Monday, December 17, 2012

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wall Street

24x12 oil on panel

Somehow this pair of male puppets makes me think of Wall Street guys, out for a good time, maybe checking out the girls on the street. Definitely dressed for a night on the town, too much money in their pockets.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Dancer; Understudy

13x12 oil on panel

13x12 oil on panel

The Wayang Golek puppets are, of course, for performances, so here is the older, confident dancer and her understudy. Again, working out the personalities and painting the headdresses were the fun parts.

Monday, July 26, 2010


16x12 oil on panel

At one point I decided this painting was never going to come together - its funny how some just go so easily, and others are a fight from the beginning to nearly the end - and then fall into place too. I loved doing the headdress, and showing the joint of the shoulder. I see him as rather shy, but my husband thought he looked self-satisfied, like he knows he is 'studly'.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


24x18 oil on panel

With their shy and innocent expressions, this pair made me think of the tentativeness that a couple in an arranged marriage must feel, excited and nervous, feeling the full responsibility of doing what their families want. I find it fascinating that studies show that these marriages frequently fare better than the modern, American idea of marrying for romantic love.
Painting the headdresses was just great fun.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


18x18, oil on panel

This is one of my favorites of the series - will the flirtation go any further? Will they actually speak to each other? Or is it just a moment where she feels the power of drawing his gaze?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


24x12, oil on panel

Many things have happened over the past 6 months, but I never thought I would need this long hiatus from posting to the blog. Among other events, we added a 2 year old Great Dane to our lives - a rescue dog. It was rather like becoming a new parent to a baby who outweighs me, and all my time and energy went to his needs. Now, five months later, he has settled in and is a great addition. (He quickly learned though that bumping my painting arm is a sure way to get immediate attentions!)

In February we were in San Francisco and I saw Javanese Wayang Golek puppets in a shop and fell in love with them. When I was asked to do some paintings for a show with a World View theme I decided to use the puppets to not only represent a different culture, but also to show how human needs and desires transcend time and place.
Here I am posting "PuppetMaster" who, in my mind, watches over and directs the other characters. I will post the series over the next week.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


8x8" oil on panel

I did this painting for the Arts Alliance fundraiser here in Albuquerque, a silent auction to benefit the arts. The subject matter was to relate to love and valentines, so I chose this red Kiss. For those not grounded in Spanish, Beseme translates to 'Kiss Me'. The painting had lots of bids, and sold the night of the reception. It was fun to paint, and fun to attend the auction!

Happy Valentines Day to everyone!

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Journey 30x30" oil on canvas

Camel 30x24" oil on canvas

I continued to work on both of these pieces a bit - some minor tweaks to Camel, and some major ones to Journey. I'm happier with both, but personally like Camel better of the two...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Camel 1

30x24", oil on canvas

Riding a camel was always on my 'things to do' list, and in September we went to Cairo where I finally got to do it. Such ungainly, gracious creatures; quite magical.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


8x8" oil on panel

I've always thought that Magpies were one of the most beautiful birds. The bold black and white just doesn't need any colorful embellishment, its just purely elegant.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I Was Here First

6x8" oil on panel

While both my dogs are gone now, they both are present in this painting - I used a picture of Elijah as a reference, and my beloved Zeke inspired the title. He was a Great Dane mix and when the chickens would come up to eat mosquitoes off his fur (we lived in Montana, then) he would just get this look of indignant patience as if to ask why they couldn't leave him alone...

This is the last of the "there's a bird on my head" group for now - and I'm delighted to say that they just got accepted into the Small Wonders show at The Wooden Cow gallery, here in Albuquerque, along with a painting I'll post tomorrow.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nesting Instinct

8x6" oil on panel

Trying out a nest seemed like a logical extension of the bird idea. Credit for the title goes again to my husband.

And Coming on November 22nd:

Over at the fabulous Seth's The Altered Page, he is posting the latest version of The Pulse. Every Sunday there will be a variety of artists answering questions about their favorite art resources, art secrets, where they work, etc. Its a great, fun way to find new artists doing Amazing work, so be sure to check it out every Sunday starting on the 22nd (and check out The Altered Page any time - Always great stuff there!)

Saturday, November 14, 2009


8x6" oil on panel

Wouldn't you be worried too, with a woodpecker sitting on your head??

