Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Champagne Pop

Happy New Year.
I am feeling a bit more festive today and looking forward to new fresh year. 

I wasn't quite sure if I would have this finished by today so I took this pic of my work in progress. After I got my hand - yes, my actual hand was the model (thank you hand) - in semi-realistic fashion I went to work on the bottle and fizz. I'm quite pleased with the results and it was fun to paint.
Oil on canvas, 10x10", still life. Available
 So again, Cheers all and God's Peace in the new Year.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sail Away

From the moment I started painting this I was certain I wanted to entitle it "Sail Away" and I admit the lyrics to the song "Come Sail Away" by the band Styx really fit my mood of late, but if you've an ear for it listen to "Orinoco Flow" by Enya instead. Sometimes I feel, that much like my art, musically I'm all over the place. It keeps me interesting instead of stagnant.
Oil on wood panel (I'm not pleased with my application of gesso - I made the panel quite ripply) 8x8"

Anywhoo, I personally cannot wait for this not so great year to pass into memory. I know, don't wish your life away.
Happy (hopefully) New year.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Silver and Cold

Hi all and Merry Christmas.

Oil painting on canvas board. 9x12

God's peace.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Stopper for my Wine

One Christmas a friend of ours gave me a funny set of wine stoppers. I'll paint the others soon, but this is my favorite. It has a glass door handle and is just beautiful.
5x5" Still life Oil on panel
Available on dailypaintworks
God's peace.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


If only they would

Oil on panel 8x12"
Available http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/karen-stitt/listen/185135

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Robby - I heart Spacebook

So Robby is about to make his voyage to his new docking station, but I thought I'd share his fresh new banner with you all.
Cheers all!
To infinite and beyond!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Tea and sympathy

This tea pot plunked its self into my life and the minute it did, I knew I was going to paint its portrait.
Oil on canvas 8x10"
For sale
As the holiday of Thanksgiving approached here in America, I wish I could pour a cup a tea for each of you, listen to your joys and heartaches, and laugh with each of you.  I am so grateful for home, hearth, family, and to live in a time and place where I enjoy my free time as I choose. I choose to paint!
God's blessings.
Cheers all.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Strawberry Fields Forever

I had set this aside for quite some time. I couldn't get it to gel. And then one day I pulled it out, told it I was going to win this draw and it cooperated - at least to the best of my abilities at this time.
At the painting classes I attend, there is a group of artists there whom appear to have been in class together for some time. They are a very pleasant group. But.... (you saw that coming didn't you?)
One of them in particular does this slow rant under their breath as class progresses until it erupts into a group chant "I can't paint, you can't paint, we all can't paint."
I'm starting to not enjoy that aspect of class, especially when the pallet get cleaned up early (with grumbling), the painting goes into the trash with a loud "thunk" and the artist storms out.

So, when I read this other day I chuckled:

From Studio Incamminati blog Nov. 9, 2011 by Robin Dawn Frey
Several things have helped me overcome feelings and thoughts of inadequacy: I heard Richard Schmidt once say that he does not degrade himself or his art...(that was sort of a wake-up call for me!). Having Nelson Shanks tell me to "rise to the challenge of painting..."(never forgot that!). Reading the book "Painting and the Personal Equation," by Charles Woodbury, and landing on the passage where he says to become a better painter, he or she has to change as a person. Lastly, I got completely exhausted from questioning myself and my work. That kind of self-dialogue just doesn’t help...it gets in the way of progress, and it just is not necessary!

I had one student who used to perpetually degrade herself and her art, and I used to tell her over and over that she had to quit doing that. She continued taking my Saturday class, and slowly started to improve. One day I asked her how she had turned this corner, and she just said “I got tired of being so negative.” Hmmmm...

I wish I could attend classes at Studio Incamminati but whatever class I am in, I am there to learn. (I remember reading something - I think it was about conducting workshops by the wonderful egg tempura painter Koo Schadler, but I could be wrong - who said the hardest student was the one who thought they'd be taking home a masterpiece.)

