Apr 30, 2013


4 x 4" original oil
Here is April's eBay painting, and not a day too late.  I love this rose. I painted it a few days ago in a painting for my mom's birthday, and I decided to use another angle and paint it again and offer it for sale to you. Roses really are beautiful. I will have to get some pictures of them this summer for more references. 
I read online that a rose with any single color can symbolize simplicity and gratitude. I like that. This is a simple little painting, and if you bid on it and win it on eBay and it becomes yours, it can be your reminder to see simplicity and gratitude each day.

side view - this little one is on 3/16" masonite with black-painted sides
Remember that this little eBay series is marked with titles from the Greek alphabet. The next one is Mu! ha ha

Apr 29, 2013

Holi II

25 x 37" original oil

Six months ago I painted "Holi I" knowing I'd want to paint the full reference later. Here it is! I was leaving the Thanksgiving Point Gardens after a full day's photographing, and in the front entrance there in the setting sun was this bed of tulips with pansies behind catching that late sun face-on. I took a few more pics and they were just great. I love the variety of shapes and movement in this piece. The color is also so varied; there is really a rainbow from top to bottom. Normally I prefer to paint back lit flowers to show off their transparency, but this front lit view is also nice because you can get the little reflected shines in the waxy petals as they turn. This painting has so many brush strokes in it. Well, all of my paintings do, but this one feels like it has an extra amount of them. Whoever buys this piece will see what I mean when they look at it up close! Thanks to my friend Cindy who came over to watch me paint for a bit one afternoon. She saw a little of the magic happening.

brushwork close up

painting the greenery background

painting the background and top blossoms

palette #1 and #2

remixing palette #3

remixing palette #4
 Lots of mixing - lots of colors. I love to mix my own colors. If you didn't know, the title "Holi" comes from that color throwing festival every beginning of spring, and I believe it's a tradition from India. It celebrates spring and new beginnings. I have never been, but a  lot of my friends attend the festival every year and come  home covered in colored chalk dust. It looks pretty cool. 

Apr 27, 2013

New Life

4 x 4" original oil

My grandpa passed away last November. My husband and I went to his funeral and saw aunts, uncles, cousins and friends that I haven't seen in years! At the graveside service, everybody that wanted to could take a flower from his casket arrangement before the casket was lowered into the ground. I didn't take one, but I saw my mom choose a rose. She set it in the car and went to talk with friends and family. I got an idea. I thought if I could get a good photograph of her rose, I could paint it, that way the rose would "live" forever, and it would have special meaning. I recruited my dad to hold the rose in the sun while I shot it and the two of us schemed, snickered and smiled, knowing mom would be so happy when she got the final painting. My mom's birthday is in a couple of weeks and I can't wait for her to open the mailed package and see the painting.

His casket and flowers

An 8x10" portrait of my tough, farming grandpa that I painted for my parents a few years ago. The words in the background say things about his life.

Apr 22, 2013


28 x 42" original oil

As soon as this painting is dry it will ship to it's new owners in Hong Kong. I was pleased to meet the Ng family at one of my shows in March. I had this painting with me in-progress and was working on it here and there between talking with people, and they fell in love with it and purchased it on the spot. 

The hardest part of this painting was mixing the bright whites. My palette is white, so the mixed bright whites looked gray in comparison (since they weren't pure titanium white pigment but had grays, yellows or purples mixed in). I had to trust that the paint would translate to bright white on the painting, and for the white petal to feel a bit transparent, it can't be pure white. Only snow in the sunlight is pure white, really. (I remember a college painting class all of a sudden...I was painting a self portrait and I painted a skin highlight white, and the teacher came and said "Is that snow on your arm?" In the photo I saw white where the light was shining on my arm, but after his comment I looked closer and held a white paper next to it and it wasn't white at all. Lesson learned.)

The easiest part of this painting was...signing it. I won't lie. The whole thing was hard. It's OK. I think it was harder to finish because it had already sold and I was nervous about messing it up. 

Well, it's hanging and drying  now! Soon it will head overseas. How exciting. My first international painting sale. 

This little sweetie wants to be an artist when she grows up. She stayed and talked with me while I worked on this painting. Her mom is a good high school friend of mine that was in town.  

I am posing with the new owners of the yet-to-be-finished painting. Thank you Ng Family!

Apr 19, 2013


6 x 6" original oil

It was my pleasure to paint Kona, this beautiful chocolate lab who loved to play and who almost always had something in his mouth to tug-of-war and dance around with. When I went to photograph him, he made sure I understood he was there not to sit still and be photographed, but to invite me to try and get that wash cloth out of his mouth. He loved to play and belonged to a loving family who spoiled him rotten, as every dog should be. He passed away yesterday from cancer and he was only a few years old. This painting was commissioned by a family member and is a surprise for Kona's dad who feels the struggle of what Kona has gone through.  
My own dog is such a comfort to me, especially this week with the trauma of Boston and Texas fresh in my mind. Give your dogs an extra scratch and belly rub and tell them thanks for always wagging their tail when you come home, especially when it feels like the rest of the world is full of tragedy. Our dogs are a bright spot in a sad day.

Apr 10, 2013


14 x 20" original oil

I love the light in this piece - light and color make flowers such a great subject. The background blossoms are in the hot setting sun, and the foreground bulbs are in the cool evening shade, making great depth. The blossom on the right side that is kind of peach colored is catching that last ray of sun before it's dusk. Colors in painting can make you feel a certain time of day, and this one says "thirty minutes to sundown" to me and makes me feel like firing up the grill and wearing sandals and a light jacket.

I have a family reunion coming up in June that I am so excited for. All of my siblings and their spouses and kids will be there. We are going to a cabin in the middle of no where but we'll have four wheelers, a fire pit, a laser pointer, lakes to fish a few feet from our door, and lots of witty banter. I can't wait. I was thinking about how different everybody is that's going to be there, but that we're all family. Variety isn't to be underestimated. Some of us are the loud ones, some the quiet ones, some the tall ones, some the short ones, etc. This painting of all the different tulips is like a family reunion. 

A close-up. My favorite brush strokes here are the minty greens in the yellow tulip on the left.

Another close-up. My favorite brush stroke here is the one blackish swipe at the bottom of the red area in the tulip on the left. In one brush stroke the tulip curves under.

Apr 9, 2013


10 x 10" original oil

The tulips in this painting are just beginning to see the sun and open up. Spring has come again. This is from a photograph I took at last year's tulip festival. Today, I should be at the tulip festival taking more pictures but it's snowing outside. That's spring in Utah for you. 

I loved painting this one - the shapes and colors all come together like a mosaic, and there are so many changes from warm backlighting to cooler reflective lighting. Tulips have such a great silhouette too; I love their shape and this painting really showcases their shape.

The hardest part of this painting was the left side. In the original photograph I worked from, there was a big tangled darkness of leaves and petals. I had to invent some peepholes and colors. I think it turned out OK and it feels balanced. 

Here is a close-up showing the abstracted shapes/brush strokes that make up my paintings. I love that swath of cool gray-blue in the middle of the hot-orange tulip petal. That is my favorite brushstroke in this painting.

This big one is 28x42". Two weeks ago I had it on an easel in-progress at a print signing and was working on it here and there while I was signing prints, and a couple in the store in town from Hong Kong purchased it before it was even finished! It is hanging in my studio in line to be completed, and once it's dry, it'll be packaged and shipped to their home in Hong Kong. Isn't that exciting?! That is the farthest away one of my paintings has ever ended up from my studio (that I know of).