September 23, 2014

Doc's Window - Oil on board, 6 by 6 inches

I love the windows in this country, and the way people set up flowers hanging from the windows. They are so pretty and makes a walk in the neighbourhood so worthwhile. These bright red flowers were at the window sill at my doc. I was there waiting a couple of weeks ago, when I thought these flowers looked incredible bathed in the morning light. They just had to be painted. I clicked the window from both sides, so hopefully tomorrow I shall post the view from the "other side" :-)

Doc's Window
Oil on board, 6 by 6 inches
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I painted this one very differently from how I usually do. I generally tend to establish my mid tones first and then go in for the lights and the darks. Today, I laid down all the darks using Burnt Umber and some Grey/Blues. The whole painting took shape almost monochromatic. I then finished it with the flowers. The little spots of Cad Red light were done at the very end. I decided to leave the background as it is, without adding any further detail. It looked finished to me and I did not want to mess it up further. 

September 8, 2014

Lemons and Glass - Original Still Life in Oils

I have always wanted to paint plain glass. To get the transparency and "glass effect" with as minimal strokes as possible is something I find endlessly fascinating. I seek inspiration from several artists who are so good at it. This is my first ever attempt at painting transparent glass. 

Lemons and Glass
Oil on board, 18 by 24 cms (approx. 7 by 9.5 inches)
$75.00 + shipping
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One of the days when I was cleaning my pantry and throwing out unused bottles etc, I thought this one would make good practice to paint glass. I wanted to keep the set up as simple as possible, so did not spend too much time fretting over it. The lemons and my knife being favourite objects, just found their way into the set up.:-) 

September 7, 2014

SOLD - Pomegranates and Silver #2 - Original Still life in Oils

I signed up for the 30 in 30 challenge this month, knowing fully well that I would not be able to paint the first five days. We left India on the 5th early morning and reached here later on the 5th. The house and my mind are in a complete mess, after a month long vacation. To top it, we have school starting tomorrow and had to prepare the kiddo to get back to her routine. We have not yet unpacked everything, but I could manage to squeeze in some time at the easel today. I hope to catch up for the missed days over the coming weekends. 

Pomegranates and Silver #2
Oil on board, 6 by 6 inches
$50.00 + shipping
The other day when I painted these fruits in my mom's kitchen, I had clicked them from another angle. That's what I wanted to paint today. I am happy with how the vessel turned out. If I may add, the photo doesn't clearly show all the variations in the reds. Thank you for looking! 

August 31, 2014

30 in 30, #1 - Pomegranates and Silver, Original Still Life in Oils

I am very very excited to start the second 30 in 30 challenge this year, hosted by Leslie. In January, I was getting back to painting after a two year break. I was extremely rusty and could complete only 11 paintings in 30 days. I was too ambitious on a few days, starting bigger sized paintings that took me more than a day to finish. I am definitely at a better place this time and would aim to do 30 paintings. I am also sticking to the standard size of 6 by 6 inches so that they all look good together. I do not want to waste precious time in deciding what size to paint on. 

I am currently in India visiting family and would get back to Germany only on the 5th. I had planned to paint 5 pieces in advance before I left Germany itself. That never happened, because there was always something else popping up. So I painted these here in India, setting up a very simple still life on my mom's kitchen counter. Pomegranates are subjects that I have never painted before, mainly because they are hardly available in Germany. They are so rare and expensive. This gorgeous and yummy fruit however is abundant in India and these two inspired me to get going today. 

Pomegranates and silver
Oil on board, 6 by 6 inches
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My theme for the challenge would be "A little bit of red". Well not exactly a little bit, sometimes a bit more too :-) I was not very keen on picking a theme, what I intend to focus on instead is specific areas in which I need improvement. I can't wait to see what the others have to post, it's going to be a great month! 

