Sunday, February 1, 2015

How Sweet It Is! 8" X 8" Oil on c/b SOLD

I apologize for not posting or commenting on your delightful, inspiring blogs for awhile. In mid-January my husband had an accident while hiking and broke his hip when he landed on a large rock. Surgery to repair it was the same day, and since he left the hospital he has been rehabbing at a local facility. He is making slow but continued progress, and it will take some time to mend and, hopefully, regain the movement and flexibility he had before. He's working very hard, and is so anxious to get to the point where he can come home.

This dove has been sitting on my work table patiently waiting to be finished. My husband took the photo at the end of last summer when the Saguaro Cactus blossoms were in full bloom. These blossoms feed a host of critters including doves, bees, woodpeckers, insects and starlings. The Saguaro is such a stately and majestic cactus and sort of a symbol of the Sonoran desert where we live. They have been the subject of many an artist's paintings.

As time permits, I plan to do some experimentation with gouache, watercolor and acrylic paints which I have tried only minimally so far. I also would like to try a broader range of subject matter including some abstract work. With my fellow bloggers I have so many fine examples of quality work and ideas shared. I can't wait to start! And, I gradually will catch up with posting comments on all of your blogs!

Link to Purchase

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Two Peas in a Pod 6" X 6" Oil SOLD


We were delighted in late spring when a hummingbird couple decided to nest in our garage. They chose the pedal of my husband's bicycle hanging from a hook in the ceiling. They built the nest in two days and the mom moved in. She had two eggs hatch a day apart from one another. Did you know baby hummingbirds eat food their mom gives them while laying on their backs? Guess that's the only way Mom can manage to get that long beak in their mouths. We enjoyed the little ones from birth, through feeding, through pin feathers, through flight attempts. One of the coolest experiences we've ever had!
I used a palette knife for the paint in the nest and background. It will take about a week to dry because of the thickness of the paint.

Below the painting is a photo of the nest. Compared to the penny, it's not very big, is it?! Hard to believe these two little guys lived and grew side by side in that little nest for about two and a half weeks. We will give the nest to our grandsons for their science corner at school.

Painting is available via auction at DailyPaintworks HERE.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Just Hangin' Pastel 7" X 10" SOLD

My grandmother had a plum tree in her yard when we were kids. It was a great "climbing tree" and was so lovely in the spring with all the flowers on it. Of course, in the summer we very much enjoyed all the juicy, fresh fruit, and we would take many boxes of them to the cannery and process them for winter.

Available HERE.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas to All!

I wish all of you a most blessed Christmas with sincere wishes for a peaceful, healthy and happy New Year! I thank you for and am very appreciative of your interest in my artwork. Thank you immensely for looking at and commenting on my posts, and for being the cheerleaders, motivators and sounding boards that I need for  help, ideas or feedback. Bless you all. It is a joyful, comforting thing to know you're out there and just a "Send" button away!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Chock Full 11" X 14" Oil on panel

It looks like I've been on a tomato kick for awhile with the last two posts. I enjoy painting tomatoes with their different shades of reds, oranges and greens. I painted the shapes of the tomatoes first and let them dry. Then, I began to glaze them using thin coats of paint and linseed oil. 

I struggled with the glass jar big time trying to get the glass to "relax" and not be so stiff-looking. I think it'll take more practice to master that skill, so I'll see what other things I can put in a glass jar. Marbles? Golf balls? Candy?

The photo came from Morguefile, a source of free photos given with permission for an artist to paint and use commercially if they wish. I've found several on the site that are inspiring. 

This will be available at auction on DailyPaintworks beginning Tuesday, December 2nd.
Here is a LINK. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Plenty of Room oil on board 12" X 12"

A photo of this bowl has been sitting in my photo folders for some time. I knew eventually I would put it with something red and paint the still life. When I set it up I moved the spotlight this way and that to try to enhance the reflections coming through the bowl.The square format worked for it, I think.

This will be available on a DailyPaintworks auction beginning tomorrow, November 18th. HERE,, is the link to see it.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I was honored to be asked to participate in the "Around the World Blog Hop" by a multi-talented and professionally astute artist and friend, Barbara Benedetti Newton . Barbara and I grew up in the same town of Auburn, Washington and were in the same graduation class in high school. When I joined DailyPaintworks a couple of years ago, Barbara and I reunited, and she was a wonderful resource for me to ask questions and seek advice. Here is just a smidgen of her work to whet your appetite.

Growing up, I always enjoyed creating. When I was two and a half I developed Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis which limited my abilities to be active physically. My mom encouraged art as a form of expression for me, and she saw to it I had the supplies with which to do it. When I began my teaching career years later I was determined to give my students as much exposure to art as possible. I developed a curriculum of Art Appreciation activities for primary students with a co-teacher, a friend who had an interest in music. I involved the students with as many art-related activities as I could fit into our schedule. Throughout teaching I watched my primary students carefully while they painted. They were engrossed in pure wonder as they applied color, and they were filled with no trace of fear or worry as they applied big, expressive strokes and large shapes and lines. I wanted to be like that! "Oh boy!" I promised myself. "Just wait until I retire!"

