Monday, November 29, 2010

My Christmas Card Collections

The Snow People Christmas Card Collection
 "Snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled."                                          Author Unknown
I painted this first snowman card, by personalizing the snow people to whimsically match the members of the family it is intended for. I liked the idea so much that I decided to paint more, making them personal for the intended recipients. There are now seven in this series. They are palette knife acrylic on 4.5"x 6" linen paper.

This  card was painted especially for a fellow artist.

My mom is of Dutch heritage, so I wanted to paint a winter scene from her homeland for her - Windmill and Skater, both are common sights in Holland. As she ages she seems to get more nostalgic for old remembrances and times past. Although she was very young when her family left Holland, she talks about it and other places she lived before coming to America.

The Red House was Painted for Jennifer Smith's Rookie Painter November challenge (and my Christmas card collection), from a photo she provided of this house. I felt the house needed a setting and since I am painting simple winter scenes for Christmas cards for close friends and family, I placed the house in a winter landscape.

All paintings are 4.5" X 6" acrylic on linen paper
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Corn Snow

Last night, we had the first snowfall, although it has been snowing for a few weeks, at a little higher elevations. The Arctic front arrived with a thunderstorm that left a dusting of hard, dry snow, called Corn Snow. The temperature is hovering around 20*.
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Monday, November 22, 2010

Icing and Iron

This iron gate was painted for The Virtual Paintout November challenge which virtually takes place in Rio de Janeiro with Google street view. I looked at beaches and rivers, bridges and mountains, old town and new - all with hundreds of possible scenes to paint - when this very graphic design caught my eye. I loved the black iron work in front of the white door, surrounded by the lovely lemony yellow, and the creamy white relief work around the entry which I thought, looks liked piped icing. In fact my first impression was that this resembled a uniquely decorated cake . Maybe I was just hungry.

4.5"x6" acrylic with pen and ink detail.   $25.
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Thursday, November 18, 2010


Portrait # 3 in my series to learn portrait painting is my daughter Alisyn. My young lady in red, dressed in red, surrounded in red - her favorite color - not to mention the obvious, her red hair. My hope is that the color red will seem to energize this portrait and let the viewer know that Alisyn is an energetic, athletic young woman whose avocation is body-building. Besides physical beauty, (wish my painting abilities did her justice) she is smart, a hard worker, creative and a soft-hearted sweetheart, with a sometimes fiery personality. Red does fit her so I brought it into the whole painting, background, clothing and even into her hair. I painted this using several different pictures I have of her for reference, and others have told me the painting does resemble her.  All I know is that this is how I see her.

6"x4.5" acrylic on linen.   NFS
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Little Blue Falls

This painting of the McKensie River was done for Pam's Monthly Painting Challenge.

It took me along time to get around to doing it, because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with her photo. But once I got started it only took about 30 minutes to finish. I moved the tree to the other side to reveal the falls, added the rocks - the rest is the same. The intense blue of the water was the photo's main  feature. I like the way the painting turned out.

This painting finally got posted - sort of. Since I couldn't get her site to accept my password, I emailed Pam and she posted the pic herself, (she didn't know what the problem could be) but for some reason it is chopped down in size.

4.5"x6" acrylic on linen   $35.
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Surveying His Realm

This painting was done for Wilderness Art Challenge for November. Gary's photo was of an Elk with a magnificent rack of antlers, bespeaking his prowess and dignity. When in northern Yellowstone of Wyoming near  the Montana border, I saw an Elk like this in a place near Monmouth Hot Springs. Gary's photo reminded me of this beautiful animal. I painted the elk in the scenery I experienced, rather than from his photo. I used a brush on the elk, but the rest of the picture was done with a palette knife.

9"x12" acrylic on linen     $50.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Last of Summer's Glory

I painted this picture from my photo below. I kept the dark background because I liked the way it made the flowers stand out, and added a clear vase to compliment the lace curtains in the window. I experimented with a somewhat abstract composition.

9"x12" acrylic on linen


These pretty 'faces' are among the last blooms from the flower garden, now residing on the dining room table. They are very hardy for all their delicate looks, holding out against the ever-growing-colder evening temperatures. We had some that were other colors, but I especially love these two varieties. The white, a multi petaled bloom with pointed petals - looking like a prickly snowball, and the pink a simple single petaled flower with a large center - yet for all their differences, they are both Dahlias.

Venice Canal

The November challenge for A Day Not Wasted is one of Lee's photo's of a Venice Canal. I particularly liked the deep turquoise color of the water and the little boats under the bridge. Dislike the iron railing (to paint, that is) - contemplated leaving it off completely, or maybe should have just simplified it more. I like the painting below the bridge, above - not so much.

8"x10" acrylic mostly palette knife, with some brush work
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Country Life and Wood for the Winter Stove

Lately we have been cutting and stacking wood. Hard work but very necessary! Every year the wind, heavy snows or ice build up downs a tree or sends limbs crashing through the trees tearing off more limbs on its way down. So every-so-often we have to cut up the fallen timber for fire wood. Actually the wood shed is quite large and the stacks are now more than 6' high  (about 20' long) and three courses deep. Some winters we use more wood than others.
This winter is predicted to be a colder one with more snow, so we should keep warm. That's no joke, because where I live power goes out frequently when an icy limb or dead tree takes down a power line. It can take the power company a long time to track down the downed wires and remove the tree and fix the lines. We have been without power for days, which means we are without running water also, as the well pump is run by electricity too. We can cook and heat food on the wood heater. So we get along pretty well.  TV is out, but we all have cell phones - until the batteries run down. My laptop has battery backup but no internet of course. Even wireless is useless here. I read by the window or candle light, play Sudoku. Hard to paint with so little light, but I try. It is funny, when the electricity is restored, and I can evaluate my painting in brighter light, I am amazed at how off the values and some colors can be.
As if on cue, I was interrupted in writing this by a power outage, the electricity went out early this morning but came back on at noon.
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Waiting in the Rain

It is winter, and of course it is raining - its the PNW. We live in a rural area and the streets are typical country roads - no sidewalks. But being native Oregonians, Alicia and Daniel have an umbrella and rainboots, and stoically wait in the muck for the school bus. Daniel is wearing his Oregon Ducks jacket - he was a fan long before they were the #1 college football team. I have taken many pictures of them (which this is one) that I have wanted to paint for a some time now. Alice Thompson's  Calypso Moon Artist Movement's November challenge has given me the nudge to just do it. Her challenge is to paint our history and she made the field broad enough to include our todays as well as our yesterdays.

8"x10" acrylic on linen
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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Morning Light

Behind these trees is a steep dropoff down to the Clackamus River. This sloping landscape allows the early morning sunlight to stream through the trees onto our land. This photograph reveals the same golden light that I painted into my picture "Autumn Path" for Inspiration All Around Us.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

The First Snow is Magical

I live very near Mt. Hood (or Wy'East, as the Native Americans called it) . I can see it's changing faces throughout the year from the window where I paint. I love the different seasons we have - especially when it snows and the landscape is blanketed in white. There is a quiet serenity and stillness about it that no other season has.
We had the first snowfall in October, when I took this picture. Since then it has snowed again and the mt. looks like a pile of whipped cream. It is still early, as the seasons of fall and winter overlap - and the snow may melt away somewhat at the lower elevations. But the ski lifts have opened already - so I guess winter has arrived, at least on the mt.
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Monday, November 1, 2010


Still learning to paint portraits. This is my second attempt.
4"x6" acrylic on 140# watercolor paper
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