August 19, 2014

Waterlily #3 - Original Floral in Oils

I am currently visiting my home in India, and have carried a bit of my paints and boards along with me. I could hardly manage to get time until now, and I am glad I finally got to do a couple of paintings in the last two days. These references are quite old, I took them many years ago at a park. I have painted them before and it is fun to give them a fresh shot. :-)

Waterlily #3
Oil on Board, 5 by 7 inches
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August 18, 2014

Waterlilies #2 - Original Floral in Oils

I tried to consciously work on my edges in this piece, it is one area that I have to improve a LOT. I used the small brush only for parts of the flower, and the largest brush everywhere else. I still have a long way to go, baby steps.

Waterlily #2
Oil on board, 5 by 7 inches
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July 4, 2014

SOLD - Rooster #4 - Original Palette Knife Bird Portrait

The picture has a lot of glare because it is very wet and thick paint. I will post a better picture a couple of days later when it has dried a bit. :)

Rooster #4
Oil on board, 5 by 7 inches
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July 1, 2014

Black Beauty! - Original Palette Knife Painting in Oils

A few days back, I received an email from someone asking if I had ever thought about doing palette knife paintings of animals, rabbits in particular. It gave me a spark and made me think "why not?". After all, animals with their furry bodies are perfect for directional strokes with the knife. They will look lovely when textured. So I went ahead and gave this a shot. It was good fun, painting a predominantly black subject without using any black. I used a little more colour in the lighter areas and generally had fun. It was good to experiment since it is the first time I am doing an animal portrait of any sort. 

Black Beauty
Oil on board, 18 by 24 cms (7 by 9.5 inches)
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June 23, 2014

Red Hot - Original Still Life in Oils

This is one of my "Study in Red" pieces from a couple of months ago. When I painted it, I had for some reason a lot of yellow and blue on my palette and so I mixed it all up, greyed it a bit and went in for a largely green background. And then for the next paintings in the series, I deliberately went in for a green background so that they would look good together. Huh! 

This painting has been sitting in front of me since then, and every time the intensity of colours bothered me. I wasn't sure if the complementary background was working all that well or not. Anyway, since it did not find a new home, I wanted to change a few things. Firstly, I muted the background a lot so that now it doesn't hurt my eyes so much! :-) I also fixed some of the values in the reds. The whole point of the studies was to get better at reading values in red, and this time around I felt I could do a little better. I did fix some things and it is an all new painting now. Hope you like it.

Red Hot!
Oil on board, 6 by6  inches
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June 22, 2014

SOLD - Blue and Yellow 3 - Original Still Life in Oils

I had a lot of blues on my palette and wanted to do one more of the blue vase. I love paintings in threes anyway :) I started painting a little late this morning, and the shadow was shorter and sharper under bright sunlight. That of course inspired a slightly different composition.

Blue and Yellow 3
Oil on Board, 6 by 6 inches
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A collage of all three paintings together.
Blue and Yellow Series
Oil on Board, each 6 by 6 inches

June 21, 2014

SOLD - Blue and Yellow 2 - Original Still Life in Oils

I had planned to paint an old reference of some pears today. When I walked in to my studio this morning though, the blue vase was glistening in the sunlight. My set up from yesterday was still as it is and the vase was shining. The flowers hadn't faded either so it was all good. In a change of mind I pulled out a panel and started with the next blue and yellow.:) I also took a reference image because I knew I wouldn't be able to complete it before the light changed direction. Started painting this from life and completed with the help of my reference.

Blue and Yellow 2
Oil on Board, 6 by 6 inches

June 18, 2014

SOLD - Glowing Green - Original Still Life in Oils

An alternate title for this would have been "Racing against the sun" and how apt would that be! I usually set up my still lifes under artificial lights, so that I can go about my work and get to painting in between free slots. This morning too, I was about to do the same. Pull down the shutters and switch on the lights. Just when I placed this jar, however, I had a change of mind. The jar when directly lit in sunlight was so gorgeous that I had to paint it. So there it was, a sunlit still life. 

Now whenever I race against the sun light, I am in a perennial panic mode. My mind only works on that I have to complete it before the light changes direction. I sometimes do not even think if I am mixing my colours right and so on. Several instances today I discovered that my values were a little off and remixed. If I came out of the panic mode and spent time thinking calmly, then I would actually save time on these little things. I am yet to get there. The biggest positive however is that I do not even think of over working my paintings. And that is my main motive to work in this way.

