Thursday, October 31


5" x 7"
Oil on canvas panel
The photo of this scene was laid out in front of me and I jumped on the opportunity to paint it.  I liked how the sun reflected in the water of the reservoir without revealing its spherical self in the sky. I'd love to see incredible things like this with my own eyes.  Maybe someday...


Wednesday, October 30

Dahlia Delight

"Dahlia Delight"
30" x 40"
Oil on wrapped canvas
Dahlias were in bloom outside the Walled Garden when I was at the Botanic Gardens last month.  I found this one swaying in the breeze and had to sync my body to her rhythmic dance to photograph her. Fortunately, we coincided on a few of them and I got a terrific reference photo for this painting.  

Amazingly, the background took more time to paint than the gazillion petals of this bloom.  I'm delighted with the finished piece, and hope you dahlia lovers enjoy her, too.


Sunday, October 27

Slathered Honey

"Slathered Honey"
8" x 11"
Pastel on sanded paper
That evening, the sky slathered honey across the tips of the trees and down the shafts of their sturdy trunks, warming all who witnessed the overt act.  

I love the fleeting colors of autumn and am thankful for this seasonal gift of brilliance.


Saturday, October 26


4" x 7"
Pastel on sanded paper
Somewhere on the western plains is a landscape that looks a lot like this. I saw an image of it and remembered it for this tiny piece.

Here's a mid-range value study. Compared to yesterday's high contrast painting, this one is quite different, although still Western.  I'm hooked. 


Friday, October 25

Memories of West

"Memories of West"
7" x 4"
Pastel on sanded paper

I painted away from home today. I saw a reference to a subject similar to this so I drew it and painted it from memory. I love the prickly texture of the cactus and the surroundings, too.  It was a fun one to do. 

As usual, this one started on a piece of 140 pound D'Arches French Watercolor paper that I sanded until it felt like suede. I toned the paper with a layer of a burgundy and a layer of cobalt and sanded them into the sueded finish. I brushed it off and then drew a rough sketch of the cactus, then put in my darks.


Thursday, October 24

Foxy Gloves

"Foxy Gloves"
7" x 3"
Pastel on sanded paper

Foxgloves grow in the English Walled Garden at the Botanic Gardens near where I live.  They've always looked to me like a bunch of grapes gone floral.  They also tend to flourish in the shade, so I had to imagine sunlight on this sprig.  


Wednesday, October 23

Last Glimpse

"Last Glimpse"
4.5" x 7"
Pastel on sanded paper
There's been more color in the sky this past week than I've seen in a while. It seems happy, glowing, like if it could, it would also sing.  Fall, it must be ... fall. 

I've made lots of skies with oil paint, so tonight I tried one with pastel. It's not as easy as I thought it would be. I'm used to blending more easily. I'll learn it, I'm sure.


Tuesday, October 22

Balls Will Be Balls

"Balls Will Be Balls"
4.5" x 7"
Pastel on sanded Paper
Balls! I painted more balls in my mural painting career than any other single item.  Mostly I've painted sports balls in boy's bedrooms — stacks of them in unlikely places; bowling balls about to roll off of door frames, balls the size of marbles, baseballs with stitching, autographed basketballs, soccer, golf and ping pong balls.  Baby, you've got balls!


Monday, October 21

After the Rain

"After the Rain"
4.5" x 7"
Pastel on sanded paper
The setting sun shone like nature's very own photo editing program against the wet leaves of the scrub oaks. I was on my way to Ginger Whellock's open house last week as the sun finally peeked through. I shot photos from a speeding car to capture the light and the shapes on the hillside as my friend drove. I knew I'd paint them in pastel, at least once.  

All the rain in the Denver area this year has made the foothills of the front range look like a Persian tapestry this fall. I chose to be in Denver not only because of Ginger's fabulous gathering, but because of the colors.


Sunday, October 20

Wh- Wh- Who's Five?

