Roadside View

2016-11-04 10.13.21 (768x1024)Sometimes I enjoy doing things in a loose manner and capturing the essence rather than the reality of a scene. This lone barn provided the opportunity to say something in a simple way. I enjoyed putting in lots of color and making the image seem as fresh as the memory of this stop along the highway. Detail is fun, but not always necessary to tell the story. If I had given lots of attention to the flowers in the ditch, the focal point of the barn would have been lessened.

I like the dreamy quality of this painting. It was fun to paint choosing colors I wanted and not the ones of reality. Artists have that choice. Lots of decisions are made before the painting is done. Color, technique and placement of subject matter can make painting the same subject look very different. My hope is the person who views this painting will enjoy the step away from reality as much as I did when I painted it.


Get the Wiggle Out

get-the-wiggle-outIt’s that time of year again when things seem to go into overdrive mode. More tasks, socializing and more opportunities for my art. I like this little piece of art with the reminder to get the wiggle out. So often our days do have lots of wiggle room. A few moments to relax or to enjoy a simple pleasure. I want to be sure to do just that during this busy time of year. That wiggle area brings balance, peace and fun one moment at a time.

Some could take the words to mean to focus and waste less time, be more serious. That is the fun of words and art. A person can make it your own. It is universal and yet personal.

This holiday season, I hope you take the time to enjoy the abundance. To really be present each and every day. I need this little piece of art out in plain view to remind myself to reach deep within and pulling out a little more wiggle.

Shady Characters

img_1235It’s always fun to learn. I tried a new technique in this painting called Shady Characters. The dark background gives drama to this painting. Getting the darkness this intense required a new technique. I decided to risk ruining the painting to give it a try. I loved the way the dark area came out. A beautiful dark that still allows some of the color to shine through and gives a perfect setting to the rest of the colors. Once the background was in, I learned I had to go back and make other areas stronger to bring more balance. I learned much and was pleased with the outcome of this piece.

These plants are in my flower garden. I love the variety of shapes and colors of green the leaves offer. It is a plant that does best in shade and produces these beautiful white flowers. The plant gave me a wide range of lights and darks to paint. The green leaves and flowers were in the sun the day I photographed them. I was struck by the beauty of the dark areas so close to the light areas. I think this painting conveys my fascination with the wide range of light to dark. This time the risk turned out well. As a painter, it is wonderful to bring to life something exciting and sharing it with those who will view the piece. Hanging out with Shady Characters can change you. This time, it was for the better!


In the Garden

056It’s the season many of us enjoy the gathering of produce from the garden. I always enjoy the beauty of growing things.  Whether it is vegetables or children, there is a time when magic happens, when a bud flowers, and then flower turns to something wonderful and nourishing.

This is a watercolor of my son Chad when he was small. He was exploring the wonders of our neighbor’s garden. It was entered into an agriculture show and received honorable mention. It is nice to have recognition for a painting, but the process is where the real rewards can be found. It is so fun to bring something to life. To have the water and paint blend and form images. As an artist, I get to choose the colors and the way they are put on the paper. Every artist has favorite paint colors and methods.

One of my favorite methods is painting wet into wet. This means the paper is wet first and the colors are brushed or dropped into the wet area. They spread and blend in beautiful ways that an artist can not produce any other way. The lettuce leaves are done in this technique.

Yes, gardens can be fun and a source for lots of good stuff! Thanks Chad for letting me be the kid this time around and enjoy the wonder of the garden through this painting.

Be Delicious

Be Delicious #2 (800x517)I love doing fun and fantasy art. Letting my imagination go and not really doing any planning is very different than how I approach my realistic art. Putting together words that reflect my personality is a time when I can laugh and enjoy some of the combinations that occur. It reminds me of how the “helper” part of our phone sometimes fills in words that may be close in spelling, but hilariously different in meaning.

I also enjoy drawing the images that seem to beg to be released from the random paint splotches.  Every viewer can decide what the words and image mean to them. The creative process continues long after I’m done with the piece with the viewer. Lots of fun packed into a small little piece of art. Hope you find this one delicious!


005I love doing portraits. This is one done recently of my friend Susan. I loved the simple clean lines and the minimal use of color. The face really stands out because of the neutral colors of the surrounding areas. When I saw this photo, I knew I wanted to paint it.

Inspiration is so important to the creative spirit. Without it there is no excitement for the subject. I personally think this shows in the finished work. The enjoyment of painting something you love seems to flow from the spirit of the artist into the paintbrush.

