Sunset on a Lake

Another small gouache painting. Will they ever stop? No matter what else I am working
on, I can't help coming back to these. This one was done on light blue Canson pastel paper
and I rather like it...... Size isn't everything, you know.

Thanks for stopping by.


Purple Hill

This is another in the series of tiny gouache paintings that I am addicted
to doing. This is a bit smaller than it really is, but nonetheless, it is
small. I don't know what it is about this medium that encourages me to
work in a miniature mode - perhaps I was a monk doing manuscript
illuminations in a former lifetime - but I sincerely enjoy it. This will
be on a sheet of four on blue paper.
This color isn't completely true, but it's close.
Thanks for visiting.



This oil painting was begun on a piece of paper, and then
I decided to affix it to a canvas board with archival adhesive.
It has a bit of nice texture because of this. I always liked this
image, and this is th second version I've done of this .
Thanks for visiting.


Model Back and Colors revisited

I decided to re-post this painting tonight, because last
night's image was photographed, and did not do it justice -
I couldn't stand the way the image looked in the end.
So, after using a quick-drying varnish this morning before
going to teach my class, I scanned it in my printer tonight,
and here is the painting the way it really looks. The true
colors, and minus the strange blue glare/glow of yesterday!


Model Back and Colors

Oil on Wallis sanded pastel paper, 7" x 12" SOLD
This painting is much more luminous and lovely than it looks
in this photograph. It is not matte, but rather quite glossy.
It might seem strange to be painting on pastel paper, but quite
a few people do it, because it is an impervious surface, and also
archival. -- To tell the truth, this actually started out as a pastel
drawing, but halfway through, I just got the urge to use oils. There
was something about the light, and the color of the drape that
she is sitting on. I felt like doing a loose, sort of bravura study
and nothing lends itself to that like oil paint!


Head of Hypnos lll, (God of Sleep)

Pastel, Pastel Pencil, and Vine Charcoal on White Paper, 7" x 12"
This is number three, because this actually is the third drawing that I have done of this
head. I have about eight photos of it from many angles, and am just sort of obsessed with
it, I guess. The drawings never look the same, and I have never yet really tried to create the
feeling of the bronze that it was originally created from. I'll have to do that next - that's really fun.
I was fairly satisfied with this, though not completely. There is some inherent ethereal
beauty in this face that makes it difficult to make it appear manly, although in the actual head
itself there are many manly elements that are particuarly evident from certain points of view.
I also find it intriguing just that they had a god of sleep to begin with, and always feel I
am creating something "unusual" to say the least, when I draw this object. I just never
tire of it. I think it is so beautiful. I'm sure I will do many more.


Ancient Roman Sculpture of a Child. ca 10 BC

I decided to go back to working in pastels today, although I'm
alternating this with working in oils, to honor some commitments.
For some reason, I really get inspired by images of ancient sculptures.
This child was particularly moving. One doesn't see many sculptures
of many children extant - particularly one this expressive! It was
marble, but I decided, with my "artist's license", to take some liberties
with the color, so I could give it a blue background. I love blue!! Any
chance to put blue in a picture I will always take. And there are so
many hues of it! Actually, my oil palette has about eight blues on it.
They areso inspiring.

Anyway, this is my offering for today. And, as I said recently, I am
beginning, slowly, to offer these things for sale again in my eBay store.
There will be more information about each item there.

Thanks for your interest in my work.


Bearded Iris in Gouache and Watercolor

My gouache class is going to start working on flowers in the coming week,
and I'm just trying to get together some examples in watercolor and
The truth is, I prefer the combination of WC and gouache to just
plain gouache, which I find rather mat and dull. I like the variations
inherent in combining both mediums into one piece. Of course
there are many beautiful gouache paintings, and I have used gouache
exclusively myself, but for right now, I'm gravitating towards the
watercolor/gouache combination.
Tomorrow I need to get some real flowers to work from. I hope I can
find some interesting ones to work from. I just wish summer were not
over, and that flowers weren't so expensive! Maybe I should move to


Black Sweet Peas

Ever since I lived in Blacksburg, Virginia, when my
husband was going to Architecture school, I have been
fascinated by black sweet pea flowers. They grew wild
around the house where we were living, or perhaps,
someone had planted them there. I did several monotypes
of them in oils, all of which I loved, but unfotunately, I no
longer have my favorite one.

