Monday, December 16, 2013

Studio 30

Studio 30 was a warm, colorful place to paint last Friday.  Our model, Cicely, was dressed as a ballerina with face painted and glittery, while music from the Cirque du Soleil played in the background, creating a mood of fantasy.  I painted the portrait first on 11" x 14", then the dancer on 16" x 12".  Maybe I'll add more swirls?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Koi 2

I enjoyed painting the koi from the Japanese Garden on a 16" x 20" format, so did another on a 12" x 12" canvas.  Koi is the Japanese word for carp, which does not sound as inspirational or serene!  These three fish look to me like they're in a happy place.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


Last summer I spent a lovely afternoon at the Japanese Garden in Washington Park, visiting the Noguchi sculpture exhibit in the tea house, contemplating the Zen sand gardens, walking the paths along perfectly placed stones, and enjoying the koi fish among water lilies.  I combined some of my favorite elements in this 16" x 20" painting of Koi, in oil.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


What can be more bright & cheerful than sunflowers?

I re-worked these two small acrylic paintings, the landscape from Sauvie Island and a still life long gone, remembering their brightness.  Today I'm feeling thankful, not just for the turkey with all the goodies still waiting in the refrigerator, like other American families, but for the beauty where I live and my time to try to capture it and share it with you.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Figure painting

Studio 30 is a bright place to paint figures with other artists, an oasis of color on a gray Portland day.  Our model was dressed as a 1920's "flapper" with feathers, fur, jewels and pearls.  

Sunday, November 3, 2013


I discovered Clackamette Park in Oregon City on a cool, clear afternoon.  It is located where the Clackamas River flows into the Willamette River, across from West Linn.  A peaceful place surrounded by highways and city.  I painted in oil on a 12" x 16" canvas board.  My companions were quacking mallards.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall color

It was a cold and foggy day to walk in the Hoyt Arboretum and paint Fall color.  I liked the contrast between soft, muted subtle grays and vivid yellow, red and orange leaves.
This was my first plein air painting, on 9" x 12", along the Maple Trail.  Expecting the fog to lift and light to change, I painted quickly, but the fog lingered.

 The second painting is of the same scene, just cropped closer and with more emphasis on the horizon.
11" x 14", both in oil.

Wandering in search of more color!  Thanks, Vicki, fellow artist and companion!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Just ducky

This little wood duck is painted on a 6" x 6" canvas supplied by Blick Art Materials, which will be my contribution to the 2013 Wild Arts Festival November 23-24.  All canvases will be sold for $40 each to support the Audubon Society of Portland. To learn more, visit

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


On a sunny day Fall day, I painted at Laurelhurst Park.  "Fall Trees" is oil, 9" x 12".

Monday, October 7, 2013


Saturday was sunny with a hint of Fall in the air while I painted plein air at the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, as part of the Willamette Falls Festival.  There were pumpkins, scare crows, baby farm animals, displays, a garden, musicians and all sorts of family friendly activities.  Harvest Pumpkins is oil, 9" x 12".

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


On a gray afternoon a few days ago I walked past the Old Dahlia House and saw all the colorful dahlias still blooming as if it was still summer, so I bought some to brighten my home.  The first painting , Dahlias in Mostique Vase is 8" x 10", the second one with a blue background for more color contrast is a small 5" x 7", both in oil on stretched canvasses.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Winter already?

On this rainy Fall day, I'm looking forward (and backward) to Winter.
Two 6" x 12" oil paintings, based on previous plein air pencil sketches and paintings, my favorite view of Mt. Hood from Mt. Tabor, when clouds break to reveal it in snowy majesty.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sandy River

Another painting of the Sandy River at Dabney State Park, this one painted in my studio, a more intimate composition on a small canvas, 5" x 7".

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sandy River

It was an overcast morning at Dabney State Park on the Sandy River as I painted the sand bars and shallow water.  Then suddenly the sun was out, completely different light and colors, so I turned my easel around and painted the Stark Street Bridge for a second plein air painting.  Both are 9" x 12" in oil.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Farmers Market

Another Wednesday at the Portland Farmers Market at the South Park Blocks, this time I painted colorful vegetables across from the Rick Steffen Farm booth.  It's wonderful to paint something that looks good enough to eat, and then it is!  Oil on 12" x 16" canvas board.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sunday in the Park

It was a lovely Sunday at Laurelhurst Park with artist friends.  Za Vue brought Jennifer, our model, dressed in a fairy tale dress.  Any dwarves, gnomes or fairies, though, are a figment of the imagination!  Jennifer 1 (side view) is 12" x 16" and Jennifer 2 (front view) is 11" x 14", both on canvas board, painted in oil plein air with some finish work in the studio.  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Farmers Market

