Thursday, December 21, 2006


It has finally happened!!! This December is the warmest in Minnesota history. In fact, I rode my horse yesterday in a long underwear, no turtlenecks, not even gloves! So for all of you California friends who love to poke fun at me, I can honestly say that we were warmer than you one day this week. So THERE!

Not more than half and hour ago, it started to snow. You can't really see it in this picture, but the snow coming down is what has Dakota so mesmerized.
This is the latest snow since 1908 when we did not have a snow until December 16th. I really do want a white Christmas, but things are not looking good. Even though they predict 2-4 inches, it won't hang around because the ground is too warm.
It is predicted that we will have 35 degrees on Christmas day...maybe I will go out and get a sun tan.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!!!

Christmas is my favorite time of year! I have been caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, but all is done now. Gifts are bought and sent, cards are signed and sent...all to do now is to enjoy the rest of the season!

My thanks to all of you who have sent your wonderful emails and cards. I love seeing pictures of your families and your adventures!

I will be diving into the paintings again very soon, so keep coming back, I will be better at keeping things updated.

Merry merry merry Christmas!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What a glorious day!

I woke this morning in an exceptionally good mood. (Despite the fact I overslept and had to rush to my riding lesson). Who knows what the reason was for my good mood. I once heard the Dali Lama say that the meaning of life can be found with nine hours of sleep a night. Perhaps I should oversleep more often!
While in the car, I heard an interview with the wonderful Deepak Chopra. When he was asked if he ever had a bad day, his reply was simply, "I don't have bad days." The interviewer laughed and said, "Come on, what if you step out your front door and step in dog poop?" His response was, "I would ask myself, What is the universe trying to tell me?" What an amazing outlook on life that is. I aspire to approach life with such grace and simple understanding.
Go outside today and take a deep breath and say thanks for such a wonderful day today. And if you step in something unpleasant, know what to do.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


How could you not love Yellowstone? Any day in Yellowstone is better than any day anywhere! My friend, Lyn, took precious painting hours and spent the day with me in the park.

What a glorious time. We saw 5 bears in 2 hours!

There are always obstacles when you are trying to get a good picture!

Fall has...fallen!

Fall is hands down my favorite season. It never lasts long enough. The colors around my house are breath taking and beautiful. As an artist, I can't get enough of it and inspiration lays around every corner.

We got word that we will have snow tonight and tommorrow. I love snow, but I am not ready for it yet.

North Dakota travels

I love traveling to shows. Even though it gets harder and harder to be away from home, I love the opportunity to see new things and gather photos. This little fella should perhaps cut down on the treats he is given...?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Mean people suck..

I know that as artists, we have a lot of thinking time on our hands, especially when painting boring things like fur or grass. Our minds drift and we feel compelled to talk about where those thoughts took us. This is one of those moments. I was listening to the Rent soundtrack and heard the song, Seasons of Love. (525,600 do you measure a year?) It got me to thinking about how our life is made up of these minutes, and like it or not, we only have so many and then we are done. I think giving our time to someone is one of the greatest gifts we can give. Those are moments that we will never get back, so wasting them seems really wrong. (There are a few really bad movies out there that owe me 1 1/2 hours back, by the way.) Having friends and family around you is a special thing, you love giving them your minutes and sharing theirs. But what about mean people? How many moments have we all wasted on mean people, or even just unpleasant ones? How many moments have we all wasted worrying about these people and their affect on us? My Fall resolution this year is to stop wasting the minutes that I have left on this planet on not-nice people and put them to better use. I raise my life clock in celebration to my dear friends and family and promise to dedicate more time to listening to you and laughing with you. And for the mean people, you will have to find someone else's time to waste.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Artist Ride 2006

It seems sometimes I spend all my time waiting for the next Artist Ride. The AR is an event sponsored by the Shearer Ranch in South Dakota and run by Jim Hatzell and his great group of volunteers. It is a chance for 50 invited artists to gather together and take photos of not so common events. We camp by the Cheyenne River and wake up first thing at sunrise and start taking pictures. This event would not even exist if it wasn't for our wonderful models, so I have to take off my hat to them. They put up with us, wear hot clothing while we figure out what we want, and never complain. We have the opportunity to photograph working cowboys outfitted from 1800's to present day, Native americans from all over the US, Mountain Men recreationists, you name it, it is there. I thought I would share a few photos from this weekend, but I give a gentle reminder...these are copyrighted photographs and it is illegal to download them or use them with out my permission.

