Day 29. Gina’s Oreo

Practice makes perfect. So here’s another Oreo drawing, this one bitten by Gina.

Like Margie’s Oreo, Gina’s Oreo was bitten as an entry into my Oreo Cookie Contest held during my Open Studio. I’m considering doing a painting of this too. Maybe you’re even looking at the contest winner!

I first met Gina Thorne when she walked through the door in 2015. Gina was in charge of programming for the Scarsdale Artist’s Association, and asked me to do a Just Desserts Talk and Painting Demonstration. It sticks out in my mind because I enjoyed speaking in front of a group, especially about art and niche marketing, which you can about in The Sheer Joy of Just Desserts. At moments like these, my yearning to be an artist history professor re-emerges.

This particular Oreo was chosen because of the way it split into 3 pieces, yet it still looks like a classic bite. I’m almost finished with it, but I have to put it down tonight since I’m getting up at 6am tomorrow morning. – and it’s already past midnight. I’m going to the Awakenings Fair in Manhattan.

When I come home from the city, I’ll darken the craggy edges but lighten the dark “hotspot”, put in a little shadow on the white filling, and add more contrast to the rest (aka darken it with a softer drawing pencil).  Then I’ll be all set to start my Day 30 painting.

Or maybe I’ll wait a few days so I can start my next painting before my eye doctor’s appointment on Monday.

Unfortunately my eyes will be dilated part of the day, and I won’t be able to paint. If I hadn’t waited months for the appointment, I would have re-scheduled. So my planning finally went a bit awry. I’ll just add this to my lessons learned. No eye doctor’s appointment during a painting challenge!

I have a painting in mind for Day 30 that I simply have to do for myself, and you’ll probably find it intriguing at the very least.

Have I piqued your interest? If so, come back tomorrow.


Last June, I wrote that there’s nothing like the rush of opening an email saying Accepted, whether it’s for a college application or an art exhibition. But there may be.

That’s the sense of satisfaction, accomplishment and excitement you experience every time you open an email that says Sold!


“My Mallomar” by Beverly Shipko, Limited Edition Giclee Print, 10 x 14 inches on William Turner rag paper. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Carden

It’s always nice to have external validation – to know that other people think highly enough of your work to buy it. It’s especially powerful when your gallery owner purchases it for herself.

That’s what happened here. Jennifer Carden, founder of Super Fresh Art Gallery in Novato California, bought this print for her newly renovated kitchen (something to aspire to!).

Jennifer framed the print for a gallery show, tried it out in her kitchen, and it now has a permanent home.

I like the light, airy and contemporary feeling of the print floating on the mat board. I’ll have to try this mat style, which my favorite framer, Joe Sablow of Artistic Services in White Plains, had suggested a long time ago. Maybe I’ll do a better job of listening in the future.

Here’s to lots more Sold! emails in 2016!

Day 10 of the 30/30 Challenge – Sedona Drawing

Today I decided to do a drawing of one of my favorite places, Cathedral Rock in Sedona.  It’s hard to believe it’s been 4 years since my last visit there. How time flies! Maybe this will motivate us to go back soon.

Day 10. "Cathedral Rock" by Beverly Shipko, Pencil on bristol board, 6 x 6 inches.

Day 10. “Cathedral Rock” by Beverly Shipko, Pencil on bristol board, 6 x 6 inches.

I confess this choice of subject and change in media was at least partially driven by external forces. First, I wanted the time to go to a museum in New York City before our New York Philharmonic Concert tonight. A drawing is so much quicker for me (so I thought) than an oil sketch – especially when the subject is rocky terrain packed full of details. The urge to try and get out in front of things was irresistible.

Second, I needed to do a line drawing for a long overdue bi-monthly art card with the theme, “Follow the Line”. Well, the line took me to Sedona. I had even bought new Micron pens which everyone was raving about, which just sat around until today. I thought that I could try the pens and do a pencil sketch too.

Wrong. When I used the pens on drawing paper, I found that they aren’t suited to my style of drawing, at least for red rocks in a horizontal format. There’s no way to correct errors with the pencils and I missed the gradations and changes in line thickness that pencils have to offer. After one false start with the Micron pens, I began a second drawing using soft pencils on square bristol board, which you see here, which had been previously reserved just for drawing Oreo Cookies. This even may be my first serious landscape drawing.

Drawing rocks and shrubbery bathed in sunlight proved more problematic that expected. Without color, the red rock shadows and green vegetation looked the same. I wanted to capture the sunlight and the subtle striations, but then I lost the freshness. Thank goodness for Pentel Hi-Polymer Erasers to help brighten things back up. I think I was getting the hang of this drawing, but then it was time to stop.

Working on Cathedral Rock put me back in the spirit of the Wild West and got me looking more closely at the image that I plan to paint tomorrow. In fact, I was hoping to get lucky and be extremely efficient today, and start painting a bit today – a plan that was too ambitious


This subject is not without its risks, and it’s one that I have been avoiding for over 25 years since I painted Monument Valley in acrylic (which probably isn’t as well suited for this wonderfully textured, craggy landscape as oil). Cathedral Rock is just so stunning at sunset that I thought a painting couldn’t possibly live up to the photo, let alone the real thing. Yet thousands of artists do paint it. So it’s time to change my thoughts to “I can too.” (Thank you, Carol!) The compromise will be to capture the essence of the landscape quickly without giving up too much detail – to hint at the striations but not get caught up in them.

The 30/30 format gives me the opportunity to face my fears and just do it. Isn’t that what the spirit of challenge is all about? The bonus is that it’s only a two day investment between the drawing and oil sketch.

Sometimes I dream about renting a place in Sedona and just making art there every day. For now, this is as close as I’m going to get.

I am looking forward to tomorrow and the painting challenges Day 11 will bring. The bonus is that I’ll get to take a vacation – in my mind – along the way.