(Click on paintings or drawings below to view larger size.)

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Tonalism Spring Challenge

The Tonalism Facebook group still hasn’t selected the photo for their Spring Challenge but I was inspired to try one of the “contestant” photos already. The photographer is Dave Ridge but I don’t think his will win because there’s another that’s way ahead in votes. We’ll find out on the 12th.

"Tonalism Challenge"
30x30, oil on canvas

Monday, February 1, 2021


These two are from the "Photographers Donated Reference photos for Artists Art Sharing group” on Facebook. Sue Rickhuss photographed her cats, Bailey and Willow, and let us use the photo for inspiration. She says I captured their expressions. Well, it wasn’t as easy as I thought. I liked the contrast of the two colors and tried to stop while I was ahead. I could always do another one to experiment further. In fact, this might be fun to paint really big next time. 

20x20cm, oil on canvas

Cheerful bouquet


Just the thing to get through the depressing days of this corona winter: Ilona E. Stefan has been posting some wonderful flower photos in the Facebook group “Free reference photos for artists”. She combines strong lighting with soft backgrounds and has a collection of attractive vases. I decided to try painting her bouquet of hydrangeas.

30x24cm, oil on canvas panel

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Purple Tuesday


At first I wanted to paint the plant in its transparent plastic film and ribbon as it came from the florist but I was too late. Then, just as I had decided it would be fun to paint the large flower buds before they opened, the hyacinths started blooming. So in case I didn’t have much time to catch the flowers in full bloom, I quickly set out my painting gear and got started on “Blue Monday”. By Tuesday I had finished.

“Purple Tuesday”
22x30.5cm, oil on gessoed HDF board

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Monet Therapy

I have some extra square canvases with matching frames so decided this Monet would be just the thing to get back into painting mode. The original is 200x201cm which must have been a completely different experience but I had fun concentrating on this small copy. It’s from the 1915 to 1919 period when he painted a series of large water lily canvases. By this stage his work was becoming increasingly abstract. I kept having to remind myself that these were lilies in a pond as I matched the colors and shapes.

“Monet Therapy”, copy of Monet’s water lilies
20x20cm, oil on canvas

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Inspiration on EARL


“Letting off steam”
12.5x18cm, oil on canvas panel


I’ve been following two Facebook groups with similar names. One of the two (Artists Free Reference Photos) recently changed theirs to EARL (Every Artists Reference Library) so now keeping track has gotten much easier.

The above steam locomotive is based on a photo by Michael Marcon in EARL. I’d always wanted to try painting smoke after seeing Monet’s Gare Saint Lazarre series so this was a good way to get started. The sunset below is from a photo by Wendy Parkyn in the same group.


“Sunset with tree”
12.5x18cm oil on canvas panel

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Postcards to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

Last year I didn't get a chance to send out any New Year's greeting postcards and the year turned out to be in many ways a complete disaster so in order not to run the risk of jinxing 2021, here goes... Besides, I have several pads of postcard paper I've been meaning to try out and I'm also aiming to take the time to use all the art supplies I've accumulated over the years. 

"Christmassy Cardinal" to try oil on gessoed Harris postcard paper,
 based on a photo by Vanessa Mullins Hollan in the Free Reference Photos for Artists FB group.
After starting the cardinal in colored pencil this time, 
I added a chicken using a Pentel brushpen.
Sunset in the park in colored pencil on Harris pc paper This is based on a photo by Moragh Dann in the EARL FB group..
"Sunflower in watercolor" using a reference photo 
by Ilona E. Stefan, from the Free reference photos for artists FB group.

"Snow in the village", watercolor and colored pencil
on Harris postcard paper, based on photo by Ilona E Stefan,
from the Free reference photos for artists FB group.

Copy in water color pencil and colored pencil
on Harris pc paper,
 of painting by Ludwig Munthe.
Also a copy of Ludwig Munthe in water color pencil
on Harris postcard paper.

Another one based on a FB group photo (by Pam Fretwell in EARL), using
gel pens, Rapidograph, and colored pencil on Harris postcard paper.
"A white bouquet" sketched with Rapidograph,
 from a private photograph on Harris postcard paper.

A viral cartoon for January 2021.
Rapidograph and ink wash on Harris pc paper.


My first attempt at the Tonalist group's challenge 
to interpret a snowy winter landscape by Edward Seagro
(watercolor on Daler Rowney postcard paper for watercolors).



Saturday, December 26, 2020

“Deux Tournesols”


Another small painting inspired by the Facebook group, “Free Reference photos for artists”. The photograph was by Ilona E. Stefan”. I also submitted this to Carol Marine’s challenge here: dailypaintworks. She advises to paint sunflowers over and over again and they'll just keep getting better.

“Deux Tournesols”

12.5x18cm, Cobra oil on canvas panel

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Flower study

Another one based on a photo by Ilona E. Stefan (Free Reference Photos for Artists FB group). Her flower arrangements just “paint themselves.”

 "Pansies in a blue vase"

13x18cm, Cobra oil on canvas

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Winter Sunset

Time for snow scenes — this one from the Free References Photos for Artists group (thanks to photographer Hanneke Koonstra).

Wishing everyone a nice holiday season; stay safe at home!

“Winter Sunset”
12.5x18cm, Cobra oil on canvas panel