California Here I Come #paint52

California Here I Come
California Here I Come  24" x 48" oil on linen $2880

When I was nine, I had to move to France after my father died. Not only did I lose my father, but I had to leave my home, my friends and my country. My mother was French and wanted to go back home to her family, but I was brought up in the U.S., and wanted to stay in my beloved country. My mother had a change of heart and returned back to the U.S. five months later. I remember singing to myself on the flight home, "California Here I Come". For some reason this painting reminded me of this, the man in the orange shirt looking like he came from another state for sure and the various ethnic people, combines to make what San Francisco and our country is all about, a melting pot of the world. By the way the location of this painting is California Street.

The painting has an ultramarine blue underpainting. I knew right off the bat this was going to create some difficulties, yet I didn't know how hard it was going to be until I got started. I am determined to push myself in this challenge and try things I never have done before. Most artists would say that the man's orange shirt is too bright and would dominate the painting, but that was the reason why I painted this painting. How bright could I make his shirt and still have the viewers eye move around the canvas. I also wanted it to vibrate in color. which I do believe it does. At first I thought I would start laying in the painting without a drawing, but it was too big and too much going on. Since the color was so dark, I had to use chalk; see image below.

I am finding that I am allowing my "Making Faces" characters come to life in my paintings. I am throughly enjoying this and loving the little stories that each one bring. I have been so fortunate to have had great training on the body, for 4 years from George De Groat my teacher in my early years as an artist. He was a genius. This is my tenth painting of my #paint52 challenge, painted in oil, measures 24" X 48" and another addition to my San Francisco series.

Thank you so much again, for supporting me in this challenge it means the world to me.

California Dreaming #Twitterartexhibit

California Dreaming
California Dreaming

This panting will be part of the Twitter Art Exhibit, initiated by artist David Sandum on Twitter. All entries must be no bigger than a postcard and will be displayed in the Moss Public Library in Norway. The proceeds will be donated to The Women's Crisis Center in Moss, for abused women and their children. The center also provides a 24 hour phone-service, counseling, food and shelter etc. The exhibit will provide much needed support for this charity and will subsidize lost funding that occurred this year. For more information please check out David's website

Pier 23 Cafe #paint52

Pier 23 Cafe
Pier 23 Cafe

What a cool place Pier 23 Cafe is! Pier 23 Cafeis family owned and has been operating for the last 25 years. If you are going to be in San Francisco during the 34th America’s World Cup in 2013, you will find it a perfect spot, which will be right next door to Pier 27, the terminal building for the race. It’s one of those places that is found through word of mouth, always busy and entertains celebrities like Anthony Bourdains' list of San Francisco’s top eateries and Nancy Pelosi with her entourage of bodyguards (which I experienced the last time I was there). I tried to capture the bright sunlight, which is a result of an unusually sunny day in S.F.; the door opened ready to invite you in for a cold “brueski”.

This is my ninth painting for my #paint52 Challenge, which you can follow on Twitter. You might also like to subscribe to the my blog and follow my weekly update. The painting was painted with Atelier Interactive Acrylics on velum, measures 9" X 12" and an addition to my San Francisco Series. SOLD

Once again I really appreciate your support and following my challenge!


Bahu 12" x 15" acrylic on vellum $450

It was an overcast day like so many days in San Francisco, creating a melancholy backdrop for this scene. On one of the side streets of downtown Chinatown, I noticed a man playing an instrument I had never seen before. I wondered, how did he arrive in this country and did he at one time play this instrument, which I believe is called a Banhu, for his people in China? He seemed to be hiding from everyone in the corner, as if he wanted to be left alone to play his string instrument. He was wearing a tie, bringing some formality to the occasion, contrasted by his broken down cart containing a small box for change and an old umbrella. It was a somber setting and I hoped I captured the moment.

This is my eighth painting, measures 12” X 15”, Atelier Interactive Acrylic on velum, for my #paint52 Challenge. This also an addition for my San Francisco Series, that I plan on having an art show in the spring. The under-painting is red, which helped to liven the somber scene. I guess I can’t go totally grey, just isn’t my nature. I’m really enjoying painting with the acrylics loving the strokes, but I feel the next one I need to push myself further, more abstract, looser and full of texture. I sense I need to explore.

Thanks again, I really appreciate you sharing my journey to paint 52 paintings in one year.

Grandma's Girl #paint52

Camden and Nellie

It was so great to see my granddaughter Camden this weekend. I hadn’t seen her for quite a while and missed her a lot, she is going to be six soon and growing up to be such a big girl. I love that she loves nature so, and is quite adventurous. She had no fear feeding her pet chicken Nellie. I always wanted to paint this image and thought it would be great for her to take home with her. I showed it to her mom and she actually started to well up with tears. She not only loved this painting, but was touched by the image of Camden feeding her favorite chickens.

This is my seventh painting of my #paint52 series, the challenge to paint 52 paintings in one year. The painting is 9” X 12”, painted on a linen covered Birch New Tradition Art Panel; the medium Atelier Interactive Acrylics. The New Traditional art panels are lightweight durable, and easy to carry for Plein air painting, but can be used for studio painting as well. They come in a wide variety of styles and textures. This panel will be easy to transport and pack. You might want to check out the site, it’s a great find. I under-painted the painting with Raw Sienna. Once again I prefer to paint loose and capture the essence of the moment.

Last night my son Blair said he was very proud and excited to see what I was doing and expressed that it was a great challenge. What I love about this challenge is sharing it with everyone and perhaps along the way inspiring you as well.

I really appreciate you sharing my journey.