Saturday, November 14, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Second Sides"

Today I have done the base on the second side of my Carolyn Dube Permission to Play Cardboard Journal pages.
I used Carolyn's "Sparks of Inspiration" as well as cut-outs from old "The New Yorker" calendar pages for 2015.  There is gesso underneath, then a layer of Heavy Gel Medium by Golden, the cut-outs, then a layer of gel medium over the top.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Bits & Pieces"

This week I have a couple of works in progress. I started a "snow" scene in oil. I picked unusual colors after using my color wheel and doing a thumbnail sketch. I decided to paint a base coat of Alizarin Crimson, which is transparent. I started adding in the darks. After talking to Susan Ploughe, an instructor at Mainstreet Art Centre, I decided what I wanted was an abstracted landscape with a traditional base. So I am at the stage now where I will start filling in more tree limbs that will become panes for a stained glass look in between each pair of limbs. That is the hope anyway. Below are some of the steps for this painting.

Hopefully this experiment will work out!

The other work in progress is the free workshop with Carolyn Dube. It entails making a mixed media journal. First I cut out similar sized pieces from a cardboard box. Then I applied white gesso. Next we were to add pieces of text, papers, stamps, receipts or whatever we wanted. I coated most of them with Gel Medium so that when more work is done on them the paint originally applied to them won't rub off. Some of the papers are from Carolyn and are called "sparks of inspiration", some are pieces of magazines made to look like leather in a workshop with Karen Sako, some are from gelli prints I made. I got the front sides done tonight and they are drying. I still need to do all the backs. I was also supposed to paint or gesso both sides of a ribbon, but I have to look for one in my basement tomorrow!

I am linking this to Paint Party Friday hosted by Kristin and Eva. Each week they feature a new artists' work. Every medium is represented, so take a look.  Have a good week,


Friday, November 6, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Doings"

For Halloween this year I had a family dinner party and everyone came in costume and got Trick or Treat bags.  I am the skeleton, my daughter-in-law Amy is Sponge Bob, my grandson Enzo is Stinkbomb from Skylanders, my daughter Lucy is Queen of the Pokemon , and Risa , Amy's mother, is a little devil!

Lucy then took a picture of our group so that my son Louie could get in.  He was a creepy alien!

Portrait Class with Linda Vice; our first time putting all the parts of the face together into an actual portrait.

I joined Carolyn Dube's free workshop called "Permission to Play" last night.  The first thing we were to do was print out our permission slip and then cover it with a sealer and paint it.  I decided I wanted mine to look like an official document. I used Elmer's Glue all to seal the printing, then layers of several colors from CreateaColor Aqua Briques in their dry form. Afterward I brushed them with water.  It wasn't dark enough so I wet the brique that was a burnt sienna color and added more around the edges.  I filled in my name and signature with colored markers.   

I am linking this to Paint Party Friday as well as to my Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest sites.  I have also been doing some digital abstract work that you can see on my Society6 site.
Have a wonderful week.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Gloria j Zucaro's "Sun and Sky"

This week I have another pastel to share.  It is called "Sun  and Sky" and was painted from a photograph I took during a drive out near Harvard,IL.  I saw this scene out my car window and stopped to take a picture.  I love the reflections of the trees in the cloudy water and then the blue, blue sky reflection.

Below is a Fall street in the town of Palatine, IL

And one from my back yard

If you love art of all types please look at the website below where I am posting today.  
It is hosted by Kristin & Eva, thank you, Ladies! 

I am linking this post to Paint Party Friday

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Gloria j Zucaro's "Pictures & Shows"

This week I am pleased to report that my paintings were a success at The 32nd Annual Art Centre 2015 Juried Show.
I got two ribbons with awards!  Yippee!

"Blue Violet" got a Purchase Award

"Storm Brewing" got An Award of Excellence.

Below are two of my paintings from my Richard McKinley workshop.  I posted about the process for doing these pastel paintings last week.

"C" is for Apple

"Peabody Estate Library"

Have a great week and visit the Paint Party Friday website for great art of all types.  That is where I am posting tonight.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Workshop and Juried Show"

Tomorrow night I will be at the Art Centre 2015 32nd Annual Juried Art Show at the Elk Grove Village Library from 7-9 PM.
It is at 1001 Wellington Avenue in Elk Grove Village, Illinois.  I have three pastel paintings in the show.  It is a great opening, so come on out.  You can see the show each weekend up until November the eighth.

I am linking this post to Paint Party Friday.  Every week there are new pieces of art from over 100 artists in all media.

