Jul 24, 2012


10 x 10" original oil

This painting is from the same patch of flowers as Summertime. I love this patch of flowers. When I was at the Tulip Festival taking reference photographs and came across this colorful grouping I knew I was shooting great future paintings. There is so much layering and color variety; it is really fun to look at up close. Whoever ends up owning this original is getting one of my favorites. 

Remember the 26x40" panel I gessoed and posted about last week? I ruined it. I'm an idiot. Let me explain. I was ready to begin the drawing and decided to paint on a dark acrylic underpainting. I added a lot of water (apparently too much) to the acrylic so it flowed better, applied the dark color to the entire panel,  then put it out in the sun to dry. I ran and got some groceries, came home, and there in the sun was my warped panel. When Matt got home and took a look at it he said it was the amount of water I added to the surface before putting it out in the sun to "cure" that caused it to twist. I knew all of this. Why did I not pay attention to the fundamentals? Because I was in a hurry to begin. Haste makes waste, that was yesterday's mantra. Boo. Now Matt is starting from scratch and one big beautiful panel is unusable and will never be a painting. 

Because I ruined my 26x40" panel, I had nothing else to paint on except this 10x10" panel sitting on the shelf. It originally had another sketch on it that has been on there for months. I've never painted it because I changed my mind about how much I liked the reference. Thank goodness I had this 10x10" panel sitting around so that I had something to paint on yesterday and today. I was all amped to go for the big one so this little one was a let down, but I think it turned out really nicely. Unplanned paintings are sometimes the best. 

My friend and massage therapist (love her mad skillz) gave me the Hunger Games soundtrack and I listened to it four or five times this morning while working on this painting. I love to paint to new music! Thanks Becky. I was out working on this painting before 8:00 this morning which is rare. I had my studio door open and there was a group of baby robins hopping around in my doorway. It was a very 'Snow White' moment. No, I didn't start singing to them. 

Can I tell you something which I think is extraordinary? I mixed all of the colors for this painting with the brush right on the palette or on the painting. I did not pre-mix piles of colors with a palette knife to use as I went. The colors I used were: mars black, burnt sienna, raw sienna, mono orange, cad yellow medium, radiant lemon, radiant yellow, indian yellow, yellow ochre, sap green, cadmium green, titanium white, quinacridone red, napthol red light, ultramarine blue, and violet. I forgot to take a picture of my palette, but it was a swirly mess, which I love. 

Jul 20, 2012


4 x 4" original oil

I knew I wanted one today with blue-grays and oranges. I am headed up to Salt Lake in just a bit to go to a fellow artist's show. It's been quite the week!

Music faves today while painting:
Anggun - Snow on the Sahara
India Arie - The Truth
Jewel - Last Dance Rodeo
T.I. - Live your Life
Brandon Flowers - Crossfire
Idan Raichel Project - Tigest
Dark Knight Soundtrack - Aggressive Expansion

Speaking of The Dark Knight, my thoughts and prayers are with those in Aurora tonight. Good grief. 

Jul 19, 2012


4 x 4" original oil

I remember calculus classes in high school and college and writing notations with the Greek letter for 'delta' (of a triangle), meaning change. I love that something as old as a letter in the Greek alphabet can have meaning in my life today. I am feeling philosophical. The whole idea of 'change' has got me preoccupied: how have I changed? Why do I change? What do I need to change? What circumstances around me have changed/should change? What am I not happy with in my life that I can change? One of my favorite blues songs is by the singer/songwriter Jonny Lang and it's called Turn Around. Careful if you listen to it - you will be stomping your feet in no time. There is a lyric that goes "The choices you make might be mistakes, but it's never too late to turn around." Change. Yes. It is good. 

Here are my top likes for today's iPod shuffle while I was working:
Ani DiFranco - As Is
Ani DiFranco - Sorry I Am
U2 - One
Blood Diamond Soundtrack - Maddy & Archer
aha - Dark is the Night for All
John Mayer Live in LA - Slow Dancing in a Burning Room
Ray LaMontagne - Jolene
It was a mellow day. Those can be nice. 

