Friday, December 23, 2005

Amazing day!

John and I are spending our holidays in the Orlando area with his parents and we are having a wonderful time. It is so wonderful to be out of the cold Minnesota winter and back in the sunshine! In fact, John and I went swimming outside this afternoon!!!!
Two days ago, we went to the Disney Animal Adventure Park and had a great time. I did not expect a lot photo-wise, but when we arrived to the Gorilla exhibit, we had a great surprise. Not only were the big silverback males out, but they posed for me for over an hour. Just when I thought I had got enough, they would move and do more amazing things. I have never painted a gorilla before, but now I think I will!
We also saw their amazing tigers. I always get excited by new things, and getting the chance to see all this was a great experience.

Friday, December 02, 2005

A Sad Day...

My heart is saddened to report that our dear friend and mentor, Paco Young passed away from Leukemia yesterday, December 1st. His wife was at his side when he lost his fight. He was an inspiration through his art and through his struggle with this disease. If you have a chance, visit his website, to read his guestbook and see more pictures of his art and his family. The above picture is from his website. Our hearts and prayers go with his family during this difficult time.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Winter hits Minnesota

I know that my Southern California friends have a hard time believing me, but I really do love our Minnesota winters. I couldn't wait until our first snow and it came last week. My birds are very insistant that I keep our feeders full at all times, and I do my best to accommodate them. Our Thanksgiving was quiet and we had a beautiful snowfall for the entire morning. Then this morning, the temperature spiked and we have rain...go figure.

Clint Black!!!!

My wonderful hubby surprised me with two tickets to Clint Black the weekend after I got home from the Easton Waterfowl Festival. He was at the Grand Casino, and yes, we did gamble some too!

Wonderful concert!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

It has been a while since I have posted anything and I feel like I have been lazy. But the truth is, it has just been a little crazy. I just finished the Easton show in Maryland and am home for a while. Yeah!!!! It feels so good to know that I have some time to catch up on commissions and re-aquaint myself with my animals. I will be posting new paintings and musings on a more regular basis now, so I hope that you will keep coming back.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

You are too close!

Our first game drive, we encountered a very angry hippo. She was not happy that we were in her space that evening. Later, we found out that she was pregnant and she gave birth the day before we left.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Don't Mess with the King!

This is what is known as a King Cheetah and only a handful of them still exist in the wild. At the De Wildt Cheetah Center in Northwest Province, South Africa, they have quite a few and use them as educational animals. It is an amazing center and they are doing amazing things with Cheetah preservation and education. Their website is . It is worth a look and worth a donation too!

The Dining Area

Every night we would all gather here to have a cocktail and share the stories of the day with the other guests. One thing we could not complain about was the food! We were so well fed it was obscene. Three times a day with a buffet 20 feet long. Good thing calories don't count on vacation...

The Chariot

Here is the open vehicle that took us out several times a day. It is ideal for photographing from and our drivers were madmen! Not the most comfortable vehicle in the world, but fun! We only got a flat once...

These are the gardens and the pool just outside our room. Even the swimming pool has a beautiful view! Did we swim? Heck no, remember, it is the dead of winter there this time of year.

Our Lodge

This is our room at the Game Lodge at Hluhluwe. We were at the forest level so every morning we had vervet monkeys and Nyala on our porch. We would sit on the front porch here at night and hear the sounds of the evening. One night, we even heard the lions at the nieghboring park.

We are back home!

We did it! To the wilds of Africa and back home again. What an amazing trip this was. We went from Hluhluwe to Johanesburg to Pilanesburg and back again. The animals were too numerous to count, and the people were just amazing. I took over 5000 photos while I was there, so give me a couple of days to sort through them and I will post some of the best here soon. It is good to be home, but I am missing Africa already.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Meet Zoe

This is our corgi, Zoe. I thought I would introduce you to her as she has occupied my whole morning. A storm moved in early this morning and thunder terrifies her. So between being hidden under the bed or pinned to my side, she gets alot of attention during our summer storms. She is a year and a half and my constant companion. She is the smartest dog I have ever owned, so I always have to keep two steps ahead of her. We have two other dogs, Loki and Gretzki, who I will introduce to you another day.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Paco Young

We hope,as artists, that we can make an impression on the world and leave a mark. Paco has done that, and continues to do so. Paco was diagnosed last year with leukemia and when the art world heard about it, we held our breath collectively. After a complicated transplant surgery, he is doing extremely well now and you can check on him through a wonderful website or see his wonderful paintings at He is an extraordinary artist and an amazing person. I hope that you will take a moment to check out his websites and make a donation to the charities supporting the leukemia effort.

