Thursday, September 26, 2019

Sunlit Willow

The willow tree is one of my favorites. I love the shape of the tree, it's tiny leaves that glimmer in the sunlight and the very sturdy trunk and branches that are low hanging to the ground. I like how this tree was sunlit from the back and how the grasses in the fields are starting to turn into their fall colors, ready to go dormant for the winter. My goal was to capture the feeling of movement in the branches and the sunlight behind them.

The painting is painted on Arches oil paper.  It is a paper that is treated so the oil in the paint does not bleed through.  I like using this paper when I am trying something new or just want to experiment.
The oil does seem to soak into the paper more than other supports,  but I've enjoyed using it.


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Late Summer Pastures

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I finished this painting today after a plein air session in one of my favorite spots to paint.  I love the ranchland in and around the Heber Valley where we live in Utah.  I am trying to paint there as often as possible these days.  Rumor has it that a major highway is going to split this area up.   It is needed in the name of progress in order to relieve traffic backups in Heber City.  I will be sorry to see this area destroyed but have lived through many such destructions to our lands.

 The farm that my parents owned was taken from them (by Imminent Domain) back in the '70s for a new power plant that was built along the river in Indiana.  We fought hard to keep the land,  but the locals thought this progress would be good for the rural area, bringing jobs and new businesses.  All it really did was bring more pollution and did nothing to bring more jobs after the plant was finished. 

I'm hoping some of these beautiful lands remain to survive this progress.


Friday, August 9, 2019

Summit Park Hike

The inspiration for this painting is from a hike in the surrounding neighborhood where we live in Utah.  I am so impressed by the work of Deb Komitor, and her beautiful paintings of the landscape that I decided to give her technique a try.  She paints her works on a black background and they are just so stunning and lovely to view.  I love how she makes the forest look so inviting, and I hope by using this technique that I can bring the same mood to my works.  Hope you ENJOY!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Birthday Tomatoes

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Today is my birthday, and I celebrated by doing one of my favorite things....painting.  The subject is also one of my favorite summer fruits.  The ones in the grocery store are what I used in this painting, but my favorite are those wonderful summer-kissed-with-flavor tomatoes that only come during the tomato season, late summer.  I have such good memories of growing up with bummer crops of tomatoes from our families garden.  My mother canned loads and loads of them for use in the winter and even made her own ketchup.  In fact,  I don't remember ever having store bought ketchup unless we went out to eat somewhere.  Her ketchup was deep red in color and very tangy and spicy.  It made the entire house smell wonderful. 

I used the complement of red for the background in the painting, a sure way to get those tomatoes to really pop.  I also used a warm reddish brown color to tone the board ensuring the painting would take on those warm tones.  For lighting,  I made sure to use a neutral colored bulb so the colors would remain true.

I am attempting to paint in a looser style and the more I paint and the more frequently I paint, I am beginning to see some welcome changes.  I am seeing the benefit of painting often and actually get grumpy if a day goes by when I don't put in some paint time.  How's that for dedication?

I love the work of Carol Marine,  the founder of Daily Paintworks, and I often read her materials for inspiration.  Thanks Carol for giving me a platform on which to show my small works!


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Sign of Summer

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My latest painting is of this beautiful sunflower.  I love them for their sturdy structure and the fact that they last so long as a cut flower.  I am attempting to paint in a looser style like many of the artists I admire on the web-site.  Since my training is in design,  I learned to be an exacting draftsman, so much of my former work in drawing is very detailed..  While I love detail,  I find that as I mature is my style, I am looking to the impressionists and how they paint as more desirable.

Have a great day filled with sunshine.  ENJOY!!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Whistling Marmot

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I see these marmots every day when I'm out on my walks.  They hide in the large boulders lining the street and peek out at us as we pass by.  Their whistle sounds exactly like a smoke alarm battery failing.  It has fooled me many times into believing I need to change batteries!! This is painted on a canvas panel that was toned in burnt sienna.