This painting is gouache and watercolor, yet again. I'm happy
with it, although I don't feel the same sense of mastery that
I do over oils. I haven't had the years of practice yet. I'll
just keep plugging along. The color in the picture is actually
a bit more red, and while I tried to correct it, it still doesn't
come across totally as it really is. No problem. It still looks
like some black sweet peas, and that was my objective for
the day.
I just love this medium!

Thanks for visiting .


Late Afternoon in Florida in August

I did this today while I was teaching my oil painting
studio class. I had very few students for some reason.
I teach gouache - which this is - in the morning, and
I had already gotten it going, and couldn't bear to stop.
My students were very accomodating however, and we
all had a wonderful afternoon!


Rose Tulip

I am having a real tug of war lately between my oils and my gouache.
I have things I really have to get done in oils. Paintings that are unfinished
make me very uncomfortable.
This morning I painted all morning, but I noticed that my heart just
wasn't in it. Have I become a "gouche painter"? Who knows? But it
sure seems like it. For one thing, it's just so much easier. No solvent,
no washing the brushes when I'm done. And, there is something about
the particular mercurial characteristics of the watercolor and the
gouache that I just love.
We'll I'll just keep this up like this for a while and see how it goes.
Today I asked the angels to help me. I believe that they did.
Thanks for stopping by today.


Sunset Sky

This is another in the series of small gouaches that I have been doing
lately. I painted in oils all morning, and just couldn't keep from grabbing
the gouache by about 3 PM. This isn't the greatest piece I've ever done, but
it has a certain feeling that I like. I figure if I keep on doing them I can't
help butget better and better. Anyway, it is really fun.

Thanks for visiting today.


Oil Painting of Figure Back in Progress

This is what some of my paintings look like underneath. This is a
variation on a grisaille underpainting. I have talked about this before.
That word is based on the French for our word gray, gris, and refers to
a monochromatic underpainting or underdrawing. In this particular
case it isn't completely monochromatic, but as I was working on a toned
canvas, I was able to use just a lot of white and a bit of color to work up
my figure after drawing it in with a pencil.
Because I know that graphite has a tendency to migrate up through paint
layers (weird!!), I sprayed my drawing heavily with both a polymer and
Damar spray. I know I will be also using a lot of glazes and layers of Liquin
painting medium, so I am not that worried about it. I teach this method,
which is called the Indirect method, as opposed to the Direct method
(think Van Gogh and John Singer Sargent - no pencils there, and no
underdrawings either), at the Art League School in Alexandria, Virginia,
where I live.
I am very happy with the way this painting is starting out, and have a
pretty good idea about how the color harmony is going to proceed at this
point. Now, I just have to force myself to stop working in gouache........
Thanks for visiting today.


Imaginary Landscape #4 and a Page of Gouache Studies

I 'm glad that they let you format where the pictures go in this thing, I certainly
wouldn't want one picture sitting right on top of the others.

The smaller pictures are not as small as they appear, and are more distinct in reality. I
had a lot of fun doing them . Both pieces were done on Fredrix Watercolor Canvas. I just
can't get enough of working on this substance. It is just the greatest.

I know I have to start working in oils in a few days, to fulfill some commitments I have
made (you have to earn that money!), so I will really savor my last few days of working
in gouache and watercolor - a truly wonderful combination. Everyone should try it.
If you are at all afraid of watercolor -- try gouache! - there's no such thing as a mistake
in gouache, because you can cover everything up!

Happy painting!!