Oil painting on panel, 10x8", landscape (?!) (hm, still life? fantasty? - your guess is as good as mine! For sale on dailypaintworks.com
Cheers all! God's peace.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fall squash

Happy fall.
Oil on canvas 8x10" still life
Contact me at ksstitt@aol.com for purchase info
cheers all,

Friday, October 25, 2013

A little bit of Halloween fun

I used to decorate the house up when the kids were little. It was fun. But so far this year this is the extent of my "Halloween decorating." Hm. I need to go pull out "Witchy Poo." The season just isn't complete without her.
Still life 12x9"Oil painting on canvas NFS
From a pic on deviantart http://fav.me/d5rix9a

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pumpkin and Glass

Perhaps you've read the same thing I recently read in one of the art magazines. Some artists don't paint "orange" pumpkins for the sheer reason it is considered "seasonal" art. Makes sense. But I love orange. Give me a yellowy-red orange and it makes me feels all warm and cozy. My husband carried home this little gem and presented it to me like it was a diamond ring. I gushed all over it. See! Warm and cozy.
Oil on canvas 8x10" still life (painted from life - yeah!)
cheers all,
Contact me at ksstitt@aol.com for purchase info

Friday, October 4, 2013

Life Model 1

This is my result of the first day at a new class over at Calartinst with Mark Schwartz. Life painting with a nice length of four hours and, of course, I loved every minute of it.  Omg holding the same pose that long with just a few stretches. Oooph! I would never want to do that! I never did catch her name, although the others in the class called out hello to her. I do wish I had begun with a few colors rather than (ivory) black and (titanium) white as she had beautiful long, red hair and was wearing some bright turquoise earrings.
Titanium dioxide is used in paints, of course, and paper, plastics and..... wait for it..... toothpaste. Makes me want to run out and buy the natural stuff.
Here's a link to Mark's blog http://markschwartzart.blogspot.com/ Check out his drawings. wow

Oil on canvas 8x10"
Cheers all and God's peace.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Calm and Rough

Why is it waves are so calming even when they surge?
You know what I mean? I find it so.
Anywhoo, thanks for letting me....um, expound on my last post. I guess I just needed to vent. (I did have a few nice conversations as a result of it :) I promise not to be a snivel-bunny any time soon.
In any case, I really enjoyed painting this. From a stock photo by shutterbugmom on deviantarts http://fav.me/d1yy090

Oil on canvas panel board, 14x11" wave landscape (that's funny! wave landscape? lol)
SOLD * Auction bid on dailypaintworks.com (and I didn't realize they took the first most recent post! Whoo boy! People must thinks I rant allll the time!)
Cheers all!
*Please contact me if you would like to commission a similar painting.

Friday, September 13, 2013


I couldn't come up with a more exciting title for this? Pottery .... hm. Oh well. I certainly didn't take a stellar pic of it either.
So, Friday the thirteenth.
I admit I've been a tad blue.
 I have to say Robert Genn's clickback article "Happy times here again?" started me off. http://clicks.robertgenn.com/happy-times.php There was that darn last paragraph:
Selling of "Painting a Day" and such for $200 is okay but it's not a career. EBay and Etsy are still garage sales. Amazon, to its credit, is pioneering the sale of paintings online with the apparent endorsement of what appear to be galleries. 
I really like Robert's Twice-Weekly letters. He just happened to rain on my parade that day. Garage sales?
Then my issue of American Art Review came. Their Fortieth Anniversary Issue. Now, I have a very soft spot in my heart for this magazine. Their associate editor Jill Redmond and I had a random and lovely conversation back in February (she used to live nearby where I live and we shared a few memories of the area.) We talked for about 40 minutes and part of the conversation was about how magazines, especially art magazines, are a not a draw for the younger audience, especially a magazine like American Art Review which is really more has more of a historical slant. I love art history.
So the other thing that sunk my boat? The editor, Thomas Kellaway, summed up the fortieth anniversary issue with a few thoughts and here are two of his:
#1 Most people can, unbelievably, live without art. 
#3 Art is desirable to a significant but small group of people. 

This, in itself, certainly isn't a surprise. Is it? I mean, I wouldn't subscribe to the latest issue of Bus World. I don't care for buses so I would say they are desirable to a significant but small group of people. But ART! Not Art!
But both of these articles ended with upbeat thoughts. Robert's final sentence was: In art galleries and out, my prognosis is that more original art is going to be sold over the next two decades than in the entire history of art. Stick around; there's going to be some grazing. 
And Thomas Kellaway's was "Collectors do buy art that is advertised in magazines." 
So... encouraging.
I know... no, I KNOW I paint for myself. (and I take terrible pics of my work and that certainly doesn't  make them shine.)  But I'll keep plugging along, learning and polishing my rough edges. In fact, I've actually completed three paintings during this time. Now if I could just take some decent photos...
Cheers all. I apologize if you've found my ranting a downer. 
Oil on board 6x6"  Yes, available for sale $25 at.... sigh, .... Etsy. (Snapdragon wanted it but I said no. She steals too much of my work)

