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.


George Black Ferry plein-air

Still traveling home in July, now in Canada, we drove a road called 
which led us to Dawson City on the Yukon, the mighty Yukon River!

We had to cross the Mighty Yukon on a little ferry called the George Black Ferry. 
It was exhilarating and gave us not just a little feeling of trepidation (we unbucked our seatbelts, for instance). 

It is a very small ferry, but a giant 18-wheeler was next to us, 
and cars behind us.

It was kind of like this! This video shows the ferry on the west side of the Yukon, with river flowing past Dawson City on the east bank.

... but when we crossed, we were next to the cab of the 18-wheeler and 3 cars behind us. The big truck in the video must have been the only one crossing that day ... 
or was very very heavy?

Anyway, even after telling myself I was crazy, 
I decided to try and paint the ferry on the Yukon - a sketch first.

 Here is the ferry docked and off-loading cars (campers, etc) in Dawson City.

(Note my new hat ... it was a hot, sunny day! i should not have had a turtleneck on!)

And this is the way it still looks. 
I have much work to do to finish this little sketch...but so far, so good! 
Glad I took a photo of the ferry.

Tomorrow, the Silver Trail!

Thank you for reading my blog.


Tok River plein-air

Tok River bend    oil on archival Belgian linen   8 x 6 inches
This painting was done at our campsite along the Tok River, 
just outside of Tok (pronounced 'toke') Alaska.

Very quickly because the light was changing - of course.

(ps This is my 500th post!)


North Santiam revisited

In April and May of 2013, my husband and I were driving from southern Oregon
 to Alaska, stopping to visit family along the way ... and paint.

I posted this painting sketch 

and I always knew I wanted to finish it. 
So I finally did.

Snow Melt, North Santiam    oil on archival canvas panel, 8 x 6 inches

I do like how this little painting turned out. It looks better in real life, I think.

Also, I am embarking on a September project that I will reveal in one of my next posts.

Happy painting!


Cope Park - Gold Cr plein-air revisted

You might remember this painting from earlier in the summer. 
May 17th to be exact.

It felt rather forest-firey, and it wasn't really finished.  
So I added some green trees and bushes (the lighting wasn't working, but you get the gist):

Gold Creek @ Cope Park   10 x 8 inches  oil on archival canvas panel

I think it is better...at least it is more the way it actually was 
there along the creek in the spring.

Check back for more "revisits" that I am working on. 
(...and I will get back to my Brooks Range road trip eventually)

Thank you for viewing my art!


Juneau, Alaska's Thane Beach plein-air

Well I forgot that I was supposed to post this yesterday, but no one complained,
so here are the sketches and photos from the morning (about 2 hours).

Thumbnail sketch below - quite horrible but it helps me get my bearings.

It was a sunny, not too windy day.

Got my Bestbrella up!

I got this thing home and noticed many things wrong, 
so I did finish it in the studio. I think it is finished anyway...
Not sure why the cropped version didn't load...tried it twice.

Thane Beach    oil on Multimedia lightweight art panel, 10 x 8 inches

The rusty roofed building in the middle ground is an old warehouse 
associated with one of the Juneau gold mines.


Wiseman, Alaska Old Post Office plein-air painting

Weather in the Brooks Range was rainy the day after we drove up the Haul Road to Galbraith Lake and so was the next and the next ...

... so we went back to Fairbanks.

But before we left I did have the chance to begin a painting sketch of
 the old Wiseman Post Office.

In the rain. (reminded us of SE Alaska...)

I made a sketch, it is not as small as a thumbnail but serves as one.

5 x 8 inches

If you look closely you will see the raindrops!

The painting will have to be finished in the studio, 
or maybe I will take it back up with me when we go to Wiseman next summer?


Swoop plein-air - Brooks Range, Dietrich River Valley

Since it was early in the day, we stopped at another spot 
(a gravel pit actually, as shown)
and I made another painting sketch.

The Dietrich river is between the road and the mountain.

thumbnail first

I don't know what the name of this cool mountain is but I have named it


because that is how it turned out when I painted it.
As you see, the real thing doesn't have that much of a swoop.

I would love to stand on the top of that point.

I don't have the finished version yet, will post later.

Oh, and yesterday I got a plein-air sketch done when I went with the Plein Rein painters to Thane. It was a gorgeous gorgeous day! Will post that tomorrow.

Thanks for checking in!


Brooks Range, Sukakpak Mtn plein-air painting

As we were driving in the Brooks Range on the Haul Road north of Coldfoot and Wiseman,


came into view.

Really a magnificent geologic formation. It was a fabulous day, luckily and as it turns out, the best day we had for this stay in the Brooks Range.

We drove along and found a good spot to paint 
on a gravel bar of the Middle Fork Koyukuk River.

This is the thumbnail sketch for the painting:

 Matt got some shots of me painting with a bug-shirt on. 
The skeeters weren't very pleasant.


 And this is the plein-air painting that happened ... about an hour's effort.


Middle Fork Koyukuk River     oil on Multimedia lightweight art panel  8 x 10 inches


Tetlin NWR (Yarger Lake) plein-air painting

So I don't know who this person is, but I like their quote:
There is an undeniable urgency when painting outdoors – nature's so grand, the canvas so small. It takes the human mind with all its grand abilities and complexities to sort through the overwhelming visual feast set before it and re-create on canvas the essential components of such beauty and wonder. - Jan Blencowe 
My thumbnail sketch here is pretty sketchy, to say the least. But ... we had a great time watching the birds and other wildlife at this little lake in the Tetlin NWR.

We think this little sandpiper is a Lesser Yellowlegs.
 It is sometimes hard to tell.  He was getting pelted by the rain! (We were in a blind.)

 We saw beaver, muskrat, Sandhill Crane (heard them too!), 
Spotted Sandpiper, grebe, scaup, Common Goldeneye, Mew Gull, Gadwall (?)
 I did a teeny painting! (see above quote)
Summer Green   6x8 inches,  oil on linen


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.