Welcome to my art blog! I started this as an assignment in a university digital art class. That was in 2008. I decided to keep it going as kind of my art journal. This is where I post my painting progressions and new ideas to think about.


White River plein-air painting

We stopped for lunch at a pull-out overlooking the White River 
in the Yukon Territories, Canada. It was warm with a slight wind.

Side note: In December of 1991 on our way to our new home -Juneau- we stopped at the White River Roadhouse to have lunch or pie or something and
I got my 100 year old sourdough starter from the owner.
I still have it and it makes good sourdough hotcakes, breads, etc!
Right kids?

Set-up and oil sketch.
This one most definitely needs work to be "finished".

 I brought my water soluble oil paints on the trip because of the easy clean-up. I used the same little bottle of water the whole trip! (ten paintings)


Road Trip! First sketch along the way.

We (hubby and I) took a road trip up to Fairbanks and the Brooks Range 
to visit family and friends, camp, see the sights, and ... PAINT!

This is the very first thumbnail sketch (2x3inch) before a painting sketch ... i feel i have more painting sketches than finished paintings.

I actually don't like the idea of going back and working on my plein air paintings ... but in reality, if i want to have a painting i am happy with, i most likely will.

If I keep doing this, perhaps there will be finished paintings in one to two hours!

Thanks for looking in!


Eagle Beach, Alaska - plein air painting!

Yesterday, a group of plein-air painters sailed to Juneau on a big cruise ship and some of our group bundled them in cars and set off for Eagle Beach.

Their group was lead by artist Larry Seiler and it was part of a bigger organized group doing a painting cruise/tour of the inside passage. Here he is telling some painting secrets before beginning his own painting.

The name of the painting tour was the Great Alaskan Plein Air Painting Retreat
sponsored by The Painted Ladies, a painting group in Willow, AK.

Eagle Beach thumbnail sketch  2x3 inches, pencil

I probably should have sat and listened while he spoke, but felt just a little awkward since I hadn't even introduced myself yet and there were lots of people around, so I 
headed down onto the beach and found a little scene to paint. 
I remembered to begin with a thumbnail!

Here is my scene:

and my set-up and partially done painting:

And I forgot to take a photo when I finished, and here it is finished, but I took photo today:

Eagle River      8x10 inches     oil on archival canvas panel
 Yep, an eagle (a brown young one) flew right over me ... also lots of Canada Geese 
honking away as they flew over the river.

I saw whales spouting and lots of people hiking on the Boyscout Trail 
over there on the other side of the river...a beautiful trail, btw - you should go hike it.


Rainy Day! Plover day!

Plein Rein painters did not go out today, 
although I went to our Saturday meeting place and was totally ready to go! 
I decided not to go by myself. 
It was quite nasty with wind AND rain this morning, but I was ready to go!

 So I painted on this little guy. Inside. Dry and warm.
I have never done anything like this before and it was very interesting challenging.
Looking at the real thing, my paint job is rather stylized, but not simplistic.

It is almost like the transition between the non-breeding to the breeding plumage.
I enjoyed it. Maybe Matt (my husband) will let me paint another bird one day!

Today a lady wrote to Matt and said she wanted to buy a decoy carving! 
She lives in Massachusetts!! 
She found more of his work at WorkingBirdsDecoys and you also can check it out. He will be working on his website - or at least his "associate" 
will be working to develop his website in the near future.

Thanks for viewing this little blog.


K River - 3D (no, not that 3D)

Still sweating and working ... working and sweating ...
not too ladylike, but ... it is what it is ...

Worked a teensy bit on the plover, too.
 Maybe more photos tomorrow. 

It is raining like crazy, hope tomorrow is ok for painting en plein-air!

Happy Friday the 13th everyone!


K River - 3C

Yesterday I guess I was having fun ...
today I am working ...

Urrrgh ... painting is hard.


K River - 3B AND notes on another art blogger!

I wasn't able to paint much yesterday, and not very much today 
but I will show you what I have so far.
What the heck, here are photos of my mark-making beginnings
with oil paint (mostly palette knife).
Starting with the mountains and the sky....

There is tons of difference taking the photo when you change the "focus" point. 
Here (the photo above) the camera focused on the fore and mid-ground, 
and you can't really see the sky paint.

This photo shows more sky and a blacker fore-mid ground. Both are interesting.

Just getting going with paint. SO - MUCH - FUN!

Here is an aside that I just have to post today: 

I follow lots of art blogs.

One of them is by woman in England named Sheila Vaughan. Her blog post from yesterday rang my bell so perfectly that I just had to refer you to it. (ya gotta click on that link)

She doesn't write a TON and she has such a fun, exploratory attitude about painting that I am always happy to see what she posts ... uh, yeah I signed up to receive her blog posts ...

She has a short but sweet post for June 10 and one of her points is:
"I love people to see my work and my working process, but I paint primarily for me."

 Ding-ding-ding! That is how I feel as well.

Thank you for viewing my art process ...
and (hopefully) my progress!


K River - 3A ... and progress on the plover

Here you can see the little painting that I will reference to paint the big one 

- I will try not to use the photo.

It takes awhile, getting this all drawn and set on the board.

I'd rather be painting.

I will also be working on the plover. Remember, it is 3D!

