Studio stirrings

New acrylic painting on 16" x 20" canvas

New acrylic painting on 16″ x 20″ canvas

Hello art lovers! My involuntary painting sabbatical (aka the “busy season” of my day job) is over….kind of. The studio has been cleaned, which is a glorious thing if you’ve never tried it. You know what I mean. You’re eyeing your nightmare of a craft room as you read this. This piece, which I’ve yet to settle on a title for, marks the beginning of a new painting era for me. Some of my older work from 2008 was created in a looser style like this, with drawing elements like charcoal, watercolor pencil (above, seen in the tree and power lines) and conte crayon. Who knows why I fell down the photorealist-rabbit-hole, but after a few maddening years obsessing over details, I was ready to return to a more evocative, expressive approach. Like an adult getting on a bicycle after decades of absence, I doubted that I would be able to do it, but was pleased to see how easily the movements returned to me with my trusty angle shader (my favorite brush).

This piece was completed just hours before I learned that my father-in-law Bob passed away unexpectedly. In times like these, it’s as if the entire world simply stops. Or rather, the world keeps going as you remain transfixed. It is hard to think of doing anything, and yet, doing something somehow helps, hence this post. Bob was a vibrant person who loved his sons and friends dearly. I have painted several scenes from images collected on a trip we took with him to San Francisco. There are no words to express how deeply this loss has impacted Rob & I. We miss you, Bob.

I have a new painting sketched in, and anticipate rediscovery of art as therapy in this difficult time. As I complete new paintings over the coming months, I look forward to sharing them with you. Thanks for being here.


Hello studio, my old friend

"Industrial Oasis", acrylic on 12" x 16" canvas

Day 307: “Industrial Oasis”, acrylic painting on 12″ x 16″ canvas

I’m on the mend! My throat feels a good deal better, though my voice still has some recuperating to do. I had enough energy to head into the studio for several hours, working on a commission project, the cityscape I started before I got ill, and even a new painting today. This one is from one of my photographs I took on the road somewhere. I enjoy compositions with a smattering of geometric manmade items in a landscape setting, and decided to scale up and start doing some larger pieces to loosen up my painting style again.

In other news, the following woodblocks are still available:

Tower Meadow, Angels Camp, Horse Fence, Rumble, Green, Honey Corn, River House, Pumpkin Patch, Wild Lilac, Grove House and Palm Meadow

I’ll be putting these up for sale on my Etsy shop soon, but want to make sure you guys get first crack at them. They’re $60 each with discounts for purchases of 2, 3 or 4 at a time. If you’re interested, send me an email at or leave a comment here. Thanks!

Day 97: Babushkas

Seeing as how it was a gorgeous day outside, Rob and I decided to take a little trip out to Old Sacramento. There’s this Russian Doll shop there that I’m drawn to. Perhaps it’s my Ukrainian DNA of old that recognizes the charming matryoshkas (had to look that up; my DNA didn’t remember that tongue-twister), or Russian Nesting Dolls/ Babushkas.

I don’t own any and at first I wondered if I could get a blank set of them to paint myself instead of getting a pre-made set. However, after today’s painting (a 12″ x 16″ acrylic on canvas), I really do feel like I hand-painted a full set of these darlings in the actual painstaking tradition of my ancestors. My hand is cramped up and my wrist is complaining, and I’m not even sure how I feel about this painting after all that. I’ll have to sleep on it. Sometimes right when I finish a piece, I’m cranky with it for taking so much out of me and I can’t like it until later. Go figure.

Then again, who can argue with this face? 🙂