Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Pumpkin

Halloween Pumpkin, 6 x 9, watercolor on Arches 140#

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Beavercreek Wetlands

It was a beautiful day to enjoy the fall colors.

I had the fun of painting at Beavercreek Wetlands with a group of fine artists, there must have been 25 of us. Then we went to the Kingstad Gallery for a reception and Kitty Wallis gave an impromptu critique of many of the paintings.

It was a great day!

Beavercreek Wetlands, 8 X 10, pastel on Belgian Mist Wallis

An Invitation

Monday, October 27, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008


Gourd IV, 6 x 9, pastel on Wallis paper

Thursday, October 23, 2008


How do you fill up your tank? I fill mine at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. This red wing blackbird sang his song so sweetly into my heart and filled me to overflowing.

Take a chance and listen to these renditions of the song made famous by the Beatles... you'll be glad you did.

Leaded glass

I enjoyed the challenge yesterday of painting a glass with water, I wanted to try it with a crystal glass. I had trouble with the ellipse at the rim of the glass, but overall, I'm pleased. It looks like a glass. With water.

When my sons still lived at home, they would wet their index fingers and run them over the rims of these glasses to make a beautiful bell sound. Then, they would drink their water to change the tone. What can I say? It was a musical kind of family.

Leaded Glass, 11 X 6, pastel on Wallis paper

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Glass is Half Full

Glass, 11 x 9, pastel

A 440

A freshly tuned piano makes me happy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Lake Powell

Just a couple of years ago I was lucky to travel with a group of friends on a big houseboat on Lake Powell. The sights were incredible. I painted en plein air a few times from the boat, did a lot of sketching, and took hundreds of photos. I keep meaning to go back and paint from some of the photos. The blue of the sky, the warm reds and oranges of the rocks, the pinks and lavenders in the shadows. This is my first attempt.

Antelope Canyon, 8" square, pastel

Friday, October 17, 2008

Gourd Three

Gourd Three, 8" square, pastel

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Copying a master: Wolf Kahn

One aspect of developing as an artist includes copying a master. I have copied Wolf Kahn's "Sun Drenched Barn" (see blog entry) and today I copied his painting "Magenta Stripe."

What did I learn? To duplicate the stroke of a master, a student has to try a lot of wrong things before the right thing happens. I love his sense of color and composition. The colors of this are very exciting. I'm sure that this copy will influence my next painting. And, I'm eager to see how!

Copy Magenta Strip W. Kahn, 11 X 15, pastel

Wild Beauty

Wild Beauty: Photographs of the Columbia River Gorge 1867 - 1957 is a beautiful exhibit at the Portland Art Museum until January 11, 2009.

Gathered from professionals, amateurs, geologists, railway workers, men, and women, this collection is worth the price of admission. And, if you become a member, it's free!

Some will argue whether photography is art, but one look at some of these photographs will answer the question. Some photographs ARE art. I hope you'll go and see it, too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Red Poppies Step Three -- Final

Red Poppies, 12" square, pastel

Red Poppies Step Two

The under painting covered most of the old painting but you can still see places where the old dahlia bouquet is visible.

I use Guerra Paints pigments in dispersion for this stage. My goal is to get a painterly surface with the values mostly right and without fussing. Since I know I will add pastel on top of this, I am not too worried about getting things exact. What freedom! I am the happy, splashing artist at this point.

Red Poppies Step One

A painting attempt that failed to work out provided the surface for a new painting. I had heard of oil painters trying this technique, but I had not tried it with pastel.

Wallis paper is so hardy! I scrubbed off the old painting with an old toothbrush and then wet it to really open up the tooth of the paper.

Here you see the old bits of my first painting with a vine charcoal drawing on top.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Gourd Two

The texture of this gourd appealed to me with its knobs and warts. But, once I backlit it and started to work on it, I realized that the surface texture was a big challenge to paint. Not that I shy away from a big challenge, I just wish that I noticed them a little before the fact.

Gourd Two, 8" square, pastel on Wallis paper

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Capturing expression is a real challenge in figure work. In my classes at Hipbone Studio, Jeff Burke holds emotional expressions for three to five minutes to give artists a chance to try to capture them. A lot happens to the proportions of a face with a smile, a scream, a pout, a laugh, a sneer. Look at your own face in a mirror and make a few faces. You will see exactly what I mean.

Katie is a young woman who can dish it out as well as she can take it. And she has a wonderful streak of mischief that I love to pieces. I tried to capture her sense of playfulness in this piece.

Mischief, 11 X 15, pastel

Saturday, October 11, 2008

New Pear

Yesterday's pear was flat and I couldn't seem to paint it round. Today's feels a little more round.

Have you heard of the "Painting a Day" movement? I don't really know too much about it, but I believe it was started by Duane Keiser. I am going to paint a painting a day for a month and see what I think.

My hope is that by painting every day, I will become a better observer. Paint more quickly and decisively. Push myself. See. Learn. Grow.

New Pear, 9 X 6, pastel on Wallis paper

Friday, October 10, 2008

Painting: Pear

A trip over the weekend to the Gorge White House to see a photography show by Dave Burbach and a special deal on fresh pears! They taste like candy. I would like to paint more in the Columbia River Gorge. It takes time to get out there. And an adverturesome spirit. And warm clothes. But, I'll get back out there. Maybe I can connect with the Hood River plein air painters to paint with them.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Painting: Simple

A single spray of flowers. A little bud vase. Light. Shadow. Water.

A personal challenge to paint daily. To paint smaller. To be a better observer. Painted from life. "Simple." 9 X 12 pastel on Wallis paper.

Back and Blogging

Whew! It's good to have my laptop back! A new keyboard and nothing lost so I'm a happy blogger again!

Ribbons were awarded at the Kingstad Artists Reception last week. Be sure to click on the link to look at the beautiful artwork that won ribbons. I hope that you'll get to see it all in person. I did not win a ribbon. I am not discouraged by that, though. I think that if I just keep on working at my development, I'll get some place. And it's possible that I won't ever win a ribbon. But, each year I am more pleased with my artwork. And that feels pretty good.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Splish, splash, uh-oh

I didn't mean for it to happen. I was on the boat. With a cup of coffee. And my computer. A little wave rocked the boat and my coffee splashed out onto my computer. Right into the question mark and period. I panicked. I tipped it on its side. I blotted it with paper towels. It beeped a bit. I knew it was hurting.

I didn't do the right things, though. I didn't immediately turn it off. I didn't shut it down for 24 hours, upside down to drain out all of the liquid.

It's now at a repair place. The good news is that it CAN be repaired. No lost programs or files. A new keyboard on order from the factory, in stock, so I'll have it back by the end of the week. Yay!

In the meantime, not so much blogging.

A word to the wise: be careful with liquids around your computers!

Saturday, October 4, 2008


I suppose I have always been attracted to faces. I love the nuance of expressions. Wondering what thoughts are behind what I can see. That's probably why I continue to paint faces. And I hope that I always will.