Saturday, December 28, 2013
This house sparrow visited our bird bath last summer. Did you ever notice that birds are always on alert? Constantly looking around? Their world is much different than we imagine it. I love painting them. They are too cute. This is a smaller format than I've tried before. I used to think 8 x 10 inch paintings were small : )
This painting is not framed. The image with a frame is provided to show you what it would look like framed. I can tell you where to buy this frame if you like it.
This 4 x 4 inch unframed oil painting is available in my Etsy shop for $40. Click here to purchase or to see my other available paintings.
Friday, December 20, 2013
I have a soft spot for horses. From age 11 to 19 I owned four of them. I did every kind of riding from dressage to jumping to barrel racing. Great memories! I really enjoyed painting this horse. Thanks to Martin Pettitt on Flickr for use of his photo as reference. This unframed 5 x 7 inch oil painting is available on Etsy for $50. Click here to purchase or to see my other available work.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
This is my first painting on oil primed linen instead of canvas. It does feel very different. I love the way the painting turned out but the linen will take some getting used to. This is the surface that painter Daniel Keys recommends in a DVD tutorial I watched. Now I understand how he gets some of the textures in his work. You wouldn't think changing one thing would make such a difference. This 5 x 7 inch framed painting sold for $120 at the John Deaux Gallery in Pueblo, CO.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
We had a flock of robins show up at our birdbath this past fall — at least 2 dozen. It was very unusual. I took lots of photos. I couldn't believe my luck in catching this one as he dipped one foot in the water to check the temperature. Time for a bath maybe? I love to see animals show their personality.
This is an unframed 5 x 7 inch oil painting. It's for sale in my Etsy shop for $50. Click here to buy or to see what other paintings are available.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
A friend in California, Gina Schemenauer, put some gorgeous fall photos up on Facebook that she took in the Sierras. She was kind enough to let me use them for painting. This is my first attempt. The trees were just glowing. This unframed 6 x 8 inch oil is for sale in my new Etsy shop for $60. Click here to purchase or to see the rest of the art in my shop.
My husband, Rich, and I are hoping to downsize our debt and our house which is now under contract. We made an offer on a new one that was accepted. But ours won't close until a house in Utah sells. So we wait and pray. All this to say that I have been distracted from painting too much lately. The goal of the move ultimately is to free me up to focus on making art : )
Saturday, October 26, 2013
My husband, Rich, and I recently went on a bison tour at the Zapata Ranch near the Great Sand Dunes National Park. We were able to see a herd grazing on the prairie with the sand dunes and mountains in the background. The trip captured the magic of the west. The dunes were created by sand that was blown through a mountain pass and deposited over millions of years. The light colored horizontal strip behind the bison at the base of the blue mountains (Yes, they were that BLUE.) is the sand.
This 6 x 8 inch framed oil painting is available at the John Deaux Gallery in Pueblo, CO for $160. Contact me if you are interested in purchasing this painting at 719-547-1093.
Monday, October 21, 2013
I don't really think "cute" when I think of buffalo but this one qualifies. Painted from a reference photo I took at the Zapata Ranch in southern Colorado. This 8 X 8 inch oil painting sold framed for $290.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
My husband, Rich, and I went on a Bison Tour last week at the Zapata Ranch near the Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Southern Colorado. The Zapata ranch has a herd of about 2000 bison that roam the 50,000 acres of the ranch. It was incredibly beautiful and worth the trip. We drove with a guide in a 4-wheel drive truck right in the middle of one of the bison groups. I got some great photos to work from. My favorites are of this magpie bird that was making itself at home on this bison. It moved around looking for bugs (probably ticks). I even got a shot of the magpie sitting on the bison's head. The bison are huge animals — very impressive. It's hard to imagine millions of them filling the plains. That must have been quite a sight!
This framed 8 x 8 inch oil painting is available at the John Deaux Gallery in Pueblo, CO for $200. Contact me at 719-547-1093 if you are interested in purchasing this painting.
Monday, October 14, 2013
I'm continuing to paint clouds. I don't know why but the color changed when I uploaded this image to the blog. The blue in the actual painting isn't as bright. Frustrating! This is an 8 x 10 inch oil painting with a 3 inch black frame. It is available at the John Deaux Gallery in Pueblo, CO for $250. Contact me if you are interested in purchasing this painting.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
I'm often blown away by the beauty of clouds in Colorado. I'm not sure that they are any more spectacular here than anywhere else. The difference may just be that you can see them better on the prairie. There's nothing blocking your view. There are many colors in a cloud, both warm and cool color. I have done large paintings of clouds in pastel. I recently tried doing a large painting of clouds in oil. It was a disaster. So I'm doing some small studies before attempting that again. This is a 5 x 7 painting of a cloud that seemed to be spilling over its edge into the sky. This unframed painting is available for $60 in my Etsy shop. Click here to purchase.
