Friday, December 30, 2016

Lacey Keosauqua Creek no 3

I had a framed watercolor painting from over 3 years ago. On the reverse side of the watercolor I applied pastel ground and created this pastel. If it hasn't sold in 3 years move on. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Winter and Fall

This is from a photo taken after plein air painting. The fleeting moment when the sun is low on the horizon. I don't think I can capture that before it changes.
12" x 12" oil on panel

Again from a photo but not because the light changed but because I am just not tough enough to set up in the cold. Photos do not capture the subtle colors. This was of a stand of evergreen trees in a local park. I may have to go back there and plein air paint.
12" x 12" oil on panel

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

recent paintings

Commission to go with a previous painting of  another dog. I started with a burnt sienna mixed with liquin and painted into this. This method was how I created the first painting
12" x 12" oil on stretched canvas

Fall at Wilson lake this year has not been as colorful. This is an opportunity to play with neutrals
12" x 12" oil on stretched canvas

Saturday, November 26, 2016


I had this framed long format painting that just did not work. It sat on my "fix it" someday pile. I finally just threw it away and made another panel. This was from a photo reference looking down at the water overflow from the Oakland Mills dam. I wanted a challenge. I was not sure if this should be up, down or sideways, I guess it is any way the client would want it.
8" x 23" oil on panel

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Late Fall at White Oak Lake

Pastel painting from a photo. I did paint plein air in oil that day, but wiped it off. 
12" x 17" pastel on Wallis paper.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Pastel and Oil

Playing with pastel and oil using the same photo reference. I started with a pastel painting trying to loosen up as I often get bogged down with details.
Then the oil. I did go back to more detailed renderings.

Trying to make a suggestion of cattle in pastel.

Another pastel of the same image.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Along the Rocky Shore

I would like to paint the water flowing over the dam at Oakland Mills but you face the reflection on the water. I turned my attention to the rocky shore with interesting green moss and a distant bank for depth.
6" x 12" oil on canvas

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sunlight on the Water

Hoping to go out today, in the meantime artwork based on photos taken after plein air painting. If is looks familiar I did it in a square format. They still come out different in color and contrast if the scene is this complicated. Still challenging. 
12" x 9" oil on panel

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Recent Paintings

Geology Center
Just finished this. The Geology Center at Cornell in Mount Vernon, Iowa.
14" x 11" oil on panel

Shari's Horses
Rough in starting with burnt sienna and ultramarine blue. The client wanted the painting to be exactly like a photo she supplied.
I did add a little more color than the gray day allowed. I also edited the exaggerated perspective. 
14" x 11" oil on panel

I managed to get out once for a quick plein air painting while the weather was nice.
10" x 8" oil on panel

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Fairfield Arts Association Member Show

The Fairfield Arts Association's members show requires everyone to use the same format and type of painting panel. This year it is a 10" x 10" cradled wood panel. I applied gesso over the wood and sanded in between the layers of gesso. This was painted from a photo reference of a stream in Lacey Keosauqua state park. I did paint an 11" x 14" plein air painting at the time. This exhibit showcases the range of the artists' creativity. They give you free reign on subject and medium as long as you do not extend more than an inch from the panel. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Recent Plein Air paintings

Bluff Strokes Plein Air
This last weekend was the Bluff Strokes plein air event in Dubuque, Iowa. Bluff Strokes was sponsored by Mississippi River Workshops, an affiliate of the Dubuque County Fine Arts Society. With the help of many great volunteers and corporate sponsors we enjoyed 7 days of painting and art related events.  This was a wonderful way to see Dubuque; painting the views plein air from the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi. The event was well organized with the gallery set up in Steeple Square. The painting above is a view from  Eagle Point Park,  The unique architecture of Victorian homes and churches gave plenty of painting opportunities.
Lock and Dam #11 12" x 9" oil on canvas panel

I originally painted this without the dam workers. It was a gray windy day with intermittent light rain. While I was painting a barge came through. A couple of the workers asked to see my painting and were the most enthusiastic onlookers I had all week. Unfortunately they were not going to be around on the Saturday of the show. It has been a great icebreaker with passing strangers. Lots of encouraging comments.
Lock and Dam #11 River View 14" x 11" oil on linen panel

This was the first time I painted at night in a competition. The painting was wiped off because I just could not make it work. I was happy with this scene. I started with a stark white panel and maybe wiping it off helped make this one work. Lots of pthalo blue then wiped the lights off before adding paint strokes. This view was from the corner of 1st and Locust street. It was hard to see the exact details, but that may have been an advantage to captureing the feel without getting wrapped up in details.
9" x 12" oil on Ampersand panel 

On the last day the artists painted at Iowa's oldest Farmer's Market. Music and art to go with the shopping experience of fresh flowers and produce.  

