Sunday, 12 December 2010

Oil Sketching

It was a blustery weekend, full of snow, ice, and warm company. I started my first oil sketch from some of the drawings I took in figure study class. I want to see how far I can go with just going off a sketch. I'm excited to see what I can do with this...

I thought that since this being my first portrait painting, I would finally paint over that first landscape painting I did 5 years ago (the one collecting dust and cobwebs in my closet.) My partner joked about how nothing is sacred for long with regards to canvas. I don't know what it is about painting over paintings, but it give me this strange sense of joy. If you were wondering, the original painting was of a church in a field. I thought it would be fitting to paint a naked woman over top of it...

Of course...fitting indeed.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


We had the final class in figure studies, working on chiaroscuro with the model Bob. After working primarily with women all semester, it was a little bit of a set back to work with a male model for the last pose. In the end, though, I was happy that I got this chance, because I realized that the male leg seems to have a lot of character. I was so excited with a foreshadowing pose where I got to work on the feet.

There's nothing like breaking out of your normal routine to give you flashes of new perspective...

Thursday, 2 December 2010

The Crunch Begins

I just realized that I have less than three months to prepare my portfolio for grad school. I’ve come a long way with my sketching, but I need to crank out some paintings to show I have the fundamentals to get into grad school. Oh, bucket lists how you save me!

I figured what I can do is write everything I need to do here and then show my progress once a week.

Here’s what I want to do:

• Three strong portraiture paintings (with one of them monochromatic)
• Two landscape (one nature, one urban)
• One still life

It’s ambitious and I will have to be working on multiple projects at once. I think I’m going to
take a nice 5 day weekend off in January to get a winter landscape done, plus finish up what loose ends I have.As of right now, I have 5 oil paintings, 2 ink drawings, 3 Graphite drawings, 3 Charcoal drawings, and 1 Watercolor painting. That’s 14 works with 5 of them being portraits. With the 6 I have planned, it will bring me up to 20 works.

Phew, who would have thought I could have done all this!!

Ok, So these are the steps I will need to accomplish all this:

1. Start converting my current sketches from figure studies class into oil sketches as practice this week.
2. Buy some good flood lamps for the studio (mix of incandescent and fluorescent)
3. Make a canvas carrier out of foam core for transporting paintings during my trips.
4. Find three models (I’m debating on paying professional models here)
5. I will need for each model – at least 6 hours. 2 hours of sketching time to make an extended sketch for reference, and 4 hours of painting. Since most models take 30 minute poses with 10 minute breaks. I will need either 2 x 3.5 hours sessions (breaks included).
6. For each portrait painting, I’m estimating 4 hours of additional painting on my own, with sketches as reference.
7. The Landscape paintings should be able to be done in one session. I can do one of them in Columbus, I just need to find a good location so I can get warm frequently(perhaps paint from a friend’s window). I could also think about taking a road trip down south and couchsurf with someone while I get these done. I will have to look into my options.
8. I would like to get a nice skull for a still life. (Looks like that will be my first Solstice Gift to myself!) I was thinking I could do a fabric study, with skull and dried seed pods as a still life. This is something I could work on in my extra time at the studio at home.

I have 12 weeks to get all this done. So breaking down the weeks:

Week 1 (12/5-12/11) – Finish Figure study class, start doing oil sketches, build canvas carrier, buy lights, reach out to models and schedule times, buy a tube to carry around sketches, buy still life materials (skull, fabric, dried flowers).

Week 2 (12/12-12/18) – Start doing preliminary sketches on Model #1 (it’s my husband, he just doesn’t know it yet!)

Week 3 (12/19-12/25)– First Monochromatic painting started (I’m off for Christmas, so I will have plenty of time to devote to this first piece). Spend some time setting up still life and starting on that.

Week 4 (12/26-1/1)– Finish Monochromatic painting and finish still life

Week 5 (1/2-1/8)– Start sketches with Model #2

Week 6 (1/9-1/15)– Finish painting with Model # 2

Week 7 (1/16-1/22) – I have Martin Luther King Day off, so taking a week vacation that week.
Complete both landscape paintings on that week. Schedule time with last model.

Week 8 (1/23-1/29)– Work on sketches with Model # 3

Week 9 (1/30-2/5)– Finish painting with Model #3

Week 10 (2/6-2/12)– Spend the week finishing paintings

Week 11 (2/13-2/19)– Work on taking photos of works. (Need natural lighting lamps and diffuser)

Week 12 (2/20-2/26) – Write essay and complete the application.

