NOW SHOWING - 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Check back often to see what's on the easel today!

Friday, May 8, 2020

Hello from Quarantine Central - painting for FUN!

Hope all of you are staying healthy, wealthy, and wise during this Stay at Home time.  That is, I hope all of you are healthy, hanging in there, and keeping busy or at least relaxing and enjoying some quiet time.

I've been in Louisiana since the first week of March to take care of my mom following knee replacement, so I'm been out of the artist community loop.  But now I'm back home and enjoying my own quiet time in my studio during this Stay at Home mandate.

Besides the usual fixing things around the house, cleaning and organizing closets, and other mundane tasks, I try to paint something or do something art related every day.

I haven't painted in a while, so as a warmup have started doing little 5x7 paintings for fun.

Here are two I finished this week:

This one is watercolor on Yupo paper, a plastic paper.

This one is of my favorite view of Pikes Peak through Garden of the Gods.
It is watercolor on Fabriano Artistico hot pressed paper. 

The plan is to mat each of these "Little Gems" paintings in a white 8x10 mat in a plastic sleeve, frame-ready.  Stay tuned for more painting fun.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Landscaping - in Winter?

Here we are just after our 4th snowfall in the last week.  Gotta say that winter is not my favorite season.

It used to be when we were younger and had kids who like to sled and make snowmen and we used to ski a lot.  But as the kids are all grown and we're older, I priorities change and I seem to prefer staying in my studio where it's warm with a cup of coffee or cocoa from my new coffee bar.

But I digress - I meant to update you on the last stages of the artsy yard remodel I last wrote about.  I finished phase one, the patio, that I told you about already in my last post.

Phase Two was adding stenciled stepping stones from the patio to the new side walkway that leads to my studio and wood chips replacing the grass.  So much work, but it looks awesome.  And fun that my daughter, Shelley, did all the stencil work for me.  Have you ever tried doing stenciled pavers?

This is before the stenciling and before the wood chips added:

The pavers (12x12) lead to my morning coffee bench on the left and to the gate on the right.

The view from our dining room window.

Shelley at work with the stencils
Stencils all done

This is after the stenciling was done and the wood chips added:

And finally, here is the new walkway leading from the front yard 
to the gate leading into the backyard:

Phase 1 and 2 all done.  It worked perfectly for visitors who came to my studio for the Pikes Peak Studio Tour in September.


Thursday, August 8, 2019

Landscaping as Art

Did you ever think of  yard work as art?  It's hard work and hot and something we all have to do, so why would you think of it as art?

Well, I started a huge back yard remodel mid-June this summer and it's turning out to be a lot of work.  I've been posting progress photos on my Facebook and Instagram accounts, and many people have commented that what I've done so far is a work of art.  Wow, I never thought about it that way.  All I know is it's a joy to my heart.

I've decided that if I can't be painting in the studio, I can be creating in my back yard.  I have this vision in my head, just like a vision I may have when I start a painting.  This project is quite a challenge and a progressing just like a painting, sometimes with a mind of it's own.  I have a general plan, but go with the flow and change my plan when I think of new ideas.  That's how art works.

So how did this all start?  Did you know that in north Colorado Springs, this is considered high desert, and if you don't water the lawn it will die.  And to water a big yard, you may be surprised with a $400 monthly water bill in summer.  Ouch!  That's what happened to us a couple of summers ago.  So, what do you do?  You let the lawn die and landscape so that there is NO GRASS!  I'll happily spend money to water vegetables, trees, shrubs, and flowers.  All these feed us, our family and neighbors, our honey bees, and all the birds and insects that now visit our back yard.

So next time you're working in your yard, think about what you can do to make your space a pleasant place to hang out and enjoy the outdoors.  Go on Pinterest and save ideas you like and think you may want to try someday in your own yard.  Then go out - and create ART!

Before:  The lawn died - and the weeds took over!

First Step:  Pull all the weeds and level the yard.  Well, that took days!

