Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Soltice

Winter Lights
8.25" X 15"
Original Oil

The first day of winter. Some in Spokane might argue with that assessment since we have had record November snows with accumulations in town for the month over 25 inches. Here in the hills, even more.

With the lunar eclipse and the soltice on the same day, I thought I would share a recent painting also dealing with the sky. And Winter.

Monday, December 6, 2010


On another subject...

The Spokane Symphony's Holiday Pops concert is this coming Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm in the Fox Theater. The Spokane Symphony Chorale joins the Symphony in bringing the holiday music to Spokane.
Since 1991 I have sung with the Chorale. In addition to the Holiday Pops concert we have sung Requiems, Operas, and a variety of classical music throughout a full concert season. (Yes, I have managed to squeeze in a little painting time between concerts.)

For the first time since I have been a member, the Chorale has been asked to do major solo work for the Holiday Pops Concert (typically done by out-of-town professionals). This year 2 sets of 4 soloists (one set of 4 for each concert) will be singing the solo sections in Gustav Holst's Christmas Day.

And the quartet section of Franz Schubert's Magnificat D 483 will be sung in Latin by Chorale members with a different quartet selected for each concert. I have been chosen to sing the alto part on Sunday, Dec 12th.
I thought it would be a wonderful challenge to prepare enough to have a good audition for the part, certainly not expecting to receive it. Guess I prepared too well. Much of that is thanks to Selena Schopfer who made study CDs for me. So, when I am shaking in my heels in front of 1,650 people, I know who to blame.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Invitational Miniature Show

Whale Encounter           9" X 13.85"       Original Oil

Pacific Flyway Gallery in Spokane, WA is holding a Miniature Invitational Show from Dec 1st - Dec 23rd.

You are invited to the Opening Reception on December 3rd from 4pm - 7pm.

I am one of the 6 artists selected for the show and will be at the gallery with a selection of new miniature paintings, giclee canvas prints, and a number of hard cover books of exhibitions in which my work was included.
 The gallery also has many gift items including jewelry, Christmas ornaments, carvings and more which may perfectly complement your Holiday shopping.

Pacific Flyway Gallery is located at 313 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane
Phone (509) 747-0812

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thinking of Summer

With snow in the forecast for the next several days, you would assume I was thinking of winter. Ah, but in a painting, I can immerse myself in the season of my choosing. For this piece, I wanted to play with an oystercatcher I watched this summer on a Martha's Vineyard shore. It was an overcast day and I loved how his bill added spice to the scene.
Pearl Catcher
8.5" X 12"
Original Oil

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Scarier than any Halloween

The Puzzle of packing for a show

My husband helping screw on the crate lids
If you think this is messy, you should have seen it a couple hours ago!

You have 23 paintings to pack. Numerous wooden crates. One goal. Pack all the paintings in the fewest number of crates, but with 150 pounds as the maximum weight per crate and maximum crate dimensions of 165 inches (length + girth.) With which box do you start?

I opted for Box D. Fortunately, this was a good choice. Not only did I get in my largest painting, but the second layer worked really well for 5 more paintings and one framed print. The remainder of the paintings fit in Box Y and Box O. Barely. One box ended up at 141 pounds (about 41 pounds heavier than I would have liked), but the box was in really good shape and everything fit well with no wasted space. Of course, trial and error in painting placement is in full force as one painting then another is tried in various open spaces. Or maybe I try two smaller ones? Or rotate that one over there?

This process takes me hours. I take care in packing the paintings, making sure there is no wobble from side to side if a painting is not on the bottom layer.

And the reason for this effort? The upcoming Waterfowl Festival in Easton Maryland. The VIP event kicks off on Thursday evening November 11th. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the show will be open to the general public.

This year, all the painters will be under one roof at the Tidewater Inn. A great chance to see your favorite oil, acrylic, watercolor, graphite, scratchboard, and wood burning artists in one location!

More details about the show can be found at http://www.waterfowlfestival.org/

As for me, the packing is done. Time for a beer!

Friday, October 22, 2010


12" X 8"
Original Oil

Often I let the subject matter dictate the style I will use in a painting. In my mind, a tightly rendered tiger would have slowed the action I was trying to portray. Besides, it was fun working with loose brush strokes!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Eye, Eye, Eye!

Eye See You - Turkey
7.5" X 5.5"
Original Oil

Though I recently completed Eyes of the Forest with six Eye See Yous in one painting, it has been a while since I have painted a single Eye See You.  For my upcoming show, the Waterfowl Festival in Easton Maryland, I painted a turkey, a wood duck, and a pheasant in the Eye See You format.

