Autumn Path, completed

Autumn Path, 30" x 30", oil on gessobord
As promised, here is the finished painting.  But....due to the light fading before getting a good shot, this picture is a bit on the glaring side and doesn't show the true color of the mountain in the background.  I'll work on it and get back to you.

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!

Getting all wired up!

I finally took the time to charge up the drill and got the new paintings all wired up for the First Fridays Artist reception at the Spearfish Arts Center in Spearfish.

Jack loaded them up in the car for me tonight. I have a 6 a.m. shift at work tomorrow and didn't need to be doing that in the dark!

If any of you are in the Black Hills area of Spearfish, Deadwood, Lead, etc., stop by Friday night, October 7, 5pm to 7pm. I am one of 3 artists featured.

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.


3 Canvases started today


"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. 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 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 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.

If you're in Spearfish area....

Painting #1 being shown, "Laying Down on the Job," 30" x 30" oil

Painting #2 being shown, "216 W. 1st St.," 30" x 40" acrylic

As mentioned in my previous post, I have two pieces entered in the 32nd Winter Art Show at the Spearfish Arts Center/Matthews Opera House on Main St. in downtown Spearfish, SD.

Attendees to the 4-day exhibit can vote for their favorite piece.

So come on by -- you can view the artwork in the Opera House:
  • Thursday, February 10th through Saturday, noon to 6 pm
  • Sunday, February 13th from noon to 2 pm with an Awards Ceremony at 2 pm on Sunday
The weather is going to be in the 40s on Sunday, so that's when I'm going!

Climbing back in the saddle ... SD style

The Spearfish Arts Center

After moving to South Dakota almost 8 months ago, looking for a good job (check!), moving again to a bigger place (check!), I've finally taken the big step of entering my first art show in my new land (check check!).

Yesterday, Jack and I took a couple of my paintings to the Spearfish Art Center in Spearfish for their Winter Art Show. The public can view the show Feb. 10-12 and the awards will be given on Sunday, Feb. 13.

If any of you are around the northern Black Hills, stop on by!

The next big thing is to finish setting up my studio and to start painting in my new surroundings.

Dry spell over

Pears from Above, 30" x 30", oil on board


Whenever money is tightest, a painting sells. This is one of my very favorites. Thanks Dennis and John.

Haven't done anything since moving to the Black Hills, but I'm gathering great photo references for some of the gorgeous landscapes around here.

SOJOURN opens tonight in Dixon

This is the postcard for this 8th Crystal Cork Arts Quarterly opening. The painting featured is called "Iowa Drive-By."

It's hard to believe, but tonight is my first solo show. I've been in juried shows and stuff, but this is a first for me. Also, on my Facebook page, there was a post that one of my pieces has already sold..before the show. Yeah! The show starts at 6 tonight at the Crystal Cork. What is great that this is also a SECOND SATURDAY evening in Dixon. The whole town will be open for art and music events.

It's also bittersweet. My time in Dixon, IL is coming to an end. Hence, the name of the show, "Sojourn." Memorial Day weekend I will be packed up and driving to Rapid City, SD to start life anew and start love anew with Jack. We've made it through a rough year of separation (852 miles to be exact), but soon that issue will be over.

The bittersweet part? I love Dixon. I mean it is the greatest little town with the best friends I could ever have. I'm also leaving my two grown daughters, five sisters (a multitude of great bro-in-laws, nieces, and nephews), and of course, my mom. She has been a true rock for me during the tumultuous couple of years with the ending of my long marriage, being laid off from my job (never had THAT happen before), and other emotional issues.

Good thing is, I will be living in the beautiful Black Hills and getting involved, hopefully, in the arts community there. My art will take on a new look and feel and I hope you will hang in there with me while that transition evolves!

Until later....

I could have been outside enjoying the weather....

"216 W. First St.," 30" x 40", acrylic on canvas

Beeeaaaautttifulll day in Dixon, IL today!

So what do I do with this day? Stay inside and finish this painting. It was a tough one folks. Went out of my comfort zone. I like painting fast and not worrying about the little details. In most landscapes and still lifes, artists can get away with playing around a bit with the ignoring them altogether!

This painting of a building in Dixon needed me to stay on point. Now...for the engineers and architects out there, don't get your undies in a bunch if all the details aren't straight lines. This is a painting after all.

I still wanted my touches of saturated color and the play of shadow and light to be the main stars of this work. I have a bunch of photos of buildings in town that I took when the shadows and light were at their peak.

I hope to have one more painting of this type for my show that opens on May 8 at the Crystal Cork in dixon.

Finished 2!

"Spring Lilacs on Yellow Cloth," 24" x 24", oil on cradled gessobord

"Afternoon at the Garden Center," 12" x 16", oil on cradled gessobord

Well, it took me a bit, but I finished two different paintings that had been started a couple of months ago.

Better late than never, right?

Feels good to get them done. Every time I walked into the studio, they would be sitting there staring at me with (I felt) sad, neglected eyes.

The lilacs were really hard. Maybe that's why I procrastinated on them. Lots of value and color changes going on.

The smaller painting was from a photo I took at Anne's Garden Center in Dixon last summer. I've always wanted to do something like this. I also started on a black background on this piece, where normally I start on a warmer red toned background. This painting is also looser with less attention to exact detail.

Oil Painting Worshop finished!

Class is nearing the finish line.

Judy is giving it a final look-see.

Saturday was my one-day intermediate oil painting workshop. We did a landscape together. The class was small, but lots of fun. Lots of witty banter throughout the day.

I don't have many pictures because we all got involved in our work that frankly, I forgot to pull out my camera until near the end!

I will post more later.

My next workshop is this Saturday, 1/23, and will be the Intermediate Oil Painting Still Life session. There is still room for students. Sign up here.

Oil Painting Workshops added!

Two intermediate oil painting one-day workshops have been added in January, 2010! Both workshops will have supplies, but if the students already have favorite oil paints and brushes, please feel free to bring them to class. The classes will be located at The Next Picture Show gallery in Dixon, Illinois.

The classes are Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010 and Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010. Both classes will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bring a lunch if you'd like or just step out to one of the little restaurants just steps away! Snacks will be provided.

Since I paint with water soluable oils, I will be demonstrating with them. However, the class will be provided with traditional oils to work with.

Class size is 8 people MAX. To get complete information on the workshops go to my new WORKSHOPS/CLASSES page on my website. Each class will have a link that will take you directly to The Next Picture Show's class signup page.