Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Santa & His Reindeer        gouache on illustration
Merry Christmas!
Thank you 
for being a part of my painting journey!

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Friday, December 12, 2014


    Oscar                    8" x 10"              oil on linen panel
I haven't painted a dog for quite awhile and Oscar was a real pleasure. This is a friend's dog, and my husband caught a photo while on the river fishing a couple days ago. I love Oscar's intensity and discipline as he waits for whatever the the next cast might bring. This one's not for sale, and you can see a larger version by clicking on the image. See other available works at:

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Blue Streak

 Blue Streak                   8" x 10"               oil on archival board

Hope discussion on color temperatures and shadows from my last post was helpful. There is an additional clarification in the comments section This is another in which I tried to really keep those principles in mind. Tomorrow I will post the winner of my  latest give-away

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Workshop Influence & a Re-Post-"Just Holding On"

Just Holding On                 12" x 16"       oil on linen panel

I had a great question from Julie Ford Oliver on my last post. She asked whether there was any influence from the Daniel Keys workshop in "Snowy Homestead". I have asked myself the same question the last couple times at the easel and I have to say the answer is yes. One of the things he stresses as he paints is the rule regarding cool light = warm shadows and visa versa (warm light = cool shadows) But, though I've been aware of it for years and used that principle, I don't think I ever asked myself to be as consistent about it until after being reminded of it daily in the workshop. I can sometimes be so taken with color and value, that I don't go the extra mile to make sure the relative temperature rule is followed. And, in thinking about the use of that rule, remember it doesn't mean that one shadow is equally as warm as the one next to it. The rule refers only to the light and shadow of  one area or subject. A valuable lesson.... re-learned!
The painting shown here is a re-post, hope you enjoy it. Have a great week!
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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Snowy Homestead

Snowy Homestead          oil on linen       6" x 8"
The is one from north of New Meadows, Idaho. I loved painting all the blues and then popping in those lights of the sun-struck areas of the snow. This was done on a Canson art board that is archival and has a light linen-like surface. It is one I will definetly use again.

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Follow The Light

Follow The  Light     12" x 9"    oil on linen
I had a good time at the easel today with the color and light in this one.There are some dark areas that are difficult to photograph as they have subtle color shifts that I enjoy, but I think photography for artists is an ongoing challenge. This scene is from our trip to Kodiak and was toward the end of the day with pale light, which made for warm shadow areas. 
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! and a "Rosy Mix"

Rosy Mix                   9" x 12"                   oil on panel
I am posting the finish to the workshop roses, posted last week. While it was nearly finished from the still life, I used a photo of the set-up and a bit of imagination to complete edges and some color balancing. Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you have a wonderful day!

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Day 4- Daniel Keys workshop at SAS

Still life by Daniel Keys

Here are a few photos from today's demonstration of a lovely still life with roses. I know my photos are not doing it justice but they will give you the basic idea.
 He began using yet another approach. There was no initial drawing, and it began with blocking in transparent color very loosely for approximate placement. He softened edges with a paper towel, then proceeded to direct painting from area to area. Once again, there was a thoughtful dialogue throughout and many questions were answered. He re-directs questions to help the student find focus in what they are asking, which is a really good characteristic of an excellent teacher I think. In our afternoon painting sessions, he checks in with everyone as they paint and helps and /or critiques where needed.

I highly recommend his workshop, but they fill up fast! So, do you homework and start watching his website for updates if you're interested. Go to DanielJKeys for his website.

My rose still life is posted below and once again, I didn't finish. But, you know I'll be posting the finished work just as soon as I can get back home.......and get back to my easel!

Rose Study- Mary Maxam

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Daniel Keys Workshop - Day 3

still life by Daniel Keys

Today began with Daniel continuing yesterday's demo. I included a detail shot of some perfect palette knife work on some of the yellow leaves. The placement, shapes and clear color made them jump right off the canvas. He worked with concentration and care, but continued to answer questions and talk about some of his planning process as he worked.

