Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Waterfall series

Two in a series of waterfall paintings that will be assembled in a collage for a 48" x 48" window display at Muse Art in January.  Each painting will be either 9" x 12" or 12" x 16" and can be disassembled to be framed separately, later.  These are La Tourelle and Bridal Veil Falls in the Columbia Gorge.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hillsboro Afternoon

A quiet afternoon sitting next to the pond at Rood Bridge Park, Hillsboro, after the heat of the day, a golden glow filtered through the trees and glittered on the shallow water.  Back from the Walters Art Center, where it was on exhibit in October and November.

Friday, November 28, 2014


It was a hot September day in Hillsboro, when I gathered with other artists for the Plein Air Quick Draw at Rood Bridge Park.   The young man and woman seemed relaxed in the sunshine, and whether or not he was actually playing his guitar, there was music in the air.  

"Summer Song", oil, 11" x 14", painted alla prima, back from the exhibit at Walters Cultural Arts Center.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Still Life

Halloween is over, Thanksgiving approaching, the moldy carved pumpkins are gone but not all the small pumpkins, squash from the garden and visits to Sauvie Island Farm, and fall colors.  It has been too cold to go out except for quick trips to gather fallen branches, so I must paint inside.  In the summer, flowers wilt and fruit gets eaten before I get around to painting them, so now is the perfect time to paint a still life. This Still Life with Squash and Apples (and a pear and pomegranate, basket with dried flowers) is 11" x 14".

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Summer Forest

On the way home through the mountains near Sisters last summer, we stopped to walk through an area of forest where the pine trees were completely bare.  They looked like bleached driftwood standing among
bright grasses and other distant living trees on a sunny day.  We learned that bark beetles had eaten the bark, which kills the trees as they stand and also makes them more vulnerable to fire.  But the trees seemed beautiful to me, like deciduous trees in winter.  At first I painted the scene in all grays, thinking it a suitable subject for the Gamblin Paints Torrit gray competition.  But all in gray, it just looked dreary.  It needed the addition of color to contrast with the pale gray trees.  "Forest Bones" is 11" x 14"

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Studio 30

Kat Sowa's Studio 30 at Cathedral Park started up again on October 31, and it was a treat for me! Perhaps being influenced by Halloween, the portrait of Bronwyn, or Bronnie, came out "witchy".  In the last half hour, I dashed off a second 11 x 14 painting that included more of her body, costume, and elegant hands.  The cat appeared later.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fall Plein Air

Painting at the Forest Park Arboretum on a cool October day, warmed by the excitement of golden sumac.  Thanks, Vicki Zimmerman, for the photo and companionship!  This may be the last of our plein air adventures for the season.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pumpkin Time

A beautiful Fall day at Sauvie Island Farm where I painted among the flower fields looking towards distant pumpkins waiting to be picked.  Sunflowers are fading but zinnias and dahlias are bright.  There are hay bale pyramids and mounds of pumpkins and squashes of every type.  More pumpkin pics to come!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


 Fall is a great time for plein air painting!  I returned to Clackamette Park in Oregon City, where painting buddy Vicki Zimmerman took this photo of me happily at work.  The leaves are just starting to change, and fishermen lined the banks hoping to catch coho salmon.  Mallards, seagulls and pigeons added to the excitement.

 "Calackamas River", in progress.  The confluence of the Clackamas and Willamette Rivers is just beyond.

 "Clackamas River", 11" x 14"

"Clackamas River Bridge", also 11" x 14".

Monday, September 8, 2014

Farmers Market

On Wednesdays during the non-rainy months there is a farmers market in downtown Portland full of fresh produce, flowers, good food and lots of people.  I set up my easel across from the flower sellers watching them make and sell bouquets while others passed by or relaxed, eating lunch.  "Bouquet for the Lady in a Straw Hat" is 9" x 12", painted in oil en plein air.  Later, I re-worked a previous painting of the same scene, "Flower Sellers", also 9" x 12", adding more color.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Sauvie Island

At Sauvie Island Farm on the last weekend of summer, I painted plein air among the sunflowers, feeling very Van Gogh-like.  The clouds kept shifting so the sun was not too intense.  There are cornfields beyond the sunflowers.  I brought home flowers and corn to continue my summer feast.  "Sunflowers and Cornfield" is 9" x 12".

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Why travel to Tuscany when there is Villa Catalana vineyard and garden in Oregon City?  As part of their Art in the Garden Party, I made several trips to paint plein air, take photos, and enjoy the wonderful scenery based around the Romanesque stone house complete with red tile roofs, Corinthian columns, balustrades, arches, and sunny skies that made me feel I was in Italy!  "Villa Stone House" started plein air and studio finished, is 11" x 14"

From the terrace there was a view of a pond with waterlilies and lotus flowers. On Saturday evening, during the party, we were serenaded by a jazz trio.  "Villa Catalana Pond" painted from photos and imagination, is on a wrapped 16" x 20" canvas.

My last plein air painting from Saturday, "Waterlilies and Lotus" is 9" x 12".

