Daub du Jour

My name is Marianne Plumridge. I am an artist of mythic fantasy works and fine art images. More of which can be seen at my website, 'MariannePlumridge.com', and also my main Blog, 'Muse du Jour'. These sites are in the links section of this page. This site began life as a painting a day blog in 2007. However that project has now passed, but I still find myself painting in that way. So this site will now be the showcase my new paintings as inspired by those previous efforts.

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Location: New England, United States

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Something new!!

(11x17", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $ 900.00  SOLD

This painting was something of a spur of the moment idea of a HUGE lost, ancient derelict floating dead in space and and a much smaller rocket doing flybys to take stock of it and report. I doodled the idea roughly in my new tiny 3x3" bound sketchbook, then drew up a more detailed final idea that I used as the basis to paint from. I liked the idea of a more monochromatic, restricted palette that represented the deepness of space, and also the stark white and shadows that local space light threw against the damaged white 'sail/fin' of the derelict alien ship. The final idea that it looked like it had been rotting there, open to asteroid hits, both microscopic and large, was paramount, against the freshness and clean lines of the quintessential 'pointy rocket ship'. Unfortunately, this photo of the finished painting does not do the subtleties of the original justice. The giant sail/fin was painted mostly with a palette knife and I was happy with so many of the sharp edges and happy accidents as a result. The extreme diagonals that make up the composition were deliberate because even the sharpest straight lines created by intelligence, human or alien, will corrupt and fade with time and abuse of nature. And, also, up or down, or sideways, or the thought of 'right side up' are purely subjective in outer space due to a lack of gravity. 

 Below is the initial design idea. Note the size of the moon/planet in the curve of the fin. I wanted to create a less claustrophobic composition, and changed it in the final design.

Below, is the final design drawing for 'Derelict'. It is only about 3x1.5", yet I enlarged it to the correct painting size of 11x17" without losing any detail. I was a bit concerned about the moon/planet crowding the sail/fin, even if it was supposed to be in the background, so I moved it about half an inch to the left in the actual painting.

This is a studio shot using my iPad. It's not the greatest, but shows the work in progress and the giant enlargement of the thumbnail design drawing I used to trace the idea down onto the linen board. Note the different placement of the moon/planet.

Something fun. Here is the painting drying in my study. The studio was very cold throughout winter, so ended up bringing my drying paintings into the warmer atmosphere of my study to dry better than they had been doing. Sitting atop 'Derelict' is the tiny rocket doodle, 'Indigo Station' which was created with the left over paint I used in painting the bigger rocket doodle below it.

Anyway, this is the second of the bigger space epics I painted for Boskone in February. I'm rather proud of how it turned out, and hope to create something truly like this again sometime. Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by, and come back soon. There are more rocket doodles and other oddities to come.


Friday, May 26, 2023

Rescue Rockets!!


 "Rescue Rockets"
(15 x 21.5", Oils on Linen, Framed)   Price $1000.00   SOLD
This painting emerged from a previous idea I painted and became something bigger, literally and figuratively. My little 6x8" painting, 'Danger Zone' from the Christmas Small Works sale a few months ago stuck with me for a long time and I often wished that I had painted it bigger. Well, just after Christmas, I gave in and did so, only this time, I expanded the narrative as well as the size. With just the addition of a few flying rockets for drama, the story I was portraying became more than a tragedy waiting to happen, it became a rescue. All of the other elements and palette essentially remained the same. And so it proves that any idea can be tweaked to become something...more. Cue searching for and going through all my active sketchbooks, looking for the base sketch I used for the previous painting so I could draw up the canvas again. Only to realize an hour or so later that I NEVER doodled a thumbnail OR drew up a design drawing for the original painting. It was one of those on the fly creations that meant that I had drawn the elements directly on the canvas, and there was no sketch. Okay, the planet, the exploding rocks and the rockets could all be drawn straight on the new canvas without a problem, but the space station was tricky and a bit specific for that, so cue another deep dive into the paper flotsam around my studio easel, and then back to my computer trying to find the original thumbnail for yet another previous painting from last year, called 'Blue Moon Station'. I borrowed the original concept design from that low orbit station as the basis for 'Danger Zone' and then subsequently for the new painting. A few tweak on the station later, and then I painstakingly recreated the original concept on the canvas with the added rockets. And as I really don't like painting exact replicas of my previous works, I changed little details up a bit going forward. This is the closest I've come to actually copying one of my own paintings. 