Here are a few take-aways  from the day:

  1. Use more paint in working with the building up process. ("Mr. Richard says don't worry about using too much paint, they are not going to stop making it!" ...talking about Richard Schmid)
  2. Keep your brushes very clean by using a BIG jar of OMS, rinse thoroughly and squeeze your brush dry. The paint needs to have  creamy consistency, but heavier than the glaze underneath. 
  3. When color looks 'muddy' or 'chalky' it's a color temperature problem.
  4. Keep thinking about painting shapes of color, as opposed to what the subject is.
  5. "Our tendency is to always see too much and paint too much... better to simplify"

My painting from our afternoon session is shown below, but while I won't be able to finish it this week, (it will be roses tomorrow) I will do so at home and eventually post the finish. To see my completed works...
Click Here for my Website.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Scottsdale Art School, Daniel Keys workshop- Day 2

Still life by Daniel Keys

 Today at the Daniel Keys workshop at SAS, we had a second demonstration. It began after a bit of review and discussion about varied methods on ways to approach your initial set up. He relies on painting subjects he likes, regardless of whether they 'go together' in a typical subject, design or color scheme. This still life added yellow squash and sunflowers to the mix of apples and drapery. He does not begin all his paintings using the same methods. Today was as follows...

1. Sit for 10 minutes thinking about process. Envision what the finished painting will look like.
2. Begin a brush drawing using careful measuring and placement.
3.A block in for each light and dark value area, using local color with thinned paint and loose edges.
4. Gradual building up of thicker paint, varied soft and hard edges and detail.

While I am including photos, (above) I strongly recommend that you go to his Facebook page to see some of his own painting photos. Also, his DVD's are terrific!

Below, are 2 photos of my own efforts...the first being yesterday's study and the second is my start on today's set up, with (hopefully) a finish tomorrow.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Daniel Keys workshop- Scottsdale Art School- Day 1

fruit still life by Daniel Keys

This week I'm in Scottsdale,AZ taking the Daniel Keys workshop. I expected marvelous painting demos and his generous teaching,. But in addition, I'm enjoying the unexpected humor, energy and approachable style he brings to the class. Today, he covered the basics of good painting in a way that was interesting, and direct, without sounding tired or repetitious (even for this retired art teacher).

There was a short painting demonstration this morning (above), where he showed one of his several methods of beginning a work. Today it was basically laying down local color for each of the light and dark value areas of each of the fruit shapes in the still life. He worked with edges a bit and talked about color, and value matching for the most part. The class painted in the afternoon from set ups of fruit and draping. I tried to concentrate on the right match and not just settle for being close! A temptation for all of us sometimes. I will post my own tomorrow as I didn't get a photo.

I'm hoping we'll paint some flowers tomorrow, but meanwhile the painting below is a floral I did from last spring.
View & Purchase

Rose Garden                oil on linen              9"x 8" Pin It

Monday, November 10, 2014

Collector's Painting Give-Away for " Geranium Stem"

Geranium Stem      6" x 6"      oil on linen panel
It's time for a painting give-away and this time I'm saying a big 'thank you' to collectors. The winner will be drawn on December 12th, from those of you who've made a purchase of my work between Oct.1st,'14 through  Dec.11th,'14 The drawing will be for "Geranium Stem" (above) or see it  HERE for a larger view. Each purchase qualifies as an entry to win.

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Sunday, November 9, 2014


Twilight               oil on panel        6" x 8"
This is that wonderful time of day when the light gets all yellow and pink and colors deepen.
I worked in the same manner as the last post but with different results. 

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Friday, November 7, 2014

How About Hawaii?

