Way to push a deadline! Entering Winter Art Show today.

Nothing like waiting until the last minute! 

Just wired up "Aspen Stand" and getting ready to drive to The Matthews in Spearfish.  Entering this painting and "The Last Stand" into the 34th Winter Art Show.  Wish me luck because as a staff member of The Matthews, I have been helping with the artist registration these last three days.  Some of the art is amazing! 

Show opens on Wednesday, March 20 upstairs in the Opera House Theatre and lasts until Saturday, March 23.  Free to the public.  Come in and vote on the piece of art you think deserves the People's Choice Award!

Finishing up ... Autumn Path

Autumn Path...almost done
Autumn Path...just beginning
Well, it's been awhile hasn't it?  Sorry about that.  My paycheck job at The Lodge at Deadwood has been keeping me hopping.  Way too tired to paint by the time I get home. 

This particular piece has been completed,  but my last shot of it really sucked.  So, my significant other (from now on known as S.O.), Jack ran to his office in Deadwood and got his camera.  He just got home and will try to take a shot of the finished piece with what light is left in the day. I'll post that shot when he's done.

This past mid October, we went for a walk with our black pug, Frank, along the Mickelson Trail in Deadwood.  I deliberately left the shot unfocused and wanted to paint a softer, looser landscape. 

Currently some of my work is on display and for sale at the Spearfish Arts Center in Spearfish, SD.  I'm enjoying meeting new people and getting to know the Black Hills arts community.

Have a great holiday season everyone!

Despite cowboy season, I finished a painting!

"Yates Shaft Sunset," 30" x 40", oil on gallery-wrapped canvas.

A couple of weeks ago, I started 3 different paintings. Today I finished one of them. It's the only landscape of the three. This view is from my backyard. Can you believe it? Being a girl from northern Illinois, rolling hills are the closest to high altitude I ever got to.

It's been a very busy 2 weeks with work being very busy because of the tourism season in Deadwood and surrounding areas. In fact, I saw my very first rodeo yesterday in Deadwood during the Days of 76 rodeo. Those people are a bit nuts to torture themselves like that, but it was oddly exhilarating also. A woman sitting next to Jack and I gave us the ins and outs of the rules and regulations of the different rodeo events. And the cowboys weren't bad either.

Any way, I hunkered down today in the studio before the heat of the day set in. The picture shown is not really doing the painting much justice, but it's tough getting the right shot in the light I have in the studio.

Next up...Alliums.


"Lilac Road," from start to finish

"Lilac Road" 16" x 20" oil on gallery-wrapped canvas
Finished product.

Almost done. Blocking in colors and values.

Starting out with the cad red background and putting in the values.

This painting painted itself. The hardest part about the piece was getting my butt to the easel and DOING IT.

I woke up Easter morning with no plans on my plate and the sun shining. Since I don't live near my family, there were no Easter obligations and the day lay before me unencumbered with social appointments. On this past Friday, our lovely town of Lead, SD got a good 8" of snow. Yes, snow. But, the last 2 days have been back in the 50s with the snow melting quickly.

So...here is my newest painting. It's the final in the series of the 3 spring lilac pictures I took when I first moved to South Dakota. This is a small gravel backroad in the Johnson Siding neighborhood of western Rapid City.

I LOVE lilacs. The smell brings me back to my childhood and last year the lilac season was a full month behind northern IL...so I got TWO lilac seasons.

Here is "Lilac Road" in its progressive stages. Enjoy.

Maybe if I paint about Spring, it will come sooner!

"Meadow at Dusk," 16" x 20," oil on gessobord

Think Spring.

Here is another in a short series of images I'm doing during late Spring in the Black Hills. This meadow is in the Johnson Siding neighborhood of Rapid City.

This painting was done a bit looser than the last. Probably because when I finally got the time to paint, my light was starting to fade. Had to move fast! Actually, I prefer the more subtle, loose brushstrokes, with an occasional finger smear here and there. Finger painting is a good thing.

The weather in Lead and Deadwood continues to be real snowy. It will get to 40-50 degrees and some of the snow will melt, but then a dumping of snow comes around the corner and we're right back where we started! So.... I have one more in this series. Hopefully, I'll get a start on it this week.

Until then....

Back in the groove...

"Late Spring in Johnson Siding," 12" x 16", oil on cradled gessobord

Finished with the final touch ups on the painting I started last week. When it's dry, I'll paint the cradled sides and wire her up.

Once finished, I got cracking on the next oil on the next late spring landscape I captured last year. It's almost dusk with the sun setting over a meadow. I got a good start, but then needed to finish the laundry and start supper. Oscars on tonight and they start at 6:30 p.m. here in the mountains! See the progress of the meadow painting below...

Meadow ... part 1

Meadow ... part 2

Meadow ... part 3

Back at the Easel




Well, it took me almost 9 months, but I picked up my paintbrush again. It's about time right?

Sunday in Lead was very snowy and cozy. No need to go anywhere. Jack had his own creative projects to work on and I made a huge chicken pot pie the day before that we could snack on....so NO cooking responsibilities.

My studio still isn't quite set up here yet, so I moved my easel and paints into my bedroom (it's a nice big light-filled room) and started on a 12" x 16" cradled gessobord panel. When I moved to SD last spring (late may), I took some shots of the beautiful landscapes.

So, this one is of this HUGE lilac bush at dusk. I got two springs last year. One in Illinois and then another one in SD. Who doesn't love lilacs?

It's an oil and I've shown it in 3 progressive steps. I think it's 95% done. I've gone kind of loose with it, but need to pop the lilacs more. The oils were getting a bit too wet for me to fuss with anymore. When I think it's 100% done...I'll post it.

Oh....had my little buddy, Frank laying on the end of my bed watching the whole time. He's Jack's dog, but he's become my shadow around here. Nice having a sweet little pup around again.