Friday, September 20, 2013
Ever fought with a rose? Sometimes painting a rose can feel that way. Even the white ones have many subtle colors and translucent light. To capture their beauty is a real challenge. The photo above the painting is me after a pastel painting session. I blend a lot with my fingers and wipe them on my shirt. Kind of looks like I've been in a battle!
This is a 6 x 6 inch framed pastel painting and is available for $120 at the John Deaux Gallery in Pueblo, CO.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
I have a good friend who has a cat that is a great hunter. Lately he's been catching snakes and bringing them to show his not-so-grateful mama. This painting is of him as a kitten. She should have seen what was coming : )
This unframed 5 x 7 inch oil painting is available in my Etsy shop for $50. Click here to purchase.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
This jackrabbit is getting ready to wash her ear. I'm really happy with this painting. I love the ears. There are many more colors than you'd think in a rabbit ear.
This 6 x 6 original oil painting is available for $100. Click here to purchase using PayPal. It's also available as a giclée print for $20 plus $2 shipping on my web site. Click here to purchase a print.
Sunday, September 8, 2013
I am definitely on a rabbit trail : ) I painted this 5 x 7 inch oil painting during the first Friday Art Walk at the John Deaux Gallery in Pueblo. Don't they have wonderful eyes? I was working from a photo I took of a jackrabbit that wandered on to our property in Pueblo West. This was my third opportunity to paint in public. It's getting easier. I'm not as nervous as I used to be. But I got a comment from a gentleman that threw me. He said that the photo looked better than my painting. That was a first! How do you graciously respond to a remark like that? The goal for an artist isn't to copy the photo. Why bother? The photo is a jumping off point. The painting should be a unique view of the subject filtered through the artist's mind. That's how creativity happens. That's why you can recognize a Georgia O'Keefe painting vs. a Rembrandt. They weren't copying. They were interpreting. I hope to see my art develop to reflect the unique vision God has placed in me. I wish I had started sooner but moving forward is a very good direction to be going. I sold one of my rose paintings last week to a collector in Europe (London) on Ebay. That was a much nicer first!
This framed 5 x 7 inch jackrabbit painting is available at the John Deaux Gallery in Pueblo, CO for $120. Contact me at 719-547-1093 if you are interested in purchasing.
You can also buy this painting as a fine art giclée print for $16 plus $2 shipping in my Etsy shop. Click here to purchase.
Monday, September 2, 2013
I live on the Colorado prairie where jackrabbits are a common sight. I watched this one lick her foot and drag it over her ear to wash it. The ear didn't quite bounce back right away : ) This 6" x 6" oil painting is available on Ebay. Click here to bid. This painting is also available as a fine art giclée print for $20 on my website. Click here to purchase.
Monday, August 26, 2013
I recently decided to offer fine art prints of my work. I have a very nice Epson printer that is capable of producing those quality prints. I've had it for years. On Friday I was printing a reference photo for a new painting when I heard the printer, which normally sounds exactly like a saw cutting wood, start going squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak. I thought, "Oh no!" When I looked at the photo coming out it was covered in what looked like pollen dust. Then I saw a piece of what turned out to be a wing! Then came a few legs! A moth had managed to crawl into the printer.
When I decided to focus on painting I thought that would give me some relief from dealing with computer/technology problems. Think again! I called the nearest printer repair shop in the Springs. After finding out it would cost me $90 just to have them look at it, I decided to run a few more photos through and hope the moth parts cleared out. It helped but was not back to normal. Then I remembered that I could clean the ink heads using printer utility software only to find out the software no longer worked with Mac System X Lion which is what's on my computer. So I downloaded the latest printer utility software version but for some unknown reason this printer wasn't in my printer list so I couldn't use the software on it. As a last resort I started reading the manual. (Isn't that always the last resort? : ) Thankfully I found a paragraph that told me how to do a "power cleaning" by just pushing a button on the printer. Alleluia! It worked. Time to cover the printer to avoid future moth invasions.
