Saturday, November 20, 2010

It has been a busy art time since my last post. While I have a brief break in the action it is time to post some of the upcoming art activities in which I'm participating: The Wild Arts Festival is going on through tomorrow at Montgomery Park in NW Portland. A wonderful event supporting the Audubon Center. My 6x6 donation sold early this morning along with many others! It was very well attended with other wonderful artists who exhibit annually. Two of my favorites were Sue Allen and Robert Schlegel. I have a link to the exhibit on my website events.

I am participating in Art Media's 10x10 project "Think Outside the Box, Think Inside the Frame" which benefits a very worthwhile cause in our community, p:ear. A photo of my painting and information about this exhibit and p:ear can be found on my website by clicking on EVENTS.

The Caswell Gallery in Troutdale, OR is featuring an ongoing exhibit entitled "It's the Little Things" through the end of the year. The idea is to have pieces that appeal to Holiday Gift Giving at affordable prices. I have over 20 pieces in the show and will be present for the First Friday Art Walk event December 3rd. Everyone is invited to attend. As in November, there will be great food, wine, and music provided. Rip Caswell has his wonderful selection of bronzes displayed in this marvelous gallery space.

The Aurora Gallery in Vancouver, WA has my current work on display along with the featured artists for this month. I have a link for the gallery on my site.

I am also privileged to be invited as one of seven NW artists to display works at the Pittock Mansion's Holiday Exhibit this year. The painting above is one of the paintings on display which speaks to the theme "The Natural Beauty and Bounty of Oregon." An art friend, Celeste Bergin, has more information on her blog along with a list of the participating artists and their websites. This season is bright with original fine art everywhere for all to enjoy. Please feel welcome to join in the festivities and support the arts in our great NW.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I haven't found the time to blog lately. However, this is my favorite season for personal reflection, introspection, and contemplation. So I decided to share my thoughts today rather than keep them private. It seems a fitting time of year to take stock and count my blessings. I guess I get a jump on Thanksgiving Day this way. As an artist I look at the works I've created both en plein air and in my studio. Have I continued to challenge myself? I consider subject matter, technique, size, paint application, and all the other aspects of painting. But deeper still lies a voice that I need to stay in tuned to which reminds me of why I paint, what motivates me to get to the easel with the brush in my hand and joy in my heart. I may listen to music to set the mood, or choose a sunny day for the perfect scenario of light and shadow, but deep inside I'm looking for the beauty or essence of an object that speaks for itself as much it speaks to me. Daily interruptions, unpleasant circumstances, losses, health issues, all affect me. I tend to think I will have a better time to work on paintings as these things slow down or subside in my life. Then I realize this is my life. I realize my work has still been accomplished between and around all the craziness of this past year. I count the paintings I have accomplished along with my many blessings especially having the love of my husband and children. One special project has been a commission of several smaller oil paintings about 9x8 inches which will eventually be part of an antique cabinet belonging to a good friend of mine in the Midwest. I look forward to seeing it all put together. In the meantime I know she has been patient waiting for the final works. As I was communicating my progress recently she sent me the most beautiful response. It is a poem by Mary Oliver called "Messenger" which speaks to my musings of late. I share it with you here:

"My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird-
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?

Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect?
Let me keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.

The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is that we live forever.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Plein Air Events not to be missed

This view of Mt. Hood is from the WA side. In fact I painted it a couple of weeks ago overlooking Hood River where a plein air show is about to take place at the Columbia Art Gallery, the Pacific NW Plein Air 2010. I participated in the first event but for some reason the family in the Midwest seemed to come first thereafter. I was hoping to be a participant this year again but it wasn't meant to be. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise with all that has happened in my life of late. Funny how things have a way of working out the way they are meant to without us knowing the reasons why. I will start trusting in that more as time goes on. I was blessed to have had the opportunity to paint when and where I did ... and the weather was a bit warmer! Anyone remember the weather a couple of weeks ago? What a difference a day can make for our plein air painting experiences! I've been watching the blogs of a few fellow artists, Celeste and Eric Bowman among others. Each should give you a good indication of the event. I want to commend all my colleagues "in the field" for their talents and of course their fortitude this windy week in the Columbia Gorge. Hopefully many fellow artists and patrons will come out to support these wonderful painters and their testimony to the elements as they captured the essence of outdoor painting in the NW. I for one can't wait to see the results of their efforts!

