Monday, December 9, 2013


I'm thinking this is nearly done.  Time to let it dry some before I start adding some complements to the mix.  I'll try that anyway.  If it doesn't do what I'm wanting, I can always wipe it off.  Now I have to get busy with a portrait commission that is sketched on to the canvas.  This should be interesting. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013


I have been painting on this canvas for a week now, and things seem to be coming together.  In other words, it's starting to make some sense.  It's amazing how much a person can learn from doing something completely different than before.  I decided to make the dove a little more realistic but ghost like, and the rest of it will remain very abstract.  There seems to be a story developing, but each person who looks at will have to decide herself what it means to her.  There is still quite a bit to do on the lower right corner.  I've printed out a b/w copy of it, and my intention is to go in with colored pencils to see what else I want to do with it.  It seems like it would work, but who knows?

Monday, December 2, 2013


This has really challenged me and made me think - which is what I was hoping it would do.  Yesterday I added more knife painting and decided I wanted to go with an analogous color scheme.  Today I worked on that - from the left side to the right side - and I'm feeling like it's all coming into place.  Even though it's analogous, I may have to add some complements to it to really make things pop.  If someone were to ask me what it means or what it is, I wouldn't be able to tell you.  I'm hoping that when it's finished it may evoke some feelings in the viewer.

Saturday, November 30, 2013


Our painting group met to day in Arlington, SD, and I was able to finish this painting.  I'm much happier with it than with the first abstract.  I think maybe because I tried not to overthink it - just had fun with it to see where it wanted to go.  I added the greens on the stone wall on the left side of the painting and darkened the lower left corner.    I also extended the oranges down farther into the painting.  The sailboat was too bright - drawing too much attention to itself - so it had to be toned down.

It was so much fun, I decided to try another.  This time it's quite large - about 4' x 4'.  It comes from a doodle I did one time and happened to run across again.  I thought there were some interesting design elements worthy of more consideration.  So far there are colors laid down quite thinly over the whole canvas.  Now we'll just have to wait to see where it wants to go.  Exciting not having a preconceived idea of how the painting will turn out.  Keep watching.  It could be interesting!

Monday, November 25, 2013


I decided to try another abstract, and this time I'm liking what I've done the first day.  Yesterday I started drawing lines and came up with the idea for this painting.  Most of the work today was done with the pallette knife, again with four colors and white.  Since it was done with thick oil paint, I'll have to wait until it is nearly dry to finish it.  I plan to darken the lower left corner and add more bright yellows and reds in strategic areas - just enough to get your eye moving around a little more.  Anyway, this is it so far, and I really did have fun!

Friday, November 22, 2013


I didn't think I would be able to paint today, since the paint was too wet.  But, I did anyway, and am happy with the results.  Today I changed the color in the "trees" and added more definition there.  This is turning out to be not quite as abstract as I had thought, so guess I'll have to try a completely nonobjective one and see where that leads me.  If all goes well tomorrow, I just may finish it - that is until I look at it a couple weeks down the road and see something else that would work!

Thursday, November 21, 2013


This was a good day.  I didn't have to scrub off any of the paint, although I came prepared to do so.  So far I'm letting the painting dictate to me what to do, as I watch the brush strokes from the previous day.  I added some straight lines and more curved shapes, and I like what I have done.  I'm thinking I'll let it dry a couple days and then go in and add more bright colors.  Anyway, that's what it seems to need now.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I really don't know what I'm doing, but my mind is stretching and I'm having fun.  After I painted a while today, I wiped it all off and started again.  I was losing too much of the color so thought this was best.  I still don't know where I'm going with this, but it seems that one brush stroke leads to another and another, so it's telling me what it wants to do.  Still a long way to go, so not too worried yet that I'll have to throw it at the end.  I do know that this is not what I had in my head when I started.

I took two photos today - one in color and one in black and white.  Setting my camera on black and white helps me see the values.  I can already see what I'll be working on tomorrow - maybe even wiping some of it out.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I've been considering for a long time  the possibility of branching out and doing something abstract.  If an artist doesn't try new things, it is very easy to get stagnant.  So here goes!

I have cut shapes out of canvas and attached them to my canvas with gesso.  Limiting myself to four colors plus white, and trying new techniques, I am hoping to be able to come up with something new for my paintings.  The first photo is of thin layers of oil paint, and the second is of when I started layering colors with the palette knife.  My intention is to keep layering colors that I have mixed from the four and possibly including other mediums.  It's an experiment, and at the end - if there is an end - I might just toss it, but hopefully I will have learned something that will carry over to my representational paintings.

So, follow me in this adventure, and let me know what you think.  It should be fun!

