My Pond in the Woods

‘Duckweed Pond III’   5.75″x 5.75″
Oil on panel – January 5, 2018

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I often stop by this pond in our nearby forest preserve. Every time I see it, it has changed from the last time, depending on the time of day and year. I hope to do a series depicting the four seasons at this same location. It was a joy to apply the paint thickly and quickly. I like the reflection and the yellow light in the distance.

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Just Do It

‘Hawaii Wildlife’   10″x 10″
Oil on panel – January 3, 2018

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It seems that the more time that lapses after finishing one painting, the more reluctant I am to start the next. It’s perplexing, because I delight in the painting process. I’ve heard of artist’s block, but am not sure if that’s what’s happening. It could just be sheer laziness. All I know is that I had to make myself sit in front of the easel and do something. This is the result. The process of mixing colors and slowly forming an image fascinates me. It is also mentally demanding. I was happy with the result—it conveys the energy and light I was trying to quickly capture.

 

Feeling the Holiday Spirit

‘Christmas Reflections’   16″x 16″
Oil on canvas – December 26, 2017

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After having worked on a beach painting for much of November, I wanted to paint something during the month of December that would get me into the holiday spirit. This one allowed me to continue to learn about how to paint reflections, as well as remind me of my favorite childhood ornament and the brightly colored bulbs we used to put on the tree. The bulbs no longer work, but I never could throw them away. So glad that they became a source of inspiration!

 

Lesson Learned

‘Green Sands Beach’   18″x 24″
Oil on canvas – December 7, 2017

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I started this painting with a desire to come up with a powerful composition, using fresh brushstrokes, that would draw attention to the bright blue area in the upper right where the water pooled between two rock formations. At the end of my fourth session at the easel (usually over two hours each) I got some feedback from fellow artists. One said the painting was all about the blue colors and rock formations, which needed more detail. Another thought that the beach and the people were my center of interest and that I should brighten the beach color and add more people. Two others said that I had a long way to go to before it was finished.

It left me feeling confused about how to proceed. So, for now, I’m taking a break and will just let it sit for a while. My conclusion from the experience is that while feedback is always welcome, I must have confidence in myself as an artist and trust my vision.

I’m Always Learning

‘Afternoon Teatime’   24″x 18″
Oil on canvas – November 9, 2017

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This is the second teacup painting in a larger format for me. It was a fun challenge trying to capture the local color, as well as the reflections, light and shadows. But the creative process is rarely tidy. What I struggle with is keeping the original inspiration and spirit alive throughout the different sessions at the easel.

The Colors of Rust

‘Old Blue’   9″x 12″
Oil on panel – October 5, 2017

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In 2002, my then 16-year-old son bought this 1959 Dodge pickup truck from a neighbor for $100. He used it often to commute to high school and entertain his friends. At various times it has had a full swimming pool in the back bed, a used sofa and assorted junk. He even took a brave date to senior prom in it.

When he left home, my husband kept it functioning so that he, too, could take joy rides around town. It also served as a transport for fermenting wine from a nearby vineyard. Now that it may be up for sale, I wanted to capture its classic and unique character. Although originally blue, time has taken its toll on the body. I was fascinated by the many colors of the rusted metal while painting this one. What fun!

 

Teatime Pleasure

‘Jo’s Teacup’   20″x 20″
Oil on canvas – September 26, 2017

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This painting is a tribute to my mother-in-law, Josephine. Although we were very different from one another, we always came together over a cup of tea. I learned much about her during those shared afternoon “teatime” conversations and was honored to inherit over fifty unique teacups from her collection.

Tree Shadows

‘Duckweed Pond’   16″x 16″
Oil on panel –  September 7, 2017

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This pond is a favorite place to stop on my regular bicycle rides through a nearby forest preserve. It seems to always be changing. Sometimes the water is clear and reflective; at others, the entire surface is covered in duckweed. Its intrigue is enhanced with the changing seasons and different times of day.

I had a strong vision in my mind for this painting. The blue shadows on the lime-green duckweed were graphic and abstract. It reminded me of an M.C. Escher painting in that there is the surface of the water, the shadows of the trees on that surface and then foreground and background vegetation.

Sky and Land

‘Wisconsin Expanse’   12″x 9″
Oil on panel – August 23, 2017

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It’s just sky and land, but what an astounding sky and what expansive land! Our drive through Wisconsin a couple of summers ago left a lasting impression on me. The clouds were dramatic as they cast massive shadows on the gently sloped land below. It inspired me to cherish the abundance of our earth.

Grown Up Color Play

‘Veined Glory’   10″x 10″
Oil on panel – July 28, 2017

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I got gloriously lost in the undulating shapes and brilliant complementary colors of these coleus leaves—just put on some good music and played with paint—pure joy!