Friday, August 29, 2014

Painting with Gatorade!

 "Cottonwood at dusk"10" x 8"
Oil on panel - plein air

Funny thing about this painting - I forgot my water (a big problem as I use water soluble oils), and the river was too far away. So, this entire painting was diluted with Gatorade instead of water!
It ended up being my favorite piece of the week and winning a Merit Award at the Paint the Poudre event!

$550 framed - Includes Free U.S. Shipping
please contact me for purchase inquiries.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Artists - How to get your artwork noticed by thousands of people!

I am so often asked how I quickly gained 15,000 fans on my Facebook Art Page  that I decided I needed to write an article! In my experience, having a page is one of the best tools out there, and it's free! 
I don't want to bore the socks off my other readers, so for those interested I've posted my article on the "Facebook Marketing" tab above - or you can just click here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Plein air artists of Colorado show

I hope you can join us for the opening reception of this great show!

I will also be part of a panel discussion about art marketing earlier in the day.  Please visit for more information.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Wildflower season in Crested Butte, Colorado

I recently had the incredible experience of painting in Crested Butte during the height of wildflower season - I’ve never seen anything like it!

Right: "Wildflowers" 8x10 oil available through Abend Gallery
Below: "Crested Butte" 8x10 oil SOLD

Sunday, August 3, 2014

New studio and painting in progress

My recently refurbished (thanks to my wonderful hubby) studio with a large work in progress!
"Colorado meadow" 30 x 40 Oil - available at Abend Gallery, Denver

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Women artists of the west

"After the rain"
8" x 10"
Oil on panel - plein air

This is one of two plein air studies I am currently exhibiting with the Women Artist's of the West  at the Women's Museum of California!

I was honored to find out that I won both an Award of Merit and a Jury Award at the opening Friday night! 
If you happen to be in the San Diego area this would be a great show to see in person - it goes through May.

$550 framed - Includes Free U.S. Shipping
please contact me for purchase inquiries.

Right: The beautiful Women's Museum
of California in San Diego.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Love en plein air

I've seen all kinds of things while out painting - beautiful, unusual, even creepy, but I've never seen anything truly romantic....until now.

I was painting in the jungly undergrowth, minding my own business, when suddenly this incredible scene played out just feet away!  I wasn't too sure of the etiquette here, as the couple clearly picked a secluded spot to get married for a reason.  So, I just kept quietly painting - and weeping, because I'm sappy, plus I got married just a few miles from here, so it was especially touching!

Congratulations to the happy couple - and enjoy your new painting!

"From this day forward"
8" x 10"
Oil on panel - plein air

Collection of the newlyweds!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Painting in paradise

"Hanalei Bay"
8" x 10"
Oil on panel - plein air
I was fortunate enough to spend the last couple of weeks painting in Kauai!  An incredible experience - I painted my first ocean plein air painting, and while not a huge success, I
thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.  I also learned that wet oil paint and sand are not a great combo!!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Back in the studio!

"Distant Flatirons"

Oil on Panel 30" x 40"
click on image for detail

I took a break from plein air painting for a few days so I could finish up some large studio pieces.  I was really fighting against my illustration background on this piece - I still wish it was looser with the brushstrokes.  I may work on that as well as adding more texture...

This piece available through Elevate art consultants

Thursday, February 13, 2014

How to create a mobile studio

Step 1: Decide 3 degrees is way too cold to paint outside!

Step 2: Set up in your minivan (or similar).

Step 3: Try not to freak out as paint inevitably gets on your mini-van, in your hair, etc.

Step 4:  Ignore the curious looks of passersby.

Step 5:  Have fun painting!!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Out in the cold with my easel!

"Winter furrows"- plein air

Oil on Panel 8" x 10"
Click on image for detail

I've been painting in the snow a lot recently, my first year ever doing that.  Once my body got used to the initial shock (and I added more layers) I actually started to enjoy it! This piece is from a few weeks ago - I love the way the snow stays in the furrows of these farm areas.

My plein air setup (plus snow pants and toe warmers!)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Oil painting demo - the finished piece!

           "Autumn Field" 30" x 40" oil on canvas -  please email me for purchase inquiries

Demo continued...
Step 6 – I add color to the mountains and fill out the grouping of trees.  I also make a lot of mental decisions about how I want the field to look when finished.

Step 7 – I start to add in layers of color to the field.  I make sure the colors are lighter, cooler, and the shapes simpler as they recede further back.  I also add details to the background trees.

Step 8 – I basically scuffle with the painting at this point – adding and subtracting detail, slashing and scraping for texture until I get the desired effect!  I decide at this point I need to add in additional directions of line to draw the viewer’s eye into the painting, then to the focal trees and around the painting.
Step 9 – Finished piece!
If you enjoyed this demo please ‘follow’ my blog and ‘like’ me on Facebook!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

step by step oil painting demonstration

Step 1 - I gather reference materials – in this case I’m using my plein air study and a few photos I've taken. I plan on painting large – 30” x 40” but I hope to keep some of the liveliness and spontaneity that I like in the 8" x 10" study.  I also lay out my paints - twice as many as I use outside.  I never use black on my palette, I often use a mix of verdian green and alizarin crimson to create more colorful darks.  By the way - I strongly recommend using a glass palette, but this was taken days after I broke mine!

Step 2 - I sketch in the general layout of the scene using thinned out oil paint.  There's no need for a ton of detail, I just suggest placement and lines to remind myself how I wanted the viewer to move through the painting. I make sure the horizon line is not dead center (as that tends to chop a painting into two).  I also  make sure the focal point is placed correctly (according to the rule of thirds) for the eye to travel around the painting and back to my intended center of attention.  In this piece my focal point will be the clump of trees in the mid-ground.

Step 3 - Using a large brush I block in the general values of the scene.    I usually recommend putting in your darkest dark (and lightest light, but we already have that in the sky).  I didn’t do that here – breaking my own rules!


Step  4 - I add in various values of green to compliment the warm color scheme I have planned.  Using an underpainting of a complimentary color (opposite on the color spectrum) often adds more vibrancy to the finished piece. Now I also start adding in some distant trees.  Repeating objects in the distance that are smaller, less detailed and lighter versions of the fore or midground is a great tool for helping create atmospheric perspective.

Step 5 - Next, I paint in the sky.  I keep it fairly neutral as I want the main focus to be the field and trees rather than the sky.  I do, however, suggest some gentle movement in the sky by using clouds.  Here, the low clouds help to ‘anchor’ the sky to the rest of the painting.

I hope you're enjoying my demo so far (if so, please follow my blog and like me on Facebook - thanks!)  In my next blog entry I’ll lead you through the rest of the steps to my finished piece…