The above 5 x 7 inch painting is a pastel version of the same subject I did in oil a few weeks ago. You can purchase this framed painting for $100 in my Etsy shop. Click here to purchase. This painting is also available as a giclée print in my Etsy shop. Click here to purchase the print.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
I think this is the nicest rose I've ever painted and certainly one of the better pastel paintings I've done. It's 5" x 7" on pastel board. You can purchase this painting through my Etsy shop. Click here to purchase. I am offering this painting as a giclée print on fine art paper priced at $16. The print is 8" x 10" with the 5" x 7" painting centered on it so that you can easily add a matt and frame. Click here to purchase the print.
Friday, August 9, 2013
I couldn't resist the color combination in these pears. I learned something. I'm getting back into oils after working in pastel for years. The light just wasn't there in this painting until I added the stroke of orange on the left side of the red pear. It was like magic. The whole painting woke up!
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
We've vacationed in coastal Maine twice. On one of the trips I bought a bunch of seashells. This is a 6" x 6" pastel painting of one of them. I did this a while ago. It's been sitting around because I wasn't sure I liked the pink. Then a friend of mine saw it and "You gotta keep that one, girl!" I forgot that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This painting is framed and available at the John Deaux Gallery in Pueblo, CO. It's priced at $150. Call (719) 545-8407 to purchase.
Friday, August 2, 2013
Still working on roses but this time in pastel. This is a 5 x 7 pastel painting that's headed for the Hunter-Wolff Gallery in Colorado Springs. It's priced at $170. Call (719) 520-9494 to purchase.
This painting is available as a fine art giclée print through my Etsy shop. Click here to get more information.
Monday, July 29, 2013
I'm continuing to have fun with roses. Rose profiles are much easier to decode than looking straight into the rose. This one got wiped at least once till I figured out how to simplify what I was seeing. The problem is the longer you look the more you see. The mantra in this kind of painting is "Squint!" It helps you see less. This 5 x 7 oil painting is available on Ebay. Click here to bid.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Friday, July 19, 2013
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Sunday, July 14, 2013
I was born with a love for horses. Maybe it's my Irish ancestry but, whatever the reason, by the time I was 10 years old I had memorized all the different colors (bay, chestnut, etc.), the names of the body parts (hock, withers, etc.) and knew the different breeds and riding styles. I read all the books about horses I could get my hands on. I could tell you the stories of America's famous racehorses.
My parents finally gave in when I was 11 and bought my first horse, Appy, from a local riding stable. He was a mutt — part appaloosa with large tan spots on his rump and a dirty white color that never looked clean no matter how much I brushed him. Appy was stolen about a year and a half later and died a tragic death. But that's another story.
I owned four horses through my teen years, rode western and english, and competed in shows from barrel racing to jumping to dressage. I even took my horse with me to college so I could continue riding with my trainer not too far from the University of Michigan.
When I was 18 I made the decision to follow Christ. I was born again. (It does happen. The experience is real.) I started to read the Bible regularly, what modern Christians call having a "quiet time". It just means you spend time in prayer and meditate on scripture. I had a Christian roommate. We would write scripture verses on index cards and put them in a box on the kitchen table. Then we would pull one out every morning. That would be our verse to think about that day.
One Sunday morning before church I was having my quiet time with God and read the verse in Matthew 6:21, "For where your treasure is, your heart will also be." That verse made me pause because I had been recently thinking about the fact that I was spending so much of my time and energy riding and training my horse. This horse was a beautiful bay 17-hand Thoroughbred named Running Blues.
I went to church that morning and the pastor happened to preach on the verse "for where your treasure is, your heart will also be." That got my attention big time. I wondered if God was telling me it was time to refocus my heart and let my horse go. That was a hard thought for me because my identity was so wrapped up in my riding.
Back home after lunch that day I was sitting at the kitchen table staring at the box full of cards with scripture verses on them. I said to God, "Lord, I don't believe you're going to do this, but I know that you can if you want to." I reached over and pulled out a card. It said, "For where your treasure is, your heart will also be." I was stunned. I said "OK." Not long after I put Blues up for sale. The first person that looked at him bought him.
It was very hard letting go but my heart did refocus. A year later I was married and four years after that my husband and I headed for seminary in California.
I share this personal story because I still find it so amazing myself that the God of the universe cares enough to be personally involved in our lives.
