Friday, January 23, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Too Much to Comment"

Although I worked on both of my unfinished projects from last weeks blog, I received sad news this week about my mother and just seemed to be drained of energy.  My mother 93, was in the hospital from Thursday until Monday evening when she was taken back to the nursing wing of the retirement residence where she lives.  After 2 CAT scans and 2 MRI's we had not been told much.  Finally yesterday afternoon, her doctor called my brother who lives not far from her, and said she has a tumor on her kidney which is cancerous and it has spread to her lungs...hence all the coughing she has.  She refused chemo, radiation or surgery, stating "It is silly at this age".  She told me she is not in any pain at all.  I am planning on going to see her this next week, and to relieve my brother who lives near-by.  We both feel in limbo because the doctor has not told my brother who has the Power of Attorney for health care what her timeline is!  They won't talk to me because of Hippa Laws.  So we don't know, does she have 2 weeks, or 2 years!

I hope you have a better week!  I hope to talk and art again soon.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Three Down, Two to Go"

This week I finished three small projects and got two others started.  I finished "Rope Jumper". Here she is below with her rope.  I watched a champion rope jumper on You Tube to see the handles in her hands and how the rope would drape.  I gave her a face and took away her chunky forehead.  I also added more paint all around her.  This painting is Oil on a gessoed board and is 7"H x 5" W.
We finally had our family Christmas on Sunday the 11th.  On Monday I wrote my thank you notes.  I made a special one for my 7 year old grandson, hoping he would take notice.  He called today and he was so impressed!  I got a big kick out of it!  I had drawn with black ink the two presents that he had picked out for me especially.  One was a new wallet.  He had given me one the year before last and it was shot.  he knew that and picked a new one.  He also gave me a little cache pot with a young boy kneeling near a cross.  I printed his note rather than using script.

Before I forget..My friend Polly who lives in Anacortes, Washington gave me the neatest "altered" book.  It has 96 multimedia pages and was made by "slow art studio & bindery" on Lopez Island, WA .  It also has two little pockets on the front and back inside covers.  And look at the neat covers!!!  

Inside Front
Inside Back
Some Pages
Back Cover

I also did a Zentangle for the first time in quite a while.  I did it on a 4 x 6 card.  The prompt was from Laura Harms at the "" website.  It is Laura's 200th post and she asked us all to do a monotangle.  We were to use just one design, our pick.  I used a pattern called "Stiricles".

The card is sitting on a journal page that I am doing for Community Thrive, a new group I joined to learn more about journals, collage and art forms other than painting.

One of the two projects I started but haven't finished is a pen drawing of an impromptu music concert at The Clearing Folk Art School in Ellison Bay, WI a couple of years ago.  I plan to finish it in watercolor.  I think next time I will need to use a different pencil for the initial drawing. This one is too smudgy.
The reference below
And finally the last item this week.  An oil painting of a mission church in Arizona just barely blocked in in some areas.
The initial steps of the painting, with the reference below.

Have a good week and check the Zentangles and paintings done on the sites mentioned.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "Composition Gauguin"

I decided to do another in the floral series using an "Old Master" painter's work as a reference.  I picked a Gauguin floral still life this week.  I researched his color palette and a little about his technique.

These were the colors mentioned.  They are oil colors.  I am currently using pastels.  Since an oil painter can make many combinations from these colors, I started with these basic pastels but added to them to get the colors I needed.
  • Prussian blue
  • Cobalt blue
  • Emerald green
  • Viridian
  • Cadmium yellow
  • Chrome yellow
  • Red ochre
  • Cobalt violet
  • Lead white
  • Zinc white
  • The basic colors mention in the article on
  • Typically Gauguin painted outlines of the subject directly onto the canvas in diluted Prussian blue. These were then filled in with opaque colours (rather than building colour up through glazes). The dark outline heightens the intensity of the other colours. 
Here is that original photo of my set-up

The first thing I did was draw my original floral on the canvas in pencil.  I then added some new parts to the composition to mimic Gauguin's composition.  He had put a Japanese woodcut into the background and had a very South Seas looking jug.  Since I had neither, I made up an abstract in the background and added a jug-like vase in the area where he placed his.  I then outlined everything in "Prussian Blue" as the article mention.  Gauguin's painting seemed very flat with no real light source.  He also had some stray leaves pointing up at his still life, so I did the same.  I used many of his colors rather than the Fall colors of my original reference.
Below is my first step

Next starting to color in the background.

Then I totally forgot to take pictures until I was finished!

Here is my reference from Gauguin

Here is my final "Composition Gauguin"
8" x 10" Soft Pastel on Sanded Paper Unframed.
Contact me with questions.

