Bear Star Studios - stephanie miksis @ work

Portrait of Lucky

Oil Painting Pet Portrait
Lucky (oil, 6×6)

pet portraits are always a pleasure for me

i generally prefer to paint from life
but with portraits – both people and pet! -
photos are indispensable

and the best part of it?
the photos don’t have to be very good!
sometimes “good enough” is ok!

Interested? Click to learn more

San Miguel de Allende

Painting San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
San Miguel Vista (acrylic, 9×12)
one view of San Miguel from the rooftop terrace

meanwhile the palm and the pole stand sentry
over the view with the Parroquia in the distance
Painting San Miguel de Allende Mexico
Sentries (acrylic, 8×10)

and then there are the delights of the street views
Painting San Miguel de Allende Calle Marte 8

Painting San Miguel de Allende Calle Marte 12

i’m getting more and more comfortable
out there painting in public, meeting people
it can be quite intimidating at times
but in San Miguel
so many people are so very friendly – phew!

next stop? mud season in Vermont!
after a little studio catch-up time…

On the Next Street Over

San Miguel de Allende, San Antonio, Calle Marte 8
Blue Door (acrylic, 9×12)

back from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
where the days were sunny, dry and in the 80s
alas, back to winter in New England

while i may miss the weather and the company
i get to enjoy my souvenirs

here’s one of two street paintings that i created
and i met some interesting people too!
and yes
that is a cat-shaped downspout over the window
i love the extra touches like that!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

oil painting roses mannequin valentines
With Love (oil, 8×8)

Happy Valentine’s Day to All!

and now, for the popular “making of” images

this started with a new-to-me technique:
the underpainting is done with black paint

black is probably the most debated pigment.
some people flat out refuse to use black from a tube.

oil painting roses mannequin valentines WIP1

and here is the first pass with color
oil painting roses mannequin valentines WIP2

i only used the black in the underpainting.
when i want black as a final “color”
i will mix select colors to get it
so it’s richer than tube black

(but not ALWAYS – for example
in portrait painting, “black is a blue”
really!?!? REALLY! it has a long tradition!)

Check for availability here.


Golden Open Acrylic Painting TStrap Shoes
T-Straps (acrylic, 8×10)

trying out my new painting box
from Guerrilla Painter
it’s called the French Resistance
(that’s funny wordplay to us artists…)

Golden Open Acrylic Painting TStrap Shoes WIP1

i’m liking it! i already have their smaller one
Guerrilla Paintbox 6x8 ThumBox™ Version 2.0

but shhh… don’t tell them
i flipped their plaque on the front
and wrote MY name on it!!

and speaking of name changes:
i apologize to Bandolino
for replacing their label
on these beautiful vintage 80s shoes
with MY name too!

i’m really full of myself today
but no worries – in no time
i’ll be returning to humility
and, very likely, self-doubt
-it’s another artist thing !!

Check for availability here

Sweet Goody Two Shoes

Painting Acrylic Goody Two Shoes Victorian
Two Shoes (acrylic, 8×10)

a pair of Victorian shoes for a young girl
set in a contemporary painting

aside from my fondness for 19th century history

do i reveal my age
when i reference Adam Ant’s Goody Two Shoes
and reveal my regional affiliations mentioning
The Blend’s Sweet Goody Two Shoes?

that’s a resounding YES!

what a difference a century makes!!

rocking nostalgia in the studio today!

Click here to purchase.

It Isn’t Easy Being Green

Oil Painting Alla Prima Slouch#1
Slouch #1 (oil, 8×10)

i got so excited to paint this beloved bag
i forgot to put away the oils
and bring out the acrylics
so it’s the odd one out in the accessories series

just as it says in the title:
it isn’t easy being green
and yes
some of my friends call my bag Kermit
with apologies to Sesame Street, of course

Oil Painting Underpainting Slouch#1_WIP1

here the greyscale underpainting
for those who like to see the evolution

Oil Painting Slouch#1_WIP2

and the messy stage before the final cleaning up

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Go West!

Oil Painting Western Auto Compass
Go West! (oil, 6×6)

not sure if i’m still in the theme of accessories
or is a compass in your vehicle a necessity?
either way, it’s nostalgic
can’t imagine one of these hanging next to the GPS!

and are there still Western Auto stores?

here’s the first pass: referred to as greyscale
Oil Painting Western Auto Compass WIP1

and the first layer of color
Oil Painting Western Auto Compass WIP2

i am liking the use of black paint for the first shot
to get the values (light vs dark) established

i thought that black would muddy the subsequent layers
but use the right tools and remember color temperature
and it seems to work very well…

which tools?
*all* my secrets?!?!?
all you have to do is ask!


Painting Acrylics Golden OPEN Flower Purse
Flower Purse (acrylic, 8×10)

my friend says
that it is our ability to accessorize
that separates us from the animals

she may have a point :-)

so with that in mind
and my promise of more haberdashery and accessories
i present my latest painting

next up?
“it’s not easy being green”
you’ll see!

Double Header

Oil Painting Alla Prima Brass Glass #1
Brass and Glass #1 (oil, 8×8)

Oil Painting Alla Prima Brass Glass #2
Brass and Glass #2 (oil, 6×10)

couldn’t quite decide which canvas to use
so i decided to try two at once!
quite an experience
worked on one and then then other
back and forth –
only thinking about the one i was working on
making a point of not comparing as i went along
fun! may try again sometime…

Oil Painting WIP still life