Tuesday, July 22, 2014


"Cummins Creek Bridge"
8x10 inches, oil on canvas

I'm in heaven this week, taking part in the Oregon Coast Paintout.  This is my second year joining in the fun. You can read about my exploits of 2013 here and here.

I arrived yesterday after lunch, ready to get down to business! It was windy, but warm, and I worked for about four hours before packing up my gear and heading back to town.

"Neptune Beach"
11x14 inches, oil on canvas

Below you see my set up for this painting. Neptune beach is a great spot, just South of Yachats, on the central coast.

I ended the day with a PB&J and this exquisite view:


Maybe tomorrow I'll be fast enough to capture the sunset in paint!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sweltering Smith Rock!

 "Smith Rock Pines"
6 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

Our Fourth of July weekend was spent in one of my favorite places: Bend, Oregon. The whole town is almost too perfect! It's clean, beautiful, and full of fun things to do. It's also a plein air paradise, picturesque at every turn. 

I could have used a little shade, though. Perhaps I need to invest in a painting umbrella...

....the granny hat was not cutting it.

Monday, June 2, 2014


8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

This painting was 100% inspired by my almost-five-year-old daughter's flower picking technique. She plucks them right up close to the blossom, bears them home in her beautiful little hands, and proceeds to display them thusly, in small glasses of water, with buds under and over water, without knowing the "rules" of flower arranging. I think it's beautiful - and a great metaphor as well, if you go in for that whole art-as-emotional-mirror thing. Which I occaisionally do.

Cryptic and mysterious, while embracing the beauty of childhood. An Absolutlely perfect mix.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Onward with the Auctions!

"Pretty in Pink"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas
$1 Auction

An oldie-but-goodie from what I kinda think of as my "reflective glass surface" period. I guess it was spring 2012? I was really into placing my still life setups on these large pieces of glass. Before and since, I've had other obsessions periods: colored bottles, skulls, colored papers....Chinese lanterns....

You can check out all of this week's $1 Auctions here!

Monday, May 26, 2014

One Dollar Auction Week!

 "A Sunny Mix" 
6 x 6 inches, oil on canvas

Well, I've done it before, and I'll do it again. One dollar Auction Week! (Ooh, click that "before" link for a breath of autumn air. I felt a pleasant Fall chill looking back at those pieces. Must be some kind of mutant synesthesia.

Here's yesterday's offering, an old favorite that needs a new home. I've always really loved this painting - I think it was the first time I painted blueberries?!

 "Blueberries and Water"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

This oil sketch kicked off the week, for those of you who weren't paying attention on Saturday. (I, too, like to ignore my inbox for days at a time, and always feel guilty about it). Having a father who is a musician, I feel this would be the perfect Father's Day gift, but perhaps the musician in your life is a son or a sister?

"The Little Violin"
9 x 5 inches, oil on Arches oil paper

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mirror, Mirror

20 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

I worked on this painting from a live model for two three-hour sessions, and then beat my head against the wall tweaked it for another whole day in the studio with a photo before calling it finished.  I do not like working back into dry paintings - which I had to do on this one, since the model sessions were a week apart. I also do not like working from photos/memory, which I had to do in order to finish the head. Oh well. I was willing to suffer these discomforts because I liked what I was seeing emerge. If it weren't for those stripes, and the mirrored reflection I would have thrown up my hands and wiped it.

Becoming too attached to one lovely passage of a painting-in-progress can lead to over-preciousness, anxiety, and continued commitment to works that should be given up as lost causes. I hope to present this as an example of an attachment to several small details that made me persevere when otherwise I might have thrown in the towel prematurely.

And, for better or worse, this painting is finished now. Here's a progression: the first two images from the initial model session, and the second two from the following week. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


"Upright (sketch)"
10 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

 Spoiler alert: it's going to be a figure-friendly week here on Sedwick Studio. These two are Zornies: above, a 50 minute sketch, and below, my start on a 14x11" larger version.  I love this pose: it's simple, yet infinitely expressive.  

