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.


30/30 - 6

Ok, tomorrow is the start of the Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge!


30 Paintings 30 Days - 2

One time, while we were at IKEA, I bought one of these wires that have hangers and little clips and this will be the perfect thing
 to hang my 30/30 paintings to dry!

Hee hee - well this isn't much of a sketch but it got me thinking
and that is part of the process.


Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days - Yikes

Yes, yikes is right. I have signed up to do the 
30 paintings in 30 days September 2014 challenge
that Leslie Saeta is sponsoring on her blog. 

She set up a website and there are by now 
possibly over 600 artists all over the world participating.

She encouraged us to have a theme and I decided to do "Stuff In My Refrigerator" since there are probably at least 30 different things  :o)

I will be posting not only the paintings here on my blog, as well as on her blog - 
but hopefully the paintings' progress too.

For a sneak peek, 
the days up to Sept 1 will be the quick and tiny thumbnail sketches, in preparation.

pencil sketch  2.5  x 2 inches

For this one, I actually did a charcoal sketch with an alcohol wash before painting.

And for all of the 30/30 paintings, I prepared a few 5 x 6 inch but mostly 6 x 8 inch pieces of Arches Oil Paper. Those sizes were the best utilization of the 16 x 12 inch pad of paper.


Skagway River plein-air

We made it to Skagway where it looked as if the weather was clearing up!
Stayed at Sgt Preston's Lodge which I am happy to endorse because it is economical, clean and right downtown (well, nothing is that far away in Skagway anyway).

But as you can see below, the next day was gorgeous so we found a place to set up my pochade box from Alla Prima Pochade hand made by 
Ben Haggett (a little plug there for ya Ben!)
which I dearly love.

How do you narrow-down a scene like this?
I did use my view-finder and then did a quick sketch. This helps me tremendously.

WIP (work-in-progress) - painting sketch being "sketched".

Skagway Summer  oil on black Multimedia art board, 10 x 8 inches
I love this painting. It is the last painting from our "Brooks Range Road Trip". Ten altogether.

Thank you for looking in.


Emerald Lake Extreme (sort of) plein-air

We had a nice stay at Takhini Hot Springs campground, north of Whitehorse -
with a dip in the hot springs pool, of course.

As we drove toward Skagway, AK on the Klondike Hwy
the weather was looking worse and worse.

I kind of had my heart set on painting Emerald Lake, since its green/blues are so beautiful.

The wind was howling and the rain was pelting and as we sat there at the overlook the lake was STILL beautiful even though the weather was bad.

So I took a breath, put on all my warm and wet weather gear and with Matt's help,
I painted!

Matt parked the truck so it blocked the wind and we connected the Best Brella to the door of the truck and it was actually not bad!

The awkward part was when a mammoth tour bus drove up, and someone would come over to me and say, "Are you painting?"

The buses stayed for maybe 3 minutes with people jumping out and snapping a photo and then the bus barreling off in a puff of diesel-laden smoke. 

The buses were too noisy ... so, I don't think any of them heard 

If you go to that link - you can listen to loon calls - we heard the "wail call" 
although there are several other calls loons make.

Matt made an attempt to alert the bus drivers about the loons 
(most likely Gavia immer, the Common Loon)
a male and female with one chick. But they were too much on a schedule to let their passengers know, and one of them even said, "Oh, probably can't hear them with the engine on..." and then he drove off!

The loons were amazingly beautiful to hear - in the wind and the rain!

Emerald Lake   8 x 10 inches   oil on archival panel
I did work on this one just a little when we got home, and probably will leave it as is now.


Minto Bridge plein-air

After Dawson City, we drove toward Whitehorse but decided to explore a road 
called The Silver Trail first.

Just as we got on that road, we saw several black bear on the road!

We found a campground called 5-Mile Lake

... and one night in the tent I couldn't fall asleep and it was light
enough to sketch.

 The next day we explored the silver mining town of Keno and the shipping port of Mayo, 
a village on the Stewart River.

We found a cool bridge and a dreamy painting spot!

omg, see what I mean? The bugs weren't even bad!

Thankfully Matt took some photos - this painting also is not finished
 but I think it will be a joy to paint (it was fun doing it this far)!


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