The initial plan was to add 2-3 inches of playground chips where the grass used to be.
That then made the concrete patio too low.  Solution?
Add pavers on top of the concrete and raise the patio.
Not that complicated, but wow - several days of more hard work.

But it was worth it - my new sanctuary in the evenings.  Right at the back door to my studio!

Lots more to come in the big project.  Stay tuned for the next stages.

Monday, May 13, 2019

I'm Back!

Life gets in the way as it tends to do.  But I have been painting up a storm lately.  So I'm Back!

I'm still intrigued by the watercolor batik process using various rice papers, hot paraffin, ink, and watercolor.

So I wanted to show you two of my newest paintings featuring water lilies.  These are painted on a wonderful rice paper with gold filaments built into the paper, one of my favorite papers.

I now own a framing business and the photos show the frames I built with mats for these two paintings so they match.  Hopefully someone will love and buy both of them 😀

Stay tuned for more photos of the process for these two paintings and some of my other new paintings.

If you're interested in these two paintings or would like to see more of my artwork, feel free to contact me at

Thanks for visiting!

"The Lily Pond" 
 image size 10 x 25 
frame outside dimensions 18 x 32-1/2

"Koi Wiggle Dance"
image size 10 x 19-1/2
frame outside dimensions 18 x 27-1/2

Thursday, February 9, 2017

"My America"

Every morning I get up and look out of my bedroom window at the most gorgeous view of Pikes Peak.  After 26 years here in Colorado Springs, I never get tired of that view.  Tired of the driving in the snow and scraping ice off my windshield, but never tired of the snow on the Peak.

I came across a really old copy of America the Beautiful in my stash of vintage music paper and just couldn't wait to paint the Peak and Old Glory.  

The title of this one is "My America."

The painting is done on an 8 x 10 canvas and mounted into a black float frame.   

I can't wait to hang it at the gallery. When you're in town, come by Boulder Street Gallery at 206 N. Tejon in downtown Colorado Springs and see my collection of vintage music paper paintings.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Can't believe it's almost Christmas again!

This has been a very busy year with work, medical issues, and lots of art activities.  Hard to believe that it's already the week before Christmas.  With our late warm weather this Fall here in Colorado Springs, Christmas has just sneaked up on us.

              Here are my latest Christmas creations for this year - marbleized glass ornaments.

I have had several art openings this year and have been really busy as Gallery Coordinator for the Boulder Street Gallery Artists in downtown Colorado Springs.  

You should stop by Boulder Street Gallery now and often and check out all the awesome artwork and handmade Christmas ornaments by the 26 artists in our gallery.  Perfect place to shop for reasonably priced original artwork by our local artists.

Merry Christmas from our wonderful group of artists at Boulder Street Gallery 
located at 206 N. Tejon, downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

It's Christmas Ornament Time!

While Santa's elves have been busy making toys, I've been busy creating Christmas ornaments.  Each ornament is an original watercolor painting in a cute frame.  I've done all different designs - snowmen, Santas, ornaments, and Colorado landscapes.

These have been fun to paint and are great to use on your own tree, an ornament exchange, or as a hostess gift.

If you'd like to see them in person, I have some of them at Boulder Street Gallery & Frame in downtown Colorado Springs and at my own gallery at 6665 Delmonico Dr., Suite D in Rockrimmon neighborhood in Colorado Springs.

Here is a sampling of the ones I've done so far.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Where has the time gone?

Where has the time gone?  It seems like just yesterday I was doing the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge.  And now here it is well into July.  And just like that - poof!  It's the middle of summer already.

I don't know about you, but it seems the older I get the faster the time goes.  My grandpa and great uncle used to tell me that and I just didn't understand it.  Now I do.

But honestly, I have been super busy and painting up a storm!  I've painted at home and with friends - lots and lots of batiks that are just waiting to be framed or mounted onto canvas.  And I've been in several shows as well and selling!

So hopefully you've been following me on Facebook these last few months and seen all the fun and exciting events going on since January.

