Thursday, December 3, 2009

March Along the Big Thompson

In the winter world we have in Colorado there are times when you see snow and everything snow stands for in just a different way. This painting is one of those times, I waded through foot deep snow in order to photograph this beautiful river, cutting its way through the deep snow.
Unfortunately, as I raised my camera to take the photos, my batteries just died! So, back down
to the van to see if I had any more batteries, I was amazed that I actually did. Back up the banks, wading in the deep snow, trying to fit into my previous footprints so that my feet and pants wouldn't get any wetter than they already were...finally got my photos. Ah, the life of an artist...persevere is the name of the game!
This painting was accepted into the International Richeson Pastels 75 for 2010! How exciting and how gratifying to have your work appreciated...I possibly spent 30 hours on this painting, which is only 14 x 18, but has many, many layers of pastels!
It's a wonderful day in Colorado when the snow piles up in blue shadows and yet it is warm enough to run around and take photos, I am not quite up to painting out there, however!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Enjoying our granddaughter

Always so much
fun to babysit our granddaughter, Lilli. Today she was having a good time, watching Mickey Mouse on TV. I snapped this photo of her with the sun coming in over my shoulder. See the angel on the back table that I brought home from California, it is holding a sea shell, kind of seems to fit the photo somehow! Look at those eyelashes! Don't think she got them from my side of the family!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Lillies from my yard, before the big Snow Day!!

These lillies were so beautiful this year, I wanted to just preserve them forever, well, in pastel! Our backyard was just packed with flowers this year, I love the English garden look with cosmos, hibiscus, hollyhocks, asters, lillies, lilacs, clematis, phlox,
all planted rather carefully and neatly by my husband, Dale, and then reseeded by the Garden Goddesses willy nilly all over the place!

I really love this loose, fun flower style and want to do a lot more of it.

As to the Snow Day, we got about 5 to 6 inches today in Fort Collins, so long flowers! Hope to see you all in 2010!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Grant Humphries Mansion

Here's one of the paintings I did in 40 degree weather, a nice stiff breeze and a drizzle. One of the most beautiful spots in downtown Denver.

Denver Plein Air---Brrrrr

It's been awhile since I posted on my blog. I've been busy painting, painting...attending the Weekend with the Masters in Colorado Springs and running Art on Mountain. This has been a good fall, a little cold, but very beautiful scenery to paint out there!

On September 21st I spent the day in Denver at the Grant Humphries Mansion in the cold, wind and rain painting away. It was probably as cold as it gets in Colorado in the Fall. I'm surprised it didn't snow!

Here I am with my five layers under my plastic rain poncho, it was drizzling, which is not so good when you are painting with soft pastels!

I got a couple of paintings out of it, but it wasn't easy!

And, isn't it just a privilege to be an artist doing plein air! Yup.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Thaw on the Poudre, Pastel, 16 x 20.

Rolling into Fall in Colorado

Well, this has been one of the busiest summers ever! I just finished a two week workshop with Susan Ogilvie which was held in Longmont, CO. Wonderful teacher, two great classes, since I was in charge I managed to get in more than five days of these classes. We spent most of the morning out painting. It was HOT, hot, hot. Thank goodness, Susan brought us in to paint inside for the rest of the afternoon. Just got a little too toasty out there. We painted a couple of beautiful ponds, a museum farmstead and a friend's house and yard. I got about four pretty decent paintings out of it, they are mostly studies, but after a couple of days of trying to under-stand exactly what Susan's techniques were about, I kind of grasped the concepts. Although I have been painting forever, every class you take seems to open up new doors into the greater understanding of art.
I was very excited to learn that my painting "January Thaw on the Poudre" was accepted into the Estes Park National Show, Lines Into Shapes. This was a painting I worked out getting ready for the Quick Draw up in Cheyenne this Spring. I did about three paintings before arriving at one that I could paint in 45 minutes! This wasn't one of them! In fact, it was the first one I did, 16 x 20, and I just kept on adding and adding until I realized that there was no way I could even attempt to paint this one again! I guess you could say I got carried away!
I love snow, even though it is a different environment here in Colorado, it isn't like living in North Dakota.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

It seems like I spent weeks creating this Nocture of the Front Range for the National Pastel Show, only to have it not accepted. Oh, well, I got the painting "Serene Reflections" in but this one is really dear to my heart. I'll hope for the best for it and send it off again, one of the jurors for some show HAS to fall in love with it, right? Maybe it's just me, but I think paintings like this have mystery and beauty that can be created by the viewer, not much is spelled out, but it's all still there. My intrepid mountain climbing friends can name all these summits from south to north. Round Mountain is pretty noticeable but the others are a little more remote. We see this scene driving up and down highway 287, are we lucky to live here or what?

