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Still-Life

Since childhood, I have pondered the complexities and compositions of "the still-life." Whether it's a beautiful shiny piece of fruit, or the common pepper, or garlic bulb ... when light, shadow and color combine to illuminate a simple object, it becomes a work of art to please the eye.

You will see several paintings of eggs in this gallery.  I teach my watercolor students who would aspire to be portrait artists, the best practice you can get for achieving "smoooooth" skin-tones, is by creating a painting of a smooth egg. The colors of eggshells are even similar to skin-tone! 

I also teach beginning students to paint a simple onion, or a garlic, as those are multi-layered objects where light is seen through the "transparent layers."  I'm in hopes this will embed the idea in their minds that watercolor can be quite successful as a a multi-layered creation of time and patience.

I love the added component of the varied textures of still-life:  soft cloth vs. glass or hard metal ... the leather of fruit vs. a smooth, round egg ... the reflections of a shiny piece of candy, vs. the soft glow of a glass marble, transparent to the light.  I am in love with "Chiaroscuro," and I attempt to express all of my paintings with that beautiful type of Renaissance lighting.

 

In short, I never saw a still-life reference photo I didn't see potential for, as a great work of art!

Farewell, All Joys!

Farewell, All Joys!

This was a still-life demo created for my NMAL students for the '24 Winter term. The beautiful little green-glass swan is an antique owned long ago by my grandmother, then my mother, and now me. We all love swans. I particularly love the 1612 Madrigal song written by Orlando Gibbons, called "The Silver Swan" from whence the title comes. I am entering this one into the NM Watercolor Society Spring '24 Exhibit. Stay tuned! Feb. 23, 2024 10"x14" on Arches 140# -- FOR SALE, $700 --

Oranges With The Blues

Oranges With The Blues

Another (more complex) still-life I put together to use as a demo painting in my 2024 Winter Still-Life class at the NM Art League. My students had a love/hate relationship with it, and it even drove me a bit crazy, but I was very happy with the result! (I cropped about 4 inches off the right-hand side, as per my wonderful Critique-Group's suggestions!) Feb. 2, 2024 10"x12" on Arches 140# -- FOR SALE, $600 --

Two More Stinking Roses

Two More Stinking Roses

This was done as a demo for the 8-week-long "Still-Life" class I've been teaching at the NM Art League. About half of my class were either new to watercolor, or at least new-ish still to the layered Grisaille technique I teach, so I wanted to make sure those students could create something simple, yet "framable." To me, garlic bulbs always fit that bill! Jan. 29, 2024 9" x 12" on Arches 140# -- FOR SALE, $525 --

A Peach Among The Onions

A Peach Among The Onions

Probably my very favorite still-life to date! I spent 2 months in the Summer of 2023 working on this one as a 60th birthday gift for my younger brother David, who is famous for saying this to people when they've done something nice! I LOVED all the detail in the quilt, and put love into every brushstroke for my brother. • MasterWorks of NM Exhibit, April 2024 Sept. 6, 2023 19"x15" on Arches 300# -- Owned by David Andrews, Winfield, MO --

The Golden Hour

The Golden Hour

I went out to my childhood-home-area of California in June of '23 with my daughter, and while there we had a lovely get-together with two 2nd-cousins I had never met in person. I gave them a "watercolor lesson," as we are all artists, and this was the piece I chose to use as a demo for them. I ended up finishing it at home later and I really love the light in this one! July 13, 2023 12"x9" on Arches 140# -- FOR SALE, $560 --

Jingle-Bell Mouse

Jingle-Bell Mouse

This is the 4th of my "mice paintings" for my future children's book, and I also used this image as my Christmas card in Dec. '22. My model was "Martha Mouse" who sadly, passed away on July 3, 2023. She was a very sweet, friendly mousey! Nov. 22, 2022 12" x 9" on Arches 140# -- NFS -- (yet!)

