Thursday, October 19, 2017

Autumn Leaves Painting

"Colors of Fall," acrylic on panel, 8" x 10". SOLD.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Trompe L'Oeil Painting of Sheet Music for Tomorrow from the Musical Annie

"The Sun'll Come Out Tomorrow," 16" x 16", acrylic on panel. SOLD.

One of my largest trompe l'oeil paintings and most complicated pieces. The painting is done at a 1:1 scale with the original music sheet (see photo below of subject next to painting). This was one of my favorite songs to play on my antique, somewhat out-of-tune piano. Eventually, the page fell out and had to be taped back in. 

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Three Commissioned Trompe L'Oeil Paintings of Recipe Cards

Here are a few recent pieces I completed for a client. I enjoyed adding the unique backgrounds to each! Thanks for looking!

"Peanut Brittle," acrylic on panel, 5" x 7". SOLD.

"Potato Salad," acrylic on panel, 5" x 7". SOLD.

"Shrimp Chip Dip," acrylic on panel, 5" x 7". SOLD.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Pair of Recipe Book Trompe L'Oeil Paintings

Each painting is 16" x 16", acrylic on panel.

 I recently did a large pair of trompe l'oeil paintings of an old recipe book - one of the cover, one of a specific page inside. Because my client could only send me photos, though, it became a sort of craft project, too, as I had to print the photos out and "build" the book out of an old catalog, so I would have a three-dimensional subject to view. Thanks for looking!

"Old Italian Recipes," acrylic on panel, 16" x 16".

"Meatball Cookies," acrylic on panel, 16" x 16".

Friday, August 4, 2017

Free Shipping on Paintings Ends August 31st!

"Vintage Toy Cars," acrylic on cradled panel, 8" x 8". Comes ready to hang in a custom-made floater frame.
Just a quick reminder that free shipping on paintings in my Etsy shop ends August 31st. Click here to see what's left in my shop! I'll be adding more fun pieces in the fall, after I finish my current plate of commissions.

Click here to visit my Etsy shop.

Thanks as always for your interest in my work!
Monday, July 10, 2017

Daily Painting a Day Hershey's Chocolate Cake Recipe Trompe L'Oeil

"Hershey's Chocolate Cake," acrylic on panel, 7" x 5".
Thanks for looking!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Chocolate Malted Milkshake Painting

"Chocolate Malt," acrylic on panel, 14" x 11". SOLD.
Great photorealist paintings start with great photographs. Many thanks to Erin Lilikoi for the wonderful reference photo.  
Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Painting of Vintage Batman Comic and Nintendo Entertainment System

photorealist painting of vintage batman comic and nintendo entertainment system with punchout video game
"It Begins Here!" acrylic on panel, 8" x 8". SOLD.
 I am a fervent lover of comic books and many nostalgic toys and games from my childhood, so this painting request was just perfect for me. I used my husband's vintage NES and Batman issue with cover art by the great Jim Lee to pull this together for an old friend. I loved that I was able to get all of these elements in just an 8" x 8" space. I hope to do many more similarly-themed pieces soon, focused on some of my own comic book collection. Thanks for looking!
Side view.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Two Nutty Buddy Ice Cream Cone Acrylic Paintings

"Sometimes you just need ice cream," acrylic on panel, 8" x 8". $119/Available on Etsy.

"I only took one bite," acrylic on panel, 8" x 8". SOLD.
I did these two paintings from a series of photos I took a couple of weekends ago. I love painting the patterns of the chocolate and nuts against the vanilla ice cream. Happy summer! Thanks for looking!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Five Small Trompe L'Oeil Candy Bar Paintings

Here's a little group of recent candy bar commissions. Thanks for looking!

"Snickers," acrylic on panel, 7" x 5". Sold.

"Dreaming of the Tropics," acrylic on panel, 5" x 7". Sold.

"It's raining M's (Hallelujah!)," acrylic on panel, 5" x 7". Sold.

"Headed toward Mars," acrylic on panel, 7" x 5". Sold.

"Waiting for Payday," acrylic on panel, 5" x 7". Sold.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Daily Trompe L'Oeil Painting - Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe with Pretzels

"Strawberry Pretzel Salad," acrylic on panel, 8" x 8".

When I got married many years ago, my grandmother gave me a book of recipe cards she wrote out, featuring many of our family's holiday favorites. This recipe, Strawberry Pretzel Salad, is a really amazing summertime dessert we enjoyed from Memorial Day to Labor Day, although to be fair I'm not really sure why that was the only time we could have it!

