Thursday, October 20, 2016

Sam On The Upper Madison

Sam On The Upper Madison                  oil                       8" x 10"
This is one of the friends we traveled with to Yellowstone a couple weeks ago. It was a bright sunny day and my husband caught Sam in the perfect action shot with wonderful color being reflected in the water.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Spring Thaw, Rainier Nat. Park

Spring Thaw                   oil                     12" x 9"

I painted today using a photo from our trip to Rainier Nat. Park in July. I tried to keep the edges soft to convey the soft wet ground and spring color that was coming alive. I used a wash of umber underneath to establish the basic value plan. Then, I noodled around with a variety of edges and points of color. Painting it really brought back the feeling of that sunny, cool day and the path we were walking.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Fall Run, fishing on the Madison, Yellowstone Park

    Fall Run                                                                Oil on linen panel                                     9"x12"

I still have a lot of the images from our trip in mind. This is in Yellowstone Park, on the Upper Madison river. The contrast between the golden grasses on the banks and cool blue waters were too good to ignore. After a couple cloudy, rainy days the sun broke out as well and gave us wonderful sparkle on the water. This was a fun one, where I felt my idea for the painting came through directly and without fuss!

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

O'Dell Spring Creek

    O'Dell Spring Creek                                        oil on linen panel                                     9" x 12"

Back from travels now and this one is from O'Dell Spring Creek, in Ennis, Montana. It's always a little difficult to paint again after a break, something that continues to surprise me even after many years of painting. This one for example, is a thicker application of  paint than I usually use. I'll have to remind myself again of my more familiar approach, using thinner washes in the beginning stages.
Time and patience should get me there.....

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Sun Gold Mix

  Sun Gold Mix               9" x 12'       oil on linen

Finally a chance to paint! The marigolds seem to be at their peak and I'm seeing them everywhere.... including these, at a garage sale. The end of summer color, but the beginnings of fall golds.

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Saturday, September 3, 2016

A Good Luck Day - re-post

A Good Luck Day   30" x 15"  oil on canvas

I'm re-posting a painting that I re-touched today. I felt this needed some color adjustment around the figure, so that he would be more a part of the surroundings in the painting. Also, the pose was a bit more static than I like and changed that too. (the original version is below) I shadowed the left leg/hip and it forced that back, while bringing the right leg forward. I also enlarged and lightened the fish -y splash in the foreground. It didn't take long, but better in my view.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Golden                                    oil on linen                             8" x 10"

A change of pace today with more subtle color and a late day landscape.

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Pink Show- Hollyhocks

Pink Show              oil                    24" x 12"

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I had more fun with Hollyhocks today and decided to draw attention to their wonderful tall color spikes with this tall canvas. 

Sometimes when using color that is this bold, I check my values by taking a look at a black and white version which you can see below. While there is a lot going on, I still felt my value structure held it all together. It's a good test you may want to play with sometimes to keep things on track.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Trio                          9" x 12"                  oil 

Once again a painting from the Big Horn River in Montana. I used color that was more from my imagination than either the photo source or reality. What I tried for was the sparkle of the water, which required some high contrast, but I thought some color intensity would help out as well.

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Ruby Springs Montana, Plein Air Paintings

Ruby Spring Greens     11" x 14"     oil on linen

Montana Plein Air     8" x 10"       oil on linen

Today I am posting 2 paintings from a couple weeks ago. Painting was on the back burner last week,  but I realized I hadn't shown these two plein air works that I'd done when we were in Montana.

view on my website - Montana Plein Air

view on my website - Ruby Spring Greens

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Slideshow Demo- Cottage Hollyhocks

This is a slideshow of the basic steps for Cottage Hollyhocks (yesterday's post)

1. Thin wash of cad red in the background with a brush drawing of basic shapes
2. Block in of value shapes in cad. red 
3. Darks blocked in for each color area.
.4. Middle values blocked in for each color area.
5. Lights blocked in last
6. Lastly, I softened edges, and adjusted color relationships to reflect the correct warm/cool tones in the lights and shadows.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Cottage Hollyhocks

Cottage Hollyhocks    14" x 11"      oil on linen panel

No time to post  much today. But, I did take several photos of the progress on this painting and will post a slideshow demo in the next day or so. 'Til then....

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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Twin Bloom Hollyhocks

Twin Bloom Hollyhocks   oil on linen panel    10" x 8"

I took a look at some some of my Hollyhock photos from Montana today and worked with warm and cool reds throughout this painting. Because they have so many blooms, it's easy to get confused in tall the color 'noise' of the scene. Here I grayed down some of the pinks and greens to carry the idea of many flowers but not let them compete too much with the double blooms in the upper left.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Twin Bridges Hollyhocks- plein aire in Montana

Twin Bridges Hollyhocks         12" x 9"       oil on panel

My posts have been erratic lately due to summer travels and projects. Today is another switch-up with a painting I did on our recent trip to Montana. We stayed near the town of Twin Bridges and it has some fun old buildings. But, the main thing I saw in passing through were the Hollyhocks. They are everywhere! The store fronts, parking lots and alleys have great groups of colorful blossoms all over town. 
I loved them and went back to take reference photos and to paint plein aire. This one was painted from the parking lot behind the post office. I'm looking forward to developing more work from the trip.

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Last Best Place

The Last Best Place                           oil                                     12" x 36:"

I worked with another long proportion in this latest painting. It's from Belize, where my memories are of intense blues of every description. I've included detail shots below.

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Sunday, July 10, 2016

View From Sunrise

View From Sunrise     oil on linen panel       10" x 8"

One of the many beautiful drives through Mt. Rainier Park take you to the Sunrise Visitor Center and more great views and paths to walk. While we had some rain and fog in the morning, everything cleared up so that you could see many of the peaks along the mountain range. I have continued to do a value block in on my paintings recently and then use more accurate color over that. 

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Saturday, July 9, 2016

View From Paradise

View From Paradise     oil on linen panel       8" x 10"

We spent the Fourth of July at beautiful Mt. Rainier. There are gorgeous views at every turn, some being grand and others subtle and quiet. This is the view from Paradise Inn, where we stayed I highly recommend it, if you ever have a chance to visit. The historic inn, built in 1916, is a real treat and retreat. The scenery was very inspiring and I'm planning to paint others from the trip soon.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Sand & Shadows

Sand & Shadow   10" x 8"    oil on linen panel
A small one today from a photo taken in Belize. Originally, I had my eye fixed on all the detailed edges of the shadow itself. But then I realized that a softer edge captured the feeling of being under  the dappled shadows of the palms rather than observing from a distance. 

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Monday, June 27, 2016

A Good Luck Day

A Good Luck Day    oil on canvas    30" x 15"

A Good Luck Day (detail)

Still working today with a long format, this time vertical. I did a 3 value rough sketch this time in cad. red. That allowed me to think about color and still keep my values in place. My biggest challenge was not to carry the color too far and I did tone it down quite a bit. I find it is always easier to start with intense color, then gray it, rather than the reverse. 
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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Big Bend

Big Bend    12" x 36"  oil on stretched canvas

Big Bend (detail)

I've been wanting to use a different format for awhile and I decided this extra long canvas would fit the bill. I used the fishing line and water line to really emphasize the length and then tried to used foliage with the same intent. This was very fun to paint. As I got into it, I pushed color toward a sense of atmosphere rather than accuracy. I'm planning to work with another long format soon in a vertical.

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