Sunday, December 10, 2017


Trilogy #1

Trilogy #2
After so many years of painting (over 40 now), you would think that I had heard of most everything painting related. But that is not the case. I recently learned of a man named Anders Zorn (look him up). He developed a palette which has been named after him called the Zorn Palette.

What is the Zorn Palette you might ask? Well, it consists of only 4 colors. Well three really plus white. The colors are Yellow Ochre, Ivory Black, Cadmium Red light and Titanium White. I didn't have Ivory Black though. Apparently Golden Paints does on carry that color in their line. I will look around to see if another company makes it in acrylic. So I used Carbon Black instead. Unfortunately with other blacks you do not get the blue hue that you get from mixing Ivory Black with White. So I need to find that color.

Anders Zorn mostly painted portraits and his colors were very subdued due to the subject matter. I am quite interested in this palette for more abstracted works. The ones you see above were done entirely in the Zorn Palette. I love the way the colors all work together. They are both intense and subtle without being too colorful. I am feeling quite resistant lately to too much color. I am finding it confusing and I am not too sure what that is all about. I will follow it though since I an finding it interesting and inspiring.

On another note, it snowed here yesterday. I really am not happy when it snows. I find it difficult navigating the city sidewalks and I am always afraid of falling. So I don't go out as much as I should. Looking forward to Arizona where there is no snow.

Thursday, December 7, 2017


The Short Night
This week we hit a milestone. My grandson turned 18. Nothing much changes quite yet but it is still huge for me. It means I am no longer his legal guardian. I can now go back to being just a grandmother.  I can leave if I want to. I can move. Of course I won't until he graduates. But still. I am leaving for a month in January. That will be good for him. He needs to learn to live without me always being there and doing everything for him.

Yesterday we went to the bank and set him up with his own accounts. That was pretty huge. I will no longer have to be responsible for his money.

I will continue to keep him on my cell phone account and if he needs any financial help I can help a little. In other words, I am not just throwing him to the wind. I will have his back until he no longer needs my help.

I am looking forward to being out in Arizona for the entire month of January. It will make the winter not seem so relentless. I am going to see an old friend who is coming to visit me there. She retired many years ago to Colorado and we haven't seen each other in a very long time. I am looking forward to that!

Also, my aunt from CA and my cousin are coming out to see me as well. I expect to do some artwork, and continue setting up my studio out there.

It will be really nice to have that time all to myself. When you have a spouse and you are raising children or a grandchild, there isn't much time alone. As an artist I crave it. I have to steal the time to paint in between grocery shopping, meal prep, etc. I am always cooking but I don't always enjoy it. I would much rather be in my studio painting.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Square Abstraction
Whenever I first sit down to paint, I make these painted strips from the cut ends of the paper I am using which is 9" x 12". I like to paint in a square so these ends measure 3" x 9". 

Sometimes I will paint 3 or four of them at a time to test out a new color palette. So the other day I was playing with them as though they were a puzzle and this is what I came up with. I adhered them to another piece of paper which did not work so well.  It caused the paper to warp even though I thought it was sturdy. I think if I do more of these I will need to adhere them to a cradled panel. I think they have great potential as a series. I enjoy painting these strips and I find sometimes that they are more successful than an entire painting. It is worth investigating.

Here are a few examples of the strips:

Sunday, November 26, 2017


Ethan and Troy

Well here we are. Thanksgiving is over and we are fast forwarding to the end of another year. Frankly, I hate to wish my life away but it can't come soon enough for me. 2018 will be the year we finally move to our new home in Arizona. It has been too long in coming.

For Thanksgiving we went down to visit my son and his family and meet our new grandchild, Troy. It was so lovely and wonderful and it made me forget for a moment just how hard things have been for all of us. Just seeing my son and his growing family gave me so much joy, I was near bursting. We have all had a hard road to deal with over the past 18 years. So to see him with a lovely family now, and dogs and a house was just, well, fantastic. He made us a lovely holiday dinner and we all took turns holding the baby. Even my grandson took a turn holding the baby and it made quite a wonderful picture as you can see in the above photo.

There are 18 years exactly between them as Ethan will be 18 in 6 days. It is hard for me to believe that he is so grown up.  He now has an after school job at Trader Joe's and seems to enjoy that very much.

Painting is still eluding me pretty much. But that is going to have to be OK for now.

I am doing a lot of resting as I have been quite exhausted lately. In fact yesterday I spent the entire day in bed. Reading, napping and watching a movie called "The Minimalists". Honestly, I love the idea of being a "minimalist" but most of the people they interviewed were (a) young  (b) single  (c) no children. I feel like once you have children minimalism is a non starter frankly. Minimalism is either for the young or the very old when you have to get rid of stuff so you can fit in your room at the nursing home.......

Have a great week!

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Storm and Horizon
Can you tell winter is settling in? I seem to have lost my colors.......

Well I am sure it is only temporary.

Hopefully they will return soon. I like the neutrals but I can't live on them alone!

Anyway, this week my son and daughter in law had a new baby, Troy David Brownell.  He weighed in at a whopping 9 pounds and 2 ounces. Congratulations to all. There are 18 years between Ethan and Troy. Quite a span!

Still busy packing. I have 11 boxes ready to go to Arizona. That will be it for now since I can't pack up clothes and pots and pans until we are ready to leave in June.

Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 5, 2017


Color Palette #1
It has been a while since my last post. I have been a little blocked artistically and haven't had anything new to show lately. I am still just experimenting with limiting my palette. Here I am working with Quinacridone Crimson, Transparent Yellow Oxide and Cerulean Blue. I have always loved Cerulean Blue in mixtures. You can get such a wonderful array of grays with it.

I can see here that I am kind of leaning towards a more abstract style. Even though I am not sure where this is heading, I have nothing to lose by following it to see where it takes me. It seems to be all about the paint right now and that is fine with me.

I am still downsizing and packing. Selling the never ending stream of books. I still cannot believe how many books I have amassed over the years. I will be glad when they are all taken care of. It is really getting to be too much for me physically.

Have a great week!

Thursday, October 26, 2017


Abstract Landscape
The downsizing is coming along nicely. Still purging books, emptying out drawers filled with more junk than can be imagined. It is amazing how much useless stuff one can keep in spite of trying to keep up with things.

Still bringing books to the book store. I took all my family photos out of their frames and will just keep the photos. Shipping boxes out to Arizona is very expensive. Around $50 per box.  I am hoping to keep it down to under 25 boxes. Not that easy but I am really going to try. I am using boxes that are 14" x 14". That should suffice for most things except the larger pieces of art. I am still not sure what to do about that. I have tossed out a lot of old art but there are some paintings I really don't want to throw away. I think every artist wonders what to do with all the art sitting/hanging around all over the house! I also have many paintings done by artist friends and I really want to keep those.

I am still doing some painting. All the downsizing and schlepping is quite exhausting and stressful and keeping my art practice going is vital for my sanity.

I have been working with palette knives instead of brushes lately. I really enjoy using them. There are no brush strokes and the paint color seems brighter. Clearer. I do clean my brushes after each color but somehow the color seems much brighter using the knives. Besides, trying something new in my art is always enlightening and leads to new ideas and techniques.

Have a great week!