What I find intriguing about the design of these pieces is figuring out just how much to show of the animal I am portraying. Here you have a sneak preview of the entire piece. Once it is framed, 1/3" - 1/2" on each side will be hidden from view. I do work out the composition as if the painting is that 1/2" smaller in each dimension. (but I can't help painting to the edge!)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Ethology Award Part II

Best Depiction of Natural Behavior in Digital Medium

Notice how the subject attempts to blend into the background. This creature often uses camouflage or an object (such as a large bolder) to mask its presence. It also carries around a large white and black appendage or a book with lots of papers and a writing utensil. We think it may do this because it is trying to learn to use its opposable thumbs.

With careful observation, we have found that the subject will "creep" to new locations. An act of quietly and slowly moving to gain a better vantage point.

Here, the subject uses the natural willow of the tundra from which to "peep." (peep: verb, when the subject moves up and down furtively to catch a glance, grab a photo, then duck out of sight.)

An entire treatise could be written on the sometimes bizarre behavior of this creature, but to sum up, its methods seem to produce some great reference photos.

     Yes, this is me in the Manitoba tundra getting some great shots of migrating snow geese. Many of the little ones (this year's young) have never seen a human! In the background, you can see Hudson Bay. This tundra landscape changes dramatically twice a day with its fourteen foot tidal change. Here, the tide is moving out.
     This was a great trip to Northern Manitoba. We were at Dymond Lake (about 30 km west of Churchill) with Webber's Lodges. It was not uncommon to see my footprints of yesterday afternoon covered by polar bear tracks, or wolf, or arctic fox. In the near future, you can expect to see some paintings from this amazing trip.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Ethology Award

While I was traipsing around in the northern Manitoba tundra (upcoming blog), the Society of Animal Artists had their opening weekend.
I am honored to have won the Ethology Award.
(OK, I have to admit I had no idea what this award was until I read the description.)
This Award is given to the "Best depiction of Natural Behavior in any medium." The animal has to be doing SOMETHING (as the show award description reads.)

According to Oxford:
ethology: noun
1. the science of animal behavior. 2. the study of human behavior from a biological perspective.
ORIGIN: Greek thologia, from thos 'nature, disposition.'

From the awards presented, best 2-D, best 3-D, President's Award, etc, I can't think of an award I would feel more honored winning.

And the winner is: Battle Royale

Friday, September 17, 2010

Two For Two

Two For Two
Original Oil
23.75" X 29"

A finished commissioned painting.

Mission Complete.

I was so pleased with the outcome, that I decided to make canvas giclee prints of the painting. (Haven't done that with a commissioned piece before. My client is receiving #1 as an added bonus.)

When my client received the painting, he said it looked just like his "huntin' buddies" and that he would "treasure the painting long after they were gone."
Taking the time to meet his dogs, taking good reference photos, working out various compositions, using my own pheasant reference, and then having the freedom to paint the story I saw made this painting come to life for me. And for my client and for me, on this mission we both won.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Working with the pheasant reference was a challenge. My client had pheasant reference, but not at the perspective, detail, or interest which I needed. I had South Dakota pheasant reference from my husband's hunting trips, other live pheasants which I had photographed, and two mounts in our rec room of some monster South Dakota pheasant. Long tails, nicely mature roosters.

Since my client also has hunted in South Dakota, I am using my birds. I have the pheasants all drawn out, but in painting them, I realize their bodies are just too small. So, as I paint, I enlarge them. (Gee, pheasants have a lot of feathers!)

At this point, I also see that the tails of the pheasants in the painting are fine, but not as magnificent as the ones I have. Well, why not make them the finest pheasants to go along with these beautiful dogs.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Finishing the chocolate lab

While the dogs may have been painted, the mission is only half completed. The painting needs to come together as a unified story. Time to work on the pheasants.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Chocolate Lab

One of the reasons I wanted the chocolate lab standing is that I feels it makes for a more dynamic composition. Two dogs sitting would be OK, but this way I can work in different postures and the overlapping of the black lab on the brown lab. Once again, I am challenged to make this my client's chocolate lab, Layla, and not just any chocolate lab.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Black Lab

This is when the mission gets more difficult. I am not painting a black lab, I am painting Josie. A particular black lab. The image has to sit like her, look like her, feel like her. That is why I find it so important for me to spend time with the animals I paint.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Working the background

My client had some reference photos of the place he usually hunts with his dogs. Several of the shots had taller trees in the background and blue sky peaking through. Right away, I knew I wanted that feeling of distance.
I kept the trees impressionistic, not wanting to detract from the intended detail of the dogs and birds. But, I wanted the trees to read like trees. My mission: loose trees, but not too loose.

