Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Greetings

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Hello everyone, if there still is anyone out there. Many many apologies for being absent these last few weeks. The obligations of the season have taken precedence this month, so the Daily Painting has been on hold. I wish you all the happiest of holidays and the best of New Year's celebrations. I look forward to being back next year with many new Daily Paintings;
until then, Thank you for your interest, your comments, and your subscriptions,
See you in January,
all the best, Judith

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Romantic Retreat & Beachcomber's Lodge

Yet another Crystal Cove painting to have on hand for the gallery if needed. This view is from the top of the cliff looking west down the street with Cottages # 38 & 33 on the right.
We were lucky enough to stay in # 38 in May of 2007 as part of a family reunion. Drinking our morning coffee on the deck overlooking the ocean at 6:30 in the morning was an experience I will always remember. It's worth the effort to try and reserve a space at any of the cottages. Look for the cancellations.

Tomorrow is Jury Duty about which I have mixed feelings. If only they would let me sign up for the days that I want instead of the days they want, but of course that is ridiculous. So, I will wait and see what happens.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Crystal Cove Icon

Finally we have some winter weather here in Southern California and the promise of "Rain".
For me the idea of rain has become utterly exotic. We've seen nothing but mists and low fogs this past year, or maybe at most a half hour of sustained moisture that the most optimistic among us may have called rain, but which was in reality just very heavy drop-lets, not drops, of wetness. As a farewell, briefly perhaps, to our standard sunny day, I painted this view of the iconic neon sea green shanty at Crystal Cove and the umbrellas at the outdoor restaurant across the path. This I will keep in reserve to show at the Crystal Cove Gallery & Gift shop where those of you who live in the area can see my work from January through March next year.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Winter Morning at the Back Bay

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving and that you are all prepared for the breakneck, hypersonic, headlong slide into the new year that we all know as the month of December. Seriously, each day seems only to have about six hours in it. And each day I seem to have about 24 hours of stuff to do. Actually it's not quite that bad, it's just my brain. It can only do about 4 things a day, and that's when I make lists!  Anyway, this is only a roundabout way to say that postings may be a bit thin the next few weeks. That's why I love that our painting group has Friday painting dates. I try and make myself do these as often as I can. Here is one from the Newport Back Bay, looking west this time, from a point on Back Bay Drive, which is a narrow road that skirts the bay's east side. (See September 19 for a view looking south.) It was breezy, cool and cloudy. A perfect winter day.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Heritage Hill Arbor

Well, finally I'm back. Why do the days seem to go faster and faster and faster as the holidays and the end of the year approach? Is it gravity? Anyway, our group met at a beautiful little park here in Lake Forest called Heritage Hill Historical Park. Several very old buildings from the earliest days in Orange County have been moved here to form a little cluster of history. There is a ranch house and church and several other buildings surrounded by wonderful native plants. It was an unexpected and pleasant surprise. I chose to paint this little gazebo which is apparently available to rent for weddings, just as the sun came raking through the trees.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Crystal Cove Garages - Redux NFS

What a beautiful day it was at Crystal Cove on Friday. I was able to do two paintings; this is the second one, a view you may recognize from way back in September when I posted a larger painting of these beautiful old garages. Or, at least I think they are beautiful. As I was painting this on Friday, two couples strolled by on their way back up to the parking lot. One of the guys said "I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder", meaning I suppose that all he could see was some old ramshackle buildings. So that's why I'm the artist and he's not, because I see endless color, texture, line and shape, not to mention the history of these old sheds, built by the residents, and used for decades. All of us artists rue the day when they will be "restored". Granted they are falling apart, and need to be fixed. It's just that we will miss them.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Crystal Cove - Fisherman's Perch NFS

I finally made it outside to do some plein air work again. Our group met down at Crystal Cove, where I did a painting a couple of weeks ago. I never get tired of painting here, and a good thing too, since I have heard that I will be able to exhibit in the Gift Shop there next year. When I know which quarter I'll be showing, I'll post it up here. Here is a view of Cottage #37, "Fisherman's Perch", with just a glimpse of Cottage #32, "Painters Cottage" down the end of the path on the left. Here is a link to the Crystal Cove Alliance website where you can learn more about the park and the history there: http://www.crystalcovebeachcottages.com/html/individual_cottages.php

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Keyhole Rock & Double Raspberry Preserves

I am reposting two previous paintings which were not for sale when I first put them up, but now are. The Keyhole Rock painting was done for a commission but didn't fit the requirements so it's now for sale. The Double Raspberry Preserves are available now too.

Lots of bookkeeping and business to take care of the next couple of days, so this is it until next time.

