Dec 5, 2014


12 x 12" original oil

We have had one day of snow where I live and it melted off almost as quickly. It is December though, and I do love how peaceful freshly fallen snow makes the world, especially with the little twinkle of Christmas lights sprinkled into the mix. 

Here is a (not the greatest lighting/color accuracy) shot of "Snow" in it's brand new frame. It's 2 3/4" wide and silver-leafed with a dark brown wax lightly applied to warm up the metallic tone.

Nov 21, 2014

Fairy Tale

"Fairy Tale" 8 x 12 1/2" original oil

Poppies and pansies, reds, blues, minty pale greens, oranges, yellows, just looks like a little fairy tale to me. There are some fun brush strokes in this one. I'm excited for the person who ends up purchasing this piece to have the chance to see and enjoy the surface of this little original. Update: I am happy to say that the same day I delivered this painting to the gallery, it sold! Thank you to my newest collector and to my fabulous galleries!

If you're heading south at all to St. George over the upcoming winter, be sure to stop by Authentique Gallery in Ancestor Square to see my work. They are a fantastic gallery.

The custom frame was made by my husband and me: 2 3/4" wide with silver leafing and a dark wax finish on the low areas. 

Nov 20, 2014


6 x 6" original oil
Labs are so delightful. They are so happy and content. Years ago, when my husband and I decided to get a dog, we chose a lab mainly for their positive personality traits. I can learn a lot from my dog about being content in the moment. Bless her. 

Snow Day

"Snow Day"
10 x 10" original oil

A few years ago, we took Buttercup to Idaho for the holidays. We stopped in Idaho Falls to attend church with family. Buttercup took a warm nap in the sunny backseat; she is really good in the car for long rides. When we came out, there was a skiff of snow on the ground and we let her run around and play in the park nearby. It was so fun to watch her leave little snowy paw prints. Watching her run around, free as a bird, is one of my favorite, favorite things. 

Nov 17, 2014

Five Seascapes: Peaceful, Darkness, Orange Beach I, Orange Beach II, and Orange Beach III

"Peaceful" 4 x 5" original oil
This is the sea at an overcast, early morning on the shore of North Carolina. There is a healing tranquility in this little painting. 

I like angles that show the knifed-on paint.

"Peaceful" in its beautiful silver-leaf frame. 

"Darkness" 5 x 5" original oil
I named this painting Darkness to inspire the purchaser: we all have trials, and it is the contrast between the light and dark in our lives that pushes us towards our full potential and beauty. 

"Darkness" in its frame. 

"Orange Beach I" 6 x 6" original oil

My family vacationed in Orange Beach, Alabama for years. My dad recently sent me photographs of our beach hoping to inspire a painting. These three Orange Beach paintings are dedicated to him. 

"Orange Beach I" in its frame.

yummy detail of the thick paint

"Orange Beach II" 6 x 6" original oil

My family vacationed in Orange Beach, Alabama for years. My dad recently sent me photographs of our beach hoping to inspire a painting. These three Orange Beach paintings are dedicated to him. 

"Orange Beach II" in its frame

yummy paint detail

"Orange Beach III" 6 x 6" original oil

My family vacationed in Orange Beach, Alabama for years. My dad recently sent me photographs of our beach hoping to inspire a painting. These three Orange Beach paintings are dedicated to him. 

"Orange Beach III" in its frame

detail of scraping/texture

Here is what all three Orange Beach pieces look like lined up. I love it. Thanks, dad!

Nov 15, 2014

Luna, Pomona, and Minerva

I named all three in this rose series after literary characters in Harry Potter that I admire. 

Luna 4x4" original oil
Luna Lovegood was funny, loyal, kind, and always herself!

Pomona 4x4" original oil
Pomona Sprout, head of Hufflepuff House and Herbology, was an awesome gardener and always there to help in a pinch. 

Minerva 4x4" original oil
Minerva McGonagall would have been a formidable opponent in a battle of wits. I love her spark and sharpness. 

