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Thursday, July 15, 2021

Painting the Napa Valley Water tower

Well it's a done deal...I am moving from my quarantine bunker (haha .....tiny one bedroom apartment in the same building as my son) to a more spacious place with a yard, a DISHWASHER, and I can finally use my washer and dryer and revisit all of my STUFF that's been in storage for a year. Raise your hand if you've ever made the mistake of storing JUNK. It's just not worth the investment of over 4000.00 that it's cost me to store it so I will get it all out and again start culling out the UN NECESSARY stuff. In the meantime I am beyond excited about the new venture with youtube and filming and cameras and painting. All the paintings that I show on the youtube channel are for sale for a brief period of time here. I use squarespace and stripe and paypal. It's easy to buy; click, pay and then I ship it directly to you. I like to use frames on my work and I have used jfm frames on the east coast and attention to shipping. If there's any free shipping that's the way to go because frames are heavy! Here's the new youtube video complete with a list of the paint colors I used to execute it. Be sure to subscribe and give me a like. I'm hoping to really make the channel grow. I want to talk a lot about the evolution of art as well and do some stories about artists I admire as well as collecting advice and display possibilities. I am working on a 30 x 40 landscape with a NAPA oak tree in the background and dry ochre grasses in the foreground. It, of course, is the typical Napa/Sonoma landscape and I love the colors and the visuals of it. I do also love the pine forests of Georgia but I haven't seen them in quite a while! My new computer arrives tomorrow with sooooo many more bells and whistles. I love bells and whistles and SPACE! This will be loaded wtih final cut pro and I will be able to use software that I haven't been able to use. My current computer is loaded with space but it's still old. It lacks a camera; the speakers are nonfunctional and the fans go on constantly. It is not worth fixing. Ah such is the digital life in 2021; new stuff every 5 to 8 years. Here's a connection to the new video. Please subscribe and click the LIKE BUTTON. It helps!!

Monday, June 28, 2021

I just went back into a painting, ( a small one)....there were some areas of disharmony that were bothering me. I used a red for some dahlias and the blue in the hydrangeas wasn't sitting well with me so I decided to use 4 colors ( two cross complements). They were alizarin crimson and sap green and then orange and transparent orange and prussian blue. I feel like harmony fell into place easily which now makes me think of simply painting a scene in white and black acyrlic. I would let it dry thoroughly and then put my four colors down with white and mix up some values and start applying them to the little black and white study. I think I would have a very charming painting. Stay tuned. I'm going to do it. I'm not sure in this case I improved it but I could see the potential and definitely some areas were improved!

Saturday, June 19, 2021

 Hi Friends! Collectors! And Artists!

I just posted a new youtube video to my channel and talk about 4 ways to improve your art. THESE are for oil painters. I think they are universal to most all matters of self expression and probably if you want to get esoteric they apply to life itself.  (Soften edges, a little neutral with the bright, sometimes you can’t just tackle the subject but instead you look for the outline, finesse, group you lights and shadows). I think I could find some ways that those principles apply to life, don’t you.

I go over a lot of this in my book which is a self published book by amazon 

If you haven't joined the youtube channel you can do that here. Here I show how to paint the woman in the garden with the 4 tips on how to improve your painting

Sunday, June 6, 2021

 Color Color Color

It means something in every culture. I am mesmerized by color and have sought to understand it since I was a teenager. It’s the number one factor that keeps me in pursuit of art for the rest of my life. I adore it; I am compelled to understand it, and I never tire of playing with it not only in art and colors on canvas but in fabrics, in interiors and in landscapes.  The funny thing is that the objects that appear to be a certain color are in fact missing that one color in reality and its absence reflects back on the eye of the beholder creating the color in the mind of the observer.  Nonetheless we still play with it.  And color in paint is a fairly new thing which in fact brought about the marvelous birth of impressionism. Prior works were limited to earth colors and actual gems that were ground down.  Art follows technology. When Winsor Newton in England began to develop laboratory colors and tin tubes it changed the entire trajectory of the art and the artist’s work. It’s a fact.

I made a brief little keynote presentation for youtube showing just a few ways to create harmony that is pleasant to the eye of the beholder. I hope this is meaningful to you. 

Saturday, May 29, 2021

 As I get more involved with my youtube channel it makes me reflect more on the basics of painting. I find the most important things in making a painting (with the intention of selling it) are to keep in mind three or four main points and they are in order of importance DESIGN, COLOR, NARRATION AND FINALLY RENDERING. Rendering is important too but it’s basically nothing if you don’t have the first three in good standing. I painted this painting about 10 years ago and worked hard to get the color harmony and design right.  

