Monday, 7 December 2015

Welcome Winter

I never thought I'd be welcoming winter since I consider myself a palm tree gal,  but since I've moved to Montana I find I love the colors of this season.

 Plus, winter is fun here with both downhill and xcountry skiing close by.  Not to mention the sauna at my health club.  

So,  here is one of my first  tiny snow paintings.   I am still mesmerized by how blue the light is when the sun is almost gone.

Sun on Aspens,  6 x 6 oil on board,  
framed in sliver plein 'air frame
free shipping within the US of A.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Getting Ready for my show at the Holter Museum

Down to the wire I'm putting finishing touches on a couple of large oils.

Wish I could finish them sooner so the paint was drier when I delivered them.

 Here are the finished images:

                                           Willows at Simms,  oil,  62 x 54"

                                            Two Trees,  oil,  62 x 54"

And a smaller one

Last Light on the Missouri,  oil on canvas,  18 x 24"

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Artist Appreciation Month

I received an email last week telling me that August was Artist Appreciation Month.  They asked if I might write a blog post honoring an artist who influenced me. Oh, how to choose, there are soooo many.   But I have to go back to the  very beginning and honor the master who inspired me to tolerate my first thousand (2 thousand?) bad paintings while I was learning.  He made me want to paint well so badly.  Winslow Homer.

Homer - Fishing Boats, Key West

 When I discovered his Key West watercolors I was living on St. John  in the Virgin Islands and these sights were all around me.

His paintings made me thirsty to learn watercolor.

Soon Start,  watercolor,  4 x 7"

This was one of my first.

Moonbeam at the Finish, pastel, 8 x 11

You can see how he influenced this one - one boat in shadow, the other catching the sun.

Homer - The Coral Divers, 1885

Without using gaudy color he caught the brilliant sun and light of the tropics.

Raising the Mast,  watercolor,  11 x 14

Seeing his vision of what I was looking at honed my own.

Sail Abeam,  oil on canvas, 30 x 30"

Beach Lineup,  pastel, 18 x 24"
Homer - Hauling Anchor, Key West

Even now,  nearly 40 years after discovering his tropical watercolors, I am still mesmerized.

          Thank you to Marietta Gregg at Patience Brewster for prompting me to honor this giant.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Plein Air Workshop for Montana Open Land Month

This painting workshop started at 6:30 am. 
But it was worth it 
The light was beautiful.

Emmalea was smiling.

Margaret sat in a meadow.

Mary Jo painted while fish jumped in the creek

Pam practiced painting distant mountains.

We all enjoyed a beautiful place that is now public land!

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Willows at Simms

      Sometimes you know the wait will be worth it.  Several days ago I spent the day driving all over Montana.  A beautiful day with lots of clouds in the sky so the light was changing all the time as I drove through vast empty spaces.  I saw the scene below and the willow trees were shaded by clouds.  But I  liked the shapes on the hillside behind the trees so pulled off the road and waited while the sun and clouds danced around.  Then the sun suddenly illuminated the yellow green willows and the scene was transformed.  

Willows at Simms,  oil on gessoboard,  6 x 6",
 $150 ready to frame.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Spring Hay, Draped

Spring Hay, Draped,  oil on gessoboard,  6 x 6", 
$150, Ready to frame,  free shipping