What Am I working On?

Currently, I'm trying to spend more time with oils. I still love pastel painting, but I marvel at the feel of the brush being pulled through paint, the bounce of the canvas (or smoothness of the panel) as paint is applied and the look of brushstroke mark-making. More specifically, I am presently painting a small oil floral still life of roses in a vase. I have become enamored of  artists Barbara Flowers and Christine Lafuente's works of floral still lifes. I'm also trying hard to be that kid again that I mentioned above. I'm trying to schedule more time to just play with color combinations, design and limited palettes.

How Does My Work Differ From Others of Its Genre?

If by genre you mean subjects or categories, I'm very eclectic! I find something that interests me and want to paint it be it still life, animals, landscape, floral or figurative. So far, still life has been my dominant area of expression. I also tend to focus on the intimate view as opposed to a large scene with many objects.

Why Do I Create What I Do?

I've always had a creative urge in my life whether it be for art, teaching, writing, quilting, etc. I need that opportunity to express "something from Carol" mainly, I think, because it lets me know more about myself.  Presently, art-making is that expression for me. In recent years artists have taken the still life genre to a new place with informal, colorful, humorous (at times), approachable still life paintings. They have become relevant to current everyday life with their spoons and forks, fruit and veggies, ceramic animals and old trucks. I love that!!

 How Does My Creative Process Work?

Sometimes, selecting a subject or theme is the most difficult part for me. That may sound silly. One would think that would never be a problem with the whole world before you. Often resource material is lean if you have a particular wish to paint cows and you live in the city, or you want to paint children playing, but you live in a retirement community. But, for me, the biggest requirement is good lighting. Light is everything in painting. It's the excitement and challenge in the process.

Being inspired is the first step. Then, I do some sort of value study, mostly very informal. I prepare the surface with an underpainting or do a monochrome value study directly onto the surface. Or, I sometimes block in the big shapes in the beginning then modify each shape gradually by adding more and more detail. Thin paint first, then a heavier, thicker layer. I rarely paint alla prima. I have to admit I work too slowly for that, but two to five days to finish a painting is about average.

Now, I am passing the Blog Hop Baton to two talented and inspiring artists. They will post next Monday, November 10th. Look for them. Here are their links:

Diana Marshall  I have followed Diana for some time enjoying her beautiful work in oil. She paints in a Contemporary Realist manner and her work is exquisite! Wait till you see her grapes! Diana lives in Ireland, and paints with rich color and beautiful light. She has a real talent for composing her still life setups, and also paints animals as well as her amazingly beautiful Ireland. She's a very gifted and respected artist!

R H (Rhonda) Carpenter   Rhonda's blog is called "Watercolor and Words" and it continues to be an informative, inspiring blog about methods, materials and projects with watercolor. She will walk you through her processes with these materials and carefully explain do's and don't's regarding them. Recently, she worked with "pours" and had lovely work come out of that project. When I began blogging over three years ago, Rhonda was one of the first artists to welcome me to this blogging world. Thank you, Rhonda!


Monday, October 6, 2014

Orchids and Shadows Pastel 9" X 12" SOLD


As a Mother's Day gift my son presented me with a gorgeous orchid plant similar to this one. I've never had an orchid plant before and must admit I was a bit intimidated by them. It's October now and the plant is still doing well. Surprise! Surprise! It's gone through the flower-dying stage and the old stem cutting-off stage, it has grown two new leaves, and it has also been re-potted! I'm kind of proud of myself actually.

I was worried about being able to paint the "faces" of the flowers with all the parts they have. I decided to simplify the centers quite a bit, and I think it worked. The Wallis paper had been dry-mounted to foamcore, and it was really a nice surface to work on. I liked the stiffness of the foamcore underneath it all.

Available HERE.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Perky 8" X 8" Oil on panel

I think I used seven different yellows in this painting. With some I added white, a bit of raw sienna, burnt sienna, orange or green. I'm sure I'll be seeing yellow in my dreams for awhile.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mesquite Leaves al Fresco 8" X 6" oil on canvasboard SOLD

One of our favorite animals in the desert area we live in south of Tucson is the Cottontail Rabbit. In the mornings they wander the neighborhoods looking for food and water. My husband was on HIS morning walk when he spotted this little one feasting on some mesquite leaves. The rabbit would grab the branch and pull it to himself so he could nibble.

This painting will be available beginning September 1 on Daily Paintworks. Click  HERE.

Have a wonderful Labor Day!!

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Shell Seekers 9" X 12" Pastel

The coastal towns of central California -Monterey and Pacific Grove - are wonderfully scenic and a great environment for enjoyment and for learning. People climb the rocks looking for shells or enjoying the tidepools that are teaming with life. We watched these two young ladies climb all over several formations fascinated with every nook and crevice.

