Plein air: Skokie Lagoons

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Meredith and I went out for some painting by the Skokie Lagoons this morning. It was still cold, but not so bitter. We brought hot cider along and kept our session short since we had to meet Holly’s bus. My painting is above, and here’s Meredith’s lovely landscape:



I made a little pochade box out of a pre-made wood box from Joannes. Meredith tried it out today. Holly decorated it for me last night, inside and out. The box attaches to a tripod I picked up at a garage sale a while ago. It has a very tiny mixing area, but it’s pretty handy. I used some tips from this video.


Oil painting of Henley Street house

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10 by 12 inches, oil on hardboard

This painting was commissioned for a special birthday. It was put together from memories and various photos, and was a different way of painting from what I usually do. Fun, and well-received. Happy birthday, Carolyn!

Oil painting of White Objects

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11 by 14, oil on hardboard

Yesterday Holly helped me prime some boards, and that put her in the mood to paint a picture. Meredith joined in and we had a good old-fashioned painting party. I chose these objects with the Daily Paintworks “white on white” challenge in mind. It was an interesting change of pace to focus on value and shades of gray. The color changes are very slight. Meredith painted beautiful flowers from life. I especially love the alstroemeria in the lower right corner. Holly painted a fantastic rainbow with people to admire it and some smart green grass.

8 by 10, acrylic on canvas panel
8 by 10, acrylic on canvas panel

Self Portrait with Holly

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16 by 20 inches, oil on canvas

For a change of pace I tried another self portrait. I think the likeness is better. Holly was most concerned that I get her sparkly pink shoes right. This was partly inspired by a self portrait by Robert Genn.

Pencil Sketch of a Sleeping Girl

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from the sketchbook - pencil

Another sketch, and a few news items.

First – tomorrow night the Glenview Art League is hosting a reception for “The Gift of Art”, a group show of member artists at the Midwest Medical Center in Glenview, Illinois. I’m happy to have two paintings in the show: Woody Nightshade and Common Boneset.

Next, two paintings were accepted into the third Randy Higbee 6 Inch Squared Exhibition and Sale in Costa Mesa, California: Watermelon Unwrapped and Backlit Pears.

And last, I’ve put a few paintings from past blog posts into a shop on Etsy – check it out here!

Girl in Pink, Batman, Evil Queen and a Storm House

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8 by 10 inches, oil on hardboard
18 by 12 inches, pencil
18 by 12 inches, pencil
14 by 11 inches, acrylic on canvas board

Cold rainy weather – perfect for a group art session. I tried out a few of Rose Frantzen’s methods, she has a great way of explaining what she’s doing when she paints. Painting and sketching from summer vacation photos brings me back to those fun times. We love and miss you guys!

Meredith has been drawing a lot, and doing a great job of it. Here are two pictures – one of batman and one of an evil queen. She likes her drawings to have a lot of story worked into them.

I should take pictures of Holly’s paintings in progress. For this one, she did a lovely rainbow house, and then a terrible storm with a huge flood with giant waves. Then, just in time, she painted a strong protective shell over the house to keep all the rain and wind and water out.

Pencil Sketch of Child in Water

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This week I watched and loved Alla Prima Portraiture by Rose Frantzen. Frantzen’s paintings are beautiful. She did a project called Portrait of Maquoketo (her hometown), where she painted portraits of anyone from the town who wished to pose.

No painting for me lately, but I have been sketching. I like how this turned out.

White Bowl with Apples

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8 by 10 inches, oil on hardboard
6 by 6 inches, watercolor on illustration board
8 by 10 inches, watercolor on illustration board

This one was done quickly, in the light from a south-facing window. I have a still life poacher in the house who loves to take bites out of a set up like this one, but today both girls were busy with their own paintings. Meredith painted the front yard, and Holly’s was a heart, until she changed it.

Clementine and OJ

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6 by 6 inches, oil on gessoed hardboard
8 by 10 inches, watercolor and marker on gessoed illustration board
8 by 10 inches, watercolor on gessoed illustration board

It’s almost Christmas! Here’s another still life with a clementine and juice. Holly drew circles which might be people or “round and round things from a movie”. Then she painted black over everything – night. And then she took pink and purple paint and brought the dawn – wake up time. It took a while but eventually the black night paint lifted. Meredith had a dream a few nights ago about candy land, where treats are nutritious. It was such a good dream, she made this painting of it. The snowflakes are black licorice.

Clementine and OJ: available – $80


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5 by 7 inches, oil on mounted canvas
6 by 7 inches, acrylic on gessoed illustration board
6 by 6 inches, acrylic on gessoed illustration board

No school today — we passed a pleasant morning painting purple petunias. Now it’s time to play at the park!