Sheila G Ticen

Thoughts about painting and places to see my work

Category: Paintings



“Chosen”, oil on linen panel, 11″ x 14″, © Sheila G. Ticen

I liked the contrast between this Bok Choy’s pale, curved, glistening stalks and its deeply ruffled and veined foliage.  I focused on painting fast and kept a spray bottle handy to mist the stems and leaves often.  The challenge of capturing this before it faded was a reminder of how quickly one’s own life can change or end.

What is it About Pears?


“Affinity”, oil on panel, 6″ x 6″, © Sheila G. Ticen

For some reason, whenever I set up a still life with more than one pear in it, their forms seem to take on anthropomorphic qualities.  I like that about them.  It makes them fun to paint.  I think the one on the left here has a serious crush on the other one.


“Spiffy Dudes”, oil on cradled wood panel, 12″ x 24″, © Sheila G. Ticen

A few months ago I received an email from another local painter, Lin Weber, asking whether I’d be interested in joining her in helping the St. Helena Historical Society with their first-ever art auction fundraiser.  She told me about their idea of selecting old photos from their collection and asking artists to create work based on the historic photos.

I thought it sounded like a fun project, so I met with several of the board members to discuss the idea and see the photos they had chosen.  As soon as I saw the photo of these characters I was sold on the project.  The original photo was in aged black and white, well – more like charcoal and ivory.  A quilt that I had seen at an art show in the Marin Civic Center (and with which I was quite taken) became my color inspiration for this painting.

You can learn more about the St. Helena Historical Society here.

Napa Basalt


“Napa Basalt”, oil on panel, 6″ x 8″ © Sheila G. Ticen

I painted this back in June on location at an old gravel processing plant in Napa, California.  The complexity of the structures was daunting at first.  However, once I started the painting, I enjoyed the challenge of simplifying the subject while staying true to the feeling of the scene before me.

Cooling It

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“Something Nice”, oil on panel, 6″ x 6″, by Sheila G. Ticen


It’s toasty here in the Napa Valley today.  When I checked our outdoor thermometer a few minutes ago it read 103 degrees.  Like I said, folks, toasty.  With that in mind, I thought it would be a good time to share some paintings and photos from recent outings on cooler days.

The painting above, “Something Nice,” is one that I started during the Tom Hughes workshop I took back in April.  I had been standing in the sun for hours, and had finally finished my first painting, but it was a bit early to just pack it in for the day.  So I set up my easel, in the shade this time, and got a good start on painting this little shrub.  I liked how it stood out from the darker and larger trees behind it.  A few days ago I pulled it out and finished it up, just working from memory.  I thought about calling it “Something Nice, Not too Expensive”, but what self-respecting Monty Python fan needs to have the whole line fed to them in order to get the reference?

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“The Green Woods”, oil on panel, 8″ x 6″, by Sheila G. Ticen


“The Green Woods” (above) was painted on location in Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, near my home.  My friend and fellow painter, Carol Dick, and I hiked out and found a nice cool spot along Ritchie Creek in which to paint and enjoy our sack lunches.  The color of the light coming through all those leaves was gorgeous, and the sound of the nearby creek so relaxing.  The title for this one came from a snippet of lyric from an old song that my mom used to like to sing while hiking in the woods.

Hope you’re staying cool today!


Carol painting along Ritchie Creek



Sunlight through the trees, one of the photos I shot while painting at Bothe State Park.



Reflected light on Ritchie Creek.




“Handful”, 8″ x 8″, oil on panel, © Sheila G. Ticen

I’ve been spending a good bit of time in the garden lately and have been enjoying it quite a bit.  There’s nothing like getting some new plants into the ground to cheer the place up.  Here’s a little handful of flowers from my back yard.




“Bewitched”, 2016, oil on panel, 8″ x 6″, © Sheila G. Ticen


Knowing there was rain on the way somehow made it easier to cut this rose and bring it indoors to paint.  I liked the intense color of the rose on a light background, but wanted another pop of color to balance it.  After a bit of experimenting, I came up with what looks like a napkin by playing around with pieces of cardstock and strips of white paper.

Ruby Glow

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“Ruby Glow”, 2016, oil on panel, 6″ x 6″, © Sheila G. Ticen


This painting was a good reminder of how important it is to step back from the work.  I had it done, or nearly done, when my husband invited me to join him and our dog for our daily walk.  Something had been nagging at me as I worked, but I had pushed it aside in my focus on completing the painting.  As soon as I stepped back into the studio after our walk, the problem was readily apparent.    One of the nice things about working small and fast is that it is much easier to simply pick up my wipe out tool and scrape off the problem area while the paint is still wet, which is just what I did.  I then quickly blocked in my changes and followed up the next day with the finishing touches.

Cool Ones

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“Cool Ones”, 2016, oil on panel, 6″ x 6″, © Sheila G. Ticen

The shapes and colors of these onions caught my eye.  Bigger than salad onions, these were labeled “Mexican Grilling Onions”.  I’ll have to actually cook with some one of these days, but meanwhile I’m enjoying all these blues and greens together.

Parts of a Whole

I liked how the pieces of this lime gave me a variety of shapes to play with.  Instead of a white plate, I chose a glass dessert plate which had belonged to my husband’s mother.

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“Parts of a Whole”, oil on panel, 5″ x 7″, © Sheila G. Ticen