Monday, November 16, 2015


I was recently contacted by Gig Rosenberg who is the editor of Professional Artist magazine for an interview.  Excerpts of our phone conversation are included in this article which will appear in the next issue of the magazine.  The focus of my portion was on my work with F&W Media, my book and DVDs.  The result of my association with the company has really been a "game changer" for me, especially in the workshop realm.  I have frequent requests from both individuals and groups for workshops.  I love teaching workshops.  I love the interaction, energy, fun, and being with like minded artists. 

I will also have an extensive interview on Creative Catalyst.  Creative Catalyst is now carrying my DVDs.  I'm not sure when the interview will be online.  I would encourage anyone to go to their website to view all of the products they have available.  

An article about abstract pastels will also appear in the February issue of the Pastel Journal Magazine. This article contains images and excerpts of my book.  

This is a lot of publicity in a short time!  

Friday, November 6, 2015

Garden Memories and Balance

Garden Memories
22x30 pastel on paper

I continue to use blind contour garden drawings for most of my work now.  I'm not trying to recreate an observable garden.  I'm thinking of rememberences, impressions, color, value, line and composition.  I use the same drawing over and over again.  I use parts of drawings and they are interchangable.  I look at the surface to see if something needs to be there and I then look at one of my drawings and recreate the lines.  I go over areas, cover things up and layer colors.  I have finally gotten to the point where how I paint is no different whether it is pastel or paint.  This has taken a long time to finally bring the two together.  Lots and lots of trial and error.  I still have visions of very large pastels and I will work at those but not sure what I will do with them once they are finished.  I think it is important to do the work first and not worry about what will happen to it when it is finished.  Thinking about outcomes puts up way too many barriers.  

I will be teaching my last workshop of 2015 this weekend and it will be in my hometown here in Iowa.  I've decided that I will bring my workshops to a close next year in October and do no traveling workshops til late winter as I have begun to spend extended time in Arizona.   Right now I'm getting more requests than I can fill!  I hate to turn offers down but I just can't do back to back workshops in different parts of the country.  My goal is to do only one traveling workshop per month and some months I will not do any.  I need to go places with my husband (at least once in awhile) and I also need "down time" for my own painting.  That is what I am doing right now.  I've had some time to explore and experiment and it has helped me to go a little further with both pastel and acrylic.   I've also had time to meet with a new gallery and send out inquiries to others that I am interested in.   Balance is so important.  

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Artist Mentoring

24x24 acrylic on canvas

I was recently asked by an artist if I provide mentoring services.  That question prompted me to do some searching and wondering if this is something I should offer.  I am in the process of developing a four to six session mentoring program.  I am in the beginning stages of developing this program.  This will combine my personal experience from the past as a professional counselor with my work as an artist.  I will not be offering lessons as there is enough information available through my book and DVDs.   This will assist artists who have taken my workshops, online classes and studied my materials to "go further".  I hope to have this available beginning in January 2016.  I will only offer it occassionally and to four or five artists at a time. I'm excited about developing and offering this.  I think it is the next natural step for me to take and it will be offered to artists working in any media.  

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Discovering Prussian Blue

Aureum Moment
36x24 acrylic on deep profile canvas

36x24 acrylic on deep profile canvas

Dear Prussian Blue, where have you been all my life?  

I recently discovered Prussian Blue.  I had never used it but I did have some in my arsenal of acrylic paints.  I had used a certain type of blue in a pastel painting that I really liked and I wondered "how do I mix this in acrylic?"  I then looked a book on mixing colors and also at a Golden chart on color mixing.  The color I was after involved using Prussian Blue.  I have used Ultramarine Blue ever since day one.  This is my new favorite blue and probably a color I will use frequently.  I love its more earthy tinge when mixed with raw umber.  I am also experimenting with using more neutrals in my paintings.  I have been doing this with pastel and now I want to do the same with acrylics.  One medium influences the other and that is why I love working with both.  I am finding that I am much happier with the balance of neutral to smaller areas of pure color.  Now I am looking around at paintings I did even two months ago and knowing that some revisions are coming.  I'm planning on painting over several previous works!  

