Sunday, January 31, 2010

Better Late than Never

Here is the piece I meant to photograph yesterday (and forgot to). It is a 24 inch square oil. The piece isn't finished yet but I need for the oil to dry a bit before I go back in for some detail highlights!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Forgotten Image

Sometimes, I think I've done something and I've not. Like take the photo of today's piece. Went to Blogger to upload, and it is not there. I guess I never bothered to take the darn picture. And, now it is too dark to do the piece justice. So, tomorrow, I promise, I'll post it early. How stupid of me!

On another note, I spent part of the day cleaning out excess in the studio and made great headway. I lost umphh,though, and didn't quite finish. But it does feel good to get some of that junk out of there!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Bigger One!

This piece is 24 by 48 inches. I started it yesterday and got this far today. Still needs some highlights. I'm having fun with the oils and so far, I haven't stuck a brush in my mouth--I used to do that with watercolor brushes to get the tip pointy. But, I do sport a bit of sap green on my jeans, despite my efforts to be a bit neater! Lucky for me, I've got my old jeans on!
This was a visitor we had today. Very snowy. I wonder where they are finding their food. It's not like I have any real landscaping (read vegetation) in my yard!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


These are 2 oils I've been working on. I'm pleased that they look like my work. But, I AM TIRED. I'm getting used to the paints and brushes but am having to concentrate really hard. I think that is good for me. But, for now, I'm beat. Will check in tomorrow!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Challenging, to say the least.

Another day out in the studio with oils. Fun, but different! I think you get used to your own skin. In my case, oil pastels. I mean, if you are going to work with something and you do it EVERY SINGLE DAY, you do get used to it. Then, like an old pair of jeans, it gets more and more comfortable with time. So, I'm thinking the oils are sort of like those Levi's we used to buy, that stood up all by themselves until you washed them 10 times. They're not comfortable until then. So, I'm not giving up on the oils, even though I'm not yet comfortable with them. I intend to work at least a few more days with them exclusively. Then, I'll have to get back to creating some oil pastels so I have the inventory I'll need to carry me through some of the show season. For those of you who don't do art shows, when you apply--yes, we have to jury into each show we do, each time (unless we win an award!), you have to pick a category. In my case, oil pastels, is usually in the drawing category. So, when I work in oils, unless I could creatively figure out a way for them to be drawings, I would not be allowed to exhibit the oils. Sometime, maybe I'll feel good enough with the oils to actually apply in the painting category and see where that takes me. Until then, I'll feel confident about my oil pastels and continue my stretch into oils.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Get Ready!

Today I actually got my oils out. It has been almost a year since I've pulled them out. I'm not quite ready to share my work yet--I have high hopes that it will improve and then I can post the first one and show the progression. Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

As Promised

As I mentioned yesterday, I have photographed--no snapped-- the pieces I've been working on over the last couple of days. These 6 barns are each done on burgundy pastel paper, 8" by 8". I frame them with a 3 inch mat and blonde wood frame. I kinda like 'em all together!
This is my framing station. Right now it has panels drying on it--they await a final varnish.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Simply Barns

Today I spent a bunch of the morning shoveling snow in the driveway and so I didn't get a full day of painting in. But, I did get these two barns done. I did a series of them over teh last couple of days but it was too dark to photograph by the time I got in. So, tomorrow I'll post them all together.

On another note, I am unable to use my email and the web hosting company hasn't fixed it yet. So, if you are trying to reach me by email, you might give me a buzz or facebook instead. Hopefully, it will get resolved soon. BECAUSE. IT.IS.DRIVING.ME.CRAZY.

