Wednesday, August 31, 2022



Stained Glass     21" X 18"   Oil

This colors of the completed painting probably look a bit different on your screen than the in-progress photos. The above is a scan of the completed painting rather than quick phone photos used for the in-progress images.
As I was thinking of a title I thought of how the sunlight danced across the turtle and the rocks. It reminded me of how light filters through stained glass and the rocks were reminiscent of  a cathedral's gothic columns.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The Turtle

    Some artists like to work on all parts of the painting at once or start with the main subject. Maybe it is how I think - I like to save the best for last. As a child, the last bite on my plate was my favorite of the dishes. 
   With oils, I have wet paint to blend in to as I paint the main subject. I also like having available all the colors I have mixed so far to use on my main subject. This helps with a coherent palette. Maybe because I had no formal art training I prefer doing the "crust" near the beginning and saving the sweet cream filling for the end.  

I am using purple on the turtle's flippers and head. In certain underwater light there were splashes of purple on the turtles I saw and while I may be enhancing the color a bit, it felt like these shades. Knowing the colors I wanted to use for the turtle, I painted some lavender underneath him when I first blocked in the paint. There is also lavender in some of the surface water reflections.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Purposeful Randomness

  As I was designing this turtle painting I knew I wanted to have some fish. But, which ones, how many, and where?
    Since I determined I wanted this to be a turtle painting, the fish needed to be secondary characters. I spent a lot of time moving them around my composition through Paint Shop Pro. Yes, I like this one here, but no it's too busy to have that one there. Maybe move him over an inch? What about a fish shape in the background for depth? It may seem an odd concept but I worked to create a very specific randomness.
   You might have chosen a different grouping or even different species of fish. For me, when I reached the final placement it felt natural and reflected my underwater observations of locations off the Big Island. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Underwater Background


I've blended the background and added the foreground shapes. You'll see some adjustments throughout the painting process but at this stage I have the foundation of depth established.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Painting Underwater

    Lest you think I have discovered a new way to take my easel to the ocean floor, I mean painting an underwater scene.
   In May I was on the Big Island of Hawaii.
   We have a GoPro camera which aids in capturing underwater images. However, it is far from the latest version and I knew this going in. Our GoPro Hero 3 decided to go on strike when we had its back screen attached.  For days we couldn't figure out the issue until we tried it without the back screen. In many ways this was a good thing.
   I spent the non-photo snorkeling time memorizing colors and the feeling of being below the water's surface. Having not snorkeled in a number of years, the "being present in the moment" with no mechanical distractions was wonderful. When we finally figured out the issue and had the camera working on our last morning, my husband and I saw at least five sea turtles in a remote location we had to ourselves. With my husband manning the camera, I was free to watch them feed, grab a breath of air, and fly through the water column.
Step 1. Blocking in the underwater shapes
Unlike the places I have snorkeled in the Bahamas and Caribbean which have sea fans, elkhorn coral, and other delicate coral formations, many spots off the Big Island of Hawaii have large boulders and basalt ledges.


Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Shore to Shore & Big News!

 Trips this late spring and summer took me from one end of the United States to the other. Starting with our most southern state Hawaii, I had a chance to explore below the water's surface. In addition to spending time snorkeling with turtles I also did a night snorkel with manta rays and watched their graceful feeding summersaults. An upcoming post will showcase a painting inspired by one morning's encounter with turtles.

After Hawaii I had a brief stay at home before I headed to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, an island off one of our most eastern states. My time here was spent above the water's surface though close to it with a bit of sailing. I've already completed two paintings inspired from this trip. 


I have been juried as a new Signature Member of the American Society of Marine Artists! It is an honor to be part of this group which showcases breathtaking works of art.
Check out their website at:

And, my painting Dry Docked received the Director's Choice Award at the 28th Annual Maritime Art Exhibit at the Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, Oregon. The show runs July 9 - September 24, 2022.


Dry Docked
25" X 18"