Friday, October 21, 2016


Irma, Gainor, Natalia, Susan

Yes, this is the final, as I decided to sign it and have my Thursday students witness my signature. Odd idea, as I've never had that idea before, and I doubt that I will have it again. But I knew I was going to sign it on Thursday, October 20, and that is the day my students come to my studio, so it seemed appropriate to have them see the end of this painting that they have lived with for all this time. I started to dismantle the set up in my studio later that day, and it will be odd to have all that stuff stowed, and returned to owners.
After six years of wrestling with "Shame" I decided to have a party to mark the end of that episode and many of my friends came and we dismantled the still life that evening. I contemplated doing that again, but it seemed to be more of an effort than fun, so I scrapped that thought as quickly as I had it, and settled on the quiet and easy end of Guilt as you see it above.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


My last post was 3 months ago! I thought I was close to the end then, but all sorts of interruptions came between me and Guilt, so it had to wait for me to get those things done before I could come back to it. I have been working on it for quite a few sessions this month and I believe it is finished. I have not signed it yet, waiting for some last minute repaints to dry before I call it quits, just to make sure it doesn't need anything else. I was unhappy with the lace fabric on the left side of the painting, and it has required two repaints since the last post! But today I have just finished repainting those lace do-dads and think it is OK now. What a lot of effort that has been. Note to self: shoot me with that rifle if I decide to do black lace again!

this was two days ago when I tackled that lace again. In the background you can see Miss Puss asleep on the bed, and the photo blowup of Guilt against the wall and the 3-d set up of the paintings behind my head. I am working with a 20-0 brush. Insanity!

I will probably sign it tomorrow. I have a "rule" that after one of my paintings is signed it is done and I very seldom work on it again, so I need to make sure it is really done before I put my name on it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Guilt 7-6-16

I am pushing to get Guilt finished. This past week I have about 16 or 17 hours into it and I am happy to say that the end is in sight! Wow, what a lot of work, time, energy, focus, and eyestrain! I do have more details to finalize. It is just the finishing go-through of tweaking here and redoing there.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Guilt 6-19-16

Work is progressing well! I spent Sunday working on the pink drapery coming out of the black suitcase and spent a lot of attention on the iridescent drape attached to the drawer handles. It is beginning to have a "finished" look to it now. Good... perhaps the end is in sight. I am ready to move on! 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Guilt 6-5-16

I have been concentrating on the left side of the painting working on items in the bookcase and finishing up a few of those bags and boxes. The paper bag on the floor is probably finished and the drawer handles are much improved, but not finished especially on the middle and right drawers. I worked on the black suitcase as well. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

After 6 hours of hard work!

Nothing much is different!

I did get a great deal of work done, but it is not immediately apparent. The bookcase is coming along and I painted on the red briefcase and the brown pocketbook on the middle shelf. The big thing I did was paint the drawers and I decided to paint out the drawer hardware and redo the handles. Each one was a different size and the drawing was not great. So I decided to cut a few stencils and I am hoping that will give me the handles in a uniform size. We shall see when I try it after the paint has dried. There is much more to do! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Guilt has me exhausted!

It doesn't look like I did much in the 5 hours I worked today! But the photo below shows that darned laced wrapped around the edge, and it is OK but not perfect. Well, none of it is perfect, and if you could see it close up you would know that it isn't photo-realism! I am now going through the entire painting again and wrapping up areas. Today I worked on the front of the table and the bookcase, on the left side where you can see that I toned down the highlight on the wood upright. The right side remains to be done another time. I also painted the box on top of the bookcase, and began to work on the brief case on the first shelf. Now, it is one item at a time, putting on more paint, working on values, and making sure the drawing is right.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Painting Lace!!!

It's not quite done....the lace, I mean, not the painting. I still have some touching up to do on the lace fabric on both sides, and I need to work on wrapping the image around to the sides. That's another exercise in tedium! It is coming along, slowly. I am now thinking about the next painting, and wondering how that's going to be accomplished. Much to think about, and software must be bought and learned before I can dive into that one's complexities. I still have much to do on Guilt, however, even though it looks quite well along. Now that the lace is done I feel somewhat relieved to go on about my way on the rest of it.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Guilt - Painting Lace!!!

This represents about 6 or 7 hours of painting, not including the hours of preparatory work making a clear plastic overlay, then transferring that to the canvas. Obviously there will be 6 or 7 hours more painting, but I'm totally exhausted and I'm quitting for today.