Work-in-progress, approx. 90 minutes
14x11 inches, oil on canvas

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Painting, Out and About

  "Three Bottles (sketch)" 
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

Woah, this post is a throwback. I did just resist the urge to #hashtag that, by the way. Being behind on posting is not a bad thing, really -  more work than time to blog is a problem I'm never unhappy to have!
 Two weeks ago, I was whiling away a lovely Saturday, painting at the Gallery at the Watershed, and chatting with some lovely people. I even got drawn, myself, by a young artist who brought a sketchbook to my demo. Loved that! 

The above is my sketch from the day, which I actually painted after the larger piece below. There's nothing like being warmed up! (I seem to say that a lot these days.) 

"Three Bottles, at the Gallery"
8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I Get A Cooking Lesson

 "Three Turnips"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I bought these out of boredom. Boredom with Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, and yes, even Cauliflower. Produce section fatigue. I took a chance on these Turnips - and they were delicious - but while battling the intimidation of cooking a new vegetable, I thought I'd warm up to them through paint.

I loved these colors! I had to stop myself from buying more this morning (I have some commissions I need to work on, no time for Turnips!) 

We ate them sliced thinly, in garlicky spinach pesto pasta. I highly recommend!

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Shortest Mother's Day Recap Ever!

 "Red Cabbage (sketch)"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I had a lovely Mother's Day, spending time with family and friends, and, of course, painting! Now it's Monday, and my week is off to a great start with a model session already under my belt. (Also lunch - lunch is under there too.)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Pensive: A new, loose figure painting.

14 x 11 inches, oil on canvas

Here's my work from Tuesday night. After painting LARGE for a few days, I attacked this one with big brushes and came out with a very loose effect, which I like - though I admit, it's different from my usual approach to the figure.

Here's a progression (click to see it bigger):

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Red Violin

"The Red Violin"
8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas
Available through The Gallery at the Watershed

Getting looser with the instruments! I decided I had to have some deep, rich blue to go with those oranges and golds, and it worked just the way I'd hoped it would. In fact, I have a much larger variation on this color scheme threatening to topple off my easel right now... I guess its tender legs aren't used to the strain of such a big canvas!

Please don't hesitate to email Amy at The Gallery at the Watershed to inquire about this piece. If you're interested in my preparatory sketch, below, it's up for auction on DPW

 "The Red Violin (sketch)"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

 Thanks for looking!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Music in My Blood

11 x 14 inches, oil on canvas
Available through The Gallery at the Watershed

I added a few things to this still life between painting the sketch and the finish. With so many dramatic horizontals in the composition, I needed something to break it up - enter my Chinese Lanterns and a handmade ceramic vase. The sinuous shapes and shiny surfaces of the instruments are so inspiring to me right now, but they aren't exactly organic. I wanted a little organic energy in the larger piece. Just a touch.

You can read about my sketch (on the left, below) - and how I came by these lovely instruments - in my last post.

It's surprising that this is my first instrument-painting-foray. I don't own any instruments, I don't play - or even read - music, but I've been around music my whole life. My father is a professional cellist, and I have good memories of being parked in an opulent concert hall during rehearsals with my sketchbook and pen, and only the distant music and my eight-or-nine-year-old self for company.

When asked why I never started to play, my answer comes pretty readily: I never needed another hobby as a young person. I was drawing and painting all the time! 

I still don't regret not learning to play, but I treasure all my memories of being backstage (and in front of the stage), watching my father play in the orchestra.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I ♡ the Arts Community

"Instrumental (sketch)"
9 x 12 inches oil on canvas

After receiving a tip that some musically-inspired paintings might fit the theme of an upcoming art show, I set about finding some subjects - lazily (I know) by putting out a request on Facebook. Luckily, I live in in an amazing arts community, and was soon answered by Tim Boyden, proprietor of Out on a Limb Gallery, and furniture artist extraordinaire

He told me a tale of an instrument store going belly up years ago, donating their stock to MECCA (a place I could not figure out how to describe, you'll just have to follow the link - it's crazy), and being notified of a bounty to be claimed. He created this amazing piece of art with the instruments:

"All That Jazz"
by Tim Boyden

Having a few bits and parts left over afterwards, he generously offered them to me. Bonus: I got to visit his home studio, which was completely coated in sawdust, and chock-full of fascinating artifacts. I'm sorry I didn't snap any pictures - I was too busy taking it in! 

