Friday, December 30, 2011

Out My Window

Out My Window 9x12 oil on linen panel
This tree fascinates me and I see it every day out of my kitchen window, it has different light each time of the day and each season of the year. The birds find it a great retreat to hide in and when the wind blows it bends and bows like a ballerina. This is a do-over which now makes me happy with the mood I was trying to capture
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Monday, December 26, 2011

Nature's Memorial 20x24 oil on linen panel
Here on the prairie trees this size are in the minority. This beauty sits in what is now a large field where crops are planted but as an infant it was on the homestead of a local family's ancestors. It is all that remains of the hardwork, hardships and life of one of the many pioneers that settled this praire, flat and at the time of homesteader , sparsely poplulated. The shade and beauty of trees was honored. Thanks to the owner of this property the tree stands as a memorial to the family that homesteaded it and to the many pioneers who came to this area for a better life.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011


                                                                        Bus-ted 6x12 oil on panel
This old bus caught my attention about 40 years ago, took a photo and somehow I just never got to it. Going through my files I found it again and immediately got to painting it.   I truly hope someone gives it yet another life, who knows maybe it will have smiles and laughter again.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Softly Comes the Fall- study-final painting

Softly Comes the Fall   study 5x7----final painting 9x12
Looking out my studio window in late Oct. , I saw the subtle colors of fall with just a hint of light from the high overcast sky. I caught the feeling of the lovely greys and soft tones. I was pleased with the results and then completed the larger piece a week later. I am always captured by the subtle colors in the seasons rather than the bold gold and orange so frequently portrayed.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

White on White

White on White 6 x 8 oil on linen panel
I, like many artists struggle to improve or perhaps change/adapt. I want the goal of my paintings to be "less is more" I want the subject to merge with the background or if you prefer the space around it and I find working with white a challenge as well so this is yet another attempt at that. Just One Apple a previous post is also a study in losing edges and merging subject and space around it. Hmmm maybe I will make chicken for dinner. Enjoy!
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Beauty in Purple

Beauty in Purple pastel 12x9
Seems I just can't paint enough lilacs, one of my favorite flowers. We have in our yard plants and trees that were planted by my husbands parents and have survived the sub-zero winters, neglect and now again love and care. It is very nostalgic when they bloom they remind me of my Mother-in-law,no longer with us but their beauty is always a reminder of her spirit and good nature.
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Two Little Red Hens 6x8 canvas on panel
These two little hens belong to Emily, our cook at the Retreat Center in Alexandria, we have enjoyed the fruit of their labors in many a breakfast platter. I think their white tail feathers are a wonderful accent to their red/rust bodies, Here again I have tried to lose edges in the tail of the one on the right and keep all but the focal area softer rather than sharp.
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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Just One Little Apple

Just One Little Apple
                                                                 6x8 oil on panel
I think I finally got it. I have been working on simplifying and losing edges except on the center of  interest. I am looking for a more ethereal feeling in expressing myself in paint. This went together very well and was purchased as soon as it was finished. So-----------------maybe I will see if I can get this effect again. I start extremely loose with just a few strokes of paint and I am encouraged so will perservere.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

You may have noticed I haven't posted for a bit. I have just completed my last week of teaching at Mt. Carmel Retreat Center in Alexandria, MN. What a wonderful group of students I have had during my weeks there. It is such a joy to introduce people to oils and pastels and see the excitement they feel when they have accomplished their first painting. It is quite a rush. I am never sure who has the better time, them or me.
Below is a poem written for me by one of my students this last week and thought I would share it with you all.
J is for jolly- she'll put a smile on your face,
E is for energetic - she keeps up the pace,
A is for artistic, is that a surprise?
N is for nature, a feast for her eyes.
   Put them all together they spell JEAN- she is Mt.  Carmel's Pastel Supreme!
Thank you Janis for this delightful poem.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Ribbon Runs Through It

                                               A Ribbon Runs Through It  14 x 18  oil on canvas
One of my favorite subjects and colors as well. some years ago I needed a touch of color in a stilllife and added a ribbon, it is now a favorite touch to add especially to florals.  The movement  of the ribbon draws your eye around and back again. Hope this sparks your day.

