Monday, December 30, 2013

Good Fortune

Good Fortune, 12x12, oil on canvas.
A recent interest in birds led me to incorporate them into my paintings.  Still, my focus is conceptual and more than pretty paintings my objective is to interpret a current emotion or frame of mind through painting. 
Feelings are abstract by and large.  Your interpretation of 'Good Fortune' may be a high key, light blue image. Mine remains a little darker still.  And simple.  What is a good fortune to you and to me may differ wildly. 
I just finished the book The Cure For The Common Life by Max Lucado which started some soul searching for my own 'sweet spot' as he puts it.  So far, I've discovered that I am, by nature, a deep thinker.  I like to research and test theories.
Enough said on that subject except that it is what drives my spin on artwork. 
I may have mentioned in an earlier post that a high school art teacher once said, anyone can draw a picture, it takes a REAL artist to put emotion into it.  Hmmm.   Real artist or not, I stand for hours daily, in front of an easel, imagining how to say what I feel with paint.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Midnight Eerie

Midnight Eerie, 12x9, oil on canvas.

Better late than never, I guess.  A spooky little painting better suited for October than early winter.  Still, it's sitting over my TV and I like looking at it.

So this pumpkin is what is left form my pumpkin patch.  My favorite pumpkins, Snack Jacks, have hull-less (or naked) seeds.  They are getting increasingly hard to get ahold of and I'm wondering if the day will come when I'll have to start shelling seeds again... bummer. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Nostalgic Interlude

Nostalgic Interlude, 24x36, oil on canvas. 

Another edited version of an old slide.  Those who would know who these people are have all passed away.  However, my mothers childhood friend guessed they may be my great grandparents.  Who knows?  But the connection between the couple was simply adoring to me.  And the fact that someone caught it on camera was a gift!

It turns out that this one needs a little more editing.  The purple is a bit too strong.  I've been given some good advice on how to approach it but I have 2 events to paint for right now so my easel is booked until February!  This one will have to sit for a while. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Nostalgic Epitaph

Nostalgic Epitaph, 14x18, oil on canvas.
Honestly, I think this is one of my favorite paintings. Sometimes I look at it and wonder who painted it.  I'm the red head running.  The others are my sister and brother.  It's a collaboration of two different slides that I found in my parents collection. 
I found myself feeling a little nostalgic while attempting to transfer slides to my computer.   Much of this painting had to be invented due to poor quality reference but I was really happy with the result. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Morning Sun

Morning Sun, 8x6, oil on canvas.

It appears my husband is a cow collector.  He buys a few.  They have babies.  He decides to dump the 'herd'.  Then, as they are trailering down the road, he is already on craigslist making yet another transaction deal for more cows. 

Our newest cows were show cows and were BEAUTIFUL.  As far as cows go.  Sadly, and for the first time on our farm, we lost both babies before the cows even started to show (for the record, cows always look pregnant to me).  So we brought in a bull for round 2.  Bingo!  Last spring we had a set of twins and a single.  But sad to say, all heifers.  Bummer for us because we needed a steer for the freezer.  We did a little bovine trading and now have a handsome bull. 

The painting above is one of the heifers from last summer.  She took a good picture so I couldn't resist the opportunity to paint her. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Sparkle, 6x6, oil on canvas.
The third and final in my baby bird grouping.  I think they are barn swallows.  The kind that used to give me grief by building mud nests under my eaves. 
And Viola!  Fini!  Framed, hung in a little cutie grouping for all who use my powder room to see!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Sunshine, 6x6, oil on canvas.

Late last summer I found 3 baby birds hopping back and forth along my fence line outside my kitchen window.  Fortunately, I had the forethought to grab my point and shoot camera and start clicking away.  Unfortunately, pictures taken through a window and at a distance make for shakey reference material. It is what it is.  I took a few artistic liberties, framed them lightly and hung them as a grouping.  So sweet!

A side note:  It turns out that reference material is just that... reference.  One does what one will.  That is to say, some may copy inch for inch, others refer to and take many liberties.  I prefer the later when using a photo.  In fact, I extend the "liberties" liberally when painting from life as well.  It is, after all, a painting that I'm making - not a photo!

My reference photos, cropped, enlarged and on an 8x10:

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Morning Glory

Morning Glory, 6x6, oil on canvas.

I'm seeing a trend in my posting.  I post a few times, fall away, then start posting again.  Regardless of my posting frequencies, I continue to paint away. 

That said, my normal painting schedule was interrupted for the month of October as I dipped my toes into the pool of teaching.  I was fortunate for the opportunity to take on 2 very enthusiastic students.  It was as enlightening to me as I hope it was to them.  Teaching, it seams, re-enforces the lessons back onto the teacher. 

It was intended to be a "workshop" style experience but we added several extra classes just for grins consuming most of October. It was a good experience, to say the least.  But now it's over.

Now it's time to get back to some serious painting - and posting - again.  I have several events I want to paint for and so many ideas floating around in my head I can hardly wait to get back into the game full time!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Summer Gala, 8x8 oil on canvas.

