Saturday, January 31, 2015


Another fun day in Arlington painting with the gang.  There were ten of us there and everyone was doing something creative.  One thing I noticed today was that at times people were busy discussing one or another's paintings, and then all of a sudden, it became so quiet you could almost hear a pin drop.  You know everyone is really into what they are doing when this happens.  Some really good work came out of the session today.  A pastel was really spectacular, and a small acrylic piece had such a neat feeling.  This lady can really get into her painting and do things she didn't know she would be doing.  Oh, yes, we even had wood burning today.  Wonderful work.  Of course, the food was good, as usual.

I was finally able to make a collage of 25 of my paintings from the 30 day challenge.  The format with the app  only had room for 25, and I couldn't figure out how to add five more spaces.  Two of them have been sold now - the larger barn, and the red doll shoes.

30 day painting collage

Thursday, January 29, 2015


Wow!  This is the last one for the challenge.  When I started this I had my doubts about whether or not I could make it through, but it has been so much fun, I'm thinking about challenging myself in different ways to paint every day.

Again, this is from a photo I took several years ago at a magnolia garden in Philadelphia.  I've had it lying around ever since, checking it out, and trying to figure out how I would paint it.  Sticking to this challenge has taught me that I could do things I hadn't thought I could.  Several of the 30 had made me procrastinate  way too long.  Now maybe I'll take some of them and turn them into large paintings since I know I can do it.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

DAY 29 - 30 paintings in 30 days - ALL WASHED UP

I have never painted a sea shell, so this was a new experience for me.  I have picked up lots of them along the shore at Sanibel, FL, and have always thought they would make good subjects for a painting.  This challenge was a very good opportunity to try it.  It was really more difficult than I had imagined, especially trying to stay loose with the paints when there was so much detail in the shell.  I definitely want to work with this subject again - who knows - maybe a very large painting?  It would be fun to do!


Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Farmers Markets are such fun to walk through, and I especially like looking at the way the produce is displayed.  At a market I saw on one of my travels, it was all displayed very "artfully."  The apples were stacked so interestingly and the colors were gorgeous.  I painted from the photo several years ago, and thought I'd try it again for this challenge.  I was happy with the way it turned out - completely different from the first one I did.


Monday, January 26, 2015

DAY 27 - 39 paintings in 30 days - TRAPPED

This was fun to paint - another photo I took a few years back in Florida.  I was amused at the way the banyon trees grow from branches that hang down from the tree.  This statue was on the grounds of the Ringling Brothers Museum in Sarasota.  The tree just grew around the little girl and trapped her inside with no way to get out.  This painting is different for me as I used a very limited palette and it is quite monochromatic.


DAY 26 - 30 paintings in 30 days - STILLNESS

Reflections are something that I have to really think about to get them right.  Hopefully, I thought enough on this one.  This is another painting done from a photo the young artist above my studio gave me to paint.  He's quite a good photographer and draws as well.  The colors in this are subdued in order to give whomever is looking at it a sense of calm or "stillness."


Sunday, January 25, 2015

DAY 25 - 30 paintings in 30 days - YOUNG ORIOLE

I guess this is a time for trying new things and learning what I am able to do.  Except for the gull I painted for this challenge, I don't think I've painted another bird close up.  The young artist who lives above my studio emailed me some photos he had taken and wanted me to paint some of them.  This bird was so colorful and had such a inquisitive look, I just had to choose him as my model today.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

DAY 24 - 30 paintings in 30 days - ANTIQUE VICTORIAN ERA DOLL SHOES

I have collected antique dolls for many years and have attended many doll auctions.  One day my husband bought me a doll for my birthday, but the shoes were the wrong ones for the doll.  They were too tight, and had I left them on her, they would have been ruined by now.  They are really good shoes from a very expensive German porcelain doll, so were really worth saving.  I looked around the house last night for things to paint for my last week, and when I saw these sitting on a shelf, was really excited about painting them.  Between attending a lecture by Hattie Hoffman (sp), having lunch with my brother and sister-in-law, and a friend dropping by for coffee this afternoon, I was able to finish it.  It is again an 8" x 10" oil painting.  Now that I've been able to replenish my white paint, I was able to work with thicker brush strokes.  This is something I'm working on and getting excited about doing more.


Friday, January 23, 2015

DAY 23 - 30 paintings in 30 days - The Beauty of Age

This painting is 12 " x 9" and done with oils and a palette knife.  I've always appreciated old things, especially when they show the effect of years of aging.  This window was in an old building in the oldest city in the U.S. - St. Augustine, FL.  I saw such beauty in the colors and texture those years had produced, I just had to paint it. 

