Monday, December 31, 2012

White and Red and Happy New Year

Hello and Happy New Year!
I am hoping it is prosperous and healthy for you all and for us. I so enjoy looking at everyones art and creative endeavors. Keep it up!
So here is my final (hmmmm, may still touch up one or two things) of the red bowl and white amaryllis.  Oil on canvas 8x10
Again, may you (safely) enjoy the New Year festivities and beyond.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

White and Red (WIP)

Because this month is getting away from me, I thought I'd better post something. So here is a work in progress. Happy with the red bowl and still tweaking the layers of the amaryllis.
Very Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate and A Very Happy New Year to all! (if I don't finish this and repost it before the end of the year.)
Cheers All!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Eagle Owl

I love the challenges that are posted around on various sites and sometimes I actually say OK, I'm gonna partake in that one! Lee, of A Day Not Wasted, posts his beautiful photos and a monthly challenge for artists of all styles.

Charcoal and earth pastels on Canson paper
cheers all!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Respect the 'stache (Gustave Courbet; the Desperate Man)

Gustave Courbet. The Desperate Man. (See, Eileen, I can spell) 
His self portrait and one of my favorite paintings. 
So close! Dang it! but just the slightest nuances and the whole thing shifts - his nose, as I ever seem to do - is dropped down a touch to far and that dropped his mouth down. Oh well, back to the drawing board. Had a blast drawing him. Charcoal on newsprint.
I am hoping and praying for those affected by Sandy. I hope you are all recovering. Rooting around for something to donate to the dailypaintworks Hurricane Sandy fundraiser

God's peace, Karen

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Melanie in charcoal

My youngest daughter had photography class in high school with her friend and I always liked this picture she took of Melanie.  She was very sweet girl and, as you can probably tell, very long and lanky and angular. They don't see each other any more but I think I'd like to call Melanie up and see if she would like to have my drawing of her. Unfortunately it was done on newsprint - ugh, not a fan - but oh well.
Should I work up the background? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Cheers all!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Model - Charcoal

Hi all! Its always an interesting emotional challenge to post your failures as well as what you (I, that is) consider successful. 
So I am taking a drawing class taught by Chris Armstrong at the same location where Tony Pro and Ryan Wurmser teach, where Warren Chang and Jeremy Lipking have taught.  
I have felt the need to be in a world of like-minded people (other than you distant like-minded people) for a while and needed get in better touch with my focus and discipline. I think I am making progress. The bottom pic is my first attempt with the actual photo of the model on left. The single is my second attempt with some direction from Chris. He is a very kind and patient instructor. There are errors on my second that - always! - jump out at me when I post them. The most glaring is that her eye is slightly too far to the right and slopes downward. And I dropped the corner of the mouth down. BUT at least it looks quite a bit more like her than the first attempt. Moving forward - that's my goal. 
Cheers all! And God's peace to you.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Like Velvet Cake

I bought my husband some Trader Joe's Red Chocolate Velvet cupcakes a while back, then took a picture of one to paint. I don't bake sweets much. It's not that I can't. I can. But I don't eat much in the way of sweets and try hard not to keep much in the house - gotta watch his waistline! I'm so much more a savory person (but then you knew that, didn't you?) So anywhoo, this cupcake will be resurfacing soon now that I've got its mugshot. I did enjoy painting it so much more that the latest previous quick pass at the lightbulb (deleted that one to repost a better pic) and its so much more edible.
Oil on canvas panel 8x10  No longer for sale
Cheers all!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Lamb and Kid

I drew this for our neighbors for their granddaughters. They are wonderful people, much older than us (at least he is muuuch older - married that younger woman, ooh la la). He had given me a magazine he gets and there were two separate pictures in there I combined. Re-uploaded this. Tweaked the daffodils a bit more but the paper cannot take much more. Overall pleased with it and decided not to rant.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Not her type

