Monday, December 15, 2008


I just finished this commission and I had a great time with it. Trying to come up with a "new" idea with a winter theme and birds is almost impossible. This is my neighbor's grandfather's sled and the cardinals are from photo's I took at my birdfeeder. I leaned the sled against an aspen tree outside my studio and left it out to get some snowed on and went from there.

I hope you like it.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Fundraiser for Lyn St Clair

A dear friend and fellow artist, Lyn St Clair, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Like most artists, she does not have insurance. A website was just put up for her by artists willing to sell their paintings and give a percentage towards her medical bills. Please take a moment to stop by and take a look, you can buy a beautiful painting and help out a friend. The site is brand new, so art will be added as time goes on, so please check it out often.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving for birds...

I had to include this image of our thistle sock and resident finches. While John and I ate our feast, our wintering goldfinches had a feast of their own. No wonder I have to buy Niger seed every week! (Please excuse our filthy window...the window washers are coming on Wednesday)

Thanksgiving weekend

This is probably my favorite time of the year. That "tweener" time from Thanksgiving to many possibilities! John and I stayed home this year and did not leave the house. I did all my shopping a week in advance so we were set. (I do have to admit to a serious lack of fried onions for the green bean casserole though...they just kept calling to me)
Then we go to Goldeman's tree farm and hunt down the perfect tree, kill it, and then dress it right in our living room. It is four days of laughter for John and me, and giving thanks for all that we have. I hope that you have had a wonderful weekend too.

John cooked the perfect bird this year. He is very proud as you can see...
John tracks and finds the perfect tree and then cuts it down in it's prime...
He then bags it, and latches it to our car. He is truly the great hunter.
Next, it is a horse drawn carriage ride to get hot chocolate and cider. It is almost too idyllic!
We hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend too!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Waterfowl Festival

I just got home from the waterfowl festival in Easton, MD. I just wanted to thank all of you who came back to say hello, and hello to all of those who I met for the first time. It is always a wonderful show, and this year was no different. We will see you all in 362 days!!!!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Over Easy-Corgi Puppy

Anyone who has owned a dog, has seen this position at one time or another. This is my Dakota at a few months old. She uses this position to ask me to play with her...and if I don't respond, she is
in the right position for a nap. This is pastel, 5x7.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


This is what happens when you don't have punish your dogs for it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In The Red

My backyard is crazy with cardinals right now, and with the fall colors of the sumac that surround my studio, I could not resist to paint the two together. This is an oil, 5x7.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Good News

I have been out of the competition arena for some time. I seem to always miss deadlines, but I managed to get an honorable mention in the Pastel Journal's annual competition this year with, Royal Reflections.

Two new ones...

This is a captive young fox kit I photographed in the spring. He is a cutie, isn't he? The fun thing about the shoot was, the kits would get tired of playing with each other and come over and try to get us to play with them. I almost lost a lens to one that found my camera bag. This is a pastel, 5x7.

I have not named this one yet. I have painted so many swans, I am running out of names. I photographed this one in Maryland in a small pond close to my hotel. It is a little looser in style than I usually paint, but when I got to doing fine detail, it did not seem to work on this one. This is an oil, 6x6.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tai Shan-in progress

Last year, my dear friend, Kathy, took time out of her busy schedule to take me to the Washington Zoo. There, I photographed their pandas for hours. This pencil is of Tai Shan, the 3 year old. I work a little on it every night, so who knows when it will be finished!!! This piece is like the horse I did earlier, it is done with a charcoal/graphite mix pencil. It is still new to me, so I work a little slower, but I love the effect. Stay tuned...

White Reflections

A little 5x7 oil I just finished. I have a few more, just have to wait for them to dry before they are scanned.

Monday, October 13, 2008

View from the Top

A new graphite painting for the Easton show. I have found since I have broken these ribs, pencils are the easiest on me. They require less arm movement and I can work longer on them than the oils. So you will see a lot more of these in the next few weeks.
"View from the Top" 4"x7"

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Reality Check

I don't even know what part of this scares me most...
Maybe the fact that it was at the end of our road.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Farewell Dusty

Sadly, John and I had to say goodbye to our good friend and companion, Dusty, this week. He went by many names, including Dustbuster, Mook, D-man, Big Dawg, and my personal favorite, Dammit Dusty!!! He was born in April of 1974 making him 34 years old this year. He never lost his spark or his sense of play.