Friday, November 13, 2009


8x6" oil on panel

I was waiting one day and scribbling on a scrap of paper to pass the time. A bird, then a head, which accidentally bumped into the bird. It looked silly: 'Hey look, I've got a bird on my head!' The idea stuck, and I ended up doing a few small oil sketches from it. Here is the first...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Time and Time Again

oil on panel, 12x12

This is the final one of the clock series for now - I still have some ideas I want to work on (Passing Time, Time-Out, Time Stands Still....), but its "time" for a break to work on some other subjects too. Hope to post new work in a week or so -

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Oil on panel, 8x16

This one was the most fun to paint of all the series! Something about the straightforward simplicity of it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Double Time

oil on panel, 12x12

Of all the clock paintings, this was the most challenging. I'm still not sure its quite right, something about the shadows. To get the reflection, I used a piece of black plexi-glass.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Old Tyme

oil on panel, 12x12

This is the second of 5 clock paintings for the "Faces and Places" show at the New Mexico Cancer Center. Getting the ellipses right so that the pocket watches lay down and recede in the picture was a challenge, but of all 5, this one came together the most easily. For all of the clocks, I finished everything but the hands and numbers, then used an alkyd medium to create a barrier layer. This let me put in the details, making corrections or wiping them out as necessary without having to repaint the clock itself.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Family Time

Oil on Panel, 12x12

Time, and how we use it, or let it control our days, is a fascinating thing to think about, whether from minute to minute or over a lifetime. Such a powerful thing.
I found all these clocks at a local junk store and loved the distinct styles. Had so much fun painting them that it turned into a series that I'm still working on - a total of 5 paintings so far, but this is the only one thats finished. This grouping, with all the clocks clustered together and facing forward makes me think of the formal family portraits of the early 20th century, thus the title. I guess that makes the marbles family pets, and the wooden shoe the crazy relative?

I'll be gone for the next 3 weeks, so the rest of the series will get posted when I get back...

Thursday, September 24, 2009


oil on linen panel, 14x18

I'm not sure if the title reflects the mood of the painting, the model as she took this pose every day for 2 weeks, or me in working it all out! My favorite part is her shirt - it was a little small for her and gapped at the buttons, and slightly sheer, so it took on a different look over her arms than in the body where she had a camisole on underneath. Alot of fun to figure out how to paint it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


oil on panel, 12x12

Hard to believe how time flies. I've been busy painting but got out of the habit of posting, but here I am, finally back. "Dreamer" was done using a Ralph Lauren advertisement as the inspiration source, not something I would normally do, but I loved the charm of the girl in her hat.
My daughter was visiting last week and wanted to learn about painting. Below is one of the 3 crow paintings she did, using acrylics. In addition to color mixing she was learning about "low-key" versus "high-key" paintings, and about keeping detail and dimension even in silhouetted subjects. I think it turned out great!

acrylic on panel, 12x12

Tuesday, August 4, 2009





Land, Sea, Air

Jay, Crow, Flicker

Loud Mouth

Talk About It

I happen to be reading "In the Company of Crows and Ravens" by John M. Marzluff & Tony Angell, a fascinating look at who crows are and how we interact with them. Our current campsite has a flock of crows (also known as an Unkindness of Crows or a Murder of Crows: read the book to find out why!) who are keeping me entertained as I am stuck in camp with a broken foot. The wonderful book illustrations inspired me to work at capturing these characters. They are unusually shy, but greedy too - a handful of oatmeal cookie crumbs draws them in every time. They still move too fast to capture, so these drawings are from a combination of direct observation and photographs. The feathers and shells I found here, and are drawn from life.
We've been in Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula of Washington for the past week or so; heading back to Oregon soon for the last part of this trip.

** Added note: Andrew sent me the following link about crow behavior - fascinating! Click here
Robyn at the fabulous Art Propelled also has a wonderful post on Crows here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Oregon Sketches

We're off camping on the Oregon coast; these are a few of the quick ink sketches I've been doing. I planned to bring some watercolors along, but forgot them in my studio; just as well, as we have been going non-stop. Its a fantastically beautiful area - we came up through Nevada into SE Oregon (who knew that Northern Nevada was so beautiful too?!) and cut across to the coast at Brookings. Its a *perfect* seaside town with boats and a farmer's market right at the harbor. Since then we've seen Elephant seals and different varieties of sea lions, a couple of gray whales, lighthouses, wetlands, sand dunes and miles of pristine beaches and forest. Off the scale for gorgeous, and great seafood at every stop. We're only half way up the coast, and certainly looking forward to the rest of the trip.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Mountain Landscape

oil on panel, 14x18

I've been doing a number of experiments with using a palette knife. Very awkward at first, but I'm finding that I can get effects that are impossible for me with a brush. This landscape is all palette knife; my next couple of postings will be of paintings that use both a knife and brushes.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

After the Rain

Oil on panel, 11x14

In this painting I was after a particular feeling in Montana after a fall rain - wet, misty, the smell of the damp earth. There was a promise that even though winter was coming the land was still fertile, resting, waiting for the next spring season.

