Tom sm

Oil 16×20

Our model Tom, was an interesting man: an artist himself, he would come around and give us advice.  A musician, he posed with a guitar.  I was fascinated by his face, so I chose to do a portrait.

Before even knowing who was going to be our model, I had, at home, prepped my canvas with gesso and a stencil, to give it a faint textured.  I had no idea how it would work, but I like the effect!

I had tons of fun painting this, and it went very fast.


L'attente sm

Oil -18×24

This painting was nothing but frustrations from the very beginning.

I did not care for my view point, but there was no other room in the class for me to stand.  I was concerned that the large black mass of the skirt would overcome everything.  But I kept at it and tried and tried.

I found it quite boring and not interesting in any way.  So I added a window to try to give some sense to the pose: a person waiting… I still did not care much for it… then I added the cat.  It seem to ground the scene, and give it some peace…

Still not my favorite by a long shot, but it is always good to push thru frustrations… right??  ;)

Why wasn’t I born an Indian


16 x 20 – Oil

Unconsciously, I changed this model to look (somewhat) like a Native American… Why?  I am sure it is because I admire them so much.  I share their total love and respect for all things of Nature.  I envy their old ways of life, in great harmony with their surrounding world, taking only what they needed, giving thanks to the Earth, learning from other animals… Proud people with honor…

As I paint this woman, part white, part Native American, I wonder: “Why wasn’t I born and Indian?”  :)

Grand Canyon 1

Grd Canyon1

9 x 12 Canvas panel

I took a week-long class in the Grand Canyon, “Painting on the rim”.

It was, I must say, a week of frustrations: zillions of folks looking over my shoulder, taking my picture, and worst of all, talking to me.  It was very hard to concentrate and actually paint.  There was no avoiding them, buses were dropping them all day long..

Added to that, a very strict teacher who insisted on us using the exact colors mixed to her prescription.  I would every now and then, put some oranges and reds, only to have them covered with some variation of purple…

I did learn a lot mind you, as the teacher was very clear, precise and organized.  She had us paint 3 hours first thing in the morning, then a long break, and at it again in the late afternoon, for another 3 hours to get the best light of the day.  Two different locations each day.

Plein air is not easy, as the light changes quickly and all looks different before one is finished.  I learned to paint faster… :)

Earth & water

Water & earth sm

24 in X 24 in Oil

Since I am not sure whether I am done or not with this, I find it tricky to give it a title.  This one will do for now…  :)

I can’t stop painting… First thing in the morning… if I get a break in the day… when I get home…

I’m having fun!!

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!



24X24 Oil on canvas

If I had been born in the Wild West, I would have liked to be called “Canyon-Belle”.

Why is it that in the Old West and the South, the first names are hyphenated??

(I can see as I am taking a photo, that I need to tone down the horse a bit…)

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…



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