Portrayal of Mount Vernon Plein Air
This recent Saturday I went to Mount Vernon, Iowa for a one day plein air painting competition. This is my second year for this event and I went to my favorite place. This is an abandoned quarry that is now a park. I like the shadows and sun light on the rocks. This one tree still had green leaves amidst the dull brown of already dead leaves and bare trees. I liked the duck weed floating on the water surface. It is a challenging cadmium green that was just what I needed straight out of the tube. 
14" x 11" oil on canvas panel

I decided to push myself to try a subject I have often avoided, buildings. I did not have the time to finish this painting. The rules on this competition allow you to take it home and finish from photos. I did finish the first one on site but this one will have to be completed later.
14" x 11" oil on canvas panel

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Recent paintings

Catiri's Art Oasis gallery. Painting created during the quick paint. 
12" x 9" oil on panel

Catiri's Art Oasis Fresh Paint entry painting of the field North of Amana, Iowa
11" x 14" oil on panel

Railroad depot view from the pedestrian bridge.
6" x 12" oil on canvas panel 

Rock wall again.
11" x 14" oil on panel

Friday, September 16, 2016


Third version of the Geode Rock wall fishing. This is a commission so I painted three versions. I told the client that it is a common subject and I could still sell the other paintings. The people in the paintings were just a suggestion and they could be whoever you wanted them to be. I feel the couple in this one look the best. It was hard to try to give the suggestion of a woman and a man.
11" x 14" oil on Raymar panel.

This is the second version. I like the feeling of sunlight the best on this one. My original plan was to paint plein air, that is until I found out where it was located. I had to walk a dry creek and then through some shoulder high weeds on uneven ground on past tree branches that gave me stinging blisters. I took may camera and put together the background from the photos. I would still like to paint plein air but will have to wait until the park staff decide that they need a trail there. 
9" x 12" oil on panel

This is the first version.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

September Exhibit at Keokuk

I am currently showing at the Keokuk Art Center round room for the month of September
Lone Tree in Fall 21" 18" oil on stretched canvas

Petunies 12" x 6" oil on panel

Canadian Geese in the Park - plein air
16" x 10" oil on canvas

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Cattle Pasture Plein Air

This Saturday I participated in the Paint Marceline plein air competition. This event was organized by the North Missouri Arts Council. They supplied a map of possible locations, which saved a lot of time driving around sizing up the scenery. I stopped off at this century farm and as I was walking around the owner came home. When I asked about cattle, he very kindly drove me and my gear out to where the cattle were cooling off in a mud pit under a hedge apple tree... perfect. I liked the tree that caught my attention first and then I quickly saw the cattle.  I always wanted to paint plein air in a cattle pasture and the owner assured me they were friendly, but watch out for the cow patties. They did stick around long enough for me to sketch a few of them. The mud was another challenging  element. I soon found that when dropped off in a distant cattle pasture in the hot sun I needed to plan better; I forgot bug spray, sun scene and something to drink. I guess it encouraged me to paint fast.  
14" x 11" oil on canvas

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Mosquito Park

On a recent shopping trip to Burlington I stopped at Mosquito Park. This is a little park with a big view of the Mississippi River. Cloudy days make for challenging grays and the view pushes the distant grays. This is definitely a place I plan to revisit. 

