Sunday, December 25, 2011

Where I Stand Sunday and Merry Christmas from the Central Plains

Not your usual Christmas...warmth of the sun, not even a breeze, about 50 degrees.
Quite a contrast to last year's Christmas blizzard.
Chaco and Bailey LOVE the warm sunshine...Chaco especially from my lap.
Merry Christmas everyone!  Best wishes for a prosperous (maybe prosperous isn't the word for this year - but you catch my drift) New Year!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Watercolor and Pastel Painting

"Elusive Visitor"
9" x 12"
watercolor and pastel on Strathmore hot press watermedia paper
This is from another entry in a visual journal I have started - although it doesn't seem to have any journaling in it.  First an artist, then a journaler...I have plenty of these books and there is another one and then another that I plan to do some journaling in, for now.  This particular book seems to continue with finished watercolor pieces.  Dr. Martin's watercolors are so bold on their brilliant colors,
and that is what is used in the background.  Done from a photo taken at the Denver Zoo, many years ago.  I chose to change the background from a concrete block wall to a wilderness area suitable for this predator
who is always on the run in the Central Plains.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Where I Stand Sunday

In the winter (and it's almost here) a tradition in this household is to watch football and chow down on some chili on Sundays. 
So, I got out everything to make it this morning. 
Bad photo above, so I took one with my sous chef.

Chaco doesn't miss a thing when I am cooking.  He is one true 'Hoover Dog', always a happy and eager 'treat monger' and a constant fear of tripping over - ha!

Wanted to share an amazing addition to a 6" x 6" painting - just trying it on for looks.  I ordered the frame (and several more) from Randy Higbee in California -  They are a dream to deal with.  Very efficient, and quick shippers - even at this time of year!
Love the width, the finish and color. This frame is called "Arroyo".
Don't know how long I can watch football, the studio is calling my name -
can you hear it?
Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing.
Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on.
There are several others who also write this on Sunday, see sidebar.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

While Cleaning in the Studio

For some reason, I had this ink drawing out of my LONG ago portfolio.  While I don't remember why I had it out (because it has sat there for quite awhile), I will leave it out for a little longer - maybe I will remember.
Done in a drawing class at Western State College, Gunnison, Colorado - many years ago from a model - no less.

Monday, December 12, 2011


My new "Paint-On Tabletop Easel" arrived this morning!  I am so excited, I just have to test drive it today!!
I purchased it online from Karin Jurick.  It is a life saver for working at a table.  My other tabletop easel has been great, but I was getting a little fed-up with it's lack of stability.  This one is awesome and will serve it's purpose time and time again!  Karin has used hers for years! Thanks Karin and Brett for choosing to market these!  Every artist should have one!

Another surprise came as well today.  The company/Tam Systems who bought one-time rights to one of my painting images sent me several copies of how they used the image. It's very exciting!  My little grainbin that I see out of my studio window in North Central Kansas is immortalized on Christmas card/promo material in PA.   Yeah!
front of 6" x 9" card

back of card

Very cool...!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Where I Stand Sunday

(from EST magazine/Australia)
I think this photo says it all (BTW - not my feet)...most of this week I have been involved in painting.  I have been immersed in it, I have thought about it, I have dreamed about it, and I have created. Some days I can't quit thinking about it.
Now ~ maybe I am way behind the times, but yesterday,
a wonderful suggestion was made on FB and
I was made more aware of "Pinterest" online ~ a social sharing 
of photos and ideas in themed ideas 
(I had read what other's were writing about it and saw
what they were looking at)...and I am now totally immersed
in looking at what the world is ooooing and ahhhing about these days.
This world is full of interesting people, who like all kinds of 'things' and ideas.
It's like looking at your favorite magazines and seeing just about what you
like and are interested in.  It can take you to a number of unfamiliar
and awesome worlds out there in blogland and zero you right
dead-on to what you love in life.  Right up my alley!
It will be a vehicle for collecting more ideas for my idea notebook.
So...have you been there?  Are you psyched?  I am!!
Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing.
Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on.
There are several others who also write this on Sunday, see sidebar.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Just Plain Lucky

6" x 6"
oil on Raymar canvasboard

This pup was discovered running in the rain in a New Mexico town, unkempt, disheveled and underfed.  Obviously a stray, my sister-in-law picked her up to keep her from harm.  She took her home, cleaned her up..put up the appropriate announcements
that she was lost and response. 
She was taken to the vet, given a throrough going over and seemed to be alright. 
She was given a home with them, where there were already two other dogs.

