An artist's journal.
Here you'll find my paintings and musings, where the featured subjects could likely cover just about anything.
The last 4+ years I've been caring for my best buddy B during his courageous fight to live through cancer and it's complications. I'm tickled to report, he's getting better and I'm finding small bits of painting time again.

Looking forward to a daily celebration of life's gifts by using the brightest, happiest colors in the box!

Visitors looking for 'B's Journey', click here.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

click image to enlarge

"First Christmas" 2004
11" x 14" x 3/4"
Acrylic on canvas
Livingstone collection- Tucson, AZ

A portrait I painted of our grandson, Trevor.  

Thursday, December 2, 2010

"Winter Trees" 2005
15" x 30" x 3/4"
Acrylic on canvas
Livingstone collection- Tucson, AZ

Wow, how can it really already be December?!

Decided to paint some pine trees for a different twist on my Tall Trees series.  Pretty, cool colors with
really neat texture found throughout, 
especially on the tree branches.

Click cropped detail below to see tree texture a bit better. Wish I'd taken better photos of this painting.
It was so much prettier in person.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

 Another from my archives
My son, Chip, and his family (7 of our grandkids) came to Tucson last week for Thanksgiving. They live in Colorado Springs now. While visiting, a few of the grandkids were caught up in this painting I'd done in 1995 of John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliff. Chip and I told them the story behind the painting and I mentioned I had featured it on this blog in 2008. I told them I'd repost it so they could read it when they got home. So here it is. Click image to see a larger version.

16" x 20"
acrylic on canvas
artist: Jenna Millward Corkill

The Art War ~ a friendly competition 
My son, Chip, is also an artist, with a degree in visual communication from the University of Arizona... while he was still in college in 1995, we were both employed by the same company....about 75 employees worked there. One day Chip and I happened to be in the break room at the same time, along with several other employees... everyone knew Chip and I were artists, and on this particular day we were discussing our current art projects... well, this child I'd brought into this world, started talking smack about who was the better artist, me or him!... back and forth it went for a few minutes until someone there suggested we have a little 'art competition' to see who was the best... so a few guidelines were decided along with a deadline and the 'art war' began.

It was decided we had 30 days to paint a 16" x 20" black and white of any dead rock and roll artist... we would then display these 2 paintings in the break room and let all our fellow employees vote for their favorite.

The day of the unveiling was so fun!... I was completely blown away by Chip's painting of
Kurt Cobain (seen below) and tickled by his positive reaction to my portrait of John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe... when the votes (60+) were tallied after a few days, Chip was the winner, by one vote!... I teased him that I had voted for him, so it was my vote that won it for him... then he revealed he'd voted for me!... that's my son~son!

My painting was based on an Astrid Kircherr photo taken in 1960... George Harrison was in the original photograph, but he was still alive in 1995. Since this painting could only include deceased rock and roll artists, I had to leave him out of the painting.


16" x 20"
artist: Chip Cole

If you look closely in the shadowed area of Chip's Kurt Cobain painting, you will see a skull.

Below is a detail of my painting for the competition... I love painting guitars...heck, I just love guitars... look at Stuart's big ole Hofner hollow body bass and John's famous Rickenbacker Capri 325.... I am currently learning to play bass guitar and loving it, but that's a story for another day.


Friday, November 19, 2010

click image to see detail

"Time flies, don't wait too long"2005
24" x 60" x 3/4" triptych
Acrylic on canvas
Nucaro collection- Clive, IA

In 2005 I played around a lot with large abstracts. This is one of several triptych's I did that year. I don't have any photos of this painting on a flat wall. It is seen above with the left panel hung on a 45° angled wall. Also, large paintings have always photograph a bit distorted anyway, so I don't really have a true representation of what this painting looked like.

This painting is loaded with interesting features, including the feathered 'hourglass', which referenced the painting's title. Click on the image to see a larger version which will help you find the subtle text detail as well as soft feathers in the sky radiating from the center of the hourglass. Instead of sand, the hourglass has water, contrasting the desert landscape. 

At the time I was painting this, my husband Brian, a professional musician (singer and guitar player) was finishing up radiation treatment for vocal chord cancer. It was profoundly on my mind that we can't take for granted.....time. 

I am happy to report that this month marks 5 years of remission. And he proved all the docs wrong who said he'd be lucky to talk again, much less sing. He sings beautifully. His voice is a bit different and he lost some of his range, but there is a richness and soul in his singing now that reflects an appreciation for that which he almost lost completely. 

And his guitar playing while he was going through treatment, unable to speak, was something else again. He still performed every week onstage, and he let his guitar speak for him. It was magic.