Sometimes it is just fun to paint for the sake of painting. I always learn something with each thing I do. I love commissions but also enjoy just painting something just for me.

Thank you, Susan for sending this photo my way. It gave me some practice and fun. Can’t wait to do the other one of you!




Exercise Your Soul

Exercise SoulNever in my wildest dreams would I think I would enjoy exercise, but three years ago I joined a gym and never looked back. I’ve worked to have my food, water intake and exercise be in balance to lead me to a place of better health. What does this have to do with art? Plenty!

As an artist I know I have a need to also exercise my soul. I love watercolor and doing these small collage pieces allows me to have lots of fun. Each has a little something of the things I love. The watercolor, words and drawings come together to share my love of teaching or passing on wisdom. Like my life, in each one there’s a lot going on.

When I get lost finding the images, or hunting for the right word, the hours pass by and I would be hard pressed to say if I’m working or having fun. The line is blurred. My art is one of my passions and passions feed the soul and give it a good work out at the same time. The art comes out, but something also goes in. A nice balance that relaxes and stimulates the mind in tandem.

I hope you enjoy this small piece of art and it reminds you to enjoy your passion and exercise your soul often.

Cherished Moments

004As an artist we sometimes get to be part of cherished moments by recreating them in a painting. This watercolor was done for a dear friend as a Christmas commission, a gift for someone special. For this painting I wanted to show the emotion between the two subjects, a tender moment of love and appreciation.

I kept the color palette limited. I chose soft colors to reflect the soft emotions and kept the background muted so it would not take attention from the subjects. The eye naturally wants to start looking at the dark pants and travels up the blue clothing to reach the faces. The horse head and neck brings the eye down again and back to the bottom of the painting, making the complete circle of the subjects.

Spots can be a tricky thing. This horse had dark spots on a light coat. To make the spots too dark would have drawn the eye to the horse first and made the painting more energetic in movement. I chose to keep the spots soft and understated in the mood of the painting.

I love being part of gifts. The special place an artist holds is one of the storyteller, telling a small part of the sacred story of another. It is such a place of fun and honor. I’m happy to have been a part of this Christmas surprise.

A Love Affair

007Sometimes I get to enjoy doing a painting that captivates me, as well as the people who have commissioned the painting. Such was the case with this painting. The subject matter was a study in contrasts. The large dog with the small child, the studded collar of the dog with the delicate hair of the little girl, the muscular body of the dog with the soft, smooth skin of the toddler, each serving to create interest. The differences were surpassed by the obvious unity of the two subjects. No fear here! Only the enjoyment of sharing a hug and a beautiful spring day together.

As an artist my job was to make sure that relationship was seen and felt. The green grass gave unity to the subjects and was a perfect color to point the eye to the pink cup. The cup introduces the dog’s face and leads the eye up to the toddler’s face completing an intimate feeling between the three items.

To capture an image is one thing, to capture a feeling is quite another. By choosing delicate colors, a mood of tenderness was created. Choice of color is so important when telling a story, much like the voice is when telling a story verbally. If the right colors are not used, it can be flat or harsh, or put emphasis in places not very important. The background is a good example. The dandelions are plentiful and if made too important, would have taken the story away from the faces of the subjects.  By keeping the grass more yellow in color in the foreground, the dandelions blended in better with the grass. To make the dandelions quieter in the background,  they were made more blurry and small. This also gave the illusion of depth.

I loved painting this picture and being a part of the memory of a special dog and a young child as captured in this moment.




Something New

040It essential to grow as an artist. The possibilities are many in the ways an artist can explore and learn. For this portrait I tried a new set of colors. Watercolors have colors that are transparent, semi-transparent, and opaque in nature. I usually paint with a mix of these options. For this painting I decided to try painting with only transparent colors.

I used the pouring technique to layer colors. I take a tube of paint. Dilute it in a small cup of water and literally pour the paint over the paper. The white areas have been saved with a mask that seals the paper under it and keeps the paint from touching the paper.

Beautiful blends occur as the colors mix on the paper. Once dry, I removed the mask and enhanced certain areas making them more detailed.

This was painted from a photo taken of my personal trainer, Shane Patterson. It was challenging to get the likeness and not do too much painting in that area, letting it stay less detailed, like the rest of the painting.

Each time I try something new, I learn. My painting may not be as I had hoped, but I count it a success if I have learned something. Thanks, Shane, for allowing me to workout in a whole new way.