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Friday, December 21, 2012

Snow Globe

Posting this painting that I completed back in August, as much of Wisconsin has been hit with a blizzard.  Thinking especially this morning of my brother and Dad as they dig out from the storm and get food to all the animals.  My brother and his wife have cows to milk as well.  Hoping all the equipment is in good working condition this morning to get the job done.
In the meantime, enjoy my interpretation of "Snow Globe."

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Beans and Barley Exhibit

The walls at Beans and Barley are decked out in bold colors for the Christmas season.  Former Pfister artist in residence Shelby Keefe has more than 10 paintings in the main dining room area that include both her performance paintings and studio/plein air work.  My work runs along the wall where restaurants guests gather before they are seated.  It includes many of my feathered and furry subjects.  Beans and Barley is located at the corner of Farwell and North Avenue in downtown Milwaukee.  Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and a wonderful place to shop for Christmas gifts!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

ArtBar Mini Show

It's November and that means the MINI show at the Artbar in Milwaukee's Riverwest area.  The opening is Friday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m., that's when sales begin.
The owner, Don, exhibits more than 400 miniature paintings on opening night, then continues to refresh the walls as sales proceed through end of December.  It's a fun, fun time.  I'll have about 20 pieces in this exhibit, hope you can support local art!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Overcast October

I recently enjoyed a quick (but fun) 24-hour trip up to Pembine Wisconsin for a little Plein Air painting.  We spent the first afternoon at Dave's Falls, one of those beautiful places where you feel like you're in Colorado.  The next morning was spent at Beecher Lake.  The challenge of both these sessions was the constant mist and even rain.  Putting up an umbrella would of made my palette/canvas even darker, so that wasn't an option.  I tried to position myself under a tree, but that natural cover only provided temporary shelter.  In plein air painting, there is always a learning.  What I enjoyed the most was the fellowship of special friends, a little time away from the normal routine and the plip-plop of acorns falling into nearby water.....plein air is always a full-on sensory experience....THANK YOU!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Plein Air in the Pumpkin Patch

I'm in an orange phase.....these pumpkins just seem to radiate happiness.  There are plenty of pumpkin farms in the neighborhood, this one happens to be at Barthels.  The early spring frost was devastating to these apple growers, the fields are usually filled with families picking apples.

On this morning, the slate blue clouds were forming which I felt created a nice contrast to the orange pumpkins.  I will do a larger painting from this study.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Pumpkin Patch

Fall is in the air and this is my favorite time of year.  Great sleeping weather and calmer colors to paint.  The greens aren't "screaming" anymore and the fields are filled with fun shapes.  Since I'm in the orange mode -- next up is bittersweet. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Painting in MAINE!

We recently had an opportunity to travel to Maine and stay on a little island outside of Portland (Peaks Island), thanks to a good friend of my husband.  It was truly an artist's dream!  Painting, observing, listening, enjoying and did I mention....eating?  We stayed in a cottage right along the Atlantic.  When we first arrived, it was pouring rain and I really couldn't see too much out of our windows.  On the next morning, fog was rolling in and the waves were crashing.  I just had to get out to my pjs!  I won't post those pictures....but I was anxious to get out to paint those waves and the fog.

Even with little Alex, I was able to paint six canvases and will use these studies for larger works.  We ventured off the island one day and drove up to the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland to see a large collection of Wyeth paintings.  Another amazing experience.  Seeing three generations of work under one roof is well worth the trip.  Our trip south took us down to Cushing to experience the Olson House, where Andrew Wyeth painted his iconic "Christina's World."  Seeing the windows, the turquoise door, the fields, the chairs....all known pieces in his symbolic paintings were very touching.  A cemetery is just a stones throw from the Olson house, where the Olson family is laid to rest, along with Andrew Wyeth.  The Olson house was his Maine....he said, "I couldn't stay away from there.  I did other pictures, but I'd always seem to gravitate back to the house."  It's a good reminder to paint what you know, what you love, what appeals to YOU! 



