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.


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!


Painting a plover!?

Let me explain ...
Matt, my husband, was telling me a little about 
how he paints his carved birds, but one shorebird, the plover, was frustrating him because the painting wasn't going the way he wanted it.

I had the bright idea to say I would like to try to paint one of his carved birds;
 so he made me one to work on! 

Here it is!

Not sure what I am getting myself into here,
 but will let you in on the process
and progress.
(And I'll tell you more about my husband's beautiful, unique carved birds.)
Plus -

I am nearly finished with my Large Tussock painting and will post it soon.

Thank you for looking in on my blog!


K River - 1A

I have been working on my large format painting of
I think that is what I called it. 
Anyway, it takes more time, 
more paint, 
more planning, 
and did i mention more time? 

I can only step back six feet from my easel, 
so I have to take the painting upstairs to get away from it.

Here is a sneak peek detail from the painting:

It is kind of a fun abstract.

(I am labeling the large paintings A, B, C ... so i can differentiate.)


Gold Creek w/Plein Rein Painters

Today the Plein Rein Painters went to Juneau's own Cope Park
to paint the turquoise rushing waters of Gold Creek.

My painting didn't turn out anything like I thought it would.
I was too stingy with my paint, and/but I didn't want to "cover up" the creek with vegetation.
I need to remember to "paint like a millionaire"!
(David Mollett quote from a Juneau workshop a few years ago.)

It is really hard to simplify the scene. 

10 x 8

Here is Jay painting me, painting. 
He has such a great energy in his acrylic paintings.

Yes, I am working on my K River project, too! 


Plein air - Snow Slide Gulch

Since I am working away on my large format paintings using the small studies, 
I won't have new progress that looks much different from the small ones.

So I will post other things from time to time, such as:

I went out last Saturday with the Plein Rein Painters 
to the area on Gold Creek near the Mining Museum and painted. 
We were there for about 2 hours, with nice weather - after we left, it rained.

Snow Slide Gulch - Perseverance       12 x 9 inches    oil on panel

 I got a pic of Pua painting the same scene.

We were amazed at the colors of the leaves - a very "new" (spring) green that was kind of limey -  with a touch of bronze on some tree tops.

Thanks so much for viewing my art!


K River - All 6

Here are all six of the small studies.

They each are 6 inches square and all but the first one (top left) was done on Arches oil paper with a coat of black gesso. I was most of the way along with that one when I remembered that I was gonna put black gesso on them!

I like the way they look all teeny like this. (There is a glare on the last one, sorry about that).


K River - 19

This is the 6th of my small studies preparing for my 
23.5 x 23.5 inchers.
If all goes well, I may even do more than 6.

Forgot to take a pic before this, but this is the w-i-p.

Fording   6x6 inches   oil on Arches oil paper

To let you in on a little more about this series, the "trip" I speak of 
was to celebrate my college graduation in 1975. 
It was an amazing trek and I will reveal more and more 
as I progress with my series paintings.

Thank you so much for stopping by to take a look!


K River - 18 (& a haiku)

This is the pastel sketch on black gesso for my 6th study ...

 ... and after the grid erased and the alcohol wash ... blah blah blah
you know the drill by now

Here's a little fording haiku:

fording the river
rushing cold - what is the depth?
yay opposite bank!



K River - 16

Happy Mother's Day!
A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. -Tenneva Jordan

I love that quote ... not that I would DO that, I would just cut the pieces smaller! Pie is one of my favorite things! Especially the Wild Blackberry Pie that my mom makes!

So, the final study for On Top is finished, I declared.

On Top       6 x 6 inches        oil on Arches oil paper
I am pretty excited - unexpectedly so - for the large one of these.


K River - 15

I knew this one would be difficult. I am messing with colors, too. 
The original image had very little color anyway. 
It was morning ... direction is southeasterly looking.

This one may take some time ... hang in there with me! I hope I don't rip it up!


K River - 14

Before and after the alcohol wash.

I really hope to be able to show how far down the river was. 
We didn't see a single soul, 
except the evidence of someone, by the footprints they left.


K River - 13

The challenge for this painting will be the atmospheric perspective!
Value value value!


K River - 12

With this painting, I began adding the snow first ...

6 x 6 inches    oil on Arches oil paper
...and the rest of the painting came together fairly quickly.

That snow gave us a scare as it was the first part of August and we had a long way to trek,
but we needn't have worried. Stay tuned.


K River - 11

Pastel sketch.  I erased my guidelines ...

... after the alcohol wash.
 I don't even know if I have to do this, 
because the pastel doesn't come off as easily 
as charcoal on a white surface does.

Tomorrow, some paint!


K River - 10

Next thumbnail (2.5" square pencil sketch).

and the 6 x 6 sketch on black gesso:

I tape the Arches oil paper to a board;
you can see bits of the blue tape at the edges of this photo.

I'm painting these studies on Arches oil paper because
I can cut it to whatever size I want and it's light and easy to handle and store.

This painting will have a far background and a close foreground -
 it might be hard to do the middle ground ... we will see!

Thanks for viewing my blog and keep checking in to see the progressions!

(... and you might wonder who this is ...) 


K River - 9

This is a shot of the painting part-way thru.
That S-shaped tree is fun. I love black spruce.

So why am I doing these studies on black gesso?
Some painters like it for nocturnes (painting at night, or of the night).

Very simply, I think painting pigment over black really intensifies colors.
I guess good old Bob Ross used black gesso for many of his happy little paintings.

Last Lake   6x6 inches    oil on Arches oil paper

I love the way the lake reflection turned out! and the trees, and the foreground...