The Beauty of Age

Thursday, January 22, 2015

DAY 22 - 30 paintings in 30 days - PATIENCE

When I was in St. Augustine, FL, several years back, I came across this gentleman very patiently waiting for someone while they were shopping.  It was a very hot day, and I thought he was a very patient man.  Don't know how long he had to wait after I took the photo.
The painting is 9" x 12" and the price is $160.  Email me if you are interested.




Wednesday, January 21, 2015

DAY 21 - 30 paintings in 30 days -STORY TIME

The photo I painted from was one I had posed my two nieces and nephew for, fully intending to paint it, over 40 years ago.  I just recently found it in my slides and converted it to the computer.  The color was off, and it was difficult to see in the shadows, but my intention with the photo was to have the darks and lights very prominent.  It wasn't the easiest painting I've ever done, but, again, I learned a lot from it after wiping out and repainting several times.  When I took the photo of the painting, I could still see a few things I would change, but I guess that's what learning is.  If you do it perfectly every time there is nothing to learn.  If we learn from our mistakes, it makes tomorrow that much better.

This was not meant to be a portrait of the three, but a painting of three children reading.  At times I lost sight of this in the process, but was reminded of it often.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

DAY 20 - 30 paintings in 30 days - HARVEY DUNN'S KIND OF SKY

Twenty down and ten to go.  Looking forward to see what pops into my head for the last ten.

Whenever I attend the plein aire event sponsored by the Harvey Dunn Society in DeSmet, SD, there is a big deal made by some artists about the "Harvey Dunn skies," and if you're familiar at all with his paintings of the SD landscape, you can see what we are talking about.

This sky was different than I usually do and more of a challenge than I thought it would be.  Painting lots of smaller clouds takes more time and concentration than the large billowy clouds.  Also, getting them to show depth takes a little understanding of clouds and aerial perspective.  Hopefully, you can feel the distance in the painting.

Harvey Dunn Skies

Monday, January 19, 2015

DAY 19 - 30 paintings in 30 days - SILHOUETTES

This one is again from my trip to PA and NY.  We were at the beach, and I just had to snap a photo of this scene with the people (a family I think) looking out over the ocean, silhouetted against the sky.  I've been wanting to paint it ever since then, but hadn't figured out just how to do it.  After doing the last 18, I've figured out a lot of things for future paintings, so am looking forward to doing more.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

DAY 18 - 30 paintings in 30 days - OLD STONE BRIDGE

I've had this photo for several years, ever since my cousin and I made a trip to Pennsylvania to visit an old school mate, and then to New York to visit another.  I believe we were told that this bridge - which is a double one - is the oldest of its kind in the U.S.

I blocked in the colors with thin paint last night and then today went back with thicker paint to put in more of the details and color.  Actually, I liked it last night, but even more so today.  It is 10 x 10, which hopefully the rest of the month they all will be.  As you can see, the trip was made in the fall, at the peak of the color season.  What an amazing sight!


Saturday, January 17, 2015

DAY 17 - 30 Paintings in 30 days - CALM BEFORE THE STORM

I've gone to the 10 x 10 format, as that is all I've been able to find right now in Watertown.  Guess I have to get to Sioux Falls, although I do like painting on squares.  I also like the look of them.

This is from a cloud photo  I took at last year's Plein Aire Festival in DeSmet, SD.  It seems that Harvey Dunn's spirit has a way of always giving us beautiful clouds when we are there.  For those who aren't familiar with Harvey Dunn, he was from the small town of Manchester, SD, west of DeSmet.  The Brookings Art Museum has a huge collection of his work.  Harvey did illustrating and teaching, but he always loved to come back to SD and paint the landscape - which generally included exciting clouds.  If you aren't familiar with him, it would be worth your time to google him.

This painting was again done in oils in one day.  The ridges you see are from the canvas showing through and aren't that visible in real life.


Friday, January 16, 2015

DAY 16 - 30 paintings in 30 days - Hattie = fun!

I'm just a little late getting this finished today.  Yesterday was Arts Night at the Pub here in Watertown, and lots to do to get it all set up, which left me little time yesterday to paint.

My great niece Hattie agreed to model for me for a sculpture I was doing, and in payment, I said I would paint a picture of her.  The photos weren't from that modeling session, but later, when having fun in the tree.  I have never painted a lot of trees - especially close up, so this was really a challenge.  As usual, I learned a lot, which I can use later.  I was able to keep the portrait part of the painting loose, which was my goal.  Now I have to think about what I want to do for her brother, Luke, as he also modeled for me.

