Monday, April 26, 2010

let the FESTIVITIES continue

As April turns into May this week, I am celebrating another anniversary. This time the anniversary is connected to my career. Seven years ago, after 32 years as a professional water colorist, I decided to try my hand at oils. I have a passion for watercolors, but somewhere deep inside I wanted to know what my work could look like in oils. It was a scary step to break away from my old familiar friend, watercolors. I had lots of questions and some fears too. Would my style change? (Probably, due to the drastic difference in the mediums). Would my subject matter change? (I don’t think so). What would it do to my successful career as an artist? (Now that was the scariest question of all)!

It was May of 2003. I had a chance to study oils with OPA Master Zhiwei Tu at the National OPA Show in Taos. I took a deep breath and dove right into it. It was life changing. All of my knowledge of constructing a painting and drawing transferred over to the oils. However, it was a strange new creature in my hands. The oils didn’t like the way I held my brush or stroked the canvas. I had to learn new ways of mixing, applying and planning a painting. After spending my life taming the wildness of watercolors, this was a whole new challenge and all of it ignited a fire of creativity in me. As the paintings peeled off my fingers, one by one I began to feel the thrill of learning again. Like a child I explored all the possibilities and, like a child, I fell down a lot. Little by little I gained my feet underneath me and my paintings took on a stronger finished look. I know that God was nudging me to open a new door. When I did, I found my new voice, I found my new style, and I found a new medium to love.

And those scary questions that I was worried about? Well, my style did shift a bit. But, I am still doing impressionistic realism; The same subject matter compels me to paint; and as for my career, well, it just added more spice. New doors were opened to galleries, shows, museums and patrons. The lesson learned here is that if you have a passion in your heart, go for it! Follow your dreams! So, to my brushes and canvas I say… “Happy anniversary, may we never stop dreaming”.
Risky Business - watercolor from the late 80's

Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries - Oils

Monday, April 19, 2010


Today is our 12th anniversary. My, how time flies when you are having fun. Being married to an artist and sharing our careers as well as our hearts has been an incredible journey for us. Howard is an incredible guy. He has inspired me to paint my best. He is my rock and spiritual partner. It has been a joy to experience my life with him, not to mention, painting through the years in our studios and "plein air" all over the world!

THEN: (engagement night 1997)



Thursday, April 15, 2010

animal inspiration

My animals always inspire me. Especially in our culture of such chaos and rushing around with long lists of things to do and decisions to be made. This is our cat, rocky, dozing on our bed.
Seeing them lying quietly in the sun or on the porch, soaking up the warmth awakens my desire to paint their peace. Below are a few examples of work that were inspired by animals.

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The Golden Years

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Gardeners Helper

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

still snowing in Bozeman

Yesterday it was still snowing and snowing and snowing here. I know that right now much of the United States is full of lush blooming flowers, but not here. Our spring is laced with snow and sun and robins far into May.
Two little daffodils bravely struggled to keep their heads above the heavy spring snow. Their little, bright spots of yellow remind me to enjoy the peace and quiet because the riotous colors of spring and summer will soon be here!
Good news! Today it is in the 60’s, the snow is melting rapidly, and we have incredible blue skies! Maybe we will have spring after all!