Monday, February 29, 2016

Fuzzy Chicks and Tasty Worms

I had plans for my weekend to spend much of my time finishing the painting that is taking up all of my easel space but as often happens those plans didn't come to fruition.  Not to say that all was lost on the creative artist front, but it just wasn't as productive of a weekend as I had hoped and with my solo show "Down Country Roads" coming up quickly on April 1st I'm getting a bit of an overwhelming feeling.  So much painting and so little time.  What's an artist to do?

My pencil and ink sketch called "The Early Birds"

This little sketch I started yesterday while enjoying my usual morning McDonald's coffee time with my husband.  Today, I decided to add some color and used my new set of Prismacolor pencils.  I have found that drawing is an excellent exercise to prepare me before I pick up my paint brushes.  These little chicks are going to be added to the composition in my painting "Something to Crow About" that I am currently working on.  

The sketch actually turned out cute enough that I'm going to matte and frame it and also add it to the show. I also decided that the sketch of my little early birds made a cute addition to my greeting card designs.  I started playing around with my new printer this weekend and have come up with 4 designs so far that I think work well printed on greeting cards.  As you can see both the chicks and the crowing rooster are featured both on canvas and on the front of a card.  

If you are interested, cards will soon be available on the Country Store tab of my website at  
Work in Progress

"Down Country Roads" greeting card line

Saturday, February 27, 2016

This Week in My Las Vegas Studio

This week I have had several opportunities to work on my current piece that I think I'm going to title, "Something to Crow About" .  This is #4 in a series that I am working on called "Down Country Roads".  Each of the planned 5 pieces will have the repeated focal of blue morning glories that are situated on either a fence line or the edge of a country gravel road.  This show is my tribute to my rural Missouri childhood and my interpretation of being raised "Country".  All five of the pieces are paint with a touch of humor in mind as you can search to find little hidden surprises among the tall blades of grass. 

Work in Progress- #4 in the series- "Something to Crow About" 
Promotional Flyer for Down Country Roads

If you live in Southern Nevada or are planning to be passing through during the month of April you should make plans to stop into the gallery in Boulder City.  I think the show will be worth seeing in person. (Of course I'm little biased I think!)  

# 3 in my Series-"Fence Post Curiosity"
The other night I was discussing the piece I completed last week of a Jersey cow and her calf with a fellow Mountain View Christian School parent.  She really liked my work and seemed happy to talk to me for sometime about it. She made the comment to me that she really liked my style and how I painted in a way that was both a realistic and yet whimsical.  I hadn't thought of that before but I have had a number of comments about illustrating children's books since I started this series.  You never know where your art will lead you.  

Sold this small 5x7 sketch that I called "Enjoying Good Literature" at the Boulder City Art Gallery today.  I LOVE RED DOT SOLD stickers!  WOO HOO!

Canon Pixma Pro 100

My new studio buddy arrived just this week and I am so excited to learn how to use him.  He is a Canon Pixma Pro 100 and that baby is touted to be a great professional quality printer and so I'm excited to be able to print my own greeting cards, magnets, prints and promotional flyers from the comfort of my own home.  I hope to have all the above available at my April show.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Flurry of Fur and Feathers

I have been having a blast the last few days sketching little creatures and so I just had to share.  I'm working on a new painting that has a rooster and a few chickens as the focal point and so it never hurts to pull out the the paper and and pens to get a little practice in.  This is my 4th painting in a series that I started working on at the end of last year.  I'm pulling out lots of memories of my Missouri childhood as I paint my version of rural country life.

I'm pretty excited because just today I ordered a Canon Pixma Pro-100 wireless color professional inkjet printer and boy I can't wait to start designing my own line of greeting cards and matted prints. With my solo show coming up in April at the Boulder City Art Gallery, I can't waste a minute of time getting enough inventory lined up.  The title of my show is "Down Country Roads" so you can expect to see many more furry and feathered friends as I burn the midnight oil to get prepared.

You're my Little Chickadee 

You make me want to shout!

Hang in there...the weekend is coming

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Painting My Country Roots

I moved out west to Las Vegas back in 1978 from my childhood home of Eldon, Missouri.  I was only a teenager at the time, but there is something about one's childhood that shapes and influences your life, perhaps more than the rest of your years spent as an adult.  I may have lived in this large city for all of my adult years, but in my heart I still identify myself as a country girl.

That is why I'm painting a series right now I feel I have a strong connection to and that I am calling "Down Country Roads."  I lived the best years of my childhood on a dusty dirt road surrounded by trees, flowers, wildlife and farming.  I love old farm houses, gardens, livestock, barns, porch swings, old mail boxes, barbed wire fences and fence posts covered in morning glories dotting every dirt road and 2 lane highway across this amazing country and they are my inspiration.

When it feels like crazy is becoming the normal,  I have to only return to my roots to find that this country is still full of good folk that appreciate the freedom to work hard and get their hands dirty, to raise their families and take care of their neighbors. This series of paintings are my tribute to that way of life and looking at them, frankly makes me smile.