Well, here goes, let’s see what I can accomplish!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Picking Berries

Tuesday, 16 November 2010


Wednesday, 27 October 2010


Tuesday, 19 October 2010


Tuesday, 5 October 2010

A First Evening with Charcoal

I can't believe I had gotten away all these years without ever doing charcoal. I think I just found it so intimidating that I just kept putting it off. Tonight we had a great lecture about how charcoal is a good transition into paint because it has it's own chroma as well as tonal value (vine being more of a warm tone where compressed being more of a cool tone). Here's the beginning of a piece I started on:

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Progress Report

I've been in figure study class for about two weeks now. I'm feeling a steady progress with the measured drawing. Here's some of the poses I've been working on:

Sunday, 19 September 2010

The Glowing Urchin Tree

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

A woman is a forest.
Be careful lest you wander-
Onto the green-tinged path
To her heart.
Her wood worn cave creaks-
In the morning breeze.
The squirrels scurry and play among the branches.
A woodpecker thrums in the distance.
There is a rustling of undergrowth;
A badger lives just beyond the next oak.
I know there is a winding stream-
For the moss smells much damper here-
As the path grows narrow.
Queen Ann’s lace opens up her folds
To the morning sun
And brushes against me:
I walk on hoping to find her-
Yet another tree.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Portraits in Ink

I've been working in ink with live models to try and see if I could capture something different from using photographs. I've also been playing around with using touches of gouache to accent the portraits, yet leaving the form in a solid monochromatic state.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

WIP - Iuka

I have a couple more layers on this one, but for the most part it's almost done.

Friday, 6 August 2010


Here's a snapshot of something I'm working on. The piece is about Iuka park, its beauty, its transience, and its ability to capture a person.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Top Ten Productivity Pitfalls

I recently saw this on a writing blog and thought how it totally applies to any creative art you may try to endeavor:

Top 10 Productivity Pitfalls for Writers to Avoid

1. Unclear big-picture vision. Without an idea of where you’re headed, it will be impossible to set realistic goals and measure your progress along the way.

2. Lack of short-term goals. You can’t hit a target you can’t see. Knowing your daily, weekly, monthly and annual goals (both practical and aspirational) can help you keep moving in the right direction.

3. Fear. Risk is the hinge on which productivity turns; if we aren’t in danger of failing, we aren’t growing. When we let fear prevent us from taking steps that could bring our writing dreams closer, we limit our opportunities to succeed.

4. Trying to force productivity. Understanding your writing rhythms and honoring them is the key to finding and sustaining a flow you can count on.

5. Shabby systems. If you can’t find the latest draft of your essay, can’t keep track of what you’ve pitched and to whom, and don’t remember that great idea you had last week, you’re limiting yourself needlessly.

6. Lack of awareness about time: If you’re not aware of how you’re spending time, what your time is worth, how you might devote more time to writing, or what you intend to accomplish in each chunk of writing time you do have, you’re not maximizing this most precious resource.

7. Transition turbulence. Work to establish rhythms for everything from sitting down to the blank page to completing a writing session, so that shifts from one project to the next don’t leave you in a lull.

8. Perfectionism. If you wait for your work to be perfect, it (and you) may never leave your desk. Focus, instead, on professionalism—doing the best you can, learning along the way, and understanding that mistakes and failures feed every success.

9. Isolation. Without a social, professional and community context, we’re far more likely to get discouraged, lose our way and miss out on opportunities.

10. Negativity. It’s easy to focus on the negative in writing and in life. But when we turn our attention to what’s working and what we appreciate from moment to moment, our sails turn into the wind.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Monday, 19 July 2010

Apology Letter to a Body

Dearest body,
I am sorry I forgot about you;
I forgot how you clothed me
Sheltered me
Moved me through my life.

Many times I just left you on the shelf,
Or clinging to my skirt:
Feet clanging on the street
Sparks Flying
I could hear your cries
Yet, I did not

I am sorry I did not love you
On the days you needed it the most
Dragging you through what I thought we needed
Not heeding any of your whimpers.

I am sorry I did not celebrate you
When you came through for me;
The works of your hands
Or the way you love to dance
I should have sang you hymns
And praised your efforts

Instead I selfishly took all the rewards

I am sorry I did not think you were beautiful
I listened to all those who said you were worthless
I never said a kind word about your frame
I never rejoiced in your beauty

I am sorry for all the abuse I piled on you
For all the people I let hurt you

I am sorry, my love, I am sorry…

In every sense I have failed you
Yet I see you
Even now, loving me despite it all.

You say, “Let’s start anew”

And I say, thank you…
Today will be our first day together:
I will love you tenderly,
For you are my greatest confident


For my whole being depends on it.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Tuesday, 15 June 2010


Just playing around tonight with a smaller canvas size...ah, what I love about smaller pieces is that you pretty much finish a painting in one sitting.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

I picked up some staedtler colored pens today. While I was dissappointed I couldn't get my hands on some decent acrylic ball points, I think these will suffice. They do a decent job of blending.

