Monday, December 31, 2007

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

I took this photo from my window early Christmas Eve. It was quiet and so still, the way it is just before it starts to snow.
I hope your 2008 is prosperous and joyous. Make your New Year's eve safe and happy.
As my mother always said...Drive careful, the nuts are out!

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Touch of Spring

A new commission for the new year. I just love cardinals, and as I write this, there are four pairs on my feeder outside my window. I am glad that these are so popular, because I love to paint them.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

One of my favorite people....

I am sorry to say that we said goodbye to Dianne Hoberg this week. She was one of the most positive, fabulous people I have ever had the privilege to know. She succumbed to a brain tumor early in the morning on Tuesday. I wish I had had a chance to know her better, because what I did know of her, I loved. I will carry her memory and her laugh in my heart for the rest of my life.
Hug the people in your life, let them know that you love them because you have no idea how long they will be with you.
God speed to you Dianne, I can't wait to see you again.

Friday, December 07, 2007


It is hard for me to wrap my mind around the concept of an impromptu trip to Rome, but that is exactly what I did. John had a meeting there, and I tagged along. While he was in meetings all day, I roamed the streets and did the "touristy" thing. What an experience!!! I stood in front of works by Michelangelo and Raphael, ate in sidewalk cafes', took my life in my own hands as I crossed the street!

Here are a few pictures from the trip...
The Piazza De Spagna...and this is the slow season!!!!!!!!!
The Colosseum of course. This is a view of the catacombs where they kept the gladiators and animals to compete that day. They came up in trap doors in the arena floor. (Watch Gladiator, you will see what I mean)
The Forum. This is the area where Caesar was murdered. It was amazing to walk on the same cobblestones that the early Romans did. This area was soaked with history, every where you turned.

Some good looking guy I saw there in Rome and had to take his picture.

The famous Trevi Fountain. All designed and created by Bernini in the late 17th century. His work is all over the city.

I took a trip to Pompeii on Monday. This was one of the people caught by surprise in the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD. Plaster casts were made of them during the excavations. When I was a young girl, I saw a National Geographic about this event and the ruins. Ever since then, I have been fascinated with the whole story of Pompeii. It was an amazing thing to stand in the streets of this once amazing and advanced place. You could feel the presence of every one that had walked these streets. Notice in the photo below the ruts in the stone from the hundreds of chariots and wagons that populated these roads.
I had to include this fresco. There were hundreds of mosaics and frescoes that have survived 2 thousand years...but this one was the most special. It was in the bordello...and this was a "menu item" that was available. Click on the image to get a closer look. By the way, there was a pharmacy right next door for when you were done here. I am not kidding.

This of course is...the Sistine Chapel. I was in awe, not only by the amazing art but the fact that I was being mooned by God. How come that angle is not in any of the posters?

Last but not least, St Peters Basilica and the Pieta. This sculpture may very well be the reason that I wanted to be an artist in the first place. The marble breathes with life and emotion. We as artists can only dream to achieve this kind of work in our lifetime and Michelangelo did it at 23. I came home inspired and intimidated. It is an amazing place and as an artist, it should be on the must do list.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Itty Bitty paintings II

Ok, enough already! I can't seem to stop painting these little guys! Much to my husband's sorrow...he is also my framer. He wants me to stop too! I am just having too much fun. But this should be it, except for the three I need to finish.

This is a dog I photo'd here in Minnesota at a game trial.
This is on of my neighbor's puppies. Her female dog had 11 pups in her last litter!
This little guy is from a Montana trip years ago.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

What a great weekend is made of...

I have been painting all day, every day for weeks on end to prepare for the Easton Waterfowl Festival in November. Ask any artist...all that time in the studio can make you crazy and sometimes you just need to get out into the open air to refill your "creative stores". I had the opportunity to go to the Minnesota Wildlife Connection on Saturday and photograph some amazing animals. I got to feed a bear from my lips, carry a cougar cub and just have a great time. Best of all, I am completely rested and recharged to get back in the studio and work. Watch for some new work soon...
Please visit

This little bear is Buford. He was raised by this hound dog and they are inseparable. She lost her litter on the same day he was born, they put him with her and the rest is, as they say, history.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Itty bitty paintings

I just love to paint small paintings. These are all for my upcoming show in Easton. None of them measure over 2" x 3". Doing small paintings allows you to step out of the norm and focus on the animal and have some fun with detail. Each one of these has a fun story that I will add with each painting.
Now, I don't claim to paint miniatures, that is a whole different form of art. Rachelle and Wes Segriest are probably the finest miniature artists I know, you can see their art and read more about miniature painting at You can see their work at the Easton show as well.
I have a few more small paintings to do, then I am going to spread my wings again and do the larger ones. But in the meantime, I am sharpening the point of my favorite 00 paintbrushes and having a "little" fun.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Friends in...odd places

Recently my dearest friend, Rita, took time out of her busy schedule and came to visit me. We went to the South Dakota yearly artist ride and then spent some time hanging around here, swapping stories and riding my horses. It was a great time. On our way home from Wall, we stopped at the 1880's town in South Dakota and what else you would you to expect to see at a western town?? An affectionate camel of course! This one took quite a shine to Rita, as you can see. Rita is also an amazing artist, please take a minute to check out her work at

Friday, October 12, 2007

Shame on me...

