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!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's " Tangle and Go!"

I have missed a couple of weeks getting ready for my trip in early June to the International Association of Pastel Societies(IAPS) convention in Albuquerque so I will post two tangles and an oil painting I just finished. I will be posting to Laura Harm's "I am the Diva" site and

This is on 5"x 7" cardstock and uses the two tangles "Bunzo and "Dex" that Laura asked us to use for her birthday week(last week). It is titled "Laura's Wacky Birthday Bouquet"

The second tangle for this week is in black and white.  Laura asked us to use black paper and a white pen or to do a tangle on a found object like a shoe or trash can.  I had an old pastel on black Canson Metenties paper, so cut it up and used the back of it with my new Signo white ink pen.  I decided to use all tangles that had names starting with "M" since it is May.
I think it is so cool with the reflection of my kitchen counter underneath it! The tangles I used are "Man-O-Man", "Marasu", "Meer", "Mooka", "Moon Rocks", "Msst", "Mumsy", and "Munchin".

Next is an 10" x 8" oil painting on canvas of a scene I took from my photograph of the last time I was at IAPS in 2013.  It is inside the Route 66 Diner in old Albuquerque.  We went at night and the neon light made everything glow in pink.  They had the best old-fashioned straight-rhubarb pie! (I don't like it with strawberries!)  So the title is "Rhubarb Glow".

I want to show you the wonderful swap art I received from Bridget Joss for our April swap project.  Bridget also sent me lots of ephemera for future projects.

Thanks so much, Bridget!

Have a wonderful week!  


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Triple Labyrinth & Desert Glory"

The Zentangle chosen for this weeks Diva challenge is called "Labyrinth".  Laura gave us a link to see how to draw two versions of a labyrinth.  I used them both in my tangle this week.  Here is the link if you would like to try one.   How To Draw a Labyrinth

I am posting this on the I am the Diva's site.

Please visit and see all the wonderful versions of this prompt.

This week I also am posting an acrylic painting I did in January before I went to Texas to be with my mother.  It is called "Desert Glory"  I knew that I wanted some desert mountains and sky in back so am happy with the end result.  I did this in a class with Sharron Boxenbaum at Positive Strokes in Palatine, IL.
!0' x 10" Acrylic on Canvas

I am posting this to Paint Party Friday.  I just found out my post from last week was chosen for this weeks PPF!  Wow!  I am honored!

This week I also finished and mailed my April Swap project with Bridget in PA. 
My theme was favorite movie.  Believe it or not I saw the new"Cinderella" three 3,3,3 times!  Once with my daughter, once with my mother and once with my usual movie buddy, Risa.  I loved it every time!  It was beautifully done and the computer animated mice, geese and coach were unbelievably wonderful!  Here is a picture of the front, some close-ups and then on the back some pre-made stick-on pieces with the movie theme.

Have a great week, and thanks for looking.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Mission San Xavier del Bac"

I finally finished my Mission Church that my friend Judy G. and I went to visit a couple of times when we went to Tuscan for plein air painting workshops. The Mission is being cleaned and repaired so this is not the usual front view of San Xavier del Bac. We walked around the sides and back and got some gorgeous sunlight hitting the Mission. In my painting you can see some of the tarps on the left side.
Oil on Canvas  
11' x 14"
Here is my original block-in below.  
I left some of the warm under-painting peeking through.

Last Sunday I my daughter Lucy and I attended another collage workshop given by Karen Sako at the Mainstreet Art Center in Lake Zurich, IL.  I wasn't really "feeling it" that day for some reason, so my efforts came out with very dark and very light areas instead of a nice mix of values.  This time I did three landscapes from the same reference(believe it or not!) and one bird on a 6" square board.
This one reminds me of Disney!

Lots of layers of paper and pastel and paint and ink!  
But just too darn dark!
I like this one the best.  I like the colors and the stamping and tangling.

These next drawings are from a live model session at the Elk Grove Library with the Artist Association of Elk Grove Village.  They were 1, 2, 5, and 20 minute poses.  I notice that I got darker and darker!