There is always something new to discover and learn.  

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Time and Space to Develop

Breath of Nature 30x30 acrylic on canvas

Blue Salvia 12x12 pastel on paper

Blue Salvia 2 30x30 acrylic on canvas

Deep Within mixed media on paper 22x30

I've kind of slacked off on some of my social media postings for awhile.  I have some catching up to do.  My last traveling workshop was the second week of September.  I won't be traveling again until January and then I begin to get busy with workshops (which I love!).  I also need "down time"  to experiment, try new approaches, develop themes, test out new colors and materials.  This is what I have been doing lately.  I've been getting a lot of painting done and have a lot of work stored - everywhere!  I just got a larger storage unit to put my older works and my shipping boxes.  I will meet with a new gallery the beginning of next month and am approaching additional galleries out of my area.  Always a challenge as I know it is business on their end and my art is looked at as a commodity.  Can it be sold or not.  I try not to get hung up on a response either way.  And I now have to ask myself if the gallery is even the best fit for me.  I don't want my work to just sit in a gallery and not go anywhere. It may as well be in my storage unit.  So - I will do the work and do the best work I can as that is what is most important.  I don't concern myself with selling it, or winning a contest or getting a gallery.  Yes, all those things are nice but the most important is following my own lead, doing the best I can and always challenging myself to improve and stretch.  

Images above are from the last two weeks.  I use some of my drawings done directly from gardens.  I'm not using any photographs right now.  I've taken plenty but I really do like relying on my drawings as I feel they have more life in them than a photograph.  A pastel may lead to an acrylic painting later.  Painting on paper helps with composition and working out possibilites with color and value.  

I have taken off the ability to make comments in this blog.  Sorry.  Too much spam and people posting their links in comments just to get others to click on them and be redirected to spam.  This is why you cannot comment on my blog posts.  

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Reminder of Things Seen

45x45 acrylic on canvas

Cliff Face
acrylic on canvas board

Sometimes I see things that just make an immediate impression on me.  Things hit me over the head and they are hard to miss.  These paintings are the result of that first immediate impression.  They were also an excuse for me to play with new Charvin acrylic paints - which I love!

I created several sketches while in Maine this summer.  They were impact sketches.  Sketches from memory of what I saw and felt when looking at the rocky shoreline from a boat on a nature cruise.  The boat pulled close to shore on the way back and the colors, shapes, lines of the rocks just made me say "wow"  to myself many times.  I clicked away with my cell phone camera as much as I could.  I knew there was a lot of abstrction to mine from the rocky shore.  This is a real departure from my current garden series but both are inspired by an impression on me of something seen.  I will continue to play with this in the coming months.  I dream of going back and drawing on the spot.  Maybe a kayak with a sketch pad?  

Salvia is based on the bright red plant that is in my garden.  I stood there looking at the red flowers last week and a hummingbird came by and fed on the flowers for a long time ignoring me in the process.  It was a magical moment for me. They are a brilliant red right now and are surrounded by other flowers which are fading in the autumn.  I do enjoy my garden series and will also play with various color schemes throughout the fall and winter.  Most of what I do now is based on sketches and not photos.  Drawing has become very important to me.  I may revert back to some photo references but I never draw from the photograph exclusively.  It is only a reminder of things seen.  

Saturday, September 19, 2015


50 x 50
acrylic on canvas

I began this painting this morning.  I had some vague ideas in mind and that was a dark area and some more neutral "fall like" colors.  I did several garden inspired paintings with pinks and reds and want to get away from those for awhile.  I am keeping with the same process of using my plant contour drawings for the basis of line work.  I will finish this one up tomorrow and probably lighten and brighten some areas a little.  I do enjoy working large.  It is enjoyable getting lost in the surface and process.  I also like being able to create interesting spaces in different areas.