After a proper grooming, it was discovered she had some Bichon Frise lineage.  She IS so Lucky!  This little dog is just a hoot.  I couldn't resist those big angel eyes of loving mischief and took many photos of her lounging on the couch. 
Those curls were fun to paint! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Dog Portrait for Today

6" x 6"
oil on Raymar
Bella loves to play in the water, even in winter.  She is my St. Louis cousin's dog.
Fun to paint - she is so cute!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

While on a Finca

"Lake at Los Tarrales Reserve, Guatemala"
6" x 8"
oil on Raymar canvasboard
Revisiting my photos from my Guatemala trip a few years back, as I knew there were some 'water' photos, and sure enough there were.  During our travels around Guatemala, we stayed on a coffee plantation/finca called Los Tarrales.  Lovely place!  Rainy on this day...I made the sky a little bluer, it was very gray.
You can read more about Los Tarrales here

The photo of this work isn't coming out right today/Sunday.  I use natural light to illuminate the surface..but with the snow outside, there is this bright blinding light coming in through the window.  I will go out later to the studio to put it in the place I normally use to photograph my work on the north wall at the big easel. 

Sometimes, I prop the canvas up in the tailgate area of my car in the garage - but right now, I would still get this crazy blinding whiteout kind of light.  This is a first experience with considering the snowlight when photographing artwork. 
It surprises me, but I totally get it.

Where I Stand Sunday

Yesterday I stood here, at the crack of dawn...
with the freezing temps and wind, the chickens need more looking in on, changing out their frozen water...making sure their food was uncovered and dry.
Today, more of the same checking, only trudging through a couple of inches of white stuff.  This winter will be interesting for watching and caring for them.  They don't really seem to know what to do.  They try to stay out of the wind, however, they don't really stay much in their little house during this kind of day.
Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing.
Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on.
There are several others who also write this on Sunday, see sidebar.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Taking an online Webinar right now through WetCanvas.  Johannes Vloothuis is sharing knowledge of and teaching about the "Essentials of Painting Water".  Today, I learned a lot. I solidified a lot of what I already knew, but found what I know is sort of instinctual.  I don't paint many landscapes as a rule.  I wanted to put the major paintings that have water in them on this blog to just to look at them all in one place.  Some are sold, so are no longer here.  The last one is a bad photo, as I had to swipe it off my blog here. But some of the 'keys to painting water' I utilized in them
They all are 'close-up' of the water.  It seems that reflection on the surface was what I was really tuning into while painting and I like the way it reads in every one of these. 
This is a three week course.  I plan on gleaning more from it each time.  There are a lot of things to think of while you paint.  Perhaps the largest idea or thought is when using a photo to paint from.  Vloothuis reminds us that photos lie to artists who use them, that's why 'plein air' (painting from real life - outdoors) painting is so hugely
important to an artist's well-being.  In photos, the colors and values cannot be trusted...but the details and the shapes can.
The other real important thing to be aware of when painting from photos, according to Vloothuis, is that a camera stops all motion, (of course, we know this)...but when we look at a scene in person with our eyes with water included, there is motion ~ so it is important to blur the movement and not make it static.  And it is important to create melodic lines as you go, not zigzags.  I think my lines in the water of my paintings are the exact melody I was striving for.  Perhaps the one in the middle needs a little blurring of the edges of the reflections.  Will I change it?  Probably not.  But am I ready to try some more?  Yes!
Gotta practice what I learned or was made aware of....good thing it is snowing!

There were so many things shared in this class.  YOU should be tuning in, as well! 
It's free!

Happy 17th Blogiversary to ME

 I would like to admit, it's still here, I'm still here and it's still worthy of my attention - although sporadic.   Here are a ...