"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

It's a blur...

"Driving Home," oil on gallery-wrapped canvas
12" x 24"

For being unemployed, I'm awfully busy. But I'm doing stuff that's actually interesting.

Getting a lot more painting done. Not posting much because, well, it is Christmas time and some folks wouldn't be surprised, would they?

Today I did finish a smallish landscape in oils. Kind of a fun painting. Forgive the photo. I finished this around 3:30 and the light in my place gets a bit wonky and causes glossiness on parts of the work.

I took this photo when I was driving north from Peoria after a food show I attended (for my place of previous employment). Took some back roads and the light was just starting to get low. Surprised I wasn't pulled over because my car tends to weave when doing drive-by photos. As with most of my work, I covered the canvas in cad red first to create a warm glow through the following layers of paint. You may see some of that read peeking through.

I will be posting this on my etsy art shop page and on my website. Be sure to stop by both places as I have updated them. On my website, I have added a new section called "Workshops/Classes." My upcoming classes are now listed.

Finished 1 - Starting another

"Leaving Peoria," 18" x 36", oil on gessobord

I finished the lanscape I started a couple of weeks ago. The holiday really cut into studio time. Last week was my last week of working at the hotels. So, I guess I now have some time for painting. People keep telling me that. Only problem is that they have to sell to pay the rent!!!

This piece is titled "Leaving Peoria" because I was driving back home from a food show in Peoria at the end of September this year. There's mostly country highways on the way back to Dixon and the sun was just starting to get low. This painting is definitely more illustration in style and I don't know how I feel about it yet. Kinda like working with the oranges and bold blues. They do bounce off each other.

in progress

Getting back into still life too. After finishing "Leaving Peoria," I started on a floral still life. Haven't done this in ages. This photo I shot over a year ago...almost two! So far I have just the blocking in stages started. I'm enjoying a bit of spring while winter is starting to gain foothold here in the midwest!

In Progress

A work in progress, 18" x 36," oil on gessobord

This is another drive by painting. I was on the way home from Peoria at the end of September and decided to hit the back roads.

I've taken a more illustration approach to this painting. The subject begged for bright bold rendering rather than a more subdued realistic approach. I still have more to do on it. The trees suck right now and part of the rolling landscape got too wet for me to work on. Lost the light at the end of the day too. 4:45 p.m. comes early for sunset these days.

Yesterday I sketched out and undercoated two more paintings also. Worries about getting a real job go away when I'm in the studio.

Iowa Drive By

"Iowa," 24" x 30"
oil on gessobord

Did a painting in one day. Kinda cool when that happens. Please forgive the quality of the photo. For those that know me, I have misplaced my camera again. It'll surface. It always does.

So, anyway, all I had to use was my IPhoto on my Mac laptop. Color is a bit off and very low resolution. When I find that camera (and I will dammit), I will repost.

This image is one of my "drive by" photos. I was coming back from Lake Okoboji in NW Iowa and the fields of corn and soybeans were all in their golden glory. Storms were just finishing and clearing out with the sun soon coming through.

These drive bys can be dangerous. Almost ran off the road a couple of times.

Landscape, Evil Weather, and unexpected Honor

"Passing By"
24" x 18", oil on gessobord

Didn't get into the studio until after 1 p.m. today. My youngest came home from Chicago Saturday and I drove her to the train this morning to catch the 8:49. The weather, as usual, was unbelievably disgusting. We got another 5" of snow yesterday evening...which by the way wasn't even in the forecast. Imagine the surprise of people leaving their super bowl parties with all that snow. We were smart and stayed home.

By the amount of cars in the ditch on the way to the train, the roads must have been pure evil.

Today, it's foggy and we're having thunderstorms. Spring seems so far away!

The landscape above was done in one studio session today. My ease with landscapes is getting greater, but this one, although I like it, seems a tad off. It's signed, but we'll just let this little puppy sit for a couple of days and maybe the reason it seems off will become evident. If it's just me being a bit on the whacked side, then I'll just leave it be. Just below is the painting with the first stages of painting.

Okay...a bit of bragging is about to happen. Last Thursday I came home from work and found a letter from the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education (IAAE). It announced that I am being awarded the IAAE Artist Award for my work with the Authentic Artist program with 5th & 6th graders of Reagan Middle School and mural work with the Juvenile Probation Program (both of Dixon, IL). I was nominated by teacher and bff, Debbie Thompson. Awards will be presented at the IL state capitol on March 11. Pretty cool.

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