 Watch the youtube video about the stages or progressions of this painting. I am trying to gather a following on my youtube channel where I’ll be posting twice daily and talking in depth about art decisions I make ... join me here:

How to paint a figure in the sun GIRL READING WITH RED PILLOW and be sure to leave any questions or comments here or there. I am always looking for areas of interest.  Next up color choices and get to know your mediums!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

 Unify your painting with limited palette.  I painted this one with mostly three areas of the color wheel .. It’s a small one so “not exact” mostly little spots of color.  I took inspiration from the green(yellow green) area, the flesh area of warm reds and then balanced it with the opposite of those two; the purple and purple blues. You can see on the color wheel (thank you grumbacher) how the two colors at the top then from a triangle with the purple blue.  In my opinion, the three most important aspects of a painting are design, color harmony and finally rendering pretty much in that order. We’re not going for a photographic representation anymore.  THE thing that keeps me painting after 40 years is COLOR not rendering...something to keep in mind. Though rendering is fun too!  Check out the youtube talk on this painting and SUBSCRIBE to be notified of bi weekly posts! See you there

Friday, May 14, 2021



Oil painting is the greatest. I think I would have to include pastel work into what I am about to say as well.  Here’s an example of what I am talking about.  About 2 months ago I stretched a 30 x 40 and decided to spend some time with this subject and composition.  The first painting is an oil painting and the second painting is of course the same painting but about a day later.  I was ready to quit  with the first one and then I said to myself, “remember when you used to spend a month on just one painting? What did that mean?” So I used my inner art eye that I have acquired over time from experience, reading and viewing great paintings in museums and began to focus on what I know are MY principles of oil painting

Check the edges

Be aware of what colors are next to each other and the harmony 

Think of the composition points (golden mean)

And the important one in this post which is to push color.

 By push color you wonder what I mean. I mean I start pushing warm colors (usually the opposite on the color wheel) into cool colors and vice versa, the cool into the warm and voila I think I got a much better oil painting. What do you think ? The second one is down below  and I will put that painting onto  my header.  Come back soon the meantime check me out on my youtube channel.

Saturday, May 8, 2021



My friend and I are supporting each other in getting started on our youtube channels.  I am learning learning learning.  (Good for an older brain they say). I certainly have a lot of paintings I can talk about but mastering the art of EDITING is a whole career unto itself. Should I go with imovie, final cut, adobe premier, or some advertiser from my “cookie” mind invasion?  I am experiencing multiple computer burnout. I work on an ipad pro then want to do some work on my pc or laptop and my mind reels with transferal of files complications, changes in software capabilities, Password hell........have you been there? You can spend days there and it really underscores the fact that I’m aging and the “I’ll remember that” starts to sound downright foolish and forget the PASSWORD stored on the ipad.  Sometimes it takes and sometime it doesn’t.  I’ve started an old fashioned process of keeping a notebook and writing them down as I change them.

All this complaining means I’m learning. Everyday I do it I am getting better. I believe in the sink or swim method of learning and in computer language I call it JUST keep CLICKING to see if it works and then hope you can remember how you got there. Also thank goodness for youtube and all the contributors who teach you this stuff.    Please join me at the beginning of my journey into the great YOUTUBE experience. My son say’s I’m late to the party. I’m here anyway and I think I’m having fun.  This blog is a gmail invention (google) and so is youtube so there is a nice connection (interface) between these two.  

I am learning to say PLEASE subscribe and LIKE at every opportunity!

Monday, May 3, 2021

 Sketch books!  I’ve always had a sketch book. I often was more in love with “having” a beautifully bound book instead of the actual sketching but that being said, many many evenings have been spent with me looking at my surroundings and sketching what I saw, a chair against the book case, the cat in a chair, the way the lamp light cast a light and illuminated a corner of the room.  All this was of course WHILE watching tv with a glass of wine.  It takes me back to my early college days.  I always have done it and NOW, turns out, sketchbooks are the rage.  They are gorgeous. I particularly like the Stillman and birn variety of sketchbook. The paper is exquisite. If you’d like to take a look here is an amazon link.  As much as I am fearful of amazon taking over the world and all its money I am also so pleased when I get a 24 hour delivery. Call me mixed on the issue.  

