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Back to the barn

December 14th, 2010 5 comments


Maybe you can think of a better name for this painting?
In the very middle of the last century, a very small girl who lived in a big city picked up a pencil and started drawing horses. I do not understand why these big beasts are so important to so many little girls, but no matter their background; girls who grow up on farms and girls who grow up in fancy houses and girls that live in shabby apartments in cities that are filled with asphalt and too many cars become captivated with horses. But this particular little girl who loved to draw horses drew her first horse at the age of three. By the time she was 12, she realized that the pony she wished for every Christmas was not coming, she was realistic; no one else in her neighborhood had a horse anyway. But reality did not interfere with art, now her horses were a lot more life-like and managed to impress a few adults, she even gave a few of her drawings away.
When she was 18, she left the big city and moved to Idaho where people did have horses. By the time she was 21 she had a horse of her own named Freckles. And she kept drawing horses. Her 9 years in Idaho gave her the opportunity to live with horses and know them intimately, and her understanding of how to draw them grew. Life changed again and she moved back to another big city where once again having a horse was a luxury beyond her means.
That person was me if you hadn’t already guessed. I still draw horses a lot but I haven’t painted many, because I didn’t want my horses to be trite, so I have pretty much avoided them entirely until just recently. This is one of a series of paintings I have been working on. I don’t think I’m “there” yet, but I feel like I am making good progress. Can you help me name this painting? What does it say to you?

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Beyond the Birch Thicket

November 30th, 2010 6 comments

Sometimes I don’t have a lot of time to paint, other times, I want to do something fun and different. That’s when I go to Susie Short’s website and find some of her fun painting ideas, complete with tips and tricks. I have always loved the look of Birch trees, so why not paint a thicket? This painting measures 6″ x 6″ and is SOLD. I have one more very similar the same size and a postcard sized one (with a little red fox) that are still available.
I just finished painting something big, but it’s a Christmas present so I can’t show anyone until after Christmas!

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The glow of autumn

November 16th, 2010 3 comments

You’d probably be surprised at how many paintings of autumn colors I’ve attempted and then tossed in frustration.

The weather here in November is tempestuous, to say the least. The sky will have big pregnant dark clouds and wind and sunshine and rain all in the same day. And the trees glow. I’ve seen it. They clash with the dark sky and fill my eyes with their incredible color. Right after a rainfall, even the streets and the wet cars reflect the color of the leaves on and off the trees. It always seems magical to me, and I guess I’ll just keep trying to paint what I see.

I won’t pretend that this painting has finally captured that which I seek. But I’m getting closer.

This painting is available for the bargain price of $45 if anyone falls in love with it.
It measures 7″ X 10″ and is on Arches fine watercolor paper.

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Categories: bicycling, landscapes, nature Tags:

Milanese little shop of horrors

October 28th, 2010 4 comments

There was just one day for me to walk the streets of Milan, check out the little shops, and hang out in the piazzas so I was very happy when a native Milanese who worked with Elena drew me a map. “Go here, there’s lots of things to see.” Armed with that little map, I was off. The streets was narrow, there was no parking and it was very difficult to see how cars managed to get through. I saw many bicyclists, some talking on cell phones or smoking negotiating the cobblestones and the cars. The sidewalk was less than two feet across, so if someone came from the opposite direction, you might end up in the street trying to get around them.. where those cars and cyclists were.

One of the little shops drew my attention. There were miniature skulls in the window. Now that’s odd. I looked inside and saw all kinds of skulls; big animals, small animals, animals with horns, as well as some skeletons. I had to go in there! There were tiny skulls carved from semiprecious stones, and even paintings of bones and things, but there were real bones too. It was just a tiny place, the size of a small living room, cluttered and full of wonders, many clearly ancient. And there was a guard dog. He met me outside of the shop, but by the time I got to the back, he was relaxing on this overstuffed dark red leather sofa. I drew close to the displays of the tiniest carved skulls and creatures to see if I could find a price. I had enough class not to gasp and drew away from the tantalizing display. Fortunately the proprietor permitted me to take a photo of his dog..

(new! you can click on the painting to see an enlargement of it)

This painting is for sale

Related posts: A day in Milan

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Categories: Italia, nature Tags:

Little Naches River

September 12th, 2010 4 comments


This weekend we rode our bikes over Chinook Pass, about 5200 feet above sea level. From there we flew down the mountain (on our bikes) and stopped at Whistling Jack’s Lodge, founded in 1931. Now a Whistling Jack is actually a hoary marmot, and they live in that high altitude area.

One of our friends that rode with us actually saw one. Believe me, I was jealous.
Meanwhile, before dinner, I had exactly 30 minutes to sketch. So I sat down next to the river behind our cabin and was captivated by this tree stump. So I tried to draw it..

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