Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Desert Walk

A Desert  Walk 5 x 7 inches pastel on board
A place artist friends and I walked and painted in many times  in Arizona. Because of so much non-color in the desert, a little color seems dramatic and in the neutral desert seems exaggerated . The desert has a beauty all its own as does every part of our magnificent country.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Shared Memory

Shared Memories 5x7 pastel on Art Spectrum paper
This is a place my son Paul and I enjoyed together on one of his summer trips home. I am looking forward to his visit this summer to enjoy the new area where we live. Part of this walk was in overcast and part in sunshine giving a wide variety of effects we were able to capture in photos and hopefully in paintings as well. This is truly a season to share time and memories, don't let the hustle and bustle of insanity take over.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Just Waiting.......But for Whom?

Just Waiting..........But for Whom?  pastel on board 7x5
This old rusty chair seems to be stoic and waiting for someone to come and sit or visit. .....I wonder how many stories it could tell?  I am filling my head with all kinds of thoughts and maybe even memories.  I invite you to do the same.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Morning Burn

Morning Burn 5x7 pastel on board
I love to capture the burn of light where it is so bright it goes from white to a more intense color as it hits the trees. There is an ethereal feel to the admosphere and the light that shines and illuminates the landscap as it filters through the trees.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chick, chick,

Chick, chick, 5x7 pastel on hand- made paper
Emilie, gets chicks each spring and I have painted her older chickens several times but these are new ones just fresh from the hatchery, what fun, I remember getting hundreds of these at once time and having to dip each beak in water and food before placing them  under the heat lamp to stay warm and secure. As they become teenagers they become kind of ugly with funny feathers sticking out all over and this happens within several weeks; so this is the cute stage for sure.
This is done on a hand made paper that I have left exposed that I won as a first place winner in a show awhile back. The package of paper had five sheets and was wrapped in gold metallic tissue; too precious to use and got brave and did this on the first sheet I have used.( this was at least 15 years ago). I am at a stage in my life where I think I need to enjoy these  papers and not just leave them tucked away.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Perenial Bachelor Buttons

Periennial Bachelors Buttons 5x7 pastel on panel
These delightful flowers go by another latin name but they are  wonderful, they have a kind of lanky and graceful movement when the breezes hit them in the garden and withstand most of the elements of dryness, rain or wind. They have a freedom in them that the more formal flowers in the garden lack. I was fortunate to get these from a wonderful gardener by the name of Bev. I have recently moved and will miss these constant reminder of a free and beautiful spirit. Thank you Bev for the garden flowers we shared.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Little Bird

Little Bird 6x6 in. on LaCarte paper
Photo reference for Little Bird. It is obvious from this photo that  much needs to be done to create a painting from it. I will many time choose a photo that leaves much to my imagination, it seems to get my creative juices flowing. Since I have been away from my easel for several months, this was a fun challenge.
Further challenges besides the photo was that being absent from the easel I broke my cardinal rule, NO FIXATIVE. You guessed it , I used fixative and it spattered spots all over so had to go back to square one.  In spite of my mistakes I am happy with the  piece and will try to post on a more regular basis. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Open House

These are a few photos of my new studio/ gallery as it was set up for my Open House, thank you to all who came to make it special. I have met so many new artists and people interested in the arts that I think this will be a fantastic place to be for the classes and gallery. My Family is greatly responsible for all of this to happen in  the 9 weeks since we have moved here. The Lord has richly blessed us.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Open house

New studio/ gallery
Open house Art and  "Chocolate, How Sweet it Is" Nov 1, 4pm -8 pm;Nov. 2 ,10am-6pm; Nov 3 9 am-5pm. This is an outside view of the studio and I will show the refurbished inside in the next post. Thank you for your infinite patience, Unpacking, painting , installing a hanging system and arranging for the Open House has kept me busy. Would love to see you at the open house and you can see it all in person.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Back at last

