Sunday, February 28, 2010

Living in a 1924 Sears House

Since I have several underpaintings started right now, I have nothing of interest to post. Maybe some other time, I'll show my entire painting process. But for right now I thought I would share where I paint from everyday. I've shown my indoor studio before. So here is the outside. We live in a 1924 Sears bungalow. It's the Crescent model and we still have the original blueprints. Since we are only the fourth owners, we're lucky that people always left the plans.

Mr. Swanson built this house along with his brother in 1924. Some of our neighbors knew him from when they moved into the neighborhood in the 1960's. They say that he would put a smoke lamp in the window at cocktail hour. That meant everyone was invited over for one hour to imbibe before dinner. Mr. Swanson died in the front bedroom in 1970. The mailman noticed mail piling up.

But there are no ghosts here, only feelings of warmth. My guests never want to leave!
The coal chute
Original birdbath
Unfinished porch. Maybe in the spring (ha)
The sunroom. Where I paint.
Original pumps behind the garage. Yes, they still work!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Oil on Linen

There must be something about the light this time of year. I feel like I can't get my paintings exactly right. Maybe it's sunlight deprivation syndrome. Too much bright white every time I look out the window. Or maybe it's color deprivation syndrome.

The spring catalogs keep landing in the mailbox with pictures of daffodils and hyacinth. So I know that spring is coming. But I see no evidence of it. So I turned to my book of quotes and found this.

Faith is a bird that feels dawn breaking and sings while it is still dark.
Rabindranth Tagore

Spring really is coming. It's just a matter of faith.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Oil on Linen

This painting isn't dry and still needs a coat of Liquin and final coat of Gamvar varnish. But I wanted to show you what I've been up to. It's one of three small paintings done in a different color palette this time. For the sky I used titanium white with indianthrone blue, cobalt violet and alizarin crimson. It had to use all my willpower not to reach for the pink brown.

Using a new color palette is like going to a new place. It takes a while to figure out just how things work with new temperatures and values. This painting will also look different when it dries and the Liquin and Gamvar are applied, so I'll be showing this painting again.

Next time, I think I'll be painting some yellow-orange scenes. I'm in the mood for some sunny, warm weather!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pink Brown

Work in Progress
Oil on Linen

I've been working on this painting for the last week. I think I need a break from it in order to gain a fresh perspective since I've been staring at it for so long. I'm waiting for that ah-ha moment when I can absolutely say what it needs for completion.

This painting is very similar to my last few smaller ones with the same color scheme. It's time to move onto something different, turn the page, and go on a different path into a new landscape. Maybe hide the Pink Brown by Gamblin for awhile.