On a different note, come the first of the year, I am starting a new painting and art adventure. I've had to create a secondary blog for this. Visit my new blog Millward Studios Fine Art  to see what's in store for me in 2011. And, as always, thanks for visiting today!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

 click image to enlarge

"Autumn Fields" 2007
18" X 36"
Acrylic on canvas
Private collection- York, PA

Another painting from my archives. Loved the layers of glazed colors on this one! The foreground wheat grass detail was sooooo pretty! Right after I sold this, I missed it. 

Still didn't find my way back into the studio this week. While doing the yard trimming these last two weeks, I discovered our front yard's irrigation system needed to be completely replaced. I do like digging in the dirt, but this was ridiculous. I finished that project yesterday, and hope to find a block of studio time today.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

20" x 24"
acrylic on canvas
Ronstadt collection, Tucson, AZ

click image to enlarge

"...there's a full moon risin'
Let's go dancin' in the light
We know where the music's playin'
Let's go out and feel the night."~ Neil Young

From my archives..... This painting was the result of just playing with texture on the canvas first, then adding paint in glazed layers.  

I'm still outside diggin' in the dirt and climbing trees... tomorrow's the last day of two long weeks of yardwork, then, finally I can return to my much missed studio.... I simply can't wait!

Friday, October 29, 2010

click image to enlarge

"California Dreamin'..." 2006
24" x 36" x 3/4"
acrylic on canvas
Scolnik collection, Washington, DC

I am a huge fan of old VW micro-buses and they frequently show up in my work. 

"California Dreamin'..." is a painting made up of 24 separate 6" x 6" ocean and beach paintings on one canvas. There's a classic old VW van starring in one of the mini paintings.  It was a fun painting to do. I divided the canvas into 24 squares, then played at the beach in each one. Some simple, some more detailed, together a fun mix.

Once again, to keep this blog visually interesting, I am featuring a painting from my archives. I haven't painted for a week. I try to post at least once a week, so, if I don't have any new paintings to share, I'll find an old favorite to feature.

I have been called away from my studio for the last week by the arrival of cooler temperatures and a deadline. November 8th, the city of Tucson is once again providing it's free Bulky Trash pick-up. I have a huge amount of tree trimming to do, and must take advantage of the time and energy saved by this service. It is soooo much easier to drag whole branches to the curb, without having to break them down into bite size chunks.

I had about 2 hours into a new VW van Daily Painting, when it hit me that I was burnin' daylight by not getting outside and getting the trimming started. Once that thought had crossed my mind, that was it. My OCD kicked in and I couldn't give "Rusty '59" my undivided attention anymore. Might as well get the chores done.

Tucson gives us a two week notice of the pick-up and while that might sound like plenty of time, I always seem to cut it close (pun alert) with the serious tree trimming I need to do in that timeframe. Now that I'm a wee bit older, it seems to take me a wee bit longer to get it all done. I even have to climb one of the trees I trim, although I kinda like that part. I get up in that tree and sit there looking around for a while, taking in the view, and then, I thank my higher power for letting me still be able to climb trees at my age. Yep, I like that part.

"Rusty '59"
~a work in progress
6" x 6" x 1/4"
acrylic on canvas board

I've finished the first week of yard-work, I'm half way done, so, it's just for one more week, that the "Rusty '59" will have to keep on rusting. I'm looking forward to getting back to that little canvas.

Instead of painting each morning, I'll be donning my gardening gloves and getting to task outside. Thank goodness I love to garden. Play in the dirt. It feeds my soul. It centers me. It's all good.

Having made it through another hot summer here in the desert southwest, I'm looking forward to the next 5 months or so of our beautifully mild temps. Coffee and breakfast on the patio weather! Lunch on the patio weather! Heck, dinner and dancing on the patio weather! Yippee! And the yard-work will be done! Trees trimmed, gardens planted! Double Yippee!!

Now, on an entirely different note, here's a helpful hint for you other artists using small canvases.

The 6" x 6" canvas covered boards like the one I'm using on "Rusty '59", are only about 1/4" thick and quite lightweight. It's hard to keep them in place while pushing paint around on them, so I've come up with a simple way to keep them from moving while I paint.

Reusable adhesive putty, found in just about any store for around $3. Great stuff!

See how I use it on my newest blog page, 

Monday, October 18, 2010

  click image to enlarge

"Blackbeard's Bounty" 2010
12" x 12" x 1.5"
acrylic on canvas
not for sale

It's late afternoon and a youngster is busy raking clams at Teach's Hole (named for Edward Teach, also known as, Blackbeard the pirate)... the clam bounty is tossed into a cooler that's held by an inner tube.... a rope, tied from waist to inner tube, keeps the changing tides from setting it adrift.... the late day sun is reflecting off the inner tube and water. 

