Friday, January 30, 2015

Do I Really Have To Wear This?

A little levity on this final day of the 30in30 Challenge.  Thanks for following my journey this month it's been a roller coaster.  I'll continue painting most days and will share my results along the way (at least those paintings I think are good enough).  Feel free to follow my blog if you'd like to see what I'm up to.

This sweet granddaughter looked so cute in her giraffe costume for Halloween but you could tell she was really wondering why she wasn't dressed as a fairy princess like her big sister.  You could almost read her mind from her expression!

Do I Really Have To Wear This?, 8x8, pastel

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Below The Foothills

Oh my....I'm afraid today was a gloomy day...and I took it out on my painting.  When I stepped back about half way into it all I could see was a dark moody painting.  I finally just gave in and let it all out.  Oh well....maybe tomorrow will be better.

Below The Foothills, 8x18, pastel

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


How do you paint heartbreak?   I googled this phrase this morning after having to put our sweet little Tubby down unexpectantly.  He wasn't feeling good for several weeks and while he was in for his dental exam the doctor found a large tumor.  I hate cancer.  It was obvious we needed to put his comfort before our own agony and say goodbye.

So, most of today has been a blur.  I was going to blow off painting anything.   It's tough to paint without my little studio buddy.  This evening I decided to try a very quick sketch of him.  While it's far from my's all I can do today.  Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.  Goodbye little guy!  

Heartbreak,  6x8, pastel

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Oh to have the free spirit of a child!  This was a particularly hot summer day.  The grandsons were visiting and playing in the backyard.  They would march on a stone path through the flowerbeds and pick blackberries from the tangled berry patch.  Often the sprinklers would come out to cool off.  On this particular day Tyler was all about cooling off the right the buff (although he was a bit hesitant when he approached the sprinkler).  Not many of us would be so carefree.  That's what I miss about childhood...being footloose and fancy free! 

Footloose, 8x8, pastel

Monday, January 26, 2015

Blue Pond

Painting 26 is a loose interpretation of a pond in Japan that changes colors in various weather conditions.  In wintery weather it's a beautiful blue.

Blue Pond, 6x8, pastel

Snowed In

Ah, remember those hot days of summer?  The days you could lounge around on the patio soaking up the sun?  Perhaps you have in mind a picnic and a barbecue...a walk in the park...a trip to the zoo or an outdoor concert?

About now is when summer seems to be so very far off!  Snow piled high and not a beach ball in site.  But sooner than we think, we'll be dusting off the patio furniture listening to the morning doves cooing and planning our summer gardens.

Snowed In, 6x8 pastel

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Smirk!

Painting 24 of the 30in30 Challenge is Brian...with what is best described as a half smile...better yet...a smirk.  You know how it is...(if you are a grandparent that is).    You've taken 100s of pictures of the grandkids...perhaps even in one single day, trying to capture and encapsulate the overwhelming love you have for them in a spectacularly frozen moment.

Then, you see IT...a golden opportunity! The perfect shot!  Your tremendously awesome and beautiful grandchild is concentrating on something else...gazing off into the distance...unaware of the scene before you.  So, you "sneak up" on him (or her) and attempt to capture that perfect candid moment.  That moment when the light is just SO right...streaming down onto his innocent face.  The colors in the room are alive with vibrancy.  BUT,  just as you are about to "snap" the photo...he senses what you're up to and looks up...quickly changing from his heavenly far off gaze into.......THE SMIRK!    Eeeeeegadddds!

The Smirk!
8x8, pastel

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The First Dance

An abstract underpainting and then a spin-off into a fantasy world.  I imagine these two are on their first date together a bit shy yet attracted to each other.  Oh, what delicious tension.

The First Dance, 6x6, acrylic

Poppy Love

I painted the same poppy field as I did a couple days ago.  One will go to a charity auction and another I will keep...mainline because I love the colors and composition.  I think it looks great framed...or maybe I'll just keep a copy.  In any event....Poppy Love makes me smile.

Poppy Love, 6x8, pastel

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Idaho Pastime

Day 21....I have painting fatigue!

I tackled a picture I thought would be pretty straightforward...but alas, anything short of a paint-by-number set right now feels tedious.   For today...I am crying uncle.  I walk away from this one a bit frustrated and will have to do.  

"Idaho Pastime" is one of the favorite things many people like to do...go fishing.  It is especially a favorite pastime of the men in our family.  In Idaho if you drive by any river, stream, pond, or lake you will see a fisherman, woman and/or child fishing...yes, even during the chilly winter months.

