Thursday, February 18, 2016


                            Roosting Rooster    Pastel |  6x8

What is it about chickens that is so appealing?  Obviously their form and bright colors but there's a fascination I find with their behaviors.  This pose is a classic point in mind - she's contentedly foraging with no mind to what's behind her because he is guarding the roost.  He spends all his time guarding his harem, making sure all the hens are doing his bidding, and quickly going after any intruders. But, having raised hens for several years, I've found that if 'he' is not there, the dominant female will have the same behaviors, right up until a rooster shows up...and then she backs down.  Sound familiar??

Painting notes:  I had a great time painting this rotted haystack; finally, a legitimate excuse to go crazy with my mark making!  What was most appealing to me when I first saw this scene during a neighborhood walk with my husband was the bright colorful hues of the rooster amid all the beige and browns of the rest of the scene.  The rooster lit up the scene like a neon light.  When it came time to paint this, I became equally enamored with the shadows and emphasizing their colors. I could have been more subtle with them but when I sketched it, the shadow patterns became as important darks as the haystack and chicken

Friday, February 5, 2016

TRICKS OF THE TRADE - An all around stain remover for getting your medium off your clothes!

                        Before & After using SOILOVE to get the stains out

SOILOVE STAIN REMOVER - An Artist's Best Friend
Being an artist is not just about creating - like all trades, it's also about how you go about managing the job.  Oil paints in particular are a vexing medium as one seems to leave traces of the medium everywhere in ones life - car doors/trunks, clothes, shoes, carpets, wall and the like.  Thanks to painter friend Debbie Gualco, I learned years ago of this product - SOILOVE. It's a stain remover that is a household staple here in our house.  And above is an example of why it is an artist's Best Friend! On top is Soloove applied to white oil paint that has been on this sweatshirt for over 12 years, washed loads of times and resisted all efforts of other stain removers.  
I applied the liquid, waited about five minutes, then used my fingernail to flick the paint chips off the material. Into the washer and voilĂ  - removed.  We use it for hard stains on jeans and other clothing. Main criteria for what it works on is anything you can then run through the washing machine.  
I use this on pastel stains as well.  I buy it by the two-pack through If you haven't added this to your arsenal, I recommend you try it. Yes, Kiss-off is great too but pretty much relegated to using when it's fresh, IMHO.