Thursday, December 19, 2013

Liquid Gold Seven


I haven't done a koi pastel in a while, and it seemed like a fun way to sign off for the holidays. I'll be back posting new work after the new year begins (maybe sooner). I'm not sure what that will look like, as I have some spring festivals to think about... I may do some pieces closer to my main body of work here, and/or I may post a little less often for a bit.

Until then, cheers!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Waiting for Spring

While the other inhabitants of this hill seem fairly content with winter, the little fir tree seems to be saying "enough already--let's get on with spring!"

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Red Branches, Snow

These beautiful red shrubs were just to the right of yesterday's bridge. I wasn't sure how well the delicate branches with red berries and snow would come across in a pastel, but I ended up happy enough with the result.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Winter Under the Bridge


A new season means another view of the iconic old stone bridge in the park. The tiny bit of snow only stuck to the pathway and top of the bridge, giving me plenty of opportunity to explore color with the trees and bare shrubbery.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


The tiniest skiff of snow added so much depth to this little scene. I loved working with the soft warm and cool grays here.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Flower Power 2

Today I asked Lily to pose on a nice aloha print. "No" is not in her vocabulary.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Still, Early Three

More Manito morning goodness. I loved the contrast of the cool rocks and firs with the warm tree, shrubs and pine needles along the path.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sunrise on the Rocks

The first glints of sun catch a golden tree perched on the rocks above Manito Perennial Garden. I think there could be a lifetime's worth of material in this amazing city park.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Frost & Fog Study 7

I felt like doing a simple composition today after my last two somewhat complicated pieces. I ended up really happy with the direction this piece took. It has the looser feel that I've wanted for these landscapes. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Flower Power


Lily is probably the only cat I have ever seen that doesn't immediately stop whatever she is doing the second a camera appears. Quite the opposite, she morphs into Austin Powers, writhing and twisting into one silly pose after the next. The sixties-inspired chair made the perfect backdrop as she worked it. Yeah, baby, yeah!

Yakima River, Snow

I loved the layers of pink and blue in this scene. They make a great contrast with the warm gold of the grasses in the foreground and hay bales stacked across the river.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Snow at Sunrise

I've missed painting as I moved my studio over the past few weeks, but I'm starting to think the break was a healthy thing. Instead of painting, I spent a lot of time THINKING about painting. I looked at art books, waded numerous times through the 100+ pages of my fellow artists' paintings in 6" Squared, and generally immersed myself in every aspect of painting but the act itself.

Coming back to the easel, I feel like my work reflects my discoveries during this time, and is more thoughtful. I'm sure being settled again doesn't hurt anything either. Painting in the morning then rushing out to move van loads and van loads of... STUFF... doesn't contribute to a zen painting experience.

Whatever it is, I'm refreshed and enjoying the work more than ever.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Snow Sky

The studio is more or less put together and I am back at the easel at last! I've been really wanting to do this one for a while. This seemed like the perfect time.

A lot has gone on since I took my little sabbatical. Three of my pastels made it into the 6" Squared show at Randy Higbee Gallery in Costa Mesa. You can see them here.

It's good to be back!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Frost & Fog Study 6 (#100!)

This may be Frost & Fog Study number six, but it has a much bigger number too. This is daily painting number 100!

To see all my daily paintings please visit my Daily Paintworks gallery... I can't believe how different it looks from the first month.

As the Universe would have it, this will also be my last daily painting for a few weeks. I'm moving into a new studio(!) and need to concentrate my efforts on that. I hope to be up and running by mid-November. 

"See" you then!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Frost & Fog Study 5

I loved the cool and warm neutrals that dominate this scene. The coral-colored leaves of the underbrush made such a nice contrast against them.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Autumn Grove, Dusk

On a walk a few days ago, I noticed beautiful fall colors in the spot that inspired Morning, Lincoln Park. The mid-afternoon sunlight was harsh, so I returned at dusk to find the colors softened nicely. Autumn Grove, Dusk is the result.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Frost & Fog Study 4

As the fog began to lift from the frosty field, the sun cut through in spots, illuminating the yellow grass and warming the treetops.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

Frost & Fog Study 1

The last several days have been typical October: sunny, crisp and perfect. But a few of the mornings began with fog. This hilltop field was still covered in frost, and fog clung near the ground in spots while the sun broke though to the treetops and some of the foreground shrubbery. So amazing!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Little Spokane Lavender

The hazy sunshine really brought out the cool purple-grays in the bare shrubbery along the river here. Their neutral color really set off the birch nestled among them. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Above the Stone House

Another early morning in Manito study. I could just see the roof of one of the beautiful, hundred-year-old stone park buildings. These charming structures fit so well into their surroundings, they appear to have been formed along with the landscape itself.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Spirit Guide

Hazy morning sun peeking through the tall firs lit this skeletal tree so beautifully. Standing out front of all the other trees, it seemed to be leading them.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rainwalk Study

I am loving working with these misty landscapes. The small value range gives importance to subtle contrasts of warm and cool colors. Playing with those contrasts, and working on simplification and abstraction, are a fun challenge.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fire and Rain Study

This view of my favorite field near the Little Spokane made me especially happy. While the focal point is the golden trees, I also loved the warm/cool contrasts in the foreground grass, and the shapes in the large pine behind the main subject. I will definitely be doing a larger version of this sometime soon.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Morning Reflection

The pink sunrise glinting on the path inspired both the painting and the title. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Still, Early 2

$275. Available at Randy Higbee Gallery.