The last I wrote in this blog, we were moving and we are now in our new home in  Alexandria, MN.. I haven't been at my easel for a very long time. Getting a bit settled while teaching has taken a bit longer than I would like.
The new studio had to be totally emptied so the floor could be refinished, then needs to be painted and this is where the glitch of the century comes in. I messed up badly in choosing my paint color and after two days and two coats it was as bad as it can get. Sooooooooooooooo tomorrow off the the paint store and a new batch of color or "non-Color" as it will be a neutral and will start again. In the meantime my Granddaughter , Mahlet, will have a gallon and a half of paint for her room, in her favorite color, but certainly not her Grandmas.
Drapes are ordered and then the unpacking can begin and yes...................I will be painting again soon, I hope, but first DO need a studio. Thank you for your patience.
The new home and community are wonderful. We are very blessed.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Stay Tuned

Please be patient with my non-entering of new paintings. We are moving to Alexandria, MN, selling our farm and packing. We will be in our new home after the 22nd of August. and it will take awhile to set up my fantastic new studio and gallery. So PLEASE stay tuned for more exciting news on this big move

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Enjoying the Lake

Enjoying the Lake 7 x 5 oil on panel
Another quite scene at Mt. Carmel. these chairs are just calling you to sit and enjoy quite time snoozing, reading or whatever you wish.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Just Struttin

Just Struttin 12 x 12 oil on canvas

After just sittin and laying an egg our little red hen is struttin around full of pride at her accomplishment and showing off for the other hens (and maybe the rooster). I continue to try and stay loose in my work but controlled. I use a thin underpainting and in many areas that underpainting shows through in the final work, it allows for the transparency to let the white of the canvas show trough, the violet in the upper corner and at the base of the hen as well as the gold tone in the top center show that fairly well.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Just Sittin

Just Sittin 12 x 12 oil on gallery wrap canvas
This hen is just sittin minding her business of laying eggs. We raised about  200 of these laying hens and provided eggs for us, neighbors and a shelter. They required much work and although I do love fresh eggs and painting chickens I am glad I am not caring for them any more.
I do love painting chickens of all breeds and always find them interesting and each seems to have a personality. When they are in their nest  they seem to be all fluffed up, I think to protect the eggs they have laid or that eggs that are yet to be laid.

Monday, July 2, 2012

From the Garden

From the Garden 6in x 6 in. oil on panel
A litttle antique bottle and some  of the first flowers from my garden were the inspiration for this little painting. I loved the light and the simplicity of this casual little piece. They are a delight to the eye and seem to dance together beautifully.

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Retreat  oil on panel  5in x 7in
Another beautiful setting at Mt. Carmel overlooking Lake Carlos. These chairs are  located all around the hillside and grounds near the lake, a place for resting, reading, or a quiet conversation, how inviting is that.
The dappled light is always fun to work with and the odd shadows created by overhead branches.

Kay's Geraniums

Kay's Geraniums   oil on panel 5in X 7in
A beautiful morning and out my window at Mt. Carmel was this pot of geraniums lit by the morning sun. What a way to start the day. It just seemed to say, "paint me, paint me" so I did. This little garden is located between the lodge and the lake and always has light filtered through the trees that surround it.  Check out more about Mt. Carmel at the site on the side of my blog.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Eternity Cross

Eternity Cross 5 x 7 inches oil on panel
This beautiful cross without beginning and without end sits in the Eternity Garden of Mt. Carmel Ministries where I am the artist in residence many weeks of the summer. I paint daily the different areas of the campus which are then framed and placed in silent auction with part of the price given to a scholarship fund for families to attend the camp.
Each year I teach over a hundred people from 12-90 yrs of age and get to enjoy their experience with oil paint and pastels. Truly a joy!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Power of Three

The Power of Three-6x6  oil on panel

The Power of Three refers to three colors plus white.  Believe it or not these were all painted with cadmium yellow lt, cadmium red light, ultramarine blue plus white. This is a terrific exercise I frequently choose odd colors but one of each in the yellow family, red family and blue family.
Interesting what a different feel you get and mood with each one. I could go on for many more and come up with different colors again.
What helps me is to make a copy of my photo in black and white, then I only am influenced by value not color. It is hard not to be influenced by the colors in front of you so I just take them away with black and white to work from.
      This freedom of no color to look at helps me focus on composition and paint application, knowing that those colors will always be harmonious. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Apple Twins II