Imaginary Landscape #3

This is another watercolor and gouache piece, done in class as a demo for my students
yesterday. I was lucky it came out so well. That doesn't always happen!!
This was done on a wonderful new product which I just love! Fredrix Watercolor Canvas.
I had been painting on it already in oils, because it has a lovely smooth, delicate surface,
and I had been using mostly paper and panels, because I Hate canvas generally!! But this
stuff is very different.
But, for watercolor, and gouache, it's absolute revelation! You can lift, wipe back, lay
washes, remove whole areas of color - you name it, it's more like working with oils
practically when you work on this product. I've been having so much fun, I can't wait
to get up in the morning! Of course all days aren't successful ones, but one can always
try, and always hope! I'm planning on filling this whole sketchbook with these landscapes,
exectued entirely with brush, and having a feeling of being partially imagined. I've got
13 to go. The paper in the book is Canson watercolor.
I usually begin by covering my picture area with Winsor and Newton Lifting Preparation,
because right now I like to paint skies, and it is enormously helpful. Of course this isn't
necessary on the Fredrix Watercolor Canvas, but I sometimes do it anyway.
So much fun.
Thanks for visiting.


Imaginary Landscape #2

This is another example of a completely painted gouache landscape that I made for my
new class today. I was pretty happy with it, although I don't think it really comes across
very well in the photograph. I just love working in gouache. It is so forgiving. I even did
a decent demo in class in it today. Demos are ususally problematical for me, but I find this
medium very "friendly" and also intuitive.
I almost feel like it's "guiding' me to do the right
thing in a piece.
I could do this for twenty-four hours a day.


Imaginary Landscape #1

I was making some examples for my students in a gouache class that is going to begin
tomorrow, and I wanted to create an example of one done entirely with a brush - no
pencil lines at all.
This is what I came up with.
It isn't very big, but I like the colors, and
the composition. I feel the contrast is rather dynamic, and I wouldn't mind being in that
place, either.

Thanks for visiting.


Gouache and Pencil Standing Figure Life Study

This is a drawing I was rather pleased with, and it is missing
the head because it was a demo of using gouache ("gwash" -
opaque watercolor) in washes with a pencil, to quickly sketch
the figure, and capture the contrapposto stance. (where one
side opposes the other - very popular throughout history).
This model was also very graceful, but had such a sad face
I could hardly bear to draw it - but as previously stated, that's
not why it's missing.


Milena in "Essence" Technique

This piece was done in the "essence" technique, which, I
just recently learned, Degas invented to be able to work in
a medium that looked like pastel which he would not have
to frame. -- Although Degas is thought of as being wealthy,
and was, in fact related to Italian nobility, his brother's
erstwhile, failed cotton business in New Orleans placed a
great deal of financial pressure on him during many years
of his life, so I guess he was looking, like most of us do, for
ways to economize. -- In this technique, the oil is soaked out
of the paint overnight on blotters, paper towels - Degas
apparently used cardboard - then scraped onto the palette
the next day.
Then, the paint is diluted with solvent (essence in French)
and can be painted on any unprepared paper surface.


More Advanced Demo from my Drawing into Painting Class

This is a semi-colored grisaille underpainting done over a drawing done
with a mechanical pencil and then covered with a thin layer of acrylic
medium tinted orange. The oil colors used to develop the picture so far
where simply black and white, with a bit of brown and green on the mag-
nolia blossom.
The interesting color phenomenon occurring here is do to a situation
known as "optical grays". That is that any medium (center of a value scale
of five values) gray placed near a color or about the same value and intensity
will take on the complement of that color. Notice how the sphere appears to
be blue in parts. This is because the background is slightly orange. The
sphere is really only a gray made of black and white.
Color is amazing.

