Thursday, May 29, 2014

Shaken? Or Stirred?

Shaken? Or Stirred?. Original oil on panel, 6" x 6".
I had so much fun with the shaker and glass combo yesterday that I decided to give it another go. One glass fewer here allowed me to do more with the reflections. Depression glass looks so bright against a dark background, which made for some great color in the shaker.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

We're Gonna Need a Bigger Shaker

We're Gonna Need a Bigger Shaker. Original oil on panel, 6" x 6".
Some paintings want to be painted. While I wouldn't exactly say this one painted itself, it did come together in a less-than-painful manner. I have to admit I am suppressing a squee of delight right now. The hang of this thing might just be gotten. And a look could even be emerging. Big project… soon...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Stirred, Not Shaken

Stirred, Not Shaken. Original oil on panel, 6" x 6".
Finally, the entire strainer in all its glory! I think I painted the top of it at least twice, and went back and forth a few times on the handle, but ended up happy. I hadn't gotten around to this neat, "modern" champagne coupe yet, probably because it was just clear glass. It ended up being way more fun than expected. The backdrop is a new tile wall with smaller-scale tiles, combined with another linoleum square. I loved the combo of the reddish deep brown lino with the handle and grapefruit wedge. Just enough color. These are really starting to have the feel I want.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Green Grapefruit Martini

Green Grapefruit Martini. Original oil on panel, 6" x 6".
This is another study done with an eye toward The Project. The Hillyard trip was the gift that keeps giving, this time with a fantastic green Depression Glass mini martini, and a peeler with sweet striped wooden handle. What a great contrast all that old green stuff made with the pink grapefruit and "slate" linoleum! I've also been playing with the lighting as I go. This is probably the most neutral light I've found, somewhere between "bright white" and "daylight" at 4500k.

I was happy enough with this one to make it my banner image. 

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Blue Glass, Oranges

Blue Glass, Oranges. Original oil on panel, 6" x 6".
This one is a mix of new and old, including this crazy blue glass with raised polka dots. I was getting pretty sick of my monochrome backgrounds, so one evening I took off to the hardware store looking for something, anything really, to give me some backdrop options. At first I looked at some big, heavy, granite-like tiles. I even had one in my cart when I rounded the corner and found the perfect thing---18" square adhesive vinyl tiles in a variety of "natural" finishes. Lightweight, perfect size, major score!

The goal for this piece was to start thinking in terms of my "final" pieces… meaning more emphasis on compositions and color schemes. I was really happy with the outcome.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Strainer, Grapefruit, Glass

Strainer, Grapefruit, Glass. Original oil on panel, 6" x 6".
The purple and blue glasses were too much fun to put away. I wanted to work on simplifying them more, and I really like how the colors came out. This time I added a fantastic antique strainer I found at one of the Hillyard shops. The marbled handle looks like horn or tortoiseshell, but is made of Bakelite. Not that you can tell from half an inch of it, but I will tackle it again in the future. I expected the springy bit to be horrible to paint, but it was the easiest part of the whole thing.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mixed Drinks


Mixed Drinks. Original oil on panel, 6" x 6".
Back to my purple glass and serving tray. More glass work this time, with a great pale blue champagne coupe from United Hillyard Antique Mall. Hillyard antique dealers seem to have collected most of the vintage glassware. Almost too many choices. The mixing spoon came from the same place, and has a jigger and bottle opener on the other end. Too cool!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bitters Bottles

Bitters Bottles. Original oil on panel, 6" x 6".
Another antique run resulted in these great little colored bottles. I imagine them holding more homemade bitters at some point. I think this is the second attempt at them. The first one came out a bit futzy, so this was an effort to simplify. Which I did, considerably. I finally had enough of lemons and bought a pink grapefruit, too.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Lemon Jigger


This is one of the pieces I was really happy about. I went on another massive prop shop, this time filling in with some new items. After several sessions painting lightly-tinted, faceted glass, this smooth, deep aubergine glass was a ton of fun! The jigger was an interesting challenge, but I like the look. I was especially happy to finally have dared paint the antique serving tray I found at the Velveteen Rabbit Antiques. I loved the warm tarnished highlights and the deeply tinted reflections.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Shot of Spring


Shot of Spring. Original oil on panel, 6" x 6".
 Original oil on panel, 6" x 6".
More glass work! I found it was one thing to get the concept of painting the background behind the glass first, and another thing completely to get myself to do it! I love the combination of these springy colors, and how the reflections in the glass bring the lemon yellow into the entire subject.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Bitter and Sour

Bitter and Sour. Original oil on panel, 6" x 6".
Again with the Amaro! In my defense, I didn't have many props at this point. And I still wanted to practice this colored-liquid business. On the subject of color, I do love the combo of the Amaro and the sweet pink glass I found at Neat Old Stuff. This speakeasy-like antique and vintage store seemed the perfect spot to find vintage cocktail-abilia. Eventually, I did buy other fruit as well.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Green Glass

Original oil on panel, 6" x 6".
Here's a relatively simplified setup. I wanted to concentrate on glass with this piece, simplifying the depression glass shot even more. The Amaro appears again as well, as I think the future holds many glass things with colored liquid. Looking at it now, it seems like it should have been easier than it was to paint. But I guess that's just the trick, isn't it?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lemon, Amaro, Bakelite Knife

Original oil on panel, 6" x 6".
This may be number four or five in the series… I think there were some real clunkers a few days in. Here I re-tackled the green glasses, and I think simplified effectively. The bakelite handle of the vintage carving knife was a real challenge with its color variations and vague translucence. After finally bothering to go to the grocery store, I got to have fun painting a lemon, and rounding out the scene is my husband Paul's delicious homemade Amaro. Feeling a bit thirsty...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014



Original oil on panel, 6" x 6".
This is the second still life of what I will call the Mixology Sessions. One of my overall goals is to simplify my painting. The elaborately faceted green and blue glasses did NOT contribute to my efforts. But I did like the colors. I could hardly believe my luck when I found the green shaker at Tossed and Found. Incidentally, T & F was also the source of yesterday's mini shaker with the cute spigot.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pink Martini, Wrong Glass

(Original oil on panel, 6" x 6".)

For a few years now, an idea has rattled around in the back of my head. 

Being immersed in a large and specific body of work, I just let it lie. But the idea got more persistent, and the big body of work less so, until it seemed time to act.

I'll get into details later, but the gist of the thing centers around still life and cocktails. As the idea evolved, pastel paintings became oil paintings, and a simple show of small works became a more elaborate and ambitious project.

Painting in oil, from life, is something I haven't attempted since college days. To help with this gear change, I took a workshop with still life painter Carol Marine. Then, after months of painting for spring art festivals, avoiding my studio during street construction, and probably no small amount of procrastination, I finally dug in. 

The past few weeks have been spent practicing. Painting glass and shiny stuff and fruit and all things cocktail have occupied every day, punctuated only by the occasional "prop shop." Scouring antique stores for vintage barware has been a treat, as has making bar-like backdrops such as the tiled mini-wall above.

I'll post select practice pieces here and on Daily Paintworks until I feel my style has evolved enough to do the final paintings. All are available for purchase unless otherwise specified.

Just for fun, here is the ever-growing collection: