Friday, August 1, 2014

Strawberries with Cream

This has been a great year for berries! The fruit stands are filled with blueberries, raspberries and strawberries - sweet luxuries of summer in the Pacific Northwest.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Orange Slices with Strawberries

I was lucky enough to be able to take another Carol Marine workshop in early July. This was an "advanced" class (meaning that it was for folks who had taken one of her prior workshops), and we worked on using the color white, painting flowers, and painting glass. Carol is not only an excellent painter and instructor, she's also a sweetheart! The workshop was just great.

I'll be taking two more workshops this year - Qiang Huang at the end of August, and Scott Christensen in early October! I can hardly wait!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sundance Farm

I'm back. It's been a busy summer, with gardening, a trip to the Portland zoo with my daughter and grandson, painting, and so on. Right now I'm getting ready for my first-ever 2nd Friday Springfield Artwalk that takes place in August. It's the first time I've shown my paintings so I'm more than just a little bit nervous. The frames have been ordered and should arrive soon (fingers crossed). Today I'll be varnishing and getting labels ready to go. Since the paintings will be hanging on latticework, I'll need to figure out how to do that - I'm thinking those little metal clips would work. Hopefully it won't be a total disaster.

This painting is another from my plein air outing with my good friend, Patti McNutt. We visited lavender farms during the Yamhill Lavender Festival, and we just had a ball. Patti is so much fun - painting with her is a treat!

Well, I've stalled long enough - I'm off to make another run to the art supply store...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Lavender Lake Farm


What could be sweeter than painting in the middle of a lavender field?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Clearwater in June

Another sketch of Clearwater Park. I'm finding landscape values difficult to define.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Barque Cape Foulweather

The black ship in this painting is Cape Foulweather, a replica of a turn-of-the century three-masted ship known as a barque. Cape Foulweather is moored at the Siuslaw Marina, in Florence. She's a beautiful ship. I loved the juxtaposition of this sleek, romantic barque anchored next to the humble, hardworking fishing boat.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Old Town, Florence

Last week we went over to the Oregon coast to celebrate our anniversary, my husband's retirement, and my birthday. We took our two dogs with us and planned to stay for a couple of days. Unfortunately, the only sunny day was the day we arrived. The next day it poured down rain. With more rain in the forecast, we decided to come home early. No matter - we'll just wait for the sun and go again!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Painting on the Willamette Valley Center Bridge

What a glorious day! Did some plein air painting on the bike bridge over the Willamette (near Valley River Center) with a couple of friends. This is the good life.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Clearwater Park

This sketch is of a little side channel that runs alongside the McKenzie Willamette River in Springfield.

The painting was done with oil on Arches paper. It's the first time I've used this paper and I love it. It's perfect for me for plein air painting. I've recently been experimenting with a limited palette, using five neighboring hues on the color wheel. The primary color for this painting is yellow, with green and orange secondary colors.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Ready For Planting

I was really unhappy with the way yesterday's painting turned out, so I thought I'd give it another try. I used a different palette this time. I'm also practicing with perspective. This was a little tough for me because there was a slight rise in the road. I'll keep working at it.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Squirrel Among The Rhodies II

This is the same rhodie I painted last week. Not sure if it's the same squirrel. Our backyard is the favorite place to dine for the neighborhood squirrels. There are even a couple of cute little baby squirrels who accompany their mother when she comes.

After posting this, I realized there is a lot of glare in the photo - probably because I used more paint and it's still wet. I may try taking a new photo of this painting after the paint dries to see if that will reduce the glare.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Bee Hive

We've become backyard beekeepers. This is our bee hive - it's a Warre hive and is supposed to be a good hive for urban areas. Less honey is produced in these hives than in the traditional Langstroth hives, but they require less handling by the beekeeper.

I now understand the attraction that some people feel for bees...they're mesmorizing. In the evenings, I often walk down to the hive to watch the bees returning home. Busy bees.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mary's Garden

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Mary's garden covers several acres in Creswell, Oregon. These are the steps leading up the hill to more of the garden. There are scenic views at the upper level.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mary's Iris


We went to our friend Mary's house today to paint her garden. Mary's garden is a wonderland - so peaceful and idyllic. It was the perfect place to be today.

