Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fly 1 - The Poynder

Well, we're off and running with the January 30in30 Challenge!

The theme I chose is an artist's nod to the men in my life who love to fish...which is the case for almost all of them I think.  From my dad (who died in a fishing boat accident on the Mississippi) to my brothers, husband, son-in-laws and grandsons the love of fishing has been in my life since day one and is alive and well today. 

I'm sure throughout this month I'm going to learn a whole lot more about fishing...specifically about fly fishing...and more specifically about flies.  I'm planning on painting 30 flies and I've already learned that there are, probably thousands of various fly patterns!  

I chose this first fly solely because it's so darn beautiful!  I don't believe it's a fly that would be used here in the Pacific Northwest because it's an Atlantic salmon fly...a "wet" fly which means it goes under opposed to a "dry" fly which is designed to sit on top of the water.  

A shout out and special thanks to Monte Smith who has graciously allowed me to use his flies as my inspiration.  If you'd like to learn more about flies, check out Monte's blog at it's loaded with lots of fly tying instructions, images and other fishing resources.  Monte is a master at tying flies!  Who knows, by the end of the month, I may be typing my own flies!

                                                            The Poynder
                                                          5x7, soft pastel

Monday, December 28, 2015

Oh God...What have I done?

I said I wouldn't do it.  I promised myself and my husband I wouldn't do it again.  I'm always tapped out....exhausted after doing it... so I said I was done with that nonsense!  After all, I think I'm getting to old to push myself so much!!!!  Too tired to start such a project again!  Not sure it's even beneficial.... and besides which, I'm just toooooo busy!

But then..........

The call to artists came a couple weeks ago...."sign up for the January 30in30 Challenge" Leslie says.  Ha!  (I was solid in my decision)...."sorry, but no.....absolutely not this time'".   I've moved on.

And now, here it is December 28th and I just pulled the trigger and signed up again.  Oh sweet Jesus, what have I done?  Will I never learn??

Maybe this time it will be easier....stay tuned to find out.

Ok...This is an update as of January 5th for the above post....Please forgive my drama queen comments above...the Challenge isn't that bad.  Really it isn't.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Today I had two paintings to wrap, is an acrylic on canvas (24x30 inch) of Scooter "A Warm Place By The Window".  This is a painting you may be familiar with that I thought I'd attempt to paint much larger...and in acrylic no less (a medium which I seldom use and am not proficient at).  It turned out well enough to put up in my studio at least until I decide if it's actually finished.

The second painting is a gift....(I'm hoping I'm not giving it away)...after all, Christmas is a day away but I'm betting this recipient isn't subscribing to my blog.

Atlantic Salmon Fly
5x7, soft pastel

Monday, December 21, 2015

Frozen Dog Day

This is Boone.  He's a very special dog because he's my grand-dog.  I had the pleasure of playing with the litter of pups (he is a Pudelpointer)...and helping to pick him out three years ago.  Before he was ready to leave his mom, I visited him and his litter mates several times.  Early on I could tell that he was going to be a good family dog.  More importantly though, the breeder said he was going to be a great bird dog for my son-in-law Jason and grandson Jake.  And that he is!

Boone goes to work on the family farm each day with Jason.  They share many many long days together working the farm.  But on this particular winter's day, it was time for some fun! 

Pudelpoiinters are breed to retrieve birds...a job Boone does well.  So well in fact I think he was completely oblivious to that fact that he was covered in icicles as he posed for his picture at the end of the day.

Frozen Dog Day
11x14, soft pastel     

Friday, December 18, 2015

Boldbrush Win - An Unexpected Honor

Art competitions...haven't been my thing. I guess I'm as competitive as the next person but I really feel that I'm just beginning my journey as an artist (especially a pastelist). That said, I do understand the value of feedback. Especially when the feedback comes from an independent third party. 

I meekly entered a painting in FASO's BoldBrush Competition in October. There were many many excellent entries. Many talented artists out there producing stunning work. So, once I entered I promptly put it out of my mind. Then one day in November, I received an email from a collector who congratulated me on my win. WIN? What win was he talking about? I quickly checked online and sure enough my painting of Scooter received recognition as one of two Outstanding Pastels for that month.  The article below is one of the benefits of that recognition. 

I liken the experience to being hit by lightening. I don't expect it to happen again...but I was very pleasantly surprised and very humbled. Ok, I guess being hit by lightening isn't a pleasant surprise...but you get the idea.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Darby left this world a few days ago and is greatly missed by his human.  The first week is especially tough.  So, I thought I'd try to cheer her up today and remind her of happier times.

That's the funny thing about Facebook...or any other social media site.  You can communicate with like minded people and support one another through all the trials and tribulations this crazy life throws at you.  It was fun painting Darby with his gorgeous pink ears..even the grass was reflecting off the fur on his chin! I imagined him running and playing (wherever it is we all go)...maybe with Scooter and Tubby!

8x6, soft pastel

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Hollyhocks 2

For some reason I failed to share this second Hollyhocks painting (the first one was completed last May).  I love this was captured on an early morning walk in Door County, Wi.  I just had to try it again.  It hangs in my house and I love it...must be the vibrant colors!

Hollyhocks 2
12x9 soft pastel

Saturday, December 5, 2015


This past week was crazy busy but I managed to find time to paint at the greenhouse along with a few of my plein air buddies.  Although it was a bit cold, I was able to persevere long enough to paint a flower (red of course).

10x8, soft pastel