Glowing Green
Oil on board, 6 by 6 inches
There was a clearance sale at a shop in my town a couple of months ago. I went and picked up a loot of these ceramic pieces. I love them. They will be used in more works very soon.

June 14, 2014

May Showers - Original Cityscape in Oils

We were out to Frankfurt on one of our usual weekend trips sometime last month. It looked all bright and sunny when we left, and so we drove off as usual without checking the weather. I live less than half an hour away from Frankfurt, but this was the scene by the time we entered the city. That's how predictable the weather is in my part of the world. While I got really irritated that I could not walk around taking any "summery" pictures, the rains offered a completely new opportunity.:-) 

While we stopped at a signal, I clicked this scene in front of me. It was not the best of references, very blurry and pretty dark. I worked around it a bit and decided to give it a shot. This is the first time that I have painted rain. I have never felt confident enough to attempt rain, but just did not want to miss painting this reference. We did manage to walk around a bit too and I have a few images of people with colourful umbrellas. I hope to paint them soon enough. 

May Showers
Oil on Canvas, 8 by 12 inches
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Painting rain has always given me the jitters because of all the desaturated colour and the variety in greys. This is easily the most desaturated painting that I have ever done. Not a drop of pure colour anywhere. While very challenging since I have a penchant for bright colour, this was also a lot of fun. When I signed it, it did give me a high! :-) Hope you like it too.

June 12, 2014

Late Evening Ride - Original Figurative Panting in Oils

Feels like I haven't painted in ages, though this painting has been in the works for over a week now. I could work on it only intermittently as there have been too many personal commitments, friends visiting, appointments for kids etc. It is like the whole universe comes in the way of creating. Anyway, finally managed to carve some time out today and get this to completion lest I lose interest totally. 

I clicked this biker from atop a hill or something to give me a very different perspective with all those shadows. I wanted to keep the composition very simple, focus on the rider and of course the gorgeous shadows. 

Late Evening Ride
Oil on Canvas, 6 by 12 inches
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The painting is done on stretched canvas and the sides are painted in a neutral gray so that it can be displayed without a frame! 

June 4, 2014

Study in Yellow - Original Still Life in Oils

My shipment with all my art stationery arrived last week and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I have got new supplies of paints and boards along with a few brushes too.:) Starting on a new board always gives me a high. 

I wanted to paint something from life, and when I opened my fridge, I had these half used peppers staring at me. I vehemently avoided the red one as the palette has had too much red lately. Yellow against my turquoise coloured paper was just perfect. Simple and beautiful. I set it up against the sunlight this morning and I was racing against the sun since the light was rapidly changing. Every time the sun moved a bit, I had to shift my set up following it.:) However, I completed it with the help of my reference only and that's something I'd like to change the next time. 

Study in Yellow
Oil on board, 6 by 6 inches
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June 2, 2014

Iris #2 - Original floral in oils

I pulled out this 4 year old painting of mine and decided to rework it. I really love this reference, especially the reds. So I did not want to trash it. Throughout the reworking process, I kept second guessing myself if I should have started over instead :-D I probably will, paint this beauty in a bigger canvas in the way I would paint it now. But for now, enjoy this reworked piece.

Iris #2
Oil on board, 5 by 7 inches
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May 29, 2014

Plein air painting on an overcast morning

We have a long weekend in Germany starting today. Since there was no hurry to get the kiddo ready for school, I had made up my mind to go outdoors and paint today. Within 5 minutes drive from my home, there are these beautiful poppy fields on either side of the highway. I have been seeing these fields everyday when I drive to the school, but never really had the time to go out and paint. So glad I finally went out this morning. 

My set up and the scene before me.
It was an overcast sky, no sign of the sun whatsoever. That really challenged me in terms of the greys and the greens bordering on grey. Almost every colour that I mixed seem too dark in value and I had to lighten it. It was a great exercise in seeing and observation. 

Finished painting with my set up :-)
I loved being out in the open today with chirping birds for company. I might create a studio painting out of this on a slightly larger size with this painting as the reference. That would be a great challenge too. And I hope to get some plein air done in the next couple of days too. 

