Put on Your Sunday Clothes

Happy Sunday. After working months on the last painting I shared (À la côte sud d’ Île Sainte-Marguerite) & another one I haven’t posted yet, I desired to paint something quicker and less detailed. Sometimes doing a “quickie” after or during a longer painting gives new life or energy to the creative process. Granted, it took some hours, but it was done, to my satisfaction, over 2-3 evenings. I primarily painted with a palette knife. 

With a dress like that, if you don’t think of Hello, Dolly!, you must not have seen this musical. Note the added business card in her left hand.

In other news, I recently added some new little paintings to the Nature & Animal Art galleries; see whether you can spot them.


The painting shared in my previous post is finished. It’s called “Bubblegum Pop,” which is a style of music as well as what occurs when someone blows too big a bubble. (As usual, click the thumbnail to enlarge.) I may paint another version down the road, one that’s a little more… spontaneous? Brighter? Fresher? The right word will come. Or maybe I’ll do a drawing; I thought of using my Prismacolor markers, but they’re still in Florida. (I couldn’t pack all my art supplies in the car and still have room for an art show.)

Acrylic, 9″ x 12″

I’m adjusting to my new studio space (aka the card table in the corner). This week, the painting table will become the proverbial drawing board as I set up for the next project–once again resuming John Churchmouse illustrations. (Poor mousie–he’s been on and off the drawing board and the writing desk umpteen times since the idea came to me in 2011. But his day will come! This could be the year!)

Painting Progression: Beach House

Here is another beachy painting for your viewing pleasure. This was commissioned by a couple I know in Florida. 12 x 16″, oil. The lady had a magazine clipping of a painting she liked of a porch of a Floridian house, but the background was a thick palm grove. She thought it would be really neat to have a painting with a similar side view of a house but instead with a path to the beach. Something much brighter and more open, with sky. There were several other little ideas, too. That’s where I came in to play–toss everything together, jumble it around, and make it come out nice.

She named it The Promise. Although you can only see a little bit of the ocean now, the rest is there, waiting to be seen, and it will be glorious.

This time, instead of posting several separate images, I compiled them in one diagram. (Below. Click to enlarge.) I don’t know that making this was faster than editing and posting all the images individually, but it’s compact and won’t take as long to load. Feel free to let me know which you prefer in the comments below (1 image or many) so I can keep it in mind for the next progression.

Painting Progression: Beach

Happy new year!

A year ago December, I posted a series of photographs showing the progress on a sailboat painting. I’ve got another photo progression for an oil painting I did last month. As before, the lighting and angle change a little because I worked & took the photos at different times of day. The actual size is 24″ x 36″. Please enjoy.

Underpainting and laying in sky color

Developing sky and ocean

Sky and ocean colors set; blocking in plant matter


Adding shadows on the sand + middle ground palm tree

Developing grasses and palm fronds

Finished work!

First Haiga

Haiga? What’s that?

If you know what haiku is, you’re halfway there! Haiga is the combination of one haiku and an image, traditionally an ink painting, though other media (including photography) are popular and acceptable today. The two elements of haiga are complementary; one needs the other to get the full effect. The image is not illustrative, nor is the haiku a caption. For instance, if a haiku or senryu is about children playing with autumn leaves, a good haiga will not  depict those children playing in a pile of leaves. It might depict leaves, children, an autumn bird, or trees, but not the exact subject of the haiku. However, overlap is not forbidden. A haiku about a crane calling across the marsh may be paired with a painting of a crane, for instance. Again, the two items should be complementary, but not redundant.

I submitted these to a haiga contest in mid-to-late September. Judging was in late October, so I decided to wait to post these after the contest finished. The top haiga is an example of what I called overlapping just now.


This was painted in watercolor. Though Japanese ink paintings are primarily grayscale, I love working with color, so I chose a dark blue-violet pigment that could echo the light and dark values of traditional works. I also kept the painting fairly simple—closer to a silhouette than a rendering—to echo the simplicity of the senryu.


This one is also a monochromatic watercolor haiga. Although this senryu has nothing to do with blowing bubbles, their union instantly appealed to me and demanded to be expressed. Both dreams and bubbles have beautiful, ephemeral qualities. Moreover, in earlier versions of the senryu, I had specified “summer dreams”; though “summer” no longer appears, I still wished to convey the bliss that I associated with that in this haiga. Both the image of blowing bubbles and the use of a bright blue pigment satisfied that wish. (This one is the first haiga I created.)

If you’d like a refresher on haiku, these two posts from 2014 have short sections about the elements of haiku. In the 2nd one, look for the third header (“Haiku-coo for Cocoa Puffs”): 4th (update) of July and August Advancements.

On another note, last weekend, I attended another artist alley at an anime convention. Watch your inbox for a post!