He came into our lives at the ripe old age of 19, given to us by Lisa Tigert who got him from her closest friend, Shelley. We soon found out that a free horse costs just as much as one you pay for. Within 12 hours, he smacked his head and needed stitches. A mere 12 hours later, he cut open his chest on what-we do not know.

"What did we get into here", John asked me. Well, unbeknown to us at that time, 16 years of companionship and a horse that made us laugh. He taught me many things in the years we had him, especially what NOT to do on a horse. He was a wonderful ride, but did not put up with incorrect signals. His attitude was get it right or get off!!! He started out on the track in Mexico at Agua Caliente. In fact, in the movie, Seabiscuit, there is a scene where you see the ride board for the day and his racing name is there, AlottaDust. Now of course he was not around back then, so why his name is there is any one's guess. After a not so stellar career on the track, he went to auction where Shelly bought him. Together they won medals and ribbons galore. Dusty was a dream come true in the ring. I know that he packed me around the ring and the ribbons we won were all his doing.

He was my third horse and my husband's first. In the early years of our marraige when we had no money, our entertainment was to go to the stable and groom him and play with him. We knew that it was better to be with him than at any fancy resturaunt or movie. John loved to sit with him and unwind after a long day. They used to play tag together in the arena, he would chase Dusty and slap him on the hind end then turn around and run and Dusty would be in hot pursuit, throwing his head and bucking. It was so funny to watch. They had a very special relationship. He was many things to me, a stress reliever, a teacher, and a shoulder to cry on when I needed it.

We will miss him so much and sometimes it is hard for me to believe that he is not here anymore. He was a blessing and had a huge heart. I don't know if I will ever come across a spirit like his, I think he was truly one of a kind. Our thanks also goes out to Kevin and Kirk, our trainers and friends, who were so good to him and us. His last days were good ones because of them.

Here's to you, D-man, I hope you are rolling in green pastures and making that groaning noise that only you could do. I hope to see you again someday.

Monday, September 29, 2008

New work...

I usually work on my pencils in the evenings, so they take me a while to get done. This is a rancher from South Dakota that I photographed during a cattle drive. This horse's eyes never left the cows or strayed from the job at hand. You can't put a price on a horse like that.
This is a commission that I finished last week. This birdhouse is in a neighbor's yard and I have wanted to paint it for some time. I loved placing the yellows in contrast to each other. I call this one House Hunting. It is oil on canvas.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


This is a commission that I have been working on. You have no idea how hard it is to paint a snowy scene when the sun is shining outside and it is 75 degrees! I have all kinds of reference outside my window. There are chickadees, goldfinches, woodpeckers and orioles everywhere. We even have a deer and two fawns that come every day to the feeder. The larger of the two fawns has found a taste for my tomatoes unfortunately and I end up running them off every morning.
I will post as often as I can, but I have broken two ribs recently and have not been able to sit for long periods of time. So when I am not painting, I am researching my reference for more paintings. So hopefully I will be able to post more as I heal up.

Monday, August 25, 2008


This is my second time to paint this puppy. My friend's Golden Retrievers had 11 pups and the reference I got from them was invaluable! I took the photo of the sleeping puppy and put him on a quilt that my mother gave me. The colors blend together and have a soft dreamy feel. I have had this one in the works for almost two years...I don't know why it took me so long to finish it. I hope you like it.

Monday, August 18, 2008


It has been said that women are separated from men by our ability to multitask. Well, I am not sure that is true, but I do know that it is a talent I possess. When I was working in college, I could study, watch TV, and read a required paper all at the same time. Well, I am at it again...I have an oil painting, a pastel and a pencil going all at the same time. A first for me. Although my studio is not really set up to do oils and pastels at the same time, I am trying my best to make it work.

"Venturing Out-Raccoons" Oil on board

This is an 8x10 oil commission. It is about 10 hours from being done. This has been a lot of fun for me as I have never done wood textures to this extent in oil. It has been a frustration and a thrill at the same time! I call it Venturing Out, it seems that these two small raccoons are on their first trip out of the den. They have all the excitement and reservations in their expressions.

"Untitled-Golden Retriever Puppy" Pastel on Board

This is a pastel of a friend of mine's Golden Retriever puppy. I photographed her entire litter, but the best pictures I got were from when they were asleep. All the tough stuff is done on this, I just need to finish the back of the puppy and the quilt. It should be done in the next two days.