"The Tie That Binds"

"The Tie That Binds"

This was a demo painting for the Spring 2022 "Still-Life & Florals" watercolor class I taught at the NMAL. I gave it to my nephew & his new bride, as a wedding gift, Summer of 2022. May 2, 2022 13.5" x 9.5" on Arches 140 -- Owned by Ryan and Jessica Andrews --

"Two Garlic Bulbs"

"Two Garlic Bulbs"

Another demo piece for my NMAL Spring '22 Still-life class. I always love painting garlics and onions. They are multi-layered, just like my watercolors! April 23, 2022 9" x 12" on Arches 140# -- FOR SALE, $450.00 --

"Asian Pears on Amethyst"

"Asian Pears on Amethyst"

I believe my mother-in-law owned this beautiful antique amethyst glass dish (or possibly her mother). I've been dying to use it in a still-life, so I painted this as a demo-painting for my students in my NMAL Spring '22 Still-Life/Floral class. I love this one, and had so much fun with all the different textures! It hangs in my own dining room. April 21, 2022 14"x10" on Arches 140# -- NFS --

"Evelyn"

"Evelyn"

Another demo painting for my Spring 2022 "Still-Lifes & Florals" at the NMAL. I was particularly excited about using the color Manganese Blue as the foundational layer (under-painting) for this one. I found it to be very effective, rather than using a typical grisaille. May 23, 2022 13.5" x 9.5" on Arches 140# -- FOR SALE, $500 --

"Fall, Hanging On"

"Fall, Hanging On"

I painted this as a little "give-away" for my Watercolor Critique Group's Christmas party & painting exchange. (Dec. 2021) 8.5" x 11.5" on Arches 140# -- NFS --

"A Mousey Tea-Party"

"A Mousey Tea-Party"

My 2nd of about 24 "planned" paintings for a children's book about mice (each to be accompanied by a rhyme, written by me). I hope to finish this book within 5 years or so. March 31, 2021 14" x 22.5" on Arches 300# • NMWS Spring Exhibit, 2021 - Santa Fe Paint-Box Award -- NFS (yet!) --

"New Mexico's Red & Green"

"New Mexico's Red & Green"

This was a commissioned piece painted for our Pastor's wife, for her birthday in the Fall of 2021. I LOVE painting chile peppers! (Little fact: I painted this while dealing with a case of COVID-19!) Nov. 27, 2021 11" x 15" on Arches 300# -- SOLD --

"It's A Green Heat!"

"It's A Green Heat!"

I don't digest peppers of any kind. (I know ... TMI!) But I think they're beautiful, and I love their aroma when roasted! Here in New Mexico, these are "green heat!" (14" x 11") • NMWS Fall Exhibit, 2015 - 2nd Place • NMWS Southern Chapter Spring Exhibit, 2016 - BEST OF SHOW -- NFS --

"Five Little Fresno Peppers"

"Five Little Fresno Peppers"

These really ARE "Fresno peppers" -- very small, as is the antique sugar-pot! I grew up in Fresno, CA and there were five siblings in our family. The one that fell out of the pot represents my older brother who is now gone from us. This was in several exhibits, but now belongs to my parents, due to its special meaning. (11" x 14") • NMWS Fall Exhibit, 2016 - Jack Richeson Award -- NFS --

"A Taste of Color"

"A Taste of Color"

Some days you just feel like painting more peppers, and I loved the contrast with the different colored peppers and the blue & white stripes! This painting was a gift to Dr. & Mrs. Lambert, my "NM Mom & Dad" upon their 60th wedding anniversary. Sadly, they are both gone from us now, so this belongs to their grandson, Chad. (8.5" x 11.5") • NMWS Southern Chapter Spring Exhibit, 2017 -- 3rd Place -- NFS --

"Sweetness Suspended"

"Sweetness Suspended"

I painted this as a slow demo for my Summer of 2020 NM Art League Still-life class, which I taught via Zoom. The idea for this one came from my Dad, who told me a story of suspending something "falling" for all time. (It's for this reason, I can't let go of this one!) It has been displayed in several exhibits. (11.5" x 8.5") -- NFS --

"Pears On Heirloom"

"Pears On Heirloom"

One of my VERY EARLY watercolors (with some Prisma-colored Pencil mixed in). Painted in 1996. -- NFS --

"Les Trois Poires de Noel"

"Les Trois Poires de Noel"

A little piece painted for the NM Art League's "Small Works Holiday Show" in 2017. It sold in that show to Mr. Jay Leutweiler. (5" x 7") -- SOLD --

"Before the Omelette"

"Before the Omelette"

Mostly painted as a demo for one of my NM Art League still-life classes, but not finished for several more years. (I really want to hang this in my own kitchen, but if it sells, it sells!) (7" x 9.5") -- FOR SALE, $275 --

"Eggs in Sunlight"

"Eggs in Sunlight"

Painted for the NM Art League "Small Works Holiday Show" exhibit in 2019. I loved the light and shadow play in my photo reference! (6" x 8.5") -- FOR SALE, $250 --

"On The Edge"

"On The Edge"

This was painted because my Dad told me a story of a grecian urn in 2013. A couple about to kiss, was painted on the urn ... and the kiss was never, ever consummated ... but rather, hung in the air ... FOREVER as a "moment of expectation." I loved that! (So I gave this piece to my parents, who proudly display it in their kitchen.) (5" x 7") -- NFS --

"Sunny-side-up"

"Sunny-side-up"

A piece I painted to donate to the Albuquerque Art in Schools Auction in 2012, where it sold to my friend Woody Duncan. (8.5" x 11.5") -- SOLD --

"Mmmmmmm!"