"Fence Post Curiosity"- 36 x 24 Original Acrylic

This is my newest piece, just finished this week.  I'm calling it "Fence Post Curiosity".  Cows are curious creatures and will often watch you as drive by, especially if all your children are hanging out of the windows yelling, "MOO."  I just couldn't help myself and found that I had to add the cow licking her nose to the composition.   The consistent themes of blue morning glories are present as they are in the previous two pieces along with cheerful Black-eyed Susans.

This piece was a real challenge as I have never painted such large animals before.  The canvas measures 36 x 24 inches so this jersey cow is at least 2 feet tall.

Lunch Under the Mailbox- 36 x 24 Original Acrylic 
My second piece in the series that I have painted is called "Lunch Under the Mailbox".  I've blogged about this one previously and so if you follow me you know that I loved little box turtles growing up.  They were everywhere in the spring and summer.  They may move slowly but they are so persistent.  I remember many times just running in for a moment to get a drink or snack, certain that I could return in time to prevent my little reptiles escape on to find that there was no longer any trace of him.   
Life at the Fence Post- 36 x 24 Original Acrylic

This is the piece first piece that I came up with and at the time that I painted it I wasn't thinking about a series.  I simply was painting a piece that reminded me of summer.  The predominate color of green makes me think of Missouri in the summer.  Everything is SO green unlike the Mojave Desert that I call home now. 

This series will be presented together as part of a solo show that will be held in the month of April at the Boulder City Art Gallery in Boulder City, Nevada.  My goal is to have at least 2 more pieces completed by that time along with a number of smaller related paintings.  It will be a show worth seeing.  All these piece can be found on my website where you can find a link to order prints and see the rest of my work.  Just visit and click on the gallery tab.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

It's More Than a Painting of a Tea Cup

Sunday was a very special day as my husband and I were the invited guests for a lovely brunch prepared by some dear friends that we have known for many years.  As we entered the front door it was obvious that much care had been taken in preparation of our visit.  The table was spread out in formal fashion with gold tablecloth, placemats and napkins topped with beautiful China and sparkling silver.

My dear friend and co-worker of many years has also recently become collector of my art by having commissioned a piece from me and the purpose for our invitation was to show me where she had hung my painting that I had created for her.  This particular painting that I called "Tea Time" included a number of sentimental items that all reminded her of her mother who was also an artist.

The China tea cup and silver spoon were both painted to resemble her mother's own set that she has recently inherited.  It was that very China that lay on the table in front of us.  Her mother's favorite flowers, roses and hydrangeas fill the glass vase and are the focal point of the piece.  I finished off the composition as she requested with a small bowl of berries.

What an honor it is for me to be able to create a piece of art that not only is pleasing to look at hung there in the center of their room but one that is so full of meaning and sentimental memories.  This experience makes every minute I have spent for the past 5 years painting and improving my skills worth it.  I love the rewards that come from having my art connect with someone at the heart level and to know that I have created something that is treasured and a blessing for a deserving friend.

The day that I presented my friend with her commissioned piece, "Tea Time"

Friday, February 5, 2016

Traveling Down Country Roads In My Studio

My Current Work in Progress on my Studio Easel

This week I have managed to steal away here and there a little time to work on my piece that features a Jersey Cow and Calf along with a fence post of beautiful morning glories.  The morning glories have been a repeated theme in my last two works and this piece makes number 3 in a series that I'm calling "Down Country Roads".  It looks as if this will be the name of my solo show at Boulder City Art Gallery in April and then eventually another Clark County Library show.  I'm really excited because these pieces are very special to me and are full of memories of my childhood in the beautiful Ozark hills of Central Missouri.  I am hopeful to have at least 2 more large pieces  and several small works finished by the end of March.

Each piece is hopefully going to be charming, colorful and humorous so it will be a show you will want to see if you are in the Las Vegas area.  I will most definitely keep everyone posted as to the times and dates of my shows.

Marketing Flyer Draft

I worked on some rough drafts for a postcard to use as a marketing tool for my up coming show.  So far this is what I have come up with.  There may be some slight changes but overall I am pretty pleased with how it looks.  When I have made all my edits, I will order some cards to be printed from Vistaprint  to pass out and to mail along sending out electronic invitations to the show.

"You Stole My Heart"

This little sketch was one I did last week but wasn't happy with the composition when I went to place it in a matte.  I decided to extend the background wall to take up more room on the paper and then I added a scattering of small hearts in the wagons path.  I have had a lot of positive feedback on this piece.  It is matted to 11 x 14 inches and will look great in a frame to give as a gift to someone special.

"That's a Lot of Hogwash"

I did this "Big Mamma" piece last night and may do a little more blending touch ups to it before I can say for sure it is finished but I had a great time drawing this one.  I like the pink and blue of the sow and that contrasted to the mud she is so happily standing in.  Hogs can be very large creatures, especially the full grown boars.  They can also be very mean and I know I wouldn't want to get into the pen with them unless I had a big stick or electric cattle prod close by.  I have a great deal of respect for farmers.  My grandparents ran a hog farm for a number of years in small town of Woodlake, Minnesota and so I have first hand experience smelling that lovely aroma in the air when the breeze is blowing from the direction of the barn.  You have to LOVE the smell of  rural America!

That pretty much outlines my artistic accomplishments for this past week.  It was a good week and I am blessed to be able to spend as much time as I do pursuing my passion.