One of the best was the "Trees" show at the Dream Catchers Gallery in downtown Colorado Springs for the month of April.  I had four paintings in that show and sold 3 of them on opening night!  Many thanks to my friends for buying these paintings.

Here are the ones I sold:

Aspens I and Aspens II - sold together as a set

Apple Blossom Time

Till next time . . . . .

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Day 18 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

I must confess that I have not painted any paintings in the last two days.  I have done art related activities, but no paintings.  Yesterday, I had two of my art friends over and we visited down in my studio about what we've been up to and made plans for upcoming meetings and brainstormed about possible ideas for future shows and events.

Then today after church, I spent the better part of the afternoon installing new window blinds in my studio.  Wow, was that a job!  Nothing went as planned.  The measurements were right, but the idiot who designed the brackets never had to install them, I'm sure.

So the blinds look great after I had to modify the dumb brackets to make them work.  Then clean up the mess and did some reorganizing in my studio.  That took so much longer than I had ever planned for.  But in the process, I did find several new reference photos that I think will make great paintings in the coming weeks.

Here's what it looks like now from my chair in my studio.  Check out all those paintings I finished so far.  - 13 paintings so far.

But this challenge has been just that - a real challenge.  And I must admit it's one I don't think I can keep up with any longer.  Working a full time job, a part time job, and now needing to paint larger paintings for upcoming shows, I think I won't be doing one every day.

I will try to do something on my art almost every day, but it won't be one a day.  I'll continue to post as often as I can when I have something worth showing you.

So till later, thanks for following me so far.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Day 16 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

I did two artsy things tonight in keeping with the purpose of the challenge - art everyday.  After work, I went to an art opening at Academy Art and Frame at 7560 N. Academy Blvd.  Got to see my friend, Carol Naylor's awesome artwork at the gallery.

Then when I came home, I painted my painting for Day 16.  My inspiration for this painting was a photo I took at my mom's house in Louisiana several years ago of a beautiful hydrangea bush loaded with pink blooms.

This one is a 5" x 7" watercolor on Ampersand Aquabord.

Day 15 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge
(Actually on January 15, 2015)

Yes, yes, I know. I missed Day 14. But what a day it was yesterday. After working all day at the office, then coming home and having dinner, I needed to spend some time planning my music for this Sunday's worship service and practicing the half dozen or so new choir anthems that I just received.

Three and a half hours later, I realized I hadn't painted yet that day. So I decided to go down to my studio, do a little painting, write my blog, and then it happened. My computer decided it was not going to cooperate at all. After about a half an hour trying to write my blog on a computer working at a snail's  pace, I decided it was better if I just went to bed.  You know how it is.  Sometimes you just have one of those days.

But the good thing about this challenge is that there are really no hard and fast rules. You can paint a painting every day, you can paint one painting over several days, you can just plan your paintings, or you could just think about painting. The true purpose is to just get you painting. So that's exactly what I've been doing. Instead of going days, weeks, or even months without painting or even going down into my studio, I've been thinking about painting and actually painting. Not always my best paintings mind you, but at least I'm working at it again. And it feels great.

Allow me to regress a bit now.  I have to tell you that this last week during all this cold weather, all we could think about were our poor bees.  We only have one hive left after the bear destroyed the other two this past October. This colony seems to be safe and sound in the corner of our vegetable garden all covered up for winter.  But because it's been so cold, we haven't been able to check on them in quite a while. We worry that they won't have enough to eat over the winter because they're a newly established hive and got a late start building their honeycomb.

So this past week, I built a special feeder to use in the hive that we could easily slip in sugar patties to supplement their feeding over the winter. But we couldn't install it yet because it's been so cold. Watching the weather, we saw that it's supposed to get in the mid fifties tomorrow. So we will install the new feeder if the weather does get that warm. So needless to say, I've been thinking about bees every day for the last several days.

So tonight after choir practice I came home and felt that I wanted to do something a little silly for a change.  All I could think about were bees, flowers, and Valentine's Day.  So with that in mind, I just started to doodle and suddenly flowers became hearts that then became a whole flower bed of heart flowers, and of course a bee.