"Mmmmmmm!"

Painted for a still-life exhibit at the NM Art League, Fall, 2021. (6.5" x 9") -- FOR SALE, $250 --

"Twenty-two"

"Twenty-two"

22 is my very favorite number, for many reasons. I thought it might be fun to represent that with M&M's. This was a "give-away" at my watercolor critique-group's 2017 Christmas painting exchange, now owned by the wonderful artist, Carol Carpenter. (6" x 7.5") -- NFS --

"Wide-mouth Full of Marbles"

"Wide-mouth Full of Marbles"

Painted for a 2016 still-life exhibit at the NM Art League, where it sold in the show. (8.5" x 11.5") -- SOLD --

"Rainier Cherries On Yellow"

"Rainier Cherries On Yellow"

Just a little painting to hang in my newly painted YELLOW kitchen the Summer of 2021. (And I love cherries!) (10" x 8") -- NFS --

"California Sun in a Bowl"

"California Sun in a Bowl"

This painting represents many of my favorite childhood memories. Growing up in California, grapes were our "go-to" snack ... I loved the highly decorated items in Chinatown, San Francisco ... and my Grandma and her mother often crocheted lace. I don't plan on ever parting with this one. (17" x 14") -- NFS --

"Fraises au Chocolat"

"Fraises au Chocolat"

In 2017 I entered this into a small exhibit at a local bakery, and the show was sponsored by the NM Watercolor Society. (5" x 7") -- FOR SALE $200 --

"Pumpkins For Carving"

"Pumpkins For Carving"

I needed a piece JUST FOR ME, to hang up on my walls during my favorite season of the year. So in 2020, during the pandemic, I painted this just for me! (14" x 14") -- NFS --

"To Gilroy With Love"

"To Gilroy With Love"

Created as a demo-painting in my first teaching assignment at the NM Art League in 2018, after Gilroy, CA had suffered major fire damage from a forest fire. (We used to love driving through Gilroy when I was growing up ... just to smell the garlic!) That first painting was "lifted" by someone when I wasn't looking ... so I painted it again! I hope the thief of the first is enjoying it. (Sarcasm!) (8.5" x 11.5") -- FOR SALE, $400 --

"Three Stinking Roses"

"Three Stinking Roses"

Named for the famous restaurant in San Francisco, where EVERYTHING on the menu has garlic in it. Yum! (6.5" x 8.5") -- SOLD to Li Hua --

"De Vargas St. Bell"

"De Vargas St. Bell"

In 2011, I photographed this lovely little ceramic bell hanging from someone's back fence in the middle of Santa Fe, NM ... and had to paint it! (My daughter claimed this one as hers, right away!) (11.5" x 8.5") -- NFS --

"Legos and Marbles"

"Legos and Marbles"

I painted this in 2012 as a birthday gift for my new daughter-in-law (who loves marbles), and had to include my son Jacob's favorite childhood things: LEGO's. (8.5" x 11.5") -- NFS --

"Conquest of the Wind"

"Conquest of the Wind"

I saw this little scene of drifting, dried Fall leaves on the steps of my Dentist's office, and the colors and light fascinated me. (11" x 15") • Selected for the Western Federation of Watercolor Societies, 2021 "virtual" Exhibit -- FOR SALE, $700 --

"The Holly & The Ivy"

"The Holly & The Ivy"

A small Christmas painting I created for a "Small Works" show at the NM Art League in 2017. It was purchased by my friend Jinkle Seagraves. (8" x 6") -- NFS --

"Bright Lights of Christmas"

"Bright Lights of Christmas"

This was painted as a demo for my still-life class at the NM Art League in the Fall of 2019, just prior to the holidays. (8.5" x 11.5") -- $400 --

"One Little Light"

"One Little Light"

Painted for the NM Art League "Small Works Holiday Show" in 2018. (Partially done as a demo painting for the still-life class I was teaching at the time.) I used the image for my Christmas card that year, and then this painting disappeared. I have no idea where it might be, or who has it, which makes me sad. (9" x 8") -- unavailable --

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