And, it is still snowing!!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Some have more fun in the snow than others. Bug likes snow--no, Bug LUVS snow.
Dreary day so I picked bright colors!
Initial sketches of four barns.
Thought about ski-ing today but the wind was not cooperative.
Bug hunting bunnies--she didn't find any.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Back to Paper

For those of you who have been following, you may have noticed that all the work I've posted this month (or done this month, for that matter,) has been done on the gessoed panels. But, you see, I still like working on paper. So today I switched my easels--the one I use for paper has a giant sheet of masonite on it, to which I can attach the pastel paper. The other one has a cool winch and crank so I can raise or lower the work in progress. But, with the masonite, the winch doesn't work as well...Hence, 2 easels. I started these 2 pieces yesterday and got them finished today. I'm pleased.

Monday, January 18, 2010

On a Smaller Scale

3 to be titled 6 by 24 inch cradled panels
When I first started working in oil pastels all my work was really tiny. Part of that was my insecurity about what I was doing, but a large part of it was that I was working in a spare bedroom on a flat surface. No easel. It really makes a difference. Plus, what I have noticed is that when I work on the larger pieces now they aren't such daunting projects. It is pretty easy to just get out there and go. And, while I've not been working super huge, I have been working on larger panels. So, it made it a whole lot easier to get there three done! PS If you recognize the barn in the second piece, it is because I used the same reference photo as I used for the piece I posted yesterday with the teal sky!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

On Burgundy

Another Door County, WI barn.
I think this barn is near Penasco, NM.

I always apply a layer of colored gesso to my panels. When I first started painting I used red. Then I added indigo, then burgundy. Through the years I've experimented with other background colors--green (NOPE!), yellow (DEFINITELY NOT!), burnt sienna (okay). But I tend to rely on this wonderful trio of red, blue and burgundy. The two pieces above were both done on the burgundy background.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Kseniya Simonova's Amazing Sand Drawing

My friend, Judy, sent me the link to this amazing video. I didn't have the time to watch the entire thing at first but have finally done so. Talk about art. I found it fascinating and hope you'll give this talented person the 8:33 minutes the video takes! Not only is the work with sand incredible, the story poignant as well!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Stars Above

This piece is a 24 by 36 vertically oriented cradled panel. I'm not sure what I'll call it.

Today was filled with some painting, some prepping, and some framing. I sold "Hopeful" from my website and needed to put it in another frame. Turns out the frame I had was not cut properly so I had to do a little chiselling. Worked fine--just took a little time. Good thing I already know how to use a chisel! That work on the house when we first bought it--well, the work that we did the first 3 years, does come in handy--maybe not art skilz but good skilz to have, never the less.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Today was really fun. I'd gotten a daily labrador retriever calendar from my folks' old dog-walker for Christmas (she walks Bug when we go to Chicago.) And January 3 looked so much like Bug I couldn't believe it. My dog has the largest paws I've ever seen on a lab and a hooked nose. This dog on the calendar isn't quite as exagerrated as Bug but otherwise, Bug's twin. Long story short, I used that photo as a reference photo--did it backwards because the dog needs to look in this direction.

I apologize for the photo quality--it is getting really dark these days. Will give you a new one in the next day or so. (Plus, in looking at the photo, I realized I forgot to color in a bush by the house! OOPs!)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What, No Buildings?

Both cradled panels, 6 by 24
Just so you know, I can paint images that contain no buildings. Like these two. Although, admittedly I am sometimes tempted to add just a little simple white building. But, I slap my hand and tell it "NO!" On another note, I spent a good half hour staring at a 24 inch square canvas but ended up taking it down and starting another panel. Soon, I'll get brave!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Untitled, as of yet: 12 by 36 cradled panel.

