Showing posts from 2017

Where does the time go?

It seems that the day goes by and I ask myself, 'what did I do today?'. Before you know it the year is at an end. These days, other tasks are taking up the day to a point of having no time for art. However, I did manage to sneak in bits of time here and there for this remake of a painting. My motivation was a need for a larger painting on one of our walls. The idea and planning of the composition was formulating in my mind for awhile. I did not do much in the way of sketches, I just had to dig right into mucking around the paint.

Primavera, Alla Prima, Au Premier Coup, Pasta Primavera

Primavera (Italian word meaning "Spring"), is a large tempera painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli painted in early 1480s.

‘Alla Prima’

The wet-on-wet technique, or alla prima (Italian, meaning at once), is used mostly in oil painting.

Claude Monet, soleil levant (Sunrise), 1872, oil, Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris.

Au Premier Coup
The French term au premier coup (at first stroke/direct painting).

When painting with watercolors, this (wet in wet) technique must be used with careful planning and patience. Usually it is unpredictable, but sometimes the results are wonderful. With loads of practice the frustrating accident will turn into rather nice results.

Winslow Homer
Stowing Sail, 1903 (The Art Institute of Chicago)

James McNeill Whistler
Sea and Sand: Domburg 1900

Pasta Primavera

Pasta made with fresh spring vegetables. Too bad we are not in spring yet. Winter hasn’t even officially begun.

Recipe - this is a basic recipe, feel free to be creat…

Yellowstone Art Museum Art Auction 50

These 2 paintings have been accepted into the YAM Art Auction 50. It is exciting for me to continue to have paintings accepted into YAM's annual auction. The Art Auction is the museum's largest fundraiser of the year bringing thousands of patrons to visit the exhibition of auction artwork.

Exhibition opens with artists' reception - January 25, 2018
Live & silent auction night - March 3, 2018

Yellowstone Art Museum
401 North 27th Street, Billings, MT 59101

Happy Thanksgiving


Spiritual Sunrise

It never ceases to amaze me what I might wake up to living in the mountains. This is almost spiritual. I must admit I am already tired of winter that hasn't official begun yet, ( Dec. 21st). This is the earliest we have seen this much snow and cold. Having said all of this, I will paint some snowy scenes. How can I not.

Just off the easel is this fall water scene.

Snow White

The morning was a dark, cold one. I had no ambition to do anything, let alone paint. From my window I watched the cold front blow in with a blizzard. The wind let up slightly so I threw on a couple of layers and grabbed the camera. The best way to really feel the snowy atmosphere is to hike deep into the forest. Just to take it all in cleared my head to accomplish more that day.

Row Boat Memories

Fond memories are those we keep close and do not push back down further into the cerebrum. Those of the fun, happy moments in childhood like the times in a row boat fishing with your dad. There is something about being in a row boat drifting along on a quiet pond. Can't you just hear the little waves slapping against the side of the boat as you bob up and down. The best is digging into the worm bucket picking out a nice fat, squirmy piece of bait. Hook that poor fella on and fling the line out into the water. Sit and wait for a poor fish to swallow the bait and give a tug. If I was lucky the fish didn't eat the worm off the hook. Most of the time it did as I wait and wait unsuspected.

Row boats have been slipping into this new series of paintings I am working on. It is fun to add this human element. The boat also acts as the main character in the story that must be there.

What's The Story?

We watched the movie, ‘Woman in Gold’, last night. It is a good one. It is about Maria Altmann's fight to regain her family's paintings that were confiscated by the Nazis. This incident was about her struggle with the Austrian National Gallery to return the five paintings by Gustav Klimt. The movie is interwoven by her flash backs to her growing up in Vienna and escape to America. I found it to be a very compelling story. No spoiler alert here, you must see the movie or cheat and Google it.

In no way do I see such a story behind any of the art I create. However, each painting does have a story, not just for the artist, but also for the viewer. People get different feedback from the art they observe. Next time you view an art piece that you like, aside from the execution of it, what are you really thinking.

Summer to Winter

Literally, over night we went from summer into winter. The beginning of the week's temps were in the 80's. Wednesday was a cool 70's. Thursday the same with rain in the evening turning to freezing rain, then snow that continued nonstop through Friday. The thermometer on Friday did not go above 30 degrees. We put away our gardening tools and brought out the snow shovels. What happen to fall? We were looking forward to breakfast outside enjoying the fall colors. We need to be careful what we wish for. This much needed moisture did wonders to putting out the wildfires; burning well over 1 million acres.

Meanwhile, our Florida family is recovering from Irma. All is safe there. Perhaps some of this cooler weather can be sent their way, just a bit.


We collect grey water from our washing machine. I use the waste/grey water on the garden. Always good to recycle. Unfortunately, with the dry weather, the small critters jump into the water to meet their demise. I really do not despair over the mice, but the small chipmunks?  That chipmunk yesterday that was following me around the garden and chirping at me, was trying to tell me something. His friends jumped into the tub. Animals certainly communicate among themselves, why not with humans as well, or at least try.

