Monday, November 25, 2013



Saturday, December 7, 10-4
Original oil paintings of Oregon and Hawaii, filled with light and color

4155 Calaroga Dr
West Linn, OR  97068

also available will be cards, 
lesson and art gift certificates, and small gift items.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Beach Bungalow With Bananas, 9 x 12 oil
I love apple bananas.  Eating apple bananas is one of my favorite things about Hawaii.  I'm going to paint a series of bungalows with banana trees and imagine living in them.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Beach Windows I, 9 x 12 oil
I just love looking at the sea through the curves and branches of these bushes.  The variety and repetition of shapes keeps me interested for hours.
Beach Windows II, 9 x 12 oil
Some trees have more challenging lives, and adapt their shapes to them.
Beach Windows III, 9 x 12 oil
Some really hang out on the edge.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Sunrise Rose Blanket, 6 x 8 oil
Every morning the cloud pattern is different.  For today's painting "en plein car" I am sitting in the front seat of the van, peeking out at my glimpse of river.  The sun hasn't yet made it over the heavy fog to the east, but the river is full of light.  Sitting up front leaves me crowded with paint supplies, and I have to hold the panel in my hands.  Not exactly the most comfortable way to paint, but it is far too cold outside for me to be standing still.  Okay, Stapleton Kearns would not be proud.  He likes to paint out in winter wearing big thick boots.  I prefer summer and barefoot, but that's months away now.  And these sunrises are unique moments, each one a jewel across the string of winter mornings.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Chartiers Valley Fall, 9 x 12 oil
September 2013
Clouds have moved in over southwestern Pennsylvania, where I am visiting my mother.  And though there are still bits of blue peeking through the lowering veil, rain is on its way.  A bit of blue sky appears, and I paint it in.  Then the clouds darken, and I finish just before the rain begins.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Upper Letchworth Falls, 9 x 12 oil
On our way from Cleveland to Pittsburgh, my husband and I are visiting Rochester, NY.  Yeah, I know, it's about 5 hours' drive out of the way.  We had planned to visit Niagara Falls while we were there, but I didn't know that the best views were from Canada, so we don't have our passports.  So we are sight-seeing south of Rochester when we find this lovely state park with three good-sized waterfalls in it.  And hey, who needs the biggest waterfall?

I am enchanted with the shale rock formations, which are so different from the ubiquitous basalt of the Northwest.  How to show the fracture patterns, yet keep the painting simple?  Downriver from here, there are shelves in the shale that look like they were cut with a ruler.  How does something like that happen?  Pattern and randomness are having a tug of war.

Friday, November 8, 2013


Hillside Sunrise, 6 x 8 oil

Oct, 2013
West Linn is full of trees.  This is most noticeable when you are driving around to parks, searching for a viewpoint for painting the sunrise.  Fall is a great time for sunrise painting because I don't have to get up ridiculously early.  Just need to find a morning when it isn't raining.  Hmm.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Oregon City Falls Fall, 12 x 16 oil  SOLD
It's October, so you know that when I say I am standing on the Oregon City Bridge in the sunshine at 10 AM, you know that the sun isn't very warm.  Fortunately, the breeze down the river is light, and I have a good warm coat on under my painting smock.

This is an interesting festival--lots to do, but you have to run around a lot to do it.  There are some booths on the West Linn side of the bridge, with food, and community groups explaining the history of the area and such.  There are tours of the paper mill, but you had to be early to sign up.  People are crossing the bridge with baby carriages, bicycles, and in such large groups that I am glad to be tucked away under the arch.  Below me on the river is a fishing drama, and someone has landed a fine large ?sturgeon?

Yes, I know it is called Willamette Falls.  The unsold painting will be on view at Oregon City Hall, Dec 3-April 1.

