Monday, March 28, 2011

You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs...............................

You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs............................  6 x 6 in. oil on linen panel

This little guy is soooooooooooooooooooo cute  he wouldn't be hard to kiss but I truly wonder if he would turn into a prince. I allready have my prince so I will forgo the kiss. This little guy was in an arboretum where we had a pastel workshop . It was extrememly hot and humid . We would arrive early in the morning and here he was to greet us. He was not at all frightened and posed for a number of photos. These are probably my favorite colors in flowers and it basically seemed to paint itself.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


                                          Emerging pastel 7 x 5 inches

Spring is a time of newness to the earth. I love Spring and the new growth that pops up as though by magic from the blanket of leaves that kept it protected during our Minnesota winter. It is amazing to watch these seemingly tender ferns unfurl and send a shock of green against the woodland floor. They seem to be telling us that this is just the beginning so we must keep vigilant so as not to miss the other plants still sleeping beneath their leafy blanket.
This pastel was difficult in trying to keep from putting in more information than to simply tell the story. I agonize over that problem
frequently and keep telling myself,"Less is More".
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Walking Place

My Walking Place 51/2 x 12 oil on panel  SOLD

This is a painting that was more of a happening than doing a painting. It all fell together very quickly perhaps because walking in this type of wooded area occurs in our grove as well as many places I visit in the area. It isnt lush because many of the trees are old warriors and some are mature with others just gaining their growth spurt. Here on the prairie every tree is a blessing and you will frequently see one tree in an immense field where it has been left to grow among the cultivated field. The winter has been hard on the trees in the grove and broken limbs are laying on the snow so as Spring comes the ground will be littered with winters damage. But...........still enough trees and new growth to make my walk a quiet peaceful one.
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Monday, March 21, 2011

Jewels of Winter

                                   Jewels of Winter 12 x 12 oil on linen panel

Crisp and freezing cold kept me indoors but I stood with my easel and paints inside and painted looking through the window. The overcast, sometimes a peek of sun day made the snow on the branches seem like clusters of precious stones. This tree has survived much in its lifetime, almost bulldozed, crowded to the point of death by a locust tree and it's offspring. It seems most beautiful in winter with it's sprinkling of snow and seems happy that we have rescued it and given it a home with some space to breathe.
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

December Sunrise

                                        Below 0 Sunrise 8 x 12 oil on panel  SOLD

The Red River Valley is flat, flat land. This scene is seen from our living room and was a bitterly cold below zero day. The infusion of color on the clouds and snow made this view look as though a warm jewel was desperately trying to warm up the flat terrain below. No such luck. The beauty was surpassed by many more days of sub zero weather. These days are perfect for painting in the studio and enjoying the fact that even in this harsh season there is warmth, needless to say it was from the heater in my studio.
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

He Leadeth Me Beside Still Waters....

                           He Leadeth Me Beside Still Waters... oil 15x30 inches

This was a scene that called out to be painted . The water was crystal clear and the foliage a delight of color. This was a spot I could sit by for hours and still see another painting waiting to happen while I experienced a calmness and serenity that is hard to explain. I hope this painting makes you want to join me in Quiet Time.
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Friday, March 18, 2011

Painting Impressionist Color

Painting Impressionist Color by Lois Griffel

Don't most of us want better color in our paintings? I think that is a resounding Yes . This book will give you a whole new approach to color to improve your own artwork no matter the medium or the style. Lois is an accomplished artist and a wonderful teacher. The book is clear in it's explainations and there are many artists paintings to illustrate the points she makes. Yes, I do have paintings in it as well. Add a new dimension to the color in your paintings by learning new ways to approach it.
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And Then Comes The Evening

                             Sunset Comes 9 x 12 pastel  SOLD
What is not to love at the end of a long day in the garden then to gaze at the warm glow of the sun descending upon another day?
What was accomplished? Was I a blessing to those I saw and/or was in touch with? I hope so and if I haven't been, I will try harder tomorrow.
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Leaf Ballet

                                                    Leaf Ballet oil 6 x 6  SOLD
My favorite subjects are trees and leaves, the last hangers-on of Fall seem to be doing a graceful dance across the branches letting the woods they live in have a last show before winter winds remove them from the stage. Living in Minnesota we have a change of seasons that we all look forward to sometimes the seasons seem too short and other times too long but God in his wisdom makes the choice for us and we can revel or grieve at the coming and going.
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Values of White

