Dec 27, 2013

22 x 45" Tulip Commission

Today I began a 22x45" tulip commission. The client asked me to combine three different paintings I've already done to make one with all of his favorite things. I spent this morning (and last night instead of sleeping) thinking it through and I've got it drawn out and ready to paint. Usually people don't request me combining pieces from existing paintings, but in this case the three were so similar and I found a photo reference of mine from this past Spring's Thanksgiving Point photoshoots that satisfied everything the client was looking for, that I know it will work out OK. I do much better when I paint if beforehand I can see the end product designed out. 

I'm adding layers to balance out the composition. It's like real gardening, except I add flowers with an Exacto knife and glue instead of gardening gloves and a trowel. 

This projector saves my bacon. I can project my collaged photograph up onto my panel and trace out the main lines, saving me hours and probably days.

I draw the lines with a pastel pencil. I like a warm brown color, that way if some shows through the paint it's better to me than black. It doesn't really matter in the end though - any color of pastel or charcoal would work. 

I got a new air purifier for my studio. My brain cells are so excited. It filters out all of the junk in the air from off-gasing turpentine and wet oil paints. Thanks to HL for recommending this model! It's so nice to have friends who are amazing professional artists that I can ask for advice.

My dog totally has the right idea. The heater is currently not working in my studio so this plug-in space heater is my source of comfort. Buttercup isn't arguing.

And this is where I'll be all day tomorrow as the painting begins! I'm looking ahead into 2014 and am excited to have a few shows already planned with more I'm sure coming. Every day counts between now and Spring when my studio hours are cut to nil as I photograph flowers out in the field. I'm ready to put some hours in after a nice holiday break! Click here to see my scheduled shows thus far. 

Dec 3, 2013

Nauvoo Temple Prints Now Available

41 x 52" original oil
prints are now available
to order a print contact the artist

The prints look AWESOME. I am placing an order FIRST THING on Monday morning, December 9th. If you want a print by Christmas, I MUST have your order before then. Send me an e-mail or call me if you have my phone number to place your order. I don't take credit card; I take cash or check. Your payment does not have to arrive by December 9th. I understand if you make your order and then have to mail a check and it arrives a week later, say. Shipping can be combined if you are sending more than one print to the same address. We'll work out the details together. 

If you are reading this blog and it's NOT Christmas time anymore but you still want a print, no problem! Contact me and we'll make it happen.

I am so excited for you. Enjoy!

To see more pictures and read the blog post about the original painting, click here

 Top Two: unmounted canvas, 2" margin in 8x10" and 16x20"
Bottom Two: mounted canvas, no margin in 8x10" and 16x20"

Detail of the unmounted canvas with 2" margin

Detail of the mounted canvas with no margin (it's mounted on foam core)

8 x 10" unmounted canvas with 2" margin $19.20 picked up/ $39.20 shipped
16 x 20" unmounted canvas with 2" margin $70.40 picked up/ $90.40 shipped

8 x 10" mounted canvas with no margin $24 picked up/ $34 shipped
16 x 20" mounted canvas with no margin $89.60 picked up/ $129.60 shipped

If you have no idea which one you want and/or don't know what the differences are between unmounted and mounted canvas, let me help. It's really personal preference. Mounted canvases are easier to pop into a frame. Both options are great, and both are sprayed with a shiny UV protectant. 

Contact me if you have any questions! :)

The original painting hung and installed. 

Dec 2, 2013

Eight Mini Paintings: Young Women Values

Each painting is 4x4" original oil
available through the artist

Each tulip represents one of the eight Young Women values. 

I am the artist that painted this image of the eight Young Women values in tulips, and it was fun for me to go back and use the references again to paint these minis. 

Take advantage of being able to own an original painting of your favorite blossom and value; this image is reproduced and sold all over the world. 

"Faith" 4x4" original oil

"Divine Nature" 4x4" original oil

"Individual Worth" 4x4" original oil

"Knowledge" 4x4" original oil
"Choice & Accountability" 4x4" original oil

"Good Works" 4x4" original oil

"Integrity" 4x4" original oil

"Virtue" 4x4" original oil

Nov 19, 2013

Austin & Katie

10 x 8" original oil

I love this commission. My favorite thing about it is how the poses fit the personalities. These two kids are all grown up now, but the mom gave me an old photograph from a scrapbook and asked if I could paint this scene from their childhood. The boy was more timid and reluctant to check out new things, but the girl was all for getting right in. They each demonstrate that so well in this photograph: the boy with his toe curled up and arms back, but head cocked curiously, the girl picking something up and getting up close to whatever is down there. 