Although I usually just include the recipe cards themselves in my Well-Loved Recipe card paintings, I thought I'd throw in a few pretzels, just for a little something extra.

If you've never tried this recipe, I encourage you to try it out at your next summer gathering!

Thanks for looking!
Friday, May 19, 2017

Painting of Wonder Woman Comic and a Monopoly Board

"Poised for Victory," acrylic on panel, 16" x 20".

This commission was one of my favorite pieces ever to paint. It also gave me an excuse to purchase a slightly beat-up issue of Wonder Woman #72 with the amazing Brian Bolland cover to add to my own meager vintage comic book collection. 

I'll be incorporating more of my collection in some future paintings this summer. Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Falling for Chicago Trompe L'Oeil Painting Commission

"Falling for Chicago," acrylic on panel, 10" x 8".

A client sent me a handful of materials from 19th century Chicago for this little painting. I do so enjoy when everything comes together like this. Thanks for looking!

Friday, April 7, 2017

How Being a Disney World Caricature Artist Changed My Art Outlook

I shared this post initially to my email list, but wanted to make sure others got a chance to read it, too. You can sign up for my email list and get previews of my artworks before they go up for sale to the public by signing up here.

"Dots," acrylic on cradled panel in a handcrafted floater frame, 6" x 12". SOLD

 Art is, and should be, a very personal thing, both for the artist and for the viewer. While a mysterious landscape or exceptional portrait can momentarily move me, I am most frequently drawn to the paintings that make me smile, laugh or reminisce about a pleasant memory, which is why I paint what I paint - toys, candy, bright colors and quirky trompe l'oeil. For this, I owe a great deal of inspiration to my time as a caricature artist at Walt Disney World.

When I first began painting in college, I had no idea what to paint - and I was a pretty terrible artist then, too! I painted the usual painting exercises - vases, plastic skulls, copies of master works, but I didn't have any vision, and so I gradually lost interest in my work. Not long after graduating, a very gracious lady decided to give me an opportunity to work as a caricature artist at Animal Kingdom, one of the four Walt Disney World theme parks. She did this, despite the fact that I had no colorful or funny works in my portfolio - just dark, brooding, 20-something tortured artist works. This was, I suppose, a moment that changed my whole outlook on making art.

All day, I'd shout and point to the children and families walking by - as I was trained to do - "You'd make a great cartoon! YOU'D make a great cartoon." Doing dozens and dozens of drawings of people every day, making them look cute or funny, my goal was always to make the person sitting and their families laugh at just how adorable they were. It fed my creativity and enthusiasm, and I wanted to get better and better, and make better work, get more creative, and produce things faster.

While I had a long hiatus from making art not long after that job until just a couple of years ago, I often think back on how much I learned there about making fun art that makes people smile. Life can be a bit too serious sometimes, so if I can make art that momentarily removes viewers from our super-serious world and feel what it's like to be an imaginative kid again, full of wonder and fun and color, then I'm a happy camper.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Behind the Scenes - Painting a Quick Two Dollar Bill Trompe L'Oeil

"Long Term Investment Account," acrylic on panel, 6" x 6".

I used the wrinkliest two dollar bill I could find for this piece. The original subject is pretty much my long term investment plan!
Here are a few behind-the-scenes pictures of this painting as I worked on it. The painting took between 8 and 10 hours, with most of that work falling between photos three and four. Enjoy!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Up on Etsy - Framed Photorealist Painting of Vintage Toy Cars

photorealist painting of vintage toy cars in a custom handmade frame
"Vintage Toy Cars," 8" x 8", acrylic on cradled panel in a 2" deep handcrafted floater frame.
$230+$20 shipping/Available on Etsy

I used my husband's old toy cars as the models for this piece. At more than 35 years old, they were all pretty beat up and rusty, which I loved.

I painted this quite a while ago, on a cradled panel, but I could never get the sides of the panel to my liking, and after putting it away for several months, I decided to custom frame it - a great decision because I love the finished look! Thanks to O&M for the lovely handmade frame, which blends a bit of a rustic quality with a contemporary look. At 2 inches deep, the frame is quite substantial and gives the piece a clean gallery-quality look.

The piece has a soft matte finish.

* You can see step-by-step photos of this piece as I painted it here: .

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Up on Etsy - Photorealistic Painting of a Parade of Monopoly Board Game Pieces

6x12 inch acrylic realism painting of monopoly board game pieces in a parade
"A Little Parade," acrylic on panel, 6 inches x 12 inches in a 1-1/2-inch deep custom handmade frame by Etsy Seller Organics&Mechanics (O&MWood), ebony stain.