2nd Project Demo from my Drawing into Painting Class

This is a demonstration of a grisaille underpainting that has been partially
painted over, by painting into a wet "imprimatura", or layer of transparent paint.
A grisaille, some of you may not know, is any monochromatic underpainting, but
is called what it is because the word gris means "gray" in French, and in the early
days of the development of oil painting technology, underpaintings were most often
done in black and white, or raw umber and white. Leonardo actually used brown,
and a close inspection of Vermeer reveals that he sometimes used a greenish color.
Anyway, this type of painting is known as "Indirect Painting", in that you separate
the drawing, or "form" part, from the color part. It is actually the easiest type of painting,
and is believed to have been developed in Flanders by the Van Eyck brothers in the late
14th C.. -- My underpainting in this demo was done in black and white acrylic, but in my
classes, we use Mars Black and Titanium white, because Mars black is the leaset oily black,
It is important to keep the lowest levels of a painting almost oil-free, and then gradually
add oil (fat) as you build up the layers of the painting. This lessens the chances of cracking
and crazing of the paint surface over time.
This type of painting is directly opposite that done by alla prima ("all at once", "at the first",
who began working in the late 16th, early 17th C.'s, such as Frans Hals and Rembrandt. Later
on, Van Gogh and John Singer Sargent, and Mary Cassatt are marvelous examples of this
direct approach in which one both draws and paints onto a bare canvas, creating form and
color all at once with the brush.
Thanks for stopping by.

Desi Standing

This little sketch I did at an all-day figure drawing
class I taught today at The Art League School in
Alexandria, VA. The model was so beautiful, I now I
did not do him justice, but let's face it, how much can
you do in ten minutes. The drawing practice is the
thing, after all.


Sophie's Back - Oil on Linen

Oil on Linen, 15' X 19" SOLD
Sorry, it's been a long while since I posted, I know.
You know that old saying, "Those who can do do, and
those who can't, teach"? - Well, that's been me for the
past few months. I don't mean that I literally can't
make artwork, I just mean that the economy has
forced me to spend more time teaching ( I teach
private workshops in my home).
I enjoy doing this
tremendously, but preparing for them requires a
tremendous amount of time and effort.
For instance, I am teaching one for the next several
weeks. It meets on six separate days. Just painting
the examples for it, doing the research, typing up
the text, putting together the reference materials
for the students, etc., has taken me three weeks of
solid work. Fortunately, I do enjoy that as well. I
think I was a monk in a former lifetime.
But it's time to get back to work!
And I mean ARTWORK!!
Thanks for visiting today.



Go Here to Bid

Pastel on White Archival paper, 6" x 8"
I did this drawing today in my "veils" pastel technique, using
many thin "glazes" of pastel powder over a charcoal drawing.
It is hard to see in the photograph the beautiful surface of the
drawing, particularly the different textures - the difference
between the soft, velvety backgroundm the grainy table,
and the smooth and shiny shell. This is a very fun technique
and is one that I teach in my class and in workshops.
Thanks for visiting today.


A Roman Woman, C.100 AD

Pastel and Charcoal on White Sketch-weight Archival Paper

This is a drawing that I started at home, continued as a demo for my students in
class as an example of my "veils" technique - which involves using many thin layers of color and applications of fixative combined with charcoal drawing -
and finished at home.

I used the Sennelier "Fixatif Latour", which comes only in a spray pump bottle.
It is wonderful because it has a citrus base, and unlike most fixatives (many
pastelists refuse to use any fixative at all, as a mattter of fact there is a big lack
of consensus about this...), you can spray it right in front of your face. You don't
even have to go outside. It has two drawbacks: one is that because it is not solvent-
based, if you are working on a thinnish paper, as I was here, it can actually cause
the paper to buckle. But of course this is not problem with Wallis sanded, or even
Canson pastel paper. Secondly, because it is a pump, one often gets little spots if
the nozzle isn't 125% clean. You can see the spots if you look closely in the pink part
of this piece. Sometimes that has its advantages. Sometimes not!

Thanks for visiting today.


Sharon Arabesque

  Sold                                             Oil on Board, 6" x 8"

  I just wasn't able to do anything today.  One of  THOSE days...
  I don't know if it was the gloomy weather or what, but nothing
  was happening.  So, I decided to post something I did last year
 and sold in my eBay store - that explains the watermark in
 the lower right corner.  I've always liked this pose, and was
 happy with the way the painting turned out, so I don't mind
 showing it.  I hope you enjoy it.
 Here's hoping tomorrow is a more productive day.