I will be demonstrating a few of my easy sketches on warm tan paper highlighted with white markers later this week on my youtube channel. Sally Rosenbaum ...I hope you’ll join me there for lots of future art videos.  I am a former art teacher; spent a life time PAINTING and selling my art, and now I am going to try the virtual art lessons and shares and recommendations and just blabbing about my opinions, inspirations, techniques, and philosophies. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

 Today I start getting serious about my art blog and my posting.  I’ve been focusing on one of my favorite sizes and motifs to paint, the 8 x 10 of  moments in time. I am returning to some of my favorite scenarios, women in solitude creating or reading and lost in imagination (introvert that I am) and children usually with books..What is it about books?!!!! They have been my friend for 65 years..  I think I can recall running to sit on my dad’s lap on Sunday after church and having him read the “funnies” to me and out of nowhere I started reading them along with him. It hit me like I lightening bolt that I could read without needing a grownup to do it for me and with that thought I was off and running read read.....then came serious homework and reading assigned reading.  I slowed down a bit from my escape reading as I had to get serious with textbooks but I resumed when I was free from academia.  It’s still my favorite “subject” to arrange and paint. I also have to admit that I love painting the figure...over the figure needs to be doing something. HE/she is writing or reading and sometimes just thinking. I can sit and daydream, think, remember, and plan for hours.  Can you?  I’ll be posting them as I paint them and sometimes there will be links here for purchase.  Please follow me and you’ll get notices when I’ve posted a new one.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Reflections on what I do

The Garden, the book, and Solitude
By Sally Rosenbaum

For over 30  years I have spent my working hours painting the figure at leisure steeped in the rich sanguine mood of reflection, imagination, and contemplation.  All of these occupations in addition to several others, I consider essential to my introverted soul. These are not limited strictly to the introvert…naturally. and are enjoyed and appreciated by many of us in the human race.  I DO NOT consider myself solely an introvert. In fact, the definition I like to apply to the label takes the form of a question. Are you inspired and energized by people, crowds and activity OR are you more likely to need to retire to quiet beautiful spaces to ruminate, nap, read or draw to replenish your spirit? I am in the latter category but like most of us I can spend time in both worlds easily.  After  a quarter of a century of painting the figure in gardens, in repose, with wine, tea, fruits, in the act of reading, reflecting, sharing time with a child and just plain zoning out, I recognize that my body of work as an oil painter is in celebration of the introvert who MUST make time for her/himself simply  in order to be him/herself.
I grew up in Atlanta during the days when only a few people in my Buckhead neighborhood had icy cold water air conditioning units ( boxes) hanging from windows and those that did were usually in the off limits area of the parents’ bedroom. We invented and found pursuits that kept us out of  the thick humid air and saved us from constantly wearing the gown of perspiration. Although we wore shorts and cropped tops everyday of the summer our skin showed no sun lines. The heat and the frequent threat of thunderstorms from afar quickly advancing on us in soft water downpours, angry thunder, and sharp whips of light in the sky fostered bedroom board games, pinocle and gin rummy, and even canasta in the kitchens, bedrooms, and swimming pool dressing rooms. Either the rain or the intense low sun would make staying indoors with the modern, overhead hallway fan a better alternative to the muggy daytime outdoors and it was during these times after the boardgames when all the friends went home that I formed long lasting relationships with the Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Scarlet Ohara and Jean Louise Finch, aka Scout. I read every biography I could get my hands on from the Buckhead library where my mom dropped me off for hours at a time while she shopped and ran errands. I picked up a copy of Lorna Doone entranced by the name knowing it was also a cookie. I read the young career section and shared the lives of nurses, graphic designers, department store “buyers,” and I occasionally ventured into the adult section in the front of the library looking for important “novels.” Though I was supposed to be on the steps in two hours waiting for my station wagon pickup, my mother frequently had to find me on the floor with all my collections piled high at my side already immersed in the first book where time was nonexistent.  
Knitting was another passion I picked up at an early age. I even tried knitting while reading. It didn’t work; dropped stitches, empty pages of understanding. It was a lose lose combination. 
I tried in vain to solicit knit buddies but unfortunately I could not find anyone to join my club so again I  found energy in isolation with each knit and each purl costuming garment after garment for every doll, bear, dog, cat and family member. My mother, forever the good sport with “I love it!” “Can you make one for me?”  She never denied me the “new project” buy. The colors, the textures, the imagination of what form it would become all fostered my introverted inner life. To this day I have an inner pang when I see a particular not quite coral pink leaning more to the middle of the value range very much like some shades of particular persimmons. This color captivated me at 9 years old. I had to possess the wool. Sixty years later I still use the silver size 6 needles with the ruler gauge printed on one side of the needle. I knit the pinkish sweater for my baby brother. I was 9 and he was barely 2. I knew small sweaters would be done quicker and I could start a new project that much sooner which translated to picking out a new color.  Most everything in those days was Bernat worsted weight.  Did a two year old boy wear a scratchy pink sweater? Of course not, but no superior parental voice broke in to tell me this was unwise. My mother could barely sit still; never indulged in a lengthy book or even a half hour tv show (and by my standards was most definitely an extrovert) but she allowed for  my creativity. This was introversion by process and I credit her with recognizing me for who I was and my cultivation and enjoyment. The joy was the process not the product.
The Atlanta Gardens were divine and made a lasting impression in my mind that I forever associate with the romantic and the peaceful harmony that all is well in the world. Our neighborhood had a garden club and every yard had a garden where camelias, dogwoods, gardenias and hydrangeas seemed to thrive like weeds.  The blooms were magical and predictable. They always were perfectly formed and arrived on time. They framed every pathway, veranda, and perimeter of the wide open yards. The scents were intoxicating as they mixed with the heavy droplets in each molecule of thick moist air. Everyone had a green thumb and the garden club became a beautiful social gathering and a perfect backdrop for the grown up cocktail parties.  These scents and the celebrations of the flowering season in the spring came to remind me of beauty, tranquility and bountiful prosperity. The dads wore suits; the moms were beautiful. The cocktail martini glasses were elegant and the laughter and friendly banter drifted through open windows where the babysitters played dolls and served fish sticks to the children. 
Though I no longer live in the south I am easily able to transfer the meditative moods and harmonious associations from the landscape of my youth to my current countryside, the California Napa Valley where the cultivation and tastings of fine wines replace the bourbon, tea or even coca cola of the garden party. 
Sometimes my lady, girl, or woman, sits with the perfect cabernet in the garden. Sometimes she sips tea and peruses a magazine and occasionally pauses for reflections.  Sometimes she shares the space with a child who is learning to read. The book is in hand or nearby, and in her face, shielded by a hat she has the solitude and privacy that is necessary for rejuvenation. The garden sometimes is the southern garden of my childhood and sometimes it takes the form of the Napa mediterranean type garden mixed with wisteria, fruit trees, and hundreds of varieties of flowering perennials. The scents are implied but now include the lavender and rosemary and grapes of the wine country of the preserved Napa Valley. The air is dry but warm and the feeling is still one of romance and possibility, planning and reminiscing past and future.