I've been thinking about how I use color lately and I want to take it to a new level. I'm thinking of starting a new journal that documents the colors of my experiences. It's kind of nice this little pack of pens is so portable!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Fun in the Park

Yes, that is a turtle with butterfly wings. Don't ask.

I had way too much ice cream today...

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Stepping Into Spring

Monday, 17 May 2010

Not much to show yet because i'm working on several pieces now. I did finish one last night. Just a simple piece. I was in the park Saturday and painted onsite. I asked my husband to give me a topic to paint - he said "just paint what you wait, Numbers!". Well, so I did both. Here's what I came up with...

Numerous views of the park:

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Iles de Corps

I once met a man who told me
Sobriety is like
Finding you are in the
First morning of your life

I understand him now:
As an addict who has walked
Away from that which
Kept me wild and stimulated
For most of my life

My drug wasn’t from the street
It wasn’t even a nice
Lovely Latin named delusion
Obtained from a doctor

Mine were from flowers grown here:
Dopamine and Serotonin.
Wild waves of a shore
Torn asunder
From a lack of understanding
Of the simple motion of tides

For as an island,
I found that the great ocean
Is connected to my shore
(a part of my ecosystem)
And in order to find peace
I had to level the sand

Emerging is a new dawn
I see the shipwrecked
Pieces ashore
Torn bits from a life
Lived in desperate tempest

I see treasures, too
An oasis I had not known about
Wild birds in the trees
Loud colors amidst
The slow moving palm fronds

I have found monsters, as well
Creatures I once feared
Skulking in the shadows
I toss them coconuts
To feed on

I see footsteps in the sand
Small creatures have overtaken
And formed communities
In tide pools of memory

I have found that some have been banished
From the reaches of my shore
The howler monkeys hang limpid from trees
Slow sedate sighs of gratitude

I have plans for constructing a marina
But for now, I am content to explore
This beautiful Isle de Corps
A new dawn has risen, the first one I can recall.

[Musings on the emergence of my true self after stabilizing after a lifetime of chronic overstimulation]

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Goyan Musings

When I was a young girl
I would dream of witches:
Haggard cackling monsters laughing
At my mundane stumbling through life.

I remember being so scared when a friend told me,
After the confession of my love of spiders,
That only witches love spiders:
I trembled as I saw myself growing older
Darker, more wicked and cried.

Now that I am older:
A Witch -
But none too dark -
Or scary;

I laugh at the the old fears
Of the monster I was afraid to become.
Now my nightmares
Are friends, companions,
Blithe, laughing spectres;
Finding humor in the rediculous uncertainty of life.

Some days I wonder if fears
Are merely doors -
That open to the dreams
We so secretly desire…

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Background for a new Painting

I really like priming the canvas with yellow ochre when doing a sky piece. It seems to make the cobalt really pop. I also tone down the cobalt with a little ochre before I mix it with white too.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Boys and Girls

I did some ink sketches while laid up after surgery...both of them are very different.

Enter Spring - A Work in Progress

Spring is finally peeking it's head out from the abysmal winter here in the Ohio River Valley. I started tonight working with ochres and greens...a little cad. orange to brighten it.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Brigid's Fire

I have come full circle, it seems

In mind and in deed:

Fitful nights of despair-

As I lay like a blind woman-

Hearing the knocks along my walls.

I know there are cracks.

I can hear the ghosts rush in,

But last night was different-

With dreams of ships and storms-

And a ghost slipped in:

A young fresh kelle

With bright eyes that shined

From Great Brigid’s fire.

She sang me songs of old:

Travelling songs,

Hopeful songs,

Witching songs,

And gave me a dream with a treasure map;

A key to answers for questions asked long ago.

So I wake today,

Mishapen, fuller of the girl I used to be

And the woman I have become:

A composite blending-

Of hues and shapes;

An eclipse of two powerful bodies.

I realize as I go to face the wounding of my hearth

On the day of the Hearth goddess,

That my life has always been a spell;

Too many omens and whispered spirits

To think otherwise.

And I was fighting the raging tides

That swelled up inside me;

The ones alight with the risen dawn-

After long restless nights.

For on this day,

There has always be an awakening

In the udders of ewes

And the magma beneath.

The fire was always there

And no amount of storm or cold

Could dampen this flame that bids my limbs to dance.

Sometimes life can be a love story

In spite of the fight

And as the storms rage, the gulls cry:

"Brigid, guard your fire, for this is your night!".

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Goodale's Lillies

14" x 17" (oil on canvas)