I grew up on Florida's Atlantic coast and now find myself landlocked and constantly missing my ocean...many of my paintings are all about water. I love painting water, capturing the way it's motion plays with light and reflections!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


An autumn leaf floats through the breezy sky.
12" x 12" x 1.5"
acrylic on canvas
Unframed, blue sky painting continues around the 1.5 inch side, hanging hardware installed, ready to hang.

To purchase this and see more of my paintings for sale, visit my

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

 click to enlarge

"THIRSTY" 2006
20" x 24"
acrylic on canvas
Cardoso Iken collection, Manassas, VA

"There are days when I feel I could paint the Sistine chapel and, then, there are days when I'm not sure I could trace a stick figure.... the only difference between those days is my state of mind"~ Jenna Millward Corkill© 

Struggling again, with the day to day stuff. Trying to digest and come to terms with my daughter and her family moving away, taking the last 3 grandkids I have living here in Tucson to Colorado Springs. My son moved there 4 years ago and I still struggle with bouts of sadness, missing him and my other 7 grandkids something fierce. 

Modern technology, facebook, skype and such, will help keep us connected over the miles, but like Marvin Gaye sang years ago "Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby, ain't nothing like the real thing". I miss my kids and family!!

My daughter's potential departure has left me in a daze. I'm not mentally present when I'm painting and the canvas results reflect that. And while I am still working on several paintings, I did not get one finished this last week. I'm trying to use the "mind over matter' approach, but the matter ain't minding.

So, once again, to keep this blog visually interesting, I am posting a painting from my archives. This originally posted August 23, 2008 and features 'Shortcake, the strawberry roan' ©, taking a sip of water. 

Of the 3 paintings I'm currently working, one is a waterscape, with water vaguely similar to that found in "Thirsty". I'm hoping that swirling streaks of beautiful colors on canvas will help put these sad thoughts out of my head and let me get a painting finished.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

click image to enlarge

'Brian' 2002
20" x 24"
acrylic on canvas
private collection, Tucson, Az

In 2002 I came across a photo of Brian onstage in early 1997 opening up for 'Three Dog Night" and thought it would make a neat portrait.

Brian has been a local Tucson musician since 1969... in a variety of great bands including... Hobbitt, Aftermath, Hit and Run, Tunesmith, Trilogy, The Billy Shears Band, Raven and his current band, Still Cruisin'.

Still Cruisin' plays almost every weekend at a variety of local venues. 
Visit  to see their upcoming event schedule and if you get a chance, come out to one of the shows. Lots of great folks gathered together in clubs, having fun, dancing, visiting, and groovin' with a pict!

I am working on several paintings right now, but none are quite ready to post on this blog so I decided to repost this portrait of Brian. The original blogpost was in 2008.  A lot of visitors don't have the time to browse my blog archives, so I will occasionally dust off one of my favorites, and feature it again.

I have been working on "Peace~Richie and Me" and making great progress. I hope to have that one done and pictures posted with in a week or two. I am also working on a new 'Tall Tree' painting as I sold "Cherry Trees" this week. And last, but not least, I have started another 'whole new style' painting, one that is really making this hard to please artist quite happy. Can't wait to share at least one of these new works with you in the next week. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this encore of my 'Brian' portrait.

Friday, September 17, 2010

click image to enlarge

"The Girl" 2010 ©
This one's not for sale, but I can do a custom portrait for you.

Yippee! 'The Girl' is finally finished!

I finished it a few days ago, but couldn't post it as my camera was giving me fits, misbehaving and such, making the colors untrue and absolutely yukky while also distorting the canvas perspective.

I finally decided maybe I should read the camera's manual (just kidding). I've spent enough hours in that manual to know that this isn't the right camera for shooting these over-sized art works. It was a gift from Brian and it takes great everyday photos and videos, but isn't so great for shooting some of my artwork.

I did find a fix while reading the manual that helped with the color problems I was having. And I found a hint on Google to turn the canvas sideways to help with the distortion issue. Surprisingly, that helped, although I don't have a clue why...perhaps it was just a coincidence that I finally lined the canvas and camera up precisely correct when the canvas was sideways. Coincidence or not, I'm just glad it finally worked. I was getting quite frustrated. Someday, I will get a camera that's better suited for my needs, but for now, I will work with the one I have. I'm afraid to start the research on camera shopping and even more afraid of what a good camera will cost. Pretty sure that will be a scary number.

Happily, as I was at the absolute edge of my attention span on this painting, it took only a few more hours at the easel to complete. That included getting the sides painted black and hanging hardware installed.

