After a long absence . . .

There’s really no excuse for such a long absence from this blog. Other than I’ve been busy and that a lot of positive changes have happened!

I’ve been studying more, and was able to attend a workshop taught by a wonderful young artist, Adam Clague. I’ve also taken some private lessons with him. His instruction has helped me immeasurably and I’m so grateful to him!

And, I’ve been able to paint a lot more, and work from life a lot more. These are vitally important to an artist’s development.

And lastly, I got myself a new studio! It’s a mess, but was very much needed. One of my friends said that renting this studio has given me more confidence and “seriousness” about my art. I think she’s right.

Well, that’s enough of the updates. Here are a few paintings that I’ve done in the last few months:

“Green Ribbon in Her Hair” oil on panel, 8×8″.

I whine about this painting, but I’m glad it’s done. I was trying to apply many of the things I’ve learned under Adam Clague’s tutelage. I realize that there’s much more to learn. I had fun with this painting, using some Charvin brand paint (with a limited palette). I love all the variety of colors available from Charvin.


“Zorn Palette, Jason Aaron Baca” 5×7″ oil on gessobord.

Thank you to Jason Aaron Baca on DeviantArt for the use of the stock photo as reference. Photographer Portia Shao: Model: Jason Aaron Baca

I really enjoyed painting this little study. It was painted entirely with the “Zorn Palette,” a limited palette consisting of only: Vermillion Red (orange-red), Yellow Ochre, Black, and White.

The palette is inspired by Anders Zorn, who is getting a lot of attention from artists lately. (He recently had a big show in San Francisco.) In some of his paintings he focused so much on form and value, as well as temperature (“warm” vs. “cool” colors) that he could get by with just these four colors! The black paint is “cool” (almost blueish) and can substitute for a blue when needed.

You’ll see in the painting above the greenish tints in his 5-o’clock shadow, as well as the background color? All done with these four colors. I mixed the black and yellow together to get the green, and black and white gave me a “cool” grey (which can almost pass for a muted blue) which I used in the background.

The Zorn Palette is awesome. It helps the artist focus on values and shapes and brushwork, without agonizing too much over a myriad of color mixing choices. Sometimes, you don’t need any other colors other than the Zorn four (white, black, red, and yellow!).


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