Friday, July 31, 2015


This painting is a cupcake shop in our town. I'm just trusting it looks better on any other device it's viewed on. On my old laptop the colors are washed out and the doors do not even look pink. Which is what attracted me to this spot. I am getting slightly better at fixing color issues with Photo Shop but this one was beyond me.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Summer Girls

I've been off painting for a few days. One, I had a lot of things I had to do and two, I couldn't think of anything to paint. Last night I tried to paint watermelon.Somehow the idea was more interesting than the result. I wiped that one. And I was worried I was going into a slump. The dreaded"artist's block". But then, flowers to the rescue!

Saturday, July 25, 2015


This painting is of a store front in my town. It was one of the pics I shot on Thursday. My camera wouldn't even shoot the purple in this painting so I Photo Shopped it. Sorry it's such a bad picture.  I'm really happy with how this turned out but I know the perspective is way off. I need to draw more. I have kept a sketchbook my whole life but my drawing has a linear, cartoon style. It worked for me but it was never about accuracy. I am trying to draw every day now. Seriously.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Truly Pink

I had to paint these again and I am happy with both these paintings. Today I went to a state park to sketch, photograph and get ideas to paint. The water lilies were gorgeous and I got some really nice pics of them. Hope I can do them justice. As far as landscape material, well lets just say I live in a really leafy, green area. I should not complain. Parts of this country would love that. It just means I need to become more creative with color schemes to avoid so much green. It can be done, so I've read.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


The cone flowers are blooming. I have lots of them. And daises, lillies, and black eyed Susans. Mexican hat something or others (I can't remember) and Aunt Mary's mums. Among other things. It's a big country cutting garden. So, when I have a day that I can't think of anything to paint, I can at least do flowers just to keep practicing. And that's what this blog is about. Just keep working and see what happens.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Evening Sun

I posted this the other day using my cell. It was really bad so I am trying to fix it now. We just got back from a week of camping on Thunder Bay near Alpena, Michigan. This is the view from our camp site, The bay is just behind the trees. I've wanted to paint this for years. This is the same painting that I posted on 7/6/15 but this time I worked outside. I only did two paintings because it rained mostly. We did have one very nice day of canoeing. I sketched and only took a few pics, trying to focus more on composition, instead of shooting anything I like.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Morning Walk

I walked with a small note book yesterday morning and sketched this scene. I painted it later in the day without looking at my sketches. That's another first for me. I found myself thinking more about the  painting process and less about getting the image right. That was fun.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Red Lillies

I love these things. They remind me each year of my old man. He frequently brought me bags of bargain table bulbs. One year it was a bag of lilies---one bulb in every color.  By now I have stands of yellow, white, pink, orange and these spectacular reds. Below is my attempt at painting them last year. 32x32 and of course it's UNFINISHED. I am really satisfied with this years try.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Mind View

I'm posting this only because it is meaningful to me. It's the first time in my adult life I have painted without looking at something. I always say I have no imagination. Have never sketched spontaneously. But, yesterday, while under painting a bunch of panels because I couldn't find anything to paint , this view emerged. Really bad I know, but a first. It's said that you can exercise your brain. Maybe the more you paint, the more imaginative you become.
When I was a kid, I know I made up things to draw and paint.
This is a painting I made at 12 yrs. for my grandmother for Christmas. I have always wanted to be a painter.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Quiet River

Another painting from a pic. Still waiting for summer to start around here. I know it could be worse, snow in Cali and floods in some areas.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Au Sable 2

This painting is a nightmare but I learned a lot. I painted it from a pic I took canoeing on the Au Sable river in northern Michigan. I finished it yesterday, stood back and eesh it was really dark. THEN I remembered something I read recently about working from pics. The camera always makes shadows too dark.  Also, Photoshop can adjust this problem so I tried it. It works.That's the first thing I learned. 2. Yes I can rework a painting the next day because I started painting with medium and the paint flows better (also a new to me concept). 3.I HATE reworking a painting. Or even really working on a painting very hard. That's why I have so much unfinished stuff.
I am glad this photo looks better on an android device than my computer. The laptop image is garish. I promised myself if I stick to this and get to 50 or 60 paintings I'll invest in lighting. Both for working, still life setups and photographing. I heard it makes a big difference. Really?
The Au Sable River is very beautiful as are all the bigger rivers in Northern Michigan. This one is slow moving. Every turn has surprising  views of light and shadow  because there are hills on both sides in most places.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Thunder Bay

Hope everyone had a great holiday. We worked our buts off for four days. Literally, I lost three pounds. Anyway. I started back with no idea what to paint. I had trouble getting the paint out of the tube. But I learned some new things about painting this weekend. I read  Eternal Truths for Every Artist by Harley Brown. I have new concepts to think about like dominant value and lost edges. I really enjoyed the book. One of the chapters ( 11)  is just encouragement for artists when you don't know what to do. It works
This painting has a kind of sunny green that doesn't photograph well. I tried 2 cameras. Good to know . I don't really like how this turned out. The fence is off, but I am happy with some of the paint handling.  I'm trying for looser, more ambiguous strokes which,  when combined, make up an interesting image . I will go to the actual spot in a few weeks and see how it works out.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy Holiday

Happy Fourth of July! I've had to take a few days off from painting to catch up around my place. I have had gardens for over forty years of my life and I'll tell you they take a lot of work. I'm down from a high of 32 tomato plants to four this year. Last month I took two little vacations and between that and the cool rainy weather the weeds are everywhere. And I can't say "no, I have to paint". I think this is the hardest thing for women artists. How to juggle their passion for art and their need to satisfy the expectations of others. I know and admire a few women (and men) who can do this. I have never been one of them. I have two more days of weeding, mulching, redoing and cleaning up. THEN it's back to painting.