If you compare photos of the 'work in progress' from last week's blog post to the completed piece, you will see subtle differences, mostly in her hair and jewelry. I also warmed her skin tones with a glaze of titanium white/speck of cadmium orange mix.

       work in progress                       completed portrait

click to enlarge

I am excited to add this new style to my portraiture repertoire. Just in case you may be interested in having a portrait done in this bold, modern style, I think I will have an introductory price of one like this on a 22" x 28" canvas for only $500. The first step is simple. Email me at and we'll get started.

Note: I have safely shipped completed paintings to clients all over the United States.
Client pays shipping, but that's usually less than $50. Heck, if the shipping costs more than $50, I'll cover the extra expense, so for all you folks in Maine or Florida (I'm in AZ), this deal's for you!

Friday, September 10, 2010

click image to enlarge

"The Girl" 2010
not for sale

~a work in progress~

I had so hoped to have this done by now. But once again, studio time took a back seat to life's requests. So, I will finish tomorrow (in a perfect world). My goal was to get the finished painting posted this evening, but this work in progress will have to do. I also want to give this to The Girl, whom I will see tomorrow. She is an amazing subject, absolutely stunning.

It is 90% done.  Her hair is blocked in, but not finished and there are still a few things (skin, jewelry and such) that need fine tuning, but it's close enough to post as a work in progress.

I am pleased with the results of this one. Once I get her hair and skin done, she will look even better! 

This was supposed to be a one day painting, but that plan got sidetracked again  I guess if you added up all the hours I've spent on this one, it's actually closer to a two day painting, spread out over 3 days. I've got about 12 hours into it so far and I successfully balanced hubby, friends, family and home time with painting. Yippee!

Once again, since this was a brand new style, I played around with different ideas, painting over the stuff I didn't like, which added to easel time.

I used a regular photo of the girl, playing with colors and style, trying to make it dramatic. It sort of reminds me of a comic book character. I think this might become a popular style.

I am excited to add this new style to my portraiture repertoire. 

I'm also excited my painting a day goal, though not reached, did once again get me back in the studio painting. 

So, for now, I think I will continue to be happy with a painting a week. :O)

Friday, August 27, 2010

click image to enlarge

"Colorado Dreaming" 2010
Gelson collection, Baltimore, MD
My very first Daily Painting. Done in a day and a half. Yippee!  

For your viewing pleasure, this brand new Daily Painting combines my love of Colorado and fall's changing leaves, with my longtime affection for old VW micro buses.  

" An artist must find peace with selfishly, sometimes, letting the fences go unmended." ~Jenna Millward Corkill ©

I once asked my friend and painter, Carl Rice Embrey, how he found time to paint. First of all, he's definitely not producing a painting a day. His masterpieces sometimes take 800 hours. I can't even wrap my head around that! For one thing, my AAADD* would never let me work on a single canvas for 80 hours, let alone 800. My head would explode! But, thank goodness, Carl can do it.

His beautiful paintings regularly sell for 5 figures. He paints rural Texas, especially in and around a little town called Hamilton. His detail is phenomenal, his paintings are amazing!

Carl told me you have to stop worrying about mending the fences. I guess what this old Texan was saying is you have to be OK with letting the chores go sometimes, to indulge your artistic nature.

 I follow a few artist's blogs that astound me with their ability to produce a painting a day. 

A painting a day! Really? How do they do it?

For one thing, they're making time to paint, and the lucky ones, who can finish a painting in just a few hours, don't struggle at all with a painting a day. For others who, like me, don't paint as quickly, we sometimes have to let a few chores, a few fences go unmended,  if we want to get a painting done start to finish in one day.

So a few days ago, I challenged myself to try a one day painting. Get in there and stay in there 'til done. "Colorado Dreaming" was the result of this challenge. OK, it took a wee bit more than a day (an extra hour on day two), but it was fun, and I finished.

So, I'm thinking this painting a day idea might be a way for me to learn how to balance studio with home. An exercise of sorts on being a bit selfish for painting's sake, on being OK with letting a few chores go unattended for a day. Finding a balance. A way to give my painting my undivided attention on a regular basis. I don't expect that I'll be finishing a painting a day, but I'm sure I'll be painting more. And who knows, I might surprise myself.

Wish me luck!

AAADD* - Age Acquired Attention Deficit Disorder :O)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

" Do not take for granted, each opportunity to stop and smell a rose."
~ Jenna Millward Corkill

click image to enlarge

"Forever Autumn"1997
Detail of 22" round Art Glass Panel
178 glass pieces...with small faceted Topaz jewels in flower's circular center.

I have fallen in love with my studio again.

