Thursday, August 25, 2016

Rock Blocks

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I painted this one after a hike up to Iceberg Lake (from Ediza) last week. The water was spectacular, but for some reason this scene was calling me even more. I think the thing I love most about this place is the rocks. Can you tell?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


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This is my first painting (that turned out) from our trip up into the Sierra Nevada mountains last week. There was a little waterfall just to the left and I tried painting that first, but it was a disaster. Despite that, and a few other failures, there were no major disasters, and we all had a wonderful time!

I did see two bears: one from the car driving in, and the other in our camp a couple of evenings, keen on getting our food. Fortunately he ran away when we yelled at him. He did manage to snag some instant coffee and a couple of days later we found a big sludgy pile of bear poop near camp. Poor guy must have had indigestion!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Sierra Sunrise

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This one was practice for my upcoming mountain trip. I did it from a photo I took up there last year, as the sun was rising and there were still lots of big shadows on the rocks. It will be the last painting I post before I leave on Saturday, because I've got to pack. After a day of driving, we'll spend half the day hiking up the mountain, 5 days painting, and another half day hiking out (assuming no one needs a helicopter, again). : ) Be thinking nice thoughts for me, and will the bears and mountain lions into nice, friendly moods. If all goes well, I'll be back home again around August 22nd.

Monday, August 08, 2016


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I painted the same scene again (as yesterday) but from further up and zoomed out. I really love these two trees and the rocks they cast shadows on. Plus it has the benefit of being off the beaten path. At the top there are a gazillion people. And wind.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Top of the World

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Here is another view from the top of our butte here in Eugene. I ended up working on it over two sessions. The rocks in the first version were ... pink. So I hauled it up a second time when it was dry and redid that and some of the rest. Which means it will need a coat of varnish before I ship, fyi. The little green bits at the front are poison oak, my sworn enemy. It's all over the place up there, actually, but somehow I've managed to avoid getting any on me this season (knock on wood), so far.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Tree Sandwich

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In one week I'll be driving to California, hiking up into the mountains, and camping/painting for 5 days with friends. To get my body ready, I've been hiking up to the top of our local butte (Spencer's) with my pack. And while I'm up there, I also practice painting. This is the first painting I did up there. This is our dry season here in Oregon - the darker layers are trees, and the lighter layers are golden fields.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Out Back

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A few evenings ago I met a friend to paint at a local grange hall just outside of Eugene. I had driven by another day around 6pm and the light was fantastic. When I got there, I realized that the front had an elaborate wheelchair ramp that seemed way to complicated (and not very pretty) to paint, so I wandered around back. I fell in love with the light hitting the side of the main building, and the little shed further back. It was evening so the light was very golden.

Thursday, August 04, 2016


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I spotted this gal in Germany last time I was there and snapped a quick picture. The back-light was just too perfect. I had fun making some things sketchy and some more solid.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Red Hat in the Sun

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Here is another Portland scene, from the Hawthorne District. This is a popular little strip with lots of hip shops and restaurants. Mr. red hat was outside in the full sun, probably waiting for his buddies, or his girlfriend. I love the tiny red reflection of his hat in the window.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Observing the Observer

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A gal wrote to me recently and asked a question about when to wash paintbrushes, and how to keep from using so many rags/paper towels. Here's my answer, in case you struggle with the same thing:

There is no such thing as a TOO CLEAN paintbrush! That said, you don't need to clean your brush between mixing every color. Often I find I am in a particular color family, and the next mix is still within that family, but either darker or lighter or grayer. For those colors I just add a little bit of new paint to adjust, with all the paint from the original color still on my brush.

That said, if you need to mix a color that has no white, and you have a color on your brush that has even a tiny bit of white in it, you'll need to clean it. Or if you're going for a really saturated color, one that has only one or two tube colors in it, and you have something with more colors than that on your brush, then you need to clean it. I find myself mixing a lot of "grays," (colors that include red, blue, yellow and maybe white), and when I'm going from one gray to another, I don't often have to clean unless the values are very different, and even then sometimes just starting a new pile on my palette is enough.

I often see people with rags IN their hands. I think this leads to 1. much wasting of rags, and 2. potential for getting paint on your hands and then everything else! So for a long time I've been putting my rag (actually I use a folded up piece of high quality paper towel - shop variety) right beside my palette. When I'm ready to clean my brush, I use one side of the paper towel (the right side, say) to wipe off some of the excess paint, then clean my brush in OMS, then wipe the bristles (& ferrule) on the left side of my paper towel. The first wipe gets the majority of the paint off the brush, which keeps my OMS cleaner. Often, with this method, I end up using one or two paper towels for an entire painting! My students make fun of me for it, and for being so clean and never getting paint on my clothes. : )

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Friday, July 29, 2016

Dapples on Silver

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This is yet another little scene from Portland. It's an unusual composition, yes, but I like it. I find I'm drawn to shadows, especially dappl-y ones like this.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Ruby Steps

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This is another one from Portland. I have to admit that about halfway through this one I almost wiped it off. But I'm so glad I stuck with it!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Slanty Bits of Light 1 & 2

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I'm going out on a limb here and showing you some experiments. I did two of this same Portland neighborhood scene in order to try out some things. On both I tried blocking in the whole thing first and then refining, which I don't usually do. BUT, I'm finding that works really well with landscapes, and specifically, foliage. I also used my new round brush on a lot of it. I'm not jumping up and down with joy about either, but my husband liked them, so I thought I'd put them out there.

I'd love to start a conversation about blocking in vs. not and process in general. As I try new things I have mixed results, and I'd love to hear what works for you, IF you feel like sharing. Thanks.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Empty Full

This is the last of my bell pepper series. My house guests arrived the day after I painted this one, and I discovered the peppers, 10 days later, completely abandoned in my shadow box, slowly decomposing into the bowl. Woops!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Blending In

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This is pose three for my bell peppers. I caught them trying to blend in with my other still life subjects. I think they're shy.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Casual Negligence

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Recently my son and I were walking down the street and he started doing some random acrobatics. I said, "What is that, parkay?" He said, "Mom, it's called parkour." Yeah, I guess parkay is something totally different. But hey, it's my job to be uncool, right?

Anyway, the orange pepper here is practicing parkour with dishes, and the yellow pepper is failing to be impressed.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

But I Like it in Here

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These peppers called to me at the grocery store. This is the first of a series I did of them before our house-guests arrived. My son-in-law gave me the idea for the title. Actually, the whole room got involved, and it was his idea I liked best. Thanks, Boone!