Tuesday, October 14, 2014

for a friend

Just a fun study for a friend who is going through a rough patch right now. He mentioned how he thought paintings of glass were cool.  Well....how about a glass with a manhattan in it?  This is painted on a 6 x 6 x 2" and is a gift for him.

Monday, October 13, 2014

out of the blue

I am pretty much a loner painter.  I definitely enjoy being with people but I am also very content being by myself.  That being said......I feel like going to Nancy's workshop and hearing some fresh instruction and advice has been a huge benefit to me.  I was reminded of some basic things that are crucial to good painting.  I have mentioned them in my previous posts.  We all need to get out of our comfort zones and seek more knowledge.  You also learn a lot and make new friends from the fellow participants in workshops.
"out of the blue" is painted on an 11 x 14 linen canvas.

Speaking of workshops....I am announcing two upcoming ones at my home.  The first dates are January 10 and 11 and then February 21 and 22.  These are both held on Saturday and Sunday, from 10-4.  You can email me at carolcarmike@att.net for more information.  Something fun to do to brighten up your winter.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


I painted "harmony" specifically for a patron who has bought two other cow mugs from me.  She needed one more to complete the harmony and to be in harmony with the other two.  She is hanging all three together.  They are all 8 x 8 x 2".sold

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, October 10, 2014

apple time

My friend Lynn is going to like this one.  She is a sucker for red.  I have heard that you need to put a little red in every painting.  I don't think I do.
I have been painting mostly from photos lately and have not had time to get back to one of my first loves, still life.  It is hard to fit it in sometimes.  I set up my still lifes so that I can have practice painting from real life.  These apples asked me to paint them so I found some complimentary things to go with them.
I am enjoying using the limited palette that I practiced at Nancy Franke's workshop. This is painted on an 8 x 10" linen panel.sold

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

all by myself

This was my final painting for Nancy Franke's workshop. It is painted on a 16 x 20 x 2" canvas.  One thing she mentioned several times was to look for triangles, X's and Z's in bodies and in compostion.  More interesting. This little guy has lots of those going on and  I think that was the main reason I was drawn to this photograph.  
I am personally drawn to Nancy's work because of her color palette, her loose brush work, and subject matter.  She has more energy and light than almost  anyone I know and that shines through in her work.  I am so happy to have had this opportunity to learn from her again.  She's the bomb.

Below is a picture of Nancy (yellow scarf) and her wannabes. I am the giant on the front left.  Nancy could fit in my back pocket.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


This is my first painting of the second day of Nancy's workshop.  I painted it on an 8 x 8 x 2" canvas. I struggled with the smallness of it.  We talked a lot about striving for your painting to look effortless.  I feel like I achieved that look but let me tell you it was NOT effortless. I almost scraped it several times. I am all about adding some bold strokes at the end of a painting to make it look like I started out that way.
Nancy uses a limited palette. ultramarine blue, cad red medium, cad yellow light or lemon, titanium white.  Now and then she uses a "short cut" color like yellow ochre.  One of my favorite colors! Good for warmer skin tones.  Oh yeah, now and then she uses cerulean blue.  I typically use lots of short cut colors but I used her palette for the workshop.  I am so pleased with the results that I may stick to it for a while.  I mixed cad yellow and cerulean to get the bright swim tube in the painting.

Monday, October 6, 2014

fancy free

One of the wonderful things about painting children is being able to capture them before they develop hang ups about how they look.  Before they realize that they have frizzy hair, a big nose or a crooked smile.  Children are so carefree and confident.  That is what Nancy Franke captures in her children studies.  You can add to that carefree attitude through your use of loose brushwork and less detail.  Nancy quote worth repeating, "saying a lot with as little as possible." !!!!  Okay....it is not easy.  It is a process that you get to after working very hard.  I painted much tighter when I started out but I knew where I wanted to go and kept at it.  Another thing Nancy said is that when you are having trouble, go to a larger brush.  What!!???  Yes!

This foot loose and fancy free girl is painted on an 11 x 14 x 2" and was the second painting I did at the workshop.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


 I mentioned in yesterday's post that I had just returned from doing a workshop with Nancy Franke in Nashville.  It was so much fun and enlightening that I will share a few of the things I found helpful over the next few posts.  I painted a total of four paintings over the two days and the one above is my first. It is painted on a 20 x 20 x 2" senso , clear acrylic primed canvas.
 We talked a lot about capturing the essence of children by portraying their attitude and getting their proportions right.  She reminded us that child figures are divided  down into four, pretty equal sections.  The head and neck taking up the top section.  Look at some of your own photos and see if this rule does not hold true.  It is a great tool.
She stresses the importance of using simple shapes, clear values, lively brushwork and surface paint texture.  She preaches," saying a lot with as little as possible."  Amen sister!
Nancy is an inspiration to me in many ways.  I will gush on about her during the next few posts.  Below is a picture of Nancy painting her first demo.  One of the things she does that makes me laugh is that when she gets excited talking about things, she kicks her leg back.  She still has a lot of cheer leader going on.

Saturday, October 4, 2014


Tucker looks a little tuckered. And cute!  He belongs to my favorite cousin's ( I have 12 other favorites) husband .  My other favorite cousin's wife commissioned me to paint it for my favorite cousin's husband. All of my other favorite cousins and their spouses were either jealous of the gift or felt bad that they did not think of it.  Happy 60th Larry!!!