"Wh- Wh- Who's Five?"
6" x 6"
Oil on wrapped canvas
My grandson, who is a big fan of the great horned owl, turns five this week.  I painted this for him.  It's on an inch and a half thick wrapped canvas, so it can sit on a shelf, or dresser, or be hung with the other things I've painted for him over the years. Happy Birthday, dear one. 

I saw whimsical owl paintings in Colorado last week and got the idea to paint one.  The whimsy here is the suggestion of a moon. It's there if you want it to be.


Saturday, October 19

Outskirts of Town

"Outskirts of Town"
3.5" x 5"
Pastel on sanded paper
Just outside of town, before I got home the other night I stopped to take one last look at my surroundings.  There were no cacti, no sagebrush, no sand. When I turned into my driveway I knew what I had experienced had been magical and I wanted more. 

This was a twenty minute little cutie pie I did this afternoon. The inspiration came from a photo I saw in a magazine, so I went with it.  I will have to prepare a lot of small pieces of watercolor paper so that I can enjoy painting like this more often.  It was quite fun.


Friday, October 18

Somewhere In The West

"Somewhere In The West"
5.5" x 7.5"
Pastel on sanded paper
I was in the West over the weekend and I may have left my heart there.  I saw things that made me feel alive, met people I plan to know better and revived a longing to live at a higher altitude.  

I painted this today, loosely using a reference photo of a Robert Genn painting.  I sanded a piece of watercolor paper, toned it with a red and a blue and sanded those colors into the paper to make a purple undercoat. I painted the light, or halation around the tips of the mountains.  It was a passionate endeavor, taking place on the heels of my extraordinary experiences of the past week. I've been ... blessed.


Thursday, October 17

More Toys

"More Toys"
15" x 22"
Watercolor on paper
I collected items as I walked from room to room in my parent's home that would coordinate with the tea towel I had chosen to set Mum's favourite covered mug on.  I got two of the items in this painting when she was "done using them." 

This is another watercolor from a while ago.  I wanted to share it with you and add it to my gallery.


Wednesday, October 16

"Aspen Leaves"
11" x 15"
Pastel on paper
While I was scoping out the beautifully-remodeled Abend Gallery in Denver, I happened on two of the gallery's artists actively painting on site. One was the darling oil painter, Tammi Otis and the charming pastel artist, Bruce Gomez. Both artists welcomed me to their State and chatted with me for several minutes.

Bruce noticed my obvious interest in what his students were creating and invited me to join the class the next morning. So I did! He gave me paper, let me use his easel, his pastels and brought me up to speed so I could finish with the rest of the women by end of day on Sunday.  This is the workshop image each of us was instructed to complete. His image, his pastels and my effort.  And I enjoyed it completely.


Monday, October 14


7.5" x7.5"
Pastel on paper
During a visit to California, my friends sent me a photo of a shoreline.  I liked the waves in the distance and the little foamy patch close to the shore. 


Sunday, October 13

Tea For Thee

"Tea For Thee"
15" x 22"
Watercolor on paper
I collect teapots miniature chairs and white angels.  This is a watercolor of three of my pieces, painted several years ago, but here for you while I'm in Colorado. 


Saturday, October 12

My Mother's Toys

"My Mother's Toys"
15" x 22"
Watercolor on paper
While I'm away, I'll share a few more of my earlier watercolors with you.  I painted this one in Florida in my mother's studio.  I taught her to paint with watercolors and she let me paint her pretty "toys."  She collected Bennington parian porcelain and several other brands of bisque porcelain. 

The challenge with painting watercolor in her studio was that I did it in the summer and she had no air conditioning.  A wash of color sometimes didn't dry for hours, what with the humidity.  I developed patience -- preparation for painting in oils.


Friday, October 11

Island in the Wheat

"Island in the Wheat"
7.5" x 10.5"
Pastel on paper
An island off shore of a harvested wheat field shone its flaming maples that October morning.  I saw them through the evaporating haze and was happy I drove this route instead of the other. 

I'm in Colorado visiting galleries, looking for a place to represent me. If I miss posting for a few days, please know I'm fine, just here with only my camera.