The Richard McKinley workshop was fabulous!  We were given so much wonderful information in the 5 days, that our heads were bursting.  It is a good thing I bought his book "100 Pastel Pointers" because much of the information is there to re-read.  I also have a few of his DVD's and I bought my favorite demonstration painting from him.

In the pictures below you see some first steps he suggested for whatever we paint.  Deciding on our composition, doing a line drawing with large shapes, a value sketch using lightest light, medium light, medium dark and darkest dark. and finally to do a Notan(black and white only) that combined the medium dark and dark into black and left the medium light and light all white..  Then he used washes of watercolors to set in the under painting in values and colors. Finally pastel is added on top for a completed painting.  The first picture is of one of his final pastel demos.  It is the one I bought! (:>)

Doing the prep work below

A line drawing

First watercolor wash

Second layer wash

Close-up of wash with all the interesting drips
Richard McKinley's Field box of pastels for Plein air painting.  He said because of all the ambient light outside, your darkest dark should never be darker than 6 1/2 on the value scale, so most of his color choices are quite light in value.

Next week I will show you my paintings from the workshop.
Have a good week,


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Bake"

I will be taking another wonderful workshop next week with nationally known artist and instructor Richard McKinley. This workshop is through The Chicago Pastel Painters and is "en Plein Air" 
En plein air is a French expression which means "in the open air".

I don't do Plein air painting very often, because of having to carry all the necessary supplies and my arthritis.  But this is a huge opportunity for learning and what fun!

Today I am sharing another Taos inspired piece called "Bake". 
It is a 9"x 12"Pastel Painting on sanded La Carte paper. 
I picked the title because of the dessert heat in the summer, the baked earth Adobe buildings and the adobe oven on the far right side in the painting.  

I am linking to Paint Party Friday, so pay them a visit.

Have a wonderful week, I love Fall!  And thanks for stopping by! :>)

Friday, September 18, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Experimenting with Abstract"

Last weekend I had fun at Mainstreet Art Centre in a workshop with artist Debora Stewart.  Debora was originally a representational aristt but decided about 10 years ago that she loved abstract.  She has been experimenting and learning and achieving wonderful paintings in abstract form since then.  Her workshop was learning about under painting with compressed charcoal, acrylic or watercolor and smearing the charcoal with alcohol before applying more pastel or acrylic for your painting.  I was working with pastel.
In our first exercise we were to use photos of different subjects and a viewfinder to find an abstract area in the photo to paint.  I picked a cityscape. My first two paintings were very tight and not really very much fun.  See below-  Also they curled after I untaped them, hence the curved looking lines! They were done on UArt pastel paper that had a sanded surface for pastels.  I drew the design in charcoal and then added a light , medium and dark value of soft pastel.

Then I began to loosen up.
Below is one of my abstracts that "passed muster" with Debora.  It has a really good dark value to anchor it.

I did about 10 paintings in the three days, and about two were considered successful.  As a representational artist, I will be able to have an abstract background and then put my representational painting over it in a more relaxed version.  So for me a really great experience to learn about shapes and colors in their own right.

I am posting this to Paint Party Friday.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Taos Mourner"

I posted this on my Facebook page last week, but for those of you who missed it, I thought I would post it here for Paint Party Friday this week.
My older daughter Lucy and I took a 4 day trip to Sante Fe and Taos, New Mexico a few years ago.  We visited the Taos Adobe while we were there.  There is an area on one side where they have the cemetery. This woman was actually our guide.  She looked so wonderful with her umbrella/parasol and agreed to have her picture taken in front of the cemetery wall.

"Taos Mourner"

10" x 8" Pastel on watercolor paper with 2 coats of Pastel Ground

Be sure to visit the PPF blog and enjoy all the wonderful art.  Get to know the artists, too!  Have a great week and thanks for stopping by.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Storm Brewing"

Wow!  I can't believe how long I have been out of the loop!  Well, I have enjoyed some gardening, some travel, some movies and restaurants.  But I have been painting ,too.  

This painting came out exactly as I envisioned it, so I am very happy with it. It is from a reference photo I took out West.
I am not sure whether it is in Arizona or New Mexico.  I love both the areas around Tucson and Taos.  I also posted a pastel I did of a woman at the Taos Adobe on my FaceBook page today.
Have a wonderful week.

"Storm Brewing"

Pastel 9" x 12"

This will be posted to Paint Party Friday which showcases about 100 artists and their weekly projects.  Stop by and enjoy some really creative work.

