Monday, February 12, 2018

when one door closes.....


Sometimes a door closes and you are a little sad.
For a minute.
Then you have to look at it as a good thing.
What's behind Door #2 is probably way better than Door#1.
Or maybe you will wait until Door #3 comes along!

This beautiful and fun show happened because I
was at loose ends and decided to do something I'd never done before.
Not artistically anyway.
Create a Challenge - paint 150 paintings in 150 days for $150 each.
I invited my favorite band, all
of my friends, family, and my collectors.
We sold over half of the paintings on opening night.
And most of the rest during the month after opening.

The show was so successful that I did it three more times 
(about two years apart, because it is ROUGH creating
all of those paintings).
At galleries, and once on my own, online.

As you can see, it is a lot of fun on opening night.

So, anyway, back to doors.....

I am planning a brand new adventure!

Guys, this is BIG for me!
A brand new big studio with space for workshops, classes,
art retreats, women's retreats, workshops by other artists,
gallery space, and much more.

We are just in the planning stages now.
I am hoping to have it ready by fall for my annual ART PARTY,
so stay tuned. I am SO excited!!!

Doors truly do open if you are ready for the adventure.

 In other news - 

We have started our "LET'S PAINT STILL LIFE" facebook group.
The first Challenge was a doozy, so hard.

 Challenge Image

My rendition - "THE BLUE BOWL"
I like it, but man, it was hard to get to this spot.

Here is Challenge Image 2:

I love seeing what other artists come up with using the 
images as their muse.

Oh, and I will be writing my personal blog 
post here every Friday starting this Friday.
I am working on a catchy title.

Okay, that's all I have for now.
Lots of painting and ideas to come.

And remember, keep those doors open.
Because you never know what great things are behind them....

Windows are good too!

Thursday, February 08, 2018

time is flying

I can't believe it's already February.
The time is passing way too fast.
And the fact that we really haven't even had a winter
this year - not even a snow - makes it really seem like spring
is right around the corner.

Oh, how I want to trot out my "spring"
photos, but I still think it's too early.
We may get a snow yet!

I've been working on a few things.
I'm trying to balance my time and not take on
too many projects or shows, but
things seem to find me.

Here is my commission of two roosters,

This is for a good childhood friend of mine and
I hope he knows just how much I enjoyed
painting this for him!

I guess I am in the mood to paint flowers.
This is a wildflower bouquet that was just a joy.
I loved putting mounds of thick color between the flowers!

Now, when I get bored, or uninspired,
or just need a break, I take out my latest art magazines,
sit in the recliner, and veg out for an hour or so.
I never fail to be inspired by seeing other
artists' work.
I have to make sure I don't stay TOO long though.
Procrastination is one of my strongest traits.

 Okay, so an artist friend (Robyn Wellman) has an idea and
put it out into the facebook universe.
We already have a great challenge group called,
"LET'S PAINT NEW MEXICO!" that I started several
years ago and she wondered if there was a  
facebook group doing the same thing with still life.
I said no, but hey, let's start one!

So now we have a group called, you guessed it,
Each week, I pick a still life image and we all use 
it as a muse and paint our rendition of it.
This is our first Challenge - THE BLUE BOWL.

 Challenge Image 1 - THE BLUE BOWL

 Here is my rendition and boy, was it daunting!
Getting the bowl to have the right perspective was impossible.
So I gave up and just let it be.

This is Challenge 2 - ALGODONES DESCANSO
This should be fun.
The two groups are about the journey, not the destination.
And we accept beginners to professionals.
No deadlines and no judgement.

Now I am working on another project - a big one!
It's a big painting commission for my sister-in-law.
I don't want to get into the story but let's just say that this
painting is 8 years overdue.

Here's the sketch

 Here's the sketched canvas.
A little hard to see, I know.
It will be aspens, El Salto peak in Taos, 
water, flowers, and vegetation.

 In the meantime, I'm trying to paint every day.
This is last night's painting,
"WINTER TREES" in Algodones
The reference photo was not that great, 
but I dug out the palette knife and pushed paint
around until I was happy with it.