I can't figure out how to attach a Buy Now Button for each separate painting so just email me if you are interested:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Two Persimmons

Another Autumn Fruit: Persimmons. I have always admired the beautiful colors and glassy smooth skins of this beautiful fruit, but have never managed to figure out how, or when to eat one. Any suggestions now that I've painted them?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mandarin Orange

November and December doesn't only mean gourds, and squash, and dried leaves, it also means Clementines and Mandarine Oranges. Why? I don't know. Anyway, here is a large Mandarine Orange, partially disrobed. These are very sweet and juicy; Thank you Costco.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Tumble of Apples

I mentioned a couple of days ago that I went crazy taking photos of all the beautiful fruits and vegetables displayed under the white canopies at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market.
It truly was like looking at gems, laid out in the soft shade, just glowing with color. I had already envisioned a sort of wallpaper like painting, so took photos close up so the whole frame was filled with shapes and colors, creating a bit of an abstract pattern even though the objects are recognizable. Here is the first of what I hope will be several paintings of the produce I photographed there. These are apples obviously. I was so wrapped up in getting the shot though that I forgot to note which variety they were. I've pumped up the color quite a bit because I could.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Autumn Sycamore Leaf - SOLD

Well, I finished this on Tuesday, but ran out of daylight to photograph it in. My goodness 5 pm comes early. I wish it were darker in the morning so we could have that extra hour of daylight at the other end of the day. Realistically, I'll have to find a way to photograph with lights that is quick and easy and doesn't involve transforming our garage into a photo studio, which is how we photograph the larger paintings I do, 4 or 5 at a time.

So, here is a lovely leaf. Our lake is surrounded at its north end by many sycamore trees. In autumn the color change is subtle, transforming from summer's bright green/yellow to autumn's  dusky gold and reddish brown. It's the shapes they contort into as they dry that is the chief attraction for me, presenting a classic problem of form and value, not dissimilar to painting drapery or crumpled paper.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mama's Double Raspberry Preserves

During my visit to Santa Barbara, we went to the Farmer's Market on Saturday. There were rows of vendors with more fresh produce than I've seen in a long time. Crowds of people came to shop and to visit. I took photos of all the fruits and vegetables with my phone, I just couldn't help myself. I stopped by a booth that sold jams and preserves to take a few photos and admire their wares. When the woman tending all the beautiful jars of jam heard that I was a painter of food gathering some photo references for future paintings, she gave me a jar of jam!! So, here is my portrait of the Triple Raspberry preserves from "Mama's Preserves", located in Arroyo Grande, CA. Their website is: www.mamaspreserves.com, in case you want to look at their online catalog.

I can't seem to get these photos lined up in a row, so here they are all stacked in a vertical.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Face - SOLD

Yikes! It's been over a week since I posted a painting. Santa Barbara was wonderful as always, but I came back with a little cold or bug or flu or something, so that's why no posts for the last few days since my return. But I'm finally back today and am posting a Halloween surprise. When I was visiting with my friends we spent one evening carving little pumpkins. It's been years since I did that, and I had forgotten how much fun it is. I was mocked for making a too nice pumpkin face last week, so, M & M, here is one who is a bit more ferocious. Happy Halloween everyone.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Santa Barbara Mission

After a couple of days under the weather, I'm off to beautiful Santa Barbara to visit old friends, do some catching up and some resting up. I won't be posting anything until next Tuesday or Wednesday; I'm taking my paints up with me, though I'm not sure what kind of visit it's going to be. I may or may not come back with a painting or two. Just to tide you over, here is a photo of the Queen of the Missions that I tweaked a bit with a new widget I have on my phone that lets me play around with photos. This one makes a scene look like a miniature. Cute, huh? Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 19, 2009


About  a month ago my husband and I began horseback riding lessons, and this painting is a portrait of Lacey, the horse who, along with her mistress, is teaching me to ride. Lacey is gentle, intuitive, and patient with her clumsy pupil. She is also pregnant, due in March, so I may not be able to finish all my lessons before she must stop and take it easy. The portrait itself is my first venture in trying to draw, let alone paint a horse. I have deliberately avoided it for years, being intimidated by the idea of trying to make it look like a horse and not like a dog. But, she does look like a horse, so I am pleased.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Gourd with Lemons

Another gourd, paired with the lemons. I can't get enough of the lemons I guess.
Here is a stripey, crookneck sort of one. I wish I new the names of them.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Self Portrait - NFS

Well, here is the first of what I look forward to being a series of self portraits. I have over the years done dozens of self portrait drawings in many different media. I've done only one other one in oils though, so this is pretty much my first one. I do apologize for the overly poignant, bordering on insipid expression on my face however. Self portraits are notoriously grumpy appearing, owing to the artist being required to look into a mirror with the same expression over and over as the painting progresses, and so the portraits inevitably appear wooden, frozen, or downright scowling. I tried to use a mirror, but couldn't co-ordinate the lighting for my face with the lighting I need for my palette and for the painting. So, I used a photo. I did sort of have that expression on my face, but somehow in the painting I ended up exaggerating it rather too much. But for a first one I'm ok with it. I hope it doesn't scare you or make you wonder why I appear to be weeping. Or begging for food.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Three Heirloom Tomatoes

Here are three Heirloom tomatoes, which means they have wonderful anomalous shapes and colors and are a real challenge to paint.  I wonder if they will taste as good as they look.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