Time to rough in some grasses. As you can see, the bottom right and one spot in the bottom center, have heavy paint strokes. I wasn't sure if I wanted heavy strokes there, but thought I would try it. Something about the effect worked for me, so I kept them thick. With oil, I can always go back and change it later.

I also kept the ground dark and more bare around the birds. This is done so they will be better showcased when I get around to painting them.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Commissions can be a tricky subject for artists. You want to make the client happy and you want to paint a good painting.

Commissions can feel like an episode from the old TV show, Mission Impossible.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to paint a pack of wolves chasing a mountain lion, which is chasing a deer, which is leaping over a turkey, which is ....
Just then, your paint brush blows up in a puff of smoke.
Peter Phelps would probably die of a stroke with that mission. And any artist would probably disavow any knowledge of such a com(mission.)

I just finished a commissioned painting from the perfect client and thought I would share the various stages of the piece.
My mission: paint his hunting dogs.

At first, he wasn't sure whether he wanted one or both dogs painted. Since I was going to be in his neck of the woods (on the other side of the country), I thought I would take reference photos of both dogs. By the time I got to his house, he had decided he wanted both dogs painted. Not sure whether it would be best to have them in the same painting or in two separate oil paintings, we left that open. I would review the images I took with my camera (about 350 photos) at home and then call him. I spent a little over an hour with him and the dogs as they fetched and sat and stood for me. Being with them in person (rather than having some reference photos sent to me), gives me a much better feeling of their personalities.

Once home, I spent hours reviewing every shot, making a list of the best images of the chocolate lab, the black lab, and of them together. From there, I came up with compositions for each dog and one of them together, calculated a variety of proportional dimensions and prices, and called my client. (Note: I had a number of reference shots with both dogs together, but didn't use them for the combo composition. A stronger composition was developed from several shots of each dog.) I was leaning toward a painting with both of them together, but knew I would also be happy with two separate paintings. My client and I discussed the options and he chose a larger painting with both dogs. We talked about how many pheasants and whether his gun should be in the painting.

What made him the perfect commission client is that he left the main painting decisions in my hand. Composition, which reference images, position of the dogs, background. He chose the size and relating price.

Pricing brings up another issue. I like to charge the same for a commission as I would any comparable work. There is something I do a little differently than most artists. I don't collect any money upfront for a commission. I complete the painting and if the client likes it, he buys it. If not, (hasn't happened yet), I will sell it at some other venue. (of course that is not possible with a human portrait, but that is the chance I take.) It ends up being a no-risk for the client and in return, I receive the freedom to make critical decisions to create the best piece I can paint.

Below is the start of the painting with a burnt sienna / raw sienna turpentine wash.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Eyes of the Forest

Eyes of the Forest
Original Oil
20" X 22"

Monday, August 23, 2010

Eye'll be seeing you.....

.......in all the old familiar places.

Yeah. I am a bit punchy and am questioning who came up with this group "Eye" idea. Oh yes, that would be me. Hard to speed along on this painting. And, everyone is staring at me! Particularly spooky when I am working late at night.

I just finished the whitetail buck. One of "my" deer. Well, one that visits our yard regularly. I took the reference shots out my kitchen door. He was quite photogenic and with his antlers in velvet, just what I wanted.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Yes, I decided to paint each animal. Maybe sometime I will do a group with only the raw sienna / burnt sienna wash, but not this time.

Eyes take me a long time to paint. If I don't get them just right, the animal doesn't come alive. Once I get the first eye right, then it stares at me and challenges me to do all the others justice!

Another time-consuming aspect of this group idea was the layout. What animals should I use from the forest? What cropping? What position are they in the painting? I knew I wanted the upper left and upper right sizes to match, a longer one in the upper center and a double eye more square format in the bottom center. The bottom left and right should also match for symmetry. Let's just say it was complicated planning.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I have done a number of paintings in an Eye See You series. Eye See You - Lion, Eye See You - Red-tailed Hawk, etc. In each, I work to have the eye of the animal the focus and just enough of the rest of him so you know which creature is depicted.
All of the paintings have been individually framed.  I thought it might be fun to group some together in one painting. My first concept for a group, Eyes of the Forest.