If anyone should venture to Central OR this weekend and/or through the month of September there is another Plein Air Event at the Clearwater Gallery in Sisters, OR which hosts the Plein Air Painters of OR (PAPO) 3rd Annual Juried Exhibit 2010 called "Impressions of the Seasons" juried by Richard McKinley. An event I did participate in this month. It features over 40 works by artists from all over the state. The opening reception on Sat Sept 4th will surely be worth the journey! Enjoy the bountiful plein air paintings and activities available this season!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Our Daily Gift

I have been traveling this past month and have been reflecting on many things that have happened in such a short period of time. More than I could have imagined in terms of life and death involving both family and friends. The painting at left is entitled "Quiet Solitude" and it is good to go back to that moment now and remember how life seemed to me in that moment. My parents were so proud of my new career as an artist. They looked at it as a wonderful gift to be able to capture the beauty of an ordinary day with paints and brushes. It didn't matter to them if the paintings sold or not. I may not have understood how important that was for them at the time but I think I understand it a little better now. Having lost my dad who was one of my earliest influences, and a good art friend very recently, I realize what a gift each day can be. As an artist, I've been asking myself; Do we always have to look beyond what we have created and feel we have to make it better? Are we led to believe our work has no worth unless it won an award, sold for a great price, or that it has been given approval by others? I look back at this painting and remember this glorious week that I was asked to come along to Puget Sound to paint with a few artists who were in pursuit of kicking back and painting for fun. I had second thoughts knowing I had deadlines coming up but went along on a whim. I am so glad I did. Closer friendships were forged, I learned a lot, some of my best work was achieved on that trip, and I had FUN! There was no competition, no gallery to fill, no awards to achieve. We just painted for the sake of painting. It is a great memory that I will always cherish. Those memories are worth a lot in a lifetime. So, having a recent brush with life's uncertainty, I'd like to say to all my art friends, "yes, as professionals we need to work on our skills, but life's too short, let's not forget to occasionally have fun doing it too." For a recent example see Celeste's blog .
That said, another art friend asked if I could plug an upcoming plein air event in WA this coming week. It takes place on Whidbey Island. Yes there is a competition and yes, awards are involved but hey, think of it as a bonus. It isn't thee reason we doesn't change how and why we see what we see as doesn't determine what we want to capture on canvas. So...Go with your gift! OR maybe...go on a whim! Check out:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

With Gratitude

After months of Porltand's cool damp weather and indoor paining, a refreshing opportunity arose for some much needed R&R in the sun. Last week I was able to visit the Columbia Gorge with an art friend. We left our normal daily distractions behind and painted whatever suited us in the moment. Of course it wouldn't have been possible if not for some new friends who generously offered a couple of nights at their own respite. Our lodging was strategically located on the WA side of the Columbia across from Hood River, OR. The views were incredible and the weather was quite warm, 104 degrees as a matter of fact the last day of our visit. With grand vistas of the Gorge and Mt Hood just across from us, I still became captivated with this little vignette of a nearby home along the bluffs as the sun was moving westward along the river. I'm always intrigued by the movement of light as it sweeps across the landscape, kissing the tips of the foliage that reach up to greet the sun while the remainder awaits a more subtle embrace. The distant hills appeared cool yet a warm haze hung in the air mid morning warning of the heat index we would meet head on by noon. What a glorious reminder of what Mother Nature has to offer if we just reach out to greet her. It was a supreme treat to be permitted these moments of solitude: to be present, to observe, to listen, to capture shapes, patterns, and colors with paints and brushes and no other earthly responsibilities. I've come to the conclusion that while I want to think I capture a moment in time on canvas, it is the moment in time that captures me. I will always cherish this random gift from strangers who recognized an artist's longing for such an experience and generously and cheerfully provided it with open arms. With gratitude to J&D.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Things as the are