Friday, June 7, 2019

RedRock Spring

A recent hike brought me by this grouping of trees and rocks that I found very pleasing.  I like how the trunks of the aspens stood out in front of the cedar trees and how the red rocks complimented the color of the surrounding greens.  Below is the finished painting, a small work that just might become a larger piece.        


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Golden Meadow

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I was inspired to paint this after a hike into the hills surrounding our home this morning.  I was scouting for a place to paint and on my way back came across a beautiful meadow full of these golden wildflowers.  The scrub oaks are just beginning to leaf out and their leaves are a pale gold/green color.  I had a purple toned board already prepared and decided to do the painting using it.
I love the structure of scrub oak trees.  They are so unlike the oaks from the midwest.  They are short trees and their oak leaves are very small.  But I love the gnarly branches and the colors of the trunks.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Mountain Wildflower

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We've had a late spring here in northern Utah. The wildflowers in the mountains are beginning to pop and there are patches of bright yellow all over the mountains and meadows.This painting showcases one of those beautiful yellow flowers. I don't know what they are, but they are a welcome site after a hard winter. Painted on Ampersand archival gessoboard.  This painting took me two tries before I got a composition that I liked and the yellow of the glower to read well.  As I've said before, the color yellow is not my favorite to paint with but I love the color itself.  I felt like the shadow cast by the flower and vase added an interesting element to the composition.


Sunday, June 2, 2019

Welcome Gold

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This golden sunflower flower was "the last one standing" in my bouquet so I wanted to honor it with a painting.  Yellow is such a happy color and a welcome color now that summer is upon us.

In my reading about the color yellow I found that one of the earliest sources  comes
from India where the it is made from the urine of cows that have been fed mango leaves.  Not such a great way to get the color, but it just shows what a society will do in order to make the world beautiful.  The yellows I use today have cadmium in them, and I take precaution by wearing gloves when I paint.  Again, what we do to make the world a more beautiful place.


Saturday, June 1, 2019

Sturdy Cedar

I spotted this old cedar on a recent hike in the neighborhood and thought it would make a great composition.  I loved how the branches, old and gnarly, went out in all directions and how the boulders and plants added to the wildness of the place.  A rocky area,  I knew I would have to be careful setting up my easel.

Here is the finished painting.  I had to really push the values of the greens to get them to read well, and push the lights and darks to make an interesting pattern through the painting .  I like how the placement of the rocks leads your eye up from the lower right to the upper left and to the star of the show, the cedar tree.


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Three Suns

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We've had some very unusually dreary weather here in Utah so my outdoor plein air painting days are "on hold" until the weather clears. I decided to bring some color into my life by painting a floral still life, and what better way to grab some color than with sunflowers. They are the best indicator of summer weather so I found some at my local grocery and set up this still life. I already feel better.
This is the third try for these sunflowers and I think I finally got a painting that I like.  Even though the vase is dead smack in the middle, I think the composition works.  The color yellow is a bear to work with because of its relatively light value. Getting those dark yellows to read dark took some trial and error.  Also, not painting every petal was a challenge, since I tend to be detail oriented.


Friday, May 17, 2019

The Calling

This painting is a commission for a friend that I met while on a recent mission trip to Bolivia. He related a very touching story to me of how he was called to serve God as a deacon while he was praying on a rooftop terrace shown in the painting.  He said he was torn about this being something he should do and asked God for a sign. He says he felt he got the answer to his question in the form of a shooting star. This happens to be the terrace of the hotel where all of the missioners in our group stayed while in Sucre, so many of the missioners had photos of this area and I used them as my inspiration. I am very honored that he asked me to paint this remembrance for him.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Heber Ranchland

A few days ago, I was able to visit a favorite painting spot near Heber City where many acres are devoted to ranching.  The trees and fields are a beautiful spring green and I found a shady spot under a tree with this view.  I loved the barn in the distance and the shadows thrown by the trees in the foreground.  I thought this would make a great composition so I set up to paint.

Here is the finished painting with a few added touches to make a better composition.    I eliminated the foreground fence in favor of a suggestion of one in the distance.  I also added a path leading up to the barn.  