This is the moment that I realized that I did NOT have a drawing, sketch or thumbnail to work from while I was painting, and if I stuffed it up, didn't have a reference to fix it. Hence, the bad hastily taken IPad photo.

I was still building the background and planet at this stage. Laying masses of paint, blending with big fluffy blending brushes, and then adding more paint. It was hard trying not to fully 'copy' what I'd done before. It felt like I was trying to paint with my elbows tied to my sides for some of it. In the end, I tried to shake it off and just have fun with the paint again. That's what my rocket doodles really are, when you come to think about it. It's just me having fun with the paint and the 'what if' principle.

This is the last progress picture I took before I had to finally get to finishing the painting. As you can see, I've started working on the space station. Its shape echoes the planet, and rivals the fiery demise with a light all of its own. It shines brighter than the planet, and offers hope. The space station also resembles a Christmas ornament, which I didn't realize, myself, until I saw my painting hanging at the Boskone Art Show in February. It blazed like a beacon that you could see from across the room. So, even if it is a redux of an existing painting of mine, I think I did good. One of my best, I think.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by. There's more to come, a few more bigger space epics and a few new paintings from 2018 and 2019 that I haven't posted yet. So, come on back for a visit, sometime....


Saturday, February 25, 2023

Little space epics for Boskone...

 Since Christmas, I've been working on some paintings for our first show of the year, Boskone, a science fiction convention in Boston, which was last weekend. Now that the show is over, I can post them here. At least the little ones. The three big paintings that I created will each have their own post in coming days. Meanwhile, here are they are. Some of the designs were created from thumbnails I worked on over the Thanksgiving weekend whilst at another local convention. 

"Thread the Needle"
(8x8", Oils on linen, Framed)     PRICE: $450.00  SOLD
I had a blast painting this one. The design is somewhat out of my comfort zone and it took me nearly an hour to shape and doodle the circular, non-traditional space station. I decided that it was a 'thumb your nose at the station master' by the maverick pilots when they attempted to fly directly through the center of the station for fun. The invisible defensive shields that protect the station have a 'hole' in the very center and it takes a skilled pilot to navigate it. More than one ship has lost 'skin' by scraping by the inner station shields whilst attempting it. So it is called 'threading the needle' by one and all. The effervescent blast of nebula colours adds to the joy of the situation and frames the space station nicely. 
"Quarantine Caboose" 
(5x7", Oils on linen, Framed)  Price: $240.00  SOLD
I loved painting a blue planet with a barely there ring and moon. Possibly Neptune, but maybe not quite. The colours are retro 1950s into the 1960s and that was what was on my palette at the time. Another thumbnail from that Thanksgiving weekend. And also didn't turn out quite what I was originally envisioning at all. Those little designs rarely do. Also, in this instance, I was wondering why a space station might need of a little tag-along companion. The thought that came to mind was perhaps it was a quarantine pod. Hence the name 'Quarantine Caboose'. 
"Course Change"
(6x8", Oils on linen, Framed)  Price: $300.00 SOLD
This was originally intended to be an atmosphere composition, but quickly turned to a 'space' shot among moons.

