Sunday, September 21, 2014


It has been a LONG time since I've posted. I sort of fell off the painting wagon but am starting to get back into it.  I'm taking a class again in a couple weeks that I'm really excited about- hopefully I will have lots to post!

This painting is based on a reference photo I found on this cool site called, which has thousands of cool photos that people share for others to use. I'm not sure how it got its grim name but it's a very handy site. :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Greetings from England! I know I'm way behind on my goal of posting a painting a week, I hope to get back into it soon. But in the meantime here's one I painted a few months ago of my other cat, Koppi. I've tried unsuccessfully a few times to paint her close-up but it is SO HARD to paint that pure white face! My calico Callie is just so much easier.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Another Callie

Ugh. Lately I feel like I've been RE-gressing instead of progressing. Even when painting good ol' Callie. I'm hoping if I stick with it I can work through this frustrating spell!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


I'm overdue with my goal of posting a painting a week here, but I've been busy with putting in the garden and work. (Excuses, excuses!)

Anyway... This little doggie belongs to my friends Kerry and Michael. Isn't she cute?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Shop

Here is another building from my Grandma's farm. Now that spring is here and it's green again I want to get out there with my camera and get some new shots to paint from- it's so fun to paint scenes from such happy memories.

I had a really hard time getting the woodpile right and finally decided to just be done and move on to the next painting, to keep it fun!

Sunday, May 11, 2014


Here it is... My first dog painting. This is my friend Stephanie's dog and he's totally awesome. He has a buddy named Kevin who I hope to paint sometime in the future too. I envisioned making the painting more whimsical but he turned out looking pretty serious. Stephanie assures me that sometimes Yirgy is, in fact, a serious dog though. Thanks for being my first canine subject, Yirgy!

Yirgy (May 2014, 6"x6" gessobord)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Stripey Cats

I've been working on painting a few striped cats lately. It's a challenge to try to capture all their markings compared to other cats I've painted.

This first handsome guy is Roger, my friends Camille and Paul's cat. 

Roger (May 2014, 6"x6" gessobord)

Next up we have cuties Ramona and Wally, my friend Amanda's cats. It was fun to notice the similarities in their features as I painted (they were litter mates), and they have the sweetest little white muzzles.

Ramona and Wally (May 2014, 6"x6" gessobord)

Next challenge: dogs!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Seed catalog sampler

I realized one day that I had a wealth of photos of fruits, vegetables and flowers to do practice paintings from in my massive pile of seed catalogs. Here are a few recent ones:

Eggplant mix (April 2014, gessobord)

Contender peaches (April 2014, carton panel)
And here's one I posted previously, repeated here so that it can hang out with its seed catalog buddies. :)

Princess Mix (April 2014, gessobord)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

One-stroke paintings

This painting is done in "one-stroke" style. It's a practice technique I learned in Kat's painting class that takes a lot of patience (for me) to do, but I always like how the paintings turn out.  It goes like this: every time you dip your brush in your palette, you can only do ONE stroke with it. Then you have to mix a little more and do a fresh dip. It removes the option for too much fussing or fixing or re-working. You also really think before putting any paint down on the canvas. The finished works always look more "loose" and fluid. If it didn't take so much patience I'd paint everything this way! The first one is from a still life:

One-stroke fruit (March 2014, 6x6 gessobord)

This second one is based on a photo of a peeled orange. I really like how the "pithy parts" turned out.

One-stroke orange (Feb. 2014, 8x10 gessobord)
This last picture is based on a photo I borrowed from a random pile in my painting class when I had forgotten to bring one of my own in. I don't know who the woman is, but I really liked the red of the barn and eagerness of the goat.

Lady with goat (5x6 gessobord)

Saturday, April 12, 2014


This little sweetie is my "niece", Pia. She stayed with us for several months while my sister Sarah was getting settled in England. Pia's cousins Callie and Koppi weren't so happy about having her in our house (lots of hissing!), but I thought she was a lovely guest and have been missing her lots since she left.

My favorite things about Pia's features are her little pink eraser nose, and her little "helmet". She's super fun to paint!

Pia 1 (March 2014, 6x6 gessoboard)

Pia 2 (April 2014, 6x6 gessoboard)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Family Homestead- part 2

Here is another picture from a visit to the Garding family homestead a few years back. This one takes us a little farther down the 1/4 mile driveway, into the wooded part and just before the turn when you can see the farmhouse. You can just see the farmhouse peeking through from around the curve.

I'd love to visit again on a sunny spring or summer day and get a 2nd batch of pictures with a totally different feeling than the chilly late fall day of the first batch.

Grandma's Driveway (April 2014, 6x6 gessoboard)

And speaking of spring and summer, now for a completely unrelated painting... I was flipping through one of my many seed catalogs when I got the urge to paint one of the sunny bouquets.

Flower Bouquet 1 (April 2014, 6x6 gessoboard)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


I'd have to say my cat Callie is my favorite thing to paint. She's the first of my subjects to make it into the 3x club. She's got such fun colors and patterns. And her big mane makes her look so regal. I could go on and on but I'll just get to the pictures!

Callie 3 (March 2014, 6x6 gessoboard)

I really struggle with doing the whiskers, I'm trying to change up how I do them each time until I find my best way.

Callie 2 (Feb. 2014, 6x6 gessoboard)

And here is a blast from the past, the first picture I ever painted of Callie. I used cheap craft paints on a cardboard canvas and never painted again after that until recently. It's fun to see how I've progressed!

Callie 1 (circa 2006, 9x12 cheap canvas)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring is coming

Even though I hate it when they take over my yard, I've always thought there is something so charming about dandelions. It was fun to mix all the yellows for this one, I definitely see more dandelion painting in my future!

This was a good lesson on supports. I used a cheap canvas, and even though I primed it with black gesso it still felt so different and bumpy to paint on compared to the nice smooth gessoboard I'm used to.  I may give higher quality canvases a try in the future but I've learned that uber cheap canvases are no bargain!

Dandelions (March 2014, 8x8 cheap canvas)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Matisse

I've been busy trying to put the garden in this week so I'll have to cheat and post something I painted a couple months ago. This is my first replication of a famous artist's work: Matisse's "Purple Robe and Anemones". The colors in it were so fun to mix, and I loved doing all the scroll-y little detailing in the table and fabrics.
Gina's replication of Matisse's "Purple Robe and Anemones" (March 2014, paper)

Here is the REAL DEAL Matisse (cropped slightly):

Purple Robe and Anemones [cropped], by Henri Matisse (1937)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Family Homestead

This day is such a sweet memory. Eddie, my dad and I were wandering around the old family farmstead (homesteaded in 1876!) near Paynesville, MN in late November 2009. Eddie was snapping pictures and got one of my dad and I walking towards one of the old buildings on the property. I love how one side of the building is so much more worn than the other.

The Shop (March 2014, 6"x6" gessobord)

Another image based on pictures from that visit: the iconic (in my mind) turn onto the 1/4 mile long driveway leading to the old farmhouse where my grandma lived. The house is hidden by the woods.

Rural Route 2 (March 2014, 6"x6" gessobord)

And last but not least: here is the upper half of the small Catholic church (St. Margaret's) in Lake Henry, MN, which is just a mile or so down the road from the family homestead. I've always loved this church, and as a kid when I'd see its twin steeples I'd know we were getting close to Grandma's house. This is only the top half of the church, some day when I'm more ambitious I'll paint the whole thing! It really is a beautiful little church.

St. Margaret's (March 2014, 8"x8" gessobord)

I have more pictures from that day in my "to paint" file, stay tuned!