Apple Twins II 10 x 8 oil on panel
A few dreary days and the deer completely stripping our new strawberry patch led me want to see something juicy and red and so here are the Apple Twins. Strong clean colors to show this beautiful fruit and some juicy paint. Two things I have trying to improve in my paintings. I hope these look delicious enough to eat because we won't be eating stawberries this summer.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Jewel in the Woods

Jewel in the Woods   6 x 8 oil on panel
Back to our paint-away last fall. Outside our window among the heavy foliage and trees the sun caught the side of the rock like a mountain among the green. A surprise as much of our weather was over-cast and cloudy but when the sun came out it was like a jewel on the forest floor.
A personal challenge for me to paint. I love trees and overwhelmed the rock on the first try. Then tried a larger version and it lost everything I wanted in my translation.  Back to the easel with a goal of making this what I wanted to show. You just never know what shows up when the sunlight is your spotlight.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ablaze oil on panel 6x8 in
Ever have one of those paintings that keeps calling you back because it isn't quite done or quite the way you want it. This painting was begun on my annual paintaway last Oct. Plein air but missed the mark. I reworked it once and that is just what it looked like,'reworked'. so I put it away again and today was able to capture what the scene looked like. Most of the color in the area where we were was gone but this one tree stood alone, ablaze in color. Wonderful memories of starting this outdoors on a soft ,fall day.
I haven't posted for awhile. I have been preparing for my One woman show at the Bismarck Art and Gallery Assoc. in Bismarck, ND. . A real joy, it is where I began showing my work many years ago when I was just getting out of my own little area.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Beauty of Trees

The Beauty of Trees 24x20 oil on canvas
On a recent trip to Washington State it rained almost every day. However, the days that were high overcast lent a delicate light to my favorite subject, trees. Right outside the back door of my son's home was this banquet of colors with a the soft air giving them an even more delicate look.
These become especially precious because we live on the prairie where it is nearly impossible to find a scene such as this.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Thistle II

Thistles II oil on panel 6x6
Thistles have obviously caught my attention. This time the dark background brings a little more drama with hints of color that there may be more thistles nearby. Pretty dramatic for being labeled a weed.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Fairy Thistles

Fairy Thistles  9x12 pastel on archival paper
Wildflowers and weeds are some of my favorite subjects, living in farming country many of my neighbors consider these to be a plant that needs to be destroyed so it will not infest the grain fields. I need to state that although it is a feeling among some, certainly not all. A retired farmer purchased a close-up of a thistle at my last show. He couldn't take his eyes off of it.
The title comes from the fact that these are so airy they seem to almost be fantasy, like a fairy.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Prairie Dragon

Prairie Dragon image 8.5x14.5 matted &framed approx 15x21
This painting is done from photos of a massive prairie field burning for many, many miles the first summer we returned to our farm. I was able to capture many images and then lost the files in my computer, only to find them in hardcopies in a file in my studio.  The golden grain against the blue sky and purple/grey of the smoke is difficult to imagine. The horror of losing the crops and yet the spectacle is awesome and breathtaking.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Below 0 Sunrise II

Below 0 Sunrise 9 x 12 pastel
I have painted this in oils and was fascinated with the colors and relected light available . This is a pastel on sanded paper. This scene looks across a field to our nearest neighbor. The cold crisp air makes the sunrise spectacular.
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Still Waters

Still Waters 24 x 30 oil on canvas
This is a special spot I visit on my morning walk when I am at Mt. Carmel, the summer retreat center I teach at.  It has as many moods as the light and the weather can present. I have never seen it the same way twice. This was a special morning with the light capturing the most beautiful colors of greens. These are usually very yellow green and the water often covered in algae . I waited three years to paint this scene and although it was many hours of painting, I relived the morning I saw it each time I was at the easel
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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Catching the Rays at 30 Below Zero

Catching the Rays at 30 Below Zero  6x8 oil on panel
This little guy was desperate to get warm at 30 below zero these rays of sunshine as the sun came up must have seemed like heaven. Sparrows are among  my favorite birds, they seem able to endure almost anything and always seem to be chipper as well.
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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Nature"s Frost Feathers

Nature's Frost Feathers 12x16 oil on panel
This is a scene  in our yard, always amazing to wake up to a crystal like fairyland. It almost seems as though  we should whisper lest the vibrations of speech will cause the tree to shudder and all will fall as though in a veil to the ground. I am always in awe of this magical happening,
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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Quick Study

