Thursday, June 27, 2019

Nova Scotia/ Bird Islands

Just back from Nova Scotia and what a trip. Lots of painting ideas! Quaint fishing villages, expansive scenery along the Cabot Trail, informative maritime and sailing museums, dramatic lighthouses in fog (and brilliant sunshine), and pastoral landscapes were part of the exceptional trip.

Cabot Trail

Cabot Trail

 The highlight was spending time at Bird Islands off the coast of Cape Breton Island. These islands are nesting areas for Atlantic puffins, razorbills, black guillemots, Great cormorants, double-crested cormorants, great blue herons, and black-legged kittiwakes.

Bird Islands

Atlantic puffins

Thursday, April 25, 2019

And now for something completely different

Right now I am working on paintings for the Louisa Gould gallery on Martha's Vineyard. Not only do I paint different subject matter than my usual wildlife genre, often I am exploring more vibrant colors.

I've been wanting to paint beach umbrellas. So many fun colors. While I didn't want the beach to be devoid of people, I also didn't want it to look so crowded that the viewer didn't have a place to sit! Working out the composition (including removing a few umbrellas) took some careful planning.

Now we are talking colors! 

I thought the sand would be more difficult. I mixed three sand colors (a light, medium, and dark) and painted more light against dark the closer to the bottom left. I found the less careful I was in placing the color, the more natural the sand looked. A fourth darker cooler color was used for the shadow underneath underneath the umbrellas.

Summer Bouquet
10" X 15"
Original Oil


Tuesday, April 16, 2019


Sandhill Spring Migration
16" X 24"
Original oil

Friday, April 12, 2019

Taking Stock

April 12, 2019. Twenty years ago today I became a full-time professional wildlife artist. As this date approached, I have taken stock of my decision.
It would be obvious to look at the tangible results  (awards, ribbons, featured artist designations, magazine articles, sales, etc) but in many ways my thoughts are not focused on them.
I'd like to share some "successes" which I believe capture where I am at in my career.

1.) I still appreciate the beauty in other artists' work  - and see the shortcomings in my own
2.) A new paint color still thrills me. (This week I tried two of my new handmade oil colors from Michael Harding.)
3.) I still work on trying new things - new colors, new techniques, new subjects.
4.) After more than 800 paintings, I still have fresh new stories to tell.
5.) Spending time in the outdoors is still essential to my work - whether it is Africa or my own yard. I can always capture new painting ideas from direct observation.
6.) Stretching my brushes by painting ranch scenes, museum and cathedral interiors, and landscapes also strengthens my wildlife paintings
7.) My collector base is a gift, not merely an asset. These are wonderful people who are touched by the same inspiration I had while painting the piece. For the piece or pieces they have collected, we speak the same language. What a beautiful gift.
8.) A day of uninterrupted painting is still a good day.

Photos from the past 20 years

Linda and her husband Jim - and our closest neighbors  (Note: NOT photoshopped)

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Working on the last bird

This is the bird I have been waiting to paint. He is the one which directs all the movement for the painting.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Sandhill Cranes

Once I completed the snow, the foreground cornstalks looked like they could use some brightening. After mixing a bright golden yellow (cadmium yellow deep, radiant yellow, and a little lemon yellow with titanium white), I added it to the right side of many of the stalks. It looked more natural not having it on all the foreground stalks.

On to the first close-up crane. It was tempting to make her stand out more (eliminate corn stalks in front and directly behind her) but I want the focus to be on the crane flying in. Having a few obstructions around this middle bird will help direct the viewer's eyes to the other bird first.

Sunday, March 31, 2019


Now that I have the shadows in, I begin working on the mid-tone snow. I've chosen to paint it on the purple side in the foreground  and will move to a more blue color in the middle of the painting. (Note: the lighter shadows in the middle of the painting.)

Generally I would finish all the mid-tone snow color before moving on to the bright highlights in the snow. Since these colors are more intense than my usual palette, I thought I should paint in the "whites" to see if it was starting to look like snow.