I was a wee bit tired of rocks when I finished, but enjoyed the many different colors found in the rocks themselves. Wallis pastel paper has a heavier grit for the pastel to cling to than most other papers for pastel. I use it whenever I have a subject that is highly textured such as

This painting is available at Daily Paintworks. Click HERE.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Landon's Rose 5" X 7" Oil on panel


My six-year-old grandson, Landon, recently moved into their first house after apartment-living. It has a big backyard - perfect for two active boys. There are several rose bushes put in by the previous homeowners. When my husband and I went on our first visit there Landon presented me with a rose he had picked with his Daddy's permission. He had put it in a glass with water. One of those moments Grandma's love.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Reaching 6" X 12" Pastel on Pastelbord

Tulips have always been one of my favorite flowers, I guess because I grew up living near many commercially grown tulip farms. Springtime was a kaleidoscope of color when the tulips blossomed. This tulip variety is unknown to me. They resemble Ballerina Tulips and Burgundy Tulips, but please let me know if you can identify the  correct name.

Available at DailyPaintworks HERE.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Desert Color 6" X 8" Pastel on Wallis

In spite of having little rain this winter the Prickly Pear cacti  in this part of Arizona bloomed vigorously. After they bloom and the flowers fall off, the birds break open the fruit and eat the seeds. Although I haven't done it some people make jams/jellies from the fruit as well.

I did some "dusting" with pastel on this painting. I was wanting texture and an impressionistic feel so I scraped pastel dust lightly over some areas to give it an "unfocused" look. I like the look, and I hope you do as well!

 Link to purchase is HERE.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Little Big Bird 8" X 8" Pastel SOLD

This photo is one from Morguefile, a great resource for artists. I was charmed by the little bird's pose and expression. I have no idea what kind of bird it is...just that he makes me smile.

The more I work with Pastelmat the more I am impressed. It feels smooth to the touch, comes in different colors but holds an enormous amount of pastel. It takes a wet wash beautifully with little or no warping. It's a winner in my mind.

Daily Paintworks will have this painting for auctionbeginning Saturday, June 21.
Click HERE.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Kelp Forest 11" X 17" Pastel on Wallis paper

I really enjoyed painting this one as I never before had painted kelp. Funny how one can "let an idea simmer" for a long time, and then you realize it's time to actually put paint/pastel to paper!
When we lived in Monterey, CA we used to watch the scuba divers suit up and spend hours exploring the kelp beds of the California coast. I can only imagine what beautiful things they saw.

I did an underpainting first using Caran d'Ache watercolor crayons deliberately letting the colors run into each other. Then I applied several layers of pastel using sticks of several brands including Terry Ludwig, Unison, Sennelier and a few Rembrandts for the small details. My favorite parts to work were the different patches of ocean water. Blue and turquoise have always been my favorite colors, so I was in my element!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lunch Break 8" X 8" Oil on Gessobord

I can remember the moment when I first became fascinated with shorebirds. It was in the movie, "The Sandpiper" with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton sometime in the 70's. Yes, I'm afraid I'm THAT old! Watching those little sandpipers try to outrun the incoming waves rather set the tone for me. My husband and I lived in Monterey on the central coast of California where the movie was filmed. From that time on I enjoyed watching, naming and photographing the different species of shorebirds in the area. There are many different kinds of Avocets which is the one in the painting. This one is the American Avocet, and I understand they get an orange-ish coloring on their neck and head during mating season. They're quite the striking bird with their black and white coloring and scooped bill.

Painting is available at DailyPaintworks HERE:

Thank you for looking, and have a great week everybody!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Observer 16" X 20" pastel on Art Spectrum board

Coyotes abound in this area and are most active in the summer especially at night when they hunt. Every so often we see one strolling through the neighborhood early in the morning, or we hear a pack of them howling together probably after they've found a meal.

The Art Spectrum "board" I used was a deep terracotta color which turned out to be a good match for much of his fur. I left the base color peeking through the pastel in places instead of covering it all up.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Early Arrivals 8" x 8" Pastel on PastelMat

Recently, an artist friend won First Place in a local art show put on by our local Art League. Several of us have an "art get-together" once a week where we all work on our current projects, so we saw her beautiful painting come to life over the weeks.

We had a simple celebration party for her at the following weekly get-together. We had a tulip bouquet on the table to celebrate our friend, the arrival of Spring, and friendship in general. These tulips were from the bouquet.

The painting will be auctioned on the DailyPaintworks website beginning tomorrow, April 1. (Seriously.) Click  HERE for the link.

Monday, March 10, 2014

More Marbles #2 8" X 8" pastel on Pastelmat

What a joy it was to paint another marble painting. All those circles and ellipticals and colors. Just plain old fun!!

DailyPaintworks will have this up for auction beginning Tuesday, March 11th at this link: