Monday, May 30, 2011


Well, this was an interesting painting that was simple on the surface and presented me with one challenge after another. This is DAFFODIL FLOUNCE, an 11 x 14 watercolor on Arches 140.
First off, after using Arches 300 lb paper several times in a row, I found the 140 very lightweight. It just handles differently. I think I will still use it for smaller paintings, but for this size and up, I believe I've come to like the 300 better. As I have several sheets of the lighter paper (which is heavy enough, just not as heavy as the 300), I will be using it up - it's too expensive to let it just sit there in my paper box. But from now on, I will be buying the heavier paper.
And it is always a challenge when the artist drops a brush loaded with dark sepia paint onto a pale blue sky. Yes, well. Thank goodness I've been using this medium long enough to know a little trick or two!
Then there was the Sheltie himself. I know these dogs, I've had them all my adult life. I know how they move. But as I was working on this little guy, I realized that my photo had been taken from a 3/4 view from behind, and what I wanted was more of a profile, so the feet were not in the right position. By this time, I had too much color in place both with the dog and with the daffodils, which were also not looking as I wanted them to, so I started over.
Keeping in mind the variation from the photo that I wanted, I got going on the dog. And this time, it worked. The little fellow who modeled for me for this painting has the most wonderful gait - it's so full of animation and the joy of living. To my admittely biased mind, all Shelties move beautifully, but this guy is magic.
The first daffodils I did were OK, but too individual for my liking, so this time, I made sure to mass them, and I like the effect much better.
There is always something that can be done if things don't look right, but there comes a time in a watercolor, that if it isn't working, the only choice is to start over. I'm really glad I took the time to re do this one. I find DAFFODIL FLOUNCE to be a bright, happy painting. Hope you enjoy it too.
Available . . .. $400.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

I've been spending some time this week looking over a few of the old EQUINE IMAGE magazines. In planning where I want to go, I find it often helps to look at where I've been, and what was happening 'way back when'.
In looking through these magazines, I'm fascinated to see that what was AMAZING EQUINE ART then, still is of course, but that a lot of work that I admired for the technical sparkle, although still every bit as wonderful, seems not out of the reach of my abilities now. My skills as an artist have grown. Obviously, one hopes to do just that, but it is encouraging to see it verified there on a glossy page. Even though years have passed, I'm still proud of my watercolor painting that appeared in an EQUINE IMAGE article. 'DID SOMEOME SAY COFFEE?" is a watercolor and I'm pleased with the way I handled it, but I wonder what I could do with it now.
In the ensuing years, my art journey has taken me on various paths. I've done a lot, oh, a LOT of commission work, and I've explored Acrylics and become very comfortable with Colored Pencils. And there have been very few days where I've not been in my studio for a little while at least, working at my craft.
Now as I contemplate a new chapter in my art life, I can do so with pride because I know I've put in the hours, done the research, and pushed and pushed myself until I have arrived at this new level.
And while my focus as stated in the article " I feel a great need to record the local pasture scenes, various horse events, and most of all, the magical relationship between people and animals" remains valid, that too, has morphed somewhat. I still paint horses - they are so deeply rooted in my soul that I believe I always will. But my equally great love of dogs and cats has blossomed in my art and now I find myself painting more dogs than horses, and the felines need their time too. Although my commission work is still done mainly in Colored Pencil, my old love of watercolor has taken hold almost to the exclusion of other mediums, and I'm enjoying the challenge, mystery, and complexity of this charming, demanding medium.
Looking back can be a good thing, because you can see how far you've come. Now, eyes on the present and future . . . .ready, set, PAINT!

Friday, May 20, 2011


I LOVE the whole beautiful procession of Spring. The world seems to get a little better when the fields start to green up, and soon there are snowdrops and crocuses in the garden. A little later, the daffodils arrive and then the tulips, and about that time, the trees start to look like they are wearing pale green, lacey shawls over their heads. It's that time, too, that the foals start to appear in the fields with their big curious eyes and long spindly legs. At first, they stay pretty close to Mum, but after a few weeks, the curiosity wins and they start exploring their world. No matter how many times I see them, it's still always an "Ahh!" moment for me.
Some years ago, I used to watch this little guy because he was so totally charming. Every time we'd drive past the horse farm where he lived, my eyes would find him immediately. One of the things he loved to do was to hang out by the farm house, and I've painted him having one of his impromtu visits.
"HI THERE. IT'S ME" is an 11 x 14 watercolor on Arches 300 lb paper. This little fellow is looking for a good home. Asking price, matted, $400.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


This is PHOENIX. I wanted to express my belief that beauty is something strong, and that even though ideas of what is beautiful change over time, and there are even dark times when it seems to vanish, the essence of beauty is a constant. I've chosen an Andalusian as my symbol of strong beauty, and the classical pillars to represent beauty past. The poppies are the future. Anyone who has planted corn poppies in their garden, and then decided to change their location, knows that they will always renew themselves where they decide to bloom.
PHOENIX is a 12 x 16 watercolor on Arches 140 paper. This painting is sold, but note cards are available.