Pear and Pewter {a new daily painting} SOLD

Still Life with Pear, Pewter Mug, and Bottles

Still Life with Pear, Pewter Mug, and Bottles

{7" x 5" (17.8 x 12.7 cm) – oil on linen panel}
Unframed painting: $100.00 starting bid + S&H


After a few weeks of being pulled in different directions, I was able to paint a daily painting, which really means these little paintings are really *almost* daily paintings :)

Last week I was working on a larger 20 x 16 inch painting and it is almost done, so soon I will be able to photograph it and share it with you.

Thanks for reading,


Pear on Wooden Box {a new daily painting} SOLD

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Pear on Wood Box

{7" x 5" (17.8 x 12.7 cm) – oil on linen panel}
Unframed painting: $100.00


This little painting was completed over a few days. The first day was late on a bright and sunny afternoon, but I had to stop working on it because of other responsibilities {namely my little one}, then the next time I had a chance to get back to it, the day was dark and cloudy. So dark that it was hard to see, but I tried to finish it anyways because opportunities do not always afford time to paint....

Well the next day was a bright and sunny day, and I realized that I had botched a lot because of how dark the previous day had been. However, this turned out to be a gift in disguise, because I was able to add more layers of paint, some places were painted wet into wet, and other areas had paint scumbled across the top of previous layers of paint. So all these days working on this little painting afforded the time to effectively capture the weathered appearance of the old Phillips Digestive Cocoa wooden box that the pear was sitting on.

This painting would not be what it is, if it had been smooth sailing from start to finish…


And here is a photo of miss N. in a new hat. Thank you Marie and Lily for the beautiful gift!

Pears, Bottle, and Bowl {a new still life painting}

20100728 Forelle Pears Bottle and Bowl 8x10
Still Life with Forelle Pears, Bottle, and Bowl – 8" x 10" (20.3 x 25 cm) – Oil on Canvas
Please click here for a larger view and purchase information.
I am a little behind on posting these paintings. It seems like I am late in getting a lot done lately... the run up to Labor Day weekend always is full of loose ends and this summer is no different.
Tomorrow I am headed back to the NGA and will share my progress with you soon :)

Thanks for stopping by, Liz

Still Life with Pears and Daffodils

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Daffodils and Pears – 24" x 18" (61 x 45.7 cm) – Oil on Canvas

Happy Friday! This weekend is the long awaited 20th Year High School Reunion for S. I am really looking forward to meeting so many of his former high school friends, and I anticipate the weekend will be busy.

And going into the weekend I received great news from the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club that the painting above was accepted into the 114th Annual Open Juried Exhibition that will take place in October in New York City! I had shown a work in progress image previously however I never got around to sharing the completed painting with you.

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for reading,


PS. Slim has been helping me write this blog post, really she has been hindering me as she insists on sitting on my arms.

Pear {a daily painting}

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Pear – 5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – Oil Canvas Panel


Yesterday was the two year anniversary of this blog! Thanks for being a part of this journey and I hope you continue to visit and share your thoughts!

For this painting I applied some of the painting techniques learned in the Danni Dawson Workshop. I spent about twice the typical time on this painting than is usually spent on these paintings, though it was a good learning experience and rewarding. I use RayMar canvas panels, and this is on the smooth cotton canvas. I like how the smooth canvas texture can be used or obliterated depending how thickly the paint is applied.

Tomorrow I am traveling to Texas to visit my grandmother for a week, while away I will not have regular access to the internet and I am not taking my painting kit with me. Last time I traveled it turned out to be just a heavy item in my luggage that only saw the light of day once. So for this trip I will just take my camera and take photos for future paintings when I get home.

Have a good week, Liz

Green Pear Daily Painting

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Pear – 6" x 6" (15.25 x 15.25 cm) – Oil on Gessoed Panel

A few weeks ago I was reading about sharp and soft edges in paintings in my favorite book right now, Harold Speed’s The Practice and Science of Drawing. Within days of reading about this topic I visited the Titian, Tintoretto, and Vernese exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and saw Titian's Venus Anadyomene, where the entire horizon was entirely diffused though it did not take away from the perceiving the edge of the sea to the sky.

With this painting I specifically chose to investigate the affect of diffused edges, painting a larger proportion of soft edges and deciding on only a few areas of specifically sharp and defined edges. I wanted to see if this would help create a greater sense of atmosphere and depth, I will play with this idea for a while to see where else soft diffused edges can strengthen a composition.