                                                             The Values of White oil 6x6

This was a challenge of doing white on a print , multi colored background. I did set this up in my studio with a single light source and can truly say I could look like van Gogh and cut an ear off in frustration. That being said, I did pursue and came up with the above painting.
I think it is always interesting to see how much color white really has. So.......................the question continues, what color is white?
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

In My Easter Bonnet

                                                  In My Easter Bonnet oil 6x6

Chickens are one of my favorite subjects to paint. This particular bird belonged to a Collector of my work and when I saw it I broke out laughing. What an outstanding plumage and it looks like it thinks it looks pretty special , who knows maybe even the envy of all the other birds in the flock. I am a hat lover and this truly makes me wonder if I looked as special as this in any of MY hats.
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Into the Evening

Into the Evening oil 16x20   SOLD
This view is always awsome at any time of year but expecially in the summer. The field on the left is grain, ready to be harvested and these greens are as lush as they get in Northern Minnesota. At this time of day I always wonder if I have made good use of the day that I have been blessed with, if my answer is no I pray to do better the next day.
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Sunday, March 13, 2011


                                                            Tanked  Oil  5 x 7                                

Sometimes, there is just a scene or subject that you just HAVE to paint. This is the tank that provides the gas to heat my studio and when I walked by it one summer day this beautiful pattern of light and shadow appeared. More often than not I find that ordinary objects a scenes at some point in time just call to you. Paint Me, Paint Me, this one did and I did. This fulfills the need I have to paint what I see as wonderful in a small space of time,. Perhaps these are not always the most salable paintings but there are sometimes the most fun to do. I also have been working on stronger colors and greater contrast with limited palettes such as this.
I am especially enjoying posting this today as this is covered in several feet of snow after a two day storm. But this is a reminder that summer will be here again .
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Monday, March 7, 2011

Filler up at Mt. Carmel

 Filler Up at Mt. Carmel oil  7x5

This old gas pump sits near one of the shop buildings at Mt. Carmel. Standing proudly it looks as though it could serve up gas anytime and wouldn't we love to have gas at the price it was when this pump was in use. Many of the people who come here for a retreat have been coming since the 1930's. Families come to spend a week together in this beautiful quiet spot.  Much has changed in all these years but the renewing  of the spirit  is as strong as ever.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Miller Farmstead

                                                            Miller Farmstead  oil 24x36
This was a commission piece done for a local farm family. Commissions are always an adventure. There are always  specific things that need to be included.  The choices are up to the person/s requesting the piece to be painted but there are always fun families  to work with and this was one of them. I was given much artistic licence. Not  only was their home and out buildings to be included but the garden in front and last of all way on the right side of the garage is their dog . Taking his picture to include him in the painting was  hilarious. I went to their farm and since the dog is very friendly he came over and immediately began investigating me as I was walking around with my camera. Since he was what I came to photograph I gave the command to SIT, he looked at me like I was nuts, so the second command was given louder and firmer, still no compliance, the third time I broke the sound barrier and he plopped his butt firmly to the ground and just looked at me. After taking all the reference photos I needed I simply got in my car with him still staring at me as drove off.  When I spoke  to his owners the next week I found out he always got a treat when he would sit, so now of course I was feeling very guilty and the next week brought him the biggest bone I could find in the pet store. No wonder he looked at me as though I was cheating him of something.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


                                                   Daylily oil  6x4
You will frequently see paintings of daylilies on my blog. They are abundant at Mt. Carmel Retreat Center where I spend many weeks teaching oils and pastels. This was also done for the Dailypainters one stroke challenge and was both fun and frustrating. These day lilies are always a  ray of sunshine whereever they are planted on the grounds and have become favorites.
Here in Northern Minnesota we have had a day of sunshine in the 20's  not bad, we love anything these days that is not cloudy snowy or cloudy.
You may notice in a lot of my florals I work with a strong complimentary color to what my flower is. I have a tendency  to paint with more subtle colors and soft edges so I constantly challenge myself by choosing a limited palette and often complimentary colors .