Thanks for visiting.


Blue Cloud Landscape

Pastel on Black Canson Pastel Paper, (9"' x 6")

I did this drawing as an example for the students in my
"Painterly Pastel" class at the Art League School in Alexandria,
Virginia, where I teach. This is a really fun way of working.
When people first hear black paper, their ususal reaction is
"yech", black velvet!! Elvis, tacky horses, farm scenes!!  But, it
is actually a very beautiful medium, because it makes the colors
glow.  This is a very loose interpretation of a landscape, but I do
love the blue cloud.


Oil Sketch of Liz

Oil on canvas, 5.5" x 5.5"
I really enjoyed doing this quick oil sketch of Liz, a young woman who used to
model for me in my classes. It was done from a photograph, as is most of my work,
except my work done in class. This is mostly because my studio is about as big
as a small walk-in closet. But, my husband is about to build me a new studio in
the backyard, which will be 10' x 15'. I know that's not large, but after what I've
been working in for the past 17 years, it will seem like an ice skating rink - and,
there will actually be room for a LIVE model - at last!!. Also I'll have more room
to teach workshops at my home, which is something I really enjoy doing.

Thanks for visiting today.


Isla Morada Hybiscus

Oil on Canvas laid down on board, 7.5" x 9 3/4"

I did this from a photograph outside of the Casa Thorn, 
a  wonderful B&B we stayed at in Isla Morada in the Florida Keys. 
 The whole
place seemed enchanted, from the wonderful woman
after whom it was named, to the myriad of fascinating
objects with which she had decorated it - all things she
had collected during her incredible 91 years. Everywhere
you turned there was something beautiful to see: Moroccan
screens, carved ivory netsukes of sensitive nudes, unique
paintings from the 1940's,  photographs of her friends - who 
just happened to be Frank Sinatra and his ilk - and plants
everywhere inside and out.  Giant palm trees, flowering
plants, with Cambodian granite heads peeking out from

 I've been thinking of painting this since last
August, and I finally did. I'm really happy this evening.


Lesli Pensive

Oil over Grisaille on board

This is a portrait of a young woman who has modelled often
for my classes. She is incredibly talented in her own right,
being an actress with an incredible voice, and also, obviously
very beautiful. The color of her hair is what inspired me to do
thi s painting.

Figure in a Blue Light

Oil paint over black and white grisaille.

This is a painting of my favorite all-time model,
Sharon. She never fails to inspire. I love this image
so much, I actually did another version of it in another
color scheme. That may seems strange - until you look
at Degas. Not that I am comparing myself  to that
19th C. Master, who is one of my idols.  But, he did
literally recycle poses and positions of models from
one painting or drawing to another. It's fascinating.
He was the most modern painter of his group, no doubt.
History will show this to be true as time goes on.

Thanks for visiting today.


Sophie at Fifteen

Go Here to Bid                                                           SOLD

Oil Pastel and Mechanical Pencil on Gray gesso-primed canvas, 4" square

This is a picture of my daughter when she was about 15, I think. I have
done a lot of paintings and drawings of her, and she always looked very
sophisticated beyond her years. I like this image because she looks more
her age, and also displays her "lost-in-thought" character.

I have a large set of Sennelier oil pastels - well two really. One, I put
together little by little over the years as I could afford them, and it also
includes Holbein and Caran d'Ache oil pastels. Except for the Holbeins,
which are square, I keep them sharpened to a point with a large-hole
pencil sharpener. The other set I finally bought on sale. It is so
I can hardly stand to use it. It includes ten or twelve iridescents that
breathtaking. They look white, but iridesce to yellow/purple, pink/green,
orange/blue, and so on. Those are also all sharpened to a point.
They are fun to work with, because you can just draw with them, or, you
can manipulate them with palette knives or brushes, and also with
painting mediums. For this piece I used Winsor & Newton's Liquin Detail
Painting Medium, as I was working so small. I don't generally care
for working on canvas, because of the texture, but this was OK. I have to say
in this case, the photograph truly does not do the piece justice.