Artomatic 2009

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Hi :)

It is good hearing from you and I am glad my schedule is settling down to the routine again.

Today I am excited to share with you the details about the Artomatic show opening this Friday. Artomatic is a volunteer art event in DC, it is not juried or curated, it is purely a democratic endeavor, so if you have 15 hours to volunteer and are willing to pay the entry fee you get a wall to display your artwork, any way you like.

Such independent art events have a long history, as they are responses to the established gallery or “salon” system. The Impressionists mounted their own show because of politics of the Salon de Paris, and the “no jury or no awards” show of Société des Artistes Indépendants (Society of Independent Artists) in 1884 was first free exhibition with more than 5000 pieces shown.

This is my first year to participate, I was inspired to become involved after visiting the show last year and enjoying the energy and variety of pieces shown. This year there are more than a 1000 artists participating and we have 9 full floors of an empty commerical building in SE DC.

Here is a picture of my wall.

I created a new series specifically for the show. For this series I had two goals, first was to experiment with the perception of space, how one perceives distance and identifies what is forward and what recedes in a two dimensional painting, and second was to work in a limited color palette where blues were the dominate unifying color. I also used my favorite still life objects, pears, apples, and peaches.

Last week and over the weekend while putting the finishing touches on my Artomatic wall I also redesigned my website. Here is a link to the series with better photos of the individual paintings. Every painting is available for sale, however due the rules of the show, the paintings must stay up for the duration of the show. If anyone is interested in one of the paintings please feel free to send me an email.

Thanks, Liz

Forelle Pear #4 Daily Painting

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Forelle Pear #4 – 6" x 4" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

Here is the last pear of this series, and it was completed predominately with round brushes. This week of actively trying new painting techniques and working through the process has been good, in that I think I am starting to get the swing of using the rounds. There were times during this series when I wanted to go back to my comfort zone and pick up a bristle filbert paint brush (on Tuesday I did just that). Though by setting the parameters with each daily painting a new comfort level has been achieved and that was the goal.

This week I have been reading on Heather Smith Jones’ blog about her thoughts on creativity here and here. These two posts have been meaningful for me as I am personally working on how to balance all the art projects floating around in my head and the constraints life sometimes imposes.

Since Sunday I have been working on a 16 x 20 inch painting and this daily painting series. They have consumed my days, standing at the easel for long periods of time and when taking breaks still thinking about them. On a mental level this week has been wonderful however it has overworked my back. Where my existing back injury has flared up and yesterday I had to see my physical therapist. She encouraged me to slow down. Bittersweet advice as I really want to paint. Tomorrow I am planning to find other ways to be creative and help soothe the back injury so next week will not be hindered with sciatic pain. It was Heather’s posts that reminded me that creativity comes in ebbs and flows and it is okay for the experiences to not be what you expected. How some areas feed others.

I am curious, how have you found balance in your life and creativity?

Forelle Pear #3 Daily Painting

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Forelle Pear #3 – 6" x 4" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

Hi ~

How is the weather where you’re at? Here in DC it has been gray skies and rain since Monday. It is starting to get me down some. It is great for the trees and plants, but it is hard to be motivated to go outside.

Today’s painting was completed again with the synthetic rounds I have been experimenting with this time using larger sizes than on Monday’s painting. Today I used mainly a size 5 and sometimes a size 3, where previously I worked with sizes 0 &1. When I was painting on Monday I began to wonder if the size of the brush also affected the “stiffness” of the brush, which then in turn influences how paint is laid down on top of previous layers. Well with this brand it does make a big difference! I was really surprised and because the tip is quite fine, laying down small details is still possible when using a size 5.

See you tomorrow and let's hope for sunny skies! Liz

Forelle Pear #2 Daily Painting

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Forelle Pear #2 – 6" x 4" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

Here is the second pear of this series. With this painting I returned to using my typical brush, a filbert bristle. I use Maestro2 because they are longer than most other brands, so they are springier. Sometimes I will also use Isebey’s Chungking Bristle, these are more firm and have their uses. What I like most about using bristle brushes is that the springy and flexible tips allow for great ease of mixing paint on the canvas without the fear of lifting up the previous layers of paint. This may also be a result of the filbert brush shape. This is what Harold Speed says about filberts “a fine brush to draw with, as being flat it paints in planes, and having a rounded top is capable of getting in and out of a variety of contours.”