The forest would seem to dictate a green background. Since the orange wash was not completely dry, I painted the small background for each animal and then moved on to the green.

Once the green was in, I painted a darker green on the lower and right of each animal to give them a 3-D look. Oooh, I was really tempted to stop right here. Kind of a neat effect. I debated for several hours and decided.........

(you didn't think I was going to tell you now, did you? Check out my next blog.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Can you keep a secret?

The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum has come up with a unique fund-raising vehicle for this year's Birds in Art. They are asking artists who wish to participate to draw or paint a "postcard". This is a 4" X 6" work to be sold for the incredible price of $25 at the show.

One of the more interesting aspects is that no one buying will know who created the pieces because all signatures will be on the back. A line will form and the first person may choose from among all the pieces. Just one piece. If he or she wishes to buy more, he/she proceeds to the back of the line and the next person has a chance to choose from the remaining pieces. Many of these pieces would sell for hundreds (or much more).

I had so much fun with my piece that I just have to share it with you. Remember, this is a secret.

Go ahead, Make My Day
Original Oil on gessoed board
4" X 6"

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Birds in Art

For the eighth time in ten years, one of my paintings has been chosen for the elite Birds in Art exhibit at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin. This year there were 922 entries and approximately 100 works chosen with another 15 pieces from Master Artists.

It is a joke among us "bird artists" about the BIG envelope. Rejections come in a standard #10 envelope, but the acceptances come in a big manila envelope. Questions fly through phone calls, twitter and e-mail once results are released. "Did you get the big envelope?"  No need to preface it with Birds in Art or the Museum. We all know what the BIG envelope means.

This year, to save trees that our feathery friends inhabit, the museum e-mailed the results. Very effective, a good move. And, we were able to get the results those few days sooner. But, I have to admit I miss the big envelope. Pulling it out of the mailbox. Holding it in my hand. Do I open it right now, or transit the 1/3 mile driveway until I walk through my door? I always submit two pieces and only one can be accepted. Which one did they take? There may have been one time when I waited until I stepped in the house, but maybe not.

The show opens September 11th and continues until November 15th. If you like birds or really good art, this is a special show. And worth the trip.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Society of Animal Artists

The Society of Animal Artists will be holding their 50th Annual Exhibition, Art and the Animal, at the San Diego Natural History Museum. I am thrilled my painting Battle Royale was chosen from the 434 member submissions to be part of the show. It is a large painting and will definitely take up some "wall space."
Battle Royale
36" X 42"

The show opens September 1st and continues until October 31st. From San Diego, the entire show will travel to The Wildlife Experience in Parker, CO.

I am a Signature Member of the Society of Animal Artists.

Monday, August 2, 2010


This is my 103rd blog.....and counting.

I was encouraged to start blogging by artist Terry Miller. (check out the link under LINKS to his blog. His work is awesome and his blog informative and insightful.) Not knowing what to expect or write, I plunged in. Another artist Ray Brown (who also does wonderful graphite work) told me months later I NEEDED to blog more often. He was absolutely right. Since then, I have tried to post something at least once a week.

While I have strived to be informative and interesting in my posts, I have found I have learned some things about my work while I have shared my process with you.
1.) I am more flexible in the midst of a painting than I thought I was. If something isn't working, I am willing to abandon it.
2.) Taking photos of paintings in progress encourages me to look more critically at a piece. I will do this more often even if it is not a painting I plan to post.
3.) I am looser AND tighter in style than I envisioned. Depending on the painting, I will lean toward one style or the other.

There are surely more things I have learned and maybe I will spend the next 100 posts figuring them out.

In the mean time, I hope you have enjoyed visiting this blog. I plan to keep sharing my thoughts and painting process. In celebration of passing the 100 mark for posted blogs, I have changed the look of the blog.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Silent Guardians

Silent Guardians
24" X 37"
Original Oil
This painting reminds me of my last trip to Africa. I was in the northern part of Tanzania. The late afternoon sun was a brilliant fire ball and its light seemed to make the baobabs glow. One tree in particular just lit up. That tree didn't work for this painting, but I used another baobab and "transferred" that special light to it. I cropped the main tree because it appeared bigger when you didn't see all of it.
This will be my last African painting for a while since I need to get some commissions done and more North American paintings completed for upcoming shows. A sunset piece seems a fitting place to end this run of African paintings.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Main Event