"Shadow Base Launch"
(5x7", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $240.00  SOLD 
This little gem revisited the colour scheme from one of my previous little paintings, 'Polar Drift'. I loved the colours so much that I just took a canvas, drew a moon, put in a thing 'ring' and moon and called it a planet. I painted all of that and then realized that I hadn't actually added anything technical. So I doodled in the space station, wonkily channeling the famous SF artist, John Berkey, and then added the rocket. Voila...instant story and action. 
"Indigo Station"
(6x6", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $ 320.00  SOLD
The photo does not do the subtle colours justice for this little painting. It's a gem. And the colour theme lends itself to the 'indigo' of the title. The original painting glows. I sure wish I could share the glow and shine of my little paintings, but this will have to do. 
There will be more to come of my paintings. Some will be space epics, big and small, and maybe there will be new things to paint. I want to challenge my comfort zone a lot this coming year. I don't think I've done too badly at this point. Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by, 

Sunday, December 4, 2022


 Welcome! Here, you'll find 14 new small rocket doodle paintings...and a Rover painting from my Birds 'n' Bots series bringing up the caboose. Unfortunately, while I did my absolute best with the photography, each image is lacking in the nuance, luminosity, and detail that real live viewing brings. Please keep that in mind. Also, please see shipping options at the end of this post. To contact me for purchasing a painting, please use FACEBOOK MESSENGER. I'll keep an eye on my email for direct contact as well. First to request purchase will get the painting. If that falls through, then it will be offered to next requestor according to the time stamp of the message. Meanwhile, please enjoy...

"Bolo Observation Deck"

(Size: 6x8", Oils on Linen, Framed)    Price: $300.00 SOLD

"Bright Travels"
 (Size: 6x8", Oils on Linen, Framed)   Price:  $300.00 SOLD

"Danger Zone"
(Size: 6x8", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $300.00 SOLD

"Dark Watch Station"
 (Size: 5x6", Oils on Linen, Framed) Price: $120.00 SOLD

"Direct Hit"

(Size: 5x5", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $120.00 SOLD

"Dust Storm Drift"

(Size: 5x7", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $130.00 SOLD

"Fire Sky Run"

(Size: 6x6", Oils on Linen, Framed)  $275.00 SOLD

"Moon Patrol"

(Size: 6x8", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $300.00 SOLD

"Out of the Fire"
 (Size: 5x7", Oils on Linen, Framed) Price: $240.00 SOLD

"Polar Drift"
(Size: 5x7", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $240.00 SOLD

"Red Patrol"
(Size: 6x6", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $275.00 SOLD

"Shattered Moon"
(Size: 4x6", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $100.00 SOLD

"Sky Bright Station"
(Size: 6x8", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $ 275.00 SOLD

"Tandem Drift"
(Size: 5x7", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $ 150.00 SOLD

"Who You?"
(Size; 6x8", Oils on Linen, Framed)  Price: $300.00

Currently, I have medium Priority Mail flat rate shipping boxes for single sales that will run about $20-21.00 with insurance. If you buy more than one and want to ship Fedex, we can get that done, too. 
Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, November 14, 2022

Rocket Doodle Retrospective...


 After I broke my arm in 2018 and having a year of taking care of my husband after his emergency eye surgery in 2019, my depression lingered and was maybe just starting to crawl my way out of it in early 2020, but then the pandemic hit...along with my husband's continuing elevated anxiety levels. So between the beginning of 2019 and the post-pandemic Illuxcon in 2021, I only painted one painting of note...read 'at all'. In trying to evoke a working mojo to give my creativity a boost and to fill panels at Illuxcon and the next show in February 2022, I tried my hand at painting little Pulp Space epics again. These are those paintings, including ones that I did for the recent Illuxcon last month. I seem to have found my footing with painting again, as future posts will attest, but I still have a few pre-pandemic paintings to post from 2019, and the current crop of Space Epics that I suddenly have the urge to paint. So stay posted for the results.

"Blue Moon Station"