My, that Traveling Chicken is a cute gal. She really made an impression of my little friend here.  He quickly offered her a Tsingtao beer, but she said she preferred the South of the Border type (from what I've read in more ways than just her beer selection.) They agreed to let me paint them together - acrylic on watercolor paper - while they chatted. I must say he got all wound up for her, but she was kind and let him down easy. So now she and her "troop" are nearly packed up and ready to fly off to Sandy Sandy. I do hope in the future she'll come back for a return visit. We could go to Malibu beach, Disneyland,  Hollywood, Beverly Hills......
I forgot to add her blog:  She is always looking for new places to roost.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Raspberry Seduction

This was actually done - as done as I think I'm done with it - about two weeks ago. But my husband and I went with friends on a small trip to June Lake for the holiday. (Fireworks at Bridgeport, a trip to Bodie, talking and reading...and eating, oh man, eating at the Convict Lake lodge! Thank heaven I could run every day I was up there.) That and other assorted things and I've looked at this and just didn't want to put a brush to it again. So its done.
Oil on canvas 8x10
post note: :)
LOL! Well judging from the reaction over on deviantart, I'd say I guess it certainly appears suggestive. Snapdragon warned me which is why I titled it thus. In reality it was only a glass of wine and soda with ice, topped off with raspberries. haha
Cheers all!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I am pleased with this. I feel I've got a good grip what direction I want to go. But maybe you do the same thing I do and see someone else's work and feel like you're back to square one. I follow so many fabulous artists who do so many different kinds of fabulous things. Do we ever get to the level we desire to attain? Or is it all just about the chase? I really don't know. 
I just know I want to paint.... and paint and paint and....  draw. 
Oil on Fredrix paint board 8x10 (love these boards!)
The inspiration for this is by a couple over on deviantarts who go by the name of dadilights. They offer use of their stock unrestricted (some of their stuff is not for the faint of heart - so I've warned you!)

Cheers all! God's peace to you

Available at my Etsy store:

Friday, June 8, 2012

Looking for a sign

So Snapdragon's friend took a picture of her, somewhere along the Kanan/Malibu corridor and the minute I saw it I had to paint it. So I did. So there.
Oil on canvas 18x24
 (I HATE taking photos of oil paintings - shine shine shine - grumble grumble grumble - gonna work smaller so I can always scan them)

Sung to the tune of Beck's newest, quite mellow "Looking for a Sign"
Cheers and, as always, God's peace

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Yellow Thermos

You would think I'd have come up with a more original title for this, but... I didn't. I am pleased with it overall, but if I were to do it again I would have planned out the clouds and under-painted the body of the thermos white to start with first. I do like how the white "mothy-creature" turned out. Gonna go post it on the yellow challenge over at and see what new deliciousness they've come with for this week's challenge.
Cheers all and God's peace.
Oil on canvas 8x10

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Yellow Thermos wip

Still tweaking this.
I was trying to get this finished a week ago for the yellow challenge over on but (in my true fashion) I don't work fast enough. Even with fast drying Walnut Alkyd (LUV THAT STUFF!)
Made the best pancakes this morning. Yogurt, oat bran, egg whites, mashed banana.... HAHA, my husband just randomly said "Good pancakes!" from the kitchen. 
Cheers all! Will post the final soon. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Touching Base

Hi all. Just thought I'd touch base.
So, my 91 year old mother-in-law was seriously hurting - her back - and my oldest went to live with her to make sure she didn't fall or anything. But Grandma (AKA the energizer bunny) thought she would just make it to the restroom herself and, of course, fell. So we've had long days in ER, and the Hospital, and now, a convalescence hospital. But she is recovering nicely. She has a mind like a steel trap and like I said just keeps going and going and going...... We should all be so lucky to be of sound mind, if not body when we're 91. She tells the greatest stories about WW2 and being a enlisted nurse stationed in India.
Anywhoo, I washed the sheets on the bed and threw the down comforter on the ground and then decided I needed to practice drawing folds and such. So there you have it. Folds and such.
Pencil and charcoal on that Canson paper I like so much.
Cheers all. May your days NOT be filled with visits to the ER.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