After a long hiatus, I'm back

"Summer Home," 20" x 24", acrylic on canvas

Well, the summer/fall of 2008 has been a trying one to say the least. I haven't picked up a brush in almost 6 months.

Personal life issues, professional issues, and worst of all....my beautiful black lab, Annie, died. My heart just wasn't into being creative.

Fortunately, a painting customer of mine, commissioned me to do his mother's place with flower gardens and to have it done before Thanksgiving. This project finally got me in front of an easel again. Finished painting is above.

This past July, I did manage to get a small painting done for my best friend, Debbie. It was a birthday gift and is a study of her viewing a painting at an art gallery in Phoenix. Sure is easy to paint subjects ya love, isn't it.

Insomnia 101

In progress ... no title yet. 16" x 20" oil on gessobord.

Finally, a Monday I can work in my studio. I was messing around at first because deciding on my next subject to paint was proving rather daunting. So, little things were accomplished. First, the painting below, "Crossroads," was done last week but it didn't feel finished. So I went back in and changed the sky color and hit the lightest lights a bit more.

Feeling better about it now...it's a different style for me...an experiment.

16" x 20", oil on gessobord

Then all those paintings that haven't been varnished, got varnished. Maybe that's why I can't sleep...all those fumes. Of course, having a husband fall asleep while watching the basketball game finals last night with the tv going full blast and every light on didn't help. Our bedroom has french doors off that room (small cottage). He came to bed around 2 a.m. and guess who woke up and never went back to sleep? Don't you hate that when that happens? So, at 4 a.m. I just got up, put on a pot of coffee, and decided to update my blog.

After varnishing 4 paintings, I went through my digital images reserved for future paintings and decided to do the apples at the top of the blog. This photo was actually created for the 3 day workshop with the middle school kids. I think I had 6 photos of different still lifes for those classes. So, this time I decided to do one of these in oil (the classes were in acrylic) and take a bit of time and finish it all the way.

This is about 3 hours of work. One more half day should do it. Just got to find that half day.


Back to landscapes

"Anterior Road"
12" x 16", oil on board

As promised yesterday, here is picture of the 2nd painting I did yesterday. This piece went faster than the smaller painting I did yesterday (6" x 8", King of the Hill). Landscapes, for me, are much looser in style.

With still lifes, I still tend to tighten up. Need to work on that.

Going small

"King of the Hill"
6" x 8", oil on board

I didn't get in the studio until 1:00 today. My youngest daughter came home from Chicago for the weekend and I had to get her to the train by 8:45 a.m. in Mendota, IL. That's about 40 minutes away. Then I had to get myself back home for a 10:00 meeting. Made it with flying colors. The meeting took two hours and hopefully, I will be able to report some good news on that in the near future. Gotcha curious didn't I?

So the first painting I did today....did I mention that I completed TWO paintings today? Well, I did! While I was painting, it started to snow and it was so peaceful, that I got into a real zone. Couldn't stop.

The second one is a 12 x 16 landscape. I'll post the picture tomorrow, because the light for photography had deteriorated.

Ice Jam at the dam in Dixon, IL

On Sunday, yesterday, my daughter, Debbie, and I thought it would be fun to go to an open house. I had my eye on this one home, and was curious to see it. Oh, the agreement on this adventure was unanimous. So, we get to the house, and ring the bell, when a sinking feeling came over me. Where is the "open house" sign? The homeowner answered the door and said the open house was the day before. Duh

Well, we brushed that moment of stupid off and just did what any 3 healthy American women would do. Lunch.

Just before going back home, we stopped to take a picture of the ice dam on the river. You can't see the real dam anymore because of the ice. Flooding is starting to occur to the north.
Today it warmed up quite a bit, 20 degrees. I was wearing my tank top. heh

Quite day in the studio

"Pine Creek Autumn"
24" x 30", oil on gessobord

It's been two weeks since I've been in the studio and it was productive. Finished the landscape above. Wish I could get more studio time but since it is autumn, the bed & breakfast and restaurant business is in super busy mode. We've had 2 weddings, big baby shower (wish I had one of those when I was in pregnant mode!), and a big birthday party, along with rooms, and busy public restaurant dining.

The fall colors have been slow in coming this season. Normally by the end of the 2nd week of October colors are hitting their peak. This year, colors are just slowly appearing. It has been warmer than average, but who knows? It really is never quite the same every year. Or else my memory is fading faster than I thought!

Until next...

Jumpin' into Autumn

"Rock River Sunset," 24 x 48, acrylic on canvas

Even though it's 90 degrees today (that truly sucks), I was in the mood to start an autumn landscape. But before starting the landscape, I went back to the "Rock River Sunset" painting I started (and thought was finished) last week and gave the large tree on the right some more value adjustments (and in other little places). Now I feel it's finished.

First stage...underpainting

I still have lots of photos I took last year of fields in early autumn along the highways of Illinois and Wisconsin. The reason I'm using last year's photos is because there are hardly any soy bean fields around this year. They always turn a beautiful yellowy-orange before the trees start turning. Due to ethanol demands, the farmers cashed in and planted almost every field with corn. Don't blame them, but it sure isn't as pretty.

Second stage

This photo was taken on a famous trip (see last year in October) a bunch of us took the "rock star party bus" to Wisconsin for Monroe Cheese Days. I got some great highway shots, but the better pictures (or should I say "more fun" pictures) are staying off of this blog! Let's just say that we were asked to LEAVE a brewery tour. Shameful.

3rd Stage....almost done. One more day's work to go!
"Autumn Layers," 24 x 30, oil on board

Well it's time to clean up and make supper. Call me crazy, but I'm turning on the oven to make chicken enchiladas. Have had a taste for them for 2 days.