Two years ago, I lost my sense of smell. Suddenly. Completely.
The cause could have been a side effect of a nasty med I had taken for a stomach issue at the time, or my chronic sinusitis. No telling, but after that first scentless year, I sadly resolved myself to the fact that it was probably gone for good.

Gone for good!? My sense of smell!
The, makes food taste better and, lets you know when the dog needs a bath, sense? Forever lost, the smells that trigger a sense of well being, happiness, warm memories? Fresh coffee brewing, cookies baking, a favorite soap, a freshly bathed baby, the smell of glazing dap and paint? Yep, gone, along with all of life's other little aroma therapies I now desperately wished I hadn't taken for granted. Yep, it was gone, and after two years of not being able to smell anything, I figured, definitely gone for good.

unexpectedly, about two months ago, I caught a brief whiff of my morning coffee brewing! It was fleeting, but I definitely smelled it! Delicious! Through out that week, other scents would surprise me briefly and I began to cautiously hope that maybe, just maybe, the mysterious loss of smell might just as mysteriously, be coming back.

Happily, now almost everyday, I notice a new smell that I'd thought was lost forever.

Yesterday, when I walked into my studio, one of those long lost favorite smells was waiting for me. Glazing dap! Paint! Turpentine! That unique, blended, workshop smell that an Art Glass/Painting studio developes over time. Delicious! Dizzying! Heaven!

And a perfect reason to feature one of my Art Glass panels and my studio today.

My studio is a good size, 14' x 18', with half of it occupied by my art glass... 3 work benches, several glass storage bins filled with small to good size sheets of glass, tools, light tables and such. I haven't worked on any new art glass in the last 6 years, but I can't seem to bring myself to say I'm done with that form of expression. If and when I do, I'll have a heck of a painting studio, with tons of room, but for now I'm OK with being a little cramped in here.

I simply love the smell of my cozy studio and every single time I walk back in there, I feel peaceful... and thankful, for the gift of smell, which I will never take for granted again.

click image to enlarge

This photo shows the amazing glow that my art glass panel "Forever Autumn", produces when the afternoon sun begins to set behind it... the entire studio is filled with brilliant red, orange and gold is truly breathtaking and one of my favorite times of day to be in my studio. If you look closely at my easel you can see I was working on 'NIGHT NIGHT LITTLE SIS' at the time I took this picture.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

click image to enlarge

"Aurora Borealis"2005
Stork collection, Klamath Falls, Oregon

One of my abstract adventures. I really love the colors on this and I sure enjoyed having this one hanging around before it sold.

I could look at it for long periods of time and see different things each time.
I mostly got lost in slices of mini ocean sunsets, but sometimes I saw a colorful woven blanket, folded roman shade like.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

click image to enlarge

"Cabo San Lucas"2004
Private collection, Tulsa, OK

"Nature is a revelation of God; Art a revelation of man."
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Saturday, August 7, 2010

click on image to enlarge

"Peace~Richie and Me"

~A work in progress~

My brother Richard came to visit from Durango last week. He comes down a couple of times a year and we just play and have fun the whole time he's here.

He's 9 years older than me and in 1966, when he was just 21 years old, he petitioned the courts of Dade County, Florida to become the legal guardian of both me (12 yrs old) and my little brother, Geoff (11 yrs old), rescuing us from what would probably have been many more years in Kendall, Florida's state run home for children. Our parents were hopeless alcoholics, and couldn't care for us, so the state stepped in when we were little and placed us in the dependent section of Kendall. We were there 6 years before Richie was able to get custody of us.

He's not just my brother, but a papa of sorts. I can't thank him enough for the sacrifices he made at such a young age to take on the likes of Geoff and me. We were a lot to handle and he was awesome to take on the task. I will never be able to thank him enough.

This painting is taken from an old snapshot of me sitting on his shoulders the week I turned 18 in February 1972. I'm shooting a couple of peace signs, but it sort of looks like I'm giving him rabbit ears. I am also pleased that captured for posterity will be my favorite shirt with the peace sign zipper pull, and Richard's flowered shirt. Our clothes back then were so cool! Funny, it's all back in style now.

I am once again using the Indian Yellow/Thio Violet wash technique seen in 'Tornado Road', 'View from a VW', and 'First Lesson'.

I really think most of the painting is done, except the skin tones. They are still just under- painted. I will bring out more of our features as I brighten our skin tones to the proper shades seen under full sunlight. I've also got a bit more to do on our clothes, but they're close.