On our last day in Portland, we also visited the museum to see the Winslow Homer collection.  So inspiring.  Unfortunately, we just missed the big Homer exhibit....but did get to see the staff working on the exhibition lettering and placement of the paintings in the gallery space, also neat. 

Again, our thanks to our great hosts for offering us this wonderful window to Maine!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Lynden Sculpture Garden

Last night I enjoyed a beautiful evening plein air painting during Lynden Sculpture Gardens education fundraiser.  The sculpture of the Bremen Stadtmusikanten really got my attention as I loved the Grimm Brothers fairytale as a child.  Plus, the location of the sculpture provided a little wind protection as the wind was pretty intense when I first arrived on location.  The "Red Tree" sculpture was also donated for the auction last night too and this was painted about a year ago at Lynden.  Met so many nice people last night and especially enjoyed talking to the children about getting outside to paint!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gallery Night in Mineral Point

This Saturday evening I am honored to be exhibiting my work alongside fellow artist Randy Larson.  We grew up in rural Blanchardville and our land shared a fencerow.  We rode the same bus to school but probably never envisioned a day when we would show work together in a gallery.  I love how life unfolds!  I will have 12 new paintings in this exhibit.  Please stop in for a visit Saturday night at the Walker House from 4 - 9 p.m.  And yes, we have free root beer floats!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Plein Air exhibit/award

We had a fun opening reception at the Artbar in Riverwest last Friday evening for a Wisconsin Plein Air Painters exhibit.  This painting received an honorable mention!  It was painted in December of 2010 along frozen Lake Michigan at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center.  On this triple-digit degree day in July, this is a refreshing thought. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cedarburg Plein Air Event Awards

A few weeks ago 167 artists participated in the 12th annual Cedarburg Plein Air Event.  Artists leave the comfort of their studios and paint directly from life, in all kinds of weather.  This year brought us high, gusty winds and extreme heat. 
Often, the best part of these events are the people you meet.  I enjoyed getting to know a young farm couple who are such hard workers and great parents.  Meeting a delightful woman at the strawberry patch who has been picking berries there for 35 years.  And, while painting ducks, I learned that male ducks have a curled feather on their tail....who knew??? 

To top it off, I was honored to receive two awards this year.  An honorable mention for "Chicken Dance" and 1st Place for the Port Washington Paint Out "Whitecaps at Southshore Beach."

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cedar Creek Meadow

This was just one of those magical nights.....only a few bugs, great light and the company of wonderful friends (including some cows).  We had intended to paint cows, but then we walked around a corner and WOW, this wheat field screamed out to us with dramatic color.  The cows continued to peek around the corner to watch us and perhaps provided a few painting tips.  Thanks to Susan and Pammie for making the evening super special!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Boats, bras and bugs

Yes, that sums up my plein air experience on the first day of the Cedarburg Plein Air event.  We spend the day in lovely Port Washington, no lack of painting material in this charming "mainstreet USA" town. 
Around 7 a.m., I decided to head to the beach and what's the first thing I noticed?  A bra strewn across the beach.  Thought to myself, well someone obviously had a good time last night!!!  That started the morning wtih a giggle.  I fought the wind all morning and ended up with my umbrella in Lake Michigan at least 4 times.  The picture shows algae stuck to parts as evidence.  Then, the bugs decide to land all over my palette. 

All these things are the rich experiences of plein air painting.....I wouldn't change a thing about my morning.  Now, off to find some boats!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Last One In!

This painting was inspired by the ducks at the wonderful Family Farm, just outside of Grafton, WI.  We have been "frequent farmer" members there for years now, as our 5-year old son adores feeding and seeing the animals.  You can also jump around amongst bales of hay...just simple, fun play for adults and children!  I was especially drawn the the streak of light highlighting the last duck as he found his way to the watering hole.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Wisconsin Plein Air Painters Honorable Mention

I was honored to receive an award over the weekend from the annual Wisconsin Plein Air Painters Association exhibit.  This painting "Fall Torch" received an honorable mention among so many wonderful paintings by Wisconsin artists.  The show runs through the end of June at Richeson Gallery in the Appleton area.   This was painted at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center last fall in that glorious late afternoon sun. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Spring Sunset

I love those moments in life when you stumble upon something special.  That happened a few months ago on our drive home from a pizza restaurant in Mequon and I noticed a sign for a city Park.  We happened to arrive when the sun was setting and it was beautiful.  No matter where you live, there are always special places close to home.  The Mequon park is Villa Grove.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Has anyone here seen Gertrude?