Long, long story short, I returned home with all the ingredients to stage a macabre quartet - or most of them. I suspect that these instruments are only fragments, but hey - they look awesome, and I'm loving painting them. Today's offering is my sketch. Stay tuned for a more finished piece - and some reminiscing about my own history with music - tomorrow.

Monday, April 28, 2014

In Which I Wax Nostalgic

 "An Impression, Purple and Green"
18 x 14 inches, oil on canvas

I've been doing some navel-gazing blog-wise of late. Back in February, Sedwick Studio turned six - that's a year-and-a-half older than my daughter! Randomly searching through old posts has brought paintings back to me that I'd completely forgotten about. Today I searched for "purple and green," wanting to see how many times I'd used that title before (twice), and trying to figure out what to call this new one...

Here's the second time I used the title "Purple and Green." That painting is hanging in my upstairs hallway now - in fact, I dusted it yesterday. Looking back at work like that, and seeing what I'm painting today really makes me wonder what I'll be posting on this blog several years from now!

Perhaps it will be completely abstract? (Though I doubt it).

Friday, April 25, 2014

Sketchy, yet satisfied.

 "Lilies and Tulips (sketch)"
12 x 9 inches, oil on canvas

I brought the lovely Easter lily home, and paired it with a Kaffir lily that hangs around my studio, blooming every few years, but mostly just filtering my air and looking green and pretty. 

 I thought I'd work out my thoughts about a larger composition, and start with a sketch - and I loved the way this turned out. I've tweaked the still life ( the tulips died), and am already working on the expanded version.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

In Which I Discuss Amputation, Serial Killers, and the Zorn Palette

18 x 14 inches, oil on canvas

When composing a figurative painting, keep in mind that letting a limb exit the picture plane ("cutting it off") at a joint is a definite don't. It's supposedly reminiscent of amputation in the viewer's mind - mostly subconsciously - unless, of course, your audience is composed of HBO-style serial killers (in which case, do it! $$$$)

This blog post is rapidly getting out of hand, and I certainly don't want to imply that the human body, minus certain capabilities, is not still beautiful. What I'm saying is this: you take a figure model with no disabilities, and create some for her, and your viewer is going to wonder why.

Which brings me to this particular painting, which I banged out last night. It's another Zorn palette effort, which has become my rushing-out-of-the-house at 5:30, get-your-own-damn-dinner-dear-family go-to.

I'd like to pat myself long and lovingly on the back, though, for getting the entire body - head, hands, elbows, knees, and BOTH FEET on the canvas. That almost never happens. And when I mean almost never, I think the last time was January 2012. Don't call me out on her fingers.
It was two years ago, after all.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tulips through time

"Tulips in Silver"
12 x 9 inches, oil on canvas

Tulips, as every flower painter knows, need to be painted fast. Under strong light, they move and open! It's like a slow dance. I've been painting these red and white beauties for years - they grow in my mom's yard (along with almost everything else I paint during the warmer months). Here are the same tulips from two years ago, from four years ago, and even from six years ago

 Do any of those look familiar? How long have you been with me, dear reader?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Doings

 "Easter Lily"
14 x 11 inches, oil on canvas

I had a lovely Sunday! Through a liaison with my local gallery, I was invited to paint during an opulent Easter brunch at the Eugene Hilton hotel. Of course, I chose an Easter lily as my subject. 

Below you can see my value sketch, done with two grays and a black Copic marker. I tried to stick to that value structure as I moved into the painting, but I think I ended up too dark on the ground plane.

I always benefit from preliminary studies - and opulent brunches. Shrimp, salmon, and crab at 11 am? Yes, please!