“Jack and Lucy”
Norfolk Terrier double portrait
12 x 16 inches, original oil painting
These adorable dogs were the subjects of a recent portrait commission for a long-time client and friend of mine. Her two dogs are getting up there in years, and she thought it was a good time to have their portraits done for posterity. Lucy, on the left, is the younger of the two. Jack, on the right, is eleven, I believe. Jack had already had his summer haircut, but Lucy had not.
Now, there’s no way you can get two dogs to pose and hold a pose with the light on them “just so” … so every portrait begins with a photo session. That involves a fair amount of crawling around on the ground to shoot them from the right angle. My husband and I were shooting simultaneously, to maximize the number of reference photos we’d get before the dogs ran out of energy or patience with us. The next step was to edit the pictures in Photoshop to put together a composite where the light and direction of their gaze was consistent. After client approval of the reference composite, it just comes down to the painting, which was very enjoyable.
If you’re interested in having a portrait done of your favorite pet, please write.
Click this link to write me.
Tournament House Rose Garden painting
(Home of the Tournament of Roses Association, Rose Parade organizer)
11 x 14 oil
Painted on commission
This new painting is intended as a Christmas gift from the lovely woman who commissioned it, for a very special gentleman. The rose garden was where they first met. Built in 1906, the Tournament House was purchased by chewing gum magnate Wm. Wrigley in 1914. The home was given to the city of Pasadena in 1958 for use by the Tournament Association. The centennial rose garden (seen here) is spectacular in full bloom. The painting represents it in early morning light.
Don’t you just love romantic stories? I know I do, and I get a special joy from making paintings that commemorate special events – like first dates, first meetings, places where proposals happened, and so forth.
If you’re considering giving a painting as a holiday gift, this is a very good time to get in touch as things get busier as the season draws closer.
Malibu Canyon Ranch
8 x 10 inches
oil on linen panel
This little painting was commissioned as a surprise birthday present by a client of mine for whom I’ve previously done three paintings. She was looking for something western and we agreed upon this subject, which is a location not far from where her son did post-graduate work. It was fun to paint – the Santa Monica Mountains in early spring, just as some of the trees are still getting their leaves.
20 x 32 oil on canvas
SOLD (painted on commission)
If you’d like to commission a custom painting of the California central coast or any location, please write.
This painting was finished last April and in all the hustle bustle of getting ready for shows and paint outs, I neglected posting it here. It was a studio painting, based upon smaller studies that I did ‘en plein air’ on location. This is a typical way for me to work – to study a subject from life, and then to produce larger pieces in the studio when I can explore them slowly and thoughtfully. The original study was painted during a paint out with the California Art Club.
“Big Sur, Bixby Bridge”
16 x 20 oil on canvas
SOLD – painted on commission
This painting was commissioned as a surprise wedding gift for a very lovely bride to give to her bridegroom to commemorate the exact place where he proposed to her. She and I worked closely together to identify the exact spot where he popped the question. Then, after the painting was finished, approved and drying, the unexpected happened. The bridegroom, who also knew of my work, contacted me separately looking to buy a painting of the same location to give to the bride. Suddenly I had an O’Henry “Gift of the Magi”-type situation on my hands! I couldn’t tell him I wouldn’t sell him this painting he saw on my site- he’d think that odd. And if I told him it was sold, but he might buy somewhere else, so immediate was his need. Honesty and open communication always being the best policy, I contacted the bride and let her know about his urgent inquiry and she handled the situation gracefully with her betrothed. So he knew that there was a painting by me in their future but would have to wait to see what it was.
The painting was shipped last week and they opened their gift to each other last night â€”with champagne, strawberries and candlelight, I hope. Today there are two very happy nearlyweds, with a painting created with love, just for them, so they can always remember that very special day. And everyone lived happily ever after.
“Pride Mountain Vineyard, Autumn 2010″
9 x 12 vineyard oil painting on plein air linen panel
Private Collection (sold)
Last autumn, while visiting our children over Thanksgiving, we had the pleasure of visiting this wonderful vineyard on Spring Mountain near St. Helena, above Napa Valley, California. The wines were superb and we thoroughly enjoyed the tour which was given by a very knowledgeable and entertaining man who was also a refugee from the advertising business, like me. The day was magical in every way. We picnicked on a hillside overlooking the vineyard fall color. Bread, wine, cheese, sausages, more wine, fall color, crisp air … ahhhh.