I am going to leave quite a bit of this painting rough. I am liking the abstract quality of the sky and trees and although it looks unfinished, I like it. I also like how the warm washed canvas is peeking though, leaving a neat glow around my hair and our clothes. I'm not changing it. I'm thinking the rough sketched look of the background will be a neat contrast to the bit more finished look of Richie and me. We'll see. I may change my mind, but for now, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :O)

I'm hoping to find time to finish this painting next week. Let me know by a click on the 'like it' button below if you're following this one, and I'll make it a point to stay on task. I am so easily distracted by other things, but perhaps your interest will help get this finished.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

click image to enlarge

"Glorious Gloriosa"2006
Unframed, sides painted black, hanging hardware installed, ready to hang.
$900  Fall special sale- now only $475
$50 US shipping via USPS Priority Mail, delivered to your door within a week.
($100 International shipping, delivery times vary)
Contact me at with any questions.

Wake up your walls!

Contemporary fun! Dramatic, bold! I love zooming in for a closer look at a flower's center. There's a wonderful symmetry to be found there. This oversized flower is sure to make a statement in any room and the warm fall colors are perfect for this time of year. Painted with many layers of colored glazes including rust, red, orange, gold and purple, this is a beautiful painting.

I have mixed feelings about selling this painting, as I've really enjoyed having it hanging around these last few years. It's looked great in our living room but I guess now it's time for someone else to enjoy it.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"You see what you want to see,
and you hear, what you want to hear."~Harry Nilsson

Thursday, July 15, 2010

click image to enlarge

"C/1995 01 (Hale-Bopp)"2005
Corbin collection, Medford, Oregon

A whimsical minimalist painting I did in early 2005.
I made the sky huge in comparison to our small comet watchers to try to portray the vastness of our universe.

I have a photo of the Hale-Bopp comet over the Arizona desert when it was most visible one night... and I had always wanted to paint it. I wanted that painting to somehow convey the feeling of wonder I felt and still feel when I look at the stars in our big, beautiful night sky.
Looking through the telescope, I am humbled by how vast our universe is and how small we really are.

The mysterious Hale-Bopp comet won't be back around again for another 2387 years.

For this painting, to simulate glowing stars, I applied tiny chips of a material that duplicates a phenomenon know as diffraction, the same phenomena that makes the 3-D rainbow colors in a hologram. The sky was painted with many layers of transparent colored glazes, each layer getting some chips (stars). The comet is also made from these holographic chips. The result is a shimmering, starry sky with beautiful depth, that changes as the viewer moves around. Photos
can't do this painting justice.

Close up of the comet watchers.

click image to enlarge

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

a new look
My regular visitors to this blog will notice it's new look... for one thing, I've decided to start capitalizing letters again that are supposed to to be, capitalized....I'm not even sure why I stopped capitalizing, I just started doing it one day and the (bad) habit stuck for a few years. I am also using a new blog template. I like the soft green color.

Regular visitors have noticed that I haven't posted anything new since January of this year. ....well, that's about to change too as I'm headed back into the studio after taking a bunch of time off from painting to explore other things that interest me.

Painting is just one part of my life and it had once again taken a back seat while I nurtured those other interests... like my music... my garden.... and my family.

But even when I'm not painting, I'm thinking about painting, inspired by things in my everyday life that I know will make great subjects once I return to the studio... I've been taking photos... jotting down notes... and studying the colors and shapes of this beautiful world. All done knowing that, once I dust off my brushes, I'll have some exciting new ideas to explore.

Two things that have been continually beckoning me to paint them during this hiatus have been The Girl and the guitar... that's all I'll say for now... I'll let the paintings speak for themselves as they are posted.

Oh, and some of the works in progress from previous posts will get revisited, with a few of them hopefully getting finished once the brushes get wet again.

I think it might be interesting (for other *AAADD's like myself) to see the many incarnations some of my paintings go through. I try not to give up on a painting just 'cause it loses my attention.... but I will stop working on that painting until I get a new idea that excites me to continue. I get the best results when I'm enthusiastic about what I'm doing. Consequently, the look some of my painting's start out with, is vastly different from where they end up. This said, I think now would be a good time to add a photo of where the tornado painting is right now. It was the subject of my post in January, and it doesn't look anything like it did then. It's not finished yet, and who knows what the final painting will look like, but I'm telling myself it's not always the destination, but the journey, that counts. So far, Tornado Road has been the one less traveled, but fun, nonetheless. It's certainly turning out to be more colorful than I anticipated.

"Tornado Road"- a work in progress
I've added opaque shades of blues and violets over the warm Indian Yellow/Thio Violet washed under painting. I think greens and yellows will be next but that will depend on which one of my personalities shows up at the easel.

Note- I add labels to these posts, so to follow the progress of a particular work in progress, use the label feature at the bottom of this post, or the links found in the margin on the right.