Thanks for looking.  I am sharing this with Paint Party Friday, although I am two days late!  Have a good week,         

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Of The Earth"

The ZIA(Zentangle In Art) I made for Earth Day. Done on a 4 x 6 card, using 17 different patterns with names of plants, animals, weather conditions, and the sun and moon.  The prompt is from Laura Harms over at I am the Diva website.  Great site to see her wonderful family photos, and many artists' creative versions of the prompt each week.

Patterns used
Seedlings, Woods, Jelly Fish, Tuffed Leaves, Partly Cloudy, Octopus, Milkweed, Dogbane, Aloe Vera, Dandlion Seeds, Bales, Sunray, Flying Geese, Cresent Moon,
Lightning Bolt, Mooka, Poke Root, Fescue

See Ya Later, Alligator! :>)  Gloria

Friday, April 10, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Fanz"

I was visiting my Mom this past week, so haven't done much artwork, but did look at Laura Harm's site, "I Am the Diva" to see what the Zentangle of the week, April 6-12 would be. It is called "Fanz" and was originated by Susan Goetter. I didn't have any supplies with me,so squared off an index card and used a ball point pen with a mechanical pencil for shading.

Now for some very good news!  After Mom's CAT scan on April 2, she saw her primary and pulmonary doctors.  Both reported that it appeared that the 10 mm lesion on her lung had now shrunk to 8 mm!  The stage 4 cancer.  Just Kidney cancer that has not spread yet and because of her age(93 yrs.) and the slowness of kidney cancer, nothing much happening!  Yea!

Below are a couple of pictures of my very messy art studio!

A little pastel floral I did a while ago and never posted.  
I was trying to "be loose"! 

I am posting this to the Diva's site and to Paint Party Friday.

Have a good week.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Some Catching Up"

I have been tending to other life matters aside from my art, so haven't posted in a couple of weeks or visited other's blogs either.  I had a little time today so thought I would show you some tangles and swap gifts received from other artists and some collage done a couple of weeks ago.
I did this drawing in February on a greeting card.

This was done about two weeks ago 

This Card was drawn yesterday.  
All of these cards were drawn from prompts suggested by Laura Harms at  The one above uses two different but similar patterns called Flux Maria and Flux Rick.  Maria and Rick are the originators of the Zentangle  craze.

I was intrigued by this shadow all away across my yard and driveway in front of the house this morning.  It first came to my attention when two Robins were hopping along and then for some reason began to fight!  I guess they are territorial!  Notice how different the shadow shape is from the actual tree shape.  It (the shadow)makes the tree base much thinner and the limbs closest to me much larger.

This is a wonderful March Swap I received from Lisa Crail all the way from Australia.  She not only sent me these two paintings done with some collaged papers in back of the portrait but the painted and charcoal drawing of a bird, and a decorated envelope and small ink drawing of a figure.  See Lisa's Facebook page at, Lisa Crail-Painting From the Heart. These swaps were through Community Thrive.

Many of you may have seen my collage work on Facebook.  I really enjoyed a workshop led by Karen Sako a couple of weekends ago.  
We got 4 pieces accomplished.
They are below with a little explanation of the process.

Three birds from the same reference, different size and shape of paper. Then a house/landscape collage from a reference. All from Karen Sako's most fun Mixed Media Workshop. 
Number three Bird-just let loose! Different shape and feather arrangement!

Bird #2- stencils,ink,clear gesso, collaged paper, paint and pastel. — at Mainstreet Art Center, Lake Zurich, IL.

Number one Bird. More Traditional, drawing,stencil,paper prepared from magazine page, clear gesso, paint, pastel.

Hopperesque! Paper handmade sky, paper house, paper shadow on house, paper foreground. Painted smaller shadows and sheets on the line. Marker outlines, and dog.

Well, that's it, Folks!
I am posting today, early for Paint Party Friday, and somewhat late for I Am The Diva!

Have a Good Week,

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