This commissioned painting evolved out of that delicious fall inspiration. I’d love to go back there again to paint in another season – maybe while the grapes are still on the vines.
Show reminder: The California Art Club 100th Annual Gold Medal show continues at the Pasadena Museum of California Art - through April 21. Check the museum website for days and hours. Be sure to see my painting, “Gaviota Springtime.” It’s in the side room where the smaller works are hung.
18 x 24 oil on canvas
A custom commissioned painting
See a selection of my other wedding paintings here
This was perhaps one of the most complex wedding paintings I’ve done. Rather than painting live on location as I usually do, I was approached by a charming bride who asked if I could paint a wedding that had happened a year ago. They had a few dozen photographs to work from. There were a few challenges that we identified, but none that I thought were insurmountable, so I happily accepted the assignment.
1) The wedding took place in Canada under gray skies that looked as though they threatened rain. The pictures of the wedding party had a distinctly somber overcast look. But the couple commissioning the painting wanted to see the Canadian Rockies in their sunlit glory which meant painting the piece with an imagined color palette, rather than from the literal reference photos.
2) There were a variety of candid snapshots of people at the event, but they were all shot from different angles – sometimes just from the knees up – and relatively close up, not from a distance as they’d appear in a landscape.
3. The couple wished for an idealized view of the wedding without the distraction of chairs used during the ceremony so I had to create a virtual scene, in perspective, as it might have been, distributing the a representative sample of attendees through a 3d space and including some special features like picnic tables used for the party, a table featuring a time capsule, and so on.
One of the other problems I needed to solve was how to focus attention on the wedding party without making them large, in the foreground, and having to paint tight facial likenesses (which the couple did not want.) I used a slash of light through the middle ground to illuminate the bridal couple, while keeping other wedding-goers more in shadow.
I designed the painting in Photoshop and got the bride’s approval through all the design steps. Then came the fun part – painting it. I shipped the painting to the family last week and received a lovely and enthusiastic note of approval from them upon seeing it in person for the first time.
A wedding painting (even many years after the event) is a unique piece of art certain to become a treasured family heirloom, passed down through generations. And it makes a great wedding gift for “the couple that already has everything.” For more information on how to commission a painting or have me as a live event painter at your wedding
Click this link to write me.
“Show me the Scampi”
9 x 12 oil
This charming cat is named Pita, and I don’t think it refers to mediterranean flatbread. The kitteh haz attitude – but then, don’t all cats? I’ve painted a lot of animals in preparation for the Art for Animals show at Gale’s Restaurant in Pasadena. The reception is this Sunday, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA. Come enjoy the animals, animal lovers, animal art. The SPCA will have pet adoptions as well.
Interested in a portrait of your cat or dog?
Peters Canyon Meadow
14 x 18 oil on canvas
This painting was based upon a plein air study which I did earlier this spring
posted on my blog awhile ago.
When I scaled it up for my client, I added more detail and refined certain shapes that were only roughly suggested in the plein air work. What works in 9 x 12 doesn’t necessarily work in 14 x 18 (or larger) sizes.
I’m looking forward to painting the scene in a larger size, and perhaps a more panoramic horizontal format, too. Now, the park grass has turned a soft yellow gold color – the scene looks very different. I’m thinking about going back for some new plein air studies.
This Saturday and Sunday, please join me for more plein air painting at Descanso Gardens. If you are a member of Descanso, the LA Arboretum in Arcadia, South Bay Botanical Gardens, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens, or one of many other American Horticultural Association affiliated gardens, your admission is free. We have enjoyed our Descanso membership for many many years … as well as gardens as far away as Santa Barbara and Phoenix. These reciprocating memberships are a great benefit of supporting our horticultural institutions.
Sierra Blush, (Autumn morning near Bishop, California)
12 x 24 inches
Oil on Canvas
(Commission – sold)
This is my latest Sierra Nevada painting, painted on commission for a lovely young woman who lives in Ohio and whose brother is a guide in the Sierra. It has been so much of a pleasure to get to know her through the painting process, knowing that the painting will be a part of her family for many years to come.
The location is near Bishop, California, in late October, after the first light snow of the season.We got up very early to observe this scene (like 5:30 am) and it was worth it. The alpenglow light on the snow was heavenly. I could hardly wait to paint it. I know that I will be painting scenes like this again, most likely in a larger size. I think the panorama format really works for this type of a landscape.
Although this painting is sold, if you’d be interested in owning a painting of the Sierra Nevada,