Saturday, January 22, 2011

This is SO fun! Yes, it's kind of a pain to set everything up and make sure I don't get oil paints all over me. And I can't paint up close because I'm working on my plein air easel. And I have to totally mix everything differently. But - these paints are like BUTTER. And they blend together so beautifully. I absolutely cannot wait to see all 150 framed paintings on that warm rust colored wall at Weems Old Town.
This painting is a montage of two different photographs. One was of the casitas and another of the cottonwood trees. I am working my way towards painting people; at the grower's market, at the Lavender Festival, downtown, etc. I have them all stacked and ready but they frighten me! Seriously. I'll just have to jump in. Anyway, when this dries, it will be posted on the 150 Challenge blog. Tomorrow I will be working on a couple of commissions and then Monday - meditate, work-out, and then into the studio.

Friday, January 21, 2011

two new paintings available

I LOVE grasses. I love the texture, I love to see and hear them blowing in the wind. That's why I really like how this painting turned out. It is from a PAPNM paint-out day up at the Elena Gallegos recreation area in the Sandia mountains. I didn't encounter any other painters but I loved the light, the solitude, and the stillness. I caught the last of the sunset sinking below the horizon and it put a nice glow on the hills and trees. Can't wait to go back in the spring.
You may purchase by clicking the Paypal button below.


I love this spot coming into Taos. I could just set up camp here, stay for a month, and paint every day. The mountains in the background are amazing, they never look the same. Always a little hazy and always beautiful. You may purchase by clicking the Paypal link below.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

commission in progress...

This is my acrylic palette - I like to paint on plates when I'm in the studio. I know, it's totally not environmentally correct, but I have to work with what's best for me. I use the same 18 colors all the time. Sometimes I'll throw in a turquoise or a different blue but this pretty much my standard.
I've toned the canvas with my favorite burnt sienna and red wash and lightly sketched in the drawing with loose paint and a brush. You can see the rough in in turquoise for the window.

This is the initial block in of the painting - a New Mexico adobe with hollyhocks and a flower garden, and a beautiful view of the mountains in the background.

Monday, January 17, 2011

the first oil of the 150 Challenge

Well, I finally did it! And I loved it. I'll be posting this painting on the 150 Challenge blog as soon as it's dry to the touch. The scanner will give you a much sharper image than one shot with my camera. This is from a photo I took up in Rio Hondo during a paint out in the fall. Such a beautiful place. This was a little out of my element for me. Usually I paint "up close" and I had to force myself to use my long brushes and paint from a distance. It forces you to paint a more "painterly" painting because you're further away from your canvas. . Love it.The next photo you'll see is the palette I used:

I am using my Easy L paint box. It's mounted to one of my tripods and sits low enough on the floor that I can sit in a chair or stand up if I feel the need. It has a glass palette and I have placed a 12"x16" sheet of "GREY MATTERS" paper palette by Jack Richeson & Co. on top. Such an easy cleanup! I love the way that oils just glide around - so different from acrylic. I used Galkyd Lite medium made by Gamblin and Gamsol pure odorless mineral spirits.

This is my palette set-up. I laid out a lot of colors because I am taking my time choosing a smaller palette. I think this is the order: titanium white, cadmium yellow lite, yellow ochre, cadmium orange, cadmium red lite, Napthol red, quinacridone magenta, alizarin crimson, raw sienna, burnt sienna, viridian, terre verte, cadmium green, asphaltum, raw umber, Dioxazine purple, cobalt teal, cerulean blue, ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, prussian blue, and violet-grey (Old Holland). I will keep weeding these out until I have about 8 or so. I thought I had a sap green but I didn't, so I will get one. And I had a cool winsor emerald, but I couldn't get it open!
So, I am excited and can't wait for tomorrow...

my newest read, "the oil painter's biible"

