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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!

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# -- $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! April 21, 2022 14"x10" on Arches 140#

"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# -- $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! I grew up in Fresno, 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. (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. (Somehow, 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. (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") -- $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") -- $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 donated 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") -- $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 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") -- $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"

Painted 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!) (8.5" x 11.5") -- $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 --

"De Vargas St

"De Vargas St

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!) (11.5" x 8.5") -- NFS --

"Legos and Marbles"

"Legos and Marbles"

I painted this in 2012 as a birthday gift to my new daughter-in-law Tesa (who loves marbles), and had to include my son Jacob (who loves all things "LEGO"). (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 -- $700 --

"The Holly & The Ivy"

"The Holly & The Ivy"

A small Christmas painting I painted as a give-away at the NMWS Christmas party/ painting exchange in 2017. (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. (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.) (9" x 8") -- $325 --

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