Friday, August 12, 2011

July Storm Approaching

                                                                    July Storm Approaching
                                                                 5 x 7 inches oil on linen panel
Tired of weeding and frustrated with not having painted for a week or so, I looked at the sky and thought, perfect painting.  Dropped my hoe, ran into the studio and got my easel and paints out, in about 45 min. I had the painting done, storm passed over and more or less dissolved, and unfortunately I went back to weeding, feeling much better  having had a chance to push some paint around. Every once in awhile, these spur of the moments depict something elusive from a photo.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Precious Little Hen

                                   Precious Little Hen 6 x 7 1/8 oil on panel
This little hen has been in several of my many chicken paintings. There is something beautiful and seemingly self confident about her. Perhaps only noticed by us chicken lovers.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lipton- Eyes Only for You

Lipton- Eyes Only for You  6 x 8 in oil on canvas panel
I met Lipton at Mt. Carmel last week. He is the eyes for an elderly woman with a fantastic, sweet spirit. One evening as we sat at a service I looked over and Lipton had his head on her lap with the most adoring look I have ever seen. That look said I have eyes only for you and I love you more than you will ever know. This will be a gift to her even if she is unable to see it, she will know that someone was thinking  of  her and her Eyes.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

                                                        Join Me oil on linen panel 5 x7 in.
These beautiful chairs are all over the grounds at Mt. Carmel Ministries Retreat Center at Alexandria, MN. You can sit and relax, take a nap, read or join a friend for conversation and time together. I always feel they are an invitation to take time for myself and enjoy the surroundings.
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Rooms for Rent

Rooms for Rent
8x6 oil on panel
This is from a photo taken many years ago when my business partner and I were at a painters gathering for several days. We took a walk  in the alleys of the small town and this popped out so much we took photos. In my head I think about what happened to the business, what people stayed there and how did it end up in rack and ruin.
The fun of this was doing it in two colors plus white which turned out to be a close match to the original colors.  Transparent red oxide, ultramarine blue .
Perhaps this will bring some interesting scenerios to mind or even conjure up a story.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Pretty in Purple

                                       Pretty in Purple oil on linen panel 12x12
Lilacs are always nostalgic for me to paint. I remember them from the farm where I was born and how proud my Mother was because she had the deep dark purple that were more unusual than the usual medium colored violets. Now , many years later on the farmstead where my husband grew up and we have made our home, the lilacs his Mother planted so many years ago still bloom each spring. They seem to bring a connection to the seasons of my life. The fragrance fills the room and when I put them on the altar in our small country church it is a reminder of the many years these have been placed there by many generations.  Perhaps others will have memories of these well known blooms.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Old Mill

Posted by PicasaOld Mill oil 6x6 on  linen panel
This old mill reminds me of the many years I was curator of our county museum and we would go to a historic mill not far from here, the water driven mill had been converted to being run by an antique steam engine, it was always hot and sticky our and since the flour was ground by huge millstones at the end of the day, the stones had to be lifted and cleaned, no small job since they weighed hundreds of pounds each.  This job was made more difficult by the fact we dressed in period costumes , petticots and skirts , bonnets and high button shoes.  Met many interesting people and of course became very sympathetic with our ancestors who did this to provide flour for themselves and the community.   I can hear the water trickling by  and on a hot day it was an especially soothing sound.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Geraniums before window box

I snapped this just as I was about to plant them in the window box, this is a painting that just fell together and is a reminder that there is always good with the bad.( the weather has been the bad)
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Summer Geraniums

                                          Summer Geraniums 6 x 8 oil on linen panel
These geraniums are the bright spot in my window planters, everything in the yard and garden is standing in water from way too much rain, much is rotting and it is hard to watch beautiful perenials die because of the excess water but my window boxes are glorious and I just had to paint this. I will publish the photo I worked from in my next blog, see if you can see the composition I saw.
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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pretty and Proud in White

Pretty and Proud in White 11 x 14 oil on panel
These chickens were commissioned by a man that had wonderful childhood memories of the chickens on his Grandparent's farm. He remembered the red building on the farm and I am fortunate in having the old barnwood from a hundred year old building on our farm which my husband made into a frame for it.It is wonderful to be able to fulfill a request that brings such pleasurabe memories to it's owner. This was one of those paintings that just flowed from my brush as it came to life. The pleasure was in the doing.
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Little Long in the Horns