Hattie = fun!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

DAY 15 - 30 paintings in 30 days - SUNSET LOOKING EAST

I guess landscapes are my default paintings.  I really love painting skies - they are all so different and anything is possible.  On this one the sun is setting in the West but I am looking East - hence the yellow and violets in the clouds.  The cloud formations are amazing.  I snapped a photo of these when I was at the Harvey Dunn Plein Aire Festival in DeSmet last August.  The skies were beautiful all evening, so there are many possibilities yet.

Sunset looking East

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Day 14 - 30 paintings in 30 days - Fun At the Beach

I took several photos of these two little kids playing at the beach on Sanibel Island, FL.  What a great place to spend the winter.  Here I go again, feeling sorry for myself!

This one didn't go together quite as easily as some of the last ones.  Trying to get the sunlight on the blonde boy's head made it difficult to see him.  I had to really work with rearranging the lights and darks in the background to get enough contrast.  This is a concept I will have to spend more time with.  I have two larger paintings I'm working on for which I'm hoping what I've learned with these will help me finish.
Fun at the Beach

Monday, January 12, 2015

DAY 13 - 30 paintings in 30 days ---- WARM AND SWEET!

I guess this cold weather has me thinking warm.  Hopefully it will warm by the end of this week.  I heard today 37 by Saturday.  WOW!!  I think the high today was 0.

I did some postcard size paintings for a gallery in Sioux Falls and had always liked the photo I took of the orange.  I had always wanted to do another one, so figured this was the time.  The painting went together quite easily.  I learned a couple days ago, and was reminded again today, that all the details are not necessary to give the viewer the feeling that the painting was meant to give.  I also used my Indian Yellow paint, which a friend who has recently moved away had shown me.  It really is an orange and works equally as well in sunsets as it does with oranges.

Warm and Sweet

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Day 12 - 30 paintings in 30 days ----- On Guard Duty

Another day, another painting.  This one is again 8 x 10" and is done in oils.  It is from a sketch I did several years ago west of Watertown.  The old barn had such character, but it was way too windy to paint outside, so a quick sketch and photographs did the trick.  I'm very pleased with this one.

On Guard Duty


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Day 11 - 30 paintings in 30 days - CALM AFTER THE STORM

Skies are my favorite things to paint.  The power in the clouds and the way the light hits the clouds after the sun comes out just gives me such a good feeling.  This little painting is a smaller version of a larger painting (10 x 30"). which I painted  a few years ago, and which has been sold.  I learn so much when I revisit something I've done in the past.  The colors are brighter this time around and it is in a much looser style.  This is 8 x 10", and is on a canvas board. 

Looking forward to see what today will bring when I start on day 12.

Calm After the Storm

Thursday, January 8, 2015

DAY 9 and 10 of 30 paintings in 30 days - SANIBEL

It's time to start thinking warmer weather.  Do you suppose that will really help?  I'm really getting tired of the wind and the cold.  Hopefully, things will quiet down a little by tomorrow.

I usually go to Florida at least part of the winter, but this year I have decided to stay around here.  Sanibel Island is near where I stay, so have been there several times.  It's so much fun to watch the birds feeding in the Gulf - they can be quite interesting sometimes.  I've had photos and sketches around for several years now thinking that they would make good paintings, but have never been able to see in my mind how they would look.  It has finally come to me - maybe because I'm thinking warm Florida sun - but I was able to take my mind back there when I was painting.  The colors I used in the last two paintings seemed to call to me to use them again.  I was right - they worked well for this painting.


I also quickly did a painting of a single gull standing near the shore on one leg.  It's funny to see them doing this, but I guess when they stand all day, they really do need to rest their legs and the best way is to do it one at a time.  I call this one my acrobatic gull.  The brush strokes are finally beginning to come together like I have been hoping they would.  Now if I can just use that looseness on the other paintings on my easel it will have been worth doing the 30 paintings in 30 days.

Acrobatic Gull

These are both 8 x 10 and sell for $125 unframed and $150 framed.  Both are for sale, as are the other paintings in this challenge.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

DAY 8 - 30 paintings in 30 days - Loveland, CO

This painting is from a trip I took several years ago to Loveland, CO, when my sister was living there.  It would be great to go back sometime.  This was on a perfectly calm day.

I worked with a new way to paint reflections in water yesterday, so thought today it would be a good idea to do another.  I like it and I'll probably do more of these in my landscapes in the future.  That is what I was hoping to accomplish in this challenge.  Someone suggested today it might be fun to paint the same subject every day for a length of time.  Now that would get really interesting and should be very educational.  I just might try that after this challenge is finished.


