Thursday, December 31, 2015

Another Calendar Year

"Where Spirits Play"
6 x 7.5" pastel on paper
Last painting of 2015
Used as Day 2 of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge

While it's neither an end nor a beginning, I want to thank my family for getting me through the most difficult year in my life. My Mom who at 86 is still a source of my greatest comfort, my sisters for sharing new adventures and showing me how to stand on my own two feet, my sons for loving me and making sure I'm really OK (and making me tea), my dear best friends for being at my side through it all (every day), my sweet grandchildren for reassuring me that life will go on, and my Mark for giving me his all for 35 years so that I have what I need to begin my life again. I most definitely have a wonderful life. 

Here's to a new calendar year, 2016!  May it bring you much joy. 

"Joy is the ultimate act of defiance" 
Sheryl Sandberg attributed to Bono

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Journey

We are all just walking each other home
6 x 8" pastel on sanded paper
click on the image to see a larger version

I've been fascinated with pathways lately. There's something very symbolic about them..a journey..a challenge...the unknown. While my husband, Mark, was battling cancer the quote "We are all just walking each other home" was my comforting thought.

My landscapes evolve from a reference photo to something completely different which makes them very soothing to paint.

All of the recent pastels will be framed before I list them for sale.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sunday in the Studio

A lovely day in the studio, frigid outside. 

The landscape reminds me of hiking with my sisters this last fall. "Around the Next Bend"
5 x 5" pastel on sanded paper. We can't wait for the weather to get warmer so we can be off on new adventures.

"Around the Next Bend"
5 x 5" pastel on paper 

My goal for this painting was to push the colors more. I tend to get dark and moody with the pastels.

"Lemon Pledge"
5 x 5" pastel on sanded paper

Saturday, December 26, 2015

December Pear in Pastels

Today was just a day to play with pastels with the goal of achieving more brilliant colors than I am accustomed to in pastel. 

I also did a watercolor wash on the sanded paper with Vermillion Red. I like the peeks of red underneath the pastel strokes.

"December Pear"
5 x 5" Pastel on Sanded Paper

Suggested Framing

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Work in Progress - Belinda Roses

My good friend, Carol, from Texas has roses blooming at Christmas! She sent me a pic of her beautiful Belinda roses last year about this time. I've been wanting to do a pastel now that I have room to spread out in a studio, so I selected Carol's image for my first pastel piece in a long time.

I'm sharing my progress from the start. Not finished yet, but I will update my last couple work sessions in the next post.

Work in Progress
"Belinda Roses" 9 x 12"
Pastel on Sanded Paper
First Step - Watercolor Wash and Beginning of Blocking in Colors

Step 2 - More Blocking of Color and Gestural Lines

Step 3 - Blocking in the Lights and Shadows

Step 4 - Completing the Large Rose and Rosebuds
There were lots of drawing corrections to be made like the bud on the left. It needed to be much smaller.
I love pastel for that very ability - to correct your drawing as you go.

Have a very Merry Christmas and I'll finish the roses after the holiday!

Monday, December 14, 2015

A Rare Landscape Attempt

9 x 12" oil on panel

Suggested Frame
In my ever challenging quest to paint on a larger surface I tried out a new approach that I have been playing around with. I wasn't sure what to think of it, but it has a new home...and there you have it!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Pics of New Studio Space

Last month, November 7th, I took a huge leap of faith and rented a studio at 40 West Studios in the heart of the 40 West Arts District. The arts district is a Colorado Certified Creative District, one of 12 in the state.

There are 13 studio spaces, 3 workshops, a communal kitchen, cleaning service, restrooms, HEAT and A/C. I have a huge window and 3 skylights which gives me excellent light in which to work.

We have an internal gallery, Reed Street Gallery @ 40 West Studios, which will host a group open house in March, and can be available for an individual artist's open house. 

Our Facebook page is up and running.

My gallery wall outside my #9 studio

The hallway looking toward the front door.
My studio is on the right side of  the purple wall.

My "Take Five" corner

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

How About Some Wood Violets Today?

