Category Archives: Process

Online Class in July: Simplified Forms: Methods for Oil Painting

It’s never simple to keep things simple- especially when you are talking about painting complex forms. Translating your ideas into paint and getting them down on canvas simply requires mastery of skills and materials. It also requires focus and good painting habits.

In this weekly class, we will discuss limits and how they offer a way to organize your paintings and thought process. The focus will be on direct painting and specific methods to help you short-circuit the overthinking brain. For more information or to register, please visit the Penn Studio School website. … Read more ...

Layered Moments: Painting the Still Life

I’m happy to share that my first video course, Layered Moments: Painting the Still Life, is available! This was a labor of love and I did my best to share some of the ways in which I work to create a painting. Filmed in my own studio, this offers a glimpse into my process as I work from life to paint two different floral arrangements. When the course launches in June, I’ll be offering comments and feedback in a private Facebook group. I hope some of you will join me.

For more information, please visit the Kara Bullock Art SchoolRead more ...

exhibition news

Secret Place Featured in The Woodmere Annual:
79th Juried Exhibition Seeing the Story

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secret place, 10×10″ (NFS)

Stories are a staple of life; they let us see ourselves. They unfold over time, from the briefest moment to the fullness of a lifetime.​

– David Wiesner

Woodmere’s annual juried exhibition, Seeing the Story, highlights contemporary work in a wide variety of media by artists living within fifty miles of the museum. This year’s juror, David Wiesner, has selected works of visual, narrative art.

The exhibition will be on view June 5, 2021 through August 29, 2021. For more information, please … Read more ...

exhibition news

oil painting of pink geranium in antique bottle

I am pleased to share that “Pink geranium,” 8×10″, was given the Award in Memory of Gus, Grace and Ty in the Phillips’ Mill 90th Annual Art Exhibition in New Hope, PA. Open daily 1-5 p.m. Sept. 21 – Oct. 27. I will be the visiting artist at Phillips’ Mill on Saturday, Sept. 21, 1 – 3 p.m.

The Phillips’ Mill juried art exhibition, long-recognized as the most prestigious art show in the Delaware Valley, holds its exhibit each year in the fall. First held in 1929, the show attracts the best work of hundreds of artists living within a … Read more ...

what do you love?

In my last blog post, I focused on the importance of figuring out what we do well as painters. Another important part of the equation, it seems to me, is what do you love? Painting is about what you love to look at and what kind of art you want to create. As much as I believe that some of it is decided for us, I believe that intent also plays a big part.

flowers bring me joy. “Ladies in milk glass,” 6×8″

a forever painting

A favorite teacher of mine says that you need to paint the painting … Read more ...

what do you do well?

A painter I know asked me one simple question a few months ago that I couldn’t adequately answer. He asked me if I knew what I did well.

This was the first painting I did after circling back to reacquaint myself with the importance of values. I was consciously aware of separating my light and shadow families when I painted this.

It’s a great question and one that I’m still trying to answer for myself. Because I had come to work in a way that was largely intuitive, I couldn’t necessarily break down the parts, so to speak. I knew … Read more ...

Repeating motifs

Yesterday someone asked me why I paint the same things over and over; why I repeat motifs like flowers, vases, my neighbors’ house, and views of my backyard. The short answer is – I repeat motifs because I am not painting things. I aim to focus on the specific aspects of something that make it interesting to me.

small hydrangea, 6×8″

hydrangea, 10×10″
I worked on this larger painting while also working on “small hydrangea.”

I am communicating light and silence and movement and joy and color. A motif is just the vehicle for how to get there.  Painting … Read more ...

Midtones

I’ve been thinking about the importance of midtones lately; how when I analyze what I love about a painting, it is often the beautiful can’t-be-named midtones. Midtones are a favorite topic of mine.


gerber daisies in blue bottle, 6×8″, oil painting on panel. This painting is currently at auction. Click here to bid.

As painters, we know the importance of values, and I won’t pretend to have it all figured out. My own approach is to simplify, to limit, to push the values into groups. But it’s all relative, and the midtones in each painting will be different from … Read more ...

Nothing to lose: taking risks when painting

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about taking risks when painting. In fact, risk-taking has become an integral part of my process. I will wipe out, paint over, glaze, scumble, and do whatever it takes to get at what I’m trying to communicate in a painting. I take risks to grow as a painter and to push past hurdles. Sometimes I ruin a painting in the process, but if the painting was mediocre or unresolved, then I didn’t lose anything.

He has nothing,
thus has nothing to lose.

-Lao tzu, Tao te ching
Read more ...