Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Marble #1

My first attempt at glass.
Marble #1 Pastel on Wallis 4"x 4"
Original available

Saturday, December 18, 2010

More backyard wildlife

And to think that I have the audacity to wonder why I don't have as many songbirds as usual...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My life...in turkey hell...

Ok...maybe it is just me...but when most artists look out their studio window, they see a beautiful landscape. I, however, see this. An obnoxious turkey who is p-o'd that there is no corn out there for him. They actually peck on the window now. It is starting to look like "The Birds" out there.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lab painting

I am doing a series of dog paintings for a company, I thought I would share the process with you. I first start with a rough pencil on my board. Here, I am using Ampersand cradled gesso board, 6x6. I then rough the image in with turp and color. From there, I build depth with layers, or glazes, of color. Finally, I add the highlights.

Backyard visitors...

We are going through hundreds of pounds of corn, peanuts, and sunflower seeds a week. I put out 100 pounds of corn on Tuesday morning and it was gone by Wednesday morning. Between the deer, racoons, turkeys, opossums, and birds, I can not keep up. I love having all the animals around us, but they are making us broke!!!

Monday, December 06, 2010

The art of listening (Re post from 2005)

I posted this in 2005, and seeing how it is the holiday season and we are all feeling the warmth of family, friends and home, I felt the need to re post. In the wake of what seems a wave of friends passing away, I thought this might be appropriate...
I recently busted my low carb lifestyle and dove into a huge plate of Chinese food. My passion. Put me on a desert island with a lifetime supply mu shu pork and don't even bother to send a rescue boat. At the end of the meal, I opened my fortune cookie and was totally taken off guard. We all know the silly fortunes that you can get, or the ones that say, "You will win the lottery today" but this one was really special. It simply read, Discover the world of your friends around you. Maybe this doesn't hit you like it did me, but I have for the longest time thought that we are so busy with our own lives, we lose sight of the world surrounding our friends. I have a friend that does not know the first thing about horses, nor does she really care. But she always makes a point of asking me about my horses and listens in earnest about my last horse show. That is so special. In return, I listen in earnest to her stories of her children and the nightmare of potty training, even though I have no kids of my own and have no idea where she is coming from. See how that works? When we step away from that which is interesting only to us, and learn to love the the things that our friends love, we become better friends and better people. So what if you don't care about fishing...if your best friend loves it, listen and learn. Who knows, you may learn to love it too? How boring would it be if all our friends had our same interests in every way? I love my friendships with whom I have very little in common. Yes...you read it right. I learn new ways of thinking from them, a new point of view. If the only people that I hung out with were people of like minds...how boring would that be? Take a step outside of what you know...listen, really listen, to your friend's passions. Re-learn the art of listening, and you might just be surprised by what you find out about yourself.

Thursday, December 02, 2010


I am often asked who is my inspiration, or what work inspires me...? How can I answer that question? I find inspiration in a sunset, or a friend's twinkle in their eye. If I had a go to artist that I look to when I feel lost, it is definitely William Bouguereau. When I was a kid, my family used to go to the Philbrook Museum in Tulsa, OK. While my family wandered on, I sat in front of his painting, Young Shepherdess, for what seemed hours. The glow of her skin, the texture of her clothes, everything about the painting excited me. Then I read this quote from him, and I understand the connection that I have always felt with him.
"Each day I go to my studio full of joy; in the evening when I am obliged to stop because of darkness I can scarcely wait for the morning to come...my work is not only a pleasure, it has become a necessity. No matter how many other things I have in my life, if I cannot give myself to my dear painting, I am miserable." William Bouguereau
I wish I could say that I went to my studio with this kind of passion every day, but it does happen every now and then. To live in a state of pure inspiration and enlightenment is a goal that I strive for. I believe that when we see artists of this level of talent, we can get a glimpse of the gift that they have been blessed with.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday Morning

We heard that there was going to be a snow last night, and for once, we were not mislead. It was not a big snow, but we got a few inches. These are the twins that I have put up on my blog before, they are bigger and furrier now, but still small. They were very disapointed that we did not have any deer feed out for them this morning. We are going through 150 pounds of corn in three days now and they are literally eating us out of house and home. This summer we were buying 250 lbs a week, but that is just too much to spend. So, we have decided that we will buy our three 50 lb bags on Saturday and when they are out, they are out. I don't think they are suffering at all! We were almost 50 degrees yesterday, but tonight will be cold, so we will put out some corn tonight before we go to bed. Yeah, yeah, yeah...we are suckers, I know.