Here is a progression of the painting Luna, ending with the palette and the piece in her finished frame. 

Here is a progression of the painting Pomona, ending with the piece in her finished (and beautiful!) frame. 

And finally, here is a progression of the painting Minerva, ending with the piece in her finished frame:

Did you know that Matt and I make my frames? Thank goodness I have a talented husband who knows how to woodwork, and thank goodness I have talented artist friends (and for YouTube) whom I have called on to ask for finishing advice, like what kind of sizing do you use to apply the aluminum leaf, and do you have a wax you prefer over shellac for rubbing the painted areas? The list is long of questions I have asked and answers I have received, and I'm grateful that I have been able to get help from others and grateful also that I have made some cool discoveries while experimenting with finishes on my own. It's most definitely been an organic process. My fingers have the cuts and burns to prove it! 

Nov 5, 2014

Flakey Jakes

6x6" original oil

Thank you Gallery MAR for another dog portrait commission. This is Flakey Jakes. He is a beautiful chocolate lab who has passed away. My condolences to his mom and dad, and know that as a fellow dog-owner I understand that labs are a part of the family and dearly loved! 

I love this photo of Flakey Jakes on the beach wrapped in a towel. It's totally something I'd see my own lab doing. Her favorite thing is to be wrapped up like a burrito on top of my bed when it's cold outside. 

The paws were the most technically challenging area. They needed to have paw structure, but with sand colors irregularly on them. I'm really happy with how it turned out. I love the colors in the beach towel. It makes for a very striking painting. Flakey Jakes has the classic lab look and I just love him. I hope the family enjoys their portrait. 


this painting's palette

Oct 28, 2014


12 x 16" original oil

White flowers are some of the prettiest to paint. The warm and cool variations show up readily, and overall they feel fresh and clean. 

I have vivid  memories of fishing Missouri lakes for bass, blue gill, orange roughie and croppies while seeing the lake water shimmer off into the distance. The tips of these tulips are catching the white sunlight and it reminds me of that shimmering water. 

The dark background dresses up this painting; it feels formal to me. 

Oct 17, 2014


6 x 6" original oil

Thank you Gallery MAR for another dog commission. The client commissioned this piece for their friend who recently lost their dog, Lightning, and will surprise it with them soon. I think that is so sweet. Snuggle your little loved ones while you can! My condolences to Lightning's mom and dad. Enjoy your painting!

Oct 16, 2014


6 x 6" original oil
*Sound of witches cackling* HEEEE HE HE HEEEEEE, my dog has been turned into a witch for Halloweeeeeen! This painting makes me laugh so hard. I know I personify my photos of dogs, but this one has gone to a whole 'nother level. You'll either totally love this painting or you'll think it's completely retarded. I, however, totally love it. 

I think it's pretty handy, too, that the triangular composition of the dog and her shadow is like a witch hat. 

Of course, this painting had to have a pumpkin orange background. 

I love October!

Oct 15, 2014

Lift Up Your Heads

 30 x 45" original oil

The title comes from a scripture in the Book of Mormon (Mosiah 7:19). It says "lift up your heads, and rejoice, and put your trust in God...". A while ago I was brainstorming with a friend about what to title this yet-to-be-painted piece. I knew I wanted something that connoted strength and individuality. We discussed a few options but nothing zinged at me.

A few days later I was reading my scriptures and having one of those blah days where I felt like I was falling short everywhere - even my body language as I read was defeated with my head hanging down and my back slumping. The moment I read the phrase "lift up your heads" I looked up with surprise and realization. I knew right away that would be the title for this painting, and my body language also changed: I lifted my head, I finished my reading, I took my dog for a long walk while I could process all of this, and the next day I began this painting. It was magical. I felt like the painting painted itself and all of a sudden there it was, in my studio, glowing at me.