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Spring- Heber Valley

It's been a welcome spring after such a long and snowy winter.  Earlier this week I was able to get out and enjoy some sun and drive to one of my favorite spots for painting.  Though I wasn't able to stay long enough to set up to paint, this photo inspired the small painting below.

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I loved the meandering stream and how the trees hugged the waterway and threw shadows on the grass.  This painting is done on oil paper and will likely become a larger work....
stay tuned and as always

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Spring Pasture

I was able to get out into the countryside recently to do some plein air painting.  I drove to an area known as the North Fields, an area of ranch land south of where I live in Park City.  The day was warm and blustery,  a typical spring day with lots of sounds and smells.  Rushing water was everywhere, and I'm sure the ranchers are thankful for the heavy snowfall to replenish much needed water.  I came upon this beautiful scene and set up to paint.  I loved how the spring green of the trees in the middle distance became the main area of interest and I made sure to play that up in my painting.

I over emphasized the little stream but like the addition to the painting. I was racing to finish as the wind started blowing and a small rain storm passed through.  I tweaked it a little back in my studio but kept the composition as you see it.


Friday, April 26, 2019

Waiting For A Sale

While in Bolivia, our mission group had the weekend off, and a group of us went to Tarabuco to visit during during their community market.  Many locals were on the street looking to sell their beautiful textiles.  I loved the photo I took of this man in the sketch above because you could tell he was in deep contemplation.  I'm sure he was thinking about selling.his wares. I did a quick watercolor sketch of him as a reminder.

A favorite textile that I was introduced to by these indigenous people were the Jalq'a aqsu design textile. The Jalq'a are an Andean indigenous society that make a unique textile in a red and black design. The textiles usually depict khurus, invincible savage beasts, of various shapes and sizes, that are woven of wool and alpaca in red onto a black background .  Legend describes this as the dominion of an underworld deity known as the Saxra.

                                              Here is an example of these beautiful textiles.
                I was able to purchase a small vertical piece that is now hanging in our home.

Now back in the US, I have used my artistic license to combine several photos to create this painting showing the man and the beautiful items he has for sale.

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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Rainy Walk

While in Bolivia on a mission, I spent a day helping with a construction project.  Our task was to build a room on to a mud brick home shown above. Because the locals can get a parasite that lives in the mud bricks, it's essential for them to have a safe place to sleep and the single mother of 4 that we were helping, desperately wanted this room for her children.  These people get by with cooking outdoors and their only source of water is collected in a barrel.

While we were working, it began to rain again, and we soon had to leave or face being stuck on the muddy rutted roads.  As we were driving back to town, I spotted some women walking in the rain.  They don't let rain stop them, they can't, they have no choice.  When I got back to our hotel that evening,  I painted this small watercolor sketch.

                                    This is one of the women as she walked in the rain. 
              Now that I'm back,  I turned this sketch into a painting including the other woman.

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Here is the finished painting...I hope I have captured the dreary day and the attempt of the women to keep dry. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Market Day I - Tarabuco, Bolivia

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I recently spent two weeks on a mission trip to Bolivia. While there, I spent a lot of time working among the native people and getting to know their traditions. They are hard working, lovely people. This painting shows a Bolivian women in her traditional dress walking home from the market. She carries most of her purchases in her shawl, along with her child.

 The women from this particular region of Bolivia all wear fedora hats everywhere they go.  They wear sandals with leggings in the colder weather along with a pleated skirt.  They usually wear a full length apron over it with a sweater.  They top off their ensemble with a colorful shawl which they use to carry their belongings and small children. These women are everywhere, and they are a joy to watch as they go about their lives.


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sunny Poppy

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Poppies have always been one of my favorite flowers. They were always included in our family's garden and I always thought that their beautiful translucent petals were a perfect seasonal addition that said summer. this work is painted on gessoed board that has been underpainted in black.  I think if I were to do this again, I would try it on a lighter painted ground, though I like the dark background and how it makes the flower glow.