Forelle Pear #1 Daily Painting

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Forelle Pear #1 – 6" x 4" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

Hello there ~

Today’s painting is the first of a series I am working on where the subject matter is similar (all forelle pears) and I am alternating what type of paint brushes are used. My goal with this is to get more comfortable with the distinct qualities of the brushes I have and to learn what works best in for different situations. This first painting was completed using synthetic round brushes (the same brushes used for the Sunflower painting).

Have a good evening and see you tomorrow with another pear painting.

Pear on Tea Towel Still Life

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Pear on Tea Towel – 8" x 6" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

I have always admired the classical still life paintings that have a dark burnt umber background. So today playing with a variant of a dark background I used burnt umber instead of a black background. Work by Francisco de Zurbarán and Pieter Claesz come to mind as being particularly inspiring when thinking of still lifes with dark backgrounds.

Pear on Wooden Crate Still Life Painting

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Pear on Wooden Crate – 8” x 8” – Oil on Canvas Panel

Last weekend I decided to start experimenting more with oil mediums. This painting was painted almost entirely with the aid of Liquin. Most of the time when I paint, it is with the paint straight from the tube. I like the thickness of the paint and the quality of brushstrokes you achieve with using paint this way. However I am trying to branch out and try different methods. So using medium seemed like the correct next step.

I choose to use liquin because supposedly it makes oil paint dry faster; I am still not sure about that. Getting paint to dry faster has been an issue since I have been using titanium white more often and it takes forever to dry and setup versus cremnitz white, which is my white of choice.

Yesterday I spent most of my time fine tuning and working on the wood grain of the crate. All an exercise in patience and observation.

Bartlett Pear Still Life

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Bartlett Pear – 6" x 6" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

Sunday mornings begin with me heading over to the Mount Vernon Rec Center to swim. My friend, Marilze, encouraged me to start swimming again on New Years Day. After a morning swim I am usually ready to dig in and focus on the day’s tasks, which always includes some time to paint or draw.

For this painting along with the prior apple painting I set up the lighting for a dramatic effect. I propped up a panel to half block the directional light to cast a long shadow in the background on the side the light is positioned. This method really enables some dramatic contrasts in light and dark. Something I will continue to play with.

My Final Pair

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Pair of Pears No. 3 – 6" x 8" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

This was my final painting of the forelle pears, as they were starting to over ripen under the spot light some. For this painting I tried to paint quickly and with more energy. I used the experience of the two previous paintings to inform my decisions and to experiment with color and paint application. I did not blend as much as previously and laid paint down a little heavier than I have lately done. I am really pleased with how this painting came about, especially the rich blues/purples of the shadow area of the red portion of the forelle pear on the left.

Pair of Pears #2

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Pair of Pears No. 2 – 6" x 8" – Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

I enjoyed painting the first set of forelle pears so much that I switched out one pear and painted the same scene. All during the fall term in my painting class I worked on developing my ability to paint wet into wet and to also create more refined brushstrokes. It was really a good experience, but I believe I prefer having the brushstrokes seen. Painting in a more controlled manner has its benefits and I will definitely keep this technique in my arsenal, however when I am just painting for myself and not in class, I think I will leave the brushstrokes alone and not soften them.

Red Pear Still Life Painting

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Red Pear – 6" x 8" Oil on Canvas Panel – SOLD

Yah-hoo! I was able to grab some time yesterday to make a small painting! It feels like it has been forever… for the past four weeks my painting time was cut in half with work and other business related activities. It feels good to be back in the saddle.

This was my second attempt at painting this single pear. The first one got wiped down. And it really proves that you have to go with your gut on this, as the first attempt was just not coming together. When I did wipe it down, I felt free and ready to face the next opportunity. For me this pear was a challenge to depict the blues and purples in the shadow areas while also making the form round.

Here is a detail photo:

One activity that has kept me from painting as well is that I am going through several new books that were generously given to me by my mother-in-law, Susie. Her mother was an art teacher in Montgomery County for several years and had collected a wonderful library of all sorts of books related to art. Later this year I will share some of my favorites with some book reviews, for now I wanted to share a photo of my kitty, Slim, and how she has chosen to appreciate the new books…