The Move

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly life can change.  I would have never thought that in 3 weeks we would pack up everything and move back across the border to Lloydminster.   Saying good-bye to people who I got to know in Williston made me sad.    It was great to be part of an enthusiastic art community.  I will miss the open studio night and my painting friend Tess so much.

The saying goes that when one door closes another opens, so it shall be interesting in finding what lies beyond the door that just opened.   It will be an interesting journey this next year and I intend on making lots more art.   My art space is slowly taking space and the goal is to have created a piece of artwork by the end of the week.

Roll On

I had taken the reference photo early in the morning at a  spot where there has been many family memories made.  The shadows were a challenge as they really did not make sense until I really looked and seen the second wagon wheel leaning against the rock.  I had considered taking it out but if I did that then the shadows would make even less sense.   The memory of the freshness of that morning was something that kept coming back to me while I painted it.  It really made me wish that I was back there.

Wagon Wheel Oil Painting
Roll On

I started this paining on the Anniversary  of my nephew’s death.  He was on my mind as well while I was painting it with memories that made me smile and a little sad.  One of  his favorite songs was Wagon Wheel and I could hear the music and see his smile which is dearly missed.   So Chris Rock On..

A New Look

Giving my website a new look is a lot like doing the fall cleaning — rearranging and cleaning things up.  It may take a day or two as I have a painting on my easel that I really want to get finished as well.  Some days doing the balancing act between painting and the computer does not go well.

Oil Painting
Wagon Wheel

I want to finish this today but I also want to make sure my website’s new look has the kinks out of it.    If you find things that are not quite right, let me know so I can fix them and get to my painting!

Quick Sketch

Drawing from Life.

Drawing from Life Scavenger Hunt.

I have found a solution for finding things to draw from life.  The decision on what to draw is often harder than doing the drawing.   I have the pencil, the sketchbook and a blank page  – and the blank syndrome sets in.   I  want to  learn to sketch quickly and loosely which is a challenge all by its self.  Working from life is very different from working from photos and will  need  lots of practice.

I recently discovered a drawing from life scavenger hunt on the Wet Canvas website that is so much fun.   A new list is given out every 10 days and all sketching has to be done from life.  I love that 26 items are in the list which means I can do a few 5 minute sketches everyday.  My plan is to use it as a warm up for my day in the studio.

Drawing from Life 1
Scavenger Hunt Items


You will find the thread in the Art from Life forum.   Get out your pencils and get started.    Off to sketch a few more items on the list.  See you over there with your sketches!

Yellowstone Canyon

Painting the Grand Canyon Of Yellowstone

I was lucky enough this past weekend to visit Yellowstone National Park and stood where Thomas Moran may have stood to paint  the Grand Canyon.  I took several pictures and  have placed this on my bucket list of things I want to paint.  The colors in the canyon are beautiful with the falls tumbling in the background.   My only wish is that I could have been there in earlier in the day as with most park attractions there are so many people wanting to see the beauty of it.

Yellowstone Canyon
Yellowstone Canyon

If I ever have the chance to return it will be early in the morning,  but it was really wonderful to see the place made famous by a painting by Thomas Moran.   I also wished I could have seen the  art show at the park showing the paintings done by famous artists.  Unfortunately there is never enough time, as we were gone early in the morning and returning late in the evening.  The weekend has left me recharged and wanting to paint the things that I seen.  Only 750 photos over 3 days, not bad.   Below is the painting that Thomas Moran did of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone,  my goal is not to paint his picture but rather to be able to convey what I felt standing there.  That will be my challenge for the next couple of months.

Thomas Moran Painting
Thomas Moran – Grand Canyon of Yellowstone


I do envy Thomas Moran for being able to be and paint in the canyon with only the sounds of nature around him.   We were lucky enough to find a few spots that we were the only people there and the only sounds I heard were of mountains and I will be painting those places as well.  I only wish I could have had the time to stay and do some plein air painting.   Another one for the bucket list.  Do you have a bucket list of places you want to paint?  Or places you want to hang on your wall?  Make sure to leave a comment about your bucket list of paintings, I would enjoy reading them so much!  Paintbrush is calling.




Artist Reception

Today is the day of the artist reception at the James Memorial Art Center from 2 – 4 p.m


art show copyI and so glad that my friend Tess and I are doing this together.  It has made this experience that much more fun and the artist reception a little less terrifying.  Putting your work out there is always terrifying and exciting at the same time.   Hope to see you there today!

You will find a collection of both my work and Tess’s at the James.  We chose a variety of subjects and sizes for this show since neither of us had a series to show, but we did have a collection of our art work.  We hope you find a moment to unplug from the world and see the moments we chose to paint.


A long six weeks

It has been a very long six weeks.  I have not picked up a paintbrush, a pastel, or even a pencil for six weeks.  Have you every gone through a spell where you have not done anything you love for that long?  The good news is that I am starting again.  To make a long painful story short, I had an unexpected illness that required some surgery.  Talk about an abrupt end to my plans for the past six weeks.

The last six weeks have not all been all bad as I had three pieces accepted into the Art without Borders art show in Lloydminster AB/SK .  I wish I could go see the show but I am not yet ready to travel the 8 hour drive.   It has also  given me  sometime to slow down and  decide where I want to go and what I want to accomplish with my artwork.   It is a difficult thing to do as I want to do it all.

I will be posting and sharing more often as I want to be more consistent in posting to this blog and keeping it updated.   Come along for the ride, and share with me what you want to accomplish with your artwork.



Can you ever have enough pastels?

Pastel Painting
Pastel 12×9

I have been working with pastels  and I have a new addiction.  Pastels are wonderful medium to work in but the one draw back is there is no mixing of colors.  You can optical mix, you can layer a color but you can not mix.  When working on this painting I so wanted a grayer bluer pastel than what I had in my box.    Can I ever have enough, I doubt it but I sure will have fun adding to my collection all the time.

So to answer my question –no I can never have too many pastels!

Pastel Painting

Sometimes all you need –

Today was one of those days that no matter what I did I just could not get the drawing to work for the painting.  I struggled, I measured, I erased, I redid..and the more frustrated I begin the bigger the mess was.  Then I crumpled the paper, and played basketball.  Then I moped about the bad drawing.  This certainly was not going to get me anywhere..have you ever been there?

Pastel Painting
Quick Study

I then picked up a piece of left over Canson Pastel Paper proceeded to  open up my nu-pastels and started to play.  I found the frustration draining away and began to enjoy where the colors were taking me.  The above quick study is what evolved from just playing with the pastels.  Sometimes a little play time solves a lot of problems.  I find myself ready to tackle that drawing again– and if I become frustrated, I will play a little – then start again.  Sometimes all you need is a little playtime just to enjoy the process and not the end product.  Far too often we become wrapped up in producing the end  product.  When was the last time you just played with art supplies and not worried about the outcome?