A Little Long in the Horns  11x14 oil on canvas panel
This is a recent painting commissioned by a local farmer who keeps cattle as well. This particular animal captured his attention because of her markings and long beautifully shaped horns. I loved her pink nose and her long eyelashes. Seems there is beauty everywhere if we just look. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Spring Work Awaits

                                Spring Work Awaits 6 x 8 oil on panel
Our spring is late, cold and wet, I brought the wheelbarrow out to my flower garden in hopes I could do some cleaning and weeding, so far it hasn't worked but it has been a bright spot in my yard and is a reminder that at some future time I will have to use the tools to prepare my garden for summer. However, the most prolific thing in it right now is an over abundance of weeds.
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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Alvarado , Summer of 2011

                               Alvarado,MN. Summer of 2011 6 x 8 oil on linen panel
We live five miles north of the town of Alvarado, MN and because of our extremely flat land in the heart of the Red River Valley of the North we can clearly see the large elevator and storage bins from our yard. We have had an exceptionally wet, stormy spring and although you can see the green of the tree and grass line, the field is still shiny with water standing, delaying planting yet another few days. The unusual light of the the sun behind the storm clouds illuminates the tall structure, or as we call it here the skyscrapers of the prairie. To some this may seem a boring flat land but it truly has a beauty all its own.
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Saturday, May 14, 2011


Strawshine 9x12 pastel on board
This strawstack was in our neighbor's field across the road. Very unusual to have strawstacks here as most of the time the straw is chopped and left in the field as the grain is harvested. After several evenings of watching the sun hit the end of the stack , I was captured by the light and just had to take some photos so I could paint it . My painting is a bit more mellow than my photo but the light on the stack is still my focus.
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Royal onion

Royal Onion 6x12 oil on canvas panel
lOnions, something I just can't pass up painting. The minute I see the sprouts starting to grow I am counting the days til they say, PAINT ME! I love the deep rich backgrounds to set off the beautiful twisting turning tops, and there you go.....................a painting.
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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Flock

                           The Flock 8x16 oil on panel

Living on a farm this is how we are used to seeing our chickens on a daily basis. Long before the term free range etc. the chickens were out during the day and locked in the hen house at night, hopefully to keep them from predators. They were like little children in the yard, picking seeds, bugs and worms and picking fights with each other as well. The greens of summer made all of the different varieties look like color jewels with their shiny feathers catching the sun. Our family dog would lie in the sun and just watch for awhile and then sleep in the sun, never bothering them at all. They co-existed with a leave me alone attitude which seemed to work just fine for everyone.
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Friday, April 29, 2011


Thistle 6x6 on canvas
Thistles have been a long time love of mine, they go through such lovely changes from bud to spent blossoms which leave a fussy nub on the stem. Many of my favorite things to paint are considered weeds, but I believe beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. You be the judge. These are some of my favorite colors to work with as well, keep checking my blog you will see many more wild flowers and weeds in my intimate landscapes.
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Crabby Baby

                                                 Crabby Baby 6x8 inches pastel
This poor little guy is obviously too young to be on his own. His baby feathers are sticking out among his new feathers and it seems there is nothing that is right in his little world, but I can't help wanting to pick him up and console him.
This pastel is done on pastel board and what I call drip and run. I lay the panel flat with the sketch on it. I then use soft pastels in colors I want in the area then use a small spray bottle and spritz the pastel and tilt the panel to get it to drip and run. I call these appropriately Drip and Run pastels. The co-mingling of colors is not unlike watercolor. I then move on with pastels in the regular way.
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Friday, April 15, 2011

The Golden Girls

                                          The Golden Girls 5x7 in. oil on panel
I love chickens especially fluffy ones and chicken butts. Seems they are always eating and it is  bottoms up. These girls were enjoying seeds and bugs as they roam free range

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Grandma Minnie's Lilacs

Grandma Minnie's Lilacs     6 x6 in.  oil on canvas SOLD
When we moved back to my husband's home farm several years ago we were delighted that some of the shrubs and flowers were still growing and blooming, even tho many were hidden in weeds and grasses. His Mother's name was Minnie and each spring when these bloom we think of her, cut a bouquet and inhale the beautiful fragrance.