Two Golden Pears

Soft pastels on Sennelier Carte Pastel Board, approx. 7" x 5"
These two Bosc pears weren't in very good shape anymore, but they still had
some beautiful colors in them, and in the right light they were worthy subject
matter. I had a piece of Carte Pastel left, in one of their colors - which are very
strage, by the way - this one is sort of a cross between tan, curried chicken, and
moss. I scanned the image. Whether a photograph or a scan, it's terribly difficult
to give a color image its due. The "golden" quality doesn't really come through, for
some reason. Oh well, I guess you'll just have to imagine it.
Thanks for visiting.


Angel from Another World

Pastel on Wallis sanded pastel board washed with blue watercolor, 10" x 6 6/8".
This is an interpretation of a photograph of a cemetary angel. I really like the
colors, and I love working in pastel. I never get tired of it! It is a wonderful break
from painting. I don't have to wash and brushes, and I love to draw!


15-Minute Color Sketch of Standing Nude Female Model

6 1/2" x 11 1/2" on Canson Mi Tientes paper

This was done as a demonstration for some
students in class a couple of Saturdays ago.
I teach a figure drawing class every Saturday
morning, and have for about 17 years - has it
really been that long? I can't believe it.

The problem here was to work with a very
limited selection of Carb-Othello pastel
pencils (wonderful!!), on grey paper, or any
mid-tone colored paper of their choice.
The colors they had to work with were: White,
Naples Yellow (Conte), Sanguine, Light Blue,
Cadmium Red Light, Brown, and a Black
charcoal pencil.
This demo really was only 15 minutes. My
class is 3 hours long, but I don't like to take
up too much time with demonstrations, because
we spend quite a while warming up, and also
I am very against the idea of having my students
all trying to draw like I do. I've been drawing for
54 years. Most of them have just started.
I like to encourage my students to find their
own voice, and although most do realism, I don't
demand that either.
Thanks for stopping by.


Oil Sketch of Posing Male Nude's Back

Oil on Gessoed and Oil-Primed Archival Paper, 7" x 10"
This is a quickly-done limited palette oil sketch done in class
as a demo for students. I was quite happy with the results here,
and am only selling it because, like everyone else, I haveto make
a living. This model, unfortunately, moved to Floridathis year,
much to everyone's chagrin. He was a fine person,and a fabulous


Peppers and Turquoise

Go Here to Bid

This is a very small painting. It is only 6" x 3". Therefore, I was able to do it in just
one afternoon. I like the colors. I deliberately made the background and foreground
turquoise. So often paintings of this type have brown backgrounds, or the reverse.
That can undoubtedly be beautiful - but it's done all the time. I wanted to try some-
thing that I don't see all the time. Whether or not it's successful, I'll leave up to
you. It sure is fun to be painting again though.

Thanks for visiting.


Margie's Angel

Go here to bid

This oil
over brown under-painting was done on a gessoed 6" x 6"
masonite panel. The main part of the features that you can see
are the underpainting. There are many glazes as well: transparent
Gold Ochre, Indian Yellow, Transparent Red Earth, Transparent
Yellow, and then also a great deal of opaque paint.

This is a fun way to paint. Solve the drawing part first, and then
you are relatively free to fool around with color.

Thanks for visiting today.

P.S. You may have noticed that I've added Google Ad Sense to my
blog. I hope you don't think that mercenary of me.....times are
hard......for everyone.