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Spring Willows

Spring Willows,  oil on board,  6x8",  $200 
ready to frame, free shipping

Monday, 18 May 2015

Spring Hay

   The greening of the landscape this time of year is a discovery for me.  The colors of winter in Montana were very different from Maine.  All winter the muted colors of the landscape were livened up with those yellow orange trees that I still have not been able to identify. (A species of willow?  Too wide to be cottonwoods.  I'm asking around and will find out soon. ) The willows along creeks were pink red orange magenta depending on the light.  Winter fields were ochre straw beige or white with snow.  And all these contrasted with the black shapes of the angus cows, blue mountains, pink mountains with snow at sunset.
      But now spring.  The black angus shapes now have smaller versions among them - calves!   Fields are becoming yellow green. Those red willows are turning yellow-ochre green.  The bare cottonwoods are now leafing out with yellow beigey green of the newly budding leaves.  The light is different, too.  I have to get up very early or be out there between 8 and 9 in the evening to get those long shadows I like.  At these high altitudes - nearly a mile high - the mid day light blows out any shadows and color saturation disappears.  There is usually a haze in the atmosphere but it's not air pollution.  The air is clean here and it's too early for forest fires.  I'm appreciating those days with scudding clouds that give shadow and contrast to the landforms below them.

                                           Spring Hay - Blue,  oil on board, 6 x 6"
                                                 $150,  free shipping ready to frame.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015


I am thrilled that the 30 Paintings in 30 Days project was such a success.   Of the 31 paintings I posted  29 have sold,  plus two more sold in the show at the Lewis & Clark Library.  I was able to write a check to Prickly Pear Land Trust for $700.  
I thoroughly enjoyed the month and now that it's over feel like I have all this time on my hands.  It was a busy month.  But,  onward.   I'll spend the next few weeks working on some large oils for the landscape show at Mary Tomas Gallery in Dallas.  The show opens April 4th.  Here are a couple just finished.  
 Landforms,  oil on canvas, 24 x 48"

Grainfields, oil on canvas, 24 x 48"

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Final 30 in 30 Painting

This is the last painting in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days series to Benefit Prickly Pear Trust. 
 The remaining paintings will be for sale at this special price of $100 through the weekend only.  
25 Paintings have sold!  Thank you all!

Into the Light #3,  pastel on board,  6 x 6"
$100,  ready to frame,  free shipping

Monday, 2 February 2015


This is not the final painting!  I will post one more since I removed the abstract painting that I posted early in this process.  So, to have an even 30 Montana landscapes I will post the last one in the next day or so.  Stay tuned!

Winter Cottonwoods, pastel, 5 x 7"
$100,  ready to frame, free shipping

Sunday, 1 February 2015

#29 - Almost There!

Day 29 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.  I'll post one more tomorrow. 
 I have thoroughly enjoyed this venture for so many reasons.  First, it has served to focus my painting. The painting has to be done and posted daily.  It hast to be small.  It will be either oil or pastel.  It will be a Montana subject and if possible, the Helena area and if possible an area that Prickly Pear Land Trust has acquired or is working on acquiring for public use.  These  parameters lighten the load of decisions I have to make each morning in my studio and makes it easier to get to work.

   In addition,  it's been fun to post them and get immediate feedback from  people seeing them on Facebook, Daily Paintworks, my blog and website.  I've enjoyed meeting new friends and feeling a shared value of these beautiful locations.  I feel more in touch with other people in the Helena area who are actively using the land PPLT has preserved - skiing, mountain biking, hiking, or just enjoying it as part of our common landscape. 
Buyers have spanned the continent from Maine and Massachusetts to California and many in the Helena area.  I expected support from Montanans but am surprised by the buyers from the east coast and California who signed up. So thank you all!  

Mt. Ascension, Winter,  pastel, 6 x 6"
$100,  ready to frame, free shipping

Saturday, 31 January 2015

27 & 28

 October, Missouri River,  oil,  5 x 7"

Prickly Pear Creek,  oil, 5 x 7"
$100,  ready to frame,  free shippping.

Thursday, 29 January 2015


Mt Helena at Dusk,  oil,  6 x 8"
$100,  ready to frame,  free shippping

Wednesday, 28 January 2015


Snow in the Shadows, oil, 6 x 6"
$100,  ready to frame, free shipping 

Tuesday, 27 January 2015


City Through the Trees,  oil,  5 x 7"
$100,  ready to frame, free shipping

Monday, 26 January 2015

22 & 23

Last of the Light 2, oil, 6 x 6:
$100,  ready to frame, free shipping

Backdrop,  oil,  6 x 6"
$100,  ready to frame,  free shipping

Saturday, 24 January 2015


Haystack Near Elliston,  oil, 6 x 6"
$100,  unframed,  free shipping

Friday, 23 January 2015

19 & 20

 Last of the Light,  oil, 5 x 7"
$100,  ready to frame, free shipping

The steep banks of the Missouri late on an October day.  In the blue shadows only the tops of the autumn trees are illuminated.