Here is a look at what happened to it today:

 left side

right side

It's coming along.

Thanks so much for viewing my art.


Plein Rein at the Juneau Arboretum

Wet Flowers     6x6 inch    Water miscible oils on panel
It was kind of buggy, but not too bad out there.
This was about an hour and a half effort.
Decided to go small today.

The Rhododendron and Peony will be at their peak in a week or two.
Hummingbirds were dashing all around.
One of our group saw a Merganser with her babies.


Plover - day 2

Ok, I haven't put too much paint on yet, but here it is so far.

 Right side

Left side

While painting I have been noticing how beautiful Matt's carving lines are!

I have been studying some of the other decoy painters. (Matt has several books.) 
I am intrigued. 
It will be an adventure to paint this bird!

Oh ... here is the underneath.

and the top ...

Matt's website, Workingbirdsdecoys, while still under construction, will give you a hint of some of the work that he does.

Going out with the Plein Rein painters tomorrow and 
I will report here on how my painting(s) turn out. 
Also, if given permission, will post a few other plein-air painters with their work as well!

Cross your fingers for no rain!


Plover - day 1

Embarking on a new thing. 
On my May 22 post I said I was going to paint one of my husband's decoy carvings.

So I have begun.

This is the beginning...laying in the darks. 
He paints in acrylics and I am painting in oils.

I am going fairly slowly because I don't know what I am doing!!!

I am gessoing the third birch panel for my K River series.

Stay tuned, I really appreciate it!


K River - Storm - fin

Done!  ...  for now ...

Storm at the Divide     23.5 x 23.5 inches   oil on cradled birch panel

Really wanted to capture the magnitude of that storm 
and how the clouds would break and let the light and rain come down. 
I have been looking at it too long, so I will put away for awhile. (It went quicker than I figured it would, however.)
I am happy the way the b&w with the values turned out.

Thank you so much for viewing my art.


K River - 2B

“You can dance in the storm. 
Don't wait for the rain to be over before because it might take too long. 
You can can do it now. 
Wherever you are, 
 right now, 
you can start, 
right now; 
this very moment.”


K River - 2A

Here is the start to my second large format painting (~ 24" x 24").
I am using the small painting (6"x6") to paint from.

I didn't have quite as much alcohol to set the pastel on this one
 and a double layer of black gesso,
so we will see what happens with the underlayment.

So far, so good with the paint appl. No lines like the last one.

 I love this stormy scene!


There was a pause.

Getting back to the "job" of painting, even though I wasn't posting 
I was still thinking about art and checking out my favorite art bloggers, etc.

One of my fav sites is artdaily.org where I found

After sadness, it is good to get back to humor...or at least try.

I think one of my most humorous paintings is this one:

 Nan  (detail) from May 2013

She makes me smile.
Then on our trip back East, at the Boston Museum of Fine Art, was this. I loved it! It was a sculpture under which you drove to park in the lot.

And I always try to do a SP a few times per week. 
This one made me really laugh when I put my glasses back on.

I hope you can find some joy in your day, no matter how small.
...and now back to work!

Thanks for looking in!


Barbara Robus 6/13/1920 - 5/25/2014

11 x 14 inches    oil on canvas

Barbara's Birthday in 2013 - 93 years! Martha is her daughter, and Matt her son (my husband)
We will miss her!


Pink Sweater

 Plein air painting at Gold Creek

Liz took a pic of me at my painting spot. I was talking, I guess.
There were lots of tourists panning for gold in Gold Creek.

 My surface was an 8 x 10 Ultralight Artist panel from
these guys and I think you can also get them from DickBlick.

The problem was that the surface soaked up my water soluble paints very quickly and it is almost dry already! I couldn't get much value perspective going on (the mts across the channel are too dark).

I am thinking I will finish this painting with pastels. The oil painting will be my underpainting.

You may remember the painting I made last year, June, I think,
 that was a small 6 x 6 incher called Yellow Raincoat?

Here is the photo in situ. It sold and I delivered it a few weeks ago!
So exciting!

Pink Sweater W-I-P  

I will post the finished painting if I get it done.

I have begun my next large format K River painting!

Thanks and stay tuned!



Kongakut River - Headwater Tussocks

I think I am finished with this one. I signed it, so it must be finished.
Also, please notice I have revealed the location!

Here is the progression.

23.5 inches square. Black gesso. 
Under-sketch was in white pastel...then, although I didn't get a photo, 
I did an alcohol wash over the pastel to set it.
 (I still am not quite sure I need to do that step, 
since the pastel is less fugitive than charcoal)


Since I only put one coat of black gesso on, 
this is what happened when I put the first layer of paint down:

Can you see those even vertical stripes? Not sure why but I think it is because of grain in the surface of the birch plywood.

So ... I pretty much covered it up with paint and it will be fine.

But! for the next paintings, I will use at least two coats of gesso.

Here are the final stages:

Headwaters (Tussocks)    23.5 x 23.5 inches   oil on cradled birch panel

Thanks for following along. Much more to come.

Oh, and just to let you know, my husband,
 Matt, is making my cradled birch panel supports for these paintings;
 they are 1.5 inches deep.

They are beautiful, and so light! Thank you, honey!