And this is my favorite painting I've done so far this year. 

I hope you are following your dreams and
making things happen for yourself.
But stay balanced.
It's the key to a good life.

Saturday, January 27, 2018



I have to do it 
It's part of me 
It's thinking creatively 
It's fills my soul 
It's hard 
It's solitude 
It's work 
It's lonely 
It's magnificent 
It's time consuming 
It takes over my life 
I forget everything else 
It's doing what I love 
It's letting other people inside my soul 
It's like breathing

I wrote this a long time ago and it still stands to this day.

Making art is like pulling teeth sometimes.
And other times, it's like magic happens so easily.

I had my "tentative" schedule lined up and ready
to start working on right after the new year.


Sometimes life has other plans.
Things just happen organically.  

So here are the possibilities now:

April        Two woman show in Jemez
May         Plein Air Santa Fe Fiesta (if I get in)
               plein air all over Corrales for show
               painting for Placitas Garden Tour
June        painting at Corrales Garden Tour  
               Group show at Corrales Fine Arts
               Four day painting trip in Taos - work AND relaxation
July         Open
August     Open
Sept        my Art Party and Studio Sale
October   Group show for LPNM
Nov         Open

Some of these events are tentative at this point.

In the meantime, I've been working!

Here are my latest paintings:

I'm still painting for my group, "LET'S PAINT NEW MEXICO."

We also have a new facebook group coming:


This was an idea conceived by artist Robyn Wellman.
It starts February 1 on facebook.

Also, starting next week, each Friday will be my blog day for:


Right here.
It's just what it sounds like, I talk about personal stuff.
I hope "we" can handle it!

Enjoy your weekend,
It's a little warmer.....

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

baby, it's cold outside....

The Rio Grande Nature Center

Yesterday, there was a Plein Air Painters of New Mexico sponsored
paint out by Michael Chesley Johnson at the Rio Grande Nature Center.
And it was free to all members!
Except for the $3 parking fee.

We were able to park at a special observation area.

Oh, did I mention is was 30 degrees outside
and very overcast.

There were 32 people who braved the cold to 
see this artist's demo of the landscape.
Here is some of the scenery:

 I can't wait to paint this!

 Dormant trees are beautiful in their own way.

 Another view

 See the ducks in the background?

 Spent sunflower seed pods

 Michael beginning his demonstration
He lives and works in Ramah, New Mexico.
Dd I mention it was 30 degrees??

 I was enamored with all of the ducks flying over.

 Michael's box and palette.
I think it was hansa yellow, hansa medium, napthol red, 
ultramarine blue, phthalo blue, phthalo green
raw umber and yellow ochre.

 I thought this was so cool.
Ducks flying out - ducks flying in.....

 Making the first marks on his panel.

 Another view of in and out.

 Blocking in the scene


 Sun was starting to break through the Sandias

 Blocking in some cottonwood trees from another angle.

 Putting in mountain and sky holes

 Mist across the mountains

 Words of wisdom

 Beautiful scene, even at 30 degrees

 Good stopping point.

Tomorrow: What I Learned

Saturday, January 13, 2018


Still Lifes Rock


My first still life of thee year.

I really had fun with this one!

Something about that turquoise vase contrasting
 the orange-yellow of the lilly.

Gonna keep it short.

More to come in a day or two.

Have a good weekend!

P.S. For some reason, my comments are not coming through.
Feel free to email me at until
I get it fixed. Thanks!

Friday, January 12, 2018

granddaughter day

I spent the day with my granddaughters today.
They are four and two.
We had so much fun playing stuff like:
 Doctor Barbie, babies, puzzles,
lots of educational toys that I have,
and just enjoying being together.

We ate Chic Fil A and later I made them a picnic.
This is our ritual - I make a plate full of stuff - 
strawberries, raspberries, bananas, blueberries, raspberries,
kiwi (they won't eat the kiwi because it's kind of sour, 
but they love to watch me eat it to see if my face puckers up. It does!).
I also add crackers and one Oreo cookie for each of them.
I put a blanket over the ottoman and we watch Hey Dugee and eat.