Poppy fields on an overcast morning
Oil on board, 5 by 7 inches
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Let me know what you think! 

May 25, 2014

Study in Red #4 - Original Still Life in Oils

My favourite of the peppers so far, hope you like it too! :-)

Study in Red #4
Oil on board, 6 by 6 inches
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May 24, 2014

Daffodil #5 - Original Floral in Oils

This morning has been very busy. My elder one had a judo tournament and we were all there accompanying her and having fun. It was a great atmosphere to be with all the kids and their coaches shouting and cheering. As a result, I could not paint this morning. I painted this daffodil a couple of days ago and it came in handy to be posted today :-) It pays to be a little ahead in your painting schedule :-P 

Daffodil #5
Oil on board, 6 by 6 inches
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This is the biggest of the daffodils so far. Painted very quickly, biggest brush and bigger strokes. I am happy with it :-) I went it for a more greener background too, as I did not want to make it too dark. Hope you like it.

May 21, 2014

SOLD - Daffodil #4 - Original Floral in Oils

I am thinking I must get out all my old floral pieces and try to rework at least some of them if possible. All thanks to this renewed interest in painting flowers :D I think I can redeem some of them, let's see. Most of them will end up in trash though. Meanwhile here is the next daffodil, hope you enjoy!

Daffodil #4
Oil on board, 6 by 6 inches

SOLD - In the vineyards - Original Landscape in Oils

Hasn't it been a really long time since I did a landscape? I guess so. This painting is for this week's challenge on Daily Paintworks. I really liked the reference and jumped right in.:-)

I love vineyards and wine tasting and everything around them. I love wine! I have loads of vineyard references in my library, and this was motivation to get to them too. It was good fun mixing the various greens, in varying degrees of "greyness". I finally touched up the most saturated areas with the palette knife a little bit.

In the vineyards
Oil on Canvas, 18 by 24 cms
Click here to see all the entries in the vineyards challenge.:-)

May 20, 2014

Study in Red #3 - Original Still Life in Oils

I am still in the mood to paint red bell peppers :-) I was a lot more comfortable mixing the reds for this piece. I laid down my darkest darks first and then worked lighter from there. Normally, when I work from lightest to dark, I sometimes find myself in a position where the darks are well, too dark. Since I wanted to avoid that, I laid down not so dark darks first. I guess it worked better. And quicker. 

These are painted based on references that aren't mine. I so wish I could paint them from life, which I probably would sometime soon. I have an idea for a series of life paintings of peppers, and I will get to work on it soon. Until then, these references were too good to let go of. I liked the complementary background better than a greyish one, so went in with the green this time around too. 

Study in Red #3
Oil on board, 6 by 6 inches

May 18, 2014

Study in Red #2 - Original Still Life in Oils

Continuing with my colour studies, this is yet another study in red. Red to me is one of the most difficult colours to get subtle value variations in. In this reference for example, the darks have a lot variety but I struggled quite a bit with them. With two different reds and two different blues, I tried to mix as many darks as I could. :-) 

Study in Red #2
Oil on board, 6 by 6 inches
I wanted to go in for a complementary background with this piece. This was inspired by another artist's still life studies that she shared on Facebook. Do you like this rather saturated background compared to the neutral background the last time? Let me know in the comments.

May 17, 2014

SOLD - Daffodil #3 - Original Floral in Oils

Flowers are not a subject that I normally paint, they are not a favourite by far. During the spring season here though, when I see beautiful blossoms all around me, it is difficult not to get inspired. So I try to sneak in a couple of florals here and there. Right now what I see all around me are roses and hardly any daffodils. But these references have been lying around too long and I had to get to them :-)

Daffodil #3
Oil on board, 6 by 6 inches

Here's a picture of all the three daffodils together.