Independence Day/Serene Reflections

I am so excited that my painting, "Serene Reflections" was accepted for the Mile High National Pastel Show for 2009. I also really liked the other paintings I did for this show...that didn't get in, but oh, well!! If you can get at least one painting into National Shows you are way ahead of the game, and...this show is close by, in Longmont, so I can drive the painting there. Having to ship paintings is not good, it costs so much to enter, so much to have your piece framed and photographed that by the time you have to ship it there...and, if it doesn't sell, ship it home, an artist is into big time money. And, didn't we do this just to enjoy painting? Right?
I just returned from a 10 day vacation to the West Coast of California. It was really a thrill to see the coast line north of San Francisco. I visited my sister, Debbie, who lives in California and has a vacation home in Gualala. This is a really cool area to visit, beautiful rough seacoast and a different type of foliage and weather than you see down around LA and San Diego. I took about 250 photos and did three paintings. I have decided that my theme for the next year or so will be flowers and florals in the landscape. For about the last three years I have concentrated on water, lakes, reflections and I think this will be a fun, enjoyable series and get my juices flowing again.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Two years ago on this day I was painting away in Italy! Dale and flew to Florence and I celebrated my birthday in Florence. Is that a great thing for an artist or what?
Here we are in front
of our fattoria, Italian farm house, one of thirteen houses owned by a Contessa who was 94 years old and had the most amazing and frightening German Shepherd! He was called Princey and we were well warned never to feed Princey in case we ended up part of the food.

What a Memory!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Back at work, busy, busy

January on the Cache La Poudre, Fort Collins

Life has been one really busy whirl lately. I have been teaching painting, teaching marketing, evaluating galleries (cleaning, painting and redoing our Art on Mountain gallery) and jurying a show. Since my knee surgeon decided it was time to inject my knees that has slowed me down more than I ever thought possible, also.

I was really excited to receive an Honorable Mention on my San Jose Mission Arches painting at our Celebration of Color Show last week. Also, I have put 17 paintings in the Western State Bank in North Fort Collins and 9 paintings in the Reader's Cover BookStore. Next week we rehang a new show in Art on Mountain for which I have five paintings ready.

One of these, January on the Poudre is featured on this post. I painted this as a sample painting and a study for my Quick Draw at the Cheyenne Spirit of the West Show. It turned out pretty well and I love the area just down from our house a couple of miles where I have painted this scene many times.

In December, Dale and I did a quick trip through Minnesota and this painting is from a photograph I took while we were driving through a blizzard to visit Dale's parents. Very interesting drive...NOT. But I do like the painting!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Water Sonata

Looking through my photos one day I came across this beautiful sight. I am not sure where I took this photo, or even when, but I just loved the fall of the water, so I painted it. Many times when I am out doing photography I just take dozens of photos and pile up all these ideas to paint. It's an little overwhelming when I find that I want to paint dozens of them!
On this painting I especially like how the background trees got really soft and blue, I changed a lot of this from the photo just to get the softness into the painting. This is a 18 x 12 pastel called Water Sonata. The falls are either in Norway or Colorado...I think! Somewhere I've been anyway!

September Song in Aspen Grove Gallery

This March I have been putting my paintings in shows all over Colorado and Wyoming. It is a busy time! Last Saturday I was thrilled to see that one of my paintings, "September Song", won a My Choice award at Aspen Grove shopping center in downtown Littleton, CO. The gallery is right next to Pottery Barn so it is fun to visit and see what's new! (I love Pottery Barn and bought some gorgeous orange tulips while I was there...I digress) Anyway, my painting won a brand new wooden easel, value $300.00! That was a thrill. Prints of this painting are in the Surgical Waiting Room in the new Medical Center of the Rockies. This is one of my favorite paintings, it is 20 x 30 pastel and took forever to paint, it's definitely not a predictor of the value of long they take to paint. Some great paintings go together so quickly...others take forever. Other painting take forever and never turn out no matter what you do! Such is the life of an artist!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Serene Reflections National Show Piece

I am so excited I finally got a piece in the Artists Association of Colorado's National Show. I have entered nine times and gotten in twice. Tough show to get into and it is shown in a great venue right here in Fort Collins.
Because the show is so difficult to get into I spend about a month every fall painting a piece a hope has a chance. Those pieces often garner lots of awards in other wonderful shows, but obviously don't get into this one!