Quick study 6x8, to sharpen skills
I have been working on several larger pieces the past weeks, honing details to the point where I needed a break. I grabbed a photo that had some strong color and values, used three colors plus white, a #6 flat bristle brush and spent between 45-60min. I refrained from any diddling or reworking, Needless to say it does look strong in strokes etc. and if I do work on a larger version this will be a good resource to tell me what changes in composition I need to make. This is just one of many skill builders you can use to be more decisive in working on larger pieces.
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Monday, February 27, 2012

Lookin for Lunch

Lookin for Lunch 6x6 oil on linen panel
These flying recycle bins are so ugly that you can't help but notice them. They are always on the clean up committee whereever they are.
Just struck me as something that needed to be painted.
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Walk Softly

Walk Softly 11x14 oil on canvas
This is a scene from a meadow area in AZ, one of the few I ever saw in the time I was there. It has a quiet elegance as though you would not want to disturb anything  there, rather just enjoy this intimate site.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Snow and Fire

Snow and Fire 6 x 6 inch pastel on sanded paper
This was an unforgetable scene out of the window of the train as we drove through  west to east from Washington state to North Dakota. It just cried, "paint me,paint me" so I did. I am allready thinking of a large version. it was the only color  in many miles but worth waiting for.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

High Water Pond

High Water Pond 20x20 inches oil on linen panel
High water created scenes not seen for a very long time in many areas. This was found when I walked behind a hill at the Retreat Center where I spend much of my summer . This is a morning I took a walk in an area which had been in in accessable   in all the times I had been  to the Center before.  This is what I call being in the right place at the right time something I remain grateful for.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Here Comes the Plow! Here Comes the Plow1

Here Comes the Plow! Here Comes the Plow! 6x12in. oil on linen panel
Our prairie winter has been fairly mild and storm free, however two weeks ago we had high  wind and between 5 and 8 in. of snow, leaving the roads with snow drifts,  and glazed with ice. Out the window we could see the snow plow coming to clear the roads so we could get out again, always a good feeling especially in case of emergency. After a storm the sky usually clears and this is typical of what you would see. This painting came together like magic and has subtle color changes, some not so visible in this photo.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Sharing Path

The Sharing Path 6x8 oil on panel
The title of this comes from time spent at a Paint Away with a small art group that we take each year,  four days of sharing, painting walking and one afternoon at a nearby gallery. This birch  appeared at the side of the path as we went on a walk one afternoon. Very Pristine bark among all the decaying leaves and waining foliage of late fall made it look like someone all dressed up and nowhere to go. These outings are always inspiring and reviewing sketches and photos lets me enjoy it in the middle of winter.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Cottage

The Cottage 10x10 in. oil on linen panel
My first trip to Washington state to visit my son, in spite of rain all but one day I found all the greenery  almost overwhelming. Since we have nearly 9 months of cold or winter on the prairie. Most of all I couldn't believe that all the vines you see in the foreground are wild blackberries. They are considered nothing short of a plague as they grow everywhere. Needless to say in our climate we would be lucky to get them to grow even if we pampered them. So what is one persons poison is anothers good fortune, go figure.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Are You Listening?

Are You Listening?  6x6 oil on panel
All of us struggle when we paint and this was one of my challenges . Years ago I bought these two porcelain ducks and have tried to paint them several times. I found the heads and necks difficult and this is a second try. I loved their subtle colors and I have a feeling that one of them isn't listening to the other.
These challenges are what make us grow and stay in the pursuit of the next great painting.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

By the Light of the Moon

By the Light of the Moon 12x20 oil on canvas  panel
These two trees stand in our front yard and I look at them daily in all the seasons. It is as though in spite of their years( they have been here long before I was) they remain proud. They have had trunks and branches amputated over the years but as the wind blows they seem to comfort one another as old friends do. They were so delicate and beautiful in the moonlight I thought it was fitting to give them a dignified presentation.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Permanent Parking

Permanent Parking 6 x8 Oil on panel
These days so many city dwellers always want to know if there is parking for their condo or rental, well it seems these two have found permanent parking and it appears no one has bothered them for quite awhile.
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