So here is my silly Bee Mine Valentine Bee.  This watercolor painting is 5" x 7" on panel.  Im hoping someone will like this one and buy it as a Valentine gift for their special someone.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Day 13 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

What a beautiful day in Colorado today.  The sun was out and the trees were all frosted by an icy snow mix that made the entire landscape look like a fairy tale.  Another beautiful day in paradise!

A beautiful day always seems to boost everyone's spirit, mine included.  Tonight's painting was a direct result of my better mood at the end of a beautiful day.

I seem to be drawn to flowers these days.  Maybe it's my longing for warm spring days and the thoughts of my tulips, crocus, irises popping through the ground.  The photo I used for tonight's painting is one given to me by my friend, Becky.  She took this one in the iris gardens at the East Library in Colorado Springs.

This one is another 6" x 6" watercolor painting on the Ampersand Aquabord.  I think I'm finally getting the hang of working on this board.  It's totally different than working on traditional watercolor paper and really different than watercolor batik.  I think I'm even starting to like it.

I'm hoping to get many of my "Small Gems" framed up and ready to put up at Boulder Street Gallery for the month of February.  I will be one of the two featured artists at the gallery for the entire month of February and will have paintings in the front window in addition to my usual wall space.  Be watching for them!

Here is my painting for Day 13:

Day 12 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge
(Actually January 12th)

What a day in Colorado today.  So beautiful this morning with all the trees covered in fluffy ice.  A true winter wonderland.  Until you have to scrape it off your car and get to work.  Love Colorado in the Spring, Summer and Fall, but I am so done with Winter.  Can't wait for Spring!

So today was a day to hang around the house and box up the last of the Christmas decorations and do all those little piddly things that you never get to do on any other normal day.

Then before I knew it, the day flew by and then it was night and I hadn't painted my Day 12 painting yet.  Yikes!

So here's a little diddy I did before bed tonight.  This is another watercolor on 6" x 6" Aquabord.  Not my favorite, but at least I painted today.

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Day 11 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge
(really January 11, 2015)

Don't worry, you didn't miss my painting on Day 10.  I just couldn't manage one yesterday.  Thankfully, no penalty for skipping a day when needed.  Yesterday was an awesome, warm day here in Colorado with yukky and cold weather forecast for today.

So those of you in Colorado know that when you get that one nice day in Colorado after Christmas, you do that one most important thing - you take the Christmas lights off the outside of your house.  That's what we spent a good bit of the day doing and then also worked in the garage building a new sugar patty feeder for our one remaining bee hive while the garage was warm enough to work in.

For today's painting, I decided to finish a watercolor batik painting I started before Christmas that has been on my easel staring at me while I've been painting this challenge.  So I decided it was time to finish this one as tonight's challenge.

I normally take progression photos of my paintings as I go along.  Unfortunately, the early photos of this painting went into the black hole of cell phone photo world.  I did take a few photos tonight of the final steps.

Here is the original drawing I did to start the painting:

Here is the painting with the background and the onions finished:

Now the wires are done:


Here's what it looks like completely coated with wax and ready to iron the wax off:

And now the final reveal:
This painting is on a rice paper with gold threads in it and is 10" high x 19" wide.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Day 9 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Tonight's painting is a subject I dearly love - dragonflies.  I remember growing up seeing lots and lots of dragonflies in south Louisiana.  When I'd go to my grandmother's house, I remember them lined up on her clotheslines - dozens of them - in all sizes and colors.  They were so beautiful.  We would chase them and watch them fly and also let them climb onto the tip of an index finger.  Awesome experience for a kid.

Unfortunately, we don't see as many as we used to, especially in Colorado.  I really miss them.  I'm afraid they've been affected by the widespread use of pesticides just like our honey bees.

I recently did a large batik of a turquoise dragonfly on a stalk of a plant next to a yellow poppy.  I also made a 4 panel stained glass lamp with a dragonfly on each panel.

