Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Windy Wednesday

I am still working on the new series.

"Warm Air Rises." Oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches. 

I think this one may be my favorite so far. What do you think?

Wind is a pretty common visitor in spring. It has finally decided to visit us here in the desert. It's been here since Friday in varying degrees. It did bring a tiny bit of rain, along with cooler temperatures.

One has to hike up higher to see flowers now, but there are still some patches, for the more ambitious wildflower seeker. The following photos are from a week or so ago.

I am currently taking a class in encaustics from Stephanie Hargrave through Carla Sonheim. I have never done encaustic painting before, and so far I am loving it! Encaustic painting is painting with pigmented wax, and it is probably the oldest and most durable kind of painting. You can read more about it here.

I hope you are all having a magnificent week! Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for your comments and emails!

Thursday, April 24, 2014


It's so easy to enjoy living in the desert right now. The days are warm, the nights are cool. There are still a few remaining bits of flowers in magical bloom. The front yard is full of colorful flowers, and the palo verde tree is yellow and filled with bees. I am beginning to see more lizards and quail. I was so happy on Tuesday to see our old friend the desert iguana - the one who must live in our backyard. He (she?) has gotten HUGE since we last saw each other. He didn't feel like posing for a photo, but I will get one yet. Just you wait.

I am reading de Kooning - An American Master. I have always felt a connection to de Kooning, and this book has me in thrall. I feel like I am getting a much clearer picture of the Art Scene in New York during the 40's and 50's, as well as a greater understanding of de Kooning's work. Highly recommended!!!

As promised, one more painting from the new series:
"Curiosities." Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches.
There are three more in various sizes in the works. The whole painting is so much better in person. (as always)

In other news, I am offering free shipping in Jackrabbit Junction, the etsy shop where I have some of my desert art for sale, until the end of April. Click here to see what's available.

Have a fantastic weekend, and thank you so much for all of your comments about my new painting!!! I appreciate it.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

New Direction

Hello everyone! Lately, I have found myself unable to write about what I am doing in the studio. A new series is in the process of being created, and I needed to avoid words for a while and focus on image only. For me, painting is a way to think, a way to sort out the ideas in my head. When I write, the words seem to confound the issues I am working out in paint. Trying to describe painting in words - is it a futile endeavor? Perhaps. Or maybe I just needed to turn inward in order for this new work to become something. In any case, I think I may be far enough into it now to feel comfortable sharing some of it.

It all began when I was getting ready to teach my online class "Intro to Abstract painting." I had created a series of exercises designed to help artists explore and experiment. I wanted to see if my exercises had any merit, and began doing them myself. I had done many of the exercises before, years ago, in a modified version. As I was testing my exercises, I stumbled upon an idea.

small watercolor & gouache studies - approx. 6 x 6 inches

What if that wonderful, lively quality of watercolor or gouache could be replicated on a larger scale using oil paint? I have always loved watercolor. My first experience with painting was watercolor painting. When I am feeling stuck in the studio, or when I want to go back to the basics, I always reach for watercolor. I decided to try working from some small watercolor sketches.

Whenever you take an idea or sketch and push it to a completed work of art, there is always a transformation. In this case, I found I was exaggerating the qualities I love in the water media. I was not aware of this. It just happened.

"What Was Found." Oil on canvas, 20 x 20 inches. 
Above is the first one I finished. I have about five others in various stages of completion. I will be interested to hear what you think.

What do you see? Does this painting remind you of anything?

If you missed my online class, it is now available to take as a self study. Just click this link for more details.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April 1st

"There You Are." (black tailed jackrabbit) Oil on canvas, 20 x 20 inches.

The online class has now ended, and I am gearing up for an outdoor art festival at the Oasis Visitor Center in 29 Palms this weekend. I will be setting up a booth with my desert animal paintings this weekend - Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 to 5 pm each day. I have never-shown-before paintings ready to go, along with cards and affordable giclee reproductions. The weather is supposed to be "delightful!" I hope to see you there! 

More desert flowers, because we never get tired of them. Ever.