Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Blessings!

Wishing all my family, friends and fans a joyous Christmas and Prosperous New Year!       

I can hardly believe that Christmas is finally here! The year seems to have gone by so quickly and another is almost here. It's been a challenging one in some ways, but also it's been a wonderful season of growth. Sometimes we need that. 
 I know I haven't been able to post or paint as much as I wanted to this past year and I have missed that as have some of you who follow my adventures. I apologize and hope that in this new season I will be able to do more of both. I have great plans as always and with God's help hope to accomplish some of them this next year. For now I leave you with this recent painting of a Northern Hawk Owl.

 I didn't have any idea what my Christmas card was going to look like and then this little owl flew down from the north woods and has been causing quite a stir in my area. It's rather uncommon for one to show up here so when it did I was determined to go find it. Luckily, it was one very cooperative bird and I got plenty of photo references. And I knew as soon as I got home that this would be the theme for my card. 

So here's wishing you all a new season filled with unexpected blessings found in all the little surprises life has to offer.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Featured Artist on Daily Paintworks

Rocky Bluff Chipmunk
Oh, my gosh, life has just been crazy lately!!! I felt like I was barely keeping up before and then the holidays hit and my activity level really kicked into high gear. It's not been bad though, just much busier than I'm used to or ever intended to be. I try not to schedule too many things during this time of year because I want time to enjoy the season. This year though seems to have taken on a life of it's own.

What I really want to talk about though is my recent association with Daily Paintworks. For the last several weeks I have been posting my paintings to an online gallery on their site. It has been a good move so far. I have had a few sales and more than once have had one of my pieces featured on their Facebook page as one of the "Picks of the Day". This has been great exposure for me. Well, they emailed me the other day with an invitation to be their featured artist for the next week. Boy, was I surprised and thrilled!! Here's how it works....

Starting on Thursday evening Dec. 12th at 10 p.m. Pacific time we are offering a painting give away in honor of me being in their "Artist Spotlight". The above painting "Rocky Bluff Chipmunk" will be given away to some lucky person who has purchased some artwork from their site in the last 30 days. Here's the link to the giveaway:

My interview and some of my art will be posted on their blog and Facebook page for the next week so if you get a chance please pop over there and give it a look. If you are a past customer on Daily Paintworks be sure to sign up for the giveaway. And while you're there remember that a gift of art (either mine or another artist) makes a wonderful and one of a kind gift for that special person in your life or as a treat for yourself!

Gotta get back to work now! I still have commissions to finish and a Christmas card to design!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fall Updates

Great Horned Owl sketch - 4" x 6" watercolor

Life has sure been crazy the last few months so I apologize to my readers for not keeping up with my posts. Sometimes life just gets in the way of our best intentions and the best we can do is ride out the storms. I had great plans to accomplish a lot of painting during the summer months, but other obligations kept me from my art. I am slowly working my way back into it and hope to be painting more regularly again soon.

I am happy to announce that I am now a member of an online gallery called Daily Paintworks. Unlike Etsy which offers handmade items, vintage items and fine art, this site offers only 2D original fine art and many members paint and post their work daily. I have a personal gallery there where I can include several of my artworks for sale in one place and it integrates with my blog so someone visiting my gallery can also read more about a painting they may be interested in. Because they have a large online presence I can gain more exposure for my work besides just having a blog or website.

I am happy about the possibilities with being involved with Daily Paintworks and invite you to check out their site at 
My personal gallery there is:
I will be adding many of my pieces there over the next few weeks as time permits and I invite you to visit often to see what's new. One of the features of membership here is being able to offer my paintings in an online auction and I will be setting those up in the next few weeks as well. This would be a good opportunity to purchase a unique gift for the holidays.

The first painting up for auction will be this watercolor sketch of a Great Horned Owl.

I hope you will give my new gallery a look!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hide and Seek with Hummingbirds

Oh, what a morning I've had!

It was early morning and the sun was still low in the eastern sky and casting a lovely glow on the garden. The sprinklers were on and droplets of water made everything sparkle. I stood at the back door and breathed in the cooler morning air and felt that incredible peace that a summer morning can bring. That's when I noticed two hummingbirds darting in and out of the vegetable garden and playing in the sprinklers. It was a moment too good to pass up. I decided to join in the game.

Not taking time to put on slippers and still in my p.j.'s and robe I cautiously stepped out into the garden with camera in hand. The wet grass was tingly cold on my bare feet as I crept between the crops growing vertically in raised beds, but I hardly noticed so intent was I on sneaking up on the playing birds.
Hummingbird taking a shower in the sprinkler.