A wonderful person and fine artist, William (Bill) Reese left this earth recently. Bill was a 'salt of the earth' type of man and will be sorely missed in life and in the art world. You would recognize him if you happened to be in the same room with him. He would be at the center of the group of people having the most fun discussing art and sharing stories and gregarious laughter. What a generous soul and an inspirational painter. The last time I saw him he was at a large table at an OPA event in Kirkland, WA. Even with his oxygen flowing to aid his breathing he would be telling stories that made everyone else laugh until they were out of breath. He and his family welcomed strangers as if family. You may have been one of his many students over the years, shared some stories, or visited his website. In any case he is a memorable painter who lived up to his reputation as a fine artist. An API member, Susan Greaves who attended Bill's funeral shared the poem that he had requested be read at his service. Yesterday a good friend of mine was able to recite this poem from memory when I mentioned the title: "When Earth's Last Picture is Painted." I would like to share it with those of you who haven't yet had the pleasure of hearing it. What a fitting tribute to one sitting in a golden chair....
When Earth's last picture is painted
And the tubes are twisted and dried,
When the oldest colors have faded
And the youngest critic has died,
We shall rest, and faith, we shall need it
Lie down for an eon or two
'Til the master of all good workmen
Shall put us to work anew.
And those that were good shall be happy.
They'll sit in a golden chair.
They'll splash at a ten league canvas
With brushes of comet's hair.
They'll find real saints to draw from,
Magdalene, Peter, and Paul.
They'll work for an age at a sitting
And never be tired at all.
And only the Master shall praise us.
And only the master shall blame.
And no one will work for money.
And no one will work for fame.
But each one for the joy of working,
And each, in his separate star,
Will draw the thing as he sees it
For the God of things as they are.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Artist Who Lived Twice

For those of you who love art and especially figurative work I hope you have been introduced to this fine artist from the past (ESJ). Elizabeth Sparhawk Jones lived to paint and after reading her story you will find out how she lived twice! Author Barbara Lehman Smith became interested in learning more about ESJ after stumbling upon her scrapbooks that were almost lost forever. You can read the circumstances that drew these two amazing women together across time. Barbara's book will be available this summer. Hopefully she will be visiting our area so please watch for announcements of her tour, book signings, or sign up for notifications on her website.

On a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago many years ago I stood in front of this very painting of "The Shoe Shop" (courtesy of AIC) by ESJ. I was mesmerized and wanted to know more about this artist. The museum gift shop had artist's images on everything from books to T-shirts but nothing with works from ESJ. Disappointed, I began my quest to find as much as I could about this artist who inspired me to pursue my own passion for painting. I did learn she was one of the early plein air artists (1889-1968) and part of a group of Urban Realists sometimes refered to as the "Ashcan School" since they painted outdoors, in streets and alleys of the city. The book covers her story as well as her friendships with other renowned artists of that time such as Marsden Hartley, Morton Schamberg, Charles Sheeler, and of course her reliance on William Merritt Chase during her studies with him. At the time I was searching the web there was very little information available. However, I discovered I was not alone in my search and touched base with many inspired artists looking for the whole story including author Barbara Lehman Smith. I am so grateful for her persistence to tell Elizabeth's story. As an artist I can relate to her struggle to find her own voice but in the strict social mores of the past it must have been significantly more difficult. Part of her story includes those family responsibilities she was expected to put before her own passions. Have any of you heard of this gifted artist who was christened by New York critics as its "find of the year" in 1908? You will be able to learn what transpired to allow her to become " ESJ: The Artist who lived twice". Her story is a wonderful reminder of the importance of listening to our own artist's voice.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Reflections on art and heart