Here is tonight's painting.  It's on the Ampersand Aquabord and is 6" x 6" square.   It's a bit hard to see in the photo, but the wings and parts of the body are iridescent. 

Hope you enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed painting it. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Day 8 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

After a wonderful evening accompanying the choir at practice tonight at Gateway Presbyterian Church, I was inspired to paint something with a musical theme.

I remember once seeing a painting that had a treble clef in the middle of it that had colors that changed from one color to another around the color wheel. In the background though it had random notes and wasn't really any song I could recognize.  Of course being a musician, and a Virgo, I couldn't resist actually writing in the tune of one of my favorite songs, Amazing Grace. 

This painting is also on the Ampersand Aquabord panel and it is 8 inches by 8 inches square.  Each flowing music staff is painted with iridescent paint.  Really cool in person!

Here is the finished painting. I hope you like this one as much as I enjoyed painting it.

Day 7 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

This is turning out to be pretty tough, especially the scheduling part of it. When you work full time at one or two jobs, and you then come home and have all that stuff to do around the house, it's really easy to get distracted and not get down to the studio.

The first few days I painted first thing in the morning after I had my coffee, did my Bible study, and got dressed. Then I went to the office.  On other days, I tried painting in the evenings like I usually do after everything is done.

But as usual sometimes things get turned upside down, inside out, and backwards.  I stayed up too late last night, got off to a late start this morning, 15 minutes scraping the ice off my car, then finally to the office. With one thing or another I didn't start painting tonight until about 10 p.m.

But hey, at least I'm painting. That's the whole purpose of this challenge. It's to get you to paint every day.  Of course, every painting won't be a good one. I'm afraid tonight may not be one of the better ones. But at least I finished another painting, wrote my blog, and posted to Facebook.

Today's painting is another fish painting. I used a photo that I took of a French Angelfish on one of our dive trips.  These angelfish are so cool when you're swimming with them. They are very graceful and beautiful. Usually they swim in pairs.

This painting is also a 6" x 6" square Aquabord panel.  I'm hoping that if I keep working on this Aquabord I'll finally get the hang of it and figure out the best way to work with it.

It's very tempting to go back to my comfort zone and do batik watercolors every day. But I think another purpose of this challenge is to stretch yourself and go a bit out of the box and try new things.

Hope you like this one.   Now if I can just get those Christmas decorations packed away!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Day 6 in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Tonight, I painted a single rose as a tribute to my awesome husband on our 42nd wedding anniversary today.  Love you baby!

This is another watercolor painting on the Ampersand Aquabord.  Tonight's painting seemed to go a little easier than last night's painting.  Maybe I am starting to get the hang of painting on this surface. Or it's possible that I was in a really good mood tonight after an awesome anniversary today hanging out together, having lunch together, and then having drinks and dinner together.

This painting is 6" x 6" square on panel.  Hope you like it.

If you would like to see more of my paintings in person, stop by one of my galleries sometime. My own gallery is located in my husband's law office in northwest Colorado Springs at 6665 Delmonico Dr, Suite D.   I'm also in the Boulder Street Gallery in downtown Colorado Springs on Tejon Street across from the Uncle Wilbur fountain in Acacia Park.

Day 5 ofthe 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Finally, here is my painting for day 5. Although technically it's after midnight, I did start this earlier tonight on day 5.

This one was quite a challenge, because I was trying a new type of watercolor surface other than paper.  It's called Aquabord and is made by Ampersand. It is a masonite panel that is coated with a textured clay surface material that supposedly absorbs water colors like a fine paper. At least that's what the package said. I guess it will just take some getting used to. Just like anything new that you try for the first time.

I have several friends that use these and they like them because you can seal them and frame them without glass. I guess I'll have to keep trying, because I bought several of these. I'm bound and determined to get this right. You know me, persistent and stubborn at times. But, sometimes that's a good thing.

It's hard to tell by the photograph, but I also used irridescent paints which makes it all sparkly and fun. This one is 6" × 6".  You'd think a small painting would be quick and easy, but the little ones sometimes take as long as the larger ones.