Friday, March 15, 2019

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These mandarin oranges came from the supermarket with their leaves still intact. I loved how the leathery leaves look next to the bright orange of the fruit. The addition of the blue bottle helped balance the otherwise warm tone of the painting. This is painted on gessoboard that has been underpainted in black.

Because I love autumn so much, orange is one of my favorite colors.  It has a very long history.  It was generally thought to have started by using madder, which most painters recognize as a bright pink.  But if the madder root is pounded, dried,  then put in a dye bath with alum, it turns wool to a vibrant orange, like the hair of a redhead. The Turks figured this out back in the 13th century!!


Thursday, March 14, 2019

Snowbird Waterfall

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This painting is a follow up to the one I did a few days ago.  I enjoyed doing the waterfall portion of that painting so much that I decided to do a smaller version of just the waterfall.   I am experimenting with painting on a black background and am finding that I like the graphic quality of the finished painting.   Somehow the black tends to help your eye blend  some of the colors together and create contrast in other areas.  I can't quite explain it, but I like how it looks and feels.

This painting will be offered on the Daily Paintworks web-site in an auction.  The bidding will engage tomorrow.  Click the above link to be directed to my auctions.


Sunday, March 10, 2019

Snowbird Summer I

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This painting was inspired by a recent hike in the summer at one of our favorite spots in Utah. It was a beautiful day and the hike followed this stunning stream as it rushed down the canyon. The day was full of the sound of the water, the trees rustling overhead and the smell of the pine. It doesn't get any better than that.  I was experimenting again with painting on a black background and I especially like the look of the water.


Saturday, March 2, 2019

"Bee" the Poppy

Here is another painting of a poppy, this one with a honey bee doing his magic. Again, I love the delicate petals of these flowers and marvel at how they unfold from their buds. It's always amazing to me how those buds seem so heavy on their small stems and yet when the flowers are fully unfolded, the stems are perfectly upright. 


Friday, March 1, 2019

Sally The Surgeon

I was just notified that my painting shown above, Sally the Surgeon, won 2nd place in the Rockwell Reimagined exhibit and show in Piqua, OH.  The challenge for this exhibit was to take a favorite Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post magazine cover and reimagine it in today's world.

Since my husband is an orthopedic surgeon, we thought it would be a fun project to reimagine the Rosie the Riveter cover as my entry.  There are many women surgeons now, and how they are succeeding in a "man's world"  is encouraging to those of us who have fought so hard to bring women equality in the workplace. The fact that a small woman can successfully do the very strenuous work of an orthopedic surgeon is quite amazing and yet they do it beautifully. Below is the Rockwell painting that inspired my work.

Rosie the Riveter
In doing my research about Mr. Rockwell's idea for this painting, I found it most interesting that his
model was a very small woman, and he purposefully made her much more robust for the work.  He later apologized to her for making her bigger.


Thursday, February 28, 2019

Delicate Poppy

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This beautiful poppy is one of my favorite flowers. I love the delicate paper thin petals that glow in the sunlight. I also love the stems because they are thin and willowy and have little hairs running up and down. I hope I have captured the beauty of the poppy in this small painting. You can click the link above to bid on this painting for a very low beginning bid.  The auction engages tomorrow.


Saturday, February 23, 2019

French Geraniums

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This painting is from a photo reference of some geraniums spotted in France. I love the contrast of the red blossoms with the super green foliage all set against the dark background of the shaded window.  The piece is painted on gessoboard.


Friday, February 15, 2019

Winter View

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We've been having lots of snow here in the west.  It has been interesting living in an area of the country where they know how to deal with snow. It's been a beautiful season as well. This is the view I get to see in the winter when I look outside our home. The snow glistens against the red rocks and makes the bluebird sky look even brighter. Painting this was so much fun,  I may have to paint it again in a larger size.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Winter Evening

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I haven't painted a nocturne in awhile.  I've had this photo for a couple of years now and it spoke to me as a painting.  It's from our old neighborhood in Ohio.  I walked by this house frequently on winter evening walks with our dog.  The people living here must have had a dog because it was always a favorite stop for our dog to stop and check his pee-email.  I loved how the light illuminated the icy driveway and lit up the windows, creating a cozy feeling. Click the link above to bid in my Daily Paintworks auctions at an incredible starting bid!!