Some scary news yesterday.  My horse was noticeably "ouchy" when he walked in from the fields for dinner.  Usually, it's a race between horse and goats (who always get a head start).    But this was more than ouchy and I suspected it was his shoulders or hips because he's 30 years old after all and has had a hard time balancing for the shoer for some time now.  So we called Doc C out.  Nope.  It was in fact, founder.  We knew it was a distinct possibility but expected it more during the spring, not late summer.  The unusually wet weather made it possible according to the vet. 

Spring of 2012 we began to turn him out 24-7 as opposed to locking him up in the paddock at night.  Doc said in light of his age, dramatic weight loss from the hard winter and dental condition what he needed was grass.  Not hay.  Regardless of the threat of founder.  So doc did some dental work on what was left of his teeth, we put him on rice bran morning and night along with his vitamins and turned him out to graze the rest of the 24 hours.  He looked fabulous by the end of that summer.

The rice bran and grass helped him hold his weight all winter and I was always impressed to see him running in with the goats for dinner.  He had a beautiful coppery coat and silky flaxen mane.  He's an Arabian.  Need I say more? 

This spring he even shed his coat for the first time in several years.  Wish I had known about rice bran earlier.  However, we had some fluxuating weather this late summer which caused the grass to grow hot and sugary.  Also, says doc, the days are starting to shorten and apparently that affects the pituitary gland.  That's about all I know about that.  There was also some mention of cushings disease.

My beautiful, trusty friend who taught me to ride and face my fears is now on bute and some other liquid that goes under his tongue.  10 days is the magic number. 

Doc says if we cant get the inflammation and pain down in 10 days then we have to consider his options.  There aren't to many for an old gelding.  He's already out to pasture.   

Monday, August 26, 2013

Summer Song

Summer Song, 8x8 oil on canvas.

Ahhh, the fleeting days of summer.  Here in the PNW we have been experiencing a few previews of fall.  A little misty, a few short showers, a hazy day.  Currently, as I look out my window, I see a spot of cerulean blue surrounded by wispy strokes of warm grey with dabs of lemon yellow atop.  It's all good.  Change is good.  I probably wouldn't appreciate summer so much if it were here all the time.

I promised myself I would get a portfolio of landscape photos this summer so I would have much to keep me busy this winter in the event I wanted to branch out from my still life.  Unless I get out soon my photos will be lack luster in that they will be lacking luster.  No sunshine, no strong lights against deep shadows.  No heat.  Oh well, I did go to Jackson, WY this summer and got plenty of photos there.  I also got a little plein air in this summer and so have some studies to work with.  All that is in the event I migrate to landscape. 

I have migrated somewhat but not to landscape.  I took a workshop with Michael Maczuga on portraits.  Whatever possessed me to do that???  I can only say that I am mesmerized by his work and wanted to get inside his head if at all possible and see how it ticks in there.  Following the workshop I immediately ordered the Asaro Head and went to work.  So far, I am not a portrait artist.  :(    But I haven't given up.  I did, however, learn a bit from Mr. Maczuga and how he thinks.  One has to be tuned in to pick up subtle clues about the inner workings of others.  It's the inner workings that translate to the canvas, right?  We paint our character - so to speak. 

Okay, enough about that.  With the exit of summer comes the re-entry of Routine, my long time friend.  Routine and I go way back.  We indulge in each other and melt into the studio while the leaves drop and the wind blows.  Just me and Routine.  We have long winters here in the PNW but they are survivable by and large. 

Perhaps I'll squeeze in a trip to Arizona again.  :)

Friday, August 02, 2013

Summer Heat

Summer Heat, 8x8 oil on canvas.

I started painting pansies last winter from a photo.  My initial impression was how difficult flowers were going to be compared to my many foodie subjects.  The reality is, it's all the same in that I approach it the same way one would eat an elephant:  One bite at a time!   Rather, one petal at a time. :) 

I became hooked on pansies and did several studies but was limited to the one and only photo I had and superimposed pansy faces to meet my paintings needs as necessary.  Frustrated because no fresh pansies were available at the time.  I waited.. 

Once pansies hit the shelves I purchased several colors and took many (MANY) photos for my next winter paintings.  Finally, I could set up my pansies in my light box and begin painting from life!  Glorious, glorious painting from life!  Woo hoo!

Boy-- did I have a lot to learn about pansies.  Apparently a COOL weather flower, mine didn't last long because once I was done with one painting I set it in the sun to "flourish".  It got leggy and awful.  So I hit the stores once again only to fine out that they are sold out for the summer and wont receive anymore until Fall.  So I wait again... 

Fortunately, I still have my leggy, awful leftovers (now in a cooler locale) and I can set them up in my light box.  And because I'm an artist, ;)   I can enhance them from leggy to squat and from scraggly to abundant.  I can push them and pull them and prop them and you, the viewer, will never know the difference, unless I tell you.  So this is my little secret. 

Don't tell anyone.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Pansies and Tall Creamer

Pansies and Tall Creamer, 6x6 oil on canvas.

