"Julia Back From Moscow" oil on linen, 11"x14", "Jug, Pan, and Vase" oil on linen, 9"x12". I'm at a stage in Julia's portrait that I find very exciting. Blindly windowshading my way along, using my study to stay on course, and watching the portrait slowly reveal itself. I'm always hoping to get everything exactly right the first time, but that almost never happens. As I was telling one of my students the other day, you don't want to have a half-hearted stage, planning to be bold later on because that first stage will carry through. It's better to go for broke and then if you have to make changes at least they will be over something worthwhile. The painting is, as I had hoped, starting to take on the mood of the sitter, even the background, so I can't wait for the next session. "Jug..." is finished. This one took a lot of hard looking. I'm painting in north exposed daylight and I'm really paying careful attention to textures and edges. I'm pretty happy with this one and I think it's pointing the way that works best for me; simple objects, well observed.