Showing posts from 2018

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year


As artists we are constantly evolving in our work. The more I am feeling experimental and work with different media or subject matter the bigger changes I see. Somethings turn out satisfactory and some not so much. But what the heck. So far, when working in oils my main themes are still water and sky, lately, adding a third element which is waterfowl. The water element is the most important because it symbolizes life. It is a must for all living things. Sky is the spiritual element, looking into heaven and God reigning over all his creations. God being the alpha and the omega. The birds are the free element bringing the whole together, making a cohesive composition most figuratively.

'The things that we love tell us what we are.' 
St. Thomas Aquinas

Plans Change

Starting out, I was going for a triptych. Well, plans changed as I went along. In essence it wasn’t a true triptych, but all the same, each painting stands on it’s own. Along with using my sketches and photos for reference I find that my imagination comes into play more and more. I will get this sort of dreamy image in my head and I start to sketch up that idea. These current paintings are a product of my methods and dreams.

Draw In

The center of interest in a painting is what draws one into the scene. Think about the early days of advertising when the shop keeper used some sort of figure outside their shop. The wooden Indian is what comes to mind. One of my art professors would always push the idea of using a ‘wooden Indian’ in one’s ad campaign. Just something to draw attention and to say what you are selling. I still see barber shops still using their barber pole in front. In painting, isn't there one main area that got your attention in a scene to drive you to paint it in the first place? For me, I need to start with that bit in the painting. Once I get it right, the rest of the painting begins to fall into place.

I haven’t completed any of the 4 paintings I am working on yet. However, I felt the need to blog and show a detail of 'Blue Moon'.


Nothing stands still; everything changes. Some things never seem to change although we would like them to. We made a change and that leads to more changes and so on. I find myself motivated to make a big change in my artwork. I haven’t quite figured it all out yet but will once I start to get back into the process. Step 1 are the black and white sketches, playing with composition/design. Then a few color scheme ideas. The real grit comes at technique. Maybe a lean towards more simplification and abstraction. I do like the element of surprise as well. Lighting is always the main consideration, then mood follows. These are the ingredients for the emotional outcome. The refresh button for my brain will have to be push a few times until the artwork comes together, that goes without saying.

‘The Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows’
James 1:17

Familiar Surroundings

Andrew Wyeth’s career spanned seven decades. He painted the people and landscapes of his birthplace, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania and his summer house in mid-coast Maine. These were the subjects he knew well and this was his world. I have grown to know my beautiful mountainous surroundings and made them my world. Even though I have not spent my entire career of life here, I feel as though I have.

 What could be better on a cold snowy day to paint ‘en plein air’ from your window. Here I sit nice and cozy inside viewing the scene under different lighting conditions as the day and seasons change. This painting caught the winter sun as it was about to start setting low in the southwestern sky. The sun’s ray were shinning unobstructed through a path in the trees to land on the tops of the smaller pines at the end of that corridor.

Snowy Creek

Just a few minutes ago I went outside into the beautiful falling snow. It is the wet heavy consistency which is good for building snow sculptures. Since I did not have the ambition to build snow sculptures, I came back inside. Yesterday I decided that this painting was finished. It is a scene from a creek just down the road from us. The lighting was best as the sun was rising with a yellow glow, shining through a blowing snowy mist.


Monet made water lilies famous. What artist that is enamored by his series can’t help but try a water lily piece. Well, here is my take on the scene. These are Montana water lilies with my technique coming to the surface.

The first stage I kept more of the contrasting warm colors in the under painting. Next I worked on the designing of the shapes for the composition. With each layer, I worked on bringing out the values. Slowly I worked in the edges. It was a fun piece despite the challenge. No comparison to Monet and it wasn’t meant to be, but I just had to include some of his.


I kept looking at this painting from time to time. Finally, I decided what it needed, ducks. Wood ducks are the most colorful ducks I have seen and they fit well into my composition. These life mates are so charming. That also was a title, 'Life Mates', but I went with beachcombing instead.


There has been an outbreak of cabin fever. It’s an epidemic. My symptoms are the doldrums, boredom and listlessness. Any artwork I create reflects this. Regretfully, I even posted the last painting I created where one can clearly see the transference of my moods. The painting was blahhhhhhhh. No longer is it posted; delete, delete. N C Wyeth’s number one rule to his young artist son Andrew was to, ‘keep alive to everything’. I am not adhering to that rule as of late. So, it will be awhile until I am back to ‘alive’ paintings. Meanwhile, my sub-conscience will be incubating creativity. The way I will keep my hand into it is through sketches and capturing wonderful impressions on camera, those ‘alive’ moments.

Metalpoint - Silverpoint

Metalpoint was a way of drawing in the Renaissance (15th century). Lead or graphite was not in the tool box yet. I have been fascinated by the technique, so I thought I would try it. My husband made a silver nib for me to start with. Other metals such as brass, aluminum, gold and copper may also be used. Silver comes in different degrees of hardness, and they make lighter or darker lines. When drawing, there is a depositing of metal on the abrasive surface and this metal will oxidize over time. Silver turns into a nice brown. I may work in some copper for a bit of green and brass for light black. The surface needs to be prepared with a gesso ground. The gesso can be tinted a color. For best results, the support should be hard and rigid. I used a wood panel, sanding each layer of gesso smooth after they dried.

Sometimes, I am so excited about trying something new that I jump into it too quickly. Once I began, I noticed that I really should have put another layer of gesso on for a smoo…