White China Egg Cup

Here is a little egg cup I have had for over 30 years, and it was old when I got it! I often used to eat soft boiled eggs in an egg cup, but not so much the last couple of decades, so it seemed appropriate for me to put it to some sort of use.  I started out with a small size panel just to get used to painting it, but I think I'd like to do it again with a spoon maybe, and another egg on the side. Anyway, here is the first attempt at my favorite old china egg cup from Germany.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Two Lemons and a Squash

I ended up working on this for a couple of days, with a day in between for drying. I'm just starting to get the hang of the napkin I think, and with one of my favorite subjects to paint, lemons, I'm very happy with how this turned out.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Green Gourd

Here is another gourd. It's the green one in the background from yesterday, and I thought it needed to have a post all of it's own. I love how bumpy and variegated the skin is. The little pumpkins I bought to paint are just too perfect, all the same color of orange, no flaws, almost artificial looking. But this green one looks like it actually grew somewhere once.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

3 Gourds

The season for gourds, and squash, and decorative corn, and all manner of dried and desiccated plant life is upon us. How I wish that the objects I'll be painting this October and November were gathered in my garden or in the wild and lovingly dried and prepared in the shed out back, rather than having been purchased at my local Trader Joe's and Ralph's markets.
So, now that I've ruined the mood, I will try to recapture it with this arrangement of gourds.
Picture them on a dark shelf, out in the shed, with just a shaft of sunlight coming down on them from a crack in the roof.
I do like this time of year, even love it, but here in southern California, we are left mostly to pretend when it comes to adorning our homes with nature's treasures.  Ditto re: Winter. I will be hunting up my own dried out Sycamore leaves though, of which we will have an abundance in the next few weeks. So, now that the weather has finally cooled off I will wish you all a Happy Autumn with real enthusiasm, only 2 weeks late.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Aubergine with Lemon - SOLD

I know, I know, Aubergine sounds pretentious. But admit it, it's a much more elegant, even mysterious name compared to the word we use: Eggplant. I suppose you could say that eggplant is mysterious as well, since seriously, what egg? Turns out eggplants used to be, (some still are) white. So that explains that association a bit. Still, I prefer Aubergine so that's what it's going to be. With a lemon, and a quite nice white napkin, if I do say so myself.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Two Red Pears

Well, here are a couple of red pears. I'm pretty pleased with the painting of the pears, but I'm about ready to tear my hair out about the photo of the pears. Dark paintings are very hard to photograph in anything but a super controlled studio setting. So, shooting a photo of this painting in open shade on my patio in the afternoon right after I paint it in order to be able to post it today (Monday), for viewing first thing tomorrow (Tuesday), which for you reading this would probably be today, (Tuesday), can be be exasperating to say the least. So, that is my mea culpa for posting such a contrasty and very much less than good or even accurate photo of a painting that I think deserves more.
That being said, here they are, Two Red Pears.

p.s. I may reshoot them and post a new photo later.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Irvine Park Pond

For our painting group's Friday paint-out we went to Irvine Park. The heat wave, or should I say, this particular heat wave, appears to be over. The weather was perfect. Warm and with a gentle breeze. The leaves of the sycamores are golden, and yellow; the sunlight behind them radiating colors as intense as stained glass in a cathedral. Here is one of my favorite views. Just a simple pond and tree reflected in the water, but always a challenge, and always a little different whenever I visit.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Santa Rosa Vista

Here is the little painting I did on Tuesday at the Santa Rosa Plateau, (see yesterday's post).
I hiked up a little hill in order to look out upon this wide expansive bowl of grassland and oaks. It was utterly quiet, except for the cool breeze, which brought clouds from the west and a few sprinkles at about 4:30, believe it or not! I love painting here and look forward to coming back again and again. When I finished, packed up and was heading down the little trail, (made by wildlife only no doubt, and no wider than 3 inches worn through the grass), I happened upon a tarantula, working it's way up the trail pretty as you please. When it perceived me, (vibrations? shadow? can they see??) it did a couple of little pumps up and down on its not unimpressive hairy legs, like it might jump. Knowing what a coward I am, and fearing to have a heart attack so far from help, I headed with my cart off into the crackly dead grass, making a wide circle around the rightful resident of this beautiful place.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oaks on the Santa Rosa Plateau

Today, I am going out to the Santa Rosa Plateau, an ecological reserve in Riverside County.
It's located at the southern end of the Santa Ana Mountains and consists of 8,300 acres of Oak woodlands, wetlands, coastal sage and chaparral. It is a wonderful place to to hike. Easy trails, and the oaks really are so beautiful to see spread out over the rolling grassland.
I am going with some friends from my painting group to pick up some unsold paintings from a small show we participated in there. Since I won't be back in time to post the little painting I'm hoping to do out there, I will include a photo of the larger piece I was exhibiting that didn't sell. Hope you all like it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Peach - the first

Here is a peach. A stubborn peach that took me 2 days to paint, just to get the hang of its peachiness. The photo actually doesn't quite do it justice, it came out too contrasty, but I like it OK.