The South Park Blocks in downtown Portland become a Farmers Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays,
providing feasts of every type.  I set up my easel across from flower sellers displaying sunflowers and dahlias of every color and variety and painted in the dappled shade, with nearby banjo music.  This 9" x 12" canvas board is painted in oils in plein air.  I brought home more dahlias to inspire more paintings.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Summer on the river

Tuesday was hot so we took a drive down the old Columbia Gorge highway to the Sandy River, to swim and paint and people watch.  It was crowded for a weekday with boaters and floaters.  I managed to find a spot in the shade with a view of the river just large enough for my easel and body.  One step back and I got stuck by a sharp branch, shrubs on my sides, a steep sand dune in front.  So I painted fast and took lots of photos for future reference!  8" x 10" oil paint on canvas board.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Day at the beach

Sunday was a long, sunny and warm, productive day at the beach on Sauvie Island for Scott Gellatly's plein air workshop.  We had informative talks and demonstrations and plenty of painting time at this private residence on the Columbia River.  I brought two 12" x 16" canvases, the first divided into four parts for thumbnail studies as an aid to select a view to develop a larger painting. Doing several studies also focused attention on the way light changes through time.  I especially concentrated on the warm hazy sky colors, and later in the afternoon clouds appeared on a darker blue sky.  I experimented with oil paints and a new gel medium from Gamblin that works well on a plein air palette.  Loved the slow drying flow of oils compared to acrylics, but hated the bits of debris that get stuck in the wet paint!  

Friday, August 2, 2013

Smith Rock

This is another painting of Smith Rock, oil on a 12" x 12" square canvas, from the same photo I used for two acrylic paintings for the Muse Art Artist a Day series.  In this more compact version, I emphasized the warm colors of the sun gleaming on the  nearly vertical stone faces, the edge of the Crooked River Caldera formed from a huge ancient volcano.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Small things

Just a small glimpse of my little paintings that will be on display at the Sidestreet Gallery "Small Things" show during August.  My mini paintings are 6" x 6" or less.  Good things come in small packages!  The I Ching predicts "success through what is small".  Everybody has wall space for one of these small treasures! Sidestreet is located at 140 SE 28th Avenue, Portland, and I will be there for First Friday August 2 at 6 pm.  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tabor Day

Last Sunday I participated in Tabor Day, the one year anniversary block party for Songbird Cafe.  There was music, food and art to raise funds for the Friends of Mt. Tabor Park.  I set up my exhibit of paintings along with artist friend Celeste Bergin, and other friends came to visit.  We also set up easels to demonstrate painting.  I brought a photo taken at Powell Butte last summer on a hazy day, and completed this 11 x 14"oil painting and started another.  Great fun!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Blue Bee

Recently I visited Kat Sowa's Blue Bee Farm on Sauvie Island to pick blueberries and paint plein air.  Artist friends Vicki, Diane and Lisa also painted.  The berries and views were delicious!  Thanks, Kat and her beautiful grand daughter for a wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


The Waterfront Blues Festival along the grassy banks of the Willamette was loaded with cool blues, hot sunshine and happy people.  What is it about the blues that makes me feel so good?  I especially enjoyed the more intimate setting of the back porch stage with solo acoustic musicians.  I got up close to take a photo of
"Blind Boy Paxton" who played guitar and banjo, both with an old time 1920's and 30's feel.  When I look at this oil painting I did from the photo, I can still his "candy man, salty dog"!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Sometimes feeling the blues is not so bad!  Looking forward to the Waterfront Blues Festival, I painted cool blue portraits of an African model, and a blues icon, Janis. 

Sunday, June 30, 2013


On Saturday I had the treat of painting plein air in a beautiful garden as part of the Hardy Plant Society's garden tour.  The Bates garden has developed over 70 years.  My favorite feature was a whimsical sculpture of a hummingbird towering over an "island" of plants including lilies and poppies, surrounded by a smooth lawn where I painted in the shade of an oak tree.  Both oil paintings are 8" x 10" on canvas panel.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


A quick oil sketch on 9" x 12" canvas from a photo I took on a recent hike to Bridal Veil Falls in the Columbia Gorge.  Below the falls, trees are covered in moss, backlit on the sunny day.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

High Desert

Smith Rock is a beautiful state park in Terrebonne. The weather was perfect, I enjoyed the paint out and took many photos for future reference.  I painted High Desert with the Crooked River in the foreground on an 11" x 14" canvas board.