Thursday is our standing day together.
Their mama runs errands and
hopefully gets a little break from their energy.

And boy, are they energetic!

When they head home, 
I usually head to the recliner or the couch with
a blanket and veg out to the Chopped or
Vanderpump Rules.
It's not because I'm physically tired.
I'm mentally tired!

I don't usually plan on doing any painting on Thursdays.

BUT, my husband decided to go to the gym late tonight
so I decided to warm up the studio and paint something.
I rummaged through some recent photos
 I took in Taos and this one jumped out at me:


This is a photo off of one of the streets in Taos.
I had to shoot this photo while driving (I know, it's wrong).
But I fell in love with the hollyhocks against the turquoise door.
I loosely sketched the scene, then blocked in the big shapes.
Then I just pushed paint around for two hours until I was satisfied.
It's not perfect, perspectively, but it has a
whimsical feel and I like that.
And I'm done for the evening.

 So three paintings down for the year.
Now, to start work on three paintings that 
are calling to me.
One is a commission of two roosters, one is for my brother,
who helped me start this blog back in 2006.
The other is a huge painting for my sister-in-law, 
and I'll tell you about that later.

Note 1: I am enjoying the paintings I'm seeing from our group, 
They are inspiring and the group offers a send of community
to the artists participating.

Note 2: Life is short, enjoy your family, and celebrate everything.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

the start of the big purge


I started the house organizing purge today!

This is a brand new year.
I know so many people who have told me that
they're starting to clean up and clear out.
What are they clearing out?

Bunches and bunches of stuff.

Those of you who know me know that
I'm an avid reader.
And when I say avid, I mean um, obsessed.

 I have books everywhere.
In my studio.
In my closet.
Next to the recliner in the living room.
On top of the dining room table.
On top of my nightstand
INSIDE the nightstand drawer.

And these are not just a few books.

Oh, I forgot my granddaughters' books too.
Right now they are boxed in a closet,
but they have to come out soon.
Because we REALLY like to read.

And I also have all of the 
"clear your clutter" books.
All of the popular ones.
The Art of Tidying Up or
something like that.
And The Art of Letting Go by Peter someone.
Just two of many.

Anyway, I am determined to start cleaning out and
keeping only those things that I really love or
that have sentimental value.

SO, I have a dilemma.

I just jumped back into work day before yesterday
and I am trying to make sure I have time to
work every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Tuesday is acupuncture and therapy.
Thursday is granddaughter day.
Saturday and Sunday are free for anything that
comes up or painting.

How am I going to do this big purge? 


I will fill 2-3 (aiming for 3) boxes of stuff
to take to the thrift store or throw away.
Today I started in my closet.
Mainly with books.

Should I be ashamed that I have so many books?
Nah, books have taught me so much and
helped me become who I am today.
But I really don't need to have so many.

I'm not posting any pictures now - 
I will post when I have finished cleaning my closet.
It will be a thing of beauty.

After I filled my four boxes, 
I went into the studio with the idea of blogging.
But I smelled the oils and they drew me
to sit down and start sketching.

I chose a photo of Abiquiu
because I dearly love that place.
It literally takes my breath away driving
 down those roads heading to Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch.

Here is my scene and my sketch:

You can't hardly see the sketch because I wipe it
off with a tissue as I go, 
so I have the thinest, lightest sketch possible.  
I like the lines blurred.
It's like squinting I guess.

Here is the side by side:

There are aspects of the original image that I like and dislike.
I don't love the flat straight-across plane where
the foreground meets the trees.
So I changed that up a little.
I loved the background layers of mountains.
But I didn't want to take the time to  get it perfect.
It will have to do...
I love the hills in front of the mountains.

But. man, I had a hard time with them.

I think I am impatient and maybe more precise
sketching would help, but I just don't want to do that!

So here is the finished piece photographed under 
so-so studio lighting.

I titled it "JUST BREATHE"
because honestly, that scenery just leaves me breathless.

What places take your breath away?