My painting this year is a pastel, 24 x 36, and it is a scene of a heavy snow in the mountains, with lots of unusual colorations. It was difficult and time consuming to paint so I have priced it accordingly. The frame is going to also be an expensive deal since it is so big, but it has earned the best frame I can afford! Or not, as the case may be! Hopefully, art will start selling again after the recession is over! Our gallery is holding its own, but with spring coming on I hope the art sales also come on!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Banks of the Poudre in May

We live about five miles from the beautiful Cache la Poudre River in Fort Collins, right in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.  One of the fun things that we can do is plein air paint almost any day of the year and create paintings of scenery that is beautiful.  Last May a bunch of us went with Master Pastelist, Lorenzo Chavez, over to the Poudre River to plein air paint. It was a beautiful, clear day and we set up on the river banks and painted. For lunch we went to Vern's Cafe which is a great good ol' boy Cafe with homemade cinnamon rolls and low calorie stuff like that. Since it was the day before my birthday one of the guys ordered a big cinnamon roll with candles on it for me and they all sang, loudly, Happy Birthday to me. Wow, that was embarrassing...and fun, some of the people in the restaurant sang along just for the fun of it! Great day!! This painting will be in the Jack Richeson Book, Pastels 75. It should be out soon, I am anxious to see it, I have three paintings in the book.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Inside the Loveland Greenhouse, 11 x 14 Pastel

Last fall we had an unusually cold, windy, really nasty day and instead of painting the outdoors plein air we moved into the Loveland Greenhouse. I really had a hard time deciding what to paint, I enjoy plants but this sea of green was too much even for me. At the back of the greenhouse they had this really nice umbrella set up, and I just loved the look of it so I parked my easel in front, added a couple of nice plants with the grass and painted happily away. This is one of my favorite paintings, I think I just love umbrellas, even though opening them inside is supposed to be bad luck!
Altogether I had a great week. This painting, as well as two others, were chosen for the Jack Richeson "Pastels 75" book which will be published in the next few weeks. The Western Spirit Show curator called and asked me to do the Quick Draw before the opening and I was really excited to accept. Quick Draw is a 45 minute drawing from start to finish and framed!! So, obviously, I will have to have my pastels "ducks" in a row for this one. You can't dawdle with a few hundred people watching!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lake Loveland at Dawn, Pastel

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to watch a demo by one of the greatest pastelists of our times, Doug Dawson of Wheatridge, CO. He is a Master Pastelist in the Pastel Society of America and gave us a wonderful demo. In an hour and a half I wrote three pages of notes. Some of the information he emphasized was looking and relooking at the big shapes. He also talked about weaving one color throughout all the colors of the weaving (painting) to unify it. I thought this was a wonderful concept, using the analogy of weaving, you could really picture this working.
He talked about using toned paper, he uses pink for overcast days and yellow gold for a sunny day.
He did a really brave thing and had each one of us in the room pick out a color and he used all of them to do a painting of a big tree in front of a background of other trees. It was very interesting to see how he brought it all together with something like thirty colors being used!
Doug has a new book out so be sure and check it out if you can. I have his first book which I think I've had for almost 20 years.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bales Aglow--Western Spirit Show

In case you think this looks familiar, this is the finished painting that I did the study for in the posting I did of the Small Painting Show. The study is 6 x 8 and this painting is 20 x 24.

I like this painting, it speaks to me in so many ways of my childhood, life in North Dakota and our farm in Southwestern North Dakota. Today I painted all day and it seems like I always go back to farm and landscape scenes. Today I worked on a winter scene in the "Russian Style"...rough strokes of oil on linen, fun and entirely different from pastel painting. Keeps my short attention span on track!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

National Juried Western Spirit Show

I am excited that two of my paintings were accepted into the 2009 Western Spirit Show in Cheyenne. I haven't applied for this show before so it was really nice to get two paintings in. My Bales Aglow which is a 20 x 24 pastel and my Arches at San Jose Mission pastel painting which is 24 x 36. The Bales painting is such a reiteration of my childhood in North Dakota...even though our bales there were rectangular...very heavy....and awkward.

The San Jose Mission is in San Antonio and when Dale had a conference there a couple of years ago I went along and decided I would photograph all the Missions. Well, that turned out to be a little more than I could do, but I did take three rolls of film with my Fuji Advantix camera. I still really like to use that camera, it takes wonderful photos.I have to admit that I like the flexibility of being able to take many photos and delete the ones with my thumb in the middle!

The Western Spirit Show is in Cheyenne, WY, from March 7 to April 19, 2009. The opening reception is March 7, 2009, from 6 to 9 pm in Cheyenne Frontier Days "Old West Museum". You need to make reservations, it's a great opening...hope to see YOU there!