Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pretty Eyes and Mouse Go Fishing

Pretty Eyes and Mouse Go Fishing
acrylic on 8" by 6" canvas board

I've been painting, Mary Ellen wanted a couple to send to her Dad and Step-Mom for Christmas. I offered - told her she could consider them commissions since she does so much for me! This one I painted with her Dad in mind, he is a fisherman. But after it was done, knew "Pretty Eyes" wouldn't be his thing! It is mine, however! Pretty Eyes is my sock doll from my childhood. And I love mice, so lucky me! Also, in case you wonder, the green hangy-down stuff is supposed to be a weeping willow!

Think I'll try to paint a few more soon - and post too! I miss it! Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Painting in July...

Night Shop
after Jennifer McChristian
acrylic on 18" x 24" canvas board

This is a copy of a painting I really admire by Jennifer McChristian. I love attempting to copy a painting but it has such negative connotations. It isn't nearly as good as Jennifer's but it was a fun exercise for me. My brain is empty and if I didn't do this, I wouldn't do anything at all. I'm hoping to get back on my stool and paint regularly. Please visit Jennifer's website and enjoy her beautiful work, you won't be sorry.

I plan on giving this to Ron, my daughter Mary Ellen's boyfriend. Ron says just 2 more years and they can be common-law! Well, I think you have to live together to get that title, but he is a wonderful person and I love him for being so good to my daughter. Ron recently lost his Father who had an extensive work shop. So did my own Father. I'm sure that is why I was drawn to this painting.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I won Chubby!

I must have really wanted this little guy because I procrastinated for a while before logging into Steve's Globspot to see if he had selected the winners yet. OK, I thought, you didn't win - but the odds are much less than the lottery I thought - but so what, it sure is fun to play the game! I read along first to see who's names had been selected, Athos, Porthos and Aramis, names of the Three Musketeers, by Art Wench were the winners. I have to confess, I've only heard of Aramis, probably because it is a popular mens cologne! What's that say about me?

Reading on, I could hardly believe it when I saw beckielboo - I mean, I had to read it about 3 times before I could believe it! Gotta' go now, I have to let Steve know I've decided upon Chubby!

If you haven't already, go visit Steve Worthington's Globspot to see his work and his humor!

Oh, almost forgot to tell of the amazing coincidence. My previous post, announcing Steve's contest announcing his 100th blog post was also my 100th blog post!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Steve Worthington rocks

I am a big Steve Worthington fan. I first came across him when I started seeing mouse paintings by some of my favorite artists. Being the curious person I am, I investigated and found a really interesting person and a phenomenal sculptor.

To celebrate his 100th blog post, he is having - another - contest to win a mouse sculpture. Well, I really love his mice - my friends know how I feel about mice, so I have to do this.

Sprightly & his friends

He is looking for names for his 3 new turtles. Proudly, I was the first with suggestions!
And we get to guess twice! My first entries are "Uno, Pesky & Snapdragon". Wish me luck, but better yet go there yourself, read the rules and enter. If you win - good for you, but please tell me! Go to Steve Worthington's Globspot ... NOW ... What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

While in Waynesville, NC

I felt your kiss and could wait forever...
Acrylic on 16" by 20" canvas sheet

I spent the first 2 weeks of May in Waynesville, NC with my college roommate Sheila. We have had the pleasure of spending several weeks a year together for the last 5 years. Sheila has 4 grown children, 3 boys and 1 girl and soon to be 7 grandchildren. If I could only get her to blog & paint!

We met at Kansas State College of Pittsburg, now Pittsburg State University, in Pittsburg, Kansas in 1966 where I attended for the next 2 years. My parents were raised there and my Mother & her sister both attended there and my Father's 2 brothers graduated there. I felt it was a family tradition. Besides, my grandparents were still living and it gave me an opportunity to spend lots of time with them. I later attended hospital based certificate programs for X-ray and Nuclear Medicine, a better fit for me.

This year, Sheila's oldest son Peter graduated from college at the age of 32 with a fiancee, 2 pre-teens and new baby. Good for you Peter, that is a heavy load indeed. I have never met Peter, but thought his accomplishment warranted recognition. Besides, I wanted to paint while I was in Waynesville anyway! I don't think Peter liked it, Sheila only said after I inquired, that he was pleased. Oh well, that is why I don't usually give a painting away unless someone asks for it. You just never know what someone will like or not and with so much personal involvement, you hope that the recipient likes your effort.