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Looking Towards Winter

This painting is from a photo I took this fall looking towards the ski slopes in Park City UT.  It's a far cry from what I see out my window today.  We have had the most snow I have ever seen and it keeps snowing.  So much so that the area where I live has had to contract dump trucks to come in and haul away the snow.  But the area is beautiful and I am enjoying winter and all it has to offer.

The farm is near our home and viewable from the bike trail.  I loved the various shades of gold from the late summer, early autumn grasses. The work is painted on stretched canvas, a surface I haven't used in awhile. In some ways I like it because of the blending that can be achieved. 


Monday, February 4, 2019

Just a Hunch

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This cute cat is all hunched over looking like it is ready to pounce.  This is another photo from The Morgue File and I selected the photo for a reference because I loved the eyes.  It's amazing how getting a good likeness seems to always depend on getting the sparkle in the eyes just right.  I hope I have achieved the sparkle in this one.


Friday, January 25, 2019

"M" Cat #1

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Have you noticed that many cats have the letter M on their foreheads? This one's is very noticable. He looks like he is considering how nicely his name matches the sound he makes. MEOW!!
This piece is painted on gessobord that has a red underpainting.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

McBully Mugface

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This great Bull dog looks to me like he is posing for a mugshot.  He isn't happy about it but is doing his best to look innocent.  I painted this doggie portrait on gesso board with a blue underpainting shown in the photo above.  I used a Tombow marker to do the drawing.  The advantage of using these markers is that they are water soluable allowing you to make changes in the drawing, but then the mark isn't affected by oil paint or mineral spirits so your drawing is saved.  Pretty neat .


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Winter Aspens

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This is another winter landscape inspired by a hike in the snow in our neighborhood. I love Aspen trees, even in winter. I love the texture and colors in their bark and the gnarly shapes of their branches. This is painted on a board with a black underpainting, giving the piece a more graphic look.
Once again I found that I had to lighten some of the colors.  This is becoming a grand experiment, one that I am enjoying.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Old Friend

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In this painting, I am fondly depicting and old friend of mine. When I lived in Ohio, I frequently took a trail that passed under this tree while walking my dog. It was one of our favorite spots to walk and I loved seeing this tree. It's horizontal branch hung low and I always thought I would hit my head on it, but of course, being short myself, never did. It was especially nice walking here after a snow. It was always quiet and beautiful.  The path followed the river and afforded views of other wildlife as well.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Winter Hike at Silver Lake

The inspiration for this painting is from a photo I took while enjoying a winter hike in Big Cottonwood Canyon near Salt Lake City, UT.  It was a beautiful clear day among the pine forest surrounding Silver Lake.  I loved the sharp shadows cast on the snow and the texture of the trunks of the trees.  This piece is painted on a board that has been under painted in black.  One of the most difficult challenges in painting on black is remembering that colors appear darker because none of the color is reflected back from a light surface.  So many times I have had to lighten my colors to make them read the correct value.  It is a welcome challenge though because I love the graphic look of the completed painting.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Scrub Oak #1

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This small painting is a Daily Paintworks Challenge for the month of January.  The oak trees in Utah's higher elevations are small scrub oaks.  In contrast to midwestern oak trees where I was raised, they don't get very tall and they have tiny acorns.  But the leaves are just as beautiful and remain on the trees well into winter.  I collected this tiny branch on a recent winter walk into the hills surrounding our house. This piece is painted on a board with a black underpainting.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

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The inspiration for this painting is from a photo I found on the Morgue File.   I don't know about you, but I find sleeping dogs irresistible.  This bull dog looked like he was deep in sleep and I can just imagine he is having some good doggie dreams.
The piece is painted on gesso board with a black under painting.


Sunlit Willow

Click to Bid The willow tree is one of my favorites. I love the shape of the tree, it's tiny leaves that glimmer in the sunlight and ...