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.


Natura Morta

Natura Morta (Still Life)

Poppy Pod     Oil on canvas art card   2.5 x 3.5 inches

This little - just finished - painting
 is of a very dry poppy seed pod
 that I have had in my studio for many years. 

Thanks for popping (pun intended) in to my blog!


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!