Also untitled, as of yet but it is of the Ojo Feliz church: 12 by 36 cradled panel

When I started working on panels I always did these 12 by 36 panels in a horizontal fashion. The 6 by 24 panels I almost always did vertically. But, sometimes you gotta shake things up! So I did.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Red Sky

"Graces" 12 by 36 inch cradled panel
I don't remember when red skies came into my 'repetoire" but I continue to like doing them. Although I've got to say they are more complicated than when I first started doing them. Now, instead of 2 reds, there are 3 reds, a purple blue and 2 yellows. They have more depth now and don't take that much more time. (I finished another one of these today and will post it tomorrow!)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

BarnsTimes 3

These are each done on 16 inch square cradled panels. The first is done on a red gessoed surface, the next on burgundy and the final on indigo. My favorite backgrounds! If you've got title ideas, let me know!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Crested Butte Barn

Here's the piece I mentioned yesterday. Sorry for the backdrop of rug--too much glare from the windows today. I'll post more barns tomorrow!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Handsome & Handy

I know. I know. These aren't pictures of new works of art. They are pictures of a crazy kitchen. One that happens to be mine. When we first moved in--only 14 years ago--I painted the retablo saints on my cabinets since I couldn't afford replacements (cabinets, not saints.) But we never did replace the white formica countertop with the little gold specks in it. Yuck!!!! But, just before Christmas (or maybe it was Thanksgiving) Rees installed the new butcherblock and new sink. But we didn't do anything for the backsplash. This week, my absolutely marvelous, wonderful, handsome and very HANDY husband, installed the cobalt blue talavera for the backsplash. I'm really pleased. I think it ties the whole kitchen together. Oh, and as for the picture of the day, I didn't get to take it. Too dark. But I did finish a night time cradled panel with a Crested Butte barn. Maybe you could imagine it until I get the picture taken. (The barn is red.)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Panels to Report

"Near Cedar Lodge"12 by 36 cradled panel
This is the panel I finished today. It is based on some photos of two ramshackle barns near my folks' beach house in Door County, Wisconsin. I took some new photos of them when we were visiting (read--killing time in between midwest art shows last summer.) After pulling them and some older ones out of my magic photo box, I realize that I won't get any more good photos of them until someone trims some of the bushes--they are growing too fast and will overtake the barns! Like Kudzu, only that doesn't grow in the midwest--at least not that far north. Creeping Charlie, maybe.
"At the Edge" 12 by 36 cradled panel
This one I did yesterday. It is based on a western Illinois scene somewhere near the Mississippi. Only the barns are really white and the sky blue--not the deep blue like New Mexico blue, but the faded out Illinois sky--which probably seems to everyone there to be a great deep blue but that's only 'cuz there are so many overcast days that, by comparison, the wimpy blue looks deep. 'Nuf said, I'm happy I live where I do.
"Twinkling Wonder" 12 by 36 cradled panel
This was from the day before. It is based on some barns in Hailey,Idaho. I really like the magenta trees and bushes. Hope you do!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Foiled Again

I've basically given up on trying to do the daily photograph--at least in the studio. Perhaps after I get some of the excess junk out of there and can set up the tripod. 'Cuz today's image was even worse than yesterday's--and it was even of the piece I did complete today. A long skinny cradled panel--night scene, no snow. So, these are 2 I finished just before Christmas--more akin in feeling to the piece I did for the Holiday card. But, in case you where hoping to see 2 pieces, I've kindly provided them here. Heh.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Other Colorful Stuff

Did you know I like color? Here's one other way I can use it. (I did, admittedly, buy a tie dye kit in order to do so, and actually watched the informational cd, but that counts, right?) And, for the record, I won't be tie dye-ing for a living. Only for special and occasional presents!

Wanna Play?

"Wanna Play?" 30" by 40" oil pastel on flat panel

It has been a while since I've put any animals in my art. It wasn't totally a conscious decision, although the premature death of our lab, Scout, did sort of temper my desire to get out the dog reference pictures. And, then, somehow, the sheep disappeared, as did the roosters and magpies. I still see them all around me but just haven't included them in my work. But Scout's been gone over 5 years! And I've got JuneBug now!