It's been quite some time since my last post and for that I apologize.  It's been a bit of a whirlwind around here and I guess my blog took second fiddle to other projects. 

The good news is, I signed a contract with the Cole Gallery in Edmonds WA (my page)!  That was back in March and had my first sale March 30th!  I had my first show (April First Glance Artist) in April and sold 3 more paintings in May!

I've been very busy in the studio and I'm learning to enjoy the whole process of being a gallery artist from finding, growing and purchasing props, developing compositions and self critique to choosing and framing the pieces - a process I used to despise, art shows, art walks, meeting other artists, the list goes on..  The very best part is that the gallery does the marketing.  I get to focus on the creative stuff and I'm really enjoying that. 

They are really good people there and the city of Edmonds is unique to me.  It's artsy.  There are several galleries and an Art Walk every month on the third Thursday.  And it's packed!  Even in April when it was cold and rainy.  People just kept coming in.  Of course Denise, the owner, caters it beautifully and rehangs a new show every month for a fresh visual treat. 

I am in a really good place these days and I think I'm just going to enjoy the ride.  I can hardly believe my art is hanging next to some world class artists like Michael Maczuga and Ilene Gienger-Stanfield!

And on that note, I signed up for a workshop with Michael Maczuga in August.  I'm excited/nervous about it.  I am in such awe of his work.  I hope I can absorb something, anything, from the experience and walk away a little better painter!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Gerbera Daisies, 20x16, oil on canvas.
This dramatic still life was one of the larger works holding up my regular postings of my smaller, 6x6 paintings.  I did most of this painting from a photo and had to manipulate the light a bit in order to put "my spin" on it. 

Thinking a painting through before the brush touches the canvas is becoming a regular part of my repertoire.  You'll find me alone in my studio, sitting my my chair, often without the radio playing, simply looking at my props and/or photos considering possible outcomes.  What do I want from this painting?  How can I play it?  And the big question:  How much Transparent Oxide Red do I have left??? 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Amber Jar

Amber Jar, 6x6, oil on canvas.   Click here to bid.

I'm falling a little behind on my daily paintings due to working on larger projects.  This painting was done using a little jar I bought in Sedona. I cant get away from this color combo:  Transparent Oxide Red/ Prussian Blue.  I guess there is a richness to them that just draws me in.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pansies and Tin

Pansies & Tin, 16x12 oil on canvas

This recent painting taught me the value of color temperature.  The background was done with prussian blue and transparent oxide red (my two favs).  My first foreground was a cool mix and very light.  I scraped and explored several options until I landed on this one.  Eureka! My intention was to bring attention to the foreground.  BAM!  There she is!  So in fact, the placement of warm and cool colors can play significant roles if you think them through.
To bad I dont use blue in my house...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Candle Snuffer oil Painting

Candle Snuffer, 6x6 oil on canvas.  Click here to bid

Saturdays show at the Auburn Wine and Caviar Company was a good experience and exhausting.  It was so helpful to have so many familiar faces show up for support!  A big fat "thank you!" to all of you who were able to attend!

 This week I'm back to a somewhat normal schedule and I'm looking forward to hiding out in my studio.  I want to continue my quest for capturing space and atmosphere on a small canvas.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Forkful of Blueberries oil painting

Forkful, 6x6, oil on canvas. Click here to bid

I am HAPPY to announce that I will be having a show at the  Auburn Wine and Caviar Company!
I will be there from 4-8 PM Saturday, Jan 26th 2012.  Wish me luck.  I had in my mind a spring show which would give me plenty of time to prepare but the owner surprised us (my husband and I) with this slot. How could we say no??
This will be a new experience for me but I was told this winery has done this before.

As usual, I've let my paintings sit unframed and so had to order several at once and I'm crossing my fingers that they arrive in time.  If not, well, it is what it is, right?  My 6x6's do very well on a table top easel and I can always go that route.  And may have to anyway because I dont think there will be a whole lot of wall space to hang framed paintings.

I think my lesson so far is to always be prepared for a show.  You never know when the opportunity may spring its self on you!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Black Seedless

Black Seedless, 6x6 oil on canvas.  click to bid

I've recently come to the conclusion that after several years of searching I now believe I know who a I am as a painter!  That is, I know what I connect with, what I gravitate to, what I know and most importantly, what I want out of a painting.

I remember the days when I painted anything at all that I could find to paint because I wanted to paint something!  Just get that brush wet!  I still get that way but now I find myself traveling down a frequently traveled road painting much the same way, similar subjects with quite possibly similar messages - whatever that is.   And I'm grateful for that.

I believe this is due to daily research through books, magazines (Southwest Art is a great one), internet and the occasional trips to galleries and museums.  Looking at a lot of really good art and finding myself somewhere in the mix. 

I highly recommend that anyone wanting to become a better anything to immerse themselves and focus on their interest rather than spread themselves over a variety of activities.  Remember the saying,  "A Jack of all trades and a master of none" ?

Well, it may be some time before I master this trade but I've come a long way and now I can finally see where I'm going!