*AAADD-Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder :O)

Friday, January 22, 2010

tucson tornado watch
last night tucson was under a tornado watch... highly unusual for us... actually i can't remember ever being under a tornado watch before... and i've lived here since 1971.

i am excited about this new style of painting i'm exploring.... the indian yellow/thio violet wash over a painted sketch.... i have used it on the last two paintings i've done and really liked the resulting little patches of that underpainted warm glow left peeking out here and there.

while painting these last few weeks, i kept glancing around at the half dozen or so paintings in various stages of completion surrounding me in the studio... bigguns and little uns, all abandoned because i wasn't excited about what was happening on the canvas.... it's not unusual for me to put aside a canvas that's not working...could this new style work to bring them back to life?

several of those unfinished canvases kept catching my attention ... they looked like perfect candidates for this new warm wash underpainting i am playing with, even though they were a bit beyond a painted sketch... the biggest drawback was that they already had color on them... and the warm IY/TV wash would look dull over the existing blues on these canvases.... any existing warm and white areas would be just fine with this glaze over them.

this morning i went into my studio and picked up a painting i had started several years ago... a landscape with a tornado about to skip across a rural caught my eye...hmmm....wonder why? ......decided it was the one to be reworked with the warm glazed underpainting.

this old tornado painting needed to be readied for the IY/TV glaze underpainting.....kind of creating an underpainting for an underpainting... not something i usually do, but if this works, maybe those other lonely ole paintings might finally have some attention paid to them too.

unfortunately i forgot to take a photo of this painting as it has looked for over a year, tucked away in a corner of my studio. was simply a very rough washed had some dark details with washes of ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson in the sky...the road and fields were washed in warm siennas.

as shown above, i decided to block in white over any areas of blue, to remove as much blue hue as possible reasoning was orange over blue = mud... and i don't want a muddy sky... i also dry brushed white over most of the canvas to soften all the other colors.... i like to see the little canvas nubs created when a dry brush of paint is dragged over it. ....i'm thinking, these little white dots will also become warm when the IY/TV wash is added... of course, this may not work in the real world, but nothing ventured, nothing gained... i mean, after all, this painting has been waiting quite a while to come back to life.

a small hint of blue did still remained after several quick layers of white... but not much, so after letting those layers dry thoroughly, i applied the wash....when i need a layer to dry quickly, i will often times use a blow dryer to speed up the process....can you believe i sometimes need acrylic paint to dry even faster than it does naturally.

here it is with the wash... kinda neat... next session i'll start blocking in the opaque colors, and bring out details, making sure i leave this wash here and much i leave showing will depend on what the painting tells me to leave...i envision the finished work an abstract landscape.... bringing it to life should be FUN!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

click on photos to enlarge

'view from a vw' 2010
private collection, Tucson, Az

i occasionally work with a local faux artist, janie mccourt, when one of her clients needs a custom artpiece... she came to me with a couple of photos and an idea... her client was having a custom shadowbox made to hide their wall mounted tv when they weren't watching it... they needed a two panel painting that would slide open when they wanted to watch tv... when closed, it would look like a framed artwork... i haven't seen the shadowbox, but i understand it's pretty neat... janie supplied the canvas supports for the painting, 2 custom sized somewhat rigid 20" x 23" panels... the main reference photo was one the client had taken of a favorite spot in our beautiful desert... combined with another photo of theirs they'd taken of a glowing tucson sunrise.

"sure", i said.... "two days?" ...."no problem."

what the heck was i thinking!!??.....obviously a momentary lapse of reason on my part... i've rarely painted anything in two days, (except for my more abstract adventures)... and i'd only done a handful of paintings in 2009...this was a pretty big canvas too.

janie and her clients were quite accommodating with my request for a bit more time...and a mere week later, a 'view from a vw' was delivered... yep, that's what i'm calling it, 'cause there was this one rock that kept looking like a vw microbus no matter what i did to it...of course, once i saw it as a microbus, that was it (have i mentioned my OCD)... i kept trying to make it look like just a rock (whatever that is?) until i finally decided to embrace that rock's 'microbus' resemblance and be ok with it..., go on......look at it see it too ... it's that whimsical westfalia rock....don't ya love it! ( it also looks a bit like a hedgehog, or a silverstream trailer, but i went with vw microbus 'cause i'm a bit obsessed with them)... i could have completely changed it's shape, but the client wanted that spot painted and that spot has that rock, and that rock is what it is, so. :O)

reference photos

on my last blogpost, i mentioned this 'new' style i'm currently playing with... Indian Yellow/Thio Violet washed over painted sketch......used it again with this painting and i know it probably had something to do with the extra time needed.... i could have probably finished a few days earlier if i had done this in one of my more familiar styles, but then, what fun would that be?..... i actually was able to discover some neat new canvas magic playing with this.

clockwise from top left are a few 'work in progress' shots.

black and white painted sketch.... Indian Yellow/Thio Violet wash...and a few showing the sky and mountain colors going on... i let bits of the warm underpainting show on the edges of stuff here and there.

an alternate title i considered was "ocoti!!o" because of that 'in your face' fellow in the foreground... client's wanted it included to sort of camouflage the seam between the two panels when closed.

if you have a photo of a favorite spot that you want painted, you can contact me at ....i also do house portraits....and people portraits...and pet portraits.... and.... well, you get the idea.