Rounding a corner I caught sight of one, head thrown back and feathers askew as it took a shower in the sprinkler rain.
Another posed prettily in the morning glories.
Hummingbird having a bath on a broccoli leaf.
In a moment they were on the move again and one landed right in front of me and splish, splashed a bath in a broccoli leaf, tiny water droplets flying in every direction. Then suddenly they were gone. I stood for a moment alone in my garden surrounded by towering tomatoes and sweet corn and pondered what the neighbors must think of me hiding between the rows in my jammies. I didn't have time to ponder long as two came zooming around the corner and nearly collided with me. I ducked out of the way and then jumped as my bare foot landed on a fat, slimy slug! Eeeewww!
Female Rufous hummingbird.
Another break in the action and I run for the house to put some proper clothes on.....camo! (The neighbors are really getting worried now!) Back in the garden and tucked back in the corn I wait for the action to resume. I hear a whirr of wings and a juvenile male rufous hummingbird lands just inches from me, but too close to take a photo. I can see his reddish orange color starting to develop and when he realizes I'm there he flares his partially colored gorget and launches into the air squeaking and scolding and disappears. Moments later a female comes to rest almost as close and I snap her pretty picture.

The cornstalks are getting scratchy so I move to another location. As I do, another hummer comes in and seems to be doing a little ballet. She dips and bows and spins several slow motion pirouettes right next to me. The light hits just right and I can see she's catching tiny insects. So enthralled by her performance I don't even raise the camera for fear of missing one moment of her dance.
Female hummer and crocosmia.
 Almost two hours later my coffee is cold, there's slug slime on my foot and I've taken nearly 70 photos. I am reluctant to leave and miss any more of these magical moments. All to soon these bright little jewels will move on to their winter homes, my garden will be gone and life will go on to other things. But for now, for this moment, on this most beautiful of summer mornings, I am filled with wonder. My heart and soul sigh and I am thankful for this day and this opportunity to play hide and seek with hummingbirds.
Sketch of hummer bathing in a broccoli leaf.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer Updates

Barred Owl Sketch

Well.....it's been awhile since I last posted. So many things have been happening and this is a particularly busy time of year for me. Most of my time has been taken up with the upgrading and planting of a much larger garden this year. My husband put in more beds and we did some remodeling to the patio area so I could put in more pots of flowers for luscious color and to attract more birds and butterflies. Here's what it looked like about one month ago:

Here's what it's grown to......
 I have already been picking lettuce, spinach, broccoli, pea pods and cabbage. Green tomatoes are hanging on the vines and zucchini will be ready this week. It's quite a lot of work, but I really enjoy the benefits of growing my own food. Plus I love sitting on my patio and looking into my own private jungle and watching the butterflies and bees pollinating the flowers and the hummingbirds zipping around my head. It's my own little slice of heaven.

I have been busy in my studio, too. The little guy at the top of my post is a Barred owl. He is one of a series of small watercolor sketches that I am starting that will be for sale in my Etsy shop. I'm thinking of these as my "sketch of the day" and will be keeping them small and affordable. 
Sketches are typically kept loose and are usually done quickly especially if you are doing work in the field and your subject might move. I do these to keep in practice when I'm not working on a larger piece, to try out an idea or technique, to record a brief moment in time.

Short-eared owl 4" x 6" watercolor
The subjects of my first "sketch of the day" series are four different owls. I seem to be having an "owlie" kind of year and they seem to be a favorite subject among many people so it seemed a good starting point. These little sketches will measure 4" x 6" and are done in watercolor. They will all be available through my Etsy shop and the best part is that now the entire shop has been imported and linked to my Facebook fan page. You can go directly to Etsy or if you are a Facebook fan you can shop right there by clicking the "Shop Now" tab in the upper right of the page. I would especially love it if you would become a fan and share my page with your friends and family. It's simple, here's the link:
or you can click on the link to the right on this page. Either one will take you there.
I also plan to be at a few other local shows this summer with complete information coming as soon as my applications have been finalized.

I hope everyone has some great plans for their summer vacations. I will be in my garden or my studio enjoying myself and when I take a break I hope to see you on Facebook!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

California Gold

California Gold - Acrylic - 6" x 6" - $125.00

This weeks miniature painting is of a California quail. I love these little guys! The males are so flashy with their top knot and intricately marked feathers. They love to perch on top of something and call loudly "chi-ca-go!".
California quail are often seen in large coveys and tend to run everywhere together. When pressed they will eventually flush and fly a short distance before lighting and running off again. If you don't know they are nearby a whole covey of quail flushing at your feet is nearly heart stopping! I know. It's happened to me often!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Twilight Hunter - Short eared Owl

Twilight Hunter 6" x 6" Acrylic - $125.00

Twilight Hunter is a continuation of my series of miniature or small format paintings. This one measures 6" x 6".
 As with all my paintings there is a story.