"Ready, Willing, and Able" Graphite

Pencils by far are my favorite medium. It is the medium I learned to be an artist with. The only thing about graphite that is unfortunate is the time. A pencil takes me twice as long as a pastel or an oil. Yet most customers don't recognize this time commitment and rarely pay an artist for a graphite painting what is deserved. Even though color can romance the eye, just take a moment and look closely at a graphite or scratch board drawing...I challenge you not to be impressed by the amount of layering and detail it takes. Just look at the works of Terry Miller and Paula Waterman's black and white work and you will see it done in the best light.

I have played with all kinds of pencils and techniques but I have recently fallen in love with Cretacolors Nero pencils. They are a mixture of charcoal and wax, they act just like graphite, but have a dark rich quality I just love!!! I hope to have this done by the end of the week, but...there is a lot to do with it. I paint with the pastels and oils during the day, and while my hubby and I watch the Olympics in the evening, I work on this piece. I will post as I finish each.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

At Rest-Cheetah

This is an older painting that I let leave the studio without a scan. My only record of it is a bad photo. Let this be a lesson to you artists out there...take the time and the money to scan all your work before it leaves your hands!!!!

Almost done...

This is 99 % done, now I will put it aside for a few days to a week and come back to it and see if there is anything that bugs me.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bit by bit

Just more layering and laying down values. This part gets hard, because it is tedious. I just have to remember to know that the outcome will be worth all the little steps.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Back in the saddle...

After two months of traveling, re-organizing my studio, and re-building my website, my painting has taken a back seat. I have paintings all drawn out, but only a few started. Now that all that other stuff is done, painting is all I need to do. But, getting back into the swing is not as easy as it sounds. You have to start with a painting that you really believe in. It has taken me about a dozen painting sketches, but I have one that I am really in love with. This is "Snow Day", named because I see the faces of the kids in my neighborhood who hear on the radio that school is cancelled today. I hope I caught that in these two timberwolves...

The background is simple enough, but I have to make the foreground really stand out to make this painting work. The biggest challenge right now is to keep the colors darker so that the final sparkle of whites will stand out.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We are online!!!

We just finished the website and it is up and running! It still needs a little tweaking, but are websites ever really done? It has a new look and is easier to navigate. The images are larger and clearer. Now I can get back to painting....whew.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ok...last one, I promise

I took one more trip out to the farm to get more pictures of puppies. What a great time that was! They are just so wonderful and playful. The only downside was the mosquitoes!!! I persevered though, we were all eaten alive but came home with some wonderful pictures.
Now, I have been working and I have several paintings on the go. I will post them when they pass that "ugly phase" that all paintings go through.
One thing that I have been working diligently on is my new website. It should be up and going in the next few weeks. It is going to be so much easier to navigate and have better graphics. I will be sure to post as soon as it is up.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Somebody stop me......

I have to admit that I have a problem....I never have enough reference. I find myself running out of card space and memory because of all my picture taking. Not to mention the fact that I put more money into my camera equipment than groceries. I thought I would share some of the photos I have taken recently. I have not posted paintings for a while because I am getting my studio organized and ready for a new floor.

I have found that even though I have enough reference to last me a lifetime of paintings, just the act of going out into the field and looking for wildlife stirs the creative juices and gets me excited about working.
You never know what you are going to find, just go out and look. Sometimes you only have to look out your back door, other times, you may have to look a little harder and be a little more patient. One of the best things I have learned since I have started this career, is to not be in such a rush. Great rewards come to those who wait...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Story of Charlie and Gretzky