In memory of "Survivor" special friend and art critic 1994-2010

I am back in my studio and have been reflecting on a wonderful painting trip with my API group. We had wild weather in CA but it was worth the challenge of high winds, cool temps, and frequent rain to be together to paint, share art news, and visit the many gorgeous locations both public and those privately arranged by our host. I'm sharing one of our views in nearby San Simeon which was one of my favorite spots. The photo at right is the 9x12 plein air painting I did on site. The photo below is the digital image I took for reference. I may or may not tweak the painting. I like to let it sit for awhile before deciding if it needs further work or if it will be a study for a larger piece later on. Lighting was never the same day to day so we took advantage of finding new locations frequently (there were so many choices!). Painting the crashing waves and rocks were a new challenge and very exciting to do alla prima. Many of those will be used as studies or color notes along with photo references. This was a memorable trip and proved to me how inspiring it is to be part of a talented group that takes their painting seriously but knows how to have fun in the process. You can check individual group members' works and accomplishments on the API link above.

It was a bittersweet return home when I learned my favorite pet had "hung on" for me to return in order to say good-bye after almost 16 years in our family. Appropriately named years ago by a small town newspaper after being rescued, "Survivor" has given and received lots of love from our family and will be sorely missed. My heart goes out to others who have had to deal with such a loss. I have done a lot of reflecting since returning home, obviously not just in regard to painting. After hearing so many similar family, career, and health related stories this past month, I realize how much our life experiences impacts the heart of our art.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

California Dream'n

I have been preparing for a painting road trip. It is almost here! It is exciting to be reuniting with members of API a very talented group of plein air painters from across the United States. Our destination is the coastal area near Cambria, CA. The painting to the left was done when we last met in this area. We were painting on the beach near Morro Bay but as I looked upward the sun was hitting the front of this beach house so brilliantly it captured my complete attention. The misty atmosphere was lifting along the tree line and masking the distant hillside. Soft ocean breezes were refreshing us as we painted in that liquid sunshine. Over the years stonger breezes have shaped these rugged trees giving the coastline its unique silhouette. There is as much variety in this landscape as there is in this multitalented API group. One of the events planned is an informal panel discussion by select API members in Paso Robles at Studios on the Park. The topic will be "Finding Your Voice" as artists, Friday April 23rd at 5 PM. It will be an inspiring evening complete with a reception for artists and guests. I am looking forward to the California sunshine and hope it follows me to my doorstep in Oregon. My return will be just in time for the Columbia Art & Agriculture Exhibit in Hood River, OR. I am hoping to be blogging during this trip and sharing some of my plein air adventures as time permits.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Getting in touch with my roots

I realize I haven't blogged for a bit. I took a little time off for celebrating a special occasion with family. Which got me thinking about my roots. But for the sake of time...I'll move right along to the canvas. Let's just say root vegetables are easier to visualize and understand sometimes than family. And where else would I find my root vegetables than at New Seasons . You're getting the picture now! Also by actually painting root vegetables I can dig into my topic tangibly. Sometimes the act of painting allows both sides of my brain to function simultaneously... One physically and the other subconsciously. I found this small 8x8 square canvas and thought I'd just see where it would take me. I've heard that a square canvas tends toward a more intimate composition or that the artist is taking an intimate look at their subject, something like that. I just happen to like that size for certain objects I am painting. The colors again that I chose to use were warm and the fresh beets; one red, and two golden led to the title: "Two Plus One". I couldn't believe how hard and heavy these three beets were when I carried them into my studio. They were difficult at first to arrange close together without them fighting for dominance in the composition. Yet while painting them with my juicy oils and soft brushes, they took on another look and feel to me. Quick strokes became slower, softer strokes, edges became blurred, some very interesting reflections surfaced from the table, and for some reason the blemishes on the surface seemed to also be an important part of the whole. All the imperfections, the hairy stubble, the remainders of the stems and leaves that were cut off before I purchased them, seemed to give each one its own identity and texture. As this painting emerged from my canvas I accepted it as it was. I kind of liked it just the way it was and didn't fuss over it. It is drying in the other room now and I'll leave it be until I feel like revisiting it again. Hmmmm.....maybe this painting session was a reflection on my own roots! If so it will be a continuing saga.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spot light on fruits of the season

