Welcome! This blog began as an assignment in a digital art class. That was in 2008. I decided to keep it going as my art journal. It is fascinating for me to see how a painting develops, so this is where I post my painting progressions and exciting new things I find on creative blogs and websites. I hope you will learn along with me about painting, drawing and all kinds of art.


Palette knife plein air - Juneau, AK

"No Lifeguard on Duty"        Oil on Arches Huile paper     8 x 6 inches
Our painting group went out today 
even though it was misty and rainy. 
We did take cover under some picnic shelters
 at Sandy Beach, however.

Tom and I set up at the cement wall.

Nice beginning, Tom!

Cristine's set up. She painted with just a palette knife, or two today.

Pretty little waterfall view

Pua made a lovely painting, but I didn't get a shot of it.
My scene

Thumbnail sketch       3.5 x 2.5 inches

I forgot to take any in-progress shots! 
I used just the palette knife as well,
and it went pretty smoothly.

Detail (no brushmarks!)

Thank you so much for checking in! 
As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments.


Gastineau Channel Plein Air

Gastineau Channel from Thane Beach      Juneau AK     8 x 10 inches    oil on panel

Yesterday was a day for plein air painting in Juneau
 ... it wasn't raining!
Six of us went out to the old Thane Ore House 
and found some good spots to paint. 
I was on the beach but near the beach grass 
and it got a little windy but my umbrella withstood it.

My scene.
I love the tidelines on the sand 
with seaweed and flotsam 
caught in those curves
and the old pilings gently wearing away.

Note the giant cruise ship heading into tiny Juneau.

Thumbnail sketch.
Was going to title it "After DAYS of Rain" cuz it felt so good to be out of a raincoat!

At home in the studio, I fiddled a little with the ocean 
... lightened it a little to better reflect the sky. 
When I get a good photo, I will update.

Thank you for viewing my art!


Gruening Cabin Artist-in-Residence

Rainy Summer Day     Acrylic on canvas    9 x 12 inches

Maureen Engle is an Atlanta, Georgia artist 
who paints with a palette knife like she is wielding a brush! 

She hosted a trio of Juneau Plein Rein artists for lunch at the Gruening Cabin today. 
Maureen is one of the artists chosen for the Artist-in-Residence summer 2017 program.

(I was going to put a link to the current program description 
and the artists but there doesn't seem to be a current page for it. 
So HERE is the link to the description, 
application process and the 2016 artists.) 

 Maureen shared some palette knife, watercolor and 
acrylic painting tips, fed us soup, 
cole slaw, chili and was a delightful, talented host.

Since she lives in Atlanta, she was thoroughly enjoying the cool SE Alaska weather!

What I learned from her mini-workshop was that:
  • Mixing paint directly on your canvas is perfectly fine, rather than mixing colors on your palette first
  • A palette knife can be very expressive
  • Be aware of the four corners of your painting
  • Acrylic can be stored for a couple of hours without drying out by using a paper palette, laying another clean piece of paper palette on top of your piles of paint and folding the palette up, Rorschach-like
  • Painting with a palette knife on stretched canvas seems to work better for some artists because of the springiness of the canvas
  • Acrylic paintings can LOOK very much like oil paintings
Ernest Gruening Cabin

Maureen's paintings: a Sockeye and a King

I tried out the acrylic palette knife technique
with the painting at the top of this post and this one below:
Stop the Rain!       Acrylic on Canvas  8 x 8 inches

Me, Jay, Cristine and Maureen

We were so grateful for Maureen's kind critiques
 in this valuable and fun mini-workshop!

Thank you for peeking in to my art blog, I appreciate it!


Marsh Lake, YT Canada - plein air to studio painting (fini)

Dark Spring Afternoon  Marsh Lake, Yukon, Canada     9 x 12    Oil & cold wax on cradled wood

Here are some photos of the scene
 by the side of the road where I painted the original sketch.

You could see the rain, luckily it didn't reach us.

I am finished with this painting. 
It may need more value contrasts,
but the thing with CWM (cold wax medium) is
I will be able to go back in and change things.

Here is a great quote from Helen Frankenthaler
a favorite abstract painter from the 1950's and 60's.

In 1994, during an interview with printer/publisher Ken Tyler, 
Helen stated, 
“There are no rules, 
that is one thing I say about every medium, every picture . . . 
that is how art is born, 
that is how breakthroughs happen. 
Go against the rules or ignore the rules, 
that is what invention is about.” 
from artdaily.com

Thank you so much for checking in to view my art! I appreciate it.


Marsh Lake, YT Canada - plein air to studio painting (2)

Progress has been made! 
But it takes quite some time 
for the oil and cold wax medium to dry 
so I am not quite finished with this painting.

Began with some basic shapes.

Found this cradled wood panel at Blick's in Seattle 
and thought it was a good size for my first cold wax medium (CWM) painting.

I prepped the raw board with acrylic gesso.

Then mixed up some paint with the CWM (about 50/50),
 and scraped it on the board.  
The CWM + oil paint was thick and smooth, 
but not buttery like oil paint right out of the tube.

I began scraping into the paint. 
Oh! That's right, I put some marble dust 
into the brownish paint/CWM mix for the closer mountains. 
You can kind of see that in this shot.
This view is with the white and CWM covering the top fifth.

I love the texture already! Maybe next post it will be finished.

Thanks so much for checking in!


Marsh Lake, YT Canada - plein air to studio painting (1)

you can click on that link to learn more.

As we made our way to Whitehorse I spotted a good wide place along the road
 with a good view of the lake and distant hills, and a great sky. 

We stopped and I made a quick pencil sketch of the scene:

And a quick painting sketch as well:

Marsh Lake, Yukon Territories, Canada            8 x 10 inches       oil on Multimedia Art Board

At home, to get the feel of the sketch again, put some watercolor in a little sketchbook.

Next post will be 
more progress for the painting
 "Marsh Lake, YT" (not sure of title quite yet).

Thank you so much for checking in to this blog!


Bear Glacier, British Columbia - plein air to studio painting -

In May, we flew to Seattle to visit family 
and retrieve our pickup. 
We drove home to Juneau 
via the Cassiar Hwy, Alcan 
Skagway, AK.

 I painted a few times along the way.

One place we had always wanted to visit
 is Stewart, BC and Hyder, AK 
so we made the left turn at Highway 37A 
from Meziadin Junction at Milepost J 97.5.

We "ran into" the beautiful Bear Glacier, in British Columbia:

and I made a quick pencil and painting sketch:

Bear Glacier, BC   pencil  5 x 4"

Bear Glacier, BC    oil on linen plein air sketch    8 x 6 inches   
Matt took a couple of photos 
while I was working (it was pretty chilly, 
so I am bundled up):

Back home, found a piece of Masonite that I had gessoed black.
Sketched in general guides with my pastel pencil.

And ... the result:

Bear Glacier, BC    oil on Masonite panel  18 x 11.75

Thank you so much for viewing! 
Hope you are all having a good summer - 
Solstice is almost here!


Peaks - 11th of 11 paintings from the JAHC March show

This, my last painting from the show,
 was born from a failed landscape.

Peaks     Oil on canvas panel   8 x 10 inches

I made a larger painting, with Peaks in mind that I will share on my next blog post.

The artist statement for our show 
was a poem made from some of the titles 
we were tossing out there as possibilities.

With kaleidoscope eyes

shapeshifters escape artists,

unlearn how the light

gets in optic verve,

taking chances, eyes wide

  open  — poetry of space.

Our Kaleidoscope Eyes title fit our show well. 
Here are a couple of shots of some paintings on the gallery wall.

Here are the three of us!

Timi, Teri, Barbara

Thank you for following along!


Blaze - 10th of 11 paintings in the JAHC March show

There is not much story for Blaze
I did use oil sticks and a lot of experimenting. 
Worked on it for longer than any of the others. 
I like that it looks as it there is a fire inside a cave 
and to me it looks like there is a waterline reflecting some of it.

Blaze       Oil on canvas panel    12 x 9 inches

Here it is in its frame.

There is one more, which I am posting very soon!

Thank you so much for viewing my art!