Thursday, March 23, 2017

Crowded Corner

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What do you suppose these guys are waiting for here on the corner? A bus? Or maybe they're all about to cross the street.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sweet Creek

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This is one of my favorite places to go in the summer - Sweet Creek. There are series of small waterfalls all leading to a larger one, and instead of taking the trail I like to wade in the water, and climb up the waterfalls, taking pictures all the way. The whole thing takes me a couple of hours, and then 15 minutes back on the trail. Since it's not quite summer here yet, I painted this one from a photo.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


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My favorite part of this one is the spoon. Oh if only more things could turn out so perfectly under-stated. Still trying.

Monday, March 20, 2017


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This little hippo isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. He's not quite sure what this giant thing is next to him, so he's pretending he doesn't see it, to buy himself some time. This clueless-ness has also cost him some relationships. You might remember the cherry he dated some time ago. Well, that didn't work out, unfortunately. But everyone knows that cherries are pretty with it.

Sunday, March 19, 2017


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I don't usually eat my props, but this orange was quite good. The tough thing about painting it though, was there were no real dark-dark values in the segments. The darkest, as you can see, is that one little bit in the shadow of the left-most segment. And it isn't nearly as dark as the darkest parts of the knife reflections/shadows. So I thought this was tough, but also pretty cool looking!

Saturday, March 18, 2017


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It's been a long time since I peeled an orange and painted it. Five years, to be exact. Interested in seeing my history of orange paintings? This one is #149.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Martini with Lunch?

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Here's another back-to-basics apple painting, but with some glass to distort and complicate things.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Apple Pile

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I wasn't able to paint much in Texas, and when I got back I was feeling a bit rusty. So I decided to get back to my comfort zone for a little while - apples! I started with this basic composition. If you're interested, you can see the other 259 apple paintings I've posted, thus far.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Shady House

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We pass this house every time we drive out to the coast. Every time, I think, man I'd love to paint that. So one time, when I was with my artist pals, we pulled up the long drive and knocked on door. But either no one was home, or they didn't come to the door. We couldn't tell. I snapped a few pictures anyway, on the sly, and just got around to painting it.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Fear of Crowds

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I tell my students all the time that they need to compare more values than just what's right next to each other (which is what we ALL tend to do) - that they need to look over the WHOLE scene. But lately I'm realizing that it's impractical to compare every single value! And that the most important values to compare are LIKE values. For example, if I'm trying to match a certain light value, like where the sun is hitting all the spots on these roses, I want to squint and compare all the light values. Which ones are the lightEST? How does the color change as those lights get subtly darker. In this way I can create a kind of map in my head and paint systematically, rather than feeling like I'm starting over with every little area, and every color I mix.

I say all this because value is the number one thing I help my students with, and that's because it's hard! So any time I come up with something that helps ME, I figure it might help you too.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

My Little Friend

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As I painted this I was thinking about puzzles. I often think about them when I'm considering how to edit a "scene." Because if I change one thing, say make a petal smaller, it means something else will have to take up that extra space. Or if I make something darker, it will change the balance of the over-all light to dark ratio. It's a lot to think about! And just one of the reasons painting is such a challenge.

Saturday, March 11, 2017


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We're home from Texas! And while it was absolutely wonderful to spend so much quality time with our family and friends ... we've decided never to leave for that long again. Whew. A month and a half. I spent yesterday shipping off paintings and food shopping. Today I will lock myself in (and everyone else OUT of) my studio and paint to my heart's desire!

Meanwhile, here is a painting I did right before I left but never posted. Also, here is a link to an article I was interviewed for about living the American Dream.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Sunset Peaks

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When I was in the Sierra's last summer, I hiked alone on the first day up to this gorgeous vantage point, right as the long-shadowed afternoon-evening light was happening. I didn't have time to paint, so I took photos. Yesterday I pulled them out to paint from them.

As you might guess, choosing a 6x6in. panel was, ummm, misguided. So after trying (and failing) to fit everything in, I decided to stick with it and just redesign the composition.

I took my friend Paul Kratter's advice and pulled out my sketchbook. I think I tried it about 6 different ways before I landed on this one. My right mountain turned out a bit leany, but (even though I know it can't actually be like that in real life) I think it's fun, so I'm leaving it. Maybe I should have called it "Dr. Seuss Mountain."

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Rocky Reflections

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This is another one from the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I believe it's the edge of Garnet Lake in particular. What's funny is that most of the landscape paintings I do I want to call "rocks and water" - I wonder why.
; )

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Jumbled Rocks

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This one I did from a reference photo (or two or three) from the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. I've camped/painted there with friends the past couple of years and it is a magical place. Sadly I won't be able to make it this year.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Chunky Stuff

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Hello from Texas! We have been so busy visiting family and friends that I forgot to post this week's Daily Paintworks Challenge until today. I did this one before we left. The idea is to divide your subject into the simplest value/color areas possible, and paint them in solid chunks, without any soft edges or gradients. This allows you to really understand the BIG picture, without getting distracted by all the little details. I really enjoyed doing it, and totally dig the result! Want to try it too? The Chunked Challenge (don't forget to squint!)

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Little Girl Things

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I painted this as an example for this week's Daily Paintworks Challenge. This idea has been on my list for a while - painting only black and white (and gray) objects.

On another note, I will be judging the Sedona Art Prize this month. The prizes are pretty great, so you might want to consider entering!

We are currently in Farmington, NM, on our drive to Texas. It's been interesting to see most of the countryside covered in a blanket of snow, though it's pretty much gone from where we are now. I've been doing all the driving (because I'm better at it), but my wrists are finally healing, I think. My fingers are going only a tiny bit numb as I type this. : )

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Making Art

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Well, I've realized now that I've done a number on my wrists and I've got to rest them in order to heal. The worst thing is typing, but I've even stopped painting for now. : ( Hopefully this will save me a lot of grief down the road. So my husband is stepping in where needed, to help (unfortunately he doesn't paint!). Because he has a lot to do himself, my emails may be a bit slow, FYI.

This may work out for the best anyway, as we are headed to Texas soon, driving there from Oregon, and will be gone a total of 6 weeks. I will post a few more paintings, as I was ahead, but will hopefully (fingers crossed!) be able to paint again in Texas.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Spoon to Cups

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I painted this right after the grade A eggs, so I was trying to stay focused on the super blocky style. This is something I am always trying to come back to. When I get lazy I get tight again, but that's not the style I prefer. Being blocky is actually slower and requires more focused attention. It doesn't seem like it, huh? But it's true.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Red Shoes ArtByte!

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Two of my workshops are already full! The one in Eugene in August still has 10 spots. So you know, Oregon is awesome in the summer! It's our best season.

For those of you who can't make it to a workshop for whatever reason, I just put up a new ArtByte (online tutorial) featuring these very red shoes (above)! It's a simple demo video (including a shot of my palette) with a voiceover. Instead of speeding up this video, I edited out all the boring parts (anything without mixing or painting), and got it down to about 24 minutes.