The woman in a bubble

I found a picture of a woman in a bubble.  I think she was a fan dancer in the 20s and the bubble was superimposed on the picture after it was taken.  In the photograph she is sitting on some steps, completely nude and looking into the distance.  The viewer sees her face from the side.  She is gazing straight ahead to something not in the photograph.  The photograph is in black and white and I prefer using these for inspiration because they are so dramatic.  My paintings look nothing like the photograph – I used color, added background elements, and the figure is abstract and not completely the focus of the painting.

My work is evolving and I am not sure these works will ever be finished.  I think they are more practice for where I am going.  I have been experimenting with a completely abstract background to my figures and this is the same except the bubble shape is a new element for me to work with.  I am working on letting the colors in the background envelope and support the figure.  I want the figure and the background to merge together but still show that a person is in the painting.  I like the combination of lines and structure in the figure and complete lack of structure in the background; just color shapes with no real definition.  In the first painting, I experimented using many different colors in the background plus lines and color drips.  I put a face on the figure and added boots.  Color drips are difficult in oil paint because it dries slowly, so I used a lot of medium and let that part of the painting dry before working anywhere near the drips.  In the middle painting, I experimented with the bubble having large blocks of color, sort of like pictures of Earth from space.  In the last painting, I experimented with a completely abstract figure with no clear face – just a round circle with color.

Drawing (almost) every day

I have been wanting to draw more – specifically every day.  I work full-time, commute and have friends to see so finding a huge block of time to draw (and paint) every day is tough.  So I decided to draw for 5 minutes.  I set my timer and see what I come up with.  I like seeing what I can do in five minutes; it is sort of a game for me.

These drawings are very small.  I didn’t measure the boxes but hopefully they are around 1 inch wide and 2 inches long.  Focusing on just doing faces worked out well for this size.  After doing this I remembered how much used to enjoy drawing in ink and using the paper as the light color and the ink as the dark color.   I also forgot how interesting black ink drawings look.


Sacred Feminine group show – May 3 to June 2 (2019)

Please come see this wonderful show where the artists explored feminine energy.  The reception is this Friday, May 3, at 7pm (2704 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA).

My painting, Mermaid, is in the show and there are other paintings with the mermaid theme so I think a trend is happening.  I love mermaids and the dreamy and sexy allure they give off while being very approachable.

Large Fan and Mermaid

Just finished these last night.  Both are 8″ x 10″, oil on canvas.  In “Large Fan” I experimented with a dark figure and dark background so the fan would stand out.  I wanted to set a mood but not be gloomy – the painting is more about the fan than anything else.  In “Mermaid” I wanted to create a mood of a mermaid (woman) surrounded by the ocean.  I used blues and purples to create the water feel and used red and orange to set off the mermaid in her chair.


Couples, Love and Private Time

I recently finished these four paintings.  All are 5″ x 7″ oil on canvas.  I purposely used a small canvas because I wanted the paintings to feel personal.   The subject matter for all is couples who are in love.  To get the point across with color, I used warmer tones (orange and red) and modified with cooler colors (blue and purple).  I decided to have a conversation in each painting between the warm and cool colors.  Because the canvas is so small I didn’t need to or have much room for a lot of background information so I used color.  With the blue backgrounds I added circles and in the warmer paintings I used variations on yellow and orange and variations of purple and white.  I had to make choices about how much of the face and figure to bring out.  How couples look at each other is so telling.   I decided not to make any of the faces overly detailed because it would have been a distraction.


We Did It

This painting was so fun to make.  It is a period piece based on a photograph of a young couple on their wedding day in probably the 1920s.  I loved their clothes but their expressions grabbed me and I knew I had to paint it.  I was very nervous that I would not capture the sweet looks on their faces but I am happy with the result.  The painting is 20″ x 30″ oil on canvas.

The color palette is a little limited but I did that so that all of the turquoise would stand out.  I used more color on their faces and left their clothes mostly black and white.  I had originally thought of making it a much larger painting but decided that this size would be best so the composition didn’t get away from me.  I like this size because both of them are full size but it feels intimate as if we are seeing them look at each other when nobody else is around.



This is how the painting started.  I don’t think I changed any of the original composition after I drew it.  I just added color and then I was done.

Art League Student Show – February 20 to March 3, 2019

My painting, “The Talk”, will be in the student show later this month at the Art League in Alexandria, VA.  It is 8″ x 10″ oil on canvas panel.  The couple are talking and sitting at a table in a bar or restaurant.  I decided to blend the couple into the background around them but it is still clear that there are two people in the painting.  My palette is limited here – mostly yellows and red browns with a little blue and white.

The reception for the show will be on Sunday, March 3 and that is the last day of the show.

A different #selfie

I started this selfie and it just wasn’t right and I was going to paint over it and do something completely different.When I started covering it up and adding a design that I saw in a photograph, I liked the effect so I decided to merge the design into the face because the design was circular.  I need to do more work to finish the painting but it is so much more interesting now.  Yay for experimentation!



I just started a new painting about couples and love – about 20 x 30 in oil.  After months of procrastinating about composition and what size the painting should be, I just jumped in.  So far so good.  I like my drawing and I think the size is perfect and I am ready for the adventure of capturing the sweetness of the pjotograph that inspired me.  The picture is in black and white but I am not going to make my painting with just two colors.  There is so much hope in their faces and I need to use color to help me get the point across.