Saturday, December 20, 2014


The Virtual Paintout is visiting Rome this month so I went along to see where Google Street View could take me to set up my easel.

Since the cameras stayed mostly on the street there was no looking inside the Vatican or the Sistine Chapel.  But that’s okay because there’s a virtual tour of the chapel which takes a while to load but gives a chance to examine everything there at leisure without the crowds.

 Another disappointment was seeing the Trevi Fountain drained and being renovated. 
A news story by the BBC, related in a very Cumberbatch voice, can be found here.

Still, there were several museums available for virtual tour, mostly filled with lots of marble statues in various stages of undress, and lots of chunks of columns and relics from ancient structures.

No Google Street View car went down the Spanish Steps like cars do in every action movie shot in Rome. 

But I found a great view of the city from the top of the steps which I used to create this painting.

There is also a very thorough tour of The Coliseum.

 So I used one of the halls where a guy was doing a photo shoot as my next subject.
see my location here:

Then I virtually wandered down into the city and noticed an exhibit of Warhol Paintings was on display there.

So my last painting was a driveby of the show posters.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


I came across the bicycle rack on campus one morning last April.  Sunlight was streaming through a break between tall buildings and bouncing off all the shiny metal surfaces.

I took a few photos of the little scene and even created a blog post about playing with one of the pictures in Photoshop.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I was looking for inspiration for my next painting.

 I remembered the bicycle rack and brought up one of the snapshots for another look.
I decided to try and capture the memory of that sunny spring morning in a painting.

The first big chore was to simplify that very detailed subject and create a value drawing.

 Then I used tracing paper and a felt marker to draw out the edges.

 After a few days and hours I came up with this finished painting.  Still, some of the colors looked a little muddy and others weren’t as intense as I would have liked.

 So back to the drawing board.  Hoping I’d made most of my mistakes the first time I came up with this final version.  I’m calling it, “Bicycle Rack.”  Not very imaginative, perhaps, but I’m sticking to it.

Monday, December 15, 2014


Okay, so it’s been weeks since I've posted something here.  My excuse is the calendar.

 I think one’s attitude has a lot to do with which side of the shopping we are on.  I’ve been trying to have a good attitude but it’s been a challenge.

Along with the aforementioned shopping, there has been the decorating and the gatherings and---well, you know.

 I tried out a new recipe.  A friend was bragging about how wonderful his Christmas Stollen was.  I figured I should learn how to make it since my hubby’s family is mostly Scandinavian.  Besides it gave me a good excuse to break out the yeast and sugar and fill the house with yummy smells.

 Mine looked a lot like this recipe picture except I left out the nuts since I was taking it to a party. I plan to make more, this time with nuts.   I’d never used cardamom spice before but found it a nice change from cinnamon, and recognized the flavor from those lovely Danish pastries I’ve enjoyed.

 Good news:  I’ve been selling a lot of paintings from my Etsy Shop.

 The bad news:  the huge lines at the post office.  Good news:  I’ve had time to read a lot of your blog posts on my phone while standing in those lines. Today I had to stand for quite a while behind a guy whose back pack smelled like a rotted carcass.  The whole place smelled like wet socks and sweat.

One other note.
Our post office has changed their sign with the really bad spelling mistake.

This time, no list; less chances for error.