But the background story of this painting is that it was originally painted by Irene Corey and Brad Bisbey. I was lucky enough to buy Brad's but Irene's had already been sold, or I would have bought it also. They apparently joined together to paint the same subject as Brad stated in his blog that Irene had shared the photo with him. I hope they will not mind that I tried it too. For reference, I am including theirs.

Waiting by Irene Corey, 5" by 7" oil, 5-31-07

Waiting by Brad Bisbey, 8" by 9" acrylic

What do you think? Different but the same... It's like the challenges we participate in to see how each artist paints with their own signature.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Monthly Painting Challenge #4 - Brick Wall

Brick Wall with a Touch of Purple
Soft Pastel on 6.25" by 9.5" gray velour board

Gee, I'm glad I did this one! I really like it! And I haven't worked with Soft Pastel's in almost a year. Funny how you can get stuck on one thing. If I had the self-discipline (I HATE THAT PHRASE) I have about 8 paintings I'd like to do. Three are for gifts and really need attention. And you know what? When I mentioned to my daughter Mary Ellen that I had done a pastel last night, she had "Respect and Joy" in her voice. I was proud, too! Thanks Pam, what's up for next month?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Boo Hoo - Windows To The Words #12 - For the Birds

Eastern Bluebird
acrylic on 6" by 8" canvas board

Missed again, but still wanted to paint for James. This was the Windows To The Words challenge for March, but I just didn't get it done.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I just can't explain this one!

Tadhgán and Chiara's Secret
acrylic on 12" by 12" by 3/4" gallery wrapped canvas

OK, I can explain their names. The red haired girl is Tadhgán, which is the Gaelic spelling for the Irish name Teagan and means "poet". The dark haired girls name is an Italian name of Irish origin and means “dark”. I love to find just the right name for my imaginary "friends" and they have to be just right! Usually, I do not use unusual spellings, but this time, just couldn't resist the beautiful Gaelic spelling.

I have not varnished this piece yet. I always photograph paintings before I varnish them! I just cannot get past the glare otherwise. However, this time, I know this piece will "pop" with varnish. My intent was to dress them in party cloths as I think they are at a night club.

OK, the truth is, I started this for a challenge I no longer participate in. Ironically, I got the name of the challenge just a little confused, but thought the painting still worked. It was "Silence" and I thought it was "Secret". Since they both have their eyes closed, it could have still worked but I decided to leave that challenge and this painting has been sitting on my "unfinished" rack for a few weeks.

Since the women are so obviously interested in one another, I thought it deserved an explanation. I'm not gay, but sometimes I wish I were. There are so many unattached women - but - you are what you are, and I have no desire to change my stripes at my age.

TMI - Too much information? Sorry!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Virtual Paintout #14 - Stavanger, Norway

9 Schiøtz gate, Stavanger, Rogaland, Norge
Acrylic on 11" by 14" by 3/4" wrapped canvas

For the 14th Virtual Paintout in Stavanger, Norway. This was fun as I dramatically altered the colors.

I'm trying to do more "big swoopy color" and this nearly all white image was just too bland for my taste. I don't usually display my reference image, but this had to be seen to understand how much I altered it and yet it still looks like the reference image. I chose it because of the items displayed in the windows. It reminded me of a home my Mom and I saw on our RV trip that had large dolls in every window. It was fascinating.

The funny thing is, there is nothing like it entered. Nearly everything is watercolor and mine sticks out like a "bright thumb"! I am gaining a real appreciation for watercolor, however. I haven't tried it, but as I study other works, I can see it really does have many advantages.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Good Morning, Sherry!

Today, I've replaced my banner image. My blog will be 1 year old on April 21 and this is the first change I've made. Some things have changed and I wanted a new look!

The painting was done during my first painting phase in 1986. My name was Becky Kastelic at that time; I married Paul Leone in 1990 changing my name (obviously)!

I found an article in an art magazine discussing shadowing. I am so disappointed that I did not keep the article and do not know the name of the author/artist that I used as a reference image for this painting. Maybe someday someone will recognize her work and I'll finally be able to credit her.

And, yes Sherry, I am back at the easel! I can't thank you enough for your caring words!