I definitely put more effort into the painting than the name on this one. Good thing I'm happy with the painting! It is the same early morning and same path as Still, Early, though, so it seemed fitting enough. The contrast of the shady foreground with the golden sunlit trees in the distance was amazing.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Still, Early

My reward for getting up early: this view from a path in the park. The rising sun just kissed the tall trees in the background, contrasting with the cool shadowy woods near the path.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Morning Path

Although the subject of this painting is the red shrubs and trees at the end of the path, I loved the texture and color in the path itself. Rusty pine needles, faded earth and winding, ancient roots add interest in the foreground.

Monday, October 7, 2013

West Side Day

This scene is near the Little Spokane River, but the gray skies and deep cool greens of the background trees reminded me of western Washington.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Soft Weather Study

More from this not-quite-rainy day on the Little Spokane. I loved the soft colors, and the bright gold trees just peeking from behind the silvery purple hedgerow at the far end of the field.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

October Rain

$95. Click to buy.

This is probably my favorite spot on the Little Spokane River. After several days of rain, all the colors looked bright and clean under the still-lingering clouds.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


$95. Click to buy.

A crisp fall day on the Little Spokane River. This is the view from the boat launch near the fish hatchery.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Distant Sun

From inside this tangle of ghostly shrubs, I could see the sun break out over the distant field. The way it lit up the golden/green grass and autumn-kissed trees beyond was amazing.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Gray Day

I loved how the autumn-kissed leaves and tangled branches of this shrub added warmth and motion to a still, gray day.

On the subject of gray days, thanks to everyone who braved the cold, wet weather to come out for the Little Spokane River Artist Studio Tour.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Last Greens of Summer

Technically, they are the last greens of the second day of fall, but that lacked the "ring." Continuing my theme of inappropriate footwear, I walked the Painted Rocks path in one Dansko and a walking cast yesterday. 

I left the studio in beautiful hazy sunlight, endured blinding sunlight on the drive, only to have a giant black cloud take over the second I parked my car at the trailhead. At first I was disappointed about the change in light, but the cold dark skies seemed to warm up the yellowing grasses and---my favorite part---the pink-kissed olives in the shrubs to the left.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Autumn Layers

A favorite Autumn tradition is dressing in warm layers. Wonder where we got that idea...

Monday, September 23, 2013

View from the Bridge


This is from the bridge on North Little Spokane Drive, crossing the Little Spokane River just before Shady Slope Road. Not coincidentally, Shady Slope Road is where I will be this Saturday for the Little Spokane River Artists Studio Tour. So excited! I hope you can make it to this wonderful annual event.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Autumn Pasture

More from the Little Spokane River area. There were actually cows in this field. I toyed with adding them to the painting, but they were so small and far away, it just looked like the pastel had gotten dirty. Sorry, cows.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Frosted Field


More from the Little Spokane River area. Cool, late-autumn colors are highlighted by the setting sun.  

I'm looking forward to spending some time in this area next weekend for the Little Spokane River Artists Studio Tour!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Morning Shadows

More from my early morning walk last week in Lincoln Park. The stand of birch from my earlier pastel is just to the left, and a few feet past these trees, a large pond reflects the sun, intensifying the contrast. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Painted Rocks Trailhead, Fall

I loved the colors and shadows where field and forest meet here at Painted Rocks Trailhead. The pines, normally a dull olive drab, have an almost magical way of picking up the red and gold hues of afternoon sun.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Indian Summer Trail

Fall hasn't quite fallen, so I dug back into my reference photo archives. I found one of my favorite photo shoots, a lovely Indian Summer afternoon at the head of Painted Rocks Trail. How appropriate!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Off the Path

Keeping this one!

I love how there is so little, yet so much, going on in this scene. After laying in some basic neutral background colors, I had a blast going back in with corals, pinks, and especially the light green-gray of the branches. Gorgeous, soft Schminke and Terry Ludwig pastels go down so nicely!

Happy Equinox Week!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Morning, Lincoln Park

Early this morning I set out to Manito Park to find some new scenes to paint. I ran into the never-ending road construction on the way, and changed course for Lincoln Park. For once the construction served me well. I might never have seen these beautiful backlit birch trees.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Beyond the Tall Grass

I was literally up to my eyeballs in the grass in the foreground when I saw this scene. I thought it would be a complicated and trying painting, but it was just the opposite. Quick and fun!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Monday, September 9, 2013


$95. Buy it now with Paypal.

Still recovering from several weeks of 90 degrees, and enjoying cooler weather... until tomorrow, anyway. I'm trying to fend off another 90-degree day with more fall imagery. This one is near the Little Spokane River. If you are in the area, don't forget the Little Spokane River Artist Studio Tour is on the 28th!