It was the orange/rose which inspired me to do this painting. Contrasting the vibrant color with deep browns and blues really make it sing. A few highlights on the right tree soften the dark brown. I haven't added any of the detail branches to the main baobab which I will do next. Only the dark stripes are on the zebra, and after the baobab detail, I will work on finishing them.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


The right tree needed to have a longer trunk and the 2 thin trees to its left also needed to be longer. Some darker brush on the right side of the painting gives the side more equal weight to the left side. I think there will be more adjustments but it is time to start on the main focus.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Roughing in the Background

Roughing in the background can be a guessing game. Do I just paint the background baobab, or continue to the bottom of the piece? This time I opted to paint to the bottom to get a feeling of the color palette. I will adjust it as the the painting progresses, but now I have a sense of the painting's color choices. Some of my decisions have been made, such as the color of the background hills (grayish blue), the background trees, and the splashes of light. These choices will dictate some of the colors in my main tree.

Friday, July 23, 2010


After each baobab painting I complete, I make a mental note that I will not paint one again. Tons of branches, then trying to figure out which is in front of which. Lots of effort for a tree!
But, after some time has elapsed, I get an idea which must be painted. And it includes a baobab. I steel myself for lots of sticks and branches and plunge in. Even though it took me more than 2 hours just to put the wash on this board, I have to admit the effort was worth it. I can already see the heft yet fluidity in the main tree.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Kopje King
30" x 47.5"
Yes, I painted out the lioness. It was a tough decision but I am glad I did. My friend Lisa saw the finished version and said, "Oh no, she's gone. You Murderer!" In her joking way, I guess Lisa is right. I did kill the lioness from the story. Sometimes as artists, we need to let go of our preconceived plans and let the painting speak. I imagine an author has to go through the same process of editing. A character who is not advancing the plot is cut from the script.
But for those of you who miss the lioness, take a close look at the intensity in the lion's eyes. (you can click on the image and see it bigger.) Maybe the lion sees her in the distance and any moment he will rise and go meet her. (how is that for spin?)
As for the title, this was a tricky one. My whole story had changed and I had to see the piece from a different light. From his eyes, he is not really at rest. Shadow, shade, Rex, Simba, Respite all figured into titles one way or another and didn't work. My final choice was to note the rocks he was using for his spot out of the noonday sun. Kopje is the Dutch word for the rocky outcroppings found on the African veld. I could have used the Africaans "koppie" but I liked the sound and look of "kopje" better.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Courage of a Lion?

The lion looks much more regal now with darker tones, less red, and more definition in his mane. I think his mane still needs some touch up between his front paws but it is almost there.
The stick by the rock, now that it has been broken off, no longer draws my eye.

The lioness has been darkened. I'm not sure she is working for the piece. My eye is drawn to her first, before the lion. I like the story she adds, but is that enough? Should I darken her further, OR, should I paint her out of the piece? I have to admit I am attached to her. Not for the time she represents in the painting, but she has been in the concept of the painting from the beginning. It is almost midnight. Should I sleep on it or do I have the courage to make a bold decision?
Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What's wrong with this picture

As a child, I remember that picture game where you had to identify all the things wrong with the image. The car only had 3 wheels, the tree didn't go all the way to the ground, the bike the child was riding had only the left portion of the handle bars.

That is what I do with my paintings. Looking at this piece, I see a number of things "wrong."
1.) The stick on the right side of the painting sweeping along the contour of the rock. So distracting. It may have been there in the reference photo, but it is just not working.
2.) The lioness appears washed out. Maybe if I darken her and add some detail.
3.) The lion's head appears too orange for the rest of the piece. I want to paint all of him before I make any changes, so I will consider what needs to be done then. (note: I do like the coloring of the shaded tail and will work from those colors.)
4.) The lion's mane needs more definition.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Adding the Lioness

I painted the lioness soft and loose, not wanting to distract from the lion. She is in the sunlit background and should have less detail than the branches. The grasses have been added and help divide the lion's rock from the rock she is walking across.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Editing is like a puzzle. Take out too much detail and the painting lacks depth. Paint in too much and the piece can look busy but not effective. So, how do I decide how many sticks and branches. From earlier posts, you can see I have a rough structure for the main framework of the branches. As for the smaller branches and sticks.....
...for me, much of it is trial and error. I paint a stick in and it doesn't look right so I paint it out. Sometimes I will add one and it is almost right but not in the right spot or it angles left when it should angle right. This means a lot of stepping back from the painting, looking at it from different angles and even taking a moment outside. When I come back to the painting, I try to look at it with fresh eyes.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Back to the Lion

Yes, it is back to the lion, lying.