Looking Toward Mt. Ascension, oil,  6 x 6"

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Day 18

I should call this Number 18, not day 18.  I've lost track of the days.  But I started this challenge 2 days late and it's Jan. 22nd,  so I'm only one day behind - two days??  But the bottom line is that I will paint 30 paintings in about 30 days, so never mind the technicalities.  This is supposed to be fun. (it is.)

Along the Road,  pastel, 6 x 8"
$100,  ready to frame,  free shipping

I really liked the dark and light pattern in this image.  The dark trees and their shadows against the light grass.  

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Day 16 and 17

 I think these trees are a species of willow because even though they lose their leaves in winter the branches are a pinkish orange and when the sun hits them they glow.

Frozen, Spring Meadow Lake
pastel, 6 x 8"
$100,  unframed,  free shipping

Winter Trees, pastel, 6 x 8"
$100,  unframed,  free shipping

Monday, 19 January 2015

Days 14 & 15

People ask me if I miss the ocean.  No, I don't.  What the ocean is for me as a painter is a horizontal plane that reflects light.  Here in Montana the fields of grass and snow serve that purpose.  They are all horizontal planes that reflect the light.  The snow this winter is especially beautiful on the fields.  It is rarely white.  

   Winter Herd,  oil , 6 x 6"
$100,  unframed,  free shipping

Trees Near Elliston,  pastel, 6 x 6"
$100,  unframed,  free shipping

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Day 13

    This is turning out to be a very fun and worthwhile project.  I love hearing every day from people who are viewing the paintings and it's very gratifying that so many have sold.  Thank you!    I'm behind by a few so will try to catch up in the next few days.

                                           A Cold Day But Sunny, oil on board,  6 x 6
                                           $100,  unframed,  free shipping

This is what I saw cross country skiing on the Bill Roberts Golf Course looking toward Mt. Helena                                           

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Day 12

I generally don't paint barns because I they have become cliche.  But, I liked the dark shape this one made and it's contrast against the sunlit fields.

                                       Barn Shadows,  oil on board,  6 x 8"
                                          $100,  free shipping, ready to pop into
                                            a standard size frame

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Day 11

Cliff Shadows,  pastel,  6 x 6"
 $100,  free shipping

As the shadow overtook the cliff just the tops of the pines
caught the sunlight.  

Monday, 12 January 2015

Day 9 & 10

Yow,  missed yesterday so I'll post two today to catch up.  30 in 30 days means painting on weekends, too!

  I'm still really taken with the winter light around here and how pink and blue the snow is on the mountains and on the ground.  

  Valley Grazing,  oil on board, 6 x 8" 
 $100,  ready to frame, free shipping


       Mt Helena with Cattle,  oil on board,  6 x 8"

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Day 8

OK, this isn't my usual landscape, but it was painted this morning in my
We paint on the floor without brushes.
  It's a great way to loosen up and is fun even for non-painters.  

                                    Spring Will Come,  acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20"

                                             This painting is up for auction.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Day 6 &7

         I've been working from photos that I took before the snow and am itching to get out and do some plein air work but it's been so bloody snowy and cold.  Sun was predicted for today so I was getting ready to go out, but checked the temp and it was -4.   Just too cold to be out there standing for a while.  I'll get out there as soon as the mercury comes up to something tolerable.

Winter Stand 2,  oil on panel, 6 x 6"
 $100, ready for your standard size frame,
shipping included

                                       Along the Creek, oil on board,  6 x 8"
                                       $100, ready for your standard size frame,
shipping included