There is so much color and beauty at Mary's - it was hard to choose a spot to paint.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

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Every day this little guy visits the squirrel feeder hanging in our rhododendron bush. He was very annoyed when I took his photo this morning. Clearly, I was interrupting his breakfast!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Scotch Broom

 Scotch broom is a perennial that blooms from April through June and grows 3-10 feet tall. Originally called Scot's Broom, Scotch broom was introduced from Europe as an ornamental and for erosion control. It's highly aggressive, displaces native plants and disrupts wildlife habitat. According to the Oregon government website, it's estimated that Scotch broom costs Oregon $47 million dollars annually in lost timber production

While it looks spectacular on the hillside across from King Estate Winery, it's sad to see how much it has spread in the last few years.

Silent Reflections

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I went back to paint the bridge again yesterday afternoon.  I was with two friends and excellent painters, Patti McNutt and Carol Marine. We had the best time painting in the sunshine on Dexter Lake.

The day was a success - the air was warm, the lake and surrounding hills were breathtaking, and we were treated to a bald eagle flying low across the water. Best of all, I got to spend the afternoon with two lovely friends.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Lowell Covered Bridge

We went up to Lowell yesterday to paint the covered bridge. The weather was perfect and the setting was so beautiful. We started a little after noon and stayed until about 4:00 p.m. I came away with a slight sunburn, but I'm not complaining - it was so worth it.

If I'd been a better painter, I would have included the two fishermen who were fishing from the bridge!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Vineyard Road, King Estate

This view is looking down on one of the vineyard roads at King Estate. The scotch broom is in full bloom on the hills across from the vineyard. Scotch broom is lovely, but not native to Oregon and very invasive. It's miserable for folks who are allergic.

It was so incredibly beautiful at King Estate this afternoon. After I finished this painting, I was sorely tempted to stop by the winery restaurant and have a glass of pinot gris on the patio. I didn't do it though...I knew I'd fall sound asleep in the sunshine and would be sleeping up there still!

It would just be too hard to explain when I got home!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Amazon Park Bike Path

I was so eager to do some plein air that I drove over to the park twice yesterday. It was just too dang cloudy and cold in the morning when I first attempted it, so I tried again in the afternoon. It was chilly and windy, but I stuck it out and painted this little scene looking south toward the dog park. Rain is forecast for all next week - bah!!!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Pinot Noir with Lilacs and Apples

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This was an attempt to paint on a little larger scale than the 6 x 6 inch panels I normally use.  This painting was done on an 8 x 10 inch panel. I love painting larger, but realize I have lots to learn about composition...maybe someday I'll have the courage to try something really large.

The weather has been beautiful for the past few days and I'm eager to get outside to paint.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tea and Lilacs

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Lilac bushes seem old-fashioned. They are often seen in the yards of older homes in town and around the countryside. I've heard that during the western expansion, young pioneer women would take a lilac start from their mother's bush before they left on their journey. Once they reached their destination, the lilac starts were carefully planted next to the house as a remembrance of the family left behind.

My great-grandmother came west on a wagon train when she was a tiny baby. I wonder if her mother had a lilac start with her on that trip.

How bittersweet it must have been for those young women. Every time I see a lilac bush, I think of that story and feel a twinge of sadness.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Sun Worshipers

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This is a painting I've reworked. I changed the background from high key to low key to see if it would make a difference. I realize that paintings I'm attracted to are generally low key.

Monday, April 21, 2014

French Press

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Strong coffee is one of my guilty pleasures. I believe I could even forego chocolate for a cup of good, strong Northwest coffee with cream!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Oriental Lily

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Our local market had these Oriental Lilies on sale for Easter. The fragrance from the flowers was so powerful that it hit customers as they walked into the store. We had no intention of buying flowers yesterday, but the fragrance was very alluring and we couldn't resist. When I mentioned it to the check-out clerk, she said, "Yeah, a lot of customers are complaining of headaches from the smell!

 I guess one man's trash is another man's treasure!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hendrick's Park

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Today was a perfect day for plein air painting. This is the rhododendron garden at Hendrick's Park. The month of May is usually peak season, but there was an amazing display of blooms today.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Garden Frog

This pottery frog sits on our patio. He's probably contemplating the bees. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tuliip Time

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This is a do-over of a previous painting. Right now I'm feeling very conflicted and unsettled with my seems like the more I paint, the worse things get. I can't seem to figure it out. So frustrating.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring's Gift

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Spring has arrived and so have our bees. We installed them in the hive on Saturday. So far, so good. Today I'll be checking to see if the queen has settled in. She arrived in a little cage that is about the size of a finger. We plugged her cage's opening with a gummy bear and then placed the caged queen into the hive. It takes the bees about three days to eat through the gummy bear. This three-day captivity of the queen allows some time for the bees to become acquainted with her and accept her as the queen - otherwise they would kill her! Hopefully all is well today and she is free to begin her work.