When John and I lived in Burbank, Ca we frequented a pet store close to us to keep our fish tanks going. One day, I was greeted by a small corgi puppy that stole my heart. I played with him and eventually talked my husband into buying him. Now, keep in mind, I am a knowledgeable pet owner...I know that you should never buy a puppy from a pet store, but he was too adorable to say no to. Even though we lived in a no pet apartment complex, we bought him and brought him home. He was our baby, our sweet boy. We had no idea where he had came from, or what his breeding was, all we knew was that we had to have him. Charlie lived with us for 12 wonderful years...but, his health and behavior issues would plague us throughout that time. By the time we had to make the decision to put him down, his medical bills cost us at least 12,000 dollars. He was a puppy mill dog from Missouri. A year after we got him, we bought another corgi from the same pet store. He had health issues as well, but his emotional problems far exceeded his physical problems. We lost him at 15 years old. All the time we had these two wonderful dogs, they never suffered loneliness, abandonment or lack of veterinary care, but they almost put us in the poor house.
You can look at this two ways...we gave these two poor dogs a wonderful home and the best care. You can also say that we fed money into the monster of the pet store/puppy mill machine. Yes, we loved them dearly and gave them wonderful lives, but what of their mothers? A Corgi mother that churns out puppies for profit, never seeing the loving home her pups see?
I don't like to preach, but on this subject I must. We now own two wonderful, healthy corgis that I got from respectable, honest breeders and one shepherd mix rescue with a pacemaker that is our pride and joy.
I have to ask that if you are looking for a dog, please do not buy from a pet fact, do not even patronize pet stores that sell puppies and kittens. Shelters put dog and cats to sleep at the rate of 15 to 40 a day. This includes purebreds and puppies. Talk to your local ASPCA or breed rescues if you are looking for a dog. If you do not find the breed you are looking for, find a local breeder where you can meet the parents, see the facility that the dogs are living in and research the bloodline. Most of you will research a car that you will drive for 3 to 5 years, why not do the same for a family pet that will be with you for 10+ years?
Please forgive my soapbox, but I am trying to pass on the knowledge I have gained from my own experience.
I would not give up the years that we shared with Charlie and Gretzky, but I also harbor guilt that we gave money into the puppy mill pocket. Next time you are at a pet store and you see that adorable puppy, know that when you walk away from that purchase, you are not abandoning that dog, but you are saying no to the vicious circle of the puppy mill. If we stop buying the puppies from these dealers, the pet stores will stop buying the puppies from the mills, thus breaking the cycle.
Thank you for letting me vent on this topic, it is near to my heart.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A New Gallery Addition!

I am honored to have been asked to be included in the new gallery, Cody Fine Art, located in Cody, Wyoming. It is owned by Colleen and Steve Aichley from Fallbrook California. The gallery opens on the 23rd of May and should be a wonderful show. The website is still under construction, but bookmark it for the future,

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Spring has Sprung!!!!

This is my favorite time of year. We had a really cold winter this year and our Spring is coming along slowly. Now I am not complaining...I usually miss so much of those first signs of Spring because I am on the road doing shows. I was so excited to come home and finally get to see my tulips before they were gone. And of course all the babies!! The Canada geese are in a local refuge and they are all over the place.

And we have a new addition at the barn. This is Terri's new baby that came two weeks ago.

He is feeling a spring in his step like all of us! We have another Paint baby there and more on the way. Expect to see more pictures soon. Now get outside and kick up your heels!!!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

32nd San Dimas Festival of Western Art 2008

There are not enough words to say how much I love this show. Every one is so wonderful and energetic. They take such good care of the artists, we want for nothing!
The exciting news for me from the show is I received a whopping three nominations for awards and won the Bronze Medal for First String, and the Silver Medal for The Kiss. It was a great honor. My thanks go to the judges for giving me such a great honor. The Bold and the Beautiful received the third nomination.

You can see the website for them at

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Staff Meeting

My husband loves the title of this painting. He seems to spend a majority of his day in meetings, it is a wonder he gets anything done. When I was painting this, I thought to myself, I wonder if he is talking with his dog about the day's work ahead of them. This is a picture of Jake and his dog, Mulie. I have never seen such devotion in a dog than I did in this one. His eyes never left Jake's face and he was ready for any command that he might call out.
The photo of the painting is one I took on the easel. I can not seem to get a good picture of my work, regardless of really good lights and a great camera...if anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear them.

Bold and the Beautiful

I haven't posted for a while, but I promise that I have been working! Unfortunately working doesn't always include painting. Bills, taxes, marketing...all take time. This is one for the San Dimas show and also for the Appaloosa Journal cover competition. Hope you like it.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Minnesota's April Fools Prank

After a weekend of 40's and near 50's, we woke up on Monday to a blizzard outside our window. A small "weather event" turned into a complete white out with snow totals around here in the 4-6 inch range. Don't get me was spectacular. I turned on the fire, sat down with all my shades open and painted all day. Now the reason I call this an April Fools prank is, we woke up April 1st to this...
This picture was taken at 8:00 am Tuesday Morning...

This picture was taken 8:00 am Friday morning...

Now that is what I call a convenient snowstorm!!!

I enjoyed this snowburst, but I am ready for spring now!