Boise foothills

Boise foothills

We visited family in Boise, Idaho last month and of course I took pictures.  I ended up lugging my nice Canon camera with the wide angle telephoto lens on the plane with us so I could take some architectural photos, family pics, and some outdoor shots.  Lots to see in our first visit for our grandson’s birthday.

The landscape out there can be quite stark when the summer dryness hits.  There are some colors in the vegetation but it tends towards muted greens and silvers.  Flowers that looked like a small yellow sunflowers and other plants with tiny white ones were scattered about, but they tended to be widely spaced.  I look forward to seeing the spring explosion next year.  This particular spot also had some interesting eroded areas which add a rich orange color.

I decided to try a slightly larger canvas (16×12) and maybe keep it in a little looser style this time around.  the size will help carry it.


Fruit Paintings: Part 3


And lastly a tomato and a pear.  I think I like these two the best out of the six.  I am varnishing them right now and should have all of these 8×10’s listed in my shop sometime this week.  It has been a fun break from the precision of all of that ink work.

After that, I think I’ll go back to a little drawing of three calves that I started way back last fall before the Christmas rush started.


Fruit Paintings Part 2


Next up was strawberries and an apple.  These are all 8×10’s.  I like the smaller size as it is not too intimidating for me at this point.  I really need to take an acrylic class again, just to get some tips on manipulating the paint.  I have problems dealing with the thickness of the paint and using the drying speed retardant.

In any case, I was pretty happy with the way these turned out. Once again I raided my refrigerator for inspiration and came up with these.  And the nice thing is, when I’m done, I can eat the scenery props.  Which I did.  LOL

Granny Smith apple

Fruit paintings


After two months of line work, I felt I needed to do something very different for a little while.  Since I plan to do about a half a dozen of these, I felt that posting most of the preliminary work would be a bit tedious, so I will stick with a close to finished photo.

I went to the refrigerator and took a look at what was in there.  First up turns out to be an avocado and oranges.  I wanted to do something more free form and these are part of the results  after 3-4 painting sessions each.  I think I will look at them all again when the the whole batch is essentially done to make final adjustments before I list them in my etsy store.  As it turns out I will have two reds, two greens, and two orangish one.  It should make a nice variety of color for kitchen art.  Maybe I should add in something blue, too.  Blue berries?  I’ll have to buy some which will make John happy.


I think I am done with these

Old me

Old me

I have fiddled around with both of the 2 self portraits for the last 2 weeks and I am ready to quit.  After I let them sit for a few days, I kept seeing things I wanted to change.  I think they are about as good as I am going to get them right now. They are not great but, really, for my first attempts in many years to use acrylics, let alone portraits, I am pretty pleased.

I think the mouth on both of them still needs work, but right now, I can’t see what else to do.  I widened it in both pictures because it just seemed too small for me.  I do have a wide mouth and it seemed pinched in.  I am also getting some gray in my hair but not too much yet (thanks Dad) on the later one.  Hooray for spiral perms too as I really have poker straight hair.

Young me

Young me

I am thinking about heading back for some ink work next.  I have been getting a little itch to get out the pen and draw again.  On a sad note, my 10.5 year old but useful laptop where I edited all of my pictures for publication so easily decided to kick the bucket yesterday.  Dang you Word 13 for not including photo manager anymore for this computer.  It was an easy photo editor for me  to use and now have have to actually figure out Elements.  Yikes, another time suck.

Me – two

Pencil drawing

Pencil drawing

After I finished the last self portrait, I thought maybe another one of an older me was in order.  I had to look through quite a few albums and photos (yes, I do have actual albums and printed photos in this day and age) to find something remotely usable.  I decided this one wasn’t totally embarrassing.

I decided to use a little bit of an underglaze this time around to soften the white gesso of the canvas.  In the series of acrylic paintings I have done, it has often been hard to get rid of the last traces of the white underlayment when I am almost finished without marring some of what I have already done.  The trick was to get enough color down without covering up the drawing too much.  I don’t know if it is better to glaze over the pencil drawing or draw over the glaze, but I drew first and then glazed prior to the actual painting.

Start of the acrylics

Start of the acrylics

I consider this to be my initial underglaze as I tried to cover all of the canvas with some color.  So far, I have found the mouth and teeth to be the hardest part.  I have a a wide mouth and it is not easy to make it big enough, but not turn it into a clown smile.  Surprisingly, the eyes haven’t posed nearly as much of a problem.

Just about done.

Almost done

Almost done

Are you tired of this yet?  Well, it’s just about finished.  I reworked the face the last session, softening the eyes and mouth.  The lower part of my face was too gray, so I tried to make it pinker but now it is a bit too white.  I am pale, but not quite that pale.  I am fairly happy with the eyes and may only touch up the nose a bit on the left.  The mouth is okay and I may just leave everything except to make the cheeks and chin a little more peachy pink.

All in all, I’m not unhappy with this effort.  I am using a 38 year old instamatic photo of me less than an inch square and enlarged with my copier for a grainy reference.  This is my first acrylic portrait since just one I did in college so the whole thing has been quite the experiment.

I’m debating using something more recent and trying again.  It actually has been kind of fun.  It is odd to barely recognize my younger self, although many have commented I still look a lot the same.  The question remains whether I can find a suitable picture because I am NOT looking in the mirror to do it.

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