Easton Waterfowl Festival 2010

It is no secret that I look forward to Easton show every year, it is by far one of my favorites. From the volunteers to the the time we artists get to spend together, it is a great weekend. Unfortunately, I caught a cold at the very beginning of the show and missed out on most of the activities. But by Sunday, I was feeling better and got a chance to get around and see my friends. They are all so talented, I wanted to share these pictures and links to their work with you. If you can take the time, check out the work of these amazing artists.
Linda Besse and I. She was one of the few people that would stand close to me while I was sick....and one of the few who didn't get the cold that we all passed around the show. Linda's oils are luminescent and have a life of their own. She is a sponge, always learning, always growing. I am happy to have her as a friend and a colleague. You can see her work at http://www.besseart.com/.
Ray Brown is a very talented graphite artist and fun to be around. He has helped me to appreciate the corvids in my life. You will just love his composition and use of space. His work can be seen at http://www.raybrownart.com/.

My new friend, Jason Tako and his lovely family. He has always been in another building, so we never got a chance to talk. Luckily, he was my neighbor this year and we found a common bond in that he is from Minnesota. His beautiful oils can be seen at http://www.jasontako.com/. BTW- his pintail painting took second place in the VIP Best in Show. Well deserved, Jason.

Ray Brown, Terry Miller, and Pete Zaluzec in a very serious conversation!!! Truthfully, knowing these three, there was nothing serious going on at all. Terry was another artist that was in another building at the show, but this year, right across from me. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to get to know him better and look at his wonderful art. Pete is a wonderful sculptor and I just love the things he does with his work. Take a look at Terry's amazing pencil work at http://www.terrymillerstudio.com/, and Pete's sculpture at http://www.petezaluzec.com/.

Pat Pauley and Rachelle Siegrist in one of their rare serious moments. Both wonderful wildlife artists, Pat does wonderful wildlife paintings and Rachelle and her husband Wes are two of the most talented miniature artists I have ever met. You can see Pat's work at http://www.patpauleyart.com/ and Wes and Rachelle's at http://www.artofwildlife.com/.

Karryl and her wonderful family. Karryl is a very talented sculptor who, I am happy to say, I have had a chance to add to my collection. Her animals have an expression of whimsy and character that captures your heart. You can see her work at http://www.karryl.com/.

Melanie Fain and Pete Zaluzec. Melanie does wonderful etchings that are both expressive and intimate. You can see her work at http://www.melaniefain.com/.

I can't express enough the admiration I have for these two artists. Lyn St Clair and her magical oils and Julie Bender and her pyrography. They do things with their medium that can not be described. See Lyn's work at http://www.wandermuse.blogspot.com/ and Julie's at http://www.juliebender.com/.

I don't want to slight anyone who was at the show, there are too many to name on this blog. I will add more pictures during the month and links to their websites.

Remember that art is the greatest gift you can give, and while thinking of Christmas gifts this year, take a look at the work of artists and consider beautifying your home or your friend's home with the talents of these artists.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Burning Bright...

I did it!!! Thanks for all the encouragement. I photographed this tiger at the Tulsa Zoo and she was just beautiful. I try not to paint zoo animals, but there are some animals that I can not catch on film in the wild. This was a labor of love, but I am happy with the result.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The mad dash...

I have had this painting drawn out for months. Because of commissions and pet dramas, I have not had a chance to start it. For some reason, I thought I could get it done before I leave for the Waterfowl Festival on Monday...can she do it??? Stay tuned....

The Veterans

A companion painting to the painting "The Rookies". My latest for the Waterfowl festival. Below is the painting that started it all.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

For fun...

