Sunday, November 8, 2015


[note: this painting was painted and post drafted at the very beginning of October, when I innocently thought I might have some control over the pace and content of my days … and month. Ha! Posting now with a chuckle!]


Streams merging:

1. Now that summer has ended, whoa! Have had to rethink how I'll arrange my pursuits and responsibilities into a workable and enjoyable fall schedule. September had me hopping like crazy. Thought I might like to frame my painting life for October as 31-31-31, i.e. 31 paintings in 31 days, no more than 31 minutes per day. Thought the 31-minutes limit would honor my intense desire to paint every day without letting everything else go to hell in a hand basket. Wondered what I might paint.

2. During September's 30-Paintings-in-30-Days Challenge I met (online) and corresponded with artist Laurie Mueller—whose paintings I LOVE! I asked her for ideas to move me along in my understanding and application of color values. She generously suggested the exercise of painting over magazine photos with only white, black, and gray.


For starters, what a hoot to pick up Cosmo and Self at Stop & Shop on October 1.

Then, what great fun to follow Laurie's recommendation. The exercise was engaging, it took me under 31 minutes, and—dare I say it?—it was illustrative.

Plenty to learn here. Can't wait to do my next study.

values exercise 1
reference 1


  1. Thank you for the recognition, Dotty!
    I'm so glad you found this exercise valuable. I just finished the fall term of teaching and I will share this entry with my students, who might really enjoy it. They also did the magazine/values exercise and I think would agree it makes you see and recognize the values. I give all the credit to Kyle Martin, whose workshop I attended and where I first learned about this (he is one of my favorite artists!). And this group, by the way, was so full of enthusiasm, talent, and fun, that for me, I couldn't have enjoyed it more! Thanks for sharing this. Great job, Dotty!

  2. Laurie, glad you saw this post. Thanks for the mention of Kyle Martin; I plan to look him up. I'm still bummed that I couldn't teletransport myself to be in your class. More values exercises to come (all from way back in early October when I thought I'd be carrying out my 31-31-31 self-challenge).

  3. Again, I think these studies are really good. They open my eyes actually for my own painting. No idea yet how this works for my more abstract painting.

  4. Not only do I have little to no idea how values studies will work for my abstract painting, but also I have only slightly more of an idea how the studies will work for my more realist painting, since I've done barely any such painting for weeks now. We can explore together!

  5. Yes! I might try out some black and white paintings in the time to come. But first I have to buy white!!! ;-)

  6. I can't imagine being without white, although I hear tell that some folks don't keep white in their palette.