 In December of last year Snowy owls were again reported in my area so I went out late one afternoon to see if I could locate it. I did indeed find it hunting about 300 yards out in a field. It was too far out for decent photos so I watched it through my binoculars until it finally flew off into a canyon that I couldn't access. 

 By now it was getting darker so I headed for home with thoughts in my head about the white owl. Up ahead I noticed a bird on a fence post and I assumed it was a red-tailed hawk as they are quite common in this area. As I drove by I realized it was an owl I had never seen before. Out loud to myself I'm shouting "owl, owl, owl!" while trying to slow down from 50 m.p.h., checking my rear view mirror for traffic and to see if the owl flew, looking for a safe place to turn around, and grabbing for my camera. All at the same time, of course! Luckily everything was in my favor and I was able to drive slowly back toward it without spooking it. I had just enough time to get a few good reference photos when I noticed a large semi coming up behind me. With nowhere to pull off safely I had to move or risk being smooshed by the looming truck. As the semi whooshed by the owl flew off to hunt somewhere with less traffic, but not without leaving me with images of it reflecting the soft, low light of the day.

Short-eared owls are birds of open grasslands and fields. They hunt both day and night, but are most active at dawn and dusk. They are one of the most widely distributed owls in the world, found across North America, South America, and Eurasia, and on many oceanic islands. They are mottled brown in color and do have very short feathers on top of their heads that they sometimes raise like ears. What I like about them is their beautiful color and those enormous yellow eyes.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Shades of Gray

Shades of Gray - Acrylic - 5" x 5"- $100.00

While out on a walk recently I came across this beautiful little duck, a female Bufflehead. She had just surfaced from diving for food and was resting, completely motionless in the water. Tiny droplets of water sat like little diamonds on her tail. The day was calm, the water like a mirror and she was perfectly reflected in it. The cloudy skies kept the lighting even and the contrasts low creating a quiet study in shades of gray.

 We watched each other for quite a little while and I was struck by the subtle beauty of this tiny duck. Female birds are so often under appreciated because they lack the bright colors of the males, but their understated colors have a beauty all their own and serve an important purpose. During the nesting season it keeps them hidden from predators and helps to ensure the survival of both her and her ducklings

Watching her gave me a sense of calm and I knew that I would paint this moment and share something that might otherwise go unnoticed for it's lack of color and simplicity.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper - Acrylic - 5" x 5" - $100.00

This is the first in a series of small format paintings that I'm starting for upcoming shows that I will be attending this spring and summer. Each of these will be 5" x 7" or less and priced to make it affordable to own a piece of original art. The paintings are done in acrylic on a 1/8th inch hardboard panel and would look great displayed in a collection or on an easel for desktop or bookshelf decor. They are not framed. 

This painting is of a spotted sandpiper. These little shorebirds show up here in the spring and are fairly approachable. They are unique in that the males take care of incubating the eggs and guarding the young while the females often go off and find another mate and start another brood.

If you are interested in this piece or have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me at 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Afternoon Delight

Afternoon Delight- Acrylic-6" x 9.5" $200.00

This painting is available through Daily Paintworks.

It's no secret that one of my passions is bird watching. It's also no surprise when one of the birds I've seen ends up in one of my paintings. The ones in the paintings usually have some story behind them that inspired me to create something that captures the experience and not just the bird.

Recently, I had just such an encounter. On a sunny, but cold afternoon in January I decided to take my dog for a walk at one of my favorite habitat areas, Chief Timothy HMU. It was rather late in the day and the sun was at that low angle in the sky that casts a beautiful warm glow on everything it touches. As I walked through a wooded area I heard a soft, lispy whistling noise overhead. Before my eyes a flock of cedar waxwings descended through the trees to feast on the berries of the hawthorn trees scattered amongst the tall cottonwoods. I stood silently as they made their way from branch to branch hanging like so many circus acrobats to gobble and gulp as many berries as they could. The moment was magical. And just as quickly as they came they moved on to the next feast.

Returning home I knew that I had just had one of those experiences that begs to be painted. This is my painting depicting that moment. I've titled it "Afternoon Delight" because the birds were obviously enjoying the feast that afternoon and I was delighted by the show. I hope you find it delightful, too.