God's peace.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Just Listed

Even though the temperature is soaring, it kinda feels like the edge of autumn to me. 
Anywhoo, I had "girls night" over here the other day and got some very positive remarks from my friends when they spied this on the easel. One of them said when she retired she wanted to take up painting. That felt "too late" to me. I'm scrambling to learn as much as I can now. For example: Manufacturers of pigments use the word hue e.g. 'Cadmium Yellow (hue)' to indicate that the original pigmentation ingredient, often toxic, has been replaced by safer (or cheaper) alternatives whilst retaining the hue of the original. Replacements are often used for chromiumcadmium and alizarin.
 I was unhappy with a tube of cadmium yellow paint that (sure enough) read (hue) on its label.
Hm. Buyer beware (or at least be knowledgeable.) Again with the yellow!
Oil painting on board 8x8" Available for sale at my Etsy shop. 

Cheers all!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Who doesn't love Robby?

And now for something completely different....
How could Robby the Robot not make anyone smile? I had to snatch him back from the jaws of... I mean, from my daughter who oohed and awed over him and threatened to run off with him when he wasn't even finished.

(I have to say my classwork has helped me tremendously with form detail.)

This a scan which is closer to his colors, but it cut off his toes. (Not that Robby has toes....) Eventually I'm going to paint something on his sign. No, it's not a purse! Why would Robby carry a purse? He has a wallet. And a fanny pack. 

And here I am holding him close. He's not too big... about 8x12". Oil on board. 
All-righty then. To Infinity and Beyond!
Cheers all! Karen

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Portrait of a Georgian Princess Study

 So this is my attempt at Portrait of a Georgian Princess by 


Drawn straight onto my gessoed board surface. I read an article by master-artist Daniel Greene from a few years back where he suggested making your own MDF panels. I bought some MDF at the hardware store, had my husband cut it up in smaller random pieces, wiped it down with mineral spirits, sanded it, coated it with gesso and sanded it down smooth again. Piece of cake! (Need to recheck about treating both sides. I'll get back to you on that. Though I suppose gesso the other side, then sealed with varnish would probably suffice.)

She looks like I beat her up here, poor thing. My goal is the one behind. 

This was actually shot upside down and I flipped it to post it. I really agree that painting upside down is a good way to trick the eye and brain. And Oh boy, the things that jump out at you when you really study something up close: SHE HAS ZOMBIE HANDS!  Well, they look like zombie hands. Take a closer look at her lower hand and the multi colored mottling. If I had hands like that, they'd say I needed to go to the doctor to have my circulatory system checked out. 

Now, I know I certainly wouldn't fool any museum conservators, but I am quite happy with how she turned out. And it was a better attempt and finish than the last one. Much closer to the mark, although mine looks not as young or as innocent. She was TOUGH!  I am reassured in that I recently read most painters would have a difficult time recreating their own masterpieces. And I had to scan this as I couldn't get a decent photo (see that oil glare in the photo above!) so unfortunately it appears , um, grainy.  
C&Cs welcome. (In true fashion, I think I dropped the nose down a tad too long.)
Oil on panel 8x10
Well, that's all I have to share. We went up to the Sierras for our Fourth of July. (So beautiful!) Hope you all had a good holiday, or a wonderful weekend, whichever applies. 
Cheers all and God's peace to you.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Hi and Hello,
I mentioned earlier my art classes had gone onto perspective and I absolutely needed to be dragged about by the ear to learn it...correctly. I have to say Chris (Armstrong) does a calm and relaxed job of teaching it. One of the first nights of class I threw my hands in the air and went home quite frustrated with myself, but from that point on it all made sense. I quite enjoyed drawing this, from a photo my husband took in Veracruz, Mexico.
Pencil, Prismacolor markers in cool and warms (those are fun!), touch of colored pencil and white charcoal on Canson paper, about 12x9

Revisiting the music of Queen. Freddie Mercury really did have a wonderful, wonderful singing range
Cheers all!
God's peace!
Postnote: I got a second place ribbon at CalArtisnt! Yeah! :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Cecilia Beaux in Charcoal

I've been tinkering around with this for about a month and I guess I've reached a point where I'm not interested in taking it any further. So, my homage to Cecilia Beaux who painted some stunning, stunning artwork. Two of my favorites of hers are Sita and Sarita 1893 and Mother and Daughter 1898. Somewhat tragically it appears she more or less stopped painting after she fell in Paris and broke her hip in the 1920s. But I just loved that she able to achieve such success during her lifetime - with respect from her peers and from many countries.