Oregon City Falls in Full Flow, 6 x 8 oil

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

DAWN AT THE VINEYARD, Pacific Northwest Plein Air Competition, Day 5

Vinyard Dawn, 9 x 12 oil
The sun slanting through the leaves makes the grapevines glow.  I am surrounded by beautiful views.  Just to my right, across the Columbia Gorge, is Mt. Hood.  The winery has enchanting nooks, with gazebos and hammocks and swings.  How would it be to live with such a view.  Would it become ordinary with everyday use?  Or would you wake up each day and say, Wow!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

SUNSET, Pacific Northwest Plein Air Competition, Day 4

Sunset and West Hills, 9 x 12 oil
Up here at Panorama Point there is so much to see that it's hard to decide what to paint.  I would need a 360 degree canvas ten feet tall to capture what is going on.  The sun is coming and going between cloud layers, so at the moment, the most drama is directly to the West.  Ah, sun, you can hide, but we can still find you!

Monday, November 4, 2013

MT HOOD AT SUNRISE, Pacific Northwest Plein Air Competition, Day 4

Golden Mt. Hood Dawn, 12 x 24 oil
We get up before dawn and drive up toward the mountain.  The sky lightens more and more as we approach a fully ripened wheatfield, crowned with a closeup view.  I paint the mountain quickly, sketching in the snowfields as they emerge from shadow.  While I am wondering what I am going to do with this huge expanse of field across the bottom of the painting, the sun tops the ridge, sending fingers of light across the field. They expand, glow hot for perhaps fifteen minutes, and then the lovely light is gone.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

COLUMBIA GORGE, Pacific Northwest Plein Air Competition, Day 3

Grassy Cliffs, 12 x 16 Oil
Today's suggested location is a winery, but the place is dusty, and they are setting up for an event, so Sally and I adjourn to Chamberlain Lake Rest Area, where there is a shadowed view of the gorge cliffs.  It is windy, but I manage to duck behind a tree and avoid the worst of it.  If you want to paint out in the Gorge, you have to be willing to brave a bit of wind.

After we get back to our house, I find that I have misplaced my camera battery.  I search everywhere, including moving everything in the chaotic car.  I even drive back the next day to look on the grass where I was sitting.  Nothing.  So I buy a new battery.  Go to put it in my camera case, and there, tucked in the bottom of the pocket, is the missing battery.  I swear it wasn't there before.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

SUNRISE, Pacific Northwest Plein Air Competition, Day 3

Sunrise Over the Orchard, 6 x 8 oil on panel

It is cold in the morning as I pull my supplies from the van.  The clouds from the night before have disappeared, and the sky is filled with glowing atmosphere.  I love the glow on the tops of the pear trees as sunlight pours into the valley.

Friday, November 1, 2013

EAST FORK HOOD RIVER, Pacific Northwest Plein Air Competition, Day 2

Fresh From the Glacier, 9 x 12 oil
August 31, Afternoon.  The East Fork of the Hood River shoots a little bending arm past the farm.  From this spot on the riverbank you can't tell that this is only a bit of the swiftly running river.  It is silty turquoise and energetic as it tumbles over rounded boulders.  Here by the stream, in the shade, there is respite from the heat that has burned the grasses dry.  Sun and water have a delicate balance in this country where pears grow fat in irrigated fields.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

EARLY MORNING ON A HOOD RIVER RANCH, Pacific Northwest Plein Air Competition, Day 2

Morning Aspen Shadows, oil on panel, 16 x 12
(This painting isn't as dark as it appears in this photo.)

August 31.  At the private residence where we've been invited to paint for the day, it's already warm, and the dry grasses glow in the low-angle sunlight.  Shadows on the barns are changing fast, and the house is already emerging into sunlight from its protective grove of trees.  As I make my way across the field, I hear a burbling sound, brief, but repeating.  Behind a group of pines is a spring, surging with bubbles, then subsiding.  Spreading water trails across the field, evident in green swathes of grass.  I round the spring and set up in the shade of some aspen.  Everything here depends on the chance location of water.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

CLOUDS, Pacific Northwest Plein Air Competition, Day 1

West Hills Clouds, 9 x 12 oil
Sally O'Neill and I move into the house we will be renting for the duration of the competition.  We have a vinyard across the street!  Late afternoon treats us to this cloud view.

