Sunday, February 27, 2011


                                               Hollyhocks oil 7x5
A hope of the summer to come, done from pictures of the hollyhocks that surround the front of my studio . These bright little flowers always remind me of the farm homes in the area, I don't think there was a yard without them as well as lilacs in the Spring

Pipestone Vineyard

Pipestone Vineyard  oil 20x24
Private Collection
I tried to capture the moisture in the air early in the morning in this vineyard
This was a commission for a couple who had visited here and wanted a painting to record their memories of that very special place.

Golden Windrows

Golden Windrows  pastel  6x12 (sold)
August begins the harvest season, here you see the grain cut and put in neat rows ready for the combine to come and  separate the grain from the chaf.  These golden rows dry only briefly in the sun and then are gone again for another year. They remind me of little paths that I could run through to some magical place.

End of the Season

End of the Season  pastel 14x21  SOLD
Yes, another winter painting. This painting is moody, a part of my artwork that I have been working on. Subdued color typical of the last of fall and the arrival of snow.  Subtle tones predominate with the only bit of color that stands out being in the flowers themselves.  This is a quieter time of year for us here on the farm and I will be spending more time in the studio rather than in the gardens weeding and harvesting the bounty they give. I have a summer kitchen in which everything picked goes into the refrigerator for immediate use or into the sinks to be washed, and either frozen or canned. Some will also go to a local food bank or sold to neighbors.
Some may look at this as a sad time of year but I look at it as a time for rest for all the plants and the soil.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Winter's Blanket

                                        Winter's Blanket,  oil  12x12
If you think I am obsessed with winter, it is because we have so much of it here in northern Minnesota. I enjoy painting these intimate bits of nature and see the beauty of  the living things that struggle to survive the climate..... in spite of all the odds.. they do and come Spring they will be filled with beautiful greens. I have always had a difficult time understanding how snow insulates and protects the plants and grasses when I am freezing in sub-zero weather and shoveling all this white stuff.
It seems God has creation covered in a blanket for a reason.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mt. Carmel Hydrangias

You will hear me mention Mt. Carmel in my writings frequently. Mt. Carmel is a Christian Retreat Center located on Lake Carlos near Alexandria , MN. During the summer months I am there about seven different weeks. Each week I teach two afternoons of pastels and two days of oils to the quests. It is a great opportunity for people 12-90+ to try their hand at creating a painting. It is rewarding and fun for me to get people excited about painting.
The grounds are lovely, these hydrangias surround the lodge and are always heavily laden with white blossoms, they remind me of snow in summer. I paint daily each morning on the grounds and the resulting plein air pieces  are offered for sale to the quests in a silent auction and 50% of proceeds go toward their scholarship fund.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Winter Sunshine

                                                                   Winter Sunshine, oil, 9x12
The freezing crisp winter days let me spend time in the studio painting. Needless to say here in Minnesota it is winter and when the new snow falls (as too much of it has this winter) the purity and sparkle of the snow as the sun gets lower in the sky on our short days make this a common scene here on the farm. There seems to me to be a special beauty in the coldness of the snow with the quickly dropping sun. Makes the short days worth it to see this nearly every day.

View at the Sanctuary

Memories of a beautiful day at a nearby Nature Sanctuary. My son and I spent a lovely July morning walking the many paths and stopping to take in the quiet and lovely plants ,pond and stream running through the area. A must do -again when summer comes returns to northern Minnesota.