Thursday, August 14, 2014


Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

Bijou is a painting I have been looking forward to for a long time. The word bijou means "jewel" in French, after the jewel colors of the three main ingredients: Gin represents diamonds; Chartreuse, emeralds; and Vermouth, rubies. I knew I wanted to put in a giant cocktail ring just for fun (this one thanks to Finders Keepers here in Spokane). 

By now I had a great set of perfect sparkly, jewel-y props: multi-colored glasses, a faceted-stem cocktail glass, the silver tray. I arranged them together and it looked really, really dull. The colors of the glasses are faint, so to punch it up I actually mixed the drink to add color. But the drink somehow erased the delicate blue of its glass. 

I decided to push through it anyway, and punch up the glassware colors in the painting itself. Before long I realized this was going to work out better than expected. I ended up capturing the sparkly, jewel-like quality I wanted in the end. Hooray!

For the next few weeks, I will be at an Artist Trust conference in Port Townsend, then off to the Sausalito Art Festival with a load of pastels. I look forward to painting more drinks in September!

Never miss a painting! Subscribe by email here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

I'm not sure I had ever tasted a daiquiri before making them for this recipe. Maybe once, long ago, and the memory of the cloyingly-sweet slushy of a drink was enough to deter me until now. Turns out daiquiris, made properly, are really good. How can light rum, lime juice and sugar (a small amount of sugar) be bad? 

Oh, by the way, there is something even better than light rum, lime juice and sugar. DARK rum, lime juice and a little less sugar. Still a daiquiri. Mmmm.

Never miss a painting! Subscribe by email here.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

First of all, I owe a big Thank You to our friends Richard and Kate Vander Wende. They graciously hosted Martini and Vesper night. I was a bit nervous about testing these recipes, since I have never particularly enjoyed martinis. But now all that has changed.

Here's how Richard did it: he chose the gin well (Sun Gun Club Gin). He set a bottle of vermouth on the counter, shook the gin with ice, poured it into glasses, and garnished with a delicious Picholine olive. Perfection. We did try a version where vermouth actually went into the glasses at about a 10:1 gin to vermouth ratio. It was slightly different, but no one could really see the point.

There are those who say that a Martini must contain vermouth to qualify as a Martini. But there are many creative ways to handle this… Richard's proximity method is one. You might also hold up the bottle of vermouth so that light shines through it onto the drink, look at the vermouth from across the room, or just catch its reflection in the shaker as I've done here. 

Never miss a painting! Subscribe by email here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

Born in a 1953 Ian Fleming novel, Vesper is the "newest" drink featured in my book. I decided to include it because 1. it is a delicious drink and 2. it gave me an excuse to paint Paul's awesome mid-century-esque rocket shaker. 

Just like its namesake in Casino Royale, Vesper the painting proved a bit treacherous. The Lillet label was a beast, but since it looks like it hasn't changed in 100 years and I like that, I persisted. I even switched out one of the shot glasses in frustration halfway through. The new shot glass ended up looking much better in the end. I love how it reflects the lemon's cute little pointy butt.

Never miss a painting! Subscribe by email here.