This is my newest art read. I picked it up at Borders in their bargain section for $12.99 and it is definitely a bargain! Whether you are a new oil painter, someone just interested in the process, or a seasoned veteran, this little book is a gem of information. It's a spiral, so you can lay the book flat on any surface and it won't move. The index includes the following topics: MATERIALS, COLORS, TECHNIQUES, SUBJECTS.
The favorite parts for me were about color; mixing greys, using greys. There's also a section on advanced techniques; glazing, impasto, knife painting, scraping back, etc. The section on subjects includes landscape, buildings, people, and still life. Very readable and I think it's one that I will keep in my favorites and refer to for a long time. I will admit, I found it here at amazon - new and used - for a little less.
I'm starting the oils today. I have to admit, I am still on the fence about using frames. I found a cool floater frame at Dick Blick that I like, it has a black floater and the frame is an antique gold crackle finish. I just ordered 8 of them, so I could physically see them with a painting inside. The gallery prefers unframed and gallery wrap canvas, maybe painted black around the sides. I am just itching to see 150 oil paintings framed, all in one spot! I will post one when they get here and maybe you can give me an opinion. To see the frame, click here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

a quick getaway to Jemez

My cousin and I decided that we needed a few hours away to "play" as we call it. She had never been to Jemez, so we decided to take a little day trip. I also wanted to try out my new camera. I'm not sure if I like it yet, it's a little bulky. This is the Jemez mountains with the moon. Even in winter, it's beautiful!

A friendly horse - we thought he wanted to go home with us. He was out in the middle of the road, just grazing away. We passed him on the way to the Gilman tunnels and decided to visit for a bit. He ate a whole apple! And did you see his reflection in my side mirror?

The Jemez river. Even in this weather, you get a sense of the texture and colors in the landscape. Very peaceful....I've never been to Jemez in the fall when the colors are at their peak. That's a definite this year!

The red rocks. That's all I can say. And all within a 45 minute drive from my house.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Commissions completed, new iris painting

in progress
I've had my eye on painting these irises since last summer. I went on a wonderful garden tour in the north valley of Albuquerque. You can only imagine the flowers and garden art behind these adobe walls! On the painting you can see where the linework has begun. I love it at this point. My eye goes straight for the little orange/pink shapes - that's where I want to put my lines in first. I completely forget about the darker areas and have to stand back periodically and take a look. This will be finished tomorrow.
Oh and I realized something else today - about painting acrylics and painting oils. Instead of alternating days, I'm going to have to alternate WEEKS. That's the only way I can focus and give each medium the attention it deserves. So, this week will be all acrylics and next week will be all oils. Man, I don't know why I do this to myself!
I got some other GOOD news today. In addition to my June 150 Challenge show, I am going to be in a show that will open September 3rd with Esta Bain, Russ Ball, and BC Nowlin.It will be exciting because I will be painting several large works. I'm going to just let loose for that one and go crazy! Okay, I will finish the iris and post it tomorrow. Night!
Commission - SOLD

Commission - SOLD

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I can't tell you how many photos of this beautiful church I've taken - it would boggle the mind. It just looks different every time I go to Taos. The back of the church is the most photographed - I've painted it quite a few times. I've only painted the front once and I've never painted the top in this way. They sky was what actually drew me to take the photograph. It was absolutely beautiful; lots of purples, a few shades of bluish grey and some turquoise in there too.
Purchase information is below.


My first daily painting of 2011! I realized something today - it either has to be an "oil" day or an "acrylic" day. It's too confusing to try to accomplish both. So one day I will spend on daily paintings and the next day I will spend on oils for the 150 Challange. I also finished up two small commissions and will post those tomorrow. Anyway, I am really excited to begin the new year and this was the photo that spoke to me today. It's from a day trip I took to Abiquiu this past year. The old morada is very close to Georgia O'Keefe's house and I think the colors came out lovely. Click on the image to enlarge. Purchase information is below.

Saturday, January 08, 2011



This is a sunset painting of Algodones coming back from Santa Fe. I just finished the linework today and I love the way it looks! You can drive home that same way every evening and the sunset looks different each time. The painting is on gallery wrap canvas, painted around the sides and is meant to hang unframed. This painting is available for purchase by clicking the Paypal link below.


Friday, January 07, 2011


My 150 Challenge begins on Monday, January 10, 2010
The new blogsite for this challenge is:
The show will be held on Friday, June 3, 2011, at
Weems Gallery Old Town
303 Romero St. NW
Albuquerque, NM 505-764-0302
Artist Reception: 5pm, music and refreshments
Show and sale starts promptly at 6:30pm
Each time I complete a Challenge painting, I will post it to this blog first,
Each painting will have a number attached to it. I will be starting with painting #150.
If you see a painting you want, write down the number and title, and call the gallery at any time.
They have started a buyer list.
If no one else chooses your painting, you may purchase it in person or by phone . If two or more people want the same painting, a name will be drawn to decide the buyer. Contact the gallery for details. Shipping charges may apply.
Paintings will be available for purchase until March 1, 2011.
All works will be framed, 8"x8", 8"x10" plus a few larger 16"x20"paintings, also for $150.
One large painting will also be auctioned online during the Challenge to benefit the charity of my choice.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at

Thursday, January 06, 2011

gettin' ready....