This tedious exercise is one that I hope I don't do to myself too many more times! What you see is the lace fabric partially painted, after a lengthy transfer to the canvas using several transfer methods. On the left side I used Richeson Transfer paper that seems to disappear when painted over, but it is hard to see on a dark field so I use my own transfer paper that I learned to make in an Egg Tempera workshop. Pigment of any color mixed with Denatured Alcohol and painted onto tracing paper. Some colors are better than others, and what you see here is my own transfer paper made with a yellow ochre pigment. Sometimes I need to go over it with a yellow pastel pencil. It is, as I said.... tedious!!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

I have been working on Guilt!!!

GUILT April 1, 2016

My last post was quite awhile ago, but I have been working steadily on Guilt over the past months. It is very hard work, indeed, as the painting is physically large, and requires a bit of an effort to haul it around my studio. The work itself is also hard, as it requires incredible focus on my part to get everything right. The still life is still sitting in a corner of my studio, gathering dust, and it is an invaluable aid when checking values and colors. There is still a great deal of work to do, but it is finishing work, and so I feel that I am on the down-slope. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Guilt 12-13-15

The tedious work has begun! It is now just about tweaking and refining, drawing and checking values. Then rechecking values, then searching for the right color in the huge collection of odd tubes I have in my paint drawers, and then reconstructing and improving the drawing as I go.  I find that I work for about 3 or 4 hours and can't tell you what I did! It looks about the same as it did this morning. However, there has been much done on the painting since Thanksgiving, and I have to say that I am pleased with the progress. I wish I could work on it more consistently, but life has a way of commanding attention from a myriad of problems. And now Christmas looms with its associated parties and gatherings, all of which require food and some baking here and there. The good news, for me, is that Christmas is a painting day with my dear friend Carole Flagg, and that is always a joyous way to spend 3 hours. No gifts, no big dinners, no cooking, and no singing! YES!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Guilt on Thanksgiving 11-26-15

I have worked on Guilt on and off for the past month and it is slowly coming along. It is very difficult work, as I get very tired working on this canvas. The subject matter doesn't help much, although I work to divorce myself from the feeling, and concentrate on the painting and technical aspects of looking at where the light falls, and the infinite details in a painting of this scale. I added one small item since I last posted, and it barely shows, but there is a pretty cross in the bookcase, on the bottom shelf, which I have lightly blocked in. I saw this in a sale rack and grabbed it up, as it seemed to resonate with GUILT, although I don't feel guilty about religious things any more, I can tell you tales of guilt that will make you laugh and cry at the same time. Anyway, I wanted to add that piece to the whole mix, but I also wanted it to be very subtle. Anyway, for what it's worth, this painting is coming along much better than I expected! Thankfully, on Thanksgiving!!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Guilt on 10-31-15

You can see that Guilt is coming along nicely. I have worked on it today and yesterday for about 9 or 10 hours total and I must say that I am exhausted and looking forward to a day away from the house tomorrow. It is very tedious work but I am really happy with what I have done so far. The canvas and the "good" paint I am using is such a treat. I generally work on canvas that is store-bought and nice, but not as nice as the elegant Belgium linen double oil primed canvas that I am using now. My usual paint is cheap! It is nice, and the colors are good, and it mixes pretty true, Soho from Jerry's Artarama, but for this painting I am using Winsor Newton, Rembrandt and a few Gamblin colors. There is a huge difference, especially in the drying times, as the Soho has been treated so it dries out very rapidly, and with these paints the drying times are vastly extended. Also, working over the burnt sienna toned ground gives the colors that are laid on top an optical mix that is very exciting, and nearly impossible to capture well in the camera.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Guilt (Work in Progress) 10-26-15

I am painting it now. I started with the light areas, but have graduated to filling in whatever is calling me next. It still feels very overwhelming! I keep reminding myself to take it one day at a time and one step at a time. I am finding that my small tablet is a huge asset in viewing details close up and it is easy to view the image in sections and segments. I can zoom in on a highlight, or shadow, and see it so much better than I can in viewing it in front of me, or in the printed photograph. The light in my studio seems to be shifting all the time and with the photograph and tablet the lighting is stable.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The "final" painting of Guilt begins

This week I started working on the actual painting, using thicker paint and as close to the actual colors that I see. I started with the drapery which was just scumbled over with white, and now I have put in the actual colors. Then I moved on to adding the darks in the bookcase and the black suitcase. The week was productive, but it is exhausting work, and the concentration level is very high. I find that I don't have the stamina I used to have! Well, yes, that's why I had to quit my job in order to focus on this painting. I must say that I am very pleased with the progress so far and this very pricey high end canvas is a dream to work on. It is Claessen's double oil primed linen! I also try to use higher end paint for these paintings, and the best I can afford is Rembrandt line made by Talens, which is the parent company of the best paint around, Old Holland. So, onward we go, and I hope to get a lot of work done this week. Tomorrow, Sunday, is a day off, so I will have the whole day to work on Guilt.