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Monthly Painting Challenge #3 - Creek Reflections

Creek Reflections
11" by 14" Acrylic on wrapped canvas

This is the 3rd Monthly Painting Challenge presented by Pam Van Londen. She does pick beautiful photo's, but they are not easy - for me - to paint. This one hit all my Uh-O buttons. Trees and water and reflections are three of my weakest painting skills. I guess that is what a challenge is all about! Thanks Pam, good job!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Few Good Artists

I've spent several hours looking over my most favorite site, The Daily Painters Gallery. This is the site I found last year, thanks to Googling "flamingo", that eventually led me to start painting again. It was all so overwhelming at first, so everyday I looked at every painting and said the name of the artist. After about 2 months, I was familiar with many artists and was collecting at an alarming rate; both space and finances have curtailed almost all purchasing. I do have a wonderful collection now, you an see many of them are in albums on my Facebook gallery.

Today, I've made a few observations that I am going to discuss a bit. The artists are among many of my favorites but there are so many - I could go on forever!

First is Carol Nelson from Aurora, Colorado. I can't say enough about her current project. She is painting 100 portraits in (about) 100 days. As of yesterday, she has done 66 of 100. In addition to this, her husband has received a donor kidney from their son. Carol, what are you thinking? My hat is off to you and I seldom take my hat off (literally) for anyone! What I find particularly helpful, is she posts the reference photo she is painting from, something that "we" usually don't do. It is a wonderful project that has already enhanced her skills and could turn out to be a very useful sales technique. She put out a broadcast request for anyone to submit a photo. Since she is a known artist with a following, there is little doubt that she will be able to sell many of her paintings. If I had better self discipline, I'd try it just for the experience; sadly, the 2 or 3 entries I'd receive (That is supposed to be a joke!) wouldn't be that much training! For a quick look at her Daily Painter's Gallery click here, but don't miss her blog.

Next is Liza Hirst from Dordogne, France. What caught my eye is a series she calls "My Things". In DPG, I saw over 25 paintings of her "things", like earrings, household items, blue jeans and hats. I'm not a big fan of the 'single item' painting, but this one was more personal and therefore more interesting. Liza paints beautiful and complex paintings of which I am a big fan - I love you Liza!! I've visited her blog many times in the past, but today, only looked at her work at DPG click here. There is a link to her blog from there.

I've admired Robin Weiss from Poulsbo, WA, but today, I really became a fan! His detail and colors are exactly what I'd like my style to be. There are a few specific paintings I want to mention.

The 23rd Psalm: Both the title & subject are so dear.

Bees on Lavender: Couldn't help myself, just like it!

Cows on the Edge: Need I say more? This is fun!

The Walker: Light and shadows are one of the things I haven't learned yet. This, to me, is a knock-out example of lighting, and a beautiful painting. You can never go wrong with pink trees!
For a quick look at his Daily Painters Gallery click here.

And lastly, I'm going to be a bit indulgent and mention "the one that got away". This is one of my most favorite paintings of all time as it reminds me of my daughter, Mary Ellen when she was that age - it's the hair - and there is nothing I love more than ME! For some reason, I did not buy this painting, I think it was a bit out of my budget at the time, but I go back and admire it often!

The artist is Johanna Bohoy of Beverly Farms, Massachusetts and the painting is:

Reflections: There is actually another of Johanna's paintings that is still available that I've had my eye on for a long time. If only wishes paid the bills! For a quick look at her Daily Painters Gallery click here.

The last observation I made was how many artists get a 'theme' and paint it several times or even many, many times. Fruit, apples and pears, seem to be very addictive. I've tried that myself. "Lions" are my biggest theme - four of them so far! Hope you enjoyed my thoughts.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's Been a LONG Time Coming ... But I'm Back!

John T. Alsop Bridge, Jacksonville, FL
better know as MAIN STREET BRIDGE
6" by 8" acrylic on canvas board
painted for my oldest friend, Dottie's book!

back and front cover of:
Remembering Jacksonville
a collection of local lore taken from:
The Florida Times-Union column:
By the Wayside by Dorothy K. Fletcher

This is the book I've mentioned in my most recent posts. Please go to to see the book - and buy it, too!

Dottie, I'm so proud of you and so honored that you choose me to paint the cover! Who would have ever thought in 1959 when we met, that 51 years later this would happen? OMG! Thank you also for your generous payment I received "for this honor"! The painting is my gift to you as congratulations for your 4th publication. Well done!