I enjoyed a timed painting exercise yesterday using two freshly sliced blood oranges from none other than my neighborhood NEW SEASONS of course. Their produce is so juicy good and weekends often have seasonal fruit tastings prepared for you as you walk into the store.
Frequent flyer/buyers like myself have gotten to know when Brittany is making one of her gorgeous displays of sliced and diced fruits to entice the senses. Even though I didn't need these warm colors to chase away the Portland gray, one slice into this blood orange inspired me to go for it! If I hadn't taste-tested these delectable creatures they may never have come home with me to be immortalized. Instead they inspired their immediate portraits and became a treat to share before dinner. Using a small canvas and my favorite paint colors I set a timer to see what I could accomplish during my "happy hour"! I hope you enjoy this visual display but I must say they were as much fun to eat. Perfectly sweet and juicy even when they had been warmed a bit from my studio spot light! I have to stop getting side tracked by these fruits of the season when it is looking and feeling like plein air painting season is in the air. So many temptations calling to artists armed with wet paints and brushes....Spring is finally here!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Kicking it up a notch

Sometimes timing is perfect...just when I was feeling like I needed a little punch in my work and a little nudge from above along comes the perfect workshop. The first instructor I sought when I moved to OR was an artist I admired, Eric Jacobsen. His oil landscapes were breathtaking to see first hand. At the time he was exhibiting and teaching through a gallery in Troutdale which later moved to the Pearl. Now through Art on the Boulevard in Vancouver, Eric is offering two still life classes in oils on Saturdays from 10-4PM. The next class will be Sat March 20th. Sign up if you have the chance. He has a gift for putting students at ease no matter what their level and to zero in on specific needs identified by each. It is so refreshing to have such a talented artist willing to share his knowledge and experience to anyone willing to learn. In the 4 hour class period he managed to demonstrate his own painting style, give an overall review of basics, share a wealth of resources, and guide each painter's abilities at their easel. He makes it fun to reach for the next level or as Emeril would call it "kicking it up a notch"! What a great shot in the arm for me to finish up my studio series before heading outdoors soon. For further information on Eric's workshops go to Celeste's Blog "Celeste Paints" or to "Portland Plein Air & Studio Painters" both on

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New exhibit for New Seasons

Another opportunity for displaying art works!
New Seasons Market in Happy Valley invited me to display landscapes in their gallery located in the cooking school area nearest the west entrance. The art exhibit went up yesterday and will be on display through April 1st. Once again I must say although it takes time and energy to hang art other than in a gallery setting, it is not only appreciated for beautifying an area, it can be an educational tool as well. Not everyone understands how fine art gets accomplished by the artist, when, where, or why. This is my own neighborhood and I'm hoping this exposure will generate curiosity to seek out more of this information. I have business cards and a bio provided along with my work in a very comfortable social setting where learning becomes enjoyable. The area adjacent is a dining area for all the wonderful delicacies New Seasons has to offer customers first hand. In addition art works by local school students are also displayed. It was fun for me to watch both exhibits going up simultaneously. What a revelation for me to think back to an earlier time (noted in my bio) about wanting to become an artist someday. I hope I can inspire one of these budding artists to want their own show someday too. For now - a New Season is just around the corner!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

