oil painting

down by the rio grande

hello Santa Fe!

Thrilled to be attending my third Plein Air Painters Convention & Expo in one of my favorite places on earth: Santa Fe!!

Pre-workshop, my friend and fellow artist Sherrie Sinclair (Sinclair Wildlife Art) found a beautiful bend in the road where we could set up and do a little painting. I fell in love with the shadow of an ancient tree as it cast upon a dilapidated adobe.

The sun came and went, as did the shadow! But it felt terrific to break open the pochade and work on a painting! 


weekend warrior

When work is all consuming, deadline, product launching madness, it is a guilty godsend that I signed up for a painting workshop a year ago and just had to escape to the Sierra Foothills for a long weekend.

Thank you self for being a planner!

Also incredibly relieved that I actually, physically, can paint right now... Just barely. This is another long story, but I shredded and partially tore my right rotator cuff a couple of months ago and thanks to PT and acupuncture I am finally FINALLY able to move my arm!

So off I went to Murphys.

A terrific little town that has a Gold Rush history and a wine country renaissance. 

The workshop was with Kathleen Dunphy, who has the rare talent for being a terrific painter AND a really good instructor. On the agenda for weekend learnings: painting with a limited palette and using only big brushes.

What's a limited palette? It's a lighter load that's for sure! All those gorgeous colors in tiny tubes back in my studio...they weren't invited. Only Permanent Red, French Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow Lemon and Titanium White. We could also add dashes of Naples Yellow (to lighten and warm) and cool grey (to tone and neutralize.)

Surprisingly you can create about any color you need with these colors and it requires you really observe your scene/subject matter carefully and make up puddles of color you see BEFORE diving into your painting. This slowed me down in a good way, and then you have your local colors ready to go and can add nuances of light and temperature as your painting progresses. I think I'll stick with it for awhile...

Harder to handle for me was getting used to a #10 brush on an 8x10 panel! You have to really move your arm around to achieve different strokes and line weights, which might normally be fine but when you have a gimpy arm... It was not ideal.


First day of the workshop was a lot of good lecture and learning to mix paints and an indoor still life study of pears.



My residency with the National Park System had a profound impact on my work and my heart. I will be forever very proud of my experience and my small role in our nations greatest resource: our Parks. 

Back from their year on display in Oregon as part of the centennial celebration of the NPS, my paintings will now hang here in my home for awhile so I can enjoy them (and be reminded to make more time for the things I love - like hiking and painting.)


cold studio, warm memories

Sketching shapes on wood

Sketching shapes on wood

Started another painting! I'm loving being in my studio day after day. I'm a happy lady.

So thankful for these full days to paint AND for my oil filled space heater! These mornings have been absolutely frigid! (I'm in California so that means it's probably 40°!) 

John Day Fossil Beds has 3 distinct and official sections to the park:
Painted Hills
Sheep Rock
Clarno Unit

Painted Hills. First, amazing. You most likely have never seen anything like it. Ever. It also happens to be the "easiest" or "closest" to visit. Quotes "" meaning 2+ hours from Bend rather than 3+ hours to get to Sheep Rock ;) Regardless, a lot of people go there. They may not make it all the way to Sheep Rock and Blue Basin, which is a real shame, but happily, that section does get a lot of visitors.

Truly, it's like another planet. Nothing to see but colored striations of reds and golds, some blue and purples, and a lot of orange red. Color. It's everywhere. And not just color.... Folds. Fingers. Jutts. Burps. All kinds of crazy formations, it's fantastic.

Color blocking

Color blocking