Sunday, September 28, 2014

Back From the North Country

Mom and her 1.5 year old cub, Hudson Bay in the background

I just returned from northern Manitoba. It was my 6th trip to this region of the world. There is nothing quite like being in the tundra in the fall with its brilliant colors. Being in polar bear country is the icing on the cake. I was in a remote camp north of Churchill ( and not only saw this mom and cub, but other bears as well. Snow, Ross, and Canada geese were migrating south and I was treated to numerous sightings of peregrine falcons perusing the Hudson Bay coastline.

It seemed to be just moments after I arrived home that I was at the Spokane Valley Arts Council Auction and Sale which took place Saturday night, September 27th.  I participated in the Quick Finish along with 17 other artists who were painting, sculpting, and carving in front of the patrons before the auction began. Just before the Quick Finish pieces were auctioned, I received the Nancy McLaughlin Award for the best female artist. Quite an honor when I saw the stunning art that was there.

It was a spirited night of bidding and my Quick Finish, Silent Auction set, and both my Live Auction pieces went home with happy patrons.

Friday, September 19, 2014


By the River
7.5" X 14"
Original Oil

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Here's a tricky one. Water. How is this going to work with this new palette? I'm used to working with the many colors of water but that is starting on a white to orange base.
"Diving" in, I start mixing colors.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Working with Venetian Red gesso

Usually I would do a value study using a raw sienna/ burnt sienna turpentine wash. Not needed with this Venetian Red gesso. I'm exploring how much to let peek through and finding the richness of the background is working pretty well. The greens seem to sing.

Getting that splash of yellow on the left side of the painting has added some brightness which it needed. Click on the photo to enlarge it and you can see all the red in the main tree.

Adding more naples yellow for the sunlit sandbank helps the darker areas read as shadows.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


A while ago I bought some Daniel Smith gold gesso. It is metallic and I liked its effect on some small paintings.
I also saw some Venetian Red gesso which I thought someday I would like to try. There are three miniatures I wanted to do so I ordered the red. Why not go for it? I gessoed each miniature with the Venetian Red then drew my reference outline.

Beginning with this elephant piece, I mixed my usual colors and started with the sky.  Aaaaagggghhkkk! Totally wrong color! It is much too light and dull. I mixed a new oil color and it was only a little better.

Hmm. This Venetian Red gesso is going to call for a complete overhaul of my palette. The colors I would usually mix are just not going to work. There are two choices: 1.) Wipe off the paint and put white gesso over this red. Major downside, I have also gessoed the other two miniatures with the red AND drawn those pieces. This would mean starting over on three paintings. OR, 2.) give this a chance for 90 minutes. If I haven't figured out how to rethink all my colors, I can go to option 1.

Well, I passed the 90 minutes and kept going. I think this is going to work.

Saturday, September 6, 2014


35" X 48"
Original Oil

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Almost done

I am almost done. I thought when I got to this point all that was left were the splashes. Not quite.
The hind-quarter of the ram needs to be heftier.
The shadow underbelly of the ram needs to be less sharp.
I have some weird things going on with his front legs
And, I think the lion is all wrong. Well, mostly wrong. He needs to be less defined which will give greater depth to the scene. And, I think I should switch the lighting to the other side of his head.