How About Hawaii?             9" x 9"                  oil on linen
While I thought I would be painting fall leaves today, this idea popped into my head and I just had to act on it. I cropped a photo I'd taken of some palms in Hawaii, just to focus on the towering shapes and back light. 
My first painting step was to wash in dark alizarin crimson and ultramarine blue stains into the areas where the trees would be. I then moved into the dark and mid-tone opaque colors and worked toward the lights. This one was exactly what I had in mind! 
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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Light Rim

Light Rim                  8" x 10"                 oil on linen panel
I just noticed that this is my 800th post since starting my blog in '09. It has been an adventure both rewarding and educational, that I plan to continue. Here's a big 'Thank You!' to all of you who continue to follow and support my work!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sun Spots - Sunflower Color

Sun Spots                    oil on linen panel               8" x 8" 
Capturing the last color of summer from a few weeks ago, I painted this sunflower today. I've been loving all the fall leaves, so maybe that's next...... 

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Water's Edge

Water's Edge                        8" x 10"            oil on linen panel
This is from a photo from Kodiak, Alaska and the light was at that late day stage, but the sky was overcast. It created a pale yellow and orange light that wasn't very strong but that light and the water at the edge of the rocks is what I was concentrating on. I think perhaps the trees are too important here, though I did play down all the busy edges. I started with a violet block-in of the main shadow shapes and built into the middle and lighter values and colors as it progressed.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sun Day

Sun Day           8" x 6"         oil

Here's a re-post for your Sunday as I'm still seeing a few Sunflowers and even Daylilies along with the beauty of changing leaves.....

Where ever I go these days, there seem to be sunflowers. Peeking over fences, in broad fields, and random volunteers in mixed garden patches. Here are three that looked like they are still hanging on to summer.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Light Stream

Light Stream     oil on linen      10" x 8"
That flash of light on water....who can resist it? Not me. This was the kind of painting that presented a lot of 'happy accidents". A bit of extra color here, a messy color streak there and I wanted to keep them all. I tried to keep coming back to the main focus of that light and tried to keep only what was needed! Always a. challenge

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Sunday, October 12, 2014


Reflections            oil on linen panel                            9" x 12"
The title here is certainly about the water and color. But, it is also about having some quiet time and just being alone with your thought....in whatever way you choose to do that. This one is difficult to see the detail and I certainly suggest taking a look at the larger view using the link below to my website.....

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Nice Bend!

Nice Bend!                            oil                               8" x 6" 
Here I am posting on the weekend again, which is upside down from the schedule I kept previous to about 6 months ago. I am enjoying the freedom away from a timeline though.... nice to be my own boss! This one is a friend that my husband fishes with, from a trip to Kodiak, AK. I kept the brushwork active and deliberately left streaky bits to emphasize the action of reeling this one in and keep the eye moving through the composition.

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

A Day On The Water

A Day On The Water            oil on linen panel            8" x 10"
Perhaps I should have called this A Day At The Easel as I got more time painting today.  I started with washes of transparent color and built onto those with opaque darks. I continued with more intense middle values and worked up to pastels and lights for the finish.

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush                   12" x 9"                    oil on panel
I painted more trees today, starting with a staining wash underneath in a kind of transparent coral color. My painting from yesterday was a wiper, as it just came off in a kind of soft mush that had nothing to say. In this one though, I tried to overcome that feeling with direct brushwork, more paint and contrast.
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Monday, September 29, 2014

Mountain View

Mountain View                   8" x 10"                     oil on panel
Sometimes when I haven't been able to get to my easel for a few days, it helps to start again in a new way. Today I did just that working on 300lb. watercolor paper that has a gesso coating on it. If you haven't ever worked this way, it tends to give your brushwork a soft edge and the blending is pretty easy and flat. In this one I referenced one of my older photos from Montana.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Artists Helping Artists - links and lists for "Filling Your Creative Well"

Here is your link for today's  AHA show....or just click the link in the right hand column.and for a link to today's show, just go to:
 Artists Helping Artists Pin It

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Girl Talk

Girl Talk                      8" x 10"                  oil on linen

Girl Talk   - (detail)
Before every performance, there is likely some nervous chat and gossip and I think these three were having some fun comparing notes while getting ready to go out again.

