December 19, 2006

Dashing through the Snow

Another fun little painting based on vintage Christmas Cards. I love taking a break from "serious" painting to have some fun.

Today is my long teaching day. Spending with my students is so enjoyable. We talk and laugh while we paint and hopefully learn. It's such a pleasure to see them leave at the end of the day with a smile and the sense of accomplishment.

December 18, 2006

stormy weather

Well, we had a doozy of a storm. We lost electricity sometime Thursday night after going to bed. When we woke the house was pretty chilly and completely dark. I immediately lit some candles and went into Alaska mode; blocked off the doorways to the living room and lit a fire in the fireplace. After a couple of hours it was nice and toasty and the sun had come up. We spent the day reading and playing games, I was able to paint in the studio for an hour or so before it got too cold. The really fun part was experimenting with the fireplace as an oven. We roasted hot dogs for lunch, then I made a sort of stew out of Healthy Choice TV dinner and added vergies and potatoes for dinner. It was actually quite good. The sun sets around 4:30pm these days so at about 4pm I realized I'd better get things organzied before the dark. I lit candles everywhere and we settled in for the night with more reading and games. All in all we had a good experience but when the lights came on just before sunset the next day I felt relief.

December 9, 2006

Let it snow...

I did a fun little snow scene to get into the holiday mood. It's inspired by a vintage Christmas card from the turn of the last century. It's nothing spectacular, but sure fun to paint.

December 3, 2006


This is a painting of our dog Scooter at the beach this summer. He's a funny little guy, keeps us all smiling.

I haven't been at the easel for a couple of days, it's beginning to get to me. Can't go for more than one or two days before withdrawl sets in.

Visited the site of an amazing artist recently, his name is Jon Foster. Google him, he has a spectacular talent.

December 1, 2006

study in blue, white, and burnt sienna

This painting is almost finished. I like the way the light is hitting the objects, but I'm not too excited about the compostion. It's rather dull. Composition in still life is of utmost importance, a weak composition will turn out a weak painting, which this is. A very good exerice in limited palette and values though.

November 30, 2006


We had a terrific snow fall this week. Very exciting for everyone. Three days off from school for my kids and lots of snow and computer time for both. I was able to finish this painting of the San Juan islands, it's a scene from the ferry ride from Anacortes to Orcas Island, one of my favorite places to visit in the summer. I'm relatively happy with the way it turned out. Landscapes are a challenge for me, I'm glad to be getting a little closer to the feel I want.

November 19, 2006

work in progress

Thought it might be fun to show you all my messy desk. It never fails, I just get the place tidy and the tornado hits again (me with a paint brush, students, dogs...) and it's right back where I started.

November 15, 2006

new images

These are paintings I have recently finished. I am particularly happy with the gourds, such fantastic shapes to paint.

There's an amazing feeling when I finish a painting and know that the adventure is about to begin again, maybe it's "0ld" age but the process of painting is now as exhilirating as the result.

October 29, 2006

New Painting

I'm experimenting with the new techniques I'm learning. The question is how to combine glazing and darks that have the thin layers, and the more direct method I'm used to . Very exciting to learn new things!

updated work in progress

update on works in progress

Finally I am ready to begin the glazes. It's very exciting to see these progress.

October 17, 2006

venetian style painting

another work in progress...

October 16, 2006

works in progress

Here is a painting I'm working on, integrating some of the techniques I'm learning in the Gage classes. I can see it will take many attempts to get to the right combination of direct painting and indirect painting (glazing).

October 12, 2006

Can you tell my brain is mush!

Ignore the title of my last post. It was supposed to be Late Summer Flowers. Yikes!

Late winter flowers

The deep red of these sunflowers was wonderful to paint. This was painted alla prima which has been my method for a couple of years now. Currently I'm learning the indirect methods of the old masters, the flemish and venetian styles. It requires quite a bit of patience as there are many layers to each painting. With this new knowledge I'm impatient to start experimenting to see how the glazing can be used in combination with the direct method. Could be very interesting...

September 25, 2006


This is our dog mop. I know he's out of focus but that is because he is always moving. He's a happy little guy and inspires all of our family to live life to it's fullest.
Did you know being a loving dog owner can actually help lower your bloud pressure?

September 24, 2006

a portion of a painting

Here is a chopped off version of my newest strange animal painting. For some unknown reason I seem to be attracted to farm animals, they seem to know more than we think...

September 21, 2006

The Cabin Window

This is one of the paintings I did while away on my retreat. It was such a lovely time and I wanted to capture the feeling of warmth inside and lush green outside.

