1st oil Still life in 32 years

Oil on Canvas

The last time I painted a still life in oils was at BYU in 1983.  It was an "Oil Painting For Non Majors" class and I failed it.  It was the only class I've ever had less than a "B" in at BYU or at Kent State's nursing school...I failed it because I just stopped going.  I was pregnant with my second child. (Christiane)  Michael was applying for Medical School and my class was in the evening...when I had morning sickness (actually evening sickness).  The oil paints just aggravated my nausea and I gave up.  Ironic that after all that I have done in my life, that I am back to beginnings in oil, starting over.  But this time, I'm not planning to fail:)  I'm accepting this as what it is...a one sitting painting, a first in a long time...and one that has lots of room for improvement.  I have to start somewhere.


Back to my Richard Schmid Color charts after a sweet visit to Alabama

I spent the better part of last week with grand daughter little Annie who just had her tonsils out.  You know she's hurting when you have to beg her to take a few licks of an ice cream cone!  
Here she is a few days later...still pale and not eating much enjoying a bit of Alabama sunshine.  Yes....it's snowing today again in Cleveland.
Cadmium Lemon Chart
I really can't believe how much I am learning about color doing these charts.  I hope it will show in my work as I keep learning and growing in oils.  As hard as it is to dive into a new medium, I feel really great about the fact that I am no longer afraid of them and I'm fulfilling a life long dream of finally learning how to use them.

Cadmium Yellow Pale Chart
Three done...9 more to go:)


Taking on Richard Schmid's challenge...Making my own Color Charts

I've had a copy of  Richard Schmid's book Alla Prima for 20 years.  It is the greatest book on oil painting that I know of.  I've been in and out of my pastels for 10 years but I've read it a few times...in hopes of one day learning oils.  Recently, in frustration,  I pulled out my old copy, (He has since revised it), and have decided to take his earnest plea and make my own color charts.  With pastels, you just choose the color you want from hundreds of pastels....but there is always a moment when you can't find that perfect color and it is one you can't layer to mix....like a crazy pink for a flower.  As I've begun my quest to work in oil, I've been frustrated not knowing what I will get if I mix this color with that..."how do I get that combination of skin tones that I want?"  "What will make that grass color?"  So this week I ordered pre-made blank color charts and today I began.

  This is the first of 12 charts I will make.  I've followed it just as described in the book...taking my palette and getting five values of each color only by adding white.  As I make the other charts, I will begin mixing colors with a dominant color.  They will be more difficult!

I ordered the color charts from
Artist's blank color chart panel recommended by Richard Schmid

They are wonderful!!! A huge time saver.  They had free shipping and were here by priority mail in 2 days.

I used only a small palette knife as it is easier to keep clean.... a must with the charts to avoid contamination of colors.  Below is just a bunch of pictures showing how it went.  It was the most fun I've had in a long time with art and I was amazed at what I have learned about my palette with just this one chart.
It was great practice with my smallest palette knife too:)
Beginnings :)
The top colors are right out of the tube....The lower colors are supposed to be an off white of the corresponding color.  

Then you start finding the middle values.

This part was so much fun!  

Nothing better to do when there is "snow day #8" going on outside!

I'll post the others as I go along!  I imagine it will take weeks!


Sydney and her doll
Oil on Canvas
I'm finally painting again after struggling with a very sore elbow.  It's still sore but having some better days.   After seeing three doctors, and not painting for a few months....I'm going through Physical Therapy and doing a lot of icing.  Hopefully it will come around.  There are other options, but ones, I'd rather skip :)

This is one of  my grand daughters.  I love painting the kids because for one they are beautiful, and I know them well enough to know if I've captured their sweet little souls.  This is a quiet moment for Sydney, like her mother, she is a busy little girl and I'm sure Jessica took many takes to get her still for a moment.

I'm starting to go to life drawing sessions again....slowly, and will take up more oil lessons in April...but first I've decided to create some extensive oil color charts for my brain.  Unlike pastels, you have to mix what you want in oil and I need to find that out for myself.  I'll post them as I go.  I'm sure it will be a very meticulous messy process!