For purchase information, email me at

Friday, July 24, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Pastel Llama"

I enjoyed my vacation with my son, his wife and son Enzo who is seven. Enzo and I had a lot of fun on the trip to LA and San Diego.  When my son and his wife were looking at houses, we played double solitaire, and I taught him the card game Crazy Nines.  He caught on so quickly he was consistently beating me!!  It was great to see him peak into my motel  room each morning to see if I was awake yet.  I would have my cup of coffee sitting on the bed while he played on his I-Pad, then we would start our game of cards.  We played until Mom and Dad were ready to go for breakfast.

I painted this pastel of a Llama before our trip.  It is from a National Geographic cover photo by Anthony Smallwood and was taken in Cusco, Peru.

10" x 8" on Pastel Board
I am linking to Paint Party Friday, Twitter, Facebook, Google and Pinterest

Have a great week.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Moo"

My oil painting this week is self-explanatory.  It is the portrait of a cow. In the original reference I did for my barn and meadow painting two weeks ago, there was actually a cow in the field in front of the farm buildings.  I chose just to do a portrait this week rather than the whole cow.  I am posting to Paint Party Friday, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google.

10" x 10" Oil on Canvas

Have a great week, and Thanks! for stopping by.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "The Chicken Has Flown the Coop!"

Tonight I am posting a little info about the painting I did for The Traveling Chicken.  I had a lot of fun making up the story to go with the painting.  You can read all about it at The Traveling Chicken Blog.

"And They All Admired Her Spots"

I used watercolor paper and acrylic paints. 
The painting is 5.75" x 11.75"

Linking to Paint Party Friday

Have a wonderful weekend,


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "The Traveling Chicken", "Enzo's gift" & Sunny Meadow"

I am posting to Paint Party Friday.  Also to Pinterest. 

This past week I finished an oil painting, called "Sunny Meadow"

8' x 10" on stretched canvas

If you are interested in purchasing contact me by email

My grandson Enzo wanted me to paint Pikachu for him and send it in the mail, even though he lives 20 minutes away.  He is 7 years old so I complied!  I made up a story about it.  I painted the figure in acrylics and used a pigma pen to make the "Magic Web".  There is no such thing from that company, but I told him if you wore it you would be invisible, if you threw it on the ground it made an escape tunnel, if you threw it out in front of you it acted like a flying carpet and you could escape that way, too!  He said "Really?!"  I said "No, that is just from my imagination!"  "Oh."


The Traveling Chick and her friends came for a short visit this weekend. Ms. Chick had lots of photos from previous travels. Two of the most interesting were Moscow and Alaska. Alaska was a bit harrowing because she ran across a wolf and could really relate to Little Red Riding Hood. Moscow was beautiful and very cultural. Many buildings are painted with pastel colors so as to alleviate the dreariness of the long cold winters. We could use some of that here in NE Illinois.
You can see previous paintings of Ms. Chick on her FaceBook page and on her very own blog.

The Chick Gang

The Moscow Trip

Beware of wolves in...well, in wolves clothing!

Ms. Chick and friends will be traveling on to Pennsylvania tomorrow. We had a relaxing visit and I took several pictures for painting this coming week.  If you are interested in signing up for a chance visit with Ms. Chick go to the blog site linked above.

Have a good week,


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Starts"

Today I have two ZIA's for Laura's prompt of "only straight lines", in our tangles this week.  It was fun, like a limited palette in painting.  I will barely slip under the wire for posting them on her site.  It closes at noon on Saturdays.  Please enjoy the Diva's website and see a very creative group of tanglers!  I am also posting to Paint Party Friday, a huge amount of creative people there, also!
This first one I started in the center of the square, and as you can see, I didn't have it centered, or square!  But it was fun to watch it grow outward from there, even if it was very wonky!  Shown with its' reflection.
This second one is representing a quilt.  I drew it and put in all the stitches and cross-stitches and then ended up using colored Signo pens which obliterated many lines.  But I hope you get the idea!

My third project is the first block-in of an oil painting.  It is a landscape of a photo taken in Door County Wisconsin.  It actually has a cow in the foreground in the photo but I just wanted to do a landscape, so left the cow out.  I hope to finish this painting after my trip.  This is 8"x 10" on gallery wrapped 3/4 inch canvas.

Lastly I am sending a small birthday box to my sister-in-law.  It is a Crate & Barrel box that I painted with black acrylic and decorated with white acrylic.  I will put her card on the top for the address.

Have a good week!


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