nostalgic moments

This past weekend was a health scare for someone very important to me and I began reflecting on some special shared moments together. In the fall of 2008 I was very lucky to be able to travel to Italy for painting and for a vacation with my husband. There were some magnificent landscapes in our favorite area of Tuscany that are so memorable but also city scenes that were so different from our day to day lives in the states. This rich variety of colors, textures, foreign sights and sounds, transported us into a dream world that seemed surreal. The cafe scene that I chose to share here was an incredible splash of color as we rounded a turn in the maze of streets in Venice. My camera did not do it justice but it is a vivid memory for me that I wanted to capture on canvas. Not just because of the autumn colors of the arbor foliage or the light and shadow that usually draws me into a scene, but more so the quiet early morning conversations among the locals who gathered there. Before the bustling crowds hit the piazza a simple cappuccino was sipped slowly and quietly; shared with a friend or loved one. I felt like we had come upon a private moment yet this was a public place which revolved around their daily routine so different from the one we left behind. I realized these were the moments cherished by my husband; the peaceful simplicity that we hope to find in our mornings when we reach retirement "someday". I recognized how precious this trip was for him as a vision for simply 'being' rather than always working, moving, doing. I have been able to find that in my second career as an artist and painter. He finds it in these quiet moments during our time away that he can dream about experiencing again when he leaves his first career behind. I look forward to that time for him too. This painting became a commission piece for friends of ours who frequently mention how much they love it and how it fits into their home and lifestyle. I not only agree but know as fellow travelers they have discovered this same value of quiet moments that enrich our lives and become dreams and nostalgic moments.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

painting interruptus

Although there are a number of interruptions in my day when I'd rather be painting, there is always the necessity for promoting our art! Today was one of those days for me. Today was the day for me to hang some works at a neighborhood Starbucks. Well, maybe not the closest one for me but in a fun and funky neighborhood no less. If anyone would like to meander to the Hawthorne district this month and visit the Starbucks at 37th and Hawthorne you can now have a brew with a view! Nice baristas too! I like to think we as artists are beautifying our surroundings by sharing original artworks, not just looking for sales. I enjoy getting out to exhibits but am even happier when I stumble across someone's artwork or crafts in a surprising location. Coffee shops are usually more relaxed and one has some "alone time" to sit and ponder things. In fact the first year I moved to Oregon my neighborhood Starbucks was featuring artworks of local artists which really made an impression on me. Not that I needed an excuse, but I found myself visiting quite a few that year. In fact some of those "local" artists are now featured in SW Artist Magazine or signature members of Oil Painters of America. I guess it is great to know we can all get a boost from our morning java one way or another. I wish I had the time to visit all the exhibits that artist friends have on weekends. OK, break time is over. Time to get back to the easel and hope the muse had plenty of coffee of her own.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Milestone Day

Today is a milestone birthday for a friend of mine. I won't give away which birthday but this painting brings back an unforgettable day many years ago as if it were just yesterday. At the time I had just been accepted into the gallery. My FIRST gallery. Most people have heard about the heat and humidity of mid summer in the Midwest. This particular day was a scorcher. I was one of the artists invited to paint en plein air at her home. This was just one of the many beautiful window boxes that she tended. This lady has a green thumb and I wanted to do her proud! Of course in those days we had been out celebrating the night before. (Don't ask me why, it was a while ago.) I was feeling a bit "sluggish" while working in the direct sunlight but I really wanted to nail this one. Ever feel that pressure? It seemed I had no problem remembering to squint that day. With all the finesse I could muster I announced I would take a break in the shade. Things were just not coming together if you know what I mean. When I got back to my easel I found a cool drink, a little note of encouragement and a little packet of life savors which saved mine! That note was the thing that put the day into perspective. What a turn around for me to realize what art, painting, and friendship were all about. Having fun doing what you love to do no matter what the end result. Needless to say I still keep that painting around to remind me of that milestone for me and of of course today's birthday girl...Happy Birthday Blonde!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lost art work