September 18, 2006

Back to work

I arrived home from my annual artists retreat with my dear friends the Painters of Bumping Lake. This was our fourth or fifth year up in the mountains painting and as always it was HEAVEN. I was able to get six paintings done and loved the concentrated work effort. It wasn't all work though, because we spent time roaming the woods and eating too much fabulous food.

Now that I'm home I'll photograph the paintings I finished and get them up here ASAP.

September 11, 2006

Crazy in September

OK, last time I wrote about September being my favorite month, I forgot to mention that this is also the month when the sh%# hits the fan. New beginnings at every turn. It's all very exciting, but I get sensory overload and start talking like an imbecile because my brain is struggling to keep up. While I'm thrilled not to be in my teenage years like my kids are, there is a definite benefit to the energy and resilience that comes with that age.

Wednesday is the first day of my artists retreat with all my best art buddies. I can't wait to get there, no phones, no radios, no TVs. Heaven.

September 4, 2006

Homage to Rembrant Peale

Here is another in the series of master paintings I'm copying. There is so much to learn about brush stroke, values, color...
I will be 1oo years old before I finally paint with ease, if at all.

I planted miniature pumpkins in my garden this year, they are already ripe and ready to sit in a still life set up. When the gourds start showing up at the fruit market I will be so excited!

September 2, 2006

I'm very impatient for my classes to begin. Mondays will be my day for learning, Tuesday and Wednesday teaching. CAN'T WAIT. I've missed being challenged by the amazing teachers at Gage, and missed teaching my wonderful students at Arts Umbrella.

August 31, 2006

September is here, HOORAY

I'm back. September is my favorite month of the year. The weather is ideal, beautiful clear crisp days, time to plant more perrenials and harvest the garden. Best of all, it's the month my critique group has it's annual retreat. This is an event I look forward to every year.

There is a lot happening for me this fall. I'll be taking two painting courses at the Gage Academy, and teaching five classes at the Arts Umbrella. Very Exciting! The idea of learning new painting techniques gives me chills.

My son and daughter went back to school this week. I am so proud of them, they're growing into such interesting individuals.

July 19, 2006

Renaissance Lady

I've been making copies of master paintings to better understand their processes. It's great fun, and allows me to become more familiar with portrait painting.

July 17, 2006

Pages from my sketch books

From a recent field sketching class for kids at the Country Village.

July 11, 2006

Footloose and fancy free

It's summer, which means no schedule, anything goes. My kids are loving the freedom. Part of me loves the flexibility but the painter in me yearns for the routine, where painting time is guaranteed. I have yet to start on my still life series, the warm weather and bright blue skies call and I must be outside.

Plein Air, that's the ticket!

June 18, 2006

I have two goals in mind these days. One is to create a cohesive body of work that I can show to galleries in hopes of representation. After much thought I have decided to concentrate on still life painting depicting the beauty found in each seasons fruit, vegetables and flowers. The compositions will be fairly simple, containing three to five objects set on a table top with a single source of light. These will be painted in oil using a somewhat impressionistic brush stroke. The second goal is to paint subjects just for fun for my own home. Whatever appeals to me at the moment. In this way I can explore different subject matter and technique freely.

June 10, 2006


I am still trying to decide what to focus on for subject matter. Definitely still life. Fruit and berries are so colorful and lucious I will use them as a theme. Now to consider a unifying theme for composition, color, value and especially the "story" behind each piece.
The strawberries are fun but I didn't take the time to create a really successful composition or story. Nor did I take the time to paint thoughtfully with regards to brush stroke and value. So, my goal is to slow down and think each step through.

June 7, 2006

Baby house wrens

We have house wrens and their chicks nesting in a flower basket on the front porch. I LOVE SPRING! Working in the garden is heavenly, the flowers are blooming, the berries are forming and the bees are very busy.

May 1, 2006

Sporadic at best

Well, it appears that my blog will be very much like my written journal, sporadic at best.
It's beautiful here in the Pacific NW now. There are flowers blooming everywhere. The pink dogwood in our backyard is particulary pretty. Seeing the saturated colors around me inspires me to paint. I would like to get out of doors and do some plein air work. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous so I will try and get out later this week.

April 18, 2006

setting goals

I've set a goal to create a body of work to present to galleries in hopes of being included in a show. Landscapes, still lifes and figures are all very interesting to me, so I'll try and come up with six of my best for each catagory. Essentially it will be a good six months before they're completed. It's exciting to have a goal to work toward. Working is so much easier when there is a focus.