Friday, September 20, 2013

SUNFLOWERS IN HOOD RIVER, Pacific Northwest Plein Air Competiton, Day 1

Sunflowers Against the Hills, 12 x 9 oil
How fun to see all the familiar faces at the Gorge White House.  I really enjoy painting in the company of all the plein air folk.  The flowers on the farm are in rare form, rows and rows of Dahlias, gladiolas, and tall, rangey sunflowers.  Energy is high, and it's a delight to see what everyone is painting.  Don't miss the show, at the Columbia Center for the Arts, through Sept. 29.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Lilacs and Roses, 24 x 24 oil on canvas

A rare, for me, still life, painted in Sally O'Neill's flower painting workshop.... Outdoors in the sun!

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Eugene, oil on panel 9 x 12
After a really long drive yesterday, I have once again gotten up early to drive to a paint-out competition.  This view from Skinner's butte is my afternoon painting, looking down on the downtown area of Eugene.  It's a hot day, barely tolerable from under my umbrella, with the sun reflecting off the pavement of the parking lot.  Two years ago when I visited Eugene, the town looked discouraged.  Now it is waking up, with fresh activities downtown, and a really great community effort in putting on this art competition.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Mt. Hood Dawn
Oil on Panel, 16 x 12
What is it about morning light?  There is a fine mist in the valley, and the rising sun glistens on the Sandy River.  It's a day for visitors.  Several people stop by and watch us paint.  Another artist stops by and shares her portfolio.  Walkers, joggers, even people having breakfast in transit.  All of them leave us in just a few minutes.  Painting is such a great way to spend more time, really experiencing a place.

Friday, August 30, 2013



I never get tired of this viewpoint.  As the morning wears on, the snowfields on Mt. Hood emerge out of the shadows.  It is quiet in the valley, with just a hint of river sound, like the echo of a distant highway.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


I Am Not a Fish, 9 x 12 oil
We have been invited to paint inside the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport.  This is a great treat.  I really enjoy watching the jellies floating in their tank, and spend quite a while watching the fish and painting in the deep sea tank.  As the morning wears toward noon, more and more people crowd around, some watching me paint, some captivated by the fish and oblivious to my presence.  I escape the narrow passage and settle in to watch the pipefish drifting among the eelgrass in the sandy bottoms tank.  I think the eelgrass moves more than the fish.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Swaying Sea and Rocks, 9 x 12 oil

The most blustery day so far at the coast.  I am bundled up in layers of sweaters and a windbreaker, with the hood tied down to hold my hat.  Definitely no umbrella.  Dotted among the rocks are other painters, equally bundled, so I can't recognize who they are.

Yachats is famous for its rocks and crashing waves.  I am well back from the spray, but still it feels as though one of these piles is going to come down on my head.  The gulls are flying hard to hold station in the wind.  I feel as though I am too.  Even the trees try to escape the wind. 

Cliffedge Pine, 6 x 8 oil

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Depoe Bay Harbor, oil 12 x 16
Billed as the smallest harbor on the Pacific Coast, this cozy little haven for boats looked just as busy as any other.  Fighting the wind, as usual on the coast.  My umbrella lifted right out of its holder and nearly skewered another painter.  I finished the painting sans umbrella, and it wasn't really that hard.  Ah, how we get used to our equipment!

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Path to the Sea, oil 16 x 12
Too windy to put up an umbrella.  What to do?  Sit in full shade, peeking out at the beach.  I seem to be fascinated with tree shapes this trip.  Everywhere I look, I see interesting trees.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Coast Pine Tangle, oil 9 x 12
Every year at the Oregon Coast, Erik Sandgren coordinates a group of painters for two weeks, painting together each day at a different location.  This year, I join the group during the second week at Rocky Creek.  I have driven from 90 degree heat in the Willamette Valley, and it is something of a shock when I climb out of the car and am hit by a blast of cold air.  I almost climb back in, but I have come to paint with these other painters, so the least I can do is to see what they are up to.  After a half-hour of visiting with friends and acquaintances, I have adjusted to the temperature and a tangle of pine trees snags my attention.  I settle on to the grass a few feet from my car and paint.