I hope you enjoy my paintings :>)  Gloria

I was invited by Valerie & Susi after posting, to join in to Art Journal Journey.  Their site is featuring each artist's version of a "Master" painter that they like, so my current theme series fits right in.  Thank you ladies.  Pop-in to see each artists' rendition of their favorites painter.
I was also invited to share my work on "The Queen of Creativity" by Kate. Thanks so much!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Gloria J Zucaro's "January First 2015"

Happy New Year to Everyone,
Today my post is some photographs I have taken lately and how I altered them in Photoshop Elements.

Here is a photo of the bench in my back yard and my pesky squirrels.  
It is called "Squirrel's Christmas Party"
Here it is after using Photoshop Elements Filters called Artistic Cutout
It looks abstract, which is kind of neat.
Then below I used Enhance-Adjust Color Curves.  I increased the highlights and shadows, it looks much more dramatic and rich.  So much fun.  You can click on the images to enlarge to see the full effect.

The next photograph captured some crystals I had hanging in the window. 
First the original photo and beneath it, the photo enhanced with a filter called Misc. Effects, Fluorescent Chalk.  People really liked it and I had a purchase offer, but they thought I had painted it!  I told them it was only in my hoo!  Oh well, I had fun with these.


I am linking to Paint Party Friday, Twitter, Facebook and 

Have a wonderful week,


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Gloria J Zucaro's "Mainstreet Art Center Christmas Projects"

The week before Christmas is always a celebration at The Mainstreet Art Center where I go to paint twice a week.  I am one of those artists that does enjoy being in the company of other artists when I paint.  It doesn't distract me at all, and my main circle of friends is with other artists I've met since I started painting at Mainstreet in 2004.  Every year before Christmas break we do a special project and then we all eat lunch together with the morning classes staying late, and the afternoon classes coming early.  We each bring a dish to pass.  There are about 30 painters all together. The goal of our project this year was to add interesting backgrounds with different values to figures facing away from the camera.  We picked a specific color palette.  We were to bring references of figures seen from the back or side, one figure preferred, as we were to complete the painting in about 2 hours.

I got my references from Paint My Photo.  They are copyright free and all you need to do after you use a reference is let the photographer know, and link to your painting so they can see it.  If you have a page on their site you can show your painting there also.  Below is the reference called "Dancing Down The Road."  

Dancing in the Road

Below is my painting from Dancing Down The Road. 
10" x 8" Oil on gessoed panel, unframed

My other reference from Paint My Photo was called "Cuban Dancers", see below. 

Since we were only to paint one figure, I had to change the arms and balance of the figure.  This is not finished.  I need to put something in her hands.  I am thinking a jump rope(?). and I need to shape her face better and put a hint of  her features but not enough to distract from the overall figure.

See my WIP painting below.
7" x 5" oil on gessoed panel, unframed

I wish you all a Happy and Healthy 2015!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gloria J Zucaro's "The Reference As A Starting Point"

This past week I experimented with using a reference as a jumping off point for two different styles of painting.  The reference is from a photograph I took of one of the set-ups that I furnished for the palette knife workshop with Ann Feldman.

The Reference

The first painting was done with pastel in an impressionistic manner. Different colors and parts of the reference were left out.  I struggled with it, trying to get the colors and values what I wanted.

Impressionistic Version # 1

The second one came more easily because I "dreamed/thought"about it during the night, so I knew what I wanted to do when I got to the studio. It is a one-direction diagonal style pastel with lots of black interlaced.  I really like it.

Diagonal Version # 2

Both paintings may be enlarged to see more detail by clicking on the image.  After the holidays are over I may try some other styles modeled after the "Masters".          Any suggestions?  

Please contact me for purchase information.

I am linking this to Paint Party Friday, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Have a good week and thanks for taking a look.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Gloria J Zucaro's "Four Mediums"

Today I am posting a pastel, titled"Texas Meadow".  It is from a photo shared with me by my friend Jeanne Dale.  It may need some minor touches.  But I think it is  pretty much saying what I wanted to say.  I love the viewpoint. and the barbed wire.
12" x 9" Pastel on LaCarte Sanded Paper

Next is a watercolor.  The watercolor was one of my efforts in the Frank Francese workshop at Mainstreet Art Center.
"Homestead"   16" x 20" on 300 LB Wallis
The oil, "Siberia in May",  is from a photograph I took out of the window of the Trans-Siberian Railway on a trip from Moscow to Vladivostok in 2004 with my mother. 
 "Siberia in May"  14" x 11" Oil on Canvas
Such a beautiful and interesting country Russia!  The Western areas are European, then as we traveled across Siberia we entered the more Asian areas.  We ended in the very cultural city of Vladivostok.

