Tag Archives: squash

At least it hasn’t been a year…

I confess. Art has become an obsession, leaving little time for other things, like blogging. Or maybe I am too distractible and can’t do two things at once, or just can’t organize my time or possibly I’m simply lazy. Whatever the case, I have been away from the blog for 6 months. At least I’ve been painting. Here are a few that have succeeded:

And my obsession is getting worse! I committed to painting one painting from life, every day in January, 31 paintings. If I do, I will be entered in a drawing to win a new Strada Easel. Which would be nice! Great easel, take a look… Painting every day is what I want to do. So it’s a perfect excuse.

This practice is helping me get organized. I have moved clutter (seldom used supplies, finished paintings, frames) out of my studio. I’m switching from one painting medium (helps thin paint and make it easier to move with a brush) to another. And figuring out how to start and finish within hours instead of days (work small!). All good habits worthy of development.

The biggest effort begins next weekend when my husband and I are starting a week-long driving journey. We’re headed east, down the eastern side of the Sierras, toward Utah and Zion National Park along with other spectacular Red Rock Wonderlands. I mean to paint every day of the trip and have been gathering materials to pull it off. Those of you that are oil painters know there are a lot of messy materials that go along with the great colors! Plus, the paintings are vulnerable until they dry, which takes days. So this will be quite a challenge.

Here are the first 4 days effort:


Day 1: Selfie


Day 2: Delicata


Day 3: Rain on Arnold Drive


Day 4: My Father’s Brush



Finished Squash

I worked on this for a couple of hours, not changing much, just encouraging the squash texture, more paint, more marks.

Bigger Fat Squash

I liked the last squash so much I decided I’d try it again, bigger. The last one was just 6 by 7 inches.

I knew I needed lots more paint and I mixed it first.


I did a drawing in cad red on a 16 by 20 inch board.

And just started smearing on paint with a palette knife

…and using oil paint sticks, trying to preserve the values while adding texture and interest.

Then blending everything out with a palette knife,

and reworking the drawing…

… and the background a bit.

What do you think? It’s better than last year’s squash, I think. Not a good photo though. By the time I finished, it was getting dark. My photos are much better when I use sunlight.

Fat Squash

Yesterday didn’t go as planned. I started a painting I didn’t have time to finish. I had mixed color, matching it to the squash, but had to put the squash into the oven before I could get any paint on the board.

No matter. I did a drawing, took a picture and was ready today and I really like this painting. I do love luscious paint and I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to start to use it this way.

I actually do know. It takes more confidence to put on this much paint. And I’m gaining some confidence. Don’t know why it’s taken me so long…


Black Forest

I’ve painted “Black Forest” Kabocha Winter Squash before. (Click the “Squash” in the “Most Viewed Tags” to see older work in oil.) These are gouache on illustration board.

I’m considering having cards made of some of my vegetables. Anyone interested in cards?

More Gouache studies

I’ve been working small, on watercolor paper cards. They are fun and quick and I don’t care too much if they turn out as originally planned. I keep learning from them, about color and value. In all cases, I worked on three at a time, showing you just the one I like the best. I find that works well, allowing for drying time between colors.

The last image is of a plein air landscape I started last week at my friend Patti’s house has an amazing view, looking down onto the Petaluma plain. I didn’t get very far but loved the colors and shapes. I don’t think this medium works for me as well in this circumstance. I might try adding some pastel on top of this one. But next time I stay at Patti’s I’ll probably take oils, though I sure love the water clean-up!

Two Squash, Two Styles

Which do you like better? I’m sure enjoying this medium. I need some new colors. I don’t have a good red yet. The study on top was done with just 2 colors. A great exercise for me. And excellent way to use this medium that is so valuable in stressing flatness. Achieving dimension with value is my goal. I’m learning.

I was blown away watching Stuart Shils doing a monoprint. It’s worth watching if you have some time. I’d love to have the gouache be as sticky as that ink appears and able to be pushed around like that.