Jul 30, 2013

Add a Little Butter

8 x 8" original oil

Art Access Gallery of Salt Lake City is having a fun show beginning September 20th through October 11th called Art2Go. Show goers will see a large variety of small works on display, all in the $100 - $500 range. Artists were invited but not required to paint something "foodish" and I have to say, I've always wanted to paint an artichoke, so of course I did. I tried to follow my own advice from Cornucopia and use all of the colors in this artichoke, looking for areas where the skin was a little bluer, etc. I hope somebody snatches this painting up and hangs it in their kitchen, while they watch Julie and Julia and enjoy the scene where they eat artichokes dipped in that yummy buttery looking sauce. I love that movie. It makes me want to buy new kitchen gadgets, pots and pans, strange spices, and wear a cute apron and cook all day. 

Jul 29, 2013


30 x 45" original oil

I love this one. It has resparked in me a love of tulips. Summer has been busy and I've not done a "big tulip" in a while. After finishing this one, I realize I am no where near tired of painting tulips, and I feel I have so many more to come out of my brush. Thanks to my friend Linda for the title idea. It's perfect for the time of year and the fall colors in this piece. that hit of lavender in the background plays so well against the burnt oranges. 

Here are four progress shots showing the painting coming to life, and here are two detail shots of two of the diva blossoms. I piece shapes together and work wet paint into wet paint, so I get great blending. Don't be afraid to use color. That may sound obvious, but I see paintings of flowers where not a lot of colors are used. If you look closely at these white and yellow blossoms, you'll see reds, oranges, yellows, greens, blues and violets in the paint. A little can go a long way. 

Jul 26, 2013

Happy Birthday to my Studio!

I moved into my studio three years ago today. "Once" was the first painting I finished. It is now available as a poster print to anybody who wants it! Just e-mail me and we'll make it happen. I have really enjoyed the last three years in my studio as I used to paint in the attic room of my house fighting the heat and low pitched ceiling. It's interesting to think of all the places I've painted from the beginning while living at home in high school. It started on a card table or on an old sheet on the floor in my bedroom of my parent's house. My next studio was on my desk of my tiny dorm room my freshman year of college. My next studio was on a nightstand table in my corner of my college apartment bedroom (when i was lucky I could paint in the fine art studio classrooms on campus), and then when I got married my only requirement was a two bedroom apartment so that the second bedroom could be my place to work. As Matt and I moved around from place to place, my painting things were sometimes stacked on top of the television or under the bed, but always close. We bought our first house where my studio is now in 2005. An old shop/garage was on the property out back and Matt and I earmarked it for his woodshop and my art studio. In 2008 when I "quit my day job" and began painting full time, I also began teaching art lessons weekly. I saved every penny and would be able to first pay for windows and a door, then the HVAC and insulation, then the sheetrock and mud, then the lights, then for the old concrete floor to be finished. It took two years, but finally I could move in. Three years ago today I put "Once" up on it's easel, plugged my Bose/iPod in, turned on a song and stretched out in my new space.

 It's amazing how small my studio now feels with three tables, three easels, chairs, a sink, bookcases, and all manner of art stuff here and there. I love the wall color: it's Benjamin Moore Coastal Fog. It goes green or gray depending on the light. I saw it at IKEA when I walked through looking for decorating ideas for my studio. I still have so much on my wish list but for now, I am happy to have an air conditioned place to work where I don't hit my head on the ceiling and where I can close the door and be alone to focus.

This is a sign I recently hung to remind myself to do things one step at a time. I have so many shows coming up and a difficult commission I'm currently chipping away at. I can get overwhelmed easily and drown in my schedule. It's a hopeless feeling to not know where to begin, so this little sign keeps me on track when I stop to stare at the walls.

I love my palettes. They show my thought process. They are colorful biographies of my artwork.

Look at this painting coming to life! I'm so excited about this one!! It's 30x45" and will be in my September show at Terra Nova Gallery.

No lie: this was my palette to paint the "white" flowers. In college, I had a professor say "If you want a challenge, paint something yellow." You could also apply white - painting something white teaches you to see color, because there is hardly ever any "white" in what you're painting.

Happy 3rd birthday to my studio! I can't wait to see what the next three years bring!! Thank you to everybody, Matt, friends and collectors, who have supported me along the way.

Jul 24, 2013


 7 x 5" original oil

I love the contrast in this painting between the deep purples and transparent whites. The punch of orange in the background adds some spice. 

It's all sketched out with a pastel pencil. I used grid crosshairs on the photo and on the masonite to help me get it right. 

It's taking shape: I painted the lightest areas first because I was afraid if I didn't, they'd be muddy. 

Today's tools

I think tubes of paint are fabulous. Look at them all in a row. Yummy. 

This painting is on 1/8" masonite. It will be a cinch to pop into a 5x7" frame; otherwise, just display it on a little easel or leaning against something. 

Jul 23, 2013


6 x 6" original oil

Chief was a good dog. He passed away last summer unexpectedly. One Sunday a couple of months ago I was walking home from church and got this idea: I should paint Chief for my friend who's birthday was coming up. I talked to the husband and he sent me a file of Chief pictures, I picked my favorite, made an adjustment or two, and spent an afternoon painting this little guy. I pictured my friend's face the whole time because I was so excited to give it to her and surprise her. I knew she would really treasure it and appreciate my time and gesture, and that's what makes it worth it for me. She loved this dog, like as much as I love my dog, and that's a whole lot. Well, I gave this painting to her yesterday and we both cried. Geez. Dog lovers. We're nuts. 

Jul 17, 2013

Untitled so far - but in progress

30 x 45" original oil in progress

I was so happy to work on a large tulip oil painting today. Summertime is in full swing, and I've had my share of trips and reunions. This one, when it's finished, will head to Terra Nova Gallery in Provo, Utah for their 10th Anniversary Show in September. My head is spinning at my crazy schedule the rest of the year. Check it out and I'd love to see you at any of my upcoming events or shows. 

today's palette after the above blocking