Friday, August 2, 2013


Sunset Orange, oil on panel 6 x 8
What does success look like?  Feel like?
"Henry Fonda was still throwing up before each stage performance, even when he was seventy-five."  from THE WAR OF ART, by Steven Pressfield.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Sand Makers, oil on panel 9 x 12
It's hot in the Valley, therefore windy at the coast.  I'm painting with Carol Phillips, she with a knife and I with a brush, at the Road's End park in Lincoln City.  We're looking at the same scene, and our paintings are nothing alike.  The nature of art.

This is a favorite view of mine.  I've come here countless times with my kids, who loved to dig in the sand and climb the sand cliffs while I plotted mystery novels with a friend.  It seems like a lifetime ago, but the cliffs are still here and the waves breaking down on the point.  Known places are a background for a timeline.  Sometimes they change, reminding us that we have changed.  Sometimes they are like a photograph of the past.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Black Butte Willows, Oil on panel 9 x 12
Sally O'Neill and I head over to Black Butte Ranch, where we will take part in the National Forest Foundation's annual paintout.  This is a totally new area to us, so we are arriving the day before.  We check out several locations in the mid-afternoon, trying to guess where the shadows will lie during the morning of the competition.  After selecting several possibilities, we settle in for a warmup painting.  We are halfway into the work when wind starts gusting across the meadow and lake.  I fight with my umbrella, feeling a bit like Mary Poppins as it nearly lifts me off my feet.  I end up finishing the painting in full sunlight, with my feet braced on the easel to keep it from blowing over.

Willow Shadows and Aspen, oil 12 x 16, SOLD
First thing the next morning, the shadows are long and inviting.  We are wishing we could start painting at 7 instead of waiting until 9.  But we have to get our canvas stamped for the official paintout.  The lake starts out glassy, then as the morning warms up, little breezes tease the surface into riffles.

There are lots of distractions.  People walk by, wondering what 40 painters are doing around the lake.  An art class arrives, and some kids join us in concentrating over their easels.  Boaters and paddle boarders dot the lake.  A fishing class convenes in the meadow on the far side.

We finish our paintings, frame them, and turn them in for the show that begins at 1.  Willow Shadows and Aspen is gifted with the Artists' Choice award.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Crooked River Ranch Sunset, 9 x 12 oil

We snuck in a sunset painting in between showers.  You can't see the bunnies in the grass, but they're there.  And quail.

Monday, July 8, 2013


Rimrock and Lodgepole Pine, 12 x 24 oil
We are staying at Crooked River Ranch cabins.  This is our view. This morning, we get up, and the weather is pretty cloudy and showery.  We take advantage of a few breaks in the weather to stand on the patch of green lawn and paint the rimrock.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Crooked River Colors, 16 x 12 oil
We get up at dawn and hit the ground early for the Smith Rock Paint-out.  With the morning sun on the rock and blue sky reflected in the water, I can't resist the river scene.  It's a perfect day to sit on the rim under a broad umbrella, watching the flickering light on the river and the ups and downs of climbers.  From here they look like little ants.  Only from my climbing experience am I able to decipher what the little dots of color are doing down there.  I paint the climbers with little touches of my number 8 filbert.

Starting up the Crack, 8 x 6 oil
Jurying is a long wait, but a park ranger entertains us with fascinating facts about the history and wildlife in the park.  At the end of the wait, I find that both of my paintings have been accepted for the show.  They are currently on exhibit at Redmond Municipal Airport, along with 20+ other paintings from the paint-out.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Staender Ridge Sunlit, 6 x 8 oil
Sally and I reach Smith Rock in early afternoon, and tromp around the rim and the valley scouting out places to paint in tomorrow's competition.  It's a gorgeous day, not too hot, and were it not ridiculous in my condition, I'd be abandoning the painting and joining the rock climbers.
Things have changed since the days when I was climbing.  Most of the routes look to be bolted, and a lot of climbers are top-roping.  There are chalk paths up a lot of the routes... not that we never used chalk, but sheesh! We see a lot of long poles with clips at the end, whose use I can imagine, but really don't know.  I miss the jingle of racks.
My artist's eye sees the rocks in a new light: where are they reddest, what shapes do they make, what are the typical climbers' poses.  We leave the valley, find a place to set up that is not so difficult to access with our equipment, and do an evening painting.