I have been selling each and every painting I have created for over 25 years. Some are large and some are tiny. Thousands of paintings exist on the walls of homes throughout the United States and the world. I think of them as unconscious visual reminders and cues to my co-humans to remember to replenish your imagination and to pass what you know on to the next generation. I hope they are reminders that time alone is never wasted and time doing “nothing” is actually a necessary “something.” My greatest joy in the accomplishment of my work is to occasionally hear that some child or adult has lived with my paintings on the walls of their homes and that these images  have become part of the visual landscape that has informed their lives. The introvert and the extrovert have much to share and teach each other and the garden and the book are friendly to all. We may all pass through stages of introversion and extroversion  on our roads through life and sitting still is a reminder of the time when you walk through the gates and inhabit the inner life of the great human experience.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

New work

 I started this some time ago and I was short of a few colors.  This is the beginning and I intend to brighten it up and make it richer.I started with a burnt umber wash.  It's 36 x 36 and is from a photograph of my second son when he was 5 or 6.  I staged a number of photos in my backyard out in the country where I had lots of filtered light, trees and sunshine. It was a gold mine for getting good photos.
     I have always maintained that the better the photo the better the painting. What do I mean? It's not generally what you look for in a photo for a photo's sake. The sun is important and even if parts are bleached out it makes for a good composition as you group the lights and darks.  Many photos do not have a distinction between the light and the dark and that makes it total invention on the part of the artist. With the sun shining from one direction, the images are lit uniformly on one side of the figure or still life or landscape.  It's easy to pick up reflected light which is, perhaps, the main area people are focused on when they appreciate a painting.
     I have found that a wide angle lens is superb for capturing a scene. I now am using digital but this was from kodachrome, an excellent source of perfect warm light.
     First I drew in the composition with alizarin crimson from the photo below

     Then I covered it with a burnt umber wash and started introducing sap green, burnt umber into the background. As I got closer to the face I made it a little warmer with some cad red light so the face would appear to be in the atmosphere of the garden and not just pasted on top of it.