I love dogs, mostly the large dogs. The two German shepherds we had were the best. We miss them dearly.  The two of them would have their disagreements, but usually got along well. They were very loyal and smart. As for most dogs, they can read your facial expressions and tone of voice. For the most part they could not communicate back to you as well. At best we read their behaviors. Too bad they could not tell us what was hurting or not. Perhaps all they hear is, ‘blah, bl…

Studio Alone

A friend this morning shared her experiences in being a teacher. She realized that she must be on her game; and fully motivated before starting her 6AM physical training class. She finds that listening to speeches like; Admiral McRaven’s commencement speech, really gets her motivated to where she can transfer that onto her students.

Some find it spiritually in reading ‘The Word’, some find it from other people like my friend’s way, others may find it in a walk among the aspens. Wherever or whatever you find it, hold on to it. That spark of hope is what will sustain you. We are lost without hope.

We are all given gifts along the way that are a way out of feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and helpless. For me my way out is diving into artwork. If I can consume myself into the process fully, I feel more at peace. That momentary escape refreshes and renews. I also feel a bit stronger to confront the next step in resolving the issues before me. There are times that I thought about doing somethi…

The Art Reception

The reception went well. I met some interesting people. The feedback I received on my art was insightful. The caterer did a fine job on the spread of goodies. It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to have my art on display in such a wonderful space. I think I have said enough; please enjoy some photos.

And Then There Were Three

You remember our cute young doe that was taking naps inside our barn? Well, turns out when she wasn't spending time around us she was taking care of her twins. Yesterday she brought them around the house.

White tail deer start breeding as young as 16-17 months old. The breeding season in western Montana is late November to early December. The gestation period is 7 months. Usually then, the birthing is in June.

The fawns keep their spots for 3-4 months. The new fawns hide in the tall grass giving off no scent; protection from predators. The mom stays fairly close grazing. We can always identify the mom from her left ear that is split.

Zoot Art Gallery

Come and see my solo exhibition at the Zoot Art Gallery  August 11 - October 30, 2017   
Gallery Hours:  9:00am - 4:00pm
Opening Reception:  August 24th, 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Zoot Enterprises, Inc.
555 Zoot Enterprises Lane
Bozeman, MT 59718

Artist Statement  - Water, Water, Water
We take water for granted to always be there in abundant supply. We expect it to gush forth pristine from our faucets. This precious resource God has blessed us with, is my muse. I find a mesmerizing beauty in the reflections and patterns of waves on a mountain stream or lake. Painting is my language to express my feelings about the moment. As I progress in a work, I check for technical soundness at the same time trying not to lose the inspiration that brought me to create. With my works I want each scene to show it has a vital life of its own with emotions attached. I use oils for their inherent luminosity, building up transparent layers and finishing with bits of opaque…


There is a doe, white tail deer, sleeping in our barn. Why is this so, we do not know. It is peculiar that she finds the very dark corner between the wood pile and tractor so comfortable. If you should get too close she comes leaping out and stops just at the edge of the forest. She looks back from behind a tree waiting for the all clear to return to her sanctuary. There is her quiet place where it is cool and free of nasty, biting flies and bugs. A few times during the day she awakes from her napping to forage around the yard and field. Soon the flies get to her and she trouts back to her calming spot in the barn. Sometime around dusk she is off, down the hill to her overnight meadow. The next day, just after dawn, she returns to her place in our barn.

That Elusive Confidence

Confidence at what I am creating on particular day varies. What makes you have confidence one day where you are singing along and all is going swimmingly. The next day all that confidence seems to be elusive, hiding in a box, on the shelf where you can not find it. You ask yourself, as if looking for that item you think you still have, “now where did I put it”. Usually my confidence is still there the next day if I left the creation with satisfaction and nothing changed with other issues of life. If incidences come up with family members, my health is in malaise, disorganized, or just bored, these are the biggest deterrents to chasing away confidence. If I straighten up , cleanup, and get my ducks in a row the disorganization goes away. The boredom is usually solved by doing something different whether it is a change of scenery by taking a trip or just switching to another hobby. Everyone needs a hobby. Then, coming back to the studio with a different attitude makes confidence reapp…

Lighter Shade of Pale

Switching medium and doing some experimenting on this drawing. It is 22" X 28" on watercolor/etching paper, which I have a stash of laying around. The value chart shows my range of greys is all high key. This white faded building is from the 1860's. I loved the way the reflection of the sky and landscape mixes with the bottles set in the window. The reference is from a photo I took at Bannack (Montana ghost town). For the line work I mixed my own 'ink' and used a fine pen nib. The ink which is really a powered metallic silver water color with a small amount of black ink and water. Some lines I mixed a light blue watercolor for inking. I used color pencil mostly in the windows.

Leonardo da Vinci - Drawings of Inventions

"Science is the observation of things possible, whether present or past. Prescience is the knowledge of things which may come to pass, though but slowly."  Leonardo da Vinci