The only thing that could limit us is our lack of imagination. A great artist who attends every year said to me, if you can't find it here, you aren't looking hard enough.

Very wise man.

I abused Amber and Todd the most. Going through my photos, I could not believe how many I took of these two. Expect to see them pop up in my paintings...a lot!

Thanks for all your help guys.

Moses is probably one of the most popular models we have. We wait in line to take his picture and he is a pro. So photogenic and handsome. You will find a painting I did of him in my back blogs.

The cattle and longhorn roundup in the hills is one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen. My pictures could not do them justice.

The native american models are just magnificent. Beautiful and stoic, they make the job of painting easy.

I would feel remiss if I did not mention Ross. This young man, early teens, got on this horse twice for us. And he fell off twice, hard. Not enough money in the world could get me up there. I am happy on the ground with my camera.

At the end of the day....

While I shot away and made my trigger finger sore, my loving husband was back at camp...tirelessly working on the next meal and making sure that all was well when his tired, hot wife came stumbling home.

Well...I must be honest, he did reset up camp after a storm blew away my best efforts and did have breakfast, lunch and dinner ready every day. I couldn't have done it without him!

The Anoka County Game Fair

I had heard about the game fair, but never got a chance to go. What a great time. There were dogs everywhere (heaven for me). Booths and demos, I hardly knew which way to go. Needless to say, I never stopped taking photos. This is a little springer that was too pooped to pose...

A local kennel had pointers doing demos. These are just pups, and already know the ropes.

Then there was the long jump!!! I had the best time here. Not exactly what I will be painting, but fun to catch on camera. They all had there own style!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Uptown Art Fair

The Uptown Art Fair was held this last weekend. Now..I do not usually do the outdoor art fair market, but I have heard that this is one of the best in the country. In fact, it is the number 4 art fair in the country. I have to say that this did not disapoint. The show draws about 350 thousand people in three days, and I think I saw 325,000 of them! It was a great show and a great opportunity to meet my fellow Minnesota'ns.

This is my booth. We had great weather, and beautiful breezes! It could not have been a better weekend for an art show.

My favorite part of the weekend was 'dog-watching'. I think that John and I saw every breed there is to see this weekend.

This is thank you to all the dog owners that let me take a photo of their new pups.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Check it out...

I have posted more puppy pics on my family photos page. Click on the link to your right to check it out...

Monday, July 24, 2006


Don't you just love dogs?! I certainly do. This is a beautiful dog I took a picture of at a small dogshow in Chino Hills. I just loved his face and how he focused on his handler. I have no idea what his name is, but Skeeter just kind of fit.

So I am in a dog phase....

I would be willing to bet money that if you ask 10 dog owners in Minnesota what kind of dog they owned, 9 will be labs or goldens. They are all around me here, so there is an endless supply of reference material. They are fun to photograph and paint...if you can find one to sit still for you long enough.

Black Lab

Friday, July 21, 2006

Public Service Announcement

I have a lot of shows looming overhead for me, as well as is easy to get stressed out. Then I have moments like this and it reminds me that everything is going to be ok.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Meet Dakota

Say Hello to our new family member...Dakota. One of our biggest concerns after Gretzky passed away, was that Zoe would be lonely for a companion and playmate. Even in the end of his days, Gretzky still played as well as he could, and when he couldn't, he and Zoe would lay together cleaning each other. Well, at a recent horse show, I met the Mead family corgi's ( and fell in love with this little sad eyed girl. I have named her Dakota because we were in South Dakota at the time, and her registered name is Dakota TookMeBySurprise-because she certainly did. She is a piss ant, I will tell you. Unlike our other puppies, she is strong willed, and stubborn with a capital S. She is also a big corgi for her age. She is 10 lbs at 9 weeks, (Zoe was 4) and her feet tell us that she has a long way to go. She makes us laugh, for sure. If there was any fear that she would not get along with Zoe or Loki, that was eleviated in the first few minutes. She and Zoe are inseperable, and Loki is still skeptical, but patient. Dakota seems to like to use his tail as floss.