Friday, January 15, 2010

click images to enlarge

"first lesson"2009
private collection, Tucson, AZ

i am still a self-taught artist.... no formal training yet unless you count the one 'arts and rec' painting class i took in 1980.... i have learned quite a bit from books, but most of my learning has been at the easel, trying this, experimenting with that, painting over THAT, trying it again... painting over it..... AGAIN... chasing that bright, elusive ???....(butterfly of love)

sometimes, clouds clear, stars align and the painting gods help me make sense of the bits of book learning stuff which may have actually stuck to my attention challenged grey cells... composition, perspective, and color mixing knowledge align with the hands on experience gleaned from many painting experiments... and... something clicks... not even the (challenging) physics of acrylic paint hold me back and i finish up with a painting i like more than most.....acrylic paint...really? can it dry any faster? how 'bout painting with it while living in the DESERT? ...can you say ARIDzona.

thankfully, after several months of not putting a single brush stroke on canvas, i was able to pick up my brushes and produce this latest portrait.... it is easily one of my favorites.... as well as being a portrait, it can stand alone as a figurative painting, a direction i really want to take with my future portrait commissions whenever possible... you can appreciate this little father son moment forever captured on canvas even though you don't know them personally.

i'm experimenting with a new painting style, again!... this short attention span brain of mine seems to need constant stimulation so i'm always trying out new ideas... this sort of explains the diversity of styles seen in my finished multiple personality disorder also plays a part :O) .

right now, over a painted rough sketch, i'm playing with brushing the entire canvas with an Indian Yellow, Thio Violet wash... i want bits and pieces of that warm glow to peek out here and there as i add layers of paint to the canvas..

the single reference photo for this portrait can be seen just above the painting... this was a cell phone photo so the quality left something to be desired, but i like the moment captured so much, i decided to use it anyway...i made a cropped copy of the baby's face to help with detail along with a black and white enlargement to help me with values... click on the finished portrait above to see bits of the warm glow i let peek out here and there all over the painting... created kind of an aura... i like it.

just breathe

heard this song for the first time last week while i was LIVING in my studio trying to complete what was supposed to be a two day painting.... it took 7, but was worth it... i think it was day 5 when this song snuck into the studio... it coincided with a bit of magic that was happening on the canvas....a goosebump moment, head to toe.

eddie vedder's voice on this reminds me a lot of brad roberts from 'crash test dummies'.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

a question of balance

"Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some."~ Robert Fulgram

Where did last year go?'s a blur.

My studio and painting took a back seat for sure.... I only listed one new painting in my Ebay store... for lots of reasons.

I got more organized... went through years of life's paper scraps and souvenirs... got the VHS transferred to DVD... worked on organizing a lifetime of photos.

I spent time stretching my creative muscles on home projects....wall murals, carpentry and sewing.... I started and more importantly, finished, numerous things I'd been thinking about doing for years.

I spent lots of time with my musical interests... I played bass more... and I watched my husband make music.... his band played A LOT and I was at every gig....he really is an amazing singer and guitar player and watching him perform is one of my favorite things.

Painting can take up a good deal of my time... this time last year, I found that spending more time with Brian was at the top of my new year's wish list.... or at the very least, to spend less time in my studio when he is home... we are not promised tomorrow, and should not take for granted time spent with our loved ones.

The kitchen also took a bigger bite of studio time.... another 2009 goal was to start eating healthier which meant more time in the kitchen fixing 'good for us' food.

A snippet of my 2009 heaven on earth was sitting with Brian, on the couch, a plateful of yummy dinner balanced in our laps, watching all our tevoed telly faves... also his and her's remotes. :0)

But, I missed painting... I missed my studio... more than I thought.

So where the heck am I going with all this?

Well, there are things like the “couch potato evenings” or the "numerous gigs" or the “sharing the same book” stuff that I’ve gotta keep, but spending more time painting is high on my 2010 new year's list.

Because, after all, this is an artblog......I just have to find a balance. :O)
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"There are days when I feel I could've painted the Sistine Chapel and, then, there are the days when I'm not sure I could trace a stick figure.... the only difference between these days is my state of mind"~ Jenna Millward Corkill