Bees are absolutely amazing - I'm so happy to have them in our yard!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Braeburn Apples

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The ubiquitous bowl of apples! Apples are so satisfying to paint - they offer a chance to splash lots of red on the canvas.

I'm continuing to use the fracturing technique. I like the faceted look that it gives. I'd like to try it with some plein aire painting. My new plein aire easel and palette are supposed to come today, so I'll be painting outside soon.

Not tomorrow, though! Tomorrow our bees are scheduled to arrive. We placed a bee hive in our backyard and ordered 3,000 10,000 bees for the hive. I'm really eager to have those little guys buzzing around our garden.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ghost Reflections

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This wine is pinot noir blanc, from Ghost Hill Cellers. Ghost Hill Cellers is located in Yamhill-Carlton - Oregon's wine country. The grapes were grown on Savannah Ridge Estate and bottled by Trappist Abbey Wines.  If you ever have an opportunity to visit Oregon, I recommend a tour through the wine country - it's so incredibly beautiful.

We especially like pinot noir blanc - a white wine made from red pinot noir grapes.

The wine in this bottle will be used to toast my husband's retirement at the end of May.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Blue Pot with Gerberas

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These Gerbera daisies are a recent purchase for our garden. I wanted to paint them before they were planted, so put them in this pot and brought them indoors. Poor things...they looked so healthy when they were outside, but started to wilt after being inside during the painting session. I finished the painting as quickly as possible and put them back outside. I hope they are ok!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Brown Betty

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I've painted this little teapot many times - it's a favorite. I'm a bit weary of doing still lifes, though, and am ready to try my hand at some plein aire painting. Now that the weather is getting warmer and drier, it will be possible to head outdoors. I've just purchased a new plein aire palette and easel. As soon as it arrives, I'll be all set to go!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Blue Vase with Bouquet

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Still experimenting with fracturing and color.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Yellow Pot

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The plant in this pot is called "Kalanchoe." It's a succulent and has vibrant red flowers with waxy dark green leaves. It looked so cheery in this yellow pot that I couldn't resist it. My house is beginning to look like a flower shop!

The painting is another attempt at fracturing - the technique developed by Julie Ford Oliver. It's so much fun (and just a little bit scary)!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Wine with Apple

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I'm trying to paint more loosely. For me, it's harder than it looks!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Gerbera Daisies with Strawberries

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These daisies are from the market. It's surprising how long they have stayed fresh. I like them so much - I think I'll look for some to plant.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Strawberries and Wine

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King Estate is a beautiful winery in the Lorane Valley, close to Eugene. The winery restaurant patio has a panoramic view of the valley, and it's just heaven to have lunch there on a sunny day.

The wine in this painting, "North by Northwest" Syrah, is from King Estate. It's delicious!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tea with Strawberry

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Tea and strawberries in the afternoon.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Confidential Conversations

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These flowers seem to be having an earnest conversation - wonder what they're talking about...?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Just Hangin' Out

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Great day for just hangin' out!

Monday, March 24, 2014

New Day

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The cyclamen are blooming like crazy. They're just so pretty this year.

I am trying an experiment using more color in my work. I'm not sure about this painting, but I sure had fun painting it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring Fling

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Lenten roses and daffodils from the garden.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Camellia and Frog

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We're partial to frogs. This is another little guy who resides in our garden.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Primrose Frog

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This little pottery frog lives on our patio table. He looks so festive with his primrose "hat."

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Morning Tea

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Reflecting on those first fresh, quiet moments in the morning before the busy-ness of the day begins.

Monday, March 10, 2014

In The Pink

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More primroses!

Sunday, March 9, 2014


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My sister-in-law has a special fondness for primroses. They remind her of her mother, who loved those little bright spots of color, and always had them in her spring garden.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Red Cyclamen

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Rainy day, good day for painting!

Signs of Spring

Another painting of the daffodils and narcissus from our garden.