Idaho Pastime, 9x7 pastel

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Field of Poppies

Ok...this painting has nothing to do with my family theme...but I decided it was time to practice a landscape while watching a video demonstration by Colleen Howe Bleinberger.  She has such a soothing and calm was relaxing and fun.  Check it out on Artists Network TV.

Field of Poppies, 6x8 pastel

Monday, January 19, 2015

Assembly Line

Today was a busy day around the house so it was also a play day for art.  Abstract again just for the heck of it.  When I looked at the design as I sketched it out all I could think of was a bridge of some sort with a wave underneath...then I imagined an assembly line.  Thus, the name.  It's a little like my paintings this month, some are big, some are small, and some are simply off the wall.

Assembly Line, 6x8, pastel

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Social Butterfly

This little one has never met a stranger.  When she was about two years old she insisted on saying "hi" to absolutely everyone she saw...especially in the grocery store.   Even though some people would ignore her...she just couldn't take a hint.  She would continue saying "hi" very sweetly over and over...then louder and louder until she got a response.  She has always been our sweet little social butterfly.

Social Butterfly, 8x8 pastel

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Playing Catch-up

Today was a play day...well, not exactly.  I needed to paint three paintings to catch up with the 30in30 Challenge so I dabbled in multiple abstracts...representational abstract I think is the actual term.  It's surprisingly more difficult than it least for me.  All I can say is...keep an open mind. (lol)

The first one completed is called "Market Lady"
12x8.5 acrylic

The second is "Winter Storm on Weber Road"
5x5, pastel

The third is called "Coming Up For Air"....which is how I feel about now. 😊
8x6, acrylic 

Friday, January 16, 2015

We Are All Family

In keeping with my Family Matters theme...

A simple reminder to the human race of what's important in this life.  Painted in my family's favorite colors.

We Are All Family
6.5x3.5, pastel and ink

Thursday, January 15, 2015


What day is this?  I have lost track!  Day 13-15,  "Sisters" is finally done!  I am going to celebrate with a brat (a bratwurst not a spoiled child)...a beer...and a that order.

With the 30in30 I always seem to learn something every single day.  With this one I learned if I go big...I've gotta pace myself because I'm not experienced enough to paint loose and fast.  Oh well.  I'm happy with the results even though I imagine I will continue to tweet it a bit.

These two sweet girls are my grand-daughters and are two of the best girls I've ever known.  They've grown quite a bit since the reference photo was taken but this particular summer evening I remember well.  A warm summer evening on the farm and a barbecue at their grandparents house to celebrate my son-in-law's birthday...what could be better?  

The girls were glowing from the sun setting behind them.  It was also pretty windy so their hair was flying all over the place!  As you can see they were pretty intent playing with their dolls and were oblivious to just how awesome this scene was...or, is that just the opinion of this slightly biased grandma? 

12x18, pastel

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Work in Process....cont.

Well...I am making progress.  I figure this painting is 3-4 times larger than typical for It will take 3-4 days to do....sound logical?  That's my thought and I'm stickin' to it.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Work in Process...

I suspected the day was coming...and here it is!  I shouldn't have been surprised...I chose a complicated piece and started with a large format (12x18).  But, I really love this scene.  I remember the day clearly.  It was a hot summer evening and the sunlight glow around the girls playing was amazing...we'll see if I can pull this one off.  I wish it was better than it is...but I keep reminding myself I have a ways to go. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Pretty in Pigtails

LDay 12 - This sweet spunky little girl is Kristy (aka Beth) when she was all of two years old.  It took quite a while for her hair to grow long enough for pigtails...but finally the day arrived.  She was proud to wear pigtails this particular day along with her favorite colorful pants and matching shoes...and of course bright blue ribbons in her hair.  Every little girl should wear pigtails at least once in her lifetime!

Pretty in Pigtails
8x8, pastel 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Shady Spot

A right of passage for a prospective bride on a wheat farm is to see if she has the stamina to withstand the rigorous days and nights of harvest.  This scene was during my daughter's first harvest working beside her future husband.  Harvest days are long, hard working, dirty and typically hot.  At lunchtime when you're in the middle of massive wheat fields, you don't run down to the air conditioned corner cafe for a bite to make due.  A grain truck provides just enough cool shade for a quick lunch with the crew...then it's right back at it until well after dark.

A Shady Spot
9x18, pastel

Friday, January 9, 2015

Lady in Red

An abstract that includes the favorite colors of my wonderful family members (in staying with my family theme this month).

I worked on this piece for awhile and after playing with the colors and trying to determine which direction to go with this piece, I suddenly saw...a lady in red.  Can you see her?  I see shoulders and the back of her head...she has long redish hair pulled back into a loose French braid.  She seems to be kneeling (perhaps praying) in a church pew and looking up towards what could be interpreted as a bright green cross near a bright yellow spot...maybe looking out a window.  Hmmm....or, maybe not.  