Size: 9x12", Oils on Linen Panel      Price: $275.00    SOLD

"Paradise Station Amidst the Rings"
Size: 16x16", Oils on Canvas Panel.    Price: $ 500.00   SOLD
This painting was originally 18x24" and I had painted all of it except the purple clouds and the rocket ship. Bereft of those, the painting looked too stark and I didn't know what else to do with it, so I put it aside in 2018 and didn't look at it again. I almost binned it a couple of times but couldn't bear to part with the space station I'd put so much work and love into. Well, when I was rummaging around for canvases to paint on for the upcoming Illuxcon show in 2021, I found it again. I wondered how it would look if I cropped it down to a tighter composition. I had a few frames lurking around and I traced off a cutting line for a 16x16" black frame and used a white chalk pencil to draw in the rocket and a few extra moons and an idea of where the clouds would go. A leisurely hour or so later and I had a new painting I was much happier with. A 5x9" piece of cut off canvas from the top of the painting became another painting with an added rocket and stars to offset the top of the orange 'rings'. I called it 'Cresting the Outer Rings' and it sold quickly at Illuxcon, but I don't have a photo of that little epic at all, sorry to say. 
"Phobos Way Station" 
 Size: 9x12", Oils on Linen Panel.   Price: 400.00  SOLD

"Sea of Moons"
Size: 8x10", Oils on Linen Panel.    Price: $ 350.00   SOLD

"Bloodfire Station - Colour Sketch"
Size: 4x6", Oils on Linen Panel.   Price:  $90.00    SOLD
This idea came from a visual idea that I woke up with one morning. I wanted to experiment, so I grabbed a tiny canvas and started drawing the elements directly onto the canvas and then began laying paint. I loved it so much that took a bigger canvas and drew it up again. If you look at the bigger version of this directly below, you'll notice that the rocks are placed just a little differently and I've added a tiny buoy between the station and the asteroid on the left hand side to fill an inadvertent negative space that I felt need something more. I had so much fun painting this one and its bigger sibling. 

"Bloodfire Station"
Size: 18x12.5", Oils on Linen Panel.   Price:  $700.00    SOLD
"Jade City Base"
Size: 9x12", Oils on Linen Panel.   Price:  $400.00    SOLD
 I was experimenting with a new colour scheme to play with and really got inspired to go the 'mint green' route. This photo in no way does the original painting justice, either in colour quality or vibrancy. But it sure was a lot of fun to paint and one colour combination I will play with again.

"Double Moon Flight"
Size: 5x7", Oils on Linen Panel.   Price:  $100.00    SOLD
As you can see, I used up the rest of the paint on the palette and painted this little gem. Unfortunately, it too has not translated well into photograph in either colour or vibrancy. I had fun, though.
The usual suspects, paintwise, were in play with these paintings. Titanium White, Buff Titanium, Burnt Sienna, French Ultramarine, Cadmium Red Light, Cadmium Lemon, Cadmium Yellow Hue, Alizarin Crimson, Yellow Ochre, while a little Cadmium Violet, Permanent Rose, Permanent Green Light, Chromium Green, and Viridian were experiment with to achieve some tints. Fine brushes like size 0 rounds and size 4 Filberts were utilized, I seem to also have found my big floofy blending brushes again a have been putting them to good use.

Thank you for stopping by, and please visit again to see what else I post. I promise that it won't be so long between posts again.




Saturday, May 14, 2022

The Essential "Beauty Rose"...



(16x20", Oils on Canvas, Framed)  Price: $1200.00

 (Not completely sure why this image is so washed out. It certainly isn't the case in photoshop on my computer)

This is one of the major pieces I managed to produce for Illuxcon in 2018 after my broken arm had finally healed enough to paint. Luckily, I had the design drawing for it already completed before the before snapping my painting wing. The reference for this work came from our Costume Salon and Sketchlab sessions at Illuxcon from the year before. I'd taken something like 1400 photos from various sessions during that year's salon and this was one of them. I'll take many multiples of photos from a multitude of lighting and shooting angle, and this singular snap inspired me to create a painting using the 'keyhole' effect framing the model's face as the center of interest for the painting. I also chose to use a close cropping affect for the composition to experiment with 'viewer intimacy'...ie. bringing the viewer further into the painting as if seeing the subjective Beauty in a passing moment of self-reflection that we rarely see in real life portraits. So, I brought a moment of 'real-life' into a painting. Hence the lack of 'formal portrait composition'. This photo, like most any photograph of a painting does not do the richness of the paint any justice at all. Nuances have been lost and depth of perception of the painting severely curtailed. In the right lighting, my Beauty GLOWS. The hands almost seem 3D and I am so proud of that achievement, since it has been many years since I have painted human hands so well. That in of itself proves to myself that I have not totally lost all portrait or figurative painting talent in the decades of not painting people. And I have to admit that 'Beauty and the Beast' is literally my favourite fairy tale and this photo session made me a bit giddy to finally have inspirational fodder to attempt to paint a version of 'Beauty'...

