist himself, he teaches once a year, a class on sketching horses.

He had the look of a cowboy!!

I had never sketched horses (oh my what a challenge), and we were outside, so this was quite fun.  It does show me the obvious: I need to draw daily…


Back in the saddle

My little place got hit pretty hard by the earthquake of August 24th.  I felt my place was in a tree-top and all got tossed around…

It has taken me quite a while (working all day) to pick things up and re-arrange things so that next time the earth shakes, whatever falls will not prevent me from getting to and opening doors…

I am finally now starting to paint again.

Back in the portrait painting class.  We had a wonderful model last week.  I am not finished yet.  Doesn’t the first draft looks like one of the Beatles??  :)


photo 1 (need to fix that eye!)

Oil 12X12

Golden Hills

Golden Hills sm

Oil 30 X 30

Learning all kinds of things.  Still the most challenging thing for me with oils compared to watercolor is the mixing of colors.  I had never realized how much my mixing was so intuitive and playing until I got a color I liked.  With oils, you cannot just swish your brush in water and start again… I have to think ahead!!!  :)


Intent sm

Now in our “Portrait painting with oils” class, we paint from real life models.  There are a lot of students, and sometimes one cannot get close enough for great details..

Last portrait painting was a long struggle.  This one went very fast, but does not look at all like the model.  I do like it and went with it.  We’ll have the same model again this week, so I will try to do a better job.

The word “intent” came to me… but I wonder if it shouldn’t have been “intense” !  :)


Back to class.  Portraiture in oils.  This time we have real models.

This model had the fairest skin I had ever seen, and hair so blond it was almost white.  Beautiful, but I struggled a lot to find the right shade and not have her look anemic!  I can see some little changes I need to make (funny how taking a picture make you see weaknesses)

She also had a very round face, which I loved and wanted to capture.

I am having so much fun!!!



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