Monday, August 11, 2014


Charlie was a sweet, funny faced cat who liked to sit on the fence guarding our yard.  He had a "moustache" that was like Charlie Chaplin.  This study was painted in black, white and Gamblin torrit gray, a gray mixture of pigments from last year's production of oil paint.  There is something cool about painting in grays on a hot day.  And Charlie will be remembered.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Water scapes

Selections from my "waterscapes", in oil and acrylic, will be on display at the Bread and Ink Cafe on Southeast Hawthorne and 36th, Portland.  My paintings from the last few years have focused on creeks, rivers, ponds, ocean, anything with water, which there is plenty of in the Northwest!  Shown are "Koi and Waterlilies", 16" x 20", oil, from the Japanese Garden, and "Johnson Creek Summer with Heron", also 16" x 20", in acrylic.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Paint out at the park

Sunny Saturday at the park in Sellwood:  a wedding, swimming pool, dogs & their owners, frisbie, picnics, the sounds of kids screaming on a nearby roller coaster, a blues concert, and just enough shade under a tree to paint!  "Park Path" is 11" x 14", oil, painted en plein air.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Paint out at the coast!

Last week I went to the central Oregon coast, to Rocky Point State Park, with artist friends to join in the annual Eric Sandgren coast paint out.  Although I did not attend the workshop, artists were invited to join in at the selected locations.  There were painters all over the place among fabulous views of rocks, trees and surf.  The sounds of the waves were hypnotic, and the weather was perfect, not hot or cold, although the wind did knock my easel over once.  C'est la plein air!  My first painting was an overview including the changing sky and foreground with wildflowers.  I noticed a large rock that reminded me of the profile of the Sphinx, later he/she became more of a meditating Buddha, so I painted a second 11" x 14" canvas, called "Meditation on Rocks and Sea".

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Two oil paintings of waterfalls, one based loosely on a photo of Proxy Falls, the other completely from imagination, both involving "happy accidents" of texture from previous paintings left on the canvas, both 12" x 12", gallery wrapped and painted on the sides in cool, watery colors.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sauvie Island

A golden field on Sauvie Island at Blue Bee Farm.  A deer bounded through the meadow and disappeared into the oak trees, represented by a tiny brown dot.  Afterwards, picked blueberries!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sauvie Plein Air

Sauvie Island Pond, 11" x 14", was painted en plein air with just some minor changes in the studio.

A lovely day, interrupted by a few pesky mosquitoes, enhanced by birdsong and the low buzz of a distant tractor. The water reflections changed at every moment!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Smith Rock

 This is a studio alla prima painting 6" x 12" "High Desert Golden Shades" from a photo at Smith Rock.
At the Smith Rock Paint Out, "Desert Shades" on my easel.  We had between 8 am and 1 pm to complete and present framed paintings.  All the views were beautiful and the weather perfect!

 "Desert Shades" after studio work.  The rock perched against distant Cascade mountains is called "Snoopy"!
"Towers Meet Sky" 6" x 12", my second plein air painting on June 21, was selected by judges from the High Desert Art League to be included in the exhibit at Roberts Field, Redmond Municipal Airport, through August 20.  Central Oregon High Desert rocks!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Plein Air

Last week went to a ranch in Mulino where my friend Renita boards her horse.  She rode while I painted next to a couple of horses grazing just on the other side of a fence.  My subject was the neighbor's old red barn.  Cows were seen in the distance.  Dogs napped in the sunshine, all very peaceful.  

Friday, June 6, 2014

Plein air

The coast is less than 100 miles from Portland but seems like another world, so I don't go often enough. Last week  went to Nehalem Bay State Park, my first time there, a beautiful, quiet place with twisted driftwood, blooming yellow Scotch broom, a deer hidden behind trees.  There was a stiff wind that blew my easel over three times before I even got set up, so I painted holding on with my left hand! I finished one 9" x 12" plein air there without dropping it in the sand, later painted another 10" x 10" view in my studio.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Portrait Tribute

Maya Angelou was a beautiful woman in every way and touched many people with her wisdom.
With this portrait I wanted to capture the essence of her vibrant, warm spirit.  Spread your wings and fly, Maya!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

About Face

Last winter I started a sketchbook that I intended to fill with portraits.  Time passed, the weather improved and I've been outside painting.  Where did April and May go?  There is still space in the sketchbook so I found some interesting faces to sketch from the tv film "The Vikings".  Photos were by Jonathan Hession. Don't the men look rugged and dangerous?  

Looking back, I found a drawing that I wanted to paint.  Photo by Brian Ingram.  I don't know her name, so I'm calling her Amanda.  "Amanda" is in oil, 10" x 10"

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Paint Out!

A sunny day in Portland, perfect for visiting the Rose Garden at Washington Park.  Not all the roses are blooming yet, but there was plenty of color and fragrance filled the air.  I set up in a shady spot in view of the fountain and painted en plein air for a few hours.  Afterwards, had a cool, shady walk through the Japanese Garden.  It is not possible to set up an easel there but I took lots of photos, mostly of mysterious koi, and sat awhile in the serene Zen sand and rock garden.  A blissful day!

Rose Garden Fountain, 11" x 14"

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Gorge Spring

A small 8" x 8" painting of the Columbia Gorge from a photo taken in early Spring, some trees still bare, with a sprinkle of wild flowers. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Plein Air

A cool double waterfall on a sunny day at Crystal Springs, blooming rhododendrons, surrounded by ducks, geese, and lots of happy people even on a Tuesday, what's not to like? Plein air, 9" x 12", oil.