Maybe it's just my imagination...or the guilty little Catholic girl inside me telling me I really should be going to church more often.  Or, the good Lord sending me a sign that says "Cindy, you really are not an abstract painter".  Or, maybe I just have artist fatigue.  That's probably it.  In any event,  I will take it as a sign that it's done.  I am truly thankful for my family and their contribution to this piece...
(hmmm, maybe she's saying a prayer of thanks).

The Lady in Red
8x6, pastel

A Splash of Color 2

A busy day...another little splash to match the color theme of the past couple days.

A Splash of Color 2
8x8, pastel

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Splash of Color

Some just have to give yourself a break.

Today I decided to paint a small colorful square with the thought of using it in the end-of-month collage of all the paintings completed during the month.  In fact,  I hope to make a few more if time permits.   It was a little less stressful...and a little less time consuming so I guess I achieved my goal for today.  

A Splash of Color, 7.5x7.5, pastel

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Hangout

Day week down!

A "Family Matters" theme wouldn't be complete without including our sweet little dog Tubby.  He is very attached to me...literally never more than a few feet away.  He puts in major hours with me in the studio but in the summertime when we're outside, his favorite hangout is on one of the adirondack chairs...preferably in mine.  Here he lays watching me (and occasionally napping) waiting  for me to finish my work in the flower garden and join him.  Life is pretty good for 'ol Tubby.

The Hangout
8x10, pastel

Monday, January 5, 2015

Backyard Ballet

Swim lessons, baseball games, picnics, and dance recitals are all things I love about the warm days of summer.  It's foggy, freezing cold and snowy outside...Oh how I miss those summer days!

This is Emily performing in her first ballet recital.  I believe she was two years old and so proud of her little pink tutu and sparkly tiara.  Recitals for Maddie and Emily always took place in the spacious backyard of their teacher's home.  It is there that parents, siblings, and grandparents gather to watch the kids' summer performances (I think the grandparents were even more excited than the kids).  It's a perfect way to spend a warm summer evening!

Backyard Ballet, 9x6, pastel

Hide 'n Seek

Today's painting is of Zack at the tender age of two.  It's a scene that always makes me laugh because he wanted to play hide and seek.   Not having much experience at it, he hid behind this tree and truly believed that he was well hidden.   He must have thought if he snuck a peak to see where I was I wouldn't see him.   As a good grandma would do, I played along and looked all over the backyard calling his name "trying" to find him.  I laughed a lot when I painted this one.

Hide 'n Seek, 11x7, pastel

Saturday, January 3, 2015


Day four...a break from the snow!

Today's painting is a typical scene that took place whenever my grandsons came to visit.  They always knew where the dump trucks were stored and loved to play "scoop...dump" under the arborvitaes.  Scoop...dump is a name I believe my daughter came up with which describes exactly what they do...nothing more...nothing less...a lots of scooping followed guessed it, a lot of dumping.

8x8, pastel

Friday, January 2, 2015

Say Cheese Frosty...Say CHEEZZZZE!

Oh my....Day Three of the challenge.  After today, I had to ask myself:
   1.  I'm not comfortable painting snow...why did I tackle three snow scenes right off the bat?
   2.  I wish I had built in a few "easy and quick" painting days...I'm in dire need of an easy day! 
   3.  I thought today would be easy since there was only one person in the painting...but I scaled the  painting down too small (6x8)...a fatal flaw.  Trying to get the likeness of my sweet grand-daughter was tough given that her face was all of one inch square.  WHAT was I thinking? Eeeh gads!!!!

(A couple hours and one beer later, I feel much better. I refined Maddie's eyes and smile a bit and will call it good for today)

This snowy day on the farm wouldn't be complete without a nice big fat snowman!  Maddie's smile was full is often the case for a young child taking a picture.  You can almost feel her exuberance.  Now, if she could only get Frosty to "say cheese"!

Say Cheese Frosty...Say CHEEEZZZEEE!
8x6, pastel

Thursday, January 1, 2015

There's Snow Place Like Home!

Three of my grandkids live on a farm.  There are no other kids nearby...not for many miles.  They learned at an early age how to entertain themselves and more importantly how to play together and get along.  Ok....maybe once in awhile they get on each others' nerves but overall they get along very well!

This scene is of a beautiful winter day on the farm.  With lots of snow to make a "sled hill" in the backyard, the kids spent hours on their outside activities.  This scene is of Maddie and her little brother Jake taking their turn down the "hill".

There's Snow Place Like Home!, 10x8, pastel