Thursday, October 29, 2009

Golden Girls

A few years ago, I attended the Draft Horse Classic in Grass Valley, CA. It was here that I got the opportunity to photograph the American Creme Draft Horse. There is so much to these "gentle giants" but the most amazing is the way their coats glow in the morning sun. This is a small painting, 5"x7" in pastel.
Please go to the website for the history of this amazing breed.


I seem to be a little enamored with pencils lately. Not hard to understand because that is where I started. I have always said to my students, you can not paint unless you can is the foundation that all paintings start.
This is a trumpeter swan that I photographed in Yellowstone years ago. It has a long way to go, but I am enjoying the journey.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Stars in Stripes

I am having fun with pencil again. This time, I take a gesso board and coat it with graphite...then I take a kneaded eraser and an electric eraser and pull the image out. And for the final touch, I take an x-acto blade and scratch in the highlights. This is so much fun that I have to remember to finish my color paintings before I leave for my next show...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Red on Red

We have apple trees and cardinals all around our neighborhood. I think there is no better pairing than those is my interpretation of that.

My retriever Corgi

My neighbor gave my corgi, Zoe, a new toy and she just loves it. She is not a big "toy" dog, so the fact that she loves this so much makes it funnier...

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Keepers

These are two elephants of a herd of more than 40 I saw in South Africa. I call it The Keepers because there was a small newborn that they all surrounded and kept themselves between us the it. They were very protective, but not afraid.
This is a pencil on gesso board.


This is a sunflower right outside my studio window, I can see it from my easel. The chickadee is from the feeder just above it. The day after I painted this, a hard frost came and killed the sunflower. I am glad that I did not wait to paint it, it was nice to work from the photo and from the flower itself.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

For cat lovers...

I really hate to forward things, so instead of sending this through email, I thought I would post it here. I received this from a friend and every time I watch it, it makes me laugh. I have many friends with cats and I thought they might relate to this...

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Busy, busy...

This is two in a series of songbirds I have been commissioned to do. Hopefully I will finish it today and get to work on the others! No rest for the weary...

Sunday, October 04, 2009

My secret passion....

I am a huge carousel fanatic. Ever since my first visit to Disneyland as a kid, I saw my first real, life size horse carousel and I was hooked. Since then, I take every opportunity to see every carousel I can. On my trip home from a recent visit to Oklahoma, I found an early 1900 vintage carousel in Iowa. This weekend, I visited the Cafesjian's carousel in Como Park in St Paul. This 1914, 68 horse carousel has a fascinating was commissioned by a private investor in 1914 from the Philadelphia Toboggan Company for 8,500 dollars, barely survived a fire in 1939, and then in 1988 was rescued from an auction. The carousel is definitely a lost art in this country, and one to be treasured. The artistry and craftsmanship is a sight to behold. I was lucky enough to visit three of these historic landmarks this summer, and I hope to see all of them someday. Each one has an amazing history, from the hand carved animals to the restorations and "rescues". Visit the website for more information on this amazing landmark and more on the precious few carousels left in the U.S.
And by the way...yes...I rode the carousel today, and yes...I was a child again for just a moment.
You can see the fire damage on this horse...the restorers decided to keep a few of the horses in their damaged state so the delicacy of these treasures could be realized.
Each horse is hand carved and one of a kind...

For only $1.50, you can be transported back to your well spent in my opinion.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


I still have some clean-up work to do, but it is basically done.
"Royal Colors" Pastel 5"x7"

Putting it together...

My husband and I live for our weekend trail rides on our horses. The farm where we board them has wonderful trails, including trails through the woods and through a prairie area. The prairie trail is full of thistles and a few weeks ago we noticed that they were in that transition period from the beautiful purple blooms to the white fluffy seed pods. Among them, there were hundreds of goldfinches that we scattered as we rode through. This is a painting from a ride that I took my camera on. I love the contrast in colors and the blend of sharp thorns and soft textures. I will be putting in the goldfinch today and I can't wait!