This is my set up for my 150 Challenge with oils. I've comandeered an end of one of my tables and set up my easel (so clean and pretty and new...not for long) and all of my oil paraphenalia. This is also my new plein air easel, although I still love my little Cuban cigar box.

These are my canvases, toned and set up for daily painting and gallery painting. I still haven't decided whether I will use panel or canvas for the 150 Challenge. I also have to decide fairly quickly about what I'm going to use for framing for these little gems.

These are Gamblin solvents and mediums. I'm so used to acrylic work that this will feel like Greek to me for the first couple of weeks. Even though I paint with oils on location, it's different with this 150 Challenge; a daily dose oil oil painting!

My new clean, so untouched. I think I should've been the owner of an art store. I love to look at them before they get all messy and used up. I bought about 20 Gamblin and had a few others laying around. I will weed out the ones that don't work for me until I have about 10 paints for my regular palette and 4 for my limited. This will be an adventure for me, for sure!
Oh, can you tell that I am procrastinating?
Let's see, what else can I organize before I actually get started???

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

25 things you might not know about me
  • I do like being alone. Sometimes too much. Being an artist is a lonely business sometimes, but we do need to get out and mingle.
  • I don't like being alone. I love my family and friends; love having them over for food, great conversation, just hanging out. What a dilemma. Hmm, Jeckle and Hyde.
  • I know a lot of trivia and am pretty good at games.
  • If I wasn't an artist, my second choice as a passion would be photography and blogging about it. Oh wait, I kind of do that already. I also love organizing; photos, papers, you name it. BUT - I also don't put things back where they belong. Hence, the need to constantly be organizing.
  • If I wasn't an artist, my third profession of choice would be one of those organic farmers who sells fruits and vegetables at the local grower's markets. I LOVE growing things and digging in the dirt.
  • I love weird music. My daughter's shake their heads at my cd collection. Everything from rap and old hip-hop, psychedelic 60's, Tibetan, drumming, anything for spinning classes, Black-Eyed Peas, Hall and Oates, Mellencamp, nature sounds, birds singing, techno, etc. I love scouring thrift stores for unique music. And if you've ever watched Ellen Degeneres on her show when she dances, I want to BE in that audience, shakin' my groove thang.
  • I collect Christmas cds and dvds. My favorite: Christmas in the Outback. Ashamed to say I haven't watched it yet.
  • I want to take the open drawing class at harwood and brush up on my skills.
  • My favorite Hollywood crush...Johnny Depp.
  • Artists whose work I admire: OLD: Van Gogh, Sargeant, Homer, Cezanne. NEW: Karin Jurik, Halima Washington, Carole Marine, Stephen Goodman. These are all daily painters and very good at what they do. Loose, painterly brush strokes. There are SO many good contemporary artists out there now that it's impossible to pick just one. I love very abstract paintings, I love political pieces, I love realism! There's just no end to the inspiration out there. Magical.
  • My favorite kind of painting: plein air. I wish I could just load up the car and be gone.
  • My children are my biggest accomplishment and make me so proud.
  • I want to make movies - the computer digital kind, where I can burn my own dvds and give them away to family and friends.
  • I was in a spelling bee in 2nd grade. Lost on the word poetry. Left out the "r."
  • I narrated a Christmas play when I was in elementary school. It was awesome.
  • My family moved to a new town when I was in 5th grade. The beginning of a feeling of floundering and not belonging anywhere that is still with me sometimes.
  • Both of my grandmothers had green thumbs, as did my mom. I'm glad I inherited that gene.
  • I have killed a squirrel. It was necessary, she was suffering.
  • I have lain naked outside and sunbathed on a trampoline. Okay, this was a long time ago, in the mountains where no one would come along, and I still get teased about it.
  • I have been married for 33 years, together with my husband for 38. He is the be all, end all for me and always will be.
  • The only bands I would go see in concert these days: Black-eyed Peas and Prince. In a heartbeat.
  • A sunset, a sweet moment on tv, a wedding, someone doing something good for someone else - these can all make me cry and happy to be human. There is so much good in the world.
  • I am a chocolate addict. As in big time. As in needs to eat more fruit and veggies. As in STOP eating for emotional reasons and out of habit.
  • If I didn't have this blog, I would probably be writing THE BOOK in my spare time.
  • I love connection - the feeling of letting people see who I really am as an artist. Artists sometimes put out this persona of who we want people to think we are, - gotta do the marketing, gotta make the sales, gotta do the shows. I live for the CONNECTION. When someone sees my work and it makes them feel something, that's what it's all about for me.
I'm sure there's lots more, but that's it for now.
What is one thing about you that people don't know????

Sunday, January 02, 2011


My Favorite Painting of 2010
This painting was done at the tail end of Artfest last year. I had one large canvas left and decided to chose a photo I had of clouds. I loosely sketched in the shape of the clouds with cad yellow so you wouldn't see any sketch lines. The middle ground just sort of magically happened and the foreground....ah, my favorite part. Abstract grasses -I just let go and I loved the result. Of course, I have a few more favorites, all for different reasons! Now on to.....
Yes, today I am planning to prepare my studio for actual WORK tomorrow! There is some organizing to be done and toning of canvases, panels, etc. I have to also organize a space for my oil work, which I want to keep separate from my daily acrylics. And I need to warm up my studio because it is COLD. Oh, and I'm also playing around with my blog design and colors, so if you see something you like (or don't), please let me know.
I will be offering 3 or more daily paintings per week for purchase. The price will remain the same, $99 plus $10 shipping. I may offer several up for auction on eBay and I have plans to have a monthly giveaway of a small painting to my blog readers. It will happen on the 30th of every month and I'll tell you more later....
This is so exciting! I am planning on going on as many paint outs as possible and also painting from my photographs. I plan to document with my camera and video as much as possible to make you feel like you are really out there "where I am." We will be hitting all the usual spots; Abiquiu, Jemez, Taos, Chimayo, Madrid, Placitas, as well as many public events. I want to try my hand at some figure work this year, so I need to be where the people are! My solo show will be in June at Weems Gallery. The new 150 Challenge blog is already set up. I will post each painting on my regular blog with a link to the 150 Challenge blog. You may also sign up to subscribe specifically to the 150 Challenge blog. This will probably be my last 150 show. I plan a new direction soon after.
I have my framer building a test frame for my new oils. I want them to be beautiful but simple. And with an antique feel.
My goals for 2011? To be as balanced as possible. To keep losing weight. To stretch more. I just bought 12 new dvds - all stretching. To cook. No I mean REALLY cook....real food around the table with family and friends. To play more games. To ride a bike again. To work on preparation for getting my knees fixed. To go on dates with my husband. To do some volunteer artwork with kids. To go to New York, Hawaii, and Oregon. Why those? I don't know, they've always been in my head. I went to Hawaii on my honeymoon, which was YEARS ago, so I think we need a refresher. Anyway, to travel more and document everything I see and share it with you. My plans also include helping out with communication and publicity this year with the Plein Air Painters of NM. It's going to be a dynamite year; one of opportunity, one of challenge, and one of CHANGE. See you there!
Hello everyone and Happy New Year!
I hope your holiday was wonderful and relaxing.
I am working on lots of plans right now - the first one being the new url for my blog.
The new site link will be
It doesn't really mean any changes for you- you can still google and it will direct you to the same place, but it will be better for the new marketing and branding ideas I'm working on for this year.
Wouldn't you know it? I have so many things I should be doing right now and I caught a cold the day after Christmas that has kind of knocked me down a bit. I am feeling better though, which is why I'm posting tonight. It's rather cold in my studio, since I haven't been in here and it's about 10 degrees outside. I'm not kidding you, it is BITTER cold outside right now.
I'm gearing up for the 150 CHALLENGE; got my oil paints, got my easel, got my tripod, got my palette, got my new Nikon camera. I don't have my panels yet, but I have enough to get started. I'm working on some cool ideas for framing too, which I will explain in the next few days. Anyway, I hope to start taking some photos to post tomorrow. I really have to get organized and quickly.
Oh, and I wanted to ask you about this text you're reading. I'm trying to make my blog as easy to read as possible. Do you think this color works? Or would it be more readable if it was lighter, like this? Or maybe if my background was lighter? I think my paintings look best against a darker background, but I would love some feedback!
I expect this to be a FABULOUS year. I feel like I'm going to get lots of painting done, lots of day tripping done, lots of weight loss done, and lots of "living life to the fullest" done. I invite you all to come along on the journey with me. More tomorrow....