Lastly is an acrylic still life I am doing in Sharron Boxenbaum's class.  It is not finished, as I would like to emphasize more light on the left, change the handle that fights with the edge, make the background more interesting and change the edgework on the top of the bowl.
"Fluted"  Acrylic on Canvas
16" x 12".
I am linking to "Paint Party Friday", Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gloria J Zucaro's "The Palette Knife & The Weather"

I loved a palette knife floral that Ann Feldman did a couple of months ago and asked her when she would be teaching another class for palette knife. She didn't have any until Spring she said, but would do a special one if I could get enough people.  So I rounded up artist friends and all nine of us had a great day with Ann. 
Ann did a landscape demo first thing in the morning and gave us a photo as a reference for our painting after the demo.
This week I touched up my two oil paintings I had done with Ann in her workshop.
Below is my landscape using the reference.  We drew a rough outline in paint with a small brush first, then started our painting with the palette knife.
10" x 8" on canvas sheet.
After lunch, Ann and I set-up three still life florals for the artists to choose from.  I had brought all the vases and flowers to use for the still life.  Ann did another demo and then we started painting our own florals from whichever set-up we chose.

My choice to paint.

10" x 8" on Canvas sheet.
As far as the weather...considering the dilemma in Buffalo, New York we are extremely lucky in Chicago.  Here are a couple of photos of our first little dusting of snow.  One at night when it was first falling, and one the nest day from my kitchen window.

The back yard (click on photo to see more clearly)

And finally here is my new fish tank on the chalk painted(and loaded with three coats of hand-applied wax!)table.

Real plants and two fish.  A Fancy-Tail Goldfish and a small Koi.
Did you know you should only put one inch of fish for each gallon of water?  So I have about 6" of fish in a ten gallon tank.  In a year I will need a 20 gallon tank!

I am linking this post to Paint Party Friday, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.Pinterest

Friday, November 14, 2014

Gloria J Zucaro's "Veggie Grid"

This week I made a couple of cards, and finished some projects.  The first is a Sketch Skool project for Jane LaFazio.  We were to arrange a still life, each part individually , draw and paint and add a grid line.  In my actual painting the grid is straight, but I couldn't get the top line to straighten out in this photo.  

The first card I made this week was a "Thank You" for a thank you gift! Redundant, I know, but the gift was...YUMMY!

What a great gift for just picking up their mail!

Next I got carried away with the invitation/reminder for my book club. We meet every other month at a different members' house.  That means we only have it at our house about once every other year.  We meet in alphabetical order.  It turned out to be my turn for the Christmas party.  We don't read a book for the Christmas party, but we usually exchange gifts.  We used to buy a gift and name a price to stay within.  This year someone suggested a "white elephant" gift exchange.   If we don't like what we get, we can donate it to the resale shop "House of Hope" in Barrington where a couple of our members volunteer.  Since the theme is white elephant, and a Christmas party, I combined the two.  Here are my supplies for the card.  The elephant is clip art from the internet, some stamps I have for the invitation inside, and the Christmas greeting outside.  Then I used some papers from a pad of Christmas themed papers for the background for my message about the gift this year.


Stamped message inside (minus some info!)

The gift idea reminder

The Craziest Christmas card ever!

The last project this week is the finished journal page I showed last week.
It is a "from life" drawing with watercolor I did awhile back when I went to a Tom Trausch open studio in Woodstock , IL.  It is held in St. John's Lutheran Church.  I added Zentangling, Stamped letters, a stamped pencil, some paper collage and crayon.

Have a good week,

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Gloria J Zucaro's "Creating Everyday"

Hello November!  Where has this year gone! 
I am so happy to say I finally, after more than a year, feel like I am getting my groove back.  Out of that black hole where no desire lives for art.  

I had a very productive week, although some things started and not finished.
A Favorite Lunch

Lady Across From Me

Sitting in the Car, what I saw

Today I did a journal page with collaged papers from my collection and put in my shopping list as my journal entry, so not an actual sketch..  I tore it(the list) up and glued it on with matt medium.  I did a stencil and some watercolor pencils.  I also did a little Zentangle in a few open spaces.  I will be combining my sketches with this kind of collection of different mediums, I think.  Making the sketch the focal point while doing the other work around it.

Journal Page that needs finishing

Tangled Palm Up

Jane's Grid Veggies, needs painting

For Prash-Wet onto Dry "SKY"
People In Restaurant

For Prash-Wet into Wet "SKY"
Man across waiting for oil change

First Chalk Paint Project. Table Top of Rattan Table

Top Of Table

First Coat of "Cream" Chalk Paint showing desired texture

After Two Coats of Paint and One Coat of Clear Wax.  I am going to put three coats of wax and have to let it dry for 24 hours between each.  I plan on putting my new fish tank on top of this table.

I am posting this to Sketchbook Skool, Paint Party Friday, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Have a good week,


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