Thursday, January 21, 2021

Sharing a Bed


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Every once in a while I think of a title like this and I am baffled that after 3000+ paintings, I haven't used it before! I took photos of these tulips in Dallas a few years ago at the Botanical Gardens with my good friend, Jackie. I kept passing them over to paint in oil, but man it works in gouache (IMHO)! Which is the great thing about using more than one medium.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021



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I posted the reference photo for this at the beginning of the month/year. It was for this month's Daily Paintworks Challenge, all about resolutions. One of my personal resolutions is to paint more flowers on larger panels, but the past few days I've been doing a few little paintings as a warm up (and to try and get myself out of a funk I've been going through). It worked! And this is one of the little ones I did.

I have a bunch more references of these flowers that I'm going to play with. One thing I realized is that I was intimidated by going large, so these little studies are a GREAT way to get warmed up, try some ideas for editing, and just see what works and what doesn't. So expect more, and eventually, larger versions.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Mind Your Own Business


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Thank you for all the feedback on yesterday's post! It makes me very happy/sad to hear that so many experience the same emotional turmoil when art doesn't work out. I'm happy to know I'm not alone, but sad that we all have to suffer. : ( Someone suggested that the bad feeling usually comes before a breakthrough. Looking back, I would say that's usually true. Unfortunately it doesn't make the bad feeling any easier to slog through, especially when you have no clue how long it will last. Someone else suggested that winter often comes with an ebb. I wonder if that's linked at all to winter weight? Seems like they might go together. Ha. ; )

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Three Vases


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I'm going through an ebb in my studio, which is why I'm really glad I still have some paintings from before that I haven't posted. I was particularly happy with this one.

My husband said to me once that my mood is only as good as my last painting. Over the years I have realized just how true this is! When I do a painting that doesn't work out, I feel discouraged. When I do five paintings in a row that don't work out, I feel like crawling into a hole. Nothing seems possible, so I don't feel like trying. And while I've done it many times, it's awfully hard to crawl out of that hole. So I'm wondering - is it just me? Or are most artists this sensitive? How about you?

Tuesday, January 12, 2021



Click Here to Bid (3x5in. - GOUACHE - starts at $75)

I have a particular fondness for waterfowl, and I have no idea why. Actually, I think all birds are beautiful. We have a feeder in our backyard, and a pair of binoculars inside by the window so we can see them up close. Unfortunately we don't get many water birds here in Montana. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Green Placemat

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This one ended up being tough to paint, and I had to do it in two goes. The main reason is that the bright green color was SO bright (saturated) that any contamination (which is oil paint's middle name) made it look dirty. To get the color I used phthalo blue and cadmium lemon yellow (neither of which contain any red), and waited until the first pass was dry before I put the new color on.

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Clouds Rising


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This is from a photo I took back in summer. Our Montana winter has been really beautiful as well, but we haven't ventured out nearly as much. I'm sure I will get braver with time. Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to the great hiking opportunities summer brings!

Friday, January 08, 2021

Angry Alarm


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I found a new source for royalty free images - I've been regularly scouring this and other sites for images, and saving them into folders by animal. Unfortunately I have completely neglected to jot down the names of the photographers, which would have been necessary to give individual shout-outs. So I would just like to put out a big THANK YOU to all who share their photos for us artists to use!!! Your generosity is very much appreciated.

Also, I recently posted this month's Daily Paintworks Challenge, in which I ask you to share your resolution(s) for the year, in art. In it I share this photo I took recently of a subject I plan to paint more of this year. Feel free to use it if you're inspired!

Thursday, January 07, 2021

Cautious Kitty


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Here's something tiny and innocent, born into a crazy world.

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Love Notes


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When I was 21 and attending university in Texas, I signed up to teach arts and crafts at a summer camp in Maine. A couple of months before I flew there I met the man who would become my husband. Over that summer I wrote more letters than I ever had in my life (and probably since). And he wrote me even more. It was a bittersweet summer that I'll never forget, and it was definitely on my mind while I painted this. Ahh, the adventure of life.

Monday, January 04, 2021

Mama Cow


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A belated happy new year to everyone! I know it's been said a billion times already, but I hope, for all our sakes, that this one goes better than the last. So here's a cow to start us on the journey towards greener pastures.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The Yellow Pitcher


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Once again, this horizontal format just doesn't show well online, so PLEASE click the image to view it larger. I was so excited when I came up with the composition, and am really happy with how it turned out. I used brushes, knives and a squeegee, so it has lots of fun texture. Thanks for looking. : )

Tuesday, December 29, 2020


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And now for an oil kitty. Or a kitty painted with oil... Can you tell I've already had a glass of wine? : )

Monday, December 28, 2020



Click Here to Bid (4x5in. - GOUACHE - starts at $75)

I've been asked quite a few times lately to make a gouache tutorial. But I've only been using this medium now for a few months. And I have just as many paintings that work out as don't. As soon as I start seeing some patterns of things that lead to success, you can bet I'll start writing them down. And when I have enough of those things, and I'm sure they might actually be helpful, I will share. Until then, here's another experiment that I like. : ) Thank you for your patience.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Hey Cutie


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Ever since I started playing pickleball (3 or 4 days a week for a couple hours each time), my painting productivity has taken a huge nosedive! It seems something relatively small can disrupt my balance quite easily. But I think this is a pretty common issue. In fact my whole life has been a constant balancing act. I know I will figure it out. And the new year will be a good time to focus on it. Until then I'm kind of enjoying the holiday. : )

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Here's Your Piglet


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Hello! I hope everyone has had some lovely holidays. Ours was quiet, but I suppose most of us are in the same boat in that regard. I figure we could all use some cheering up, so here's the cutest little pink piglet ever.

And my cute little family.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Big Bear Yawn

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I used to be absolutely terrified of bears. Whenever I camped, I was awake half the night, paralyzed with fear. The only way I ever fell asleep was out of pure exhaustion. I think it took actually encountering a few bears out in the wild, and watching them turn tail and run away - more scared of me than I was of them - to lessen my fear. I still carry bear spray on hikes, (just in case) and am careful to make noise and be "bear aware," (especially now that I live in an area with grizzlies), but I am no longer up half the night when I camp. And I can see them as cute now instead of vicious. : )

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Nap Time

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Something that happens to me is that sometimes I'm inspired by something, and other times I'm not. And when I'm not, that thing looks ugly to me. Does that happen to you? Sometimes I think leaves are just the most spectacular things in the world, and sometimes I'm just like - yawn. It's so weird. Most often, of all the subjects I paint, there's something I can get excited about. But once in a while everything looks ugly to me, and that's when I remind myself to take a break.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Don't Be Caught with Your Pants Down


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I don't know why, but this one makes me think of getting caught doing something embarrassing. Like he was in the middle of changing his (striped) underwear. I have experience doing embarrassing things, so I know what it looks like.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Overcast Florence

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This is a scene from Florence, Italy. A large proportion of the days I was there were overcast. At first I was really disappointed, because I love light and shadow, but then I realized there is a lovely subtlety to gray days. That subtlety is hard to paint - don't get me wrong! But if you work at it, it can be captured. : ) I'm really happy with this one.

Here's a close-up of the texture in the sky. ->