Ahhhh, the life of chickens and other feathered friends.  Out enjoying the sunshine and running around with a sense of urgency.  Who or what are they looking for??  A grub, the perfect corn kernel, leftover cabbage and greens?  The white chicken told me they are trying to find their wild-n-crazy chicken friend, Gertrude, who often wanders in the countryside and looks for greener pastures.  Naughty chicken!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Chorus Line

When I saw these cows coming towards me, I felt like they were about to start dancing and singing in a chorus line.  But instead they are chomping the grass like a giant lawnmower.  As I continue painting cows, my goal is to focus on simplifying shapes to become more painterly.  All these legs of the Chorus Line can make my head spin!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dozing Dames

Living in Wisconsin, it's hard to avoid these beautiful bovines.  Can't you just hear them chewing their cud on a beautiful summer day?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Melting before our eyes!

On Tuesday, my friend Lynn and I found a few patches of remaining snow and began painting.  At the end of our two hours, our subject changed dramatically.  Where once we had a hillside of snow, it was all gone!  The temps reached the 60s that afternoon making it a great day to paint.  We hiked about a mile back to our cars in mud and slush making it a great workout too.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

More Schlitz Audubon plein air

Since there is no ice or snow along the lakeshore this year, I am focusing on painting trees in the winter.  I sometimes feel like my brain is "mush" after these paintings of all the complicated branches and patterns.  So I try to simplify the subject as much as possible.  Every brushstroke is a learning experience!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Petite Perch

I have a certain fondness for Chickadees now that my son has spent two years in the wonderful "Chickadee" classroom at Schlitz Audubon Nature Preschool.  So when this little bird landed on top of a cattail, it was a perfect combo for a painting.  And, it is now uplifting to hear them singing their spring song as we look forward to the next season.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Foul weather friends

Foul weather?  Yes, for snow lovers like me it's been a rough season.  Think I've painted out twice this winter, despite the fact that I bought TWO boxes of foot warmers back in October, thinking I'd be fully prepared for another exciting season of snow and ice.  So, I'm in my little, cozy studio painting chickens and cows and lots of fun stuff!  Thanks to the chickens of Monches Farm for always providing such amazing inspiration!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Icecanos at Schlitz Audubon

This is a new 16 x 20 studio painting completed from plein air work at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Fox Point.   These "icecanos" occur when high, cold waves crash on the shore and freeze quickly.  After a few days, formations occur that look like volcanos of ice.  If you're lucky and the wind is blowing, water will spurt up out of the holes too.  It's pretty exciting!
This painting and other icy subjects were on exhibit at the Pfister Hotel's Snow Show on Gallery Night.  Thanks Shelby and Richard for a great evening.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My first snow painting of the season

For snow lovers like me, it's been a long wait for our first real snowfall.  By this time last year, I had already painted outside in the snow more than 10 times.  So I packed up everything and headed literally around the corner to a new nature preserve area.  Lots of views of Lake Michigan and untouched forest areas.  Now I'm just waiting for the ice to form along Lake Michigan!

Friday, January 13, 2012


Yesterday was our first significant snowfall of the season.  It's so hard to believe after last year's bonanza.  I grew quite fond of painting "en plein air" snow scenes last winter and really missed it.  So I decided to take the advise of my good friend Lori and use the small studies/photographs and work larger.  Here is one of the three paintings I completed over the past few weeks.  The first is January Raw at Schlitz Audubon....16 x 20.  This painting, along with many others pieces from Schlitz Audubon, will be on exhibit during Gallery Night (Jan. 20) at the Pfister Hotel from 9 - 11:30 (it's a Snowball!!).  Two paintings from this series will also be on display at DeLind Gallery across the street from the Pfister.