DAY 7 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

The weather wasn't as bad yesterday as I thought it would be, so I was able to get into the studio.  This painting is from a photo and sketch I did many years ago with the Missouri River bluffs in the background.  So close to the river, I don't know what the fence would have kept out, and it was so rickety I think it had been there for some time - probably doesn't even exist anymore.

The whole scene took me back to the days of walking by the river, walking in the river, and generally enjoying the river.  It seemed like a living, breathing being during that time.  The painting is 8 x 10 ".  As with all my 8 x 10's, the price is $125 unframed and $150 framed.  All the challenge paintings are for sale.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

DAY 6 - 30 Paintings n 30 Days

It was a nasty day yesterday, so I stayed in the studio longer than usual in order to finish this painting for Day 6.  Didn't know if I would make it in today, so got ahead of the game.  My original sketch for this painting was done many, many years ago on a very windy day.  What touched me was the way the young tree was bending with the wind.  This is what our lives are so often, blowing one way and then the other.  If we're aware of that, it is possible to again center ourselves and become stronger for the next wind that blows.  After the many times I was blown in several directions, I feel I am stronger for it and more ready for the next storm.

This painting is 10 x 8" and is painted in oil.

Wind Chill Factor

Monday, January 5, 2015

DAY 5 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

I'm really happy I actually began this painting yesterday, as today was not such a nice day to be out.  It's snowing like crazy right now, so I probably won't get into the studio tomorrow.

I'm not sure where I snapped this photo, but worked on a colored pencil sketch when I was in Florida one winter and never finished it.  I took a plein aire workshop from Betty Carr a few years ago, and she felt that a painting with green in it had to have at least 7 greens.  I'm sure this one has more than that, Betty.  I also added a little light red to use the complement of green.

It is 10 x 8" and done in oil.  Hope you like it.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Day #4 - First Snow of Winter

Back to landscapes.  I'm not sure where I sketched this one - maybe it was from my imagination.  It was tricky figuring out just what happens when the snow falls into the mown fields.  Also, deciding where the shadows would fall, etc., is interesting.  Don't know if it is technically right, but I do think it gives the feeling of that first snow as it has fallen into the rows of mown hay.  Notice the bales have been picked up already.  I had planned to paint them in but decided it looked better without them.  They would have blocked the curving lines as they led back to the barn.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

DAY 3 - another doodle

Again I looked through my doodles and found one done years ago which intrigued me.  It is another 8 x 10" and is done in oils.  I worked with four colors plus white from the Robert Burridge color wheel.  The colors are alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, turquoise, and yellow.  The dominant color is yellow.  It was an interesting way to paint.  I took the photo with my Ipad and I see it picked up on the fact that I used the palette knife and really thick paint.  This gives it a lot of texture.

Cool Flames on a Hot Day

Friday, January 2, 2015

30 PAINTINGS - 30 DAYS --- doodles Day 2

I decided to get out some of the doodles I have done in my sketch book when trying to think about what I wanted to do.  I had always liked the composition in this one, and had thought many times about doing it up as a painting.  So that day has finally come!  It is 8 x 10".  All of my 8 x 10's sell for $125 unframed and $150 framed.

Path to Nowhere

Thursday, January 1, 2015

30 PAINTINGS in 30 DAYS #1, January 1, 2015

I've decided to take the challenge of doing thirty paintings in thirty days.  That should keep me busy, but I think it is what I need to get me through the next month and still be sane after spending the month in frozen SD rather than down someplace where it is warm.

So, today I began.  I'm planning on doing them all in oils and on a small scale.  Maybe toward the end of the month I'll up the ante a little and do some larger ones.

My challenge to myself is to take some of the sketches from my sketch books and turn them into paintings.  Some are landscapes, some are figures, and some are just doodles which would make very nice abstracts.  This will be a real test of my stick-to- itiveness (if that's even a word.) 

This little landscape was one I did on the south edge of Watertown while at a balloon festival.  I'll probably do more from those pages as well.  I'm really hoping that by painting fast, I'll be able to free myself up and work toward a new style I have seen developing for a while now.  We'll see  by the end of the month if I am as much looser in my painting as I would like to be.

This painting is 8 x 10" and would sell for $150.

Early Sunrise on the Farm

Yesterday I started another painting just for the fun of it.  I took the photo of my sister and her youngest daughter many, many years ago.   Yes, Kris, it is you!  What I liked about the photo were the angular lines made by the limbs of the mother and daughter.  My plan is to capitalize on this and to think of it as a painting rather than a portrait.  My intention is not to make it a portrait so that I can concentrate on lines, shapes, and colors while I'm painting.  I will try to post photos as I make changes in the painting.