C&C's welcome (but I don't think I'm going to revisit her once I spray her with fixative.) 9x12 Charcoal, pencil, & Wolff carbon on Canson paper

God's peace,

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Letter (wip?)

Like quite a few of you, I've just finished (maybe finished?) painting from what I consider is a masterwork. The artist was Mary Brewster Hazelton http://www.askart.com/askart/h/mary_brewster_hazelton/mary_brewster_hazelton.aspx and her painting of The Letter is one of my favorites. 
 I started with a grid for this one and, it seems to me, I was on a better track with the face at the start than the finish. I must have wiped her face off at least a dozen times. Mine looks more like her slightly younger cousin. In my defense (a lame defense,) I was painting on a 11x14 canvas and the original is on a 38x32. I was using a magnifying glass at the end to capture her face but her face is only about an inch and half so..... I'll stick to that as an excuse. I am quite happy with how I captured Mary's color pallet (I was using an article from The American Art Review as a reference) but the dress in the Askart pic seems to be greener. And yes, I certainly see my other mistakes; I should have moved the figure over at the start so the table wasn't too wide, the shawl color ( I admit I liked it too much to change it) and her hands are too far apart. And then there's her face... It's a sweet face, doncha think? I could attempt just the face on another canvas, right?
But other than that....I had a blast painting her! And isn't that what it's all about? Ah, the learning....ever learning curve.
Cheers all! And God's peace.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tea in the Sahara

Hi and Hellooo out there,
I had saved this inspiration from a calendar eons ago and finally got around to it on a "repurposed canvas board." I had wanted to limit my pallet to five paint colors but I ended up with seven after deciding the purpley sand dunes needed more...purple. Purple is my friend. (I always have to tell myself that cause I forget about purple and how good it is.) The smaller version of it is all I could capture with the scanner and second full size one was taken outside in the shade. The colors are much more like the scanned one.
Enjoyed painting this. Oil on canvas board 11x14. So my little friend and I will now trip off through the sand dunes, listening to Sting sing about drinking tea in the Sahara.
Cheers. (My hero of the day is Angelina Jolie, but there are so many unsung heros in this world of ours.)

Friday, May 10, 2013

A little bit of randomness

Hi all.  Last week or so was hot, wind, fire, followed by rain and cool. It is a little disturbing, especially to have fire storms in May. Usually we have a bout of that in October. Been working on some paintings but I'm still tinkering with them so just some drawings to share. The first three are on Mi-teintes pastel paper, charcoal, pencil and white charcoal. I like the feel of Mi-teintes. Just enough "crispness". 

 And this last one is on that darn Bee paper. It is too soft! No bite to it at all! I know I've complained about it before but it makes it hard to get clean edges. (So why do I continue to use it?) I think I'll call it a day on drawing them and carry their story onto some sort of painting surface. That way I can separate them even more and increase the drama Dean Cornwell-like, smoke and battlefield behind him and whatnot, letters in their hands, get rid of her pointed chin. Ha!
This months issue of Drawing Magazine has set my mind spinning and now all I want to do is draw. But when do I ever not just want to draw?
Cheers all! God's peace!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Yello-Shea in

Sometimes when you've got lemons... or yellow...
I spooshed out a lot of yellow paint a week or so back. As I'm staring at this pile o'paint, I'm thinking "Okay, what to do with this?" Paint the usual suspects?  And then I remembered when my oldest had been playing nonstop with the pictures on the computer that she had taken of herself, her sister and various friends - Shea included.  Can you say "Saturation?"
And so, we have Shea. I just love Shea. She has a great laugh. I've known her since she was about five. She is all beautifully grown up now and, no, she is not normally yellow and, yes, they are all still close friends. I hope she'll be OK with this. It was a tough angle. A tad too much that way and she looked like the wicked witch of the west. I think it was good practice to paint it "outside of the box" so to speak, but the better test would be to paint from an un-doctored photo and try to judge the values.
I had to check.
Ok, it was fun. I'm gonna to post this on dailypaintworks "Friend" challenge since it was done within the allotted time even though Shea is actually my daughter's friend. I haven't turned any of my friends yellow. At least, not on purpose. 
Cheers all. Hope you're well and good.
Oil on canvas 8x10

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lemon up

I had to force myself to s l o w d o w n on this one.
      I wasn't happy with it at first and now I like it better.
For sale on dailypaintworks.com
Oil on canvas 8x10
Cheers all. Hope you are thawing out.