Oil on board, 6 by 6 inches each

May 15, 2014

SOLD - Spring blossom 2 - Original Floral in Oils

Here's the other daffodil that I promised yesterday. I love these white and orange daffodils far more than the yellow ones. These are much more colorful and gorgeous. Oh that orange! They will look great hung together, facing each other. Or even face away from each other :P 

Spring Blossom #2
Oil on Board, 6 by 6 inches

And here's a collage of the two daffodils together. Let me know what you think!

Each - Oil on board, 6 by 6 inches

May 14, 2014

SOLD - Spring blossom - Original Floral in Oils

I used to paint flowers once upon a time. I did loads of them, had fun while it lasted. But, I used to do them with the palette knife. I have almost never painted flowers with the brush. Somehow today I was in the mood to paint this daffodil. While I was rummaging through my photos, this one called out screamed out to be painted. Once again, I wanted to keep it loose with thick strokes and not get bogged down by the details. I am reasonably happy with it. There's another daffodil tomorrow, stay tuned. 

Spring Blossom
Oil on board, 6 by 6 inches

May 11, 2014

Pink Daisies - Original Still Life in Oils

I had bought this bunch of daisies a while ago, and loved the light pink. The colour was so breathtakingly beautiful that I had to paint it. Never mind that petals and their delicate appearance always gave me the jitters. Never mind that I have not painted a flower in ages. As some lovely sunlight shone through my window, it put to rest any doubts that I had in my mind that they had to be painted. I started doing them from life and did an initial layer. I also took a couple of pictures just in case I could not complete it from life. That's pretty much what happened, I did not like the way it was progressing, me getting consumed with the details as usual. Pick up the piece again today and completed with the help of my references. I tried as much as I could to not get finicky.:-) 

Pink Daisies
Oil on Canvas, 6 by 12 inches
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This painting is done on stretched canvas and the sides are painted in a neutral gray. 

May 6, 2014

SOLD - Study in Red - Original Still Life in Oils, 6 by 6 inches

If there is one thing that I'd like to change about my work, top of the list would be to stop overworking my pieces. There are of course a lot of things that I want to improve upon, but this is number one without a doubt. I just do not convey what I intend to with minimal strokes. It is something that I am aware of and continuously strive to improve. First thing that I did earlier this year was to banish my smallest brushes from the studio. I am now accustomed to bigger brushes, but still not quite where I want to be in terms of strokes. This painting is my first deliberate study in that direction. 

Study in Red
Oil on Board, 6 by 6 inches
I paused before each stroke to evaluate its merit. Made me think and work in a more deliberate manner. I did not count the strokes in this one, I will do it in my future studies.

May 4, 2014

SOLD - Prep time! - Original Figurative Painting in Oils, 6 by 6 inches

As the warmer temperatures set in, all I want to go to the beach :-) Well for the time being virtually, and then hopefully in real.

Prep Time
Oil on Board, 6 by 6 inches

May 2, 2014

One step at a time! - Original Painting of Children in Oils

This father son duo was also spotted along the banks of the Alster in Hamburg. The lighting was perfect and I hope I have managed to do justice to it. After painting on 6 by 6 inch panels since a while now, 8 by 8 seemed like it was BIG! And here I keep dreaming of 30 by 40 and the likes. :-) It wasn't that bad though and I quickly got used to the size. 

This painting is done on stretched canvas, and the sides are painted in a neutral colour so that it can be displayed without a frame. 

One step at a time!
Oil on Canvas, 8 by 8 inches
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April 27, 2014

SOLD - Spotting swans - Original Figurative Painting in Oils

Spotted at the banks of the Alster, in beautiful Hamburg. I was away for Easter and happened to click some good references. Feels good to be back at the easel after a mini break.

Spotting Swans
Oil on Board, 6 by 6 inches

April 15, 2014

SOLD - Split 'em up! - Original Still Life in Oils

I promised more avocados didn't I? Here they are! They would look great hung together, but the first one is sold already. Let me see where this one lands up! :)

Ever since I resumed painting this year, I have gone in for a limited palette in an attempt to improve my mixing skills. I have been consciously working on it and can see the strides that I am making . In all my paintings with a lot of green for instance, there is not a tube of green used. There are only about 4 tubes of paint used in this piece - Pthalo Blue, Cadmium red light, Cadmium Yellow light and Titanium white. The variety of browns and greens one can get with the Pthalo is amazing. Simply amazing! And I am very very thankful to Carol Marine for talking about how useful this colour is in one of her tutorials.

