3 Things I Have Learned Copying Master Paintings

3 Things I Have Learned Copying Master Paintings

Artists have been copying master paintings for centuries and for good reason – there is so much that can be learned! More than 25 years ago, I participated in a “Copycat” show at The Burkholder Project in Lincoln, NE where I shared a studio for awhile with several artists. As a successful working artist, Anne Burkholder has always been an inspiration for me and I loved being a part of her world.

3 things I have learned copying master paintings

The painting I chose to copy was “Breakfast In Bed” by Mary Stevenson Cassatt, 25″x 29″ oil on canvas painted in 1897. The title card above shows photos I took of the original painting which resides at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA. I loved this painting

Continue Reading »

How To Start Oil Painting Without Getting Discouraged

You know what it’s like – you want to start oil painting and get your canvas and paints out. The excitement builds and fantasies about how fantastic it’s going to turn out form in your mind. It’s a glorious dream before the actual work begins.

How to start oil painting without getting discouraged

Then reality sets in: The dog throws up. A hang nail needs immediate attention. Ummm, how did this much laundry accumulate? TAXES. It’s one distraction after another. If you’re finding it hard to get started, you may be succumbing to resistance.

Fear not! Resistance Is Part Of The Creative Process

Whether you think of yourself as an artist or not, you are a creative being and go through

Continue Reading »

How To Paint A Cat In Oil Step-By-Step With Jorge & Nacho

Today I’m going to show you how to paint a cat step-by-step in oil. I’ve always thought of myself as a dog person, but lately I’m questioning if I’m turning into a crazy cat lady. Why? Because of all the cat paintings I’ve done lately.

How to paint a cat in oil with Jorge & Nacho

Watch Out Dogs, Cats Are Looking To Steal Your Spot

While I’ve only painted a few cat portraits recently, it’s significantly more than I’ve done in many years. Dogs have always been the majority of my pet portraits, but I’m beginning to think cats are gaining more social status in society. Uh oh!

It makes sense with all the funny cat videos on YouTube and the growing popularity of events like CatCon (ya, that’s a thing). And it

Continue Reading »

What Is The Purpose Of Painting A Still Life?

For most of my artistic life I’ve wondered what the purpose of painting a still life was. In school, I found them to be the most boring subjects of all and a waste of time. They felt painful to work on and I had a lot of resistance to drawing and painting them. Portraits were my sweet spot and I loved the challenge of capturing someone’s essence on canvas.

What is the purpose of painting a still life

Things started to change for me this year when I took up painting again. I knew I would be staying home more because both of my dogs were very ill and I needed

Continue Reading »

Painting Dog Portraits & The Gifts Dogs Give Us Unconditionally

Painting dog portraits is something I’ve done for as long as I can remember. Last weekend I continued working on my digital painting skills by doing this portrait of a dog named Scoby.

Painting dog portraits & the gifts dogs give us unconditionally

If you’ve ever had kombucha, you may understand his name a little better. His momma, Donna Schwenk, is the founder of Cultured Food Life and is a

Continue Reading »

Learning How To Do Fine Art Painting Using Procreate And ArtRage

I’m finally learning how to do fine art painting using Procreate and ArtRage with the iPad Pro. I resisted getting an iPad for SO LONG and was one of those traditional snobs who thought “digital art wasn’t real art”. BUT, the world is changing and my mind is changing regarding the subject. Bottom line, I’m coming to realize there is a definitely a place for digital art in today’s world.

painting using procreate and artrage

Painting Using Procreate And ArtRage – Is It  Cheating?

To me I thought it was too easy to cheat or difficult to do very “painterly” art digitally based on some of the work I’ve seen out there. However, there are a lot of ways to

Continue Reading »

Painting Failures And Mistakes – Should I Give Up Or Start Over?

The odyssey of one of my painting failures begins…

Life is full of failures. I’ve had small painting failures before, but this one had me starting over. I had primed one of my panels improperly and the painting just wasn’t working. This painting was a commission and had to be done within a specific time frame and a mistake was not part of the plan.

Painting Failures image

It started out great, or so I thought…

Above you see the progression of the painting I’m talking about. It might look good in the photo, but the first two shots are of the panel that failed.

I started the drawing and captured the likeness, but as I continued to work I noticed I was struggling with the paint on the surface. I had just started painting in oils, so I really didn’t know if this was a normal thing or something going terribly wrong.

All I knew is that the struggle was getting really, really, real!

Step 1: The pain begins:

Painting of Sammie step one - painting failures

Sammie step 1 – a disaster waiting to happen

For step 1 on this little painting of Sammie, the cutie-pie Cavalier King Charles, I was feeling pretty good about how the drawing

Continue Reading »

A Spooky Thing Happened In The Studio Today

Spooky things sometimes happen while painting

Every once in awhile, spooky stuff happens while creating a piece of art. I’ve had drawings in the past that would contain a full portrait in the background of somebody I never intended to draw. This happened in college and scared my roommate so bad that she never really got over it! (Still makes me laugh.)

Today I was staining a canvas and noticed a face appearing right before I wiped it down.

painting today in the studio

Is it Donald Trump or my mind playing tricks?

It wasn’t just me!

I posted this image on Instagram and an artist friend of mine, Stephen Holding, had the exact same thing happen to him yesterday. Double spooky

Continue Reading »

Picasso quote on inspiration

If you are waiting for inspiration, you may be missing out.

So many artists (anybody, really) find excuses to get started on something because they are waiting for inspiration to strike.

Having worked as a creative professional for over 30 years, the one thing I know for sure is that if I had waited for inspiration to get a job going, I would have been fired. Funny how when you know you have to find inspiration, you get good at finding it rather than it finding you. (more…)

Change Your Mind About Bacteria

It Will Make You Feel Better

Why on earth am I writing about bacteria? A few years ago I was nearly non-functional. I felt terrible. I had zero energy. All food made me sick. Especially healthy food. I didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything and was seriously thinking I would end up going on disability at work.

Sick and Tired quote

I had been to the doctor and all of my tests came back “normal”. How could my tests be normal when I felt terrible? It was no way to live and I really couldn’t imagine

Continue Reading »