Monday, November 4, 2013


Several summers ago I took my sister Faye to SF to fly out early the next morning to Atlanta.  At that time I was NOT a morning person and had not experienced very many beautiful sunrises - and when I had - I never seemed to have my camera with me.  That particular morning was an exception, and the beauty of it drew me in and made me stop by the side of the road for pictures.  I was rewarded big time.  Now, my photos are not for showing to other people, so the quality of the photo was not what I would call even good.  But the feeling it gave me every time I looked at it, was so peaceful, I finally decided I had to paint it.

It was fun painting this piece, just remembering the moment and the weekend spent with my family at our annual reunion.  I have tried to capture the feeling of it all, rather than the actual lay of the land.

The painting is in oil and is approximately 30" by 18".  If you come to DECK THE WALLS this weekend in Watertown, you can buy a raffle ticket for an opportunity to receive $50 off the painting or any other painting in my booth (or win a fabulous piece from any of the artists at the show).

Saturday, November 2, 2013


I took the photo I worked from after a storm with no rain had gone through last June.  The sky was amazing with the sun going down and shining on structures nearby.  A friend and I had noticed the sunset and decided to drive north of town to get a better view.  North of where I live is the "Tree Farm" where they had moved in an old church from south of here to use as their office building.  The reflections on the building were amazing.  Much of the painting is from my imagination, but the sky and building are pretty much what I saw.

This painting is 11 x 14 and can be seen, along with more of my paintings, at DECK THE WALLS November 9 and 10 here in Watertown.  It is held at the County Fair Banquet Hall from 10 - 5 pm on Saturday and 11 - 3:30 on Sunday.  This year we will have a raffle with the proceeds going to the Food Pantry here in Watertown.  You buy your raffle tickets when you come in, and you can put them in the box of the artist you would be interested in winning from.  The drawing will be at 2:30 on Sunday.  I will be giving a $50 gift certificate to anything in my booth.  There will be approximately 20 venders.  The variety available for sale is amazing, and this area has some truly amazing artists.

Friday, October 25, 2013


Last May I spent a week at a quilting retreat in DeSoto, WI, with a group of friends.  A friend of mine came to see me and we decided to go to a nearby town to find some material.  It was a very interesting trip, on a back road, with lots of beautiful scenery.  I especially liked the old buildings and was lucky enough to be able to snap a photo of two Jersey (?) cows who had come closer to see what we were up to.  Now, I've never painted cows before, but the look in their eyes was so intriguing, I just had to try.

I started this painting differently than usual.  I began with the three primary colors mixed with whites and each other to get several different tones, and I painted just the darks, middle, and light tones as quickly as I could, not trying to paint them in their natural colors.  This was really a stretch for me, but it was really fun, and I did learn a lot from the exercise.  They did end up in their natural colors, but I was able to retain some of the not so real "cow" colors.  I was satisfied with the final paiting.  Now, I am told, I must do a horse.  I have one on the easel.  We'll see how it goes!

This painting is in oil and is 14" x 14".  I really like the square format and will definitely do more.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


I'm getting behind.  Painting is going so well that I hardly have time for anything else - like blogging.  I did this painting as a gift for my friend's granddaughter and family.  They were such great hosts last summer when we stayed at their home in Nemo, SD,  to attend the Silver City plein aire event.  It's a beautiful home in a very secluded area, and the three children were full of pep.  I really enjoyed watching the two oldest blowing bubbles so just had to paint them.

Deciding on the composition was easy - I wanted them blowing bubbles at each other.  When I first started painting, the background was in pastel sky and earth colors.  The bubbles just didn't show up, so decided to make it a night sky - complete with fire flies.  It was so much fun to do, and I'm hoping they are happy with the painting.

Friday, October 4, 2013

WHEN I GROW UP I WANT TO BE . . . . . . . . . . .

I picked up the little cowboy today and am happy with him.  I then dropped him off at the South Dakota Health Care Association for the Masterworks Show which will be October 28 and 29.  I am looking forward to feedback from the attendees at the show, hoping he will bring back memories for a lot of people.  I know he sure does for me!