Sgraffito Drawing/Demo of the Charioteer of Delphi


This is actually the first sgraffito drawing that I ever did, and
I have used it for years as a demo piece when I am teaching this
unusual but ancient technique to my students. That is why it is
covered with squiggles, pieces of perfectly matched curved-cross-
hatching (done with a tool that has six pieces of wire all the same
length sticking out of a metal holder), and other various messy
marks. There is even some gold Sennelier oil pastel on his hair
ornament - unfortunately, the luminosity of it has faded over the

I have described elsewhere in my blog how to do this technique, so
I won't repeat myself here.

Tomorrow I will present a painting I've been working on for a little
bit every day for a few days. It is the same composition as one
presented on this blog, but with a new interpretation coloristically.
It certainly was fun painting it! And I spent this day, mapping out the coming
week. I have so many paintings I want to do - and this is just the small
ones that can be done in a day or two - that I don't know how I'll ever finish
them!! It's so exciting.

I did a silly thing the other day though - and if anyone who is reading this
happens to have an "in" with Google, or is just more "internet savvy" than I am,
please let me know if you can help me out!

I was looking at my account here, and they suggested that I change my Google-given
URL for my blog to a domain name (at a price, of course...), so like a perfect
consumer, I bought one. Alas, AFTER I purchased it I realized there was a
serious typo in it. It was supposed to read: priscillatreacyfineart.com, BUT,
it reads priscilltreacyfineart.com.

I haven't been able to get in touch with them
through their byzantine "help" pages, I even contacted Enon, the company they
work together with in producing these domain name. Any query has lead
me to absolutely nowhere. And of course, there is never a phone number mentioned
ANYWHERE. There is nothing in Google's FAQ that even touches on this problem.
I offered to cancel, and start all over, but they didn't like that at all. No, no.

So, now I am stuck with a domain name with a misspelled name, and no one will
be able to find my blog, and I have NO idea how to fix it. Does anyone out there
know how! HELP!!

I would most grateful for any ideas - and thank you for visiting today.


Oil Color Monotype: Italian Geometrics I


I explained the procedure for this type of monotype in my blog
on Monday. This one was used as a book cover by the David R. Godine
Publishing Co. in Boston, in 1984, for a memoir by Iris Origo, titled
War in Val d'Orcia. I was very happy when they decided to use it,
of course. Also, I didn't have to deal with any art directors telling me
what to do! It was a free ride!

Thanks for visiting today.

Tomorrow is "P" day - I begin to paint in earnest. I am so excited!!


Pastel and Charcoal Head of Roman Warrior

I have to admit that I love this drawing. It is done
in a method that I call "veils of color". It is done on
white bond sketch-weight paper. You do a drawing
with 1/8" round vine charcoal, and then go over that
with Nupastel in whatever color you want. This can
correct and mistakes if you are not done with the drawing,
or if you are, it can begin to suggest a color plan or direction,

Then I further develop the drawing with the vine, and add
more pastel, spraying between layers. I know that is contrary
to what most people think as pastel technique, but this is
just something I developed on my own, and I really like to
draw this way. It is very freeing, and fun. You never really
know what you are going to get. If you use regular fixative,
the paper remains smooth, and you can apply hard and soft
pastels, and charcoal pencils also - actually I prefer carbon
pencils, because they don't smear as much.

If you use Matte medium spray it leave little tiny globules
of spray on the paper, giving it a tiny tooth that is just great
for grabbing onto very soft pastel, in rich saturated colors.


Monotype of a Terracotta Pot at Nero's Villa on Capri

This is an example of how accidents sometime work
to our advantage in art. This is an oil paint monotype,
which I painted on a small zinc plate (4" x 5"). Actually,
I used this same plate over and over again.

This is the view from the patio of Nero's Villa which is
on the very top of the island of Capri off the coast of Naples.
It is said that he used to throw hapless people off just to amuse

Anyway, the procedure for this consists of drawing an
image onto the plate with a 6B pencil, and then painting
the image with oil paint diluted with turpentine. For some
reason turpentine works the best, which is a shame, as I
have developed a tendency to develop migraines if I get
anywhere near it. The paint isn't as thin as watercolor,
just "thinned", and it can be manipulated with dry brushes,
and also with brushes that are wet with solvent and then mostly
dried off. Apparently, during this process a bit of turpentine
got away and dribbled down the front of the terracotta pot.
But, what a happy accident! It's really doing a marvelous
imitation of the characteristic surface of these aged pots.

