Painted Lady

"Painted Lady"
20" x 16"
Oil on wrapped canvas
Her nails were painted in all the warm colors of that evening's sunset. She was resplendent as she opened her petals to the New Year, exuding a sensual warmth from her core. 

This is my first large painting in a while. I photographed her a year ago in a greenhouse at the Botanic Gardens, but wasn't up to painting all those different colored points with an eyelash brush… until now. The greens were painted yesterday and all the reds and yellows were painted today.  She was as enjoyable as I anticipated. I'm especially fond of the prickly pears in the top background. They are exactly how I wanted them to be… succulent.


Prickly II

"Prickly II"
6" x 8"
Pastel on sanded paper

In the desert building of the Chicago Botanic Gardens are some nifty cacti. Well, for a midwestern gal, they're pretty impressive. And I'm privy to them in a greenhouse setting, not out in the wild where I'd LOVE to see them, photograph and study them. This was fun to do, as it was my own photo, but I'd love to see them growing naturally.  

My experience is that the magenta and orange pastels photograph much differently than the greens and yellows as seen on the cacti. The background is intense, but not quite the way it appears here. It is about four layers of my scribbly marks, not a solid mass at all.


Memories of West

"Memories of West"
7" x 4"
Pastel on sanded paper

I painted away from home today. I saw a reference to a subject similar to this so I drew it and painted it from memory. I love the prickly texture of the cactus and the surroundings, too.  It was a fun one to do. 

As usual, this one started on a piece of 140 pound D'Arches French Watercolor paper that I sanded until it felt like suede. I toned the paper with a layer of a burgundy and a layer of cobalt and sanded them into the sueded finish. I brushed it off and then drew a rough sketch of the cactus, then put in my darks.


Outskirts of Town

"Outskirts of Town"
3.5" x 5"
Pastel on sanded paper
Just outside of town, before I got home the other night I stopped to take one last look at my surroundings.  There were no cacti, no sagebrush, no sand. When I turned into my driveway I knew what I had experienced had been magical and I wanted more. 

This was a twenty minute little cutie pie I did this afternoon. The inspiration came from a photo I saw in a magazine, so I went with it.  I will have to prepare a lot of small pieces of watercolor paper so that I can enjoy painting like this more often.  It was quite fun.


To Have and to Hold

"To Have and to Hold"
10" x 20"
Acrylic on wrapped canvas
Together at last, side by side, to have and to hold, from this day forward... and then what?  The Succulents have committed to a relationship of about twenty-five years... if watered, fed, bathed in sunshine and separated regularly.  Huh?  

This piece was not painted in the past week. It's been waiting in line to be posted though, as are a couple of others in queue.  As I've said before, I paint every day, but they aren't all masterful.

Thank you for stopping in to visit.  I appreciate it.
My DPW Gallery

Here's Looking at You

"Here's Looking at You"
10" x 8"
Oil on canvas panel
It's winter, snow is on the ground, here I am looking to paint this hot image. I shot this in the crystalline confinement of the cactus house at the Chicago Botanic Gardens during the summer.  It was hot in there that day.  Probably not quite as warm today.    

The spines were my concerns as I plotted to paint this image.  I use a flat or a bright to paint everything.  So I trusted that my Rosemary and Company beauties would do the trick for me. I love those brushes.  I've had them since March.  I paint every day and wash them in Murphy's Oil Soap.  The tips are still knife-sharp.  Love 'em! And I managed to paint the spines with them!

Thank you for peeking in today.

My DPW Gallery

Unlikely Companions,These

"Marble, Lily, Spines"
12" x 12"
Oil on panel

I was photographing a selection of hand blown marbles when my orange day lily snapped off her stem and landed next to a sweet little agave in my courtyard. Unlikely companions, these, what with their origins, textures and colors. But they seemed comfortable together once they were arranged.

These are three of my favorite subjects. I'm thankful to have them around me.

This painting is for sale on Dailypaintworks.  Check it out in my gallery there by clicking here.

Thank you for visiting with me via my blog today.

Succulence #2

"Succulence #2"
24" x 24"
Acrylic on wrapped canvas
During a visit to the garden center that carried an amazing array of succulents, I gravitated toward the varieties that had the least amount of green. Although I shied away from greens, I remained true to my love of whorled leaf and petal patterns.

The shadows were critical to this composition. I was happy to have captured them where I needed them.  I rosied-up the sand color and used it as an alternate to a dark background.

This painting is listed with, and for sale through a Daily Paintworks Auction.

Thank you for visiting my blog today.