It is moody outside and heavy, like rain is coming. Time for a book and a blanket! Matt is out of town this week so I am making 'chick food' for dinners. I should take that back...Matt eats whatever I make without complaint and does like my chick food. He is good to me. Here is what I made for dinner tonight, and it is in my 'Recipe Top Ten' brainfile. I hope you like it too:

Wheat Berry Salad
1 c. wheat berries (wheat berries are the whole, unprocessed kernel)
1 Gala apple, cored and finely chopped
½ c. Craisins
1 rib celery, finely chopped
2 scallions, trimmed and sliced
½ c. feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 c. cider vinegar
1 t. honey mustard (I mix ½ t. each of honey and mustard together)
1 t. honey
1/8 t. each salt and pepper
3 T. olive oil

Soak wheat berries at room temperature overnight in a bowl that is large enough to cover the wheat berries with 2 inches of water. Drain the wheat berries and transfer to a medium-sized saucepan. Add 3 ½ cups of water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. It may need more water before the wheat is soft, so keep an eye on it towards the end. Try a wheat berry after 45 minutes and if it’s soft when you eat it, the wheat is done. The wheat berries shouldn’t look mushy – just puffier. Drain any remaining water and cool the wheat to room temperature. I like to do this step in the morning. At dinnertime, start the rest of the recipe: in a large bowl, combine apple, Craisins, celery, scallions, and crumbled feta. In a small bowl, whisk together the cider vinegar, honey mustard, honey and salt and pepper. While whisking, add olive oil in a thin stream. Add wheat berries and dressing to the apple mixture in bowl. Toss gently and serve.  Makes 6 cups

Jul 18, 2012


4 x 4" original oil

The hot yellow light in this painting reminds me of the scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when Gene Wilder sips from the daffodil. This hot yellow color feels like a combination of sunlight and nectar and so I think of that movie scene...that's the way my brain connects things.  

Today's top music likes while my iPod shuffled and I painted: 
Coldplay - Princess of China
Pearl Jam - Yellow Ledbetter
Collective  Soul - No More No Less
Allannis Morrisette - Surrendering
Pearl Jam - The End

My used palettes are stacking up, but I am too cheap to throw them away quite yet. There is still some paint left on them that is usable. I love that magenta! It's the color of beet juice, and I just canned a homemade batch of pickled beets, so trust  me, I know the color of beet juice. 

I love my brush mug. Thanks sister (Melissa) for finding me an awesome birthday present last year. If you have not heard President Uchtdorf's talk called 'Forget Me Not', you are missing out. Every woman, no matter her religious beliefs, needs to hear this talk and how we women can love ourselves better in a world where there is pressure to be perfect at everything. 

I love this photograph at my desk of this woman in Mali. I don't know who she is. I bought this photograph at a Mali Rising Fundraiser Dinner Auction because it struck me. I look at her and I feel I can work hard and do anything. That's the best I can explain it. 

Here is my 26x40" with another coat of gesso. It's waiting in the wings and I am so excited to paint what I have in store. Just you all wait. 

I love the trees in my backyard. I pass underneath them walking between my studio and my house. I grew up in Missouri and we always lived up against a lot of trees. We had hammocks and I would play in them for hours, looking up into the trees. I think that is something adults can do to keep themselves younger. 

Jul 17, 2012


4 x 4" original oil
A 4 x 4" painting is small and oh so cute. How lucky I am that I paint flowers so that I can use color. I love the vibrant magenta in this tulip and how it fades to white at the stem. 

Today's top music likes during my painting session iPod shuffle:
Paul McCartney - Let it Be
Nickelback - Lullaby
Erasure - Blue Savannah
Braveheart Soundtrack - Gift of a Thistle
Jack Johnson - If I Could
Whitney Houston - My Love is Your Love
Moby - My Weakness 

If you haven't heard the Moby song, it is just beautiful. It sounds like the sky opening up or something equally poetic and heavenly...

This panel is next in line after the bitties this week. It is 26" x 40" and I will just have to surprise you with what's going on it. You'll love it!! Trust me. Thanks Mattie for building it for me and for putting on the finishing touches in the morning before you had to go out of town. xoxo

Jul 16, 2012


6 x 6" original oil
Here is a little one, quick and loose. 

Jul 9, 2012


8x8" original oil

It's 100 degrees outside and will be for the next few days. July is here in earnest. I thought the hot colors in this painting looked and sounded like a Sizzle title. Hot summer weather makes me think of two movies in particular. One is Sandlot. I love it when it's too hot to play baseball so they go swimming where Wendy Peffercorn was the lifeguard that Squints was head-over-heels for... "Michael Squints Palledorous walked a little taller that day and we had to tip our hats to him." Great line. The other movie I think of is Father of the Bride Part Two. Who doesn't love Fronk and George trying to keep those two pregnant women comfortable while sweating out the hot summer? I remember the scene where the kids crack the egg on the sidewalk. 

I used a lot of black in the yellow flowers. I have mixed colors over and over but it will never make sense in my brain that black plus yellow equals a beautiful green shadow. 

I'd love to see this painting in a heavy, dark frame under a track/spot light. 

I think the majority of the men out there that see the title of this painting will think of bacon. I know my husband will. If you haven't heard Jim Gaffigan's comedy skit on bacon, it's hilarious. Watch it on You Tube here. Bibbity, Bobbity, Bacon!