Shameless advertising and horn tooting: Two of my friends have published books! First is Carrol Haushalter's story "Trail To Tomorrow", a charming book for young adults (say 10 - 12 years old). Its the story of a young girl who works as a cowboy on a cattle drive, moving with her family from Texas to New Mexico. Based on the author's great-grandmother's experience of masquerading as a boy in order to safely make the journey. Carrol and her husband travelled to New Mexico last year and joined in a cattle drive at the Burnt Well Guest Ranch as part of her research for the book and said they had the time of their lives. You can purchase Trail to Tomorrow here through Amazon.

Next is Andrew Cahner's work, "The Art Model's Handbook: The Naked Truth about Posing for Art Classes and Fine Artists". This is a long overdue book on everything related to being or hiring an art model. Andrew himself is a very experienced model, but instead of just relying on his own experiences he interviewed artists and photographers, managers of art programs and other models. The result is comprehensive, and extremely helpful in telling both the artist and the model what to expect and how to make a session professional and productive. You can buy this wonderful reference book here. A final horn toot: I'm very honored that Andrew included one of my drawings in the book:

Congratulations on your books Andrew and Carrol!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Snack Time

Oil on Panel, 8x8"

Just south of Albuquerque is the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Its a gorgeous place in the Rio Grande valley, but never more so than in the fall migration. Thousands upon thousands of Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese arrive for the winter months. Every day there is a Fly-Out (morning) and Fly-In (evening) as the birds leave to forage during the day and return to sleep. Eagles, Osprey, songbirds, coyotes, deer, turtles are all here too. Be sure to include the Bosque in your sightseeing if you come to New Mexico!

Monday, June 8, 2009


oil on panel, 6x8"

Just got home from a wonderful trip through Scandinavia, St. Petersburg and 10 days of a cruise in the Baltic Sea. Still jetlagged and overwhelmed by all we saw.

I did this little duck painting just before we left on the trip but hadn't chosen a title - but after days of touring, the title seems quite obvious - we certainly spent many hours lined up to see the sights!

One of the many highlights of the trip was the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg, housing the collection of Catherine the Great and the subsequent Russian rulers. Its huge and packed with sculpture, objet d'art, paintings.... just the architecture is incredible. They say that if you looked at each item for 3 seconds each, it would take 8 years to go through the collection. We had a couple of hours! Definitely a fast paced "look left, see that, now look right, see this, now move on".
Favorite countries were Norway (it snowed!) and Sweden; maybe we will get back there one day. Loved the 24 hours of daylight - I could do that year around!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


oil on panel, 11x14"

Something totally different from my usual! The image for this comes from Karin Jurick's Different Strokes site. Every couple of weeks she posts one of her photos and invites all artists to work from it. Its great fun to see all the different interpretations and media used. When I participate, I try to challenge myself to work outside of my usual comfort zone. In this case there was no pre-drawing, just direct painting. I shifted the season to winter, and tried to convey the essence of crowded city traffic.

I'm leaving on vacation (Scandinavia!) so I won't be posting for a couple of weeks, but hope to come home with lots of sketches and new ideas -

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Winning by a Hare

oil on panel, 16x16

This is the third (and last, for now) Carousel painting. Along with 7 other paintings, they will be going into a show next month benefiting the New Mexico Cancer Center Foundation, which provides services to patients and their families. Its been fun getting everything ready for it. Winning by a Hare is my personal favorite of the three...

Monday, May 11, 2009


oil on panel, 16x16
This is the second of 3 carousel paintings, and just as much fun to paint as the first one. When you look at carousel horses alot you start to realize that many of the horses have wild-eyed expressions, especially the older carousels. Not what you would expect on a child's ride. These two horses seemed to me to be captive, but still free spirited, quite willing to take off at the first opportunity; hence the title.

Chris Beck and Faye Christian Phillips both tagged me with this Passion for Painting award a couple of weeks ago and I've been passing it along one person at a time. Katherine Treffinger is my choice for this post. Her work is alive and exuberant, definitely will brighten your day. She has been asking artists "What does doing art mean to you" and posting their answers and images of their works, so not only will you see her work but you'll also have the chance to find other new and wonderful artists! Today is "my" day to answer that question, so drop in and see it all!