Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fawn-Deux, W.I.P.

This should be interesting. Wildlife are not necessarily in my niche, but the colors and shapes were awesome, so I just have to paint this lovely little pair my husband and I came across a few months ago.

We shall see how it turns out.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Increasing interest

My four year old has started showing increasing interest in painting lately, especially with my artist's oils (haha!). So he helped me prime some canvases today.

He was so keen on it, I barely had enough time to put the first on the porch (in the sun to help speed up the drying time) when he was well into priming the second.

Ahhhh, warms the cockles of my heart to see such a thing!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Years ago I had two separate painting styles. Sort of...

I had my whimsical pieces full of sea chickens and flying fish, and my first attempts at Plein air painting landscapes- what I called "serious" work. I chose to go the "serious" route because I needed to make a living. Luckily, I found myself falling more and more in love with landscapes and their ever changing beauty so I didn't feel the loss of that imaginative play that comes with the whimsical work.

My husband, Nick, (a king of country living and all things manly) said something the other day about my style being so different from most other landscape painters that I could paint the twin fawns we just saw and it wouldn't be like other wildlife pieces. I started looking closer at my work, trying to see what made it so different.

I was mulling over the two cattle ramp pieces I just finished, and my next painting adventure (this next one includes a bet and an odd sort of commission) when it hit me-
Quietly, over a relatively short period of time, the whimsy has found its way into my "serious" paintings. Or maybe it was always there and I just didn't see it. Or maybe it was trying to be there but can only come out when I let the painting paint itself.
However it got there, I'm glad it came. It's like seeing an old friend, and knowing the friend is here to stay.

Painting is such a lovely form of self exploration and discovery. The whimsy in my work is like that inner being that I am, always have been, and always will be. (The spirit. That part of us that is forever in contact with Infinite Intelligence.)
Sometimes I lose touch with my inner self and everything seems to fall apart. Then one day, something clicks and I see that everything I thought I had lost has been there the whole time.
How cool is that?

The piece in this post is one of my recent cattle ramp pieces. It'll be in Whistle Pik shortly. The other will make its debut at the November show.

(I apologize for the picture quality, I took it with my phone. I'll have a better image on my website later, and the gallery will have one when the piece goes in. If you would like purchasing information, feel free to contact Ms Mary or Ms Julie at Whistle Pik Galleries.)

Oil on canvas

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Decisions, decisions... And painter's block.

My fabulous new brushes came in a while back and I adore them! Thank you Rosemary & Co!
My husband/business manager always says to work with the best materials you can afford. You can only go so far with crummy supplies.

That said, it is time to move on to a more pressing matter...

What to paint?
Oh dear Lord, this decision sometimes stops me in my tracks and leaves me boggled for what feels like an eternity.

I swear I have a million or more reference photos full of wonderful content but nothing is ringing a bell... yet. Ever have that issue?

I grumbled to myself for a few hours today about not knowing what to paint next when I remembered something oh-so-very-lovely!

One of my all time painting heroes, Kevin MacPherson, suggested in his book, Fill Your Oil Paintings With Light and Color,to make a scrap book of artwork you love for those times when you need a break or a touch of inspiration (p. 120).

I love to cut images from art magazines and paste them into my little inspiration book.

I have masters mingling with newbies, landscapes with figures. There is no particular rhyme or reason to my inspiration book other than every image pasted in it is a particular favorite of mine for some reason or another. And boy do I have a LOT of favorites! I find at least one or two in every art magazine.

What I love most is how everything in the "regular" world starts to look like a painting after absorbing my little clip art collection.

It's a wonderful exercise, and I have to remind myself to do it sometimes. Especially when I am stuck and frustrated.... Foaming at the mouth.

Moral of the story:
If you find yourself in Drabsville, immerse your senses in work you admire.

(It's all about focusing on the things you love rather than nitpicking about the things you don't. Attitude is everything!)

I posted a couple of images from my inspiration book. I'd tell you who the artists are if I had only written them down when I cut out the images... Hmm. Note to self: keep better notes.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

It's official. Some of my favorite brushes are shot. Sigh.
Goodbye soon, dear friends! I will scrub my canvas with your sweet little carcasses for just a little while longer.... Until your replacements come in. Muahahahaha!

Getting new brushes is like getting a fresh haircut, or a new wardrobe! My business manager made a very good point. From now on, I am to have three or four back-ups of the brushes I use most so I don't have to fight stray bristles while waiting on the postman to deliver reinforcements.