Horses are such beautiful creatures. I did the pastel painting above this year. It's 24" x 24" framed with True View glass — glass that's almost invisible. You can buy it directly from me for $1000. Shipping is free.
I am also available for commissions to do portraits of horses. Call me at (719) 547-1093 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss sizes and pricing.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
What attracted me to this particular rose besides the beautiful yellow color was the brilliant spots of red. The oil paint doesn't quite do them justice. Nature's full range of color is beyond the possibilities of paint. This is an unframed 6 x 6 oil painting and is available for $50 in my Etsy shop. Click here to purchase.
Friday, July 5, 2013
I bought some of those gorgeous big yellow sunflowers at the grocery store and this is the result. I originally thought I'd do something more complicated. But I'm glad I kept it simple. Just for fun. This is an unframed 6 x 6 oil painting available in my Etsy shop for $50. Click here to purchase.
Friday, June 28, 2013
This is an 8 x 8 study in oil of one of the big beautiful Colorado clouds at sunset. I'm getting more comfortable painting in oil. It's starting to be fun. I'm keeping this one for inspiration : )
Thursday, June 27, 2013
This was a tough painting to do. I brushed it out once and started over. The values in a sunset are tricky. All you see is the beautiful light but forget that the light looks bright because it's juxtaposed against the darkness. I kept adjusting the darks in the clouds and sky and mountain making them darker learning a lot in the process.
This 12 x 12 framed pastel painting is priced at $700 and is available at the Hunter-Wolff Gallery in Colorado Springs.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
This is a 12 x 12 pastel painting on Wallis archival paper mounted on foam core board. It was inspired by the many beautiful storm clouds I see over the prairie here in Colorado. I have seen orange rain falling at sunset. This framed painting is available through Hunter-Wolff Gallery in Colorado Springs and is priced at $700.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
I recently did two paintings of sparrows and both paintings sold. That made me think other people must love watching birds as much as I do. We have a birdbath in the backyard that is very popular with the locals since we are in the middle of a drought. I bought a new camera lens that allows me to get great shots of the birds when they visit. This is the first new painting since the purchase. Many more to come!
You can purchase this 5 x 7 framed painting for $150 from the John Deaux Gallery in Pueblo, CO. Click here to contact the gallery.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
I had never heard of a white crowned sparrow before this little guy showed up at our birdbath in the spring. He looks like he's got racing stripes. I think he should be called "the dude" sparrow : ) This is a 6 x 6 oil painting.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
These two 6 x 6 oil paintings of the same still life set up are inspired by artist Carol Marine. She has managed to create hundreds of very captivating complex still life compositions in this small square space. She paints them in an hour! Her style is loose and spontaneous. I confess these took me more than an hour : ) Not quite there yet. I experimented using a cool color background on "Black Tea" and a warm color background on "Green Tea."
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
I live on the southern Colorado prairie where this jackrabbit lives too. They almost blend in with the land. This guy was just outside our backyard fence at sundown. This is my first rabbit painting but I'm sure I'll paint more. They are too cute!
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
This pastel painting is of the amazing view we had of Pike's Peak from our kitchen window when we lived in Colorado Springs. I loved watching the mountain. It was constantly changing. I'm sure I have hundreds of photos taken from that window. You will be seeing more paintings of Pikes Peak on this blog in the future.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
I live on the Colorado prairie. You can see mountains that are 70 miles away. Some evenings the beauty in the sky at sunset is jaw-dropping spectacular and I run around the yard like a crazy person taking photos. This painting is from a photo taken on one of those nights. The two photos above show the painting in process. The one on the left is the underpainting. I put pastel down and then brush over it with alcohol. It becomes like watercolor. The one on the right is after I've started laying in the color with pastel. The bottom is the finished painting, quite different from the start.
The framed 6 x 12 painting is available from Hunter-Wolff Gallery in Colorado Springs, CO. It's priced at $400. Call 719-520-9494 to purchase.
Monday, May 27, 2013
This was my weekend project — something I should have done a LONG time ago. I've always kept my pastels in small plastic tubs sorted by color/value. The pastels were stacked 3 deep in the tubs. I'd have to go on a hunt every time I needed a color. The jostling around always made them dirty so I never knew what I was really picking up until I wiped it off. Needless to say this made for a lot of wasted time. Now I can easily compare my options. The thing about color, though, is that it's always affected by what's next to it. The same color will look lighter, darker, brighter, etc. depending on where it's placed in the picture. This arrangement is going to make painting so much easier!