This is the original sketch for 'Beauty'. I added the background by my usual smooshing around wet paint into something I liked, giving suggestions of roses in the dim distance of the garden. I also added the roses in the foreground to complement the rose that Beauty is putting in her hair, creating the moment of her having just plucked one from the bush beside her and absent-mindedly tucking it into the top of her veil. It brings to mind the original reason for Beauty being in the Beast's castle and garden in the first place and that the freedom of being able to freely pick roses comes at a price. 

Here are a couple of easel shots taken during the painting process...


Notice the roses and the drapery of the satin sleeve as the painting approaches completion...

I didn't get too adventurous with the palette for this painting, so most of the usual colour suspects were used. I probably added Permanent Rose to the line up along with a tiny bit of Permanent Green Light and Sap Green. As I get further into posting paintings from more recent times, I'll get back to toting up the colours and paintbrushes used for each painting. At the moment, I'm reaching backwards in time several years past. 

Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Birds abroad...

 "Favourite Roost" 
(14x18", Oils on Linen, Framed)    Price:  SOLD

I had to create a bunch of paintings for two major shows within three months of each other...and I had little to no  standing inventory of paintings to do so. That would be seen as a major advantage for an artist, because SALES. However, I was burnt out and panicking. I had started this painting, Favourite Roost as a demo I was painting in situ at the Boskone (SF convention) Artshow work space in February 2018 and hadn't completed it. So, I dragged it out and finished it over a week and half during a particularly grueling time and ended up being so pleased with how it turned out. It was really soothing painting the background and vines, let alone the bird, a White Pigeon. The references came from a trip to England during a previous December when we visited the old Cinque Port of Rye in the Southeast of England. We, with our Brit friends dined at the ancient and very famous Mermaid Inn. We got a tour and I literally drooled over the history of the place and all of its antique appointments. When we exited onto Mermaid Street, the outside of the inn was encased in winter vines and home to roosting white pigeons. I took a bazillion photos and combined two of them to create this painting. It's still very much a favourite.

"Boreal Chickadee"
(6x6", Oils on Canvas, Framed)   Price: SOLD

This was just a very quick study and keeping to the winter theme. I adore my chickadees. 
"Picking Flowers"
(11x14", Oils on Linen, Framed)   Price: SOLD

Inspiration for Picking Flowers came from a series of photographs my friend and fellow artist (read famously talented) Tom Kidd took in his backyard some years back. He graciously let me borrow the photos for my burgeoning bird photo reference collection. I used three of the photos to build this concept and then had an absolute blast painting it. The background is a bit more blurred than I usually do, but I didn't want it to compete with the busy, complicated foreground. Painting the flowers and vines was so much fun. It was sooooo soothing and fun. The bird picking flowers for his nest is a House Finch. Thank you so much, Tom, for letting me play in your backyard with your birds, so to speak. 
"The Conversation"
(8x10", Oils on Linen, Framed)   Price: SOLD 

These are Australian Fairy Wrens: tiny birds of brilliant arrays of colours and feisty attitude. Possibly my fave Aussie counterparts to my beloved Chickadees here in the United States. I was getting really burnt out by this stage and was starting to really reach for inspiration and enthusiasm. Not one of my best, but I always get great enjoyment out of painting my birds. 
"Baby Owl"
(5x7", Oils on Canvas, Framed)   Price: SOLD 
It's a baby owl. Enough said. Seriously  though, I adored painting this little guy.
Sorry, I can't recall the paints I used in these paintings, but you can bet that all of my usual suspects from my palette were in play and I probably used my reliable outriders like Cadmium Orange or purples from time to time. Very teeny brushes were also used a lot for the small size and tiny details. Listening to music and audiobooks helped massively.

Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by, there'll be more soon.