Friday, June 14, 2013


Last month, I field-tested Gamblin's new medium: Solvent-free Gel, during my trip to Kauai.

The flash point of the solvent-free gel is high, so it can fly!  Time to test it on a trip. The tube is great: it fits right in the box with the paints.  Don't have to worry about getting that last bit of gel out of the nasty bottle.

The gel allowed my paints to move easily across the canvas, without dragging on underneath layers that had already become tacky.  This is important to me because my painting style is to push color into color.  Most alkyds, even gels, become tacky within twenty minutes of hitting the canvas (possibly because of solvent evaporation) making it hard to continue pushing the paint around.  The drying oils I've used do not become tacky.  In this respect, the Solvent-Free Gel is more like using linseed or safflower oil.

Drying time:
I'm sure Gamblin can tell you a lot more about the drying time of this medium.  For my practical purposes, paintings left in my room (80-85 degrees and humid) dried in 2 days.  Paintings placed in the car (90 degrees plus) dried in 1 day, with a few extra hours needed for very thick yellows.

This medium appears to be just a little glossier than Neo Megilp, and a little less glossy that Gamblin Gel.  A little glossier than I am used to, but within an okay range.  My dry paintings didn't dull down from drying in.

Working methods:
Putting a dab out on the palette:  This worked great for picking up a little medium to mix in with colors.  The gel stays put, even on a steeply angled palette.  No need for cups or containers.
Whipping some medium in with the white:  I used a small amount of medium, maybe 10 percent of the mix.   I like this method because it distributes the medium pretty evenly in with some of the slowest drying colors. I may even try whipping some into my Indian yellow and sap green.  I can also see whipping some into any colors that have gotten stiff at the end of the tube due to oil separation.  The disadvantage is that any leftover color on the palette will skin over pretty fast if you don't get your palette into the freezer.
Brush cleaning:  Using the medium as a brush cleaner during the painting session worked great.  I didn't have to worry if any bits of leftover medium got into the paint mixes.  After each painting session, I cleaned brushes with mineral oil so they didn't turn into solid sticks.  After the trip, I cleaned them with soap and water as well.


I love this medium.  It fits the way that I paint, and the paintings come out with just the right amount of subtle gloss.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Tranquil Shadows, 6 x 8
I buy a cute purple bag/purse/thingy and take it with me to Hawaii.  I carry it over a white sun shirt during a garden tour, and the purple dye stains my white shirt.  Once I get home, I am able to remove the stain from the shirt.  But I figure I'd better do something about the stain-producing purse.  So I rinse it in cold water just to see how loose the dye is.  It produces lots of purple water and stains the plastic bucket purple.  I soak the purse in vinegar overnight and dump the rest of the purple water in the sink.  It stains the sink purple.  Now I have a purple purse, sink, and bucket.  I put the purse in the washer and run it through a hot cycle.  Now the washer is purple.  I use a rag to wipe out the washer, but the purple doesn't come off the rubber gasket.  Now I have a purple purse, sink, bucket, rubber gasket and rag.  I put the purse in the dryer and run it on hot.  Now I also have a purple drier.  My plan is to wipe everything out with one rag and throw the rag out.  Cat-in-the-Hat PLEASE tell me that this will work!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Three Palms at Dawn, 6 x 8
Swimming in from snorkeling the outer bit of reef at Tunnels Beach, I come across a shark cruising the rocks below me.  It is small, maybe a four-footer, but a rare daytime sighting unless you want to explore caves.  Later that same day, Rick and I are watching the sunset with a log turning in the surf.  Off to the left, two new dark shapes poke out of the water, right in the shore break.  I'm thinking it's another log, until it thrashes around and disappears out to sea.  A shark has run in out of his depth, maybe chasing dinner.

Shark sightings are the rare treat, the highlight, the reminder that more is going on in the world than we know.  You don't plan for sharks.  You show up, they happen.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Kapa'a Dawn Light, 6 x 8
It is evening and the shore crabs have come out of their burrows to sit on their front porches.  They appear to be willing to nibble on anything--shells, grass, bits of sticks.  They stay very close to home, little holes spaced about a foot apart, just in case a wave comes.

