topiary cats

topiary cats

Friday, November 26, 2010


Here is Dave from this year's portrait swap.  I love portraiture and need lots of practice... next year, in addition to plein air, I want to really focus on bettering my portrait skills.

Dave was so much fun to paint.

9x12 oil on panel (click image for larger view)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How To Traumatize Your Cat

My daughter has a purple unicorn marionette.
It got terribly tangled.  The task of untangling it fell on me, by default.

Untangling it took over an hour.

When I was finished, I played with it  near the cat, who is sitting next to me on the couch.  At first, she was curious.  Then, she realized THIS THING IS ALIVE! and freaked out- screaming and hissing!

My cat does not think it is funny but I do.

Here is the scary cat-terrorizing unicorn.  Kitty hissed three times during the shooting of this photo.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Plein Air 37 & 38 & Retirement Day

Today I took a vacation day and went on a painting workshop with Danielle Hatherley again.  One of her students got permission for us to paint in the health club of her building, 36 stories up.  It was an awesome building with an incredible 360 degree view right on the East River.

I finished 2 paintings, both are 9x12 oil on panel:

The second is a Leftover Paint Painting... just a quick something to use up the extra paint from the first painting.

The view was wonderful!


Today also marks Retirement Day of my Painting BFF- so I am glad it got to go on such a nice outing.

My fabulous palette knife, an old Lowell-Cornell, model number long obscured by layers of paint. I have been painting with this knife for the last 14 years. In fact, I can't paint without it. It's comfortable and has character, and it is well-made.

Knives like this are hard to find these days- the reason it is so good is because the blade and handle are all one piece of metal.  They just don't make them like they used to.

Because there are cracks in the paint which covers the blade, and because my friend on Wet Canvas recently had her much-beloved palette knife break, I'm a little nervous.  So I used some birthday money to finally invest in a Holbein Knife. 

There are no better knives than Holbein knives.  With the exception of something tragic and unforeseen, I will never have to replace this new knife for as long as I live.  It is tempered Japanese steel, all one piece.  It is beautiful. lightweight, and wonderfully flexible.  I will miss my old knife, but I know I'll love the new one just as much!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Dave (Study)

This is a pastel study of Dave, my partner in this year's portrait swap.  I'll move on to the oil painting this week.

9x12 pastel on Colorfix