Thursday, September 26, 2013


This is another painting I have been wanting to do but just didn't feel I was ready for it.  Well, I took the plunge and am happy I did.  Emmett is several years older now, but still a good looking kid!  The painting is done in oil on a painter's board (which I hadn't used before but liked) and is 18 x 24.  I'm hoping to enter it in the Dakota Masterworks show which will be in Sioux Falls October 28.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


I've seen some beautiful night time paintings and have wondered if it was something I could do.  So - no time like the present.  Going through my photos, I found one I took a few years ago near one of my brother's farm when they had all the water in the area.  I'm not exactly sure where I took it, but I liked the way the moon was shining on the water.  Experimenting with color is exciting, and I was able to make some interesting mixtures.  Brown umber and turquoise make a abeautiful dark green, and burnt umber, ultramarine blue, and cerulean blue mixed toether with white makes perfect blues for the sky and water.  So, here you have it.  It was so fun, I'll have to try to take more night pictures and paint them.  This painting is on a 14" x 14" gallery wrap canvas.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Even though I haven't been posting, I have been working.  I don't know what it is about this new studio, but it does draw me into it more than the other place.  I work every afternoon that I'm in town, and feel my art is moving forward!  It's about time, I guess.  Getting older, you know -  but better late than never!

This is a photo of the front window of The Art Studio at 11b north Maple in Watertown.  It is such an inspiring place to work.

My latest painting is of a sky I've been wanting to paint since I saw it in June.  It came right around sunset and the setting sun sent up such interesting colors.  The shape of the cloud made it look like there would be quite a storm, but not a drop of rain (It's raining right now, which is a real blessing!)  The farm in the painting is from a photo I took one day several years ago east of Brookings, SD.  It's fun to work from several photos in one painting.

Now, unto something new again.  It should be a good day!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


After spending a few more hours on him, I finally cut the strings and took him to Sioux Falls to Bronze Age Art Casting.  They are so thoughtful and kind there, I know he will be well taken care of.  They gave us a tour of the facillities and explained all that would now happen to him on his next journey.  In two to three weeks, I will have him home again, only in bronze this time.  I will also have the mold so that there can be more of him cast.  The price I thought was reasonable considering the work that goes into making the mold, casting the bronze, cleaning him up and then doing the patina.  I am so thankful there are people who know what they are doing so that I can just do the creative fun part.

I did find out that the clay I was using wasn't the best for this project.  After going for lunch with a friend in SF, we returned to the van to find that his hat had drooped and fallen off in three pieces.  It was just way too hot.  In fact, after we left the foundry the thermometer in the van said 100 outside.  Way too hot for this time of year!  Anyway, after it had cooled off somewhat I was able to put his hat back on and he was ready to go.

In a few weeks I'll have a photo of the finished piece.  Now it's back to painting again until I get some clay that gets harder and won't soften quite so easily.  Some ideas are already running through my mind.  In the meantime, there are paintings that have to be done, so I'll be back at that tomorrow.  Hopefully, I'll have more photos every once in a while.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


I just realized this one had not been published.  Somehow it showed up as a draft and I hadn't noticed it before.  Therefore, it is out or order, but there really isn't much difference between this one and the last day.

He's nearly ready to say "giddy up go."  It's getting so close I can almost taste it!  Today I put a lot of time in on the face - reworking the details and making corrections.  This meant a lot of time on my feet, as I can't sit down and get a good enough look at the area under the hat.  I also worked on the straps, reins, barrel, and the ground.  Notice there are now two rocks holding the barrel in place.  We wouldn't want to see him tip over after all this work!

A friend, Sandy Elyson, stopped in today and did a little more sculpting in wax.  I remembered how to warm the tools, so she had a better experience this time.  I will be excited to see what she ends up with.  Going good so far, and it's so nice having someone else around.  Ralph also stopped in and brought me the Chamberlain paper, which is fun to read.  After all these years I still know some of the people.


I do believe he is finished and I had so much fun and learned so much.  I can't believe it took me only ten days, which would average out to close to 55 hours, in case any one is curious.  I have included several pics showing all angles and close-ups of the little cowboy.  Now I have to take it to the foundry in Sioux Falls and get him turned into bronze.  I will be really interested to find out what the final cost will be.  This will determine what the price will be if anyone is interested in purchasing one of them.



Thursday, August 22, 2013


Getting closer.  Today was a day for changes.  After looking at the little guy 's face and seeing his grin, I thought his face was too hidden.  If he was truly enjoying the "ride" I decided his head would be thrown back.  I think it works much better.  I also decided he needed a scarf around his neck to complete the picture.  Other than that, I worked on the barrel on the front end.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Today was a fun day and a good working day.  There is a group of four artists who get together for breakfast once a week on Wednesday.  Just a block down the alley from me is an excellent restaurant called "Good to Go."  They bake their own bread and other goodies and have excellent quiche, sandwiches, and salads.    Today we each ordered a different pastry and split them four ways so we each got a taste of each.  My favorite was the bearclaw with almonds and chocolate with almont paste as a filling.  Wonderful!