This is one of my favorite times of the day! When she crashes, she goes down hard. I will admit, it hard having a puppy in this house again...housebreaking is a pain, but she is smart and already goes to the door when she needs to go. And for those times that I don't see her there...I have to thank Chuck for my spotbot!

Friday, June 16, 2006

I have always felt a pull to the west and all things that make it what it is. Petroglyphs and Pictographs are one of the things that fascinate me about the wide open spaces out there. While on my way home from a trip from California, I found a remote little canyon that has hundreds, even thousands of these images on rocks dating from 7000 BC to this century! I was in heaven there! I had only planned to spend a few hours, then head home, but ended up being there all day. Every where I looked was a new image, a new look into the past.

It is rumored that Butch and Sundance used to hang out in this canyon when their trail was hot, including many other lawbreakers. You can even see the inscribing of cavalry men and their units written on the red rocks. They live through these written reminders. This is probably a ranch hand that worked cattle through this canyon. You can even see full shifts of cowboys that passed through here, leaving their mark. This canyon
vibrates with our past and history.

As I look at these images, I wonder, what were they trying to tell us? What message were they trying to relay. It is very easy to romantasize these carvings, what if they meant no more than the gang markings on the underpass on Hoover Blvd in Downtown LA? Who knows? I prefer to think that they just wanted us to remember them as they watched themselves become extinct. A simple gesture that says, I am, I was.

These are Pictographs, images painted on stone. Petroglyphs are pecked into the stone. As I sat in front of these, I had to think to myself if these people used these images as representations of their Gods, or maybe something else. Bear with me for a minute...Don't they look like what we draw as aliens today? Big heads, large eyes, slender bodies and appendages...just a silly thought. Any way you look at it, this amazing stuff. I understand the rush that archaeologists get when they see ancient writings and discover tombs never seen before. Even though I am one of thousands to see these amazing writings, standing in front of them, I feel like I am the first one there! Treasure these writings and records, and preserve them. So many are so defaced, that they are unreadable...that is a shame. Just because they felt the need for graffiti, does not mean that we need to write over them. Respect their history.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Goodbye dear friend, Gretzki 1991-2006

We had to say goodbye to our friend of 15 years just recently. John and I got our little "brown dog" a couple of weeks after we got married. He has been with us in the good times and the tough times. We will miss him greatly. I remember the day we brought him home, he was small and wiry---full of piss and vinegar. He was my dog from day one, and any one that wanted to be my friend, had to pass his test first. It is a tough decision to say goodbye, but we have to figure out ultimately if we are holding on for our loved ones or ourselves.

Goodbye, sweet Brown Dog, you made us laugh a lot in your 15 years. I can't wait to see you again.

The Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Monday, May 22, 2006

It's true...

Imagine my surprise when I get a call from my pet sitter, Tina, while I am away, to tell me that my chinchilla has had a suprise for us....yes, we are grandparents to a cute grey, adorable little girl named (by our niece) Kira.

San Diego Wild Animal Park

Well, I am finally home from my trip to California. It was a wonderful trip, with time with friends and great shows. One of the highlights was visiting the wild animal park with my friend Rita. Seen here with one of our old buddies.

We had a great time at the lions. It was an unusually cool day so they were very active and gave us a lot of opportunities to photograph them. They have a beautiful male and two females on display currently. Rumor has it that one is pregnant...hmmm...I wonder who it is?

I love this picture!!! You would think that this big male would have hunger in his eyes, but he was more curious than anything.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Cool Cat!

I am having a hard time finding a decent name for this one that has not been used a hundred times before...Any suggestions?

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Just finished this one. I have actually been working on it for quite a while, but finally said today that it is done.