I absolutely love to paint people’s portraits whom I meet in my travels.  As I follow the journey across a new face, the energy of that particular person speaks to me.  I feel for them and those sensations come through subconsciounsly in my brush strokes or in the palette knife.  It is also good practice in seeing–color transitions,  shapes–large and small, lost and found edges all the things that go into any painting.


Mongolian Princess, 11 x14 Oil sketchmongolianprincess


The Art of Painting

“Guardian of Sacred Spaces” Oil on Canvas, 30″ x 40″

There are as many different ways to create a piece of art as there are people who paint.  All of us have our own vision–be it photo realism, abstraction, figurative, landscape, still life, contemporary or traditional.  I have dabbled in all of these forms and many more.  I have also, within these genres, played with all kinds of media–watercolor, charcol, acrylics, oil pastels, pastels, and of course oil paint.  I have gone from trying to draw and paint as realistically as possible to smearing paint with sticks and rocks to see what it does.  All are valid, and for me there is an important dance between discipline and play.  Too much discipline–as in realistic drawing–can be stiff and too much play can be infantile.  I try to strike a balance and during the process–emotion and meaning trumps.

“Guardian of Sacred Spaces” grabbed my attention when I was riding my horse and found this special place.  I did a small 8″x 10″ plein air (on location) painting.  I was taken by the slow energy of this giant tree and the intimate surroundings it protected.  The colors were dazzling in the late fall and a palette knife allowed me to capture it.  Later, all the knowledge from that day was transferred to a 30″ x 40″ canvas where I had to decide on the discipline of the composition and how much literal interpretation  I was going to do.  I decided the color and emotion of the place were the most important so I chose to use a pallet knife on the large piece as well.  The pallete knife allows me to get pure clean color and also allows me to play with the paint, as in the branches.  The  more I worked on the piece, the more I felt the power of that tree and its protectiveness of the surroundings.  On the way home I saw a deer crossing my street and was able to snap a quick phone shot.  Later while working on it, I felt the deer wanted to go into the background.  Perhaps she had crossed that same place and that is her guardian tree.

This is but one way to create  a piece of art.  I chose the medium and the style for this magnificent guardian and am currently working in a similar manner with other scenes.

Finally Spring!!!

The snow is melting around my mountain cabin and little green things are popping up!  I hiked up a small mountain behind my house and set up my easel, but darn–a spring snow cut my outing short!  I can’t wait to get out.  I bought some large saddle bags to hold my paints and Picasso is ready to go!IMG_4610_2

This is from an exploratory ride up behind my house.  The views were spectacular and next time paints and easel are coming!

Winter Wonderland

The studio snuggles up to the mountain side with old guardians protecting it from the wind.  My little horse decorates the corral below and likes to come to the deck for apples.  Its quiet here.  A peaceful place to paint.

Winter Studio
My beautiful place to create.


The Studio is Done!

It’s so exciting to finally have a dedicated space to paint!  I’m currently working on holiday commissions for my electrician!  I love it when I can trade artwork for services or things.  If you have something you’d like to trade–just let me know!

After the commissions are done, I will be working on small still life paintings to practice color, color, color!

Building a Studio

It’s been a lifelong dream to have a dedicated studio.  Well, it’s finally happening!  It is at the bottom of the hill I live on with magnificant views of a meadow and mountains!  I’ve put in two sliding glass doors and five 4 x 4 windows.  It will have a pellet stove and base board heaters for our cold Rocky Mountain Winters.  I’ll be able to paint snow scenes from the comfort of the fire!!  Of course, I’ll still go out and freeze to death, but at least I get to come back to my space and warm up and paint some more!  I’ll have room for students and life drawing groups!  Its only about two weeks from completion!  Life is good!!!