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Wednesday, March 27, 2013


During a recent portrait painting session, I felt an unusually deep connection with the model.  There was just something honest and raw about his gaze.  During the three-hour session, I reflected on seeing Jesus through the eyes of a stranger.

I saw suffering and great hope.  That is what Holy Week represents to me.  I'd like to share an excerpt from a favorite author, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

"Jesus Christ is with us not only in lonely hours, but may encounter us in every step we take, in every person we meet.  Remember, I am with you....every person may be Jesus Christ, God himself, who is addressing us.  The sojourner along the way, the beggar at the door, the sick person before the church door may represent God's demand on us.  Jesus says, 'just as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me.'"

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Field to Studio

"Chicken Dance" Plein Air
During the Cedarburg Plein Air Painting event last year, I did several paintings of chickens.  Yes, a moving target for plein air work...even worse than cows, these chickens don't sit still for a moment!  Nothing beats the spontaneous brushwork of a plein air piece, but it's also exciting to think about some larger paintings in the studio.  I like using the winter months for that exploration. 

On this first day of spring with windchills below zero, this green grass is looking quite appealing.  So, here are some examples of studio work that was completed after the plein air studies.

"Struttin' Our Stuff" Studio Painting
"Father Knows Best" Studio Painting

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A calming creek

Yet another place that's close to home I've driven past a zillion times and finally painted there.  The snow was captivating.  Draping the trees and the areas along the creek.  Robins came by in droves to signal a true sign of spring.  I even spotted a bluebird and for those of you who know me, they seem to follow me.  All in all, a wonderful and peaceful plein air experience!
"Pigeon Creek 1" - 11 x 14

block in

Pigeon Creek 2 - 11 x 14
The Robins were everywhere!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Shades of Gray

On March 6th we set out to paint in overcast conditions.  I find the lack of sun much more challenging when it comes to painting the snow. 
The first stop was a beautiful church just north of Mequon.  I've always loved how there's a nice farm across the street.  A unique scene when you live so close to a big city. 

Getting started

"Lakefield Road" 10 x 12
Then we ventured off to the Cedarburg Quilt Museum.  I have always loved how the buildings are all tucked together, cozy and warm just like a quilt on a gray day.

"Cedarburg Quilt Museum"  12 x 12

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A blustery beginning to the day

In the early hours of the morning of March 5th, my friend Liesl texted me and reported that the icecano formations on Lake Michigan were "awesome."  Looking at the radar, the weather forecast was calling for snow.  Plus, I was fighting off a cold....all reasons to paint Lake Michigan another day.  But then I thought maybe the fresh air would do me some good and I hadn't been down to the shores of Lake Michigan at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in a long time.  I called my painter friend Lynn and we tried to beat the incoming snowstorm.  The lakefront didn't disappoint. 

At first we were met with that wonderful "peachy" sky that rolls around this time of the year.  Then, the fierce winds picked up and that all changed within minutes we were being pelted with snow and ice.  Suddenly we heard voices and the preschoolers had ventured down to play in the icecanos with Miss Liesl, Miss Collette and Miss CeCe.  What a joy to watch the kids and spend time with them hiking up the big hill.  If you venture down the path, you'll find some remnent snow angels along the way! 
Chatting with the preschoolers
A finished painting (9 x 12)

Finished Painting (9 x 12)
Can you see me on the far right?

Thanks to James and Liesl for sending photos!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cedar Creek

We are fortunate to live nearby the charming town of Cedarburg.  As an artist, I am grateful for the people of the community who had the foresight to save the historic buildings.  It's no wonder Cedarburg has so many artists, it's very inspiring!
On this very cold Saturday, a few friends and I set up along the creek in knee deep snow and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the creek.  Our friend Anne stopped by with some much needed hot chocolate!