"Wood Violets"
4 x 4" oil on panel
Click here to purchase painting

Suggested Framing
Wood violets today, violas were yesterday. I really enjoy this approach to painting. It's very freeing yet challenging in its own way. I might try some marigolds tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Violas - A New Subject Matter for Me

5 x 5" oil on Gessobord panel

Suggested Frame

Violas were my husband's favorite flower. We always bought them first thing in the spring. I felt like painting purple today and these popped into my head. Maybe because it's 60 degrees here today...feels more like spring than winter. OK by me.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Cherry on Turquoise on Orange

"Cherry on Turquoise (on Orange)"
4 x 4" oil on panel
Sold a cherry painting from 2013 last night so today I am painting a cherry to try to keep up. The cherries go fast and are my best sellers. Thank goodness for cherries. I was going to try to paint violets but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

We had a great time at the studio on Saturday, my granddaughter, Opal, and I. She's 9 going on 20 and such a great companion. Here she is with her watercolor tryptich of a puppy's face.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Wild Roses

I am trying something new...painting flowers without a reference. One small one to let me know the shape of the flower. The rest is just following the painting with shapes, values, brushstrokes and a little faith. I'm sure they will get better as I practice more.

"Wild Roses II"
6 x 6" oil on canvas panel
Click here to purchase

Suggested Frame

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Five Mini's

"Mini Pear"
2.5 x 3.5" oil on canvas panel
Purchase here

"Mini Lemon"
2.5 x 3.5" oil on panel
Purchase Here

"Mini Cherry"
2.5 x 3.5" oil on panel
Purchase here

"Mini Peach"
2.5 x 3.5" oil on panel

"Mini Yellow Pepper"
2.5 x 3.5" oil on panel

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


4 x 4" oil on panel
Click here to purchase painting

Suggested Frame

Short day at the studio today. Had to make a grocery store run before everyone else had a chance to get out of bed. Probably the biggest grocery shopping day of the year. I tried to go last night but the parking lot was jam-packed and unappealing.

And...I was driving home last night and pulled up next to a police car. In my mind I was wondering if he would stop me for some small infraction - like a headlight I just had replaced and hoped it was working, or my tags - MY TAGS! From the deep recesses of my mind came a memory of seeing the little white renewal card come in the mail, and then having my emissions done - in September. Fortunately, I had two more days to get the renewal done without penalty. So I took my place in line at the DMV and waited patiently for a half hour to get 30 seconds of the clerk's attention. Done.

I could be ready for a little lime, salt and tequila about now. It's tequila-thirty somewhere.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Chile Peppers and the Ultimate Approval

"Chile Peppers"
6 x 6" oil on canvas panel
Click here to purchase painting

The next generation of artist at work!
Saturday was a most fun day at the studio. Opal, my 9 year old granddaughter, came with me to the studio while her Dad was work. She had a ball and was so inspired by the other artists work hanging on the walls. Her approval, which was a definite "I love it here!", was by far the most important one.

I started "Chile Peppers" on Saturday, but who can do work with an eager student in your studio. It was finished up yesterday.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Painting and More Painting...

I'm getting into the swing of this studio routine..these are my paintings from Tuesday through today. It's so quiet here except for the jazz playing in my mind is focused.

"Cherry Pi"
8 x 8" oil on canvas panel
Click here to purchase
This cherry painting is larger than most of them I do - 8 x 8" is giant for me. I am determined however to do more paintings in a larger format. I actually like the experience it's just that my brain is still connecting to "painting bigger".

"November Pear"
5 x 5" oil on Gessobord panel
Click here to purchase

"Lemon and Purple Grape"
5 x 5" oil on Gessobord panel

"Red Apple"
4 x 4" oil on Gessobord panel
Click here to purchase

"Red Cherry"
4 x 4" oil on Gessobord panel

Monday, November 16, 2015

Orange Zest and Snowstorm

"Orange Zest"
4 x 4" oil on Gessobord panel

Suggested Framing

A short day at the studio today, so only time for a 4 x 4". Big snowstorm rolling in tonight and of course I needed to get gas and groceries. Why does that always happen before a storm? We start worrying about toilet paper, milk and bread.

Our first meeting of all the artists who occupy studios in 40 West met yesterday. It was a great meeting to discuss basics about being good neighbors. There are about 14 artists, some who work during the day like me, some who work in the evenings and some on weekends. We have a poet, a writer, silversmiths, metal sculpture (he has one of the workshops), healing arts, painters (mixed media, oil, acrylic, collage, assemblage.) It's going to be an exciting year.

Friday, November 13, 2015

A Whole Week of Paintings!