So here is the photo of the finished painting.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Day 4 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

The  Unveiling! 

After a nice Sunday of church and lunch with friends,  it was time to pick up where I left off last night.  

As I wrote yesterday,  after the painting dries,  it gets totally coated with melted wax (plain white paraffin). Here's a closeup of what it looks like coated with wax:

Then let the ironing begin!   After ironing and changing the newspaper many times, all the wax is off, revealing the hidden gem under all that wax. 

Now here is your peek at batik - my finished painting:

Now the hardest part - what to paint tomorrow?  Hmmmmm!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Day 3 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

A Peek at Batik

Today I thought I'd give you a peek at something different. Today I worked on a batik watercolor painting that I had started last month and hadn't finished yet.

Batik painting is a process using rice papers, watercolor and melted wax, similar to batik on fabric.

For this painting, I used a photo of a field of pansies that I took when I visited Monet's gardens in France a few years back.   I then created a drawing from that photo.

Here is my original photo and my drawing:


The drawing gets transferred onto rice paper and then the painting and waxing begins.

Here is the painting with the pansies completed and waxed to protect them before I started the background.  This one is 8"x14".


Once I put in the background, the painting part is done. Here it is with the background painted in. It is still wet and the pansies are still coated with wax.  Now it needs to dry completely.  


Once completely dry, the painting gets totally waxed and then the wax is ironed off between layers of newspaper until all the wax is removed. And you thought an iron was only used on clothes!  Then it's ready to be framed and prepared to sell.

But that'll have to wait till tomorrow.  Stay tuned for the final reveal!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Day 2 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

I must say that it is harder than I thought it would be to get up and get in the studio first thing in the morning. Everything around the house is vying for my attention, and it is so easy to get distracted and do other stuff instead.  And this is only day two!

But after a couple of cups of coffee and a shower, I made myself come down to my studio.  Everything else will just have to wait.

I think one of the hardest things to do is deciding what to paint. There are just so many subjects to pick from.  Should I do animals, flowers, people, landscapes?  The list is endless.

Another problem is what medium should I choose?   Should it be regular watercolor, batik watercolor, oils, drawing, colored pencil?  You get the idea. But again today I decided to do traditional watercolor on paper.

I haven't done traditional watercolor in quite a while since I've been doing only batik watercolor for the last year.  So I decided I need to practice. And I'm finding out - I really need to practice!  So I guess this 30 Paintings in 30 Days is a good idea after all.

When I finally have an idea of what I want to paint, I just can't find that reference photo that I'm thinking of.  I moved my studio a few months back and have been organizing it, and now I can't find anything.  But eventually, I find it and get started.

That's when the fun begins, and sometimes the frustration.  Then I just get lost in the painting and lose track of all time.  Before I know it, it's lunch time. And that's as long as I have for today.

So here is today's painting. This watercolor is 9" by 12".  Its from a photo I took when we were sitting at a restaurant along a creek in Breckenridge, Colorado. It was a beautiful spring day and the lilacs were in bloom and the butterflies were everywhere. I hope you enjoy it.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Day 1 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

Happy New Year to everyone. I hope 2015 will be your best yet.

Today it is cold and snowing in Colorado. The perfect day to snuggle in and paint my first painting in this 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.

Over the years, I have acquired quite a collection of paint tubes from all of the different classes I've taken. Unfortunately, many of them are either brands or colors that I didn't really like.  So now seemed the perfect time to "clean house."

Now that I am doing mostly batik watercolors, I have found that I really enjoy using Daniel Smith brand watercolors, especially their transparent colors.

So in the last month, I started collecting all new paint, mostly Daniel Smith brand with a couple special Ametican Journey colors from Cheap Joe's.

The first thing I decided to do was create two inch square color swatches of all of my new tubes of paint.

Here's what they look like:

Then it was time to paint!  Day 1's painting is a subject dear to my heart - Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods.  In keeping with my theme for the challenge, this "Small Gem" painting is 4" x 10".  Hope you like it!