I used the pieces from our vintage Monopoly game to assemble my still life setup for this piece. They've modernized Monopoly and a lot of other board games, but give me the classics from my childhood any day!

The painting has a finish somewhere between satin and matte, so it has a nice, soft look. There is virtually no visible paint texture in the piece due to many layers of paint and finish, and a bit of wet sanding in between.

I painted this piece on a cradled panel, so I felt like it really needed a frame to give it a clean and finished look. I really appreciated the hand-crafted custom look of this frame from O&M, and I think it complements the piece. It is a floater frame, so the painted has been permanently affixed to the frame, with a small gap between the painting and the frame on all sides. At 1-1/2" deep, the frame gives the painting a wonderful substantial feel on the wall.

Thanks for looking!
Saturday, March 11, 2017

Up on Etsy - Vintage Music Toy Acrylic Painting

"Music Man," acrylic on aquabord panel, 8" x 8".
$119+$10 shipping/Available on Etsy

I found this little wooden and plastic toy at a comic book show in February, at a vintage toy stand. It was just a few dollars, but I just fell in love with it, and knew it would be a great subject for this and future paintings. He's just so darn cute!

This piece was done in the acrylic watercolor style on aquabord, which has a bit more texture than my normal painting surface but is lovely for painting. The painting also has a bit of a shine to it, with a satin finish.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Mixing Acrylic Colors Part 1 - Overcoming Color Shift

Example of Color Shift - The wet paint appears lighter than the dry paint of the same color.
If you've ever tried to paint an area of a painting using a flat single acrylic color, like the color of this notebook I'm painting in this image, you have very likely witnessed "color shift." Sometimes it's more obvious in certain colors than in others, but it's always there. In the example above, the wet paint is significantly lighter than the dry paint. This is just one of the reasons why mixing colors in acrylic is tricky compared to other mediums.

While I mix many of my colors in small quantities on my palette, just as I used to do in oil, it doesn't stay wet long enough for me to use these small piles on larger areas that need to be a single flat color. Using a single flat color is also a great way to establish a local color that is later refined and glazed with details to provide dimension. And because it's next to impossible to mix the exact color twice due to the color shift phenomenon, acrylic painters need a better solution than struggling back and forth to wait for colors to dry to see if they match.

In art stores, they sell fairly large containers intended to store acrylic paint mixes. But I wanted a simpler solution for mixing my colors. I wanted something small, disposable, suitable for my small paintings and inexpensive.

On a whim, I decided to explore the disposable container section of my local Target, and after picking up several items, I was drawn to this one: Diamond Daily Mini Cups.

These wonderful little cups come in a bag of 50, with lids, and are only a few dollars, making them cheap enough for me to mix colors in quantities just large enough for the particular painting I'm working on. I use anywhere from a couple of flat color mixes to up to 20 for each painting.

A few of my color mixes for a painting I'm currently working on.

 These containers will keep the paint fresh for at least a day. However, I have learned that if I store them securely in a ziploc storage bag, I can keep them fresh for up to a week or more, depending on the brand of paint (M. Graham stays wet longer than Golden) and the particular colors (some seem to dry out faster than others).

Paint containers stored in a ziplock bag.

I've found this to be such a simple solution that makes it much easier to avoid the color shift problem. Give this method a try, and I'll discuss additional details about how I mix these colors correctly and use them more economically in future posts.

In the mean time, happy painting!

Finished painting - "On the Scene," 8" x 8", acrylic on panel (commission).

Up on Etsy - Small Painting of a Pile of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

"Dreaming of Peanut Butter Cups," acrylic on panel, 6" x 6".
I thought I'd tackle another small "pile" painting, this time of Reese's cups. They are always a challenging puzzle to paint. Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

New Custom Handmade Frames on these Vintage Toy Cars and Monopoly Pieces Paintings

custom handmade frame on acrylic painting of vintage toy matchbox and hot wheels cars
"Vintage Toy Cars," 8" x 8", acrylic on panel in a custom handmade frame.
I did a few paintings on cradled panels a while back, and just couldn't get the sides of the panels to my liking, so I've opted to order to some custom floater frames and give them a really finished look. Here are the two I'll be posting to my Etsy store later this week.

These lovely custom frames are from a fellow Etsy seller, Organics&Mechanics, so be sure to visit their shop if you are in the market!

Also, remember to sign up for my email list to get the first opportunity to purchase these and my other new paintings before they are posted for sale elsewhere. Thanks for looking!

custom handmade frame on acrylic painting of monopoly board game pieces
"A Little Parade," 6" x 12", acrylic on panel in a custom handmade frame.