Friday, July 01, 2005


"Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them." This is a quote from one my favorite stories, The Little Prince. As artists, we are asked often, "Why did you paint that?" There is no way to answer that question. It is an image that inspires us, a fleeting thought, sometimes even a dream. This is a painting I did from a photo I took at a roundup in North Dakota. This little guy, a corgi, got too tired to walk back and hitched a ride with mom and her horse. Now the fact that I have corgi's might have a little something to do in my wanting to paint this, but the photo appealed to me and I couldn't wait to finish it! It was also the first painting I sold at my next show...funny how that happens, hmmm? We are asked alot of questions at shows, among the most long did it take you to paint that? How do you answer that question? I just say, "a lifetime and 20 hours." Every moment you study to paint, look at a sunset, break down the colors in the shadows of a are working on your next painting. So it is almost impossible to answer that question. Trust us that whether it took us 2 years or 2 hours, if you like is worth every penny. For example, I have a painting that I have been working on for three years, I don't know if it will ever be finished. One of my most popular paintings to date only took me about 5 hours to paint. How can that be possible? If you figure it out, please let me know!

Thursday, June 30, 2005

How do you choose a subject to paint? Inspiration plays a big part, but insecurity does as well. We, as artists, choose subjects that we know and feel comfortable with. Every now and then, we step outside of the box and try something that we we have never done before. Horses are my comfort zone. I know them better than any other subject and I feel comfortable painting them. An artist's confidence shows in their paintings. When we step outside of that comfort zone and it works, there is no better feeling!!! Not that the subjects we know best hold any less appeal or feeling of success, it is just that we relish those moments when our muses are looking over our shoulders and guiding our hands. Here is to more paintings that are out of my comfort zone! I love painting horses, I love their smell, the sounds they make. Their majesty will always inspire me. I will paint them as long as I can hold brush to canvas! Maybe my next painting will be of an aardvark..but until then, let's hear it for the horses!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

SKB Workshop

Every year, I attend a workshop by the name of the Susan K Black Workshop. Named after an extraordinary artist and woman who passed much too soon. Luckily, her legacy is carried on by those who loved her and is passed on to those of us who are hungry to learn. The teachers are extaordinary, and the attendees are also. I count myself lucky to be included among these amazing people and their talent. Inspiration for us all comes from many different sources, mine from the simple things around me and the amazing talent of the artists around me. I can't wait to share with my friends and collectors all that I have learned in those amazing days that I was in Dubois, WY! Photos from the top to bottom are: Wanda Mumm, Lee Cable, John Seerey-Lester, Carol Grende, Heiner Hertling (You know who you are!), and John Banovich. On the last day of the workshop, the instructors did what is called a 'quick draw". This is an excercise in which the artists are given 1 hour to paint a picture which is then auctioned off. This even raised over 4,ooo dollars for the Susan K Black foundation which supports the arts. I think all these artists deserve a hand for the pressure that they are put under to produce a finished piece of art and then suffer an auction on top of it all!!!! Maybe someday, I will have the guts!


Just when you think that your job can't get any better, something like this happens. You see a grizzly bear and her cubs and he performs for you!!! As an artist, inspiration comes from all sides, it is up to us to recognize it. I am constantly amazed at the simple things in life that are,what I call, little miracles. It can be a beautiful sunset, or a grizzly bear right in front of you than makes you stand up and say, WOW! Just the simple act of life as usual can be amazing.Don't let it pass you by....there are people who live in a constant state of one of those people and you will never be disapointed!

Monday, June 13, 2005

I have many friends just outside my studio window! Posted by Hello

Here is my lovely horse, LB Otoe Skippa Jet...we just call him Cadillac Posted by Hello

My first post...

I have always wondered why would anyone want to read a blog about my day? Well, throwing caution to the wind, here it is. It is a stormy, humid day...what better to do than be here talking with you?