I just returned from a wonderful workshop with Nancy Franke.  You have lots of reasons to be jealous. First off, it was held in Nashville and I got to stay in my friends beautiful home. Secondly, Jeannie Smith of Warehouse 521, hosted the workshop and there were lots of great and nice artists there.  Thirdly, and most importantly.....Nancy Franke was our teacher/ friend for two days.  I will say more about that and share pictures tomorrow.
Oh yeah, incredible artist and nice person, Ann Blair Brown stopped by to chat.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Rhemi belongs to a college friend of mine and his wife.  They have or have had many dogs but Rhemi is extra special to her so he surprised her with a painting of Rhemi for their anniversary. I bet he just earned a lot of brownie points.    Husbands can never accumulate enough of them.
She is painted on an 11 x 14 x 2" canvas.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

i go back

Guess what song was playing when I posted this?  I promise I will not continue naming paintings for the song that is playing on my computer but.....how many names can I come up with for roosters?  Or cows? This painting title was inspired by Kenny Chesney's song, " I go Back".  This is painted on a 6 x 6 x 2" canvas.sold

Monday, September 22, 2014

gone to Carolina

Guess what song was playing as I was posting this?  I could listen to that song morning, noon and night.  Not sure what it has to do with this cow. This is painted on a 6 x 6 x 2" canvas.sold

Saturday, September 20, 2014


What a pleasure to get to paint this beautiful dog.  Scout belongs to one of my friend's sons.  The painting was a surprise birthday gift.  Scout is painted on an 8 x 10 x 2" canvas.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2014


This was a demo I did today for the Mt Brook Art Association.  It is painted on an 18 x 18 x 2" canvas.  We are fortunate to have a great association of artists with lots of diverse talent.  It is a little intimidating painting in front of other established artists but they were very patient with me.  I just do what I do.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

dazed and confused

This cow looks a bit dazed and confused and that is kind of the way I feel after returning from a visit to see my son who lives in Chicago.  I returned yesterday and today I think I finally feel rested enough to get back to work.  I did not waste a minute while I was there.  

Clint and his mama.
Below is the view from his bedroom window. I know because he gave up his bed to Dan and me.

A view of the city from the Lincoln Park zoo. 

I walked ALL over the city including along Lake Michigan.  It was a beautiful day and the water was a gorgeous turquoise.

The amphitheater at Millennium 

I visited the Art Institute of Chicago and discovered a new artist that I was not familiar with.  One of my favorite paintings in the museum.  The "shoe shop" by Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones.  I just ordered a book about her.  "Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones, the artist who lived twice"

Another favorite by John Singer Sargent.  Amazingly beautiful.  

A view of the city from inside the museum.  

Friday, September 12, 2014

little hereford

I love the color contrast on herefords.  This one is painted on an 8 x 8 x 2" canvas.

Have a great weekend.  

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Painting cows makes me so happy.  If I had a cow I would name her Gracie.  This is painted on an 8 x 8 x 2" canvas.sold

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


I liked the odd marking on this cow.  "pearl" is painted on an 8 x 8 x 2" canvas.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

the end

 No more chicks!  The fun has worn off. Whose idea was it to paint chicks for 30 days anyway?

 I like the way the look together.  I tried to keep the same color palette.  Some smart person should buy all of them while they have the chance.  They are $85.00 each.
I will still be painting every day.  JUST NOT CHICKS!

Monday, September 8, 2014


 This is my day 8 of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.  Letter "g" of the alphabet so I chose "graze".  Kind of boring but maybe it works.

Below are pictures from the workshop I held at my studio this weekend.  We had a great group and I hope everyone took away some new tips to improve their painting.  I am sorry for the poor quality of the images of some of their paintings.  The light was not very good when I took them.

 I did not intend to make some of these paintings larger than others.  Just the luck of the draw in how I put them up to photograph.

My Mom made these cookies for our dessert.  She bent a can to form the palette and used a small top to make the finger hole.  Pretty creative.

Saturday, September 6, 2014


"fred" was the painting I demonstrated this morning for my workshop.  The title had to be start with the letter "F" and Fred was suggested.  I like it .  Simple, like I tried to keep this chick.  This is painted on a 6 x 6 x 2" canvas.

My wonderful workshop participants are pictured below.  Great group of ladies with lots of talent and enthusiasm.  I even had a dog all the was from Switzerland at the workshop. Perrito is a bolonka and accompanied his Mom Michelle.  More pictures to come tomorrow.  

Friday, September 5, 2014


Hershey belongs to a friend and patron from Nashville.  She is quite a striking dog.  Very regal looking. I think a crown would look very appropriate. They think she is an Austrailian Shepard/ Retriever mix.  Whatever...a good mix! This is painted on an 11 x 14 x 2" canvas.  I have several dog commissions I will be working on in the next couple of weeks.  I will have to slow down on commission work soon because I have several shows coming up this Fall.


Day 5 of the 30 day challenge and the letter e of the alphabet title.  This chick did not endure in the cup very long.  I may paint her when she was jumping out of it one day.  This is painted on a 6 x 6 x 2" canvas.  I meant to mention before that these are my sister's chicks. They are big chickens now.  They grow so fast.  These were beginning to sprout their wings at the stage I photographed them.

Tomorrow is the first day of my workshop.  Looking forward to meeting some new folks and seeing some repeats again!  I will take some photos during the workshop and share with you.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


JOYfully, G recently commented on my blog about my chick series title situation.  She suggested I go through the alphabet.  My day 2 painting was titled "bowed up".  Strangely enough, before I read her comment I had already titled day 3 chick' s "cheeky".  (insert scary music here) My day 1 was "chick flick" so I am going to change it to "a chick flick" and that is also the title for my 30 day series.

The chick on the right appears to be ducking down and the one on the left looks like she is thinking she might better duck too.  She looks a bit frightened.  It was probably the huge lady lying on the ground and taking their picture. This is painted on a 6 x 6 x 2" canvas.