Thursday, October 10

Graphite Rose

"Graphite Rose"
4" x 5
Graphite on paper
When I finished drawing my shoe, I found a rose to draw. Yes, it was a long wait in that waiting room, but I had more fun than the people reading dog-eared magazines.  

I'm learning a lot about values as I work with graphite. I'm sure I should have learned this decades ago, but I'm thinking it's valuable now, too.


Wednesday, October 9


4" x 4"
Graphite on paper
I was sitting in a waiting room with a drawing pad on my lap and time on my hands. The only thing worth drawing was the view my foot afforded as I crossed my leg to elevate the drawing pad. I own these five inch heels in Chinese red silk and in black.  This one was red — same color as my toenails.  

I'm enjoying my new-found interests in pencil drawing and pastels.  I seem to be going about my education — backward.  Please be patient with me while I learn.


Tuesday, October 8

It's Official

"It's Official"
7.5" x 7.5"
Pastel on paper
The landscape seemed to decide over the weekend that it's officially autumn.  There's more gold than green and what green there is is reluctant rather than robust. I might add that the sky was in agreement.

I've painted this before, but in oil.  I may be revisiting some of my favorite scenes with my new medium.


Monday, October 7

Bee Yourself

"Bee Yourself"
7.5" x 7.5"
Pastel on paper
I saw this bee and knew I would have to try to paint him. I liked his furry thorax, the glint in his eye, the translucent shadow he cast on the petals, and his leaded glass wings.  Yup, this was a challenge I'd rise to, with thick pieces of chalky pastel. 

This is my offering for the weekly Challenge on Dailypaintworks.


Sunday, October 6

Snowed In

"Snowed In"
24" x 36"
Acrylic on canvas
The cabin was tucked into a cranny  on the edge of a pine forest. The lane had been plowed several times, but was about to succumb to erasure via snowdrift. 

This is an acrylic painting I did a few years ago while watching snowflakes blanket my zip code here in Illinois.  It's a colorful snow scene.


Saturday, October 5

Ms Scarecrow

"Ms Scarecrow"
16" x 20"
Watercolor on paper
Once the crops were harvested and she no longer had to keep the pesky birds at bay, Ms Scarecrow stood and waited. She waited patiently, albeit, propped, day after day, for someone to come along to stimulate and entertain her, to make her smile, at least make her think of smiling, since she never really had a face to begin with.  

Here's a watercolor from a few years ago. When I taught watercolor, these were the things I liked to demonstrate; weathered wood, rusted metal, crinkled leaves, snowy fields and fabric.  I loved to tell stories with those items.


Friday, October 4


7.5" x 10.5"
Pastel on paper

My path through the hazy pine forest was lit by a swath of sunlight. The sunbeams 
streaked between trunks and boughs to entice me to a particular spot, right over ... there.  

Pastels were my medium of choice today as I looked at subject matter from a recent trip. 


Thursday, October 3

Duck, Feet

 "Duck, Feet"
20" x 14"
Watercolor on paper

It was the seventies, the wall was avocado, and so was the shower curtain. It was a rental unit, so I couldn't change it, except in my mind.  I never was much for subtleties or understatement.   

Here is another of the paintings I became reacquainted with over the weekend. I painted this one in 1978 when I was single and could loll in the tub.  It hangs in a prominent place in Wisconsin where it raises lots of questions.


Wednesday, October 2


8" x 10"
Oil on hardboard
The sky was filled with a glorious light that burnished every surface with a golden patina. I love this quiet time of day when nature exhibits her version of how passion looks. 

No matter how I adjusted it, I couldn't get the sky color here to match that in the painting, where it's a drabbed periwinkle, not cobalt blue. The rest of it is reasonably close, however.


Tuesday, October 1

My Secret Garden

"My Secret Garden"
22" x 30"
Watercolor on paper
Gardens exist where there is no soil, no seeds, no toil, no weeds. Gardens flourish without season, or reason in the greenhouse of my mind. 

This was an exercise in painting soft, hard, lost and found edges.  Flowers floated in and out of focus in my mind as I committed this piece to paper.