Since this is February and "heart month" I perused my inventory of "red"paintings. I didn't realize how many I actually had. This one jumped out at me more because of the story behind it. It was memorable for many reasons but mainly because it disappeared. It vanished along with another similar piece I had painted the same day. They were going to be given to my two children since I managed to paint each of them during a painting trip. I painted each while talking to my children on my cell phone. Imagine that. I was explaining to them what I was doing and that I was thinking of them and hoping this would be a great memory for them one day. I recall placing both paintings in a wet painting carrier to dry. It was a homemade carrier made out of foam board. They and the carrier have never been seen since. I had visions of the carrier flying out of my van into the vast wilderness around Sun River, OR. (I also felt guilty that if that had happened it would be bad for the environment.) Maybe if I had signed them it could be considered a great promo stunt! Is there a lost and found site on the web? Has anyone else had an experience like this?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Three Little Figs

This winter I have certainly made New Seasons happy with each trip to their produce section! I could not help myself because once I would find a new color or texture that wasn't as gray as our landscape it came home with me. Figs were new for me to paint. There is quite a variety but with a short seasonal display in the marketplace. The most beautiful were the green ones above which I found at the Milwaukie Farmers Market. I have the names of the varieties written down in one of my journals somewhere. I did a number of 'fig'ure studies in my studio. It just so happened that in yesterday's post I mentioned my first art instructor. She has been my mentor before the term was popular. When she visited last Thanksgiving she made my year by purchasing the first painting of my fig series. To me it was the highest complement she could have given me. We had fun painting together in my studio... that is of course, until we needed the ingredients for our figgy pudding!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


After a break in my usual routine it is good to get back to the easel although I'm sharing an earlier work here. I've thought about what motivated me to paint this piece after so many friends and patrons consider this a "different" style for me. One of the reasons this may have a different look is because I toned my 12 x 24 panel almost completely black using the darkest colors I had on my palette at the time. I wanted the light in my studio to make those satsumas glow and the glass sparkle. The dark behind and beneath the objects would be what unified them. It was an exercise to go literally from dark to light. Each item has a bit of an outline from the toned panel beneath. I had a limited time in which to work and I liked it so much when I had finished that I resisted going back into my alla prima brushwork. OK, The real motivator? I was thinking about my very first oil painting instructor having me do this exercise years ago and always wanted to do a painting which would include the cup she gave me! I guess I added a few items to show if off! Funny how things just happen to work out when you are having fun! Those are the pieces that tend to show it too.

Friday, January 22, 2010


OK, I realize this is one more 'orange' image, But New Seasons had so many luscious fruits to tempt me this winter. This one happens to be a combination of a couple fruits however its name escapes me at the moment. I do know it was sweeter to paint than to eat. That is another advantage of a still life, they sustain you in more ways than one!

Speaking of sustenance, I alluded to gratitude in my title, not for fruit but for a fruitful friendship among artists. I want to thank Celeste for showing me how to set up this Blog. It was a gift from one artist to another of both time and talent. It brought back memories for me of the special artist community I left behind in WI. I have missed that for whatever reason here in OR and have begun to feel it grow inside again just based on one simple generous act. To me feeding the artist's soul is essential for artistic growth and can be found in the right type of community; one of sharing, guiding, encouraging, constructive criticism, and just enough healthy competition to raise the bar for everyone. I'm grateful for the many artists I've come to know in the past 9 years in OR!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thoughts on 'Orange'

As I was browsing through the still life images I've been setting up to paint in my studio this winter, it occurred to me that the majority of the images include oranges or orange objects. I love warm colors (and warmth). Maybe the combination of cool, blue-gray, winter days drives me to seek its compliment. I know I'd rather be painting in my studio than outside on those days. For some reason it brings me joy to have these objects around me. I was told once that peeling an orange and inhaling the jest can lift ones spirits if depressed. I have also heard that the color orange in paintings isn't a popular seller? Anyone have a complimentary color wall space they want filled?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A first blog post

Hello, this is my first blog post and I wanted to tell you about my solo show at the US Bank at the corner of 16th & Wiedler. My show will be up until February 1, 2010. Additionally, in February, my work can be seen at Starbucks at 37th and Hawthorne.

I hope you come see me if you are in the area.