When a client of mine, the one who purchased the piece on this year's Christmas postcard, mentioned that she thought I should try putting an animal or two into a piece and see how it worked, the old light bulb went off! Yep. Duh? I'd put them in pieces before, why not now? After all, why was I keeping all those reference photos anyway--I do have my hoarding tendencies. But if I use them then it isn't hoarding, right? So, this piece is based on a new reference photo (Jacqui--let's call it a pic and not a photo, okay, due to my not having any photo skilz) that I took from the Dixon studio tour this last November. And, since my studio is still waiting for that winter clean out--when I get rid of abso-positively everything I don't need--the pic was easy to find. It hadn't even been filed yet!

PS It isn't even the piece I did yesterday--the image was too blurry to even post here. Maybe you guys will get 2 pics tomorrow, assuming I can improve my photo skilz enough for even my low standards.....

Sunday, January 3, 2010


"Exuberance" Oil pastel on panel 24" by 36"

Okay, peeps. Seems like it really doesn't matter when I take a pic--they rarely turn out. Late in the day in the studio they are dark, early in the day I get weird sun streaks and hot spots. And, at this point, I'm not willing to set up the entire tripod, take the art outside at just the right time of day, just to do justice to the painting I completed. So, ignore the hot area to the left in the piece and imagine a perfect photo. (And know that I will do a better job before I post such a pic on my website.)

On another note, Rees' sister gave him a subscription to Texas Music magazine for Christmas. We just got the November/December issue. It had a sampler disc which is AWESOME. I mean really great. So good in fact that I painted to those same SIX songs all day long. Ryan Bingham, Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, someone whose name I can't recall and Hayes Carll. We saw Ryan Bingham at the Wyly theatre in Dallas when the Flatlanders were playing over the Thanksgiving break--thought his voice was too gravelly. Turns out I was wrong. I guess I'll have to get some more of his stuff. Soon.

On still another note, I just ordered about 15 how-to art and art marketing books. I can't wait to get them. Why is it I am so cheap and never upgrade the shipping? I'm going to have to wait an eternity, y'all. Regular shipping can take as long as 15 business days...that is like 3 whole weeks. Arghhhh! Oils are in my near future--and hopefully I'll be able to spend a little more time with them this winter than I did last! But the idea of a painting a day is a bit daunting. Still, I've got to give it a go!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Painting a Day?

"Surrender the Day" 24 by 36 inches oil pastel on flat panel

Already, on day two of the New Year, I am cheating. This is an image of a piece I finished right before we left on our midwest treck. The colors are softer than I usually use but I am pleased with the final result. This month I am going to try to post on a daily basis. and I'll try to provide you with at least one image of a new piece a day. I'm realizing that the light in winter is not sufficient for a good image at the end of a day's work--so I'll photograph the art from the day before in the am and post with it in the evening, when I come in for the day. It is a sort of cheat but one I think I'll have to use (at least until the days get longer!)

I hadn't painted in 11 days. Probably the longest time away from the easel since our month long trip to San Miguel last year when I only painted twice in the entire month. This time I really missed being at the easel and was anxious to get back to it. I'm not sure how part time artists actually do it. One spends so much time just catching up with what one knew before the break. I just can't imagine just painting on weekends...I actually prefer to paint every day, when I'm home (although I don't always paint for the entire day!) Usually, when I've had a bit of a break, I start with something small and work up to something larger but decided, today, to try a reasonable sized piece and see how it went. Well, is my answer. I'm quite pleased. I'll be ready to get out there and try another tomorrow--also of decent size!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

We returned from holiday visits to Omaha, NE and Chicago, IL about 6 o'clock last night. Was it ever nice to be home! We travel a lot for art shows and, for the most part, these shows take place when the weather is a little better. We spent 5 days driving and 4 of them were miserable--and probably very dangerous. We saw over 100 cars off the road between Omaha and Des Moines! So, this post is maybe more for me than for any readers out there. It is a note to self--don't travel in the winter when you don't have to! (Although I must say that our expedition did a fine job in the snow and I was thankful to be in a larger vehicle!)

I'll be back in the studio ready and raring to go tomorrow! Look forward to seeing some new work!