I just received an email from a dear old friend who berated me for not having any pictures on my blog of myself. I did not realize it, but I have manned the camera for so long, I have not been included in any family pictures. I looked and looked and this is the only one I could find (that I liked). It is a few years old, and my hair is no longer blonde (thank goodness). Perhaps it is the ever increasing wrinkles and waistline that age brings on that has made me camera shy, but what ever the reason...this is for you Rex, now pony up some pictures of those kids for me!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

New work

These are two small 5x7's for my upcoming show. I just love being able to paint things that I can see right out my window. These lilacs grow on the north side of our property and I look forward to them every year. We only have the ruby throated hummingbird here in Minnesota, but I have plenty of sketches of other species from living in Southern California.

I may be one of the most prolific fuschia killers on the planet. Every spring, I buy three from the local gardens and slowly, methodically murder them over the course of the summer. But...I always get plenty of pictures and color sketches before they go, so I guess you can say that they don't die in vain. I may have been born with a black thumb, but I was also born for a great admiration for them.

These are both in oil on board. I am growing more and more fond of oils the more I do them.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Of all birds, swans are probably my favorite. We are lucky to have so many trumpeters all around us I am never at a shortage for material. This one is a mute swan that is in a pond not far from us. He is owned by (or shall I say...resides with) my dog sitter, Tina.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

One Lucky Dog!!!

Great news! Loki just went for his 6 week exam and the doctor gave him a clean bill of health. His pacemaker is working perfectly and he now is out of his kennel confinement. We even played ball this morning! Funny how the simple things are so special now...
Once again, I have to thank every one for all the emails, calls and even get well cards for this big dumb dog. He is very special to us.

Friday, July 06, 2007


I just heard from the LCPS (Lake Country Pastel Society) that Splashdown won the Merit Award in their annual member show. I will be teaching a workshop for them in March of next year.

Morning at the Ranch won the bronze medal for oils at the San Dimas Art Festival. My thanks to the judges and the organizers of the show. This is my first award for oil painting.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

If I only had a heart....

Well, we have had an exciting start to our summer. Our big dog, Loki, was playing with our neighbor's dog and collapsed. He took about an hour to get right again and seemed disoriented for some time. Luckily, we had a vet appointment the next day for vaccinations and we discovered his resting heart rate had fallen to 29-32 beats per minute.(It should be 80) After a failed attempt to medicate him for the problem and an ever falling heart rate (it was 18 at one point), the decision to give him a pacemaker was made. He had his surgery last Tuesday and we are happy to report that he is doing just great. He has to remain immobile for 6 weeks as the leads in his heart take hold, only getting out of his kennel to go to the potty. He is being very good natured about his confinement and is enjoying all the extra kisses and attention he is getting. He is going to be back to his old happy self soon.

I want to thank all of our friends that have called and come over to see him. He is a truly an amazing dog and has touched the lives of a lot of people. We are so happy to have him around for a while longer. For now, with all the staples in his neck, he is known as "Frankenpooch".
A well deserved thank you goes to Dr Michelle France and the U of M cardiology department for all they did for us and all the care they gave Loki. You guys are the best and my special thank you to Dr France for the kindness you gave us during this tough time.

I will continue to update his progress.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

On the road again....

Well, all the paintings are packed and I am on the road to California for the San Dimas Western Festival and the Fallbrook Wildlife Show. I am not going to be able to post for a while, but when I get back I will post pictures and stories from the trip. See you soon!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Deadlines, Deadlines, Deadlines...

I guess in every profession there are deadlines at some time. Never a truer word is spoken for the artist. We have show deadlines, submission deadlines, application deadlines, etc... And most of us never get them done in time! Luckily, the people waiting on us know that we are chronically late and unorganized. Thank goodness. I have a deadline four days over and point. I appreciate all your emails asking me where I have been. I am constantly amazed that anyone would even be interested in this blog at all! So, when I have not written in a while, know that it is not because I am goofing off, I am usually painting like mad to make a deadline. (Which I always seem to miss!)
This is my newest pastel 'horses running through water'. Seems to be a theme with me lately. I am hoping to get it done by the deadline...oops.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Looking Back

I hesitated calling this painting, Looking Back, as it can have a negative connotation. But I realize that sometimes looking back is not necessarily a bad thing, we learn from looking behind ourselves. And sometimes, we are just looking behind us to know what to expect in the future....


I have finally finished this painting. It has taken a lot of work, but I think I am finally pleased with the final product. This is one of those classic paintings that all of us artists love it one day, hate it the next. I am finally happy with it and finally decided that it was finished. I did have to go into photo shop and eliminate the shine I got from the surface of the painting when I photographed it, so that is the dull side that you see on the left side. I still have not figured out how to eliminate the shine I get when photographing my oils when finished. I use a lot of glazing techniques when finishing a painting and it reflects a good amount of light.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A work in progress

I have started series of western paintings depicting women in the western world. This is the third in the series and one of my first figurative oils. It has a long way to go, but I am having a good time on the journey. This is AmberLeigh, a horse trainer in South Dakota who is also in school to become a vet. She is an amazing rider and seems to have a second sense with her horses. A painting I did of her and her horse, Pony Boy was on the cover of the Paint Horse Journal. I will put it up again when I am done.


A new pastel of my corgi....

Sunday, February 25, 2007

When Deep Snow Happens to Short Dogs

We have been hearing since Monday that we were going to be hit by a huge storm on Friday. Well, I have not lived here long, but I know that the weather guys here are almost never right. Well, on Friday...nothing, but on Saturday we got socked! We got over a foot in a day!!!
You try to explain this event to your short legged friend, but they just dont understand.

If you ever doubted that a dog could laugh...look at Loki's face in this picture. Not bad for a 12 year old, hmm?
Dakota, on the left, is trying to show Zoe that she has the stuff!!!