This last summer provided me with some interesting artistic challenges. I spent a delightful week with former students landscape painting in the mountains of Montana, and as always, that increased my respect for true landscape painters. People tend not to believe me when I say that painting a face is a lot easier than painting a tree, but it's true in many ways.
When I got home it was such a relief to have some inside painting to do, and this summer I tackled a fun project. At our lake cabin we replaced two of the old wood doors with new insulated metal doors. Since we had a limited budget, I decided to paint them to look like the much more expensive wood doors. After an initial disastrous attempt with house paints I realized that my oil paints would give me total control. Using Liquin as a medium sped up the drying process, and I had a wonderful time simulating wood and adding the "flaws" that made the doors look like older wood. The success of my project came when my son Peter did not notice that anything had changed until I asked how he liked my latest paintings!
For my other son, Thomas, I painted a 9x12 still life of garlic for his 30th birthday and sent it Priority Mail so that it would reach him in time. It arrived in San Francisco 3 days before his birthday, and hasn't been seen since! Six weeks later it still has not been delivered. I've promised him a new painting if it never comes.