Today I am working on the rocks. Lots of blobs of light, medium, and dark which don't make much sense until I get in the branches and dappled light on him. Once those sections are painted, I will see what light/shadow changes need to be made.

At this point, I want to leave the rocks a gray tone (cool) to offset the lion (warm tone.) The close up dark boulder in the lower right will have light colored grasses in front of it which will brighten that corner.
Hmm. I am noticing a large upside down V below the two front paws of the lion. Think that will be coming out. It is interesting for me to see the piece so small after working on it and its 4 foot length.

Monday, July 5, 2010


This appears to be my summer for acceptances. First Birds in Art at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, then the 50th Society of Animal Artist Annual Exhibition at the San Diego Natural History Museum. (More on these two shows closer to their openings in September.)

Today I heard from Artists for Conservation. Both of my entries were accepted for the 2010 The Art of Conservation Show.


Polar Plunge

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Continuing the lion painting

This is my least favorite stage of a painting. The blocks of color can sometimes just look like blobs. If I get all fussy in the background now, it could distract from the details in the foreground. I have to wait until more detailed areas are painted to see what (if any) adjustments need to be made to the background.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Value Study

I find this raw sienna - burnt sienna turpentine wash stage important. It will catch some things I may miss during the composition/drafting stage of the painting. For instance, I noticed that the vertical rock wall behind the lion felt too much like a wall and too little like a rock. I made a mental note to curve it at the top to mimic the rock bolder feel I have in the rest of the painting. Also, the curving rock just behind the lion's back was too matchy-matchy with the line of his spine. I moved the rock up and will keep an eye on how it effects the overall composition.
Another change was the lion's mane. In the drawing, I didn't notice the mane seemed a little flat between his eyes. Once I had the wash on, it was obvious to me it needed to be higher. I threw on some darker wash to extend it. The wash also brought to my attention the section to the right of the lioness's back legs. Right now it seems very bright and distracts from the lion. While I paint, I'll want to think about how to resolve this with the planned grasses.
Generally a turpentine wash will take me 1 - 1.5 hours for a painting. This took me 4 hours and it revealed some details and problem areas. It also gives me a sense of the balance of the painting. Does an area need to be darker? Is the painting weighted on one side? What draws my attention and is that the area I intended for the main focus?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

On Deck


After 3 weeks out of town (actually 3000 miles out of town in Massachusetts and upstate NY), it is time to paint. Well, first I'll be drawing.

"On deck" is a lion piece. And it is a big one. 30" X 47.5". I'll be showing the progress on this over the next couple weeks.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I'm spoiled!

Pacific Flyway Gallery & Holly's Framing

Many have commented on my selection of custom frames for my original oil paintings. I take time and care in choosing something I think will compliment the piece. And, my biggest asset in selection is having Pacific Flyway Gallery and its owner Holly Swanson in Spokane. From thousands and thousands of choices, I have every possible option!

In addition, if the color or style isn't just perfect, Holly can modify it so it will be. Some people have even asked if the frame came first .......before the painting. (sort of like the chicken and the egg.) Thanks Holly for your exceptional skill and your artistic eye!

Pacific Flyway Gallery is located at 313 East Sprague, Spokane, WA. Their phone is (509) 747-0812. Current summer hours are Tuesday - Friday, 10 am - 5 pm. e-mail: pacificflyway@yahoo.com

And, if you drop in, who knows, you may find me there choosing the frame for my latest painting!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Completed Painting

Original Oil
16.75" X 30"
Sometimes titles are easy. I might even have a title before I begin a painting. Others, like this one, require some work. I had thought of a number of titles, but none seemed to convey what I wanted. So, I grabbed the dictionary looking up words like vista, promontory, and perch.
The next step was alliteration. Rock Retreat or High Hold. All efforts fell short.
Then I thought to look up cougar and the other names associated with this cat. Puma, mountain lion, panther. And, cat-a-mount from the Middle English cat of the mountaine. Perfect. Cat-a-mount is the abbreviation and generally refers to any of the wild cats, specifically cougar, then lynx.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sticks and Stuff

OK, I admit it. Sticks, grass, and any vegetation are not my favorite things to paint. They can be tedious. However, with just the little I have done here, the painting has a lot more depth.