April 17, 2006

Hooray, it's Spring!

Everywhere I look there are flowers! I painted this little splash of color for fun the other day, not very accurate, but certainly was fun.

I'm so happy to see the sun and warmer temperatures. As soon as it's warm enough I'd like to take my students outdoors to paint.

April 2, 2006

Back again

Well, back to the question of balance. I quit my part time job recently so that I am able to teach and paint full time. Elation and fear are the result. Elation to know that I am once again able to paint to my hearts content, and fear of not earning an income. Given the choice I would spend all my time creating and none of my time marketing, but being a fairly practical person I know this is not wise. So I will persevere to attend to the business aspect of art.

March 15, 2006

My friend Tara has lately asked the question of how to find balance in life, to not get absorbed by single projects, allowing time for necessities of daily life. I wish I had the answer for this. I have yet to find the balance in my life, in fact it's a constant challenge.

Here is a logo I'm working on for a client, I'm happy with the basic design, now moving on to refining.

March 7, 2006

It's been a while. Life has gotten the better of me lately, but I had a moment and wanted to post a new image. It's a fun little color study. I'm making progress with my landscapes step by step and enjoying the process. I'm surprised at how much I enjoy it.

February 11, 2006

I LOVE the smell of fresh strawberries

I picked up a basket of fresh strawberries at the market for my students to paint on Tuesday. I was inspired as well. How fun to sit and paint while smelling the delicious fresh berries.
My biggest challenge is to get enough light into my paintings, I work in a dark basement studio that I light with full spectrum bulbs, under these conditions the paintings look vibrant but when put in natural light in other parts of the house they seem dark, the values in the mid to dark range. I'm stumped as to how to resolve this issue. Any ideas?

February 7, 2006

Here's a funny little image I did for BeeHive Day Spa in Snohomish where I work part time as the receptionist and "anything not treatment related" person. We are celebrating our 1 year anniversary coming up and they needed an image for their postcard. I'm the little bee with her behind waving!
The sun has actually come out the last couple of days. I was able to get my roses pruned and soak up a few rays. Thank goodness spring is on the way.

January 22, 2006

A Day of Painting

It's Sunday morning, my husband and daughter are going cross country skiing, my son is planning his fantasy role playing game strategy and I am going to PAINT ALL DAY! Hooray!

The goal is to paint for fun today. Not what will sell, or what everyone likes, but what I want to see on my wall, to take me away to a new place or make me smile.

January 20, 2006

One of the benefits of painting still life is the ability to create a tiny world full of color and light, which is crucial for someone living in the Pacific Northwest. Rain, rain and more rain, but when the sun comes out it's gorgeous! So, let it rain. Maybe today I'll paint all in oranges, reds and golds, that should warm me up!

My teaching is going very well. My friend Tara (a fellow artist and teacher) and I were discussing how much we learn as artists while we are teaching others. The act of breaking down skills and concepts and walking through the steps with others reinforces those ideas in our minds.

January 12, 2006

tiny landscapes

January is becoming a month I look forward to each year. The feeling of new beginnings is wonderful. There are no major holidays after the new year celebration so I can settle in and work away at projects.

One of my goals this year is to understand landscape painting better. I feel so much more comfortable with the figure and still life, but am determined to make head roads into the landscape territory. There are a number of reasons for this push, first and foremost is I want them on my wall at home. Also, I have had some success in 2005 selling my still life paintings and am curious how landscapes will go.

My oil/acrylic classes are going well. My students seem genuinely happy while in class and it's terrific to watch their progress. There is the added benefit of relearning basic concepts myself as I teach them to others.

January 11, 2006

I'm developing webbed feet. The running joke in my oil painting class this week was it's been raining so much it's time to build the ark. To combat the winter drearies I've resorted to painting colorful landscapes and florals. The good news is all of this rain is very good incentive for settling in and painting in the studio.

January 6, 2006

Happy New Year

Is anyone else amazed at how quickly life streams by us. The busier we are the faster the days go by. For the past fourteen years I have been a stay at home mom I managed my time somewhat haphazardly but was able to get quite a bit done. Just this September I chose to go back to work part time, part time turned into 32 hours a week outside the home and 10 hours a week minimum in the studio. Now it seems time screams by at the speed of light. Fortunately I am still home by the time my kids are home from school. But I find myself questioning my motives for working. I weigh the pros and cons and wonder if I am doing myself and my family a disservice. I am working on finding the answer.