Credit for a wonderful photo by a fellow who goes by samygpunkt on deviantart

Friday, April 5, 2013

Strawberry Ice

I will not rant.
I will not rant
I will not rant
I had to go back and reread the recent post on muddycolorsblogspot about 10 Things...Word List that Greg Manchess (brilliant artist!) wrote about "rehearsing" to be an artist. He is so right. It doesn't just happen, right?  
And I would love to send this off to someone who is willing to make a donation to Children's Hospital or the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I know a family whose second oldest child was down to 20% lung capacity. 20%! Things were looking very grim for him and lots of prayers were being said. He was in the hospital nonstop for close to a year. Then word came through that donor lungs had been found. Donor lungs. A double lung transplant. 
That hit me when Mrs. Farrell, who taught his younger brothers and sister for sixth grade, discussed it with her current class and one of the kids made the connection...out loud... that that meant someone else had lost a loved one. So to see him...at church...on Palm Sunday...was...incredible. He looks great and his mom looks like she's aged a million years. I may get incredible discouraged by mine sometimes like I'm sure most mothers do at one point or another, but they're healthy (knock wood.) 

So if any of you would like to have this in exchange for a tax deductible donation, please contact me to discuss.

Now back to work....and make time for it! 5x7 Oil on canvas panel 
Happy Spring all!  Karen :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Tomato with new paint

Hi and hello,
Ah, Spring. Trees bursting, the roses bushes already have a bloom or two. Planted the garden and now to wait in anticipation for the first tomato of the season. Yum.
A few weeks ago Graphaids had their annual 40% sale and I had to get over to pick up what never really goes on sale, namely oil paint. Yeah, it goes on sale, but I mean on sale. The good stuff. So I arrived after the huge crowds had descended and left, leaving the place quite picked over and a fellow painter and I start to talk. Next thing I know I'm buying Williamsburg Turkey Umber and Italian Yellow Ochre. I had no intention of buying these colors when I went in, but he proclaimed their virtues and I succumbed. Like shopping when you're hungry. Ok, he was right. They are most interesting. And then also I bought what I intended, Cerulean Blue and Alizarin Crimson. For these last two I opted for Sennelier.  So, like any time you buy something new (earrings, shoes) you have to try them on for size, right? What if they're just not you? So I grabbed some of the paper canvas I had already prepped, taped off the edges, got my pallet in place, squeezed out a dollop of Turkey Umber (OK, nice), squeezed out a dollop of Italian Yellow Ochre (OK, nice), opened the tube of Sennelier Cerulean Blue and SPLOOSH! About two tablespoons of just oil - no pigment - all over the Umber and Ochre. Wow. I promptly went online to wetcanvas.com and got the answer in a snap. Sennelier is made with safflower oil and separates. The word on the street is, "Store them upside down. Should be OK for the long run." Who knew? They did. Now I do and you do too.

On paper canvas (thank you Azra!)  about 7x9
Cheers all! Gods blessings!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Vernal equinox

This is from Monday night's drawing class, 
my five minutes.
Two twenty minutes (didn't quite come together)
Now a break from class for three weeks. We are going onto perspective.
Vernal equinox (or) enjoy the first day of Spring! 
Cheer all! Karen

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Every Picture Tells a Story

Well I think the cosmic block has moved on for me. If it affected you, I hope its moved on as well or at least that it doesn't hover over your neighborhood. I am full of random thoughts today, trying to reorient myself (I dislike time change to put it mildly.) 
Started this little one here by just putting down charcoal strokes and then cutting in with my kneaded eraser.
 Re-darkened some areas, a bit of white charcoal and felt reinvigorated. Huzzah!
Then on Monday night's drawing class we had a stunning fellow to draw. 
Here are my five minutes,
 then my first two twenty minutes. 
 He had piercing ice blue eyes - I mean just crystal ice blue! He would go into his pose and mold his face into this fierce look and if I had been on a bus with him and he stared in my direction with that look, I would have gotten up and moved. Then he'd relax and smile and light up the room. Chris said to mix it up a bit and break out of my comfort zone, so I did a bit along the same as my dapper man at top.
Ok, fun to share. Back to work and then hopefully some painting tonight.
One more thing that gave me a real chuckle. My brother H (his wife calls him that and it so fits him) texted me, saying he had a dream I was married to Brad Pitt and Brad was mean to him. HA! I read it to my husband whose response was "Well, tell him he'll appreciate me a bit more. I'm not mean to him like Brad." The more I thought about it, the more I realized it would depend on which Brad Pitt, the Brad from Meet Joe Black? Well, alrighty then! The Brad from Kalifornia? No thank you!
And have you seen this? Its hysterical!
Alright, enough of my randomness for one day. Cheers All!

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