I'm starting to feel like I'm winding down on this project.  Today I worked on more detail on the saddle and barrel.  I'm not sure yet how I will do the grass around the barrel.  Guess that's what's so great about trying something different.  There is always learning involved.  Oh, yes, I did fix the crease in his hat.  Looks much better now!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I decided today it was time to work more on the boy's right side.  Going well so far - some of the detail on the saddle done and preliminary work done on the barrel and the rest of the saddle.  I'm hoping it will be finished this week.  I can see from this photo I have to adjust the hat a little to get just the right bend in it.  My husband wore western hats, and that was always important to him.

Monday, August 19, 2013


Today I felt like there may be an end to the sculpture when I started working on more details.  It was fun finding objects I could press into the clay to make more texture.  I guess it's fun to do because it is a challenge to see how much detail I can put into something on a small scale.  It's always good to be able to stretch the mind, and I'm feeling like I'm learning so much!  My goal is to have this finished and poured with bronze in  order to show it at Dakota Masterworks in October.  Guess I'd better start spending longer days.

It's always fun to have visitors, and today Ralph Wamsher stopped in with "regular" coffee - as opposed to the flavored kind - so when he and Joann stop in they can have a cup of their coffee with me.  How nice of them.  Also, two artist friends from the Milbank area - Joelie and Barb - stopped in and went with Corine and I to lunch at "Good to Go."  This restaurant has very good food, and it's fun to eat out on the patio.  It's just a walk through the alley from my studio.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


This is so much fun.  I don't know why I haven't done more sculpture.  Today was a very good day.  I worked on the little guy's left leg and shoe, and then on the saddle.  I also built the little stool so that it's possible for him to get down without getting hurt!   I was able to download a picture of an antique saddle, which has helped tremendously!  I'm looking tonight to see if I can find a small enough design to press into the clay to make it look like leather work.  We'll see tomorrow how that works out.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Today was a good day in the studio.  Several visitors stopped in and I was able to spend time with them.  I didn't accomplish a whole lot on this piece, however.  I was able to do more refining on the face and clothing, as well as one arm and the saddle.  Wish I knew more about old saddles.  It would really help to have one to look at.

Friday, August 16, 2013


I didn't really seem to get much done today, but am please with the changes I made.  The clay is softer than I thought it would be, so I am now starting at the top and working down to do the details.  That way I won't be messing up what I have already done.  Today I worked on the hat and face mostly.  I also plumped him out a little and started working on the clothing.

It's amazing how I can see all the imperfections when I have posted the photo.  Now I know what I have to work on tomorrow!

Thursday, August 15, 2013


This has been a good week and an especially good day.  It is so easy to work in my new studio with the windows overlooking the street, room to hang my paintings, and room to work on more than one thing at a time.

The painting I worked on for two days.  Everything just seemed to work.  I took the photo I worked from on a trip to Platte, SD.  The storm had just passed and there was just a hint of a rainbow.  It is 10" x 30", and I'm very happy with it.

I started a new sculpture today and really liked working with plasticene clay rather than with wax as I had done on my last two.  The subject is one of my older brothers sitting on the saddle on the barrel that our dad fixed up for us when we were kids.  I guess he didn't want to have to saddle up the horse for us when he was busy with other things.  Eventually the piece will be made into bronze and I will do a limited edition,  I don't know how many yet - it all depends on if there is any interest in it or not.
The total piece will be approximately 12" tall.

Monday, August 12, 2013


This past weekend was the second annual Watertown Summer Art Showcase.  Five states were represented by very talented award winning artists, ranging from painters, sculptors, photographers, and potters, to mixed media artists.

The number of people taking advantage of the opportunity to view this wonderful art was disappointing.  It is so difficult to figure out how to get people out to attend various functions.  Having been in the fast food business, I can understand how difficult it is to make sure  you reach all the people and then to entice them into your place of business to take part in whatever you are offering.  The three people behind this - Don Klima and Nancy Lepo of Omaha, NE, and Marilyn Nipe of Watertown put in endless hours and their own funds to make this work. 

We are thankful to the people who did attend and who enjoyed the show thoroughly.  For those who were unable to make it, there will be next year.  It really is worth seeing, even if you are not able to buy some of the work for your home.  All artists need input from the public.  Without it, sometimes it is difficult to go on with our work.  Seeing the smiles of the people viewing the art showed that it was a way of getting enjoyment into their lives.

Now that I am off my soapbox, I did enjoy doing the show - seeing old friends and making new ones is always a good thing.  I was also the winning bidder for two of the pieces on the silent auction.  I was able to purchase two very nice landscapes - one by the Best of Show winner Gisele Robinson of Wyoming (a new artist friend) and the other from June Newburg of Minnesota (an old artist friend) whose work I have admired for a long time.  Thanks for the opportunity.  When I get pictures of them, I'll post them for your enjoyment as well.

This is a photo of the booth I had at the show: