Sunday, January 31, 2016

plein air painting


THIS is my view of plein air painting:

First, you have to research plein air painting and see HOW it's done.
You read a lot of books, ask people. or watch you tube videos and take a few beginner's workshops.

Second, you have to find the perfect easel or pochade box.
So you do a lot of searching, you ask a lot of artists and you finally buy one.

You can't wait for it to arrive in the mail.
When it finally gets delivered, you are SO excited.
You open it up, play with it, and can't wait to go out painting.
Try out all the stuff you've read.

You head out for destinations known or unknown. 
You have all of your gear.
As little as possible, as light as possible, 
but you still have most of the following stuff:

your new pochade box, tripod, paints, palette, turpentine, brushes, apron,
paper towels or kleenix, wipees, hat, sunglasses, umbrella, seat or chair, 
sketchbook, pens or pencils, panels or canvas, plastic bags,
wet panels or canvas carrier, bug spray, gloves, and on and on...

You drive until you find that perfect scene.
You get out and you unload ALL of those things above that I mentioned.

You set up your tripod, attach your new box, and realize:

It's too heavy, it's too light, too bulky, not strong enough.
It doesn't have a good place to hold turpentine or brushes.
The place designed to hold your panels is too cumbersome
and hard to change around and switch up for different sizes.
Your palette area is too small or too big.
Your tripod is not heavy enough to hold everything in place.
You need that "rock holder thingy" that was offered for sale
 at the time you got your box and you thought you wouldn't need.

My friend Carla Forrest

So, anyway, you set everything up, put out your paints, 
your brushes, your umbrella. You're ready!

But alas, the wind is strong and blows your umbrella over.
Also your panel decides to break away and go flying 
down the beautiful arroyo you so want to capture.
Your hat flies off, the bugs are buzzing around your head,
Mean-looking ants are at your feet. 
And you are thirsty and hungry for food.

BUT - and here's the thing about plein air painting - 

When you finally get it right 
 (and you will - I have six pochade boxes and easels to prove it),
the feeling of being alone out in the landscape is MAGICAL.

It's just you and nature.
Or maybe you go with a friend
 and it's just the two of you, enjoying the day.
Making some art.

The clouds are rolling by.
The light is moving quickly, so you have to capture it.
You hear a few birds overhead. 
Maybe see a squirrel or coyote. Or deer.

Rosie Sandifur

You block in your work.
For me, it's darks, then a highlight or two,
then the middle values.
You sometimes think, what am I doing out here?
I don't know what i'm doing.
This isn't working!

And all of a sudden 
(three hours later), it all comes together.
You place that one color note of paint in one spot, 
and BAM, you have created something you're proud of.

SO, the light is finally gone, you're cold (or hot) and tired.
You load ALL of your gear back in your car.
And go home.

And go back out again as soon as possible.

And that's what plein air painting is about.

Try it - you will love it or hate it.
But you can say you've DONE it.

Next time - Painting from Photos

Saturday, January 30, 2016



Hi everyone,
This is my newest painting,
10x8" oil
It will be available for purchase soon.

These two floral paintings were just delivered to Sumner and Dene today
for their upcoming VALENTINE SHOW opening next Friday, February 5.



Both paintings are framed in antique silver speckle frames.

I am getting excited about painting!
MY new 150 CHALLENGE SHOW is starting
just as soon as my 150 cradled panels get here.

I am also planning day trips,
plein air and photo excursions, 
a Taos retreat, a spring Studio Sale and much more.

Throw in a wedding,
a couple of knee replacements and I
have all the makings of a great year.

To view the new 150 CHALLENGE SHOW site,
please click HERE

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

new 150 Challenge is coming!


Hi all - I have exciting news.
There is a brand new 
150 CHALLENGE SHOW coming!

This show will be called "FACES AND PLACES"
and will feature landscapes as well as faces and figures.
And figures in the landscape!

The paintings you see below are pretty much the only people 
I have ever painted and I would like to become
a better figure painter.
And what better way than to get out of my comfort zone
 and challenge myself to paint a BUNCH of them!

I will also be going to painting day trips and painting the landscape.

I will paint 150 paintings in 150 days for $150 each.
They will be in oil and either on canvas or cradled gessobord.

 I will post each painting here on my art blog first with commentary
and then post to the 150 CHALLENGE blog.

Here's how the 150 CHALLENGE SHOW works:

I paint a painting.
 I post it on this art blog right here and also to a new 150 Challenge blog.
Each painting has a number.
You see a painting and want to buy it.

Call or email the gallery (information forthcoming)
Give them the number of the painting(s). 
Give them your contact and purchase information.
This information will be held for Opening Night.
No paintings are sold until the show opens on Friday, September 2.

On Opening Night at the gallery (Friday, September 2)
all of the 150 paintings will be displayed for your viewing pleasure.
If you have called the gallery with your painting choices, a
sticker will be put on your paintings with your initials.

You do not need to be present to buy your painting.
You can live in California or Florida!
Simply call the gallery with your numbers and information.

If two or more people have purchase stickers the same painting,
we will draw the winner out of a hat!

We have a big party with music and food
and it is great fun!
Plus, you get to see all 150 paintings on the wall at the same time.

Are you as excited as I am??


 Stay tuned....
Oh, and the new blogsite for the 150 paintings is HERE.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


oil on panel

A soft still life of a full vase of flowers 
sitting by an open window with a view to the outside.
Whew, that was a long sentence!

This was just so much fun to paint.
Lots of color notes everywhere.

To purchase, click HERE.


oil on panel $100

Here's a second painting of the Rio Grande Gorge.

Preparation and block in for the painting almost never look good.
I keep painting and think - when is this going to start looking like the Gorge?
It's those last few touches and highlights that make all the difference.
To purchase this painting, click HERE.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


oil on panel

There is something about the Rio Grande Gorge that moves me.

It is majestic, deep and breathtaking.

You come around that hill on the way to Taos, and THERE IT IS.

You can drive out to it twelve times a day and it will never look the same. 
The sun, the shadows, the clouds - they all have an impact on how beautiful it is.

I wish I had a house right across from this scene.
I would never need to paint anything else.

I am painting another one of these today and will post tonight.

new paintings

oil on panel
Purchase information, click HERE.

oil on panel
Purchase information, email

oil on panel

oil on panel
Purchase information, email

about 300 square feet
lots of clutter and dust
Not for Sale

I am finally feeling back in the zone a little bit.
I want to paint every day now!

I have some ideas for my upcoming show in September, but
still need to ponder over it a bit.

I hope you guys are liking my new work.

Friday, January 15, 2016

"SUNSHINE" new daily painting

oil on panel

A mama sheep and her baby

To buy, click the Paypal link HERE

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Spring Connections

ready for spring...

It is about 6pm on Tuesday evening and I am sitting in my studio.
I have a decent heating system, but it has just been
downright cold lately.

 I dislike winter. 
I know if we didn't have it, if I didn't dislike it and want it to be over, 
then spring wouldn't seem so darn fantastic and magical.
So full of life, energy, and new beginnings.
Come on SPRING!

I am ready for new buds on little fruit trees.
Forsythia branches full of bright yellow flowers.
Tulip bulbs popping up out of the ground.
Those first bright green blades of grass.
A spring full of day trips and painting...

This has been a hard beginning of the year for me.

I am a little unfocused.
I see no clear path in my artwork right now.

I have been painting some but I want that fire - that relentless
energy that speaks to me and says "You HAVE to paint!"

I am always this way when I don't have clear deadlines
and lots of stressful goals that make me go out of my comfort zone.
I guess I am just a glutton for punishment. Sigh.

I am working on getting healthy so I can have knee surgery.
That is my primary goal this year. Another sigh.
Intermittent fasting, biking, swimming, Curves, and stretching.
That's supposed to be my life for the next year.

BUT - I need an art goal.
Some sort of challenge or adventure.
I am thinking....

I also want to start a women's art group in Albuquerque.
I have tried to do some online things, 
but they turn out to be not so satisfying for me.
Maybe it's the online/distance thing.

What I would really like is a small, fun group of women
artists to hang out with periodically.
To eat good food, discuss art, show our art (not as in critique,
but as in just putting it out there for the group to see),
talk about marketing ideas, help kids learn about art,
have cool exhibitions concerning things like
the environment, the NM landscape,
social issues, etc.
An easy place to fall where art is concerned.
No pressure, no stress.
I think that if I think about it in my head long enough,
it will happen.

I am basically a loner,
a solitary painter who is in love with her livelihood.
But I need connection too.
Don't we all?

Monday, January 04, 2016


oil on panel

My first painting of the new year!
Actually my first painting in about two months.

This is a pot of geraniums showcasing a Taos
window filled with beautiful treasures.
The contrast of the blue and orange/reds were what
originally caught my eye and I am happy with the result.

I took a much needed break and enjoyed the holidays
and activities with my family. It was wonderful.
Sometimes, after working super hard, I really
have to take a time of decompression and star-gazing to 
find out where I want to go next in my life and my career.

I've been slowly getting the studio organized
 over the past couple of weeks.  
Paints are in order, panels are ready to go.

When I first started this painting,
I sketched hesitantly.
It had been two months, after all.
But when I put that first buttery dollop on the surface,
I knew I was back home.
Painting is what I was born to do.
It all came back and I am excited about 2016.

I do have a couple of commissions to complete
and will get started on those this week.
Other than that, I am concentrating on my health.

I have a very important wedding to attend this summer. 
 I have scheduled my first knee replacement surgery in August
and the second knee will follow about three months later.
It's time, the pain is getting too strong and it's
really limiting my ability to do the things I want to do.

So, I hope you enjoy my first painting of 2016. 
I'm going to aim for five per week, but
don't hold me to that.
I'm winging it this year....