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!

Aspen Stand, finished

"Aspen Stand," 12" x 24", oil on gessobord, $375

Well, it's been snowing for over 24 hours and I'm going a bit cabin crazy.  We have at least a foot.  It's hard to tell since the snow is blowing sideways.  There are 2 and 3' drifts all around the house.  And Lead being Lead, there hasn't been a single plow on our road.

So, it was time to finish the painting I started last Sunday.  The studio was freezing which made for a quick studio afternoon.  There wasn't much to do since my last post. 

Isn't it grand when a painting practically paints itself?

A work in progress -- trees on a path





This was a nice Sunday.  Did some contract work for a couple of Facebook clients, did some laundry, actually wired up a painting (that I always put off), Jack did the cooking for supper, and I got into the studio and started a painting.  In fact, I almost finished it.  Sometimes it happens that way, doesn't it?

Earlier this summer, Jack and I rode our bikes on the Mickelson Trail in South Dakota.  There were so many beautiful scenes it was hard to pick which painting to do.  Private note:  Later on the ride, I was mesmerized  by the scenery so much that I rode right off the trail and down a rocky embankment.  That hurt like a son of a gun.

Anyhooo...
As most of you know, I always paint my gessobord or canvas first red or some warm color.  I don't like starting a painting on a a white background.  After the background is dry, I sketched in the landscape with pencil very lightly and then went over it in a dark paint.  Both the background and the sketching paint is acrylic.  No patience for waiting for the boring part to dry.  When I want to paint, I want to paint now, not in 2 days.

Then, the hard part was -- do I finish it in acrylics or oils.  That took about 45 seconds to decide.  Oil.  Then it was off to the races.

So, here is the painting in stages.  I hope to finish sometime this week and when I do I'll post again.

Have a great week!

"The Last Stand" all wired up

"The Last Stand,"  24" x 48," oil on gallery wrapped canvas, $1200 
This painting was finished a few months ago, but it took me forever to get it wired and ready to hang.  I even named it! 

Last spring, my daughters came out for a visit from Chicago.  We drove through Custer State Park in Custer, SD.  I don't live too far from there and had never gone through it before.  Isn't that the way?  The last people to play tourist are the people who live in the area!

We wanted to see the roaming buffalo and their new babies -- which we saw plenty of.  Along the way, we were slowly driving by this large grassy hill with only one tree on top.  Erin, my oldest, jumped out to run up and I took a bunch of pictures. 

So, that is why it is called "The Last Stand."

If interested in purchasing, please contact my gallery, The Matthews Opera House & Arts Center, 605.642.7973.

I need a new camera

"Tree on a Curve," 24"x48", oil on gallery wrapped canvas

Finished piece.  I really like it, but it's kind of hard to tell because the finished product is a bit blurry.  My good camera has uttered its last click and all I have is my phone.  

Just had a thought.  Jack has a good camera and he does a lot of photography.  Duh.  I'll just have to put him to work.  However, he just finished mowing the lawn with a push lawn mower.  He needs a bit of a rest!

The hill is in Custer State Park in Custer, SD.  Great place to see prairie dogs, antelope, and of course lots of free roaming buffalo.  We went when there were lots of baby buffalo.  This hill just stood apart from all the pine trees and aspens.  

Check out the pictures below of my process doing this painting.  In case some of you are new to my blog, I start every painting with a colored base...normally a cad red or orange or a variation of some warm tone.  It gives the painting a head start and isn't as intimidating as starting with a blank, white canvas.


detail of tree


getting some more color now


Added the tree and a bit more value

here's the red I was talking about








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!









Finished spring floral just as fall rolls in...

"First Peonies"
24" x 24"
oil on cradled gessobord

It took two weeks, but I got back in my studio to finish this floral. These are my first SOUTH DAKOTA peonies. It was our first spring in this house and I didn't know I was going to have a nice big peony bush growing next to the fence.

Fall is just starting to show its glorious head in the Black Hills. The temperatures are much cooler in the evening and mornings. The afternoons are still in the seventies and low eighties, but those days are numbered!

Once it gets too cold to play around outside, I'll be back in the studio more often.

I'll be one of the featured artists at the Spearfish Arts Center in Spearfish this coming October. October 7th actually. I finally have more pieces featuring SD stuff. They like that around here.


Back to florals


"Mary's Allium"
12" x 36",
oil on cradled gessobord

It's been awhile since I've done a floral. I don't know why I don't do them more frequently. Maybe spring and summer go by so quickly OR because I no longer have flower gardens. My gardens in back in Grand Detour, IL were a constant source of material.

This floral is comprised of large allium. This photo was taken at my dear friend's garden. A very unusual, but stately flower in the late spring garden.

The next painting will be a still life floral of peonies. Stay tuned.

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.

toodles.

3 Canvases started today

"Peonies"

"Alium" starting out.

"Clouds" in it's earliest stages.

"Clouds" about 50% done

Beautiful day in Lead today (pronounced "lEEd.")

Sketched out 3 different size canvases. One large landscape and 2 florals. Once they were all blocked in, I started laying in the color of the large landscape...a sunset scene taken from a photo I took from our back yard.

Also, Frank, our black pug, decided to keep me company the whole time. He's a bit of a snorer, but good company.

"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.