I wanted to do a painting for fun, and this is it. This is one of our barn cats, he is expressive and full of personality. I wanted to play with the light on his fur and his eyes. This is about 2 hours of work so far...

Did you?

It is our right and our privilege.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Zoe meets the big bad barn cat....

While waiting at the barn for the vet to arrive, my corgi, Zoe, met the infamous big bad tomcat that rules the barn. She would never hurt a fly, so I encouraged her to make friends. She is completely confused on what to make of the situation...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dancing with the Light

My current pencil, Dancing With the Light. This is again my friend, Jane's horse Picasso. I photographed them in bright morning light, and it just was not dramatic enough for me. I am trying to add a little "drama" by making the background dark and the pulling out the whites. I am having fun with it, but it is also not that easy...wish me luck.

Into the Light

This is my latest pencil, Into the Light. It is of a portrait of Picasso, a beautiful andalusian owned by a friend of mine. Any time you can add such strong light into a piece, it is fun. This is graphite on watercolor board, 5x7. You can see it in person at the Waterfowl Festival in November.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


My latest work in progress. It is an oil of a pump from a historic farm in Elk River and a bluebird I photographed in my backyard. This is the point I like to put the painting aside and pull it out in a few weeks and fix what I can't see now.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I have not posted paintings in a while, but I can assure you that I am working. We had a curve ball thrown at us recently when our horse Cadillac got sick. To make a long story short, after exhaustive tests we discovered that he has a condition called Stylohyoid Disease. It is a thicking of a bone in his jaw. Presently he is in the hospital awaiting surgery on Monday. He is doing well and is eating a mash that the vets make up for him...which, BTW, he smears on me everytime I go visit.
Needless to say, I am just a bit distracted and I will post my latest painting soon.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


We have babies at the feeder every year, and for the last few years, twins! I never tire of watching them.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Ok, Ok...I gave into the cute on this one. These two were at a small zoo that I recently visited and I could not resist. It still has a long way to go, but I am having fun.
These two are sisters and were rescued from an oil spill. You just gotta love those faces!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The only way to see Central Park is through the ears of a horse...

My husband took me to NYC for our 19th anniversary where we met dear friends and played all weekend. We did everything, from the Empire State building to Liberty Island. But on the last day, we rode horses through Central Park and I must say, this is in my top 10 of greatest life experiences. Pardon the shakiness of the video, I was on a big horse, with a big stride, who was not too sure of the bagpipes!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

When God sneezes, it is called straight line winds...

As in most midwestern states, tornadoes and straight line winds create havoc for everyone. We were hit last weekend with one of the worst storms in quite some time. It took down 50 foot trees and as you can see, our gazebo.
But the most amazing thing happened...the next day, our neighbors, chainsaws and tools in hand, descended on us and helped us with the clean up. (Which was substantial!) I have never felt such a warm rush of friendship and community as I did this day. It was god-awful hot that day, so when we were done, we all gathered at a neighbor's pool for a rousing game of pool baseball, brats on the grill and much needed margaritas. Words can not express how proud and blessed I feel being a part of this amazing place. Thank you so much for making my life so rich.
Thanks goes to, Paul, Hans, the Holbrook family, and the Christ family. Our lives are richer because you are all a part of it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Holding On finished

This is when I put a piece away for a few days and then tweak it a bit before it goes to the scanner. By the way- next time I draw out fringe, stripes and rope...shoot me.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Keeping on "Holding On"

I have been down with a summer cold and no voice for the last four days, and today was my first day since my trip to WA to get back to work. This is today's effort. I hope to be done soon...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Babies, babies, babies...

We have raccoons at our feeder every day, sometimes all day. I thought this one was just fat! She brings her four little ones every day.
One of the MANY new kittens at the barn. John and this one had a bonding moment.

Finally, a fawn! All my neighbors have fawns in their yard all the time and not one here. I was so thrilled when I saw this little one yesterday.
Oh my goodness, the orioles. I count at least 20 plus at this point. It is such a thrill to see the parents bring the babies to the grape jelly I put out.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Holding On

Yesterday's work. This one took DAYS of drawing out...so many little lines, going in every direction...just my cup of tea!