Once a wave comes, it is necessary to clean out your burrow.   Each crab scuttles sideways into his burrow, always the same side first.  Some are right-sided and some left-sided.  I wonder, is it to do with which claw is larger?  They come out with an armful of sand, take a few steps from the door, and fling the load across the beach, creating little funnel-shaped patterns.

One little crab must have lost his home.  He goes in and out of burrows, one after another, finding them all occupied, along a good hundred feet of beach.  Or maybe he is just delivering the seaside mail.

Saturday, June 8, 2013


Ironwood at Dawn, 12 x 16
Roosters are everywhere in Kauai, and to a less noisy extent, hens.  The roosters here don't say, cock-a-doodle-doo, they say cock-a-doo-doo.  Somehow, one of the beats got left out of their program.  You don't hear from the hens nearly as often.  This morning we hear a loud squawk, which reminds me of a peacock.  Looking down over the balcony for the culprit, I spya hen, standing alone in a sea of grass.  Nowhere can I see anything to provoke the loud complaint.  Mostly all you hear from the hens is a soft buck, buck when they want their chicks to move.  In sound, as well as plumage, the roosters steal the show. P.S.  You know that annoying song from the musical Peter Pan, "I gotta crow"?  Every time I hear a rooster, that song runs through my head for the next twenty minutes.  Either I'd have to get over that, or I'd go insane living here.


Riverlight and Boat House, 9 x 12
My summer plein air workshop schedule is HERE:
Note: These are half-day workshops, easy to fit into schedule and budget!

Friday, June 7, 2013


Ironwood and Sunrise, 12 x 16
After multiple calm mornings, I set up with a larger canvas, only to face strong gusts of wind halfway into the painting.  I've experienced these conditions before, and it's pretty easy for a canvas to become a kite.  So I pack up the painting and take it back to the room to finish.  I spend a good half-hour lifting bits of sand off the paint before painting the trees.
   Then the housekeeping staff come to clean the room.  I put the newly finished painting on a shelf in the closet, where nothing can fall on it, and come back after they finish to find that they have put a pillow on top of my painting.
   So this is a slightly blotted version of the original expression.  I hope you find it makes it soft and mysterious.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Kapa'a Sunrise Palms, 6 x 8
At the Allerton Garden, our tour guide shows us a group of giant fig trees, with huge buttress roots.  You may have seen them in the movie, JURASSIC PARK.  Life finds a way.  He tells us that the plants were imported from Australia for the garden.  Australians who look at them now don't even recognize this form as belonging to the same plant.  Here in Hawaii, where they are exposed to so much rain, their growth pattern is altered beyond recognition.

How many of the choices we make are conditioned by our surroundings?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Captain Cook Pines at Sunrise, 6 x 8
We snorkel today at Poipu.  Finally, some fishes!  All of the spots we've snorkelled have been overfished, and the remaining residents are so skittish you can hardly see them.
  The little bay at Poipu is mostly rubble, with very little coral in an area protected by rock walls.  Rubble means lots of wrasses.  Yellow-tailed Coris are my favorite beauties, both adult and juvenile.  We find lots of rock movers.  I watch one twelve-inch fish move a ten to fifteen pound rock with its mouth, then catch a crab that was living underneath.  The crab is a difficult bite to get down.  The fish has to turn it in his mouth until it is claws outward.  I guess that's what you get for swallowing your food whole.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Kapa'a Beach Sunrise, 9 x 12
Hiking along the beach trail in Kapa'a, I am captivated by the shapes of bushes and trees along the shore.  Three main types: a tall tree with waxy, rhododendron-like leaves; beach naupaka, with its juicy leaves in rosettes and white half-blossoms; and the ironwood, with its sturdy twisting trunks, and needles reminiscent of horsetail rushes.  All of them are pushed and pulled by sea and wind into giant bonsai creations, with little windows of sky and ocean between the branch clusters.  A shape-painter's gallery.


You are invited to my show at Lane Gallery in Portland, info below.  The shark painting on the postcard is one of my pieces inspired by a visit to the Oregon Coast Aquarium.