"Reddd Peppper"
6 x 6 oil on panel
Please click here to purchase painting

Suggested frame

I can't believe I painted every day this week. Lucky Friday the 13th for me. I don't think I've painted 5 straight days in about 3 or 4 years.

Very grateful right now.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Turquoise and Pear

"Turquoise and Pear"
5 x 5" oil on panel
Click Here to Purchase Painting

Suggested frame

Feels good to be back in a painting groove. I'm sleeping VERY good at night which is a welcome change in my life. I don't know if anyone else's "Brain TV" runs all night, but mine goes 24/7. All this week I've hit the pillow and that's all she wrote.

I love my new studio and the people here. Several people stopped by today and asked if I needed anything to make life better here at the stuido. Gosh no - I have heat, a/c, quiet, good light, a clean kitchen, janitorial service, and a clean women's restroom. I might just have to move in here!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Three Cherries and Two Stems

"Three Cherries and Two Stems"
6 x 6" oil on Gessobord panel
Click Here to Purchase Painting

Frame Suggestion

Met two of my artist neighbors today at the studio. They have an awesome workshop studio for jewelry making. They are also Etsy sellers...iNk Jewelry. Check them out and see their wonderful silver art.

We had a bit of snow this morning so I was a little lazy and didn't make it to the studio until 11am. I made up for it when I got here and jumped right into the cherries painting.

The owner of the 40 West Studios building came by showing a potential occupier the space...hmm...could a wine bar be in the future next door...wouldn't that be lovely??

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


"Golden" 4 x 4 x 1.5"
Oil Painting on Cradleboard
Click Here to Purchase

Side View

A beautiful day in the studio but snow is on it's way. Two to four inches by tomorrow with blowing snow - ending by noon. Hopefully I can get into the studio at least for part of the day.

Today's model is an apple, some delicious golden type. So I named it "Golden". You run out of titles after a while.

I also hung a couple of paintings on the four white walls. Haven't had a chance to bring much else but supplies into the studio.

Monday, November 9, 2015

First Painting Out of the New Studio

" 'Mater " 5 x 5" oil on panel
What a fun day in the new studio, listening to jazz, oil painting, doing some mixed media, and just enjoying the creative space. I managed to find the utility sink which I thought about all last night. I kept thinking surely they have one.

I've painted this tomato before but I always have to start with something I know, when beginning again.

I'm a happy girl, and I felt Mark's presence today standing in the corner with his arms crossed, beaming his special wry smile, and saying "See, I knew you could do it!"

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A New Studio!

After much soul-searching, what-if's, and support from my family I've decided the best thing for me is to move into a new studio where I can be productive and not rattling around the house all day. So far working at home is not "working".

I received the keys to my studio in the 40 West Studios complex in an area of Lakewood, Colorado, yesterday. The area became a state-certified creative arts district last year, 40 West Arts, and plans are underway for an urban renewal centered around the artists and creative businesses. The area is along a stretch of Colfax west of downtown Denver two blocks from the new light rail and nearby stations.

There are 13 studios, there's only one left, and 3 workshop spaces. I've met a few of the artists already and they are diverse in age and the type of art.  I'm excited, and proud, to become part of their community.

I had been investigating Artspace campuses around the country, but realized "wherever you go, there you are" and my sons and grand kids are here. If I was 30 again, it might make sense to pack up and move to a new city, but I'm 67. While I can still follow my dreams I must be at least practical. Somewhere my sweet husband Mark (who passed away in January) is saying "I at least taught you to be practical, you gypsy soul."

From the Artspace website:
"Artspace is America’s leader in artist-led community transformation.  With headquarters in Minneapolis and offices in Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Seattle and Washington DC, Artspace runs a network of more than 35 affordable arts facilities in 15 states.  Representing a $582 million investment in America's arts infrastructure, our facilities provide more than 1,300 affordable live/work units for artists and their families as well as a million square feet of non-residential space for artists, arts organizations and creative enterprises."

The good news is Artspace is coming to 40 West Arts in the next few years which will provide about 55 affordable work/live spaces for artists. My name will be on the list of applicants! In the meantime I will enjoy being part of a collaborative group of artists planning for the resurgence of West Colfax.

Studio #9
24/7 access, heat, a/c, communal kitchen, men AND women's restrooms,
Sweet Bloom Espresso Bar next door, and gallery space