Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Rocky Reflections

Rocky Reflections                   oil                         9" x 12"

Where does the time go! This time of year makes it especially hard to get to the easel. But, I did today and had fun with this secondary color scheme using violets, greens and orange tones. This is some fly fishing on the Owyhee River.

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Ruby Springs Skies

Ruby Springs Skies              10" x 8"               oil
I painted today from a photo taken in Ruby Springs Montana. This intense and beautiful early evening sky was a lovely memory from our last evening there in June.

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Free Shipping through December 9th

Free Shipping through December 9th

Unknown Horizon     8 x 10"     oil

 My Website

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Dock & Palms

                            Dock & Palms                     oil on linen panel                       8" x 10"

I think it never fails...... right about the time cold weather sets in, I feel like painting some warm weather scene! Here's one for those of you missing a shady palm to sleep under. This is from Hawaii.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Pumpkin Garden

Pumpkin Garden                    8" x 11"                 oil on linen 

Hope it's not too late to post a pumpkin, but I will call this a Thanksgiving theme and look forward! This one is from a friend's garden. The weather has been so mild, that there were still flowers blooming right next to fallen leaves and pumpkins. What caught my eye was the intense orange next to all the cooler leaf and flower colors.

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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Peaceful Valley

Peaceful Valley         50" x 36"           Acrylic

I've enjoyed painting a lot larger lately, and just finished this painting of windswept skies. Going from 8 x 10" to 50 x 36" requires a little different mind set and of course....bigger brushes! I also have to remind myself that even my regular sized palette won't do when I'm trying to mix large amounts of color. To that end I use small plastic containers with lids to be able to be consistent from one day to the next in color and value. Then I can use my regular palette of color to work over the basic layout. 

And as with every painting, it is important to step back and keep looking at the overall design. Even further back in this case to keep in mind the 'big picture'!

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Old Faithful- Yellowstone Park Centennial

Old Faithful                            10" x 8"                       oil on linen

This was a particularly great year to visit Yellowstone Park due to the Centennial celebration. We went at the end of September and the park was showing great early fall color. I have seen the Old Faithful eruption several times on this and in a past visit. But, this one was particularly good because the breeze seemed to carry the spray even higher and further than usual. It's always a fun experience. 

I like watching the crowd that gathers and waits for the show and the color makes for nice contrast in the landscape. Then, of course I wanted to create the fullness of the eruption and transparency as the plume falls and wafts off into the sky. 

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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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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Glacier Park Landscape - Revised

Glacier Park Landscape

Today I took a second look at yesterday's painting and realized adjustments were needed. The peak on the right was too dark to indicate distance and edges needed to be softened in a variety of places. Now I think it has a stronger visual lead-in and the edges, particularly in the background are not competing with foreground shapes. Funny how 'fresh eyes' on a painting, helps you to see solutions.

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Glacier Park Landscape

Glacier Park Landscape   9" x 12"    oil

This is from one of my favorite photos taken in Glacier Park. Today I didn't have a lot of time but just wanted to get down the larger basic shapes of color. 

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Just For Fun

Just For Fun          oil on panel      12" x 12"

I decided to work in a more abstract manner today.  So this was some fun with big brushes and big splashes of color. Once I had that our of my system, I used negative painting in the background to bring some focus to the splotchy shapes. A nice break and fun change for today.

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Free Shipping

Just a quick post to let you know that I'm offering 
FREE SHIPPING from today through July 16.

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Thursday, June 9, 2016


Summertime      oil      11" x 14"
I took the reference photo for this one while walking along the Boise river last week. It was a day with a little breeze and perfect temps in the 70's. This guy seemed to have found the perfect spot to spend the afternoon and try his luck with a little fishing.

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Friday, June 3, 2016


                                                                       Glide    oil   9" x 12"
I've been working on a couple small commissions in the last week. And, between those and keeping up with everyday happenings, posting work has gotten away from me. This is one of the many geese that enjoy the pond behind our house. I took this photo in the evening when there was just enough light in the sky to provide some nice color from the setting sun and provide a lot of contrast

This smaller photo almost looks like it was painted with a tube of solid black, but the larger view will show a variety of mixes using ultramarine blue, viridian, and alizarin crimson.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

River Rodeo

River Rodeo        9" x 12"    oil on linen panel

When I took the photo for this painting, it reminded me of a cowboy doing some roping instead of fly fishing. I liked the action, and the name ( thanks to my husband) really clinched it! 
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Sunday, May 22, 2016


Untended          11" x 14"         oil on linen panel

I saw these roses yesterday next to a small farmhouse door. I was there with my sister and a friend for an estate sale. The roses looked like they had been there blooming year after year without much tending, but they were really beautiful none the less. Lots and lots of deep red blooms and untended canes running wild everywhere.

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

First Day Out

First Day Out          oil       9" x 12"
This is one from the Big Horn river once again. I have several pics taken while in a boat watching others fish. I try to get some actions in the shots and then of course I look for the light. This was taken mid-day, so I had to increase the contrasts for more interest, but liked the warmth. I also used another in this  series of photos in a vertical composition for my painting "Tight Line

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Pattern Change

                                     Pattern Change       oil on linen panel        Mary Maxam
This is painted from a photo I took just below the dam at Fort Smith, Montana. I nearly always use some kind of natural landscape for a background in this type of painting, But I tried to liven the concrete shapes in the background with color in the shadows. I haven't decided if I overdid it in the water with too many small shapes.Time will tell when I put fresh eyes on it tomorrow...

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Saturday, April 30, 2016


Reverie            14" x 11"     oil on linen panel

I painted roses yesterday which I will post that one soon, But today, I used my niece as inspiration again for this portrait. I had a lot of fun with it and used one of my favorite palettes of alizarin crimson, turqoise and ochre. I toned the panel first with a very thin coat of cad. red. I did a brush drawing first, then went ahead and started laying in color areas for the heair, background, face and scarf.

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Treeline Shadows- step- by-step

Treeline Shadows                                  oil                 8" x 6"
Here's a small painting for today, but I did take the time for a few progress shots. I began (bottom photo) with the big idea of the value pattern. It only uses 3 values and I massed it in with mixes of cad red medium, white and ultramarine blue. In the second photo you will see that I've added the  fourth and darkest value. In the next step, I begin to lay in basic colors for each value area. After that, I add color to adjust warm and cool versions. This is a straightforward way to keep values where you want them, beginning to end.

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