Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Ruby Lake Rocks


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Another one from my Sierra trip. On this day I wanted to hike to Ruby Lake, which was quite a trek. I asked all my painting pals and had no takers, so I did it by myself. It was a lovely day. The shadows on these rocks changed super fast, so I took lots of pictures as I painted, and clarified it a bit more in my studio. I seem to be more interested in what I call "outdoor still lifes" than "landscapes."

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Atop the Granite


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Here is another painting from my August trip into the Sierras. It was done mostly on location, with just a few small touch-ups back in my studio. This spot is about 10 minutes from base camp, and one of my favorite granite outcroppings. Over the years I've painted it from several different angles.

Perhaps because our group is getting older, about half decided to ride horses in this time. I hiked in, but rode a horse out. Here is a picture of the in-riders. One benefit of riding is that instead of always watching where you're stepping next, you can look around and appreciate the view. The downside is that afterwards you're sore in places you didn't even know you had!

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Early Rocks


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Hi there! I got home from my California trip last week, but have been so busy with visits from relatives, helping a friend move, and catching up in general that I haven't had a chance to post, much less touch up any paintings. Until today. To the right you will see my illustrious, Sierra, painting pals (names below), and above is the first painting I did (a morning scene). We hiked to Garnet Lake this year. As usual, we carried our art gear and mules hauled our camping gear, food and (fabulous) cook. We camped for 5 days in the same spot, pitching our easels where/whenever we felt inspired, making sure to roll back into camp in time for cocktails and dinner. Every year we say it was the "trip of a lifetime," and this was no exception. The place is amazing, but the people put it over the top.

Pictured (L to R): Mark Fehlman, Cleo Villett, Kim Lordier, Terry Miura, Michele de Braganca, Bill Cone, Tia Kratter, Scott Hamill, myself, Karen (cook), Elizabeth (cook's daughter), & Paul Kratter.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Farewell Rose

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Tomorrow I take off towards the Sierra Nevadas for my painting trip! It took forever to pack for this, since once you get up there, if you've forgotten a single thing, you're pretty screwed. Needless to say I've been over my list about 100 times.

Unfortunately this trip means I won't be able to ship anything until as late as Sep 8.

Here's one last painting, my farewell rose. Not that this is my final farewell. I will not be eaten by a bear or fall off the mountain and die alone with all my bones broken. In my life I've learned that if I picture the worst happening, then I'll be safe. But if you want to send out a little prayer on my behalf as well, I won't argue. Adios and until I return! : )

Sunday, August 15, 2021



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These three cuties were students of mine in an Italy workshop a couple years ago. We were probably waiting outside for our ride to dinner one evening, and they were sharing pictures from the day. It's always more enjoyable to paint people I know because then I think of them fondly the whole time I'm painting.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Cherry Days


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Cherries tell me specifically that we are nearing the end of summer. Which means my kid is heading back to school soon, and I will be heading off to California to paint once again in the Sierra Nevadas. Here is an example from my last trip, two years ago. That place is freaking MADE for artists. I'm leaving in a week, so will still have a few paintings to show you before then.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

The Big Bench


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I love this horizontal format, but they look so small here! Make sure you click on the image to see it larger. This scene is from references I took in Florence, Italy a couple years ago. I'm looking forward to going back someday.

Monday, August 09, 2021

Flying Roses


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“The Rose is without an explanation; She blooms, because She blooms.” 
– Angelus Silesius

Sunday, August 08, 2021

Cutie-pants Rose


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Roses are a challenge to paint, but roses in SHADOW are extra mega challenging. This is because each little shift in color/value is super duper freakin' crazy subtle. Whew.

Saturday, August 07, 2021

Cherries for Tea


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A few days ago I posted two paintings and asked which was your favorite. The results? Pretty much tied! Thank you to the many who voted, even if your answer was unsure. It was very interesting for me, and proved once again, that there are no sure answers in art. Only opinions. : )

Wednesday, August 04, 2021


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As you can see, I did two versions of this composition, with a different colored background each time. I did this because after the first one (blue) I realized I had made the reflections just a little too tall, and wanted a chance to correct it. I was SURE the second one would be way better. And thought so right after. But after a few days I had a fresh look at them, and now I'm not sure which one I like better. And so I'd love to know what you think. : )

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When I do reflections like this, I use a piece of glass (rather than a mirror). After doing the blue version, I switched out the background color for red, but didn't change the color under the glass (still blue). This is why there is a bit of reflected blue on the bottoms of the cups.

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Wake Up, Sleepy Heads!


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The cherries were sleeping. One woke up and decided it was time to start the day. But what on earth do cherries get up to? Other than bothering me to paint their portraits.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Pink Peaks


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Even though roses are a challenge to paint, I find a certain zen in the attempt. Even the ones that don't turn out are still fun in the doing. I do like this one.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Delicate Rose


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This one was SO hard to paint. Such subtle transitions between colors and values. I probably should have painted it upside down. That can make it easier to see sometimes, without your brain thinking "rose" and "petals." Next time.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021



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The cherries asked if they could star in their very own painting, with out any co-stars. They get annoying if they don't get their way, so I gave in.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Lean on Green


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I found this lovely, light green cup at the 4-story antique store in downtown Missoula the other day. I don't think it's quite an "antique," but she came with a maroon twin, and I love them. The cherries do too.

Sunday, July 25, 2021



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The creative life is a wild ride. Sometimes you're up and sometimes you're down. Sometimes the ideas poor out, and sometimes you completely forget how to paint.

I (re)learned some hard lessons this week about overworking. What I (re)learned was - don't do it. Because there's no undo in oil paint. So (after I got over feeling discouraged) I wiped a bunch of paintings and redid them, trying to focus on my old mantra: a poem, not a dissertation.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Separated by Peaches


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Sometimes a painting is so very much like I envisioned, and I feel so satisfied, that I want to do a mike drop and walk away. This one is that for me. It's not a feeling I have often. AKA, paintgasm.

Monday, July 19, 2021

When Blue Eat Peaches


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My favorite "moment" in this painting is where the top-right part of the bowl that's in shadow from the top-most peach, edges up (visually) against the blue that is behind the bowl. The value is almost exactly the same - almost. I bet you spotted it right off.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Please Protect Us


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Oh the antics these peaches get into with my dishes. As best I can guess, they were playing tag, the plate was it, and the blue cup was base. Or was it something else...