It's such a beautiful time of day in this painting, and I'm in love with the squiggly reflections and grading light to dark sand. 

Thank you BJ for this commission!


Nov 13, 2013

Stocking Stuffers

"Stocking Stuffer I"
4x4" original oil

"Stocking Stuffer II"
4x4" original oil

These two bitty originals are headed to Alpine Art for their Holiday Boutique Show, and I just know that they will be gobbled up by an art-collecting dog-lover. If you want that to be you, contact Alpine Art and they'll make it happen! 

Both of these paintings are of my lab. I've used these references before but for larger pieces. The 4x4" sizes are so adorable. I want to keep them. 

These 4x4" originals are on 1 3/8" deep panels, so they can sit freestanding on a little shelf or desk; they are also wired on the back for hanging if you want to stick them on a little nook of your wall. 

Dogs are the best. 

Nov 11, 2013


40 x 60" original oil

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Isaiah 1:18

Grace is a very special painting. It depicts redemption, change, and healing. We all need grace simply because we are human and living in a world of agency. We all need to feel the “divine help” and “enabling power” of Jesus Christ that define grace. The grace of Jesus Christ literally lifts our burdens, our spirits, and our demeanor, so the white tulips that are you and me have to also be elevated in the composition. The scarlet area is the pain, the mistakes, the past. I painted the reds to be very deep, dark, and triangular (a less friendly shape subconsciously.) At first I was worried that the white tulips were not painted to be pure white; they have some pinks, creams, grays, etc. in them. I decided to paint them with mixed colors because with the other colors in them, they are showing us the transition between scarlet and snow. They catch that moment in one's life when grace is taking effect. I hope when people see this painting they feel two things: 1) I am worth redeeming and 2) I give myself permission to stop punishing myself because I am not perfect. I have “streaks of color” yet I am beautiful.  

Nov 7, 2013


36 x 34" original oil

This seascape has been almost finished for a while, but the wave was a major problem. I photographed the "finished" painting four times, each time convinced that now the wave was right, but it didn't last and the wave was repainted again and again and again. I hate going through that process, but I love the finished product. It works. I can look at this painting and put myself in it, which is my gauge of success. The wave has movement and weight, and I can feel sun on my right side and the gust blowing the spray left.

So, I fussed between degrees of how much of a corner was on that left side. It needed something of a corner because without it the wave lost all lift, but it also needed to slope to the left and bridge the composition. I went back and forth looking for the right mix of each and I sure had a hard time finding it. The left side of the wave was totally overworked, over-painted, wiped off and repainted, scrutinized, and redone a further three times.

After all that, it's better. The finished surface is so rich with texture and layers of color.

Life lesson: The painting is better having transitioned through each phase of this dilemma. It was not fun at all. I've got a headache, backache, and I'm burned out. BUT look at that wave. I think it's beautiful.

Oct 30, 2013

Nauvoo Temple

41 x 52" original oil
8 x 10" and 16 x 20" prints will be available through the artist
to order prints, click here

I have been working on this painting all summer and fall and am so excited to share it finally! The person whom it was a surprise for came and saw it tonight.  I was commissioned by a dear family who loves and supports the arts and who are artists themselves. This painting took 14 weeks. 

Thank you so much to the family who commissioned this painting and showed their support of my art career and the arts in general, and thank you to all others out there who buy original artwork and keep this craft going strong. In a digital world, you can't beat an original oil painting with it's brush stroke fingerprints and that deep varnish smell. 

I have studied this building from a painter's perspective, and I have a new respect for the craftsmen who built this temple originally in 1846 and who rebuilt it in 2002. There is no end to the detail in this building. 

My purpose in painting this temple with long grass in the front versus the modern-day sidewalks and landscaping is to send the viewer back to 1846 and to see this temple as it might have been before large trees were growing nearby and after the long grass and wildflowers had a chance to grow back and blow in the wind. The temple is overlooking the Mississippi River, and I love this river. It's a piece of home. 

The backs of my originals are Venetian red. 

Adding the third coat of gesso. 

I used a projector to collect this much information, but trees blocked a large portion and out of plumb vertical lines in the entire bottom rectangular section of the temple caused  me to draw the rest by hand. 

The colors looked so wrong. I was freaking out. I mean, this does not look like a white building from what I have painted so far. I learned that the only really white stones were in the belfry.  

You Facebook friends of mine out there: remember my gnarly road rash from my bike crash? You can't see it, but it's about two hours old on the right side of my body in this picture. 

To order prints of this painting, click here