An earlier version of me would've pulled out some burnt sienna, burnt umber and black for that seed. Not now, and never again.:-)

Split 'em up!
Oil on board, 7 by 5 inches

April 13, 2014

SOLD - Morning Walk - Original Figurative Painting in Oils

I vividly remember taking this picture over 4 years ago on one of our weekend morning walks. I loved the woman's bright red jacket and took a picture, and forgot all about it. It resurfaced again recently and I decided to paint it before I miss out again. Love the play of complements and the spring backdrop. Red makes me happy always :) Let me know how you like it! 

Morning Walk
Oil on board, 6 by 6 inches

April 10, 2014

New shoes - Original Still Life in Oils

The shoes called out to me again today :D And I couldn't refuse. So high was the urge to paint them that I got up at 3 in the morning. This one is painted with the palette knife for a change. I missed my knife and thought I'd give a twist to the shoes. There is definitely one more coming up in a few days. 

New Shoes
Oil on Board, 6 by 6 inches

April 8, 2014

Behind the beetle - Original Cityscape in Oils

I don't care much for cars, other than to get me from point A to point B. I am not too fond of driving either and don't get behind the wheels unless absolutely necessary. But then, I love the VW Beetle and find it extremely adorable. Such a delightfully cute little car! I have never been on one but drool every time I spot it. 

So a couple of weeks ago, on a very hot afternoon, I was on my way to school to pick up my daughter. When I stopped at the signal, right in front of me was this shiny red Beetle. I grabbed my iPhone and clicked a picture as quickly as I could. Thank god for smartphones! In all my excitement I did not even check if the picture was good enough for anything, for I had to get back into driving mode within a few seconds. All I had was the time in between the signal change. 

Behind the Beetle
Oil on board, 6 by 6 inches
Click to bid
When I saw the image, it was a real bummer. It was so blurred and out of focus, almost prompting me to ditch the idea. But I could not give up on it so easily. Who knows when next I get lucky enough to spot a bright coloured Beetle on a gorgeous sunny day with shadows and everything else. So I decided to give it a shot, the horrible quality of the reference notwithstanding. The scene is one that I am very familiar with, just down my road. So I started adding details initially based on my familiarity. But then, I changed my mind and I also decided to work it just like in the reference, adding as much detail as possible only to the car and leaving out everything else without much detail. After all, the car is what excited me to paint this scene.

I think I will paint this again on a larger canvas. I have a 16 by 16 sitting in the studio since forever and I might have found the subject for it. 

April 7, 2014

SOLD - Avocado Halves - Original Still Life in Oils

I love the avocado and buy it often. It is a family favourite, my daughter loves a good guacamole. I have wanted to paint it but never got around to it for some reason. Many a time I do not cut the fruit into two perfect halves. Sometimes I do not cut it into halves at all, wedge it instead. And so on. 

Avocado Halves
Oil on board, 7 by 5 inches
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So yesterday, when I cut the avocado and it looked so gorgeous, my husband and daughter forced me to take some pictures and keep them for reference. They wanted the guacamole in 5 minutes, but wanted me to come up with compositions and take pictures even before that. How considerate! My daughter insisted that I must paint it! So we ate up the fruit yesterday and I painted these from a reference.:-) I could take only about 2 pictures, I guess I will paint the other one later this week. 

April 6, 2014

Baby shoes again - Original Still Life in Oils

Oh well I just had to do a third piece with the baby shoes. Changed the direction of the light and modified the set up a little bit. I think I am done with these pair of shoes for now, will wait until we get my little one her next pair.:-)

Baby Shoes
Oil on Board, 6 by 6 inches
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Made a collage of the three shoe paintings and they would look awesome together. When I do multiple paintings on the same theme, I'd love it if they went to the same new home. Doesn't happen all the time but I love it. My beach paintings were all bought by the same collector, how cool is that! So this is how the shoes look together. 

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