Lift up your heads, and rejoice, and put your trust in God. Three things...three steps mentioned in this one sentence that helped me get through a really hard day. First, chin up. Don't hang your head. Look around at what needs to be done and get started. Second, count your blessings. To rejoice is to realize what you have already been given. Third, trust that God knows what's best for you and is ready to bless you with your next success when it's time, and is reluctant to try you but He loves you and trials help you grow.

The main yellow daffodil is like me when I was in the middle of learning this lesson. I have inner light and lots of potential, I am surrounded by others and yet unique, and as I learn to lift my head, rejoice, and trust God, I'll bloom.



12 x 12" original oil

Thanks friends for the title ideas. I chose Carousel because of the spinning and whimsy feel it added to this piece. There were a lot of really great suggestions. One of my friends remarked that this piece reminds her of Southern Utah: red/orange rocks contrasted against a deep blue sky with puffy white clouds. I love that image. 

Fall is in the air! I am trying to complete as many new paintings as possible to supply my galleries for the holiday season. Visit my page here to see a link to all of my galleries, and let them help you find that perfect painting. Thanks!


Sep 13, 2014

Rapturous: All Color & Light

20 x 60" original oil

I met the Martins in the spring of 2013 at an art show in Provo, Utah. They are a darling young couple and very supportive of the arts. S and M were interested in commissioning a large tulip and I am happy to announce that today, a year and a half later, their painting was finally delivered and installed in their home. What impresses me most is that S saved her extra income for almost two years to be able to commission this large piece, and I am humbled and honored she chose my work! 

The title comes from the song "Children & Art" in the musical "Sunday in the Park with George." My client gets the credit for the title. Instead of trying to paraphrase her, here is her explanation of why she likes the title "Rapturous." "This is from a line I really like in the song “Children and Art”.  The musical is a fictionalized story of Georges Seurat’s “Sunday Afternoon/La Grande Jatte.”  The character who sings this song is Dot/Marie (Dot is tongue-in-cheek since the painting is pointillism. She is talking about an artist’s ability to capture life in their work, and the line is: “The child is so sweet, and the girls are so rapturous/Isn’t it funny how artists can capture us?”  Synonyms: ecstatic, joyful, elated, euphoric, enraptured, on cloud nine, in seventh heaven, transported, enchanted, blissful, happy”—all of which I think are apt for our new baby."

What caught me about her explanation was the line "Isn't it funny how artists can capture us?" It got me thinking. Paintings are really just colors arranged on a flat surface into shapes. How is it that something this simple can speak to us? When I look at this painting, it makes me feel happy. I feel the sunlight. Just today, one of my Facebook friends and gallery owners posted a clip from the Dr. Who episode where Vincent Van Gogh got to visit the modern day and see his work admired in a museum. Van Gogh heard the curator say "He [Vincent] transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. Pain is easy to portray, but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy, the joy and magnificence of our one had ever done it before. Perhaps no one ever will again." I love that soooo much. Art is a way we can express ourselves. I also feel that this is why we as  humans have an emotional response to art.  I personally have tried to take all of the experiences in my life, hard times included, and let them come out when I'm painting and creating with color and light. Artists deal with life by painting, and when magic happens, a collector feels the emotion the artist put into the painting and deals with life by buying that painting. The cool thing: It's all just color and light.

I have met a lot of different collectors over the years, and S and M were some of the finest. Throughout this long process they have been nothing short of encouraging and excited. 

For example, S knows I love to paint to movie scores so she made me a CD of music to paint to, as well as a fresh batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. I mean, this is awesome. I was welcomed into their home graciously and treated like a queen, and then I got music and cookies. S, you are a peach, and I will get this CD imported into my iTunes asap and onto my iPod in the studio! Thank you thank you thank you. 

By spring of 2014, we had locked the reference we were going to use for their painting and I told them that it was going to take me until the end of  August to finish. I would text S and M pictures of my progress and without fail I would get a happy text back with encouraging words and support. 

So here we are in the Fall of 2014 and the Martin family finally has their painting hanging in their home! Thank you S and M so  much. Thank you for your support of the arts, for supporting me as a professional artist, and for your trust in me to paint your commission!