This was painted on a dark mossy green ground, basically wiped off from a previous painting
6" x 12" oil on panel

This was wiped off. I got a phone call and had to quit here. I painted into a Pthalo blue and Burnt Sienna mix with Liquin added. I think I could have left that unfinished look, after all it is basically a study. Another place to go back to.
6" x 12" oil on panel

Monday, July 18, 2016

Study Underwater Rocks

A quick painting study. The water was still which gave me a better view of the rocks. 
8" x 6" oil on panel

Friday, July 15, 2016

Lotus Along the River

Green in sunlight and shadow is something I need to work on. A great opportunity to practice on it with the Lotus in full bloom, actually I am a week too late according to a passing jogger. There was plenty left at this spot. Artist Tim O'Neal excelled at this with large colored pencil drawings of Canas leaves. Tim does not have an internet presence, so you will just have to take my word for it.
11" x 14" oil on canvas. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Three Tree Trunks

A couple of years ago we went to Wilson Lake to paint lotus blooms. They must have thinned them out because my latest trip to Wilson Lake yielded a few sporadic blooms. I did find this scene with the late afternoon sun peaking through the foliage.
I started this with M. Graham's Walnut Alkyd Medium mixed with burnt sienna and ultramarine.
8" x 8" oil on canvas  

Waterlilies Study

The waterlilies are in full bloom along the river. This was painted plein air starting with a burnt sienna and ultramarine blue ground mixed with alkyd medium. It was a little complicated for me to do plein air so I took photos to work on it later. The Mississippi river is the light blue stripe in the background.  
11" x 14" oil on canvas

Three Tree Trunks

A couple of years ago we went to Wilson Lake to paint lotus blooms. They must have thinned them out because my latest trip to Wilson Lake yielded a few sporadic blooms. I did find this scene with the late afternoon sun peaking through the foliage.
I started this with M. Graham's Walnut Alkyd Medium mixed with burnt sienna and ultramarine.
8" x 8" oil on canvas  

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Study in Greens with water

Late afternoon at the lake. The water changes so fast it is hard to keep up with it. When the wind picks up the water has ripples with dark green and white. When it is still, there are slight ripples that just make the reflections a little wavy. 
14" x 11" oil on canvas

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Self Portrait at 39

Self Portrait at 39
I am cleaning house in my studio. I was flipping through some sketchbooks and found this. It had been so long ago I forgot about it. I had to ask my husband, "Who does this look like?" to be sure it looked like me. I haven't seen that face in a long time.

Old Brooder Shed
This is another sketch from my 1991 sketch book. This building may be one of my first plein air drawing,  The building is gone now but it used to be a chicken shed and later cleaned out for a playhouse. 

Location Unknown
I am not sure anymore where this scene is from. It did date my sketchbook by the signature. I really should date my sketchbooks.

The Pickup
I often sketched in ink to get over the eraser habit. You will notice the horse in the foreground has three front legs. Don't have time to fix it, just move on. The reference for this was a photo I took of the local rodeo. Back then they had an afternoon performance and I could take some decent photos.

I found an earlier sketchbook but declined to post the sketches. I started out copying comic books. One of my favorites was Vampirella. I don't remember the artist but my guess it was probably Frazetta. I wish I still had that comic book.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Another Field of Hay

This started as a demo for an painting and wine party, but they preferred to paint fall trees. Since I already had the basics drawn in I finished it. The clouds I took from another photo. I have painted this scene before with fall foliage.
11" x 14" oil on canvas

Friday, July 1, 2016

Chasing the Light

This should be the final. Sometimes I don't know when to quit. Since this is due tomorrow then it is time to quit. I changed the sky with a little warm tones around the trees. I also mixed in darks with the lights near the top, hoping to give the appearance of the masses of stars. Darkened around the firefly she is chasing. Added a couple of fireflies in the grass and some more in the distance. Darkened the girls skin in the shadows. Although I suspect fireflies don't glow that bright I claim creative license. 

The local art center is having a themed exhibit titled, "It's a Bug's Life". I failed at photographing a dragonfly and a couple of other insects on a recent hike. With no other option, I pulled this together with a couple of photos of my granddaughter chasing a bird. Made up the night scene and the "fireflies". No one said they had to be anatomically correct.

When talking about painting people one of the artists complained that you can't sell your paintings from the life drawing class, so why bother. A lot of what I paint ends up just practice. When I try something out of my area of expertise, my failure rate is higher than usual. This one is oil and it did take some wiping off and fixing to get a natural feel. Even now I plan on waiting til it drys some to tweak it. 
11" x 14" oil on canvas on panel