Sunday, March 17, 2019


Wendy with her new baby boys

Okay, I *should* be sound asleep by now, and I would be except I am on kidding watch...2 of my does had their babies tonight, a mother and her daughter!   Tilly is the older doe, Wendy is her daughter and each had their babies a few hours ago.   I am SO glad they waited til it wasn't subzero!   I will check them a couple times to be sure they are doing well, and that the one remaining preggo isn't giving birth.  The first 2 showed no signs of it this afternoon and when I went to do chores, they had little babies!   :happy dance!:  

Tilly with her girls, Xandi and Xena
So as I wait for kid-checks, I went to clear out my email.  I'm bad at letting it get overflowing!   But this time, whoot whoot, yippee and oh boy!!  I got an email I've been waiting and hoping for!......   Guess I'm heading on a new adventure this fall!   eeek!!!    How am I ever gonna get to sleep now?!  heheh!

Greetings, Artists:

You have been selected to participate in our 2019 Bluff Strokes Plein Air Paint Out.  Thank you for registering!

We had significantly more registrants this year than we can accommodate.  Artists were chosen to reflect a mix of approximately 2/3 returnees and 1/3 new participants. 

Monday, March 4, 2019

Buffalo Gal

Buffalo Gal   9x12pastel on board   $125.
Last fall I went to Custer Park and got a ton of great reference photos.   I used one of a buffalo cow waiting for her calf to catch up, for this small piece    I'm still experimenting with a more textured surface.

This surface  forces me to loosen up and I like leaving some of the surface color, in this case a deep red, showing thru the final colors.    It gives the work a life and vibrancy, which I think is especially good for a subject like this. 

I also found these fun jumbo tacks, that do a dandy job of holding the hardboard panel at my easel.   If I only put the panel on the easel, I struggle getting to the top and bottom and I dont' like feeling penned in.  These allow the panel to be able to move left and right easily, not disrupting me.  It also helps to keep my panel at a level  so I can stand to work, freeing me up a bit more as I prefer to step back every few minutes to check on my progress.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


Uplifted   8x12 pastel    $125.
detail of marks and surface
As an artist, getting too comfy in your working ways leads to some ugly stuff--both artistically and mentally.    Add to it these very grey, cold days and yeah, I'm kinda grumpy.   But after a talk with a friend (hey you!) I decided it was time to do some experimenting.    

I love my subject matter, and love working in pastel.  So I changed how I was using the pastel and tried a different surface.   It left the finished painting more lively, with energy!   It also gave me an excuse to use some bright colors, which sure helped liven up such a dull afternoon. 

I used a hardboard and made my own surface preparation, gritty enough to hold layers of color; applied in such a way to leave some of this showing.   I love how some of the ochre surface shows thru the final piece.   I feel it adds energy and life!   It was also a lot of fun too!  

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Sketching the winter away

ToostiePop   7x9 pastel   ready to frame $45.

One of my favorite things to do on an otherwise mundane evening is to go thru my reference photos.   As many others discover, that super scene you had to get a photo of falls flat in picture form.   And is why plein air is so great!    But, its been subzero and I ain't that tough!

   So I go thru them, fairly quickly.   If they are just another ho-hum average, they get deleted immediately.    If I cant' use them soon, no reason to hold onto a zillion photos I will never be able to find later.   Often its just a little part that I needed, i.e. a cloud that would be nice in a painting that's on the easel.   Keeping too many only clogs the works.    In the book Alla Prima, Richard Schmid suggests to use it immediately, so you can still feel the breeze, smell the air, etc.   Wait too long and its just another flat image.

I follow lots of blogs, one is from an artist I took a class from, Marla Baggetta.  (still using my notes from that one!  highly recommend!)  She had some book suggestions dealing with sketching, and I picked one that looked interesting.   And I'm really enjoying it!   Its not a how-to as much as a showcases many artists with different styles, including Marla's, and what their thought processes are when sketching.  
 I dont' know many artists who don't mutter at times the need to sketch more, including myself.   Going quickly thru my photos, I make these super-fast thumbnail sketches in ballpoint pen.  (that's a Marla trick, and a good one)   Now I have a dozen or more ideas that are ready for me to get to work.   It sure beat watching more mindless tv too!  

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Weather the weather, or not

"Hafs Asleep"  12x16 pastel   $215.
Today is unbearably cold, so doing anything outside, is out!     But it sure makes it easy to cozy up in the studio for a long time!   Not a bad way to spend such cold, bitter days.

This barn is almost falling down in real life, and is close to a place I taught a workshop this summer.  You know, when the air didn't hurt my face!   I was walking Arty the Wonder Dog early so he'd behave during class time.   I patched up the holes it actually had, and straightened it a bit also... and what makes a barn even better is horses!   Horses always make life better!   

This pair of horses are dozing in the early morning sun, are they tired from working?  Are they just lazy pets that eat all day?   Either way, they are enjoying that nap.

The title, "Halfs Asleep" isn't a typo and refers to the type of horse I depicted here--Haflinger.   A smaller draft breed that is always this coloring.   Small but sturdy with good minds.    Their bright manes and tails, with that golden coat help bring out that 'bright, early morning' feel.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Open House, again!

So ol Mother Nature didn't like my plans.   Over a foot of snow last weekend, altho that didn't stop one group from coming!    (they were east river people, hehe)   

But, I am all set up, and have lots of artwork and soaps ready for you!   Soaps are on sale for $5.00  and all artwork, framing, etc is 10% off!   If you've ever wanted to commission something of your own, now would be a great time!  

I have quite a few small paintings that are unframed, so you can add your own touch to a gift, of which I promise your giftee will not get doubles of!     There is time yet for me to frame a few, but you'll have to be quick!  

So, let's try again--OPEN HOUSE this weekend, noon til 6, both Saturday and Sunday! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Some Raw Deals Coming up!

Some of the small works that will be available at my Open House
In a short time,  I'll be having my Holiday Open House.   I'll be offering several "raw deals"....paintings that are ready to frame Your way!   They are raw, just the painting itself, ready for Your personal taste to frame. 

So often the frame becomes an issue as it won't go with the decor of the new owner.   These small works could easily be framed in time to give for Christmas, and talk about one-of-a-kind!    What a perfectly thoughtful, personal gift!   

Holiday Open House, one mile east of the old Lucas school (Sully Flats)
December 1 & 2, noon til 6pm.    Come enjoy cookies, meet up with some friends and have a fun afternoon!