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Sunday, September 21, 2014


Cottonwoods          gouache on archival board       9.5" x 15"

Cottonwoods (detail)
Today, I am posting another tree/gouache painting. This was one I discovered in my studio re-arranging, but it was just a sketch. So, I went back to painting and had fun completing it to a more finished work. I love Cottonwoods for their massive trunks and branches and they are common here in Boise and all along the river here in Eagle. 
View Larger

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Leafy Green, a gouache landscape

Leafy Green        Gouache / archival illustration            9" x 14" 
I do enjoy both gouache and watercolor periodically and while I am still organizing my studio, it's a bit easier to have available. So, here is a gouache painting for you that is all about the overgrown leafy greens of late summer. Things will start turning soon and we'll all be staring at flaming orange and reds.

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Early Risers, Giclee Print

Early Risers                     Giclee Print                  14" x 18" image
I've been asked about prints on and off in the past and the answer has always been "no" I don't currently have prints available. But wait!.....all I had to do was get organised and move into a new studio space to find one last print that I had done when I was working in watercolor. The original sold long ago and so did the other seven prints I had made. Not exactly a big run I know. This is a Giclee print on archival, medium stock watercolor paper. The image size is 14" x 18. It is printed on 16" x 21" paper. This is the last of eight total that were printed. 
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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

St. Ignacio Line Dance

St. Ignacio Line Dance       8" x 10"      oil on linen panel
This is another group of Oinkari dancers hand in hand while they do a kind of 'crack the whip' in dance form. I tried to catch the abstract shapes and color blur as they raced by. Fun to watch and paint and a real challenge as to how to approach it.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

50 Studio Tips & Tricks - listen on AHA radio!

In The Pink         14" x 11"       oil on linen
I am privileged to join Leslie Saeta Thursday morning on Artists Helping Artists Blogtalk  radio with ' 50 Studio Tips and Tricks'. You can listen HERE or download for  a later time. 
Below are a couple link we'll be referring to:

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Lifeguard- At The Office

Lifeguard- At The Office              oil on panel              8" x  8"
As offices go, this one is a beautiful place to spend one's day. surrounded by the palms, ocean and bougainvillea. Here's to everyone who is going back to an office tomorrow, of whatever kind......I hope there is something beautiful in it for you.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014


Josephine              oil on panel                  10" x 8"
I've been wanting to paint my nephew's little girl for some time. But, I just didn't feel I had the right photo source to work from. However, a recent family gathering provided a good way for me to take some  casual snaps and I had fun with this one today. I am planning to adjust the background darks as they are looking too strong right now, but tomorrow will provide 'fresh eyes'.
This one's not for sale, but check out my Website for other available paintings.

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Little Red Wagon

Little Red Wagon             oil on panel              6" x 6"
My sister's kids are way past the age of having a little red wagon, but she has been clever in keeping theirs. It has been a reliable workhorse for every conceivable home and garden project. So here it is, waiting once again in the background, for the next big idea to come along.......and I'm sure it will.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Finishing Touch

Finishing Touch      oil on linen panel      10" x 8
Here are two more Oinkari dancers getting ready for a performance at the St. Ignacio festival. I am repeatedly attracted to these scenes of color and careful preparation, usually in a group of the women. They have layered scarves, vests, aprons, overskirts and ribbons that always seem to need some bit of attention. It's all a good part of the show for me.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Preparing To Dance II - oil painting slideshow

     Preparing To Dance- slideshow    oil on linen     8"x10"
I finally got around to creating a little slideshow of "Preparing To Dance". I worked from dark to light in order not to be dazzled by the reds and create them in values that are too light. I think that helped me keep the balance of the composition together. Hope this is helpful, I welcome questions if you have them. This one's sold, but you can see more of my daily paintings and other works on
my website.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Like Father, Like Son

Like Father, Like Son         8" x 10"           oil on linen
I found time to work with two more figures today and this from a friend's photo of he and his son fly fishing. A few more adjustments to make, but generally it is the overall statement I wanted from an excellent photo source
Not for Sale

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