Makes sense. But then, that's why I pay him the big bucks. Hahaha! I'm so busy thinking about everything but the tools I work with that I back myself into a corner, surrounded by splay-ended brushes and empty paint tubes.

Moral of the story, folks....

Marry a business minded person and the creative process suddenly has a backup system!

A very wise man told me:
"Behind every good artists is someone who knows what they are doing!"

Hahaha! I love it!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Morning Fog

I can't stress enough how much I love where I live. This place has more variety than you could shake a stick at... But it all still fits.

We have been getting these gloriously foggy mornings lately and I got about a million reference photos to and from dropping Soren off at school last week. This is from my first batch of pics. I'd like to do some larger paintings like this, but am having a bit of a love/hate relationship with anything over a 5x7 right now. Which is not such a bad thing, since the gallery doesn't have many of my small pieces right now.

I like this one. It'll be in Whistle Pik as soon as it is dry!

Morning Fog
Oil on canvas panel

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Painting and the Color Wheel

Mr Ronald asked me to expand on something I mentioned a while back about the color wheel and painting.

All too often, we look at an object and say, "this part is in shadow so I will use cool colors to define it, and I will use warm colors to define my highlights." or vise versa.... But! When you reeeeeaaaaally look at the colors within any particular shape and value, you will see amazing variations of reds, blues, yellows, and their combinations.
Colors reflect off of everything around a subject. Look for it. The biggest mistake every artist makes at one time in his or her life is the assumption that an orange is actually orange.

The more I look for slight variations within a color, the more colors I see. If I can do it, anyone can.

Does that help?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WIP- Gated Community

I was roaming around Mason County early one morning and came across this gorgeous little scene. I loved the lighting and the cacti growing unchecked behind the fence. My husband came up with the title. He is really good with titles, which is great because I am not.

I started this piece by doing a pretty detailed sketch on the red primed canvas, then laying in my shadow areas with varying thicknesses of "dark." Kind of feeling the urge to lay in the sky next to balance out some of that dark and help put things into perspective. Balance is everything!... And nothing all at once... We'll see how the work progresses over the next few days.


Friday, January 13, 2012


Another new addition to Whistle Pik Galleries, I painted this one in December from a reference photo of a homestead in the Tivydale area.

To me, this piece oozes summer breezes, buzzing insects, and the glorious smells of warm grasses and fresh earth.
I love summertime!

Oil on canvas panel

East Gate

I painted this little plein air piece at the opening for Whistle Pik's Fall Show 2011, and it finally made it's way into the gallery this month.

A fun painting, I loved all the reflected light on the brickwork and the glowing backlit leaves above the gate.

East Gate
Oil on canvas panel

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


We drew names for Christmas this year, and I got my mother-in-law's, Sylvia, in a round about sort of way.... Nick and I traded, Hahaha!
I went out to the folk's place a couple of times trying to get some reference photos of one of Sylvia's horses, but kept coming up with duds.
Then Nick mentioned Bo, who has been gone for years. Apparently, some lucky people get a "once in a lifetime" horse, and Bo was Sylvia's. So, we hung out one evening until Sylvia went to sleep and John, my father-in-law, and Nick started digging up picture after picture of Bo.
I chose two of this location in Missouri with John and Sylvia riding Bo and Jolie, and combined the subjects and background.

I like how it turned out!

Walkin' On Water
Oil on canvas panel

Friday, January 6, 2012

oil on canvas

Such a simple painting, but of all the pieces I have done of that sweet little homestead, this is one of my all-time favorites. 2093 found a new home while at the Fall Show 2011 at Whistle Pik Galleries.  

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

One of my favorites

A while back, Nick and I were on a back road to Sandy, TX and we came across this bull pen. It was loaded with beefy, fat-headed Herefords (which looked kind of odd since the cattle everywhere else looked like stick figures because of the drought). I drove back about a week later and sat waiting for dawn. I took several hundred photos and used two. Haha!

I love the warm reflected light in the cool shadows of the bulls' faces.
I got to study contrast with this piece- lost and found lines, warm and cool colors, and light and dark values.

I would have been very happy to keep the Three Stooges, but they sold in the November show. They are where they are supposed to be, and I am grateful they have a wonderful home.

The Three Stooges
Oil on canvas panel