New Orleans Statue/Bust

So, when we were in New Orleans last last summer (that's two summers ago in my speak) we went to the Houmas House Plantation (a stunning place!) and I randomly snapped a picture of a beautiful bust in the interior that as I recall was the image "the first ? of ?" The first governor of Louisiana? The first mayor of New Orleans? I've searched on google using every thought trail I could think of and no luck. Sooo, if any of you know "What, Who, Why" please, please tell me!
Pencil on some annoying paper so I called it quits - We'll just chalk it up to nose/jaw/curl practice (He rather looked like Roger Daltrey, didn't he? At least that is my impression. Quite Handsome.)
Cheers all!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Leaving (New York)

Leaving New York oil on canvas 18x14
Well....Can I say I feel as if I'm improving? As an artist? I think I am. 
The below is how she started many many moons ago and above is how she looks today.
 I changed her....everything.....
My youngest was on a school trip to New York and took a picture of a classmate. She is quite a beautiful girl and I couldn't capture her - not a good enough artist I'm afraid. So I changed her. 
The color of her blue eyes, darkened her hair color, got rid of that silly lip crunch that every teenage girl did a few years back. And of course, skin color. Oil and skin color.... I'll get it all together someday.

Sung to the tune of R.E.M.'s "Leaving New York"
I love that band....always will. Cherish the memory of seeing them in concert.
Well all, cheers and God's peace to you all. Again, I love seeing your work.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Viewing the vines

We went wine tasting in Santa Barbara last summer (I tell you, I learned so much at the Firestone winery - I highly recommend it and it is just a stunning place) and when this woman pulled out her umbrella as the group toured the vines I snapped a picture of her. And knew right then I'd be painting her. I sure all of you have either done so or had wished you had a camera for something that just screamed "paint me!" So many visions lodged in my brain that I wished I had pictures of. I need to do some memory painting to purge them.

Post note: How very pleasant! This one is sold.

6x6 oil on canvas
Cheers and God's peace. Have a lovely weekend filled with art.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Houston, we have a problem

Hi. Brought my little friend back and, well, its really rather fitting to publish him now because February 20th is the 50th anniversary of the Friendship 7 orbit. I didn't know that when I started on him. I just knew I wanted to put him in an astronaut helmet. To infinity and beyond.....

9x12 Charcoal and pencil on Canson Bristol

Sung to the tune of Major Tom by Peter Schilling - or in this case by Shiny Toy Guns because stoopid Itunes doesn't carry the english version of the song. Ich will nicht die deutsch version. I know, I know, you're surprised I've not chosen David Bowie's Space Oddity, but Major Tom is just so fitting.

Friday, February 10, 2012

White on

A "paint white" challenge from over on
It was a fun, and yes, challenging!
8x10 oil on canvas

cheers and God's peace,

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Orange you gonna say hello

Have you had a Cara Cara orange? They are so beautiful (and they taste just wonderful!)
Everything I've painted lately has been yellow and blue and I cut open this orange and was blown away by the beautiful reds in it. You've got to see one!

Small oil study (was going for the really soft edges like Jeff Legg and Michael Naples but I kept pulling it back in. Gotta work on that)
8x10 canvas

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

John I'm only dancing

Did this back in 2009
    with mostly just pencil (pencil doesn't scan well, too shiny)
Thought I'd pull it out and post it as David Bowie turned 65 last month.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sing it out

I am happy with this. I am especially happy with the tail feathers, but I wish I was a better artist to have captured the softness of the chest and the face without losing the crispness. (Does that make sense?)
Again, credit to Dave Slaughter's beautiful photo which can be found over on in their library. I am posting this over there soon and thanking him.
On another note:
I love having a blog. I love that you all have blogs. I love seeing everyone's fabulous art and thoughts. On that note, when my friend Marcus Finch arrives - which he will eventually - please check out his blog and wonderful art.
Ha ha, Marcus, got you!