This was from a series called "Italian Geometrics". They were
all 4"' x 5", and they were all oil monotypes. I have two others.
One was used as a book cover once. I felt so lucky.


Essence Sketch of Reclining Model

Well, I am happy to say that my hand is finally healed,
and I no longer have to wear my hand support (excepting
when I am typing on the computer for long stretches). I
have been gathering ideas for things that I want to paint,
and I am looking forward to the coming week when I will
begin in earnest to become involved in my work again.

I know that after such a long time away from my regular
routine it will be touch and go at first. I have always
thought ( and I tell my students this) of "artistic ability",
whatever it is, as something that we don't really "own" per
se, it comes and hangs around for a while, and graces our
lives with happiness when we have it - but it can just as
easily leave for awhile. I console myself knowing that
Edward Hopper, whose work I truly admire, didn't paint
for five years at one point. Hard to imagine, but true.
Just think how unhappy he must have been!

Well, today I have an essence (check back in former posts
for a definition) drawing on Canson pastel paper. I am very
fond of this one. It is not for sale, because it was already sold.
I'm so glad I have a picture of it. I wish I had the real thing.

Thanks for visiting today.


Gouache Wash Drawing of Male Model in Class


This was a demo drawing I did in the figure
class that I teach at the Art League School in
Alexandria, Virginia.

I love working in gouache! It is opaque water-
color and can be used either opaquely or trans-
parently. Either way, it is fun to work with,
especially with the figure. It is easy to be loose
and free with gouache. If you love drawing the
figure you should try it!

Thanks for visiting today.


Rocks and Ocean

This small painting is an example of using a monochromatic
under painting, in this case a brown one - as a base for adding
color. It is fairly easy to harmonize a painting if you use a tight,
limited palette of colors and such an under painting. The under
painting, or grisaille, from the French for "gray", has to be in a
discernible color, not in black and white. A gray could be used,
but it would work best if it were a gray influenced noticeably by
a color, such as blue, or lavender.


Monotype of the View from Rte.460, Blacksburg, VA

This monotype was painted in watersoluble oils on Yupo watercolor paper, which
is really just a piece of white plastic rolled out very thin. It is fun to use this as
a support , because you can really see what your image will look like when printed -
except that it will be backwards of course, if you are using an etching press, which
I always do. -- This image is mostly done from memory. I rode up and down this
highway so many times that I can still see it clearly now, even though I was there
almost thirty years ago.

Thanks for visiting today.


Watercolor Monotype of a Versailles Statue

This image was created by painting with Prang

watercolors, and drawing with Caran d'Ache
Neocolor Water-soluble crayons on frosted Mylar.
Then, after soaking a piece of Magnani white
printmaking paper, and blotting off all of the
standing water, I ran the two together through
an etching press. A plastic plate of roughly the
same dimensions as the print was used to shore
up the image and create more pressure and
create a platemark around it, which is clearly
visible in this picture.

This is a really fun technique. If you cover your
Mylar with gum arabic, Watercolor Medium (gum
arabic with acetic acid in it to preserve it), or even
dishwashing liquid, and allow that to dry, you can
then create an image and print it by hand - but you
must be sure that your paper is damp enough for
the image to transfer. The watersoluble coating
underneath your drawing is dissolved by the damp
paper and lifts up with the drawing on top of it,
and the whole thing transfers to your printmaking

Obviously, using a press is easier!


Lesli's Back

This is a painting of a young woman who used to model for me

before she moved to New York to seek her fortune in music and
the theatre. Not only was she blessed with physical beauty, but
with a lustrous operatic voice, and acting talent! She has already
performed with Shakespeare in the Park. I am so proud of her.
She certainly made an inspiring model though. We all miss her.

Thanks for visiting.