Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Talia of Firehouse North

Firehouse North is a gallery in Berkeley, California where artists can meet to paint models. My oldest son's Christmas gift to me this past December was a couple of trips to this gallery to paint.  So on a cloudy February 7th, I packed up my easel and paints, caught the BART train and walked up Shattuck Avenue a few blocks to spend a delightful three hours painting Talia who happened to be the model that day.  There were quite a few of us in this studio and it was difficult to back away from the canvas to check all the basic elements, so I got home and found Talia was out of proportion (her head was too big for her body, etc.), but I decided that I liked it anyway...I haven't officially sent Parker a nice written thank you note... so Parker, this is my thanks for a wonderful gift.  I can hardly wait to go back!

Kathryn Wills

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Cat, oil on canvas, 24 x 36"
A big, big canvas, and just three hours to work on this view of the whole room.

Friday, February 24, 2012


  acrylic on canvas  18 by 24
Talia, a very pretty model, posed for us in the Firehouse for two sessions. This painting was done with acrylic on 18"x24" canvas.  Philip Ng

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Many Months Ago

Woman with Lamp
  acrylic on canvas  30 by 24
I did this quite a few months ago but only recently had it photographed.  Karen

Friday, February 17, 2012

Tyler on Valentine's Day

oil on canvas   24 by 18
Tyler posed on Valentine's Day wearing his bright red NBA t-shirt.  Iris Sabre

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


This portrait was tremendous fun to paint.
My one previous attempt to paint
Talia was a flop, so I'm glad this one came out
better. It's in acrylics on paper.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Jenny in Green Dress

Jenny in Green Dress  oil on canvas

Jenny wore an irridescent silk print Idonesian blouse. She showed me how it was sewn from one piece of fabric. She had on black feather earrings and a black beaded hair ornament. She sure was fun to paint.  Iris Sabre

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Museum of Bad Art

This sounds like a total joke, but is actually a serious labor of love. The Museum of Bad Art
collects art from trash cans and other unlikely sources, and celebrates each stinker for its own unique qualities. Watching Louise Reilly Sacco (the Permanent Acting Interim Executive Director of MOBA) explain MOBA's mission, it's obvious she is a woman of great wit and discernment. See for yourself at (a video of Sacco speaking before an audience) or check out the main website at

Friday, February 10, 2012

Wendell, Signe and Jenny

Meredith Steele sent these painting to post on the blog.  She has been painting with the group ever since we started at the Firehouse about 2 years ago. She showed her work in our show Work From the Model last year.  And although she posts on her own blog, her family and teaching keep her pretty busy so this is the first time she put paintings on our blog.  They are done in acrylic on paper.

 acrylic on  paper

 acrylic on paper

 acrylic on paper

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Waiting at the Cafe

Waiting at the Cafe 
  oil   18 by 24
Started working on this at the Firehouse Studio in Berkeley on Tuesday.  We had a wonderful model, Talia.. There is a model set up in an environment each week. This is a pretty awesome place with pretty awesome people ...
Greatly appreciate it....
Deirde Shibano

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Figure and Still Life

enny with Urban Ore Pottery
  acrylic on canvas  28 by 22
I went to urban ore and got some pottery for the painting session.  I spent a little time thinking about the setup because it is helping me work on composition.  We had Talia in the morning session and although she is a good model I did not like what I did with the painting so I painted over it in the evening session.  The set up was the same but I took a different vantage point.  Karen

Monday, February 6, 2012


Carrie, Oil on canvas, 14 x 11"
This was a tiny painting I completed right there at the Firehouse, no revisions.


Otenio, Oil on canvas, 16 x 12"
I painted Otenio over another painting I had in the studio.

Model with Flowers

Model with Flowers and Book  
acrylic on canvas
I painted the model incorporating the show at the Firehouse.  She was looking at an art book and I set up a still life.     Karen

Painting Mark and our Landscape Show

I enjoyed painting Mark in the setting with the paintings from our landscape show.  Karen

Mark with Landscape Show
 acrylic on canvas  20 by 30

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Selection From the Last Few Months


Firehouse Model

Leah Before Italy
Deirdre Shibano sent these painting to post.  They are from the last few months of models we have had in the Tuesday morning group.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mark at a Cafe

At the Cafe    oil on canvas

Mark with Flowers
( detail)  oil on canvas
I love painting at the Firehouse in the mornings.  Besides feeling fresh, one gets two sessions to work with the same model.  Mark was a great model, although it was his first time modeling!  In this painting, all of the items were there except I made the vase and flower taller, so as to break the wall horizontal line, and I added a red scarf on the chair.  The intention was to create a narrative picture... The viewer makes the story.  This piece is still  in process, but I think it is still worth playing with.

D Shibano



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Thoughts About a Painting of Mark

  oil on canvas  20 by 16
I began with a lightly painted line drawing, and didn´t notice that the head-size was a little too large for the size (20" x 16") of the canvas. This seems to be an oft-repeated problem for me.

When I returned for the 2nd and last session with Mark, I concentrated on fleshing out the true colors of his face; darkening the shadow side and adding bright color to the lit side. All that I need to do in order to finish, is to complete the background and add some highlights to his hair. 

Vicki Salzman