Oil on canvas 8x10
Sung to the tune of "Sing it out" by Switchfoot. If you want to hear the song in a lovely pure form with just lyrics go to YouTube and check out it out
Sing It Out by Switchfoot [[with lyrics]]

Cheers and God's peace.
Post Note: Sold at an Auction for LRCC (Lutheran Retreats, Camps and Conferences)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sing it out wip 1 & 2

Wip #2 

                                                                         Wip #1
The grisaille start of something I've almost completed. Oil on canvas 8x10. Bird photo image courtesy of Dave Slaughter from what he posted on Wetcanvas' Library.  (They have wonderful stock photos to choose from)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pansy Duo

I'm calling this finished (unless later on I decide it needs.... something. Hmm. We'll see.)

Went yesterday to the Los Angeles Art Show at the convention center with a friend. This is the third year we've gone together and we agreed this year was better than the last, although my fav year was the first year I went to four years ago.  That year I stood in front of Steven Skollar's HUGH robot painting and wondered if I'd ever be able to paint something as wonderful. It was about the coolest painting I've ever seen. If I ever become a multimillionaire I'm gonna track it down and hound the people who own it until they sell it to me. Then I'll have to expand a wall in order to have a place big enough to hang it on. Oh (hand over forehead), the trials and tribulations of the rich and not so famous.
Anywhoo, this year's show was filled with lovely pieces of deliciousness. To stand in front of pieces by Rob Liberace, Julio Reyes, Daniel Sprick, Daniel Adel, Ron Hicks, and Kate Sammons. Heaven! (Well, my idea of heaven!)
Cheers and God's peace,

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pansy wip and Donato Giancola's DVD

Hi all,
Wanted to do a real quick alla prima study and, of course, couldn't let it go at that. Just had to go back at it even though my subjects died. Didn't take a photo of them when I should have. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. So, I started this in the Jane Jones patented method (it's not really patented, I'm just goshin' wid ya) whereas Jane paints the entire background first, then blocks in the subject completely over that and if its bright flowers, she under-paints their area with white so the colors really pop.
OK, so that's my wip of my start.
More importantly, I'm so excited! I just purchased Donato Giancola's latest instructional DVD, the painting of Joan of Arc. I have long desired his DVD of "The Mechanic" but, quite honestly, couldn't find any reviews on it so I held off. This time around I figured its his second DVD, I believe its longer than the first, and I thought the price sounded reasonably - I paid $55 with tax and shipping. A splurge. He does realistic fantasy work and I remember seeing his painting of the stormy shipwreck, man and mermaid a few years back and just studying it for hours. So I've got my fingers crossed.
Post Note: If you are on the fence about buying Donato's DVD - DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND BUY IT! He is so charismatic and so informative. I found myself looking at the screen as if he was speaking to me alone. Amazing! I wish I lived close enough to partake in one of his real-life classes. I can't say enough good things!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Breakfast is served

Hi all,
Happy New Year.
This is the second to last painting I did for 2011. I am quite happy with it overall. (9x12 oil on canvas)

I love when I learn something that I already knew that I didn't know I knew (you know what I mean, don't you?)

From Robert Glenn’s Twice Weekly Letter from the Painter’s Keys site:
Artist: "You're boring me."
Painting: "I'm sorry."
Artist: "You're too fiddly."
Painting: "You could solidify me here with a dash of colour."
Artist: "Good idea. Also, that little thing is not standing in front of that other thing."
Painting: "That should be no trouble to fix."
Artist: "But you still look jumpy and out of whack."
Painting: "See what I'm like in black and white."
Artist: "And now you're lacking in warmth and colour surprise."
Painting: "What about giving me a swipe of really orange sunset behind everything?"
Artist: "Okay. I'll do it."
Painting: "I love it when you are so positive and just sock it to me."

And Artist Daily recommended shrinking the painting you are working on:
I don't mean literally shrink it, but if you take a photo of your painting and reduce it to